Earlier this week, we brought you our War Stories interview with Star Control & Star Control 2 creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, wherein the two designers discussed issues that almost derailed the games during their development. But our talk with the Two Guys from Frungytown spanned several hours—and gave us plenty of fuel for at least two more videos.
As our conversation with Paul and Fred went on, they kept name-dropping the most amazing folks who contributed to SC2—people like Starflight's Greg Johnson, Dungeons and Dragons artist Erol Otis, and Star Wars concept designer Iain McCaig. It became obvious that much like Alejandro Jodorowski's aborted fever-dream Dune project, SC2's development was built upon the work of a tremendous collection of absurdly talented people. Those folks have dispersed throughout the gaming industry and done fantastic work, acting like leavening in bread. (A big difference between SC2 and Jodorowski's Dune, of course, is that SC2 actually made it out of production.)
The video we've made out of this set of anecdotes is titled "Six Degrees of StarCon." We've pulled out a few of the most influential names involved in SC2 and looked at where they came from, what they contributed, and what else they worked on. There's a lot of fascinating history in here—and, as it turns out, Star Control 2 might just be the closest gaming analog to Kevin Bacon. Or at least to Paul Erdős.