The Ur-Quan Masters, an open-source remake of the revered sci-fi exploration-adventure Star Management 2, is coming to Steam subsequent week, free for all and with a barely totally different title—Free Stars: The Ur-Quan Masters.

The Ur-Quan Masters scenario is a bit difficult, however this is the crash-course model. Star Management 2 was developed by Toys for Bob and revealed by Accolade in 1992. It was a profitable and tremendously influential game, and a few years later—after the discharge of a dismal Star Management 3 that was developed with out their involvement—studio founders Paul Reiche and Fred Ford made the source code for the 3DO model of Star Management 2 open source, ensuing within the highly-regarded 2002 fan game The Ur-Quan Masters.

Quick-forward 1 / 4 century, and Ford and Reiche lastly determined it was time to make their very own direct sequel to The Ur-Quan Masters, known as Ghosts of the Precursors. Only one downside: Stardock claimed it acquired possession of the Star Management rights in Atari’s 2013 chapter hearth sale, and it filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in opposition to the mission. The lawsuit was ultimately settled amicably: Stardock maintained the rights to the Star Management title, whereas Reiche and Ford have been free to make new Ur-Quan Masters video games.

Which, very slowly and circuitously, brings us to now. Free Stars: The Ur-Quan Masters, “a basic house game that captures the allure of retro science-fiction, house fight, and excessive journey,” is headed to Steam on February 19. Pistol Shrimp Video games, the studio based to work on the Ur-Quan Masters video games by Reiche, Ford, Ford’s brother Ken, and Dan Gerstein, mentioned on Twitter that it’s “the bottom UQM construct with a pair tweaks,” described in a small FAQ on Steam as together with “voiceover, 3DO music, and different minor modifications.”

The unique Star Management and Star Management 2 stay accessible for buy on Steam and GOG, as do Star Management 3 and Star Management: Origins, a more moderen addition to the collection developed by Stardock. The Ur-Quan Masters, nevertheless, will not be accessible on Steam: As befits an open source mission, you’ll be able to snag that one, at no cost, from Sourceforge. That is apparently a part of why Pistol Shrimp is placing Free Stars: The Ur-Quan on Steam: “We additionally wished to deliver the game to Steam to achieve the tens of millions of gamers who use it as their game library of selection,” the FAQ states.

“Whereas UQM was—and all the time will be—accessible elsewhere, having a presence on Steam for UQM is useful in a couple of methods,” Gerstein wrote in an October 2023 weblog publish. “It’s a spot where we will showcase the work of our neighborhood in sustaining UQM and perhaps even assist it attain new audiences. 

“It additionally lets us set up a presence for the entire collection. If game #1 is on Steam, when game quantity 2 is coming, we will tie them collectively properly in a approach each new and previous gamers can perceive. Guide shops, as an analogy, often put every e-book in a collection sitting subsequent to one another on a shelf, and we need to do the identical.”

Reich and Ken Ford left Pistol Shrimp in September 2023 however work continues to be persevering with on the direct sequel that was introduced in 2017. As agreed within the Stardock settlement, it now has a brand new title that is extra in line with the renamed collection: Free Stars: Kids of Infinity. There is not any signal of a launch goal at this level however you will discover out extra about what’s coming at