Ok. where to begin.
First we have to clarify some things:
1) Is a sequel going to be made by Stardock alone or TFB will contribute too?
2) Is it going to be in the same universe (quadrant, dimension, whatever) as SCO or Ur-Quan Masters?
3) Is it going to be a continuation of the current storyline or some sort of reboot?
Now to some other points:
A) Non-linear story is nice but if you plan a sequel after @the sequel@, then something has to become canon (if it is going to happen in the same universe/dimension).
Do not over-complicate the gameplay by adding too many parameters and do not descend into micromanagement hell.
1. Good story is a must. It has to take you over, you have to care about the plot, you have to care about the characters.
2. I love pixel graphics, so I prefer pixels to 3rd, but it can be just me. I consider Crying Suns, Heroes of Might and Magic 2, Star Renegates and Star Control II the proper directions for the sequel in terms of visuals
3. The engine shall allow existence of several layers. Like @true space@, @above@ and @below@ or even more. And above and below can have the same size as the @true space@. Like you could have layers in Age of Wonders, or underground in Might and Magic, expanded Quasi space, so to say, that has stars, planets, stations that you can visit, etc. Some additonal effects might apply (like time going slower/faster, fuel burning slower,faster, planets being squares , etc. )
4. More of everything: more ship parts, ruins, relics, planet types, portraits, ship models, derelicts, artifacts, upgrades, outposts, star bases, side quests, minerals, critters, anomalies, etc.
5. Support modders more so that the community is encouraged to do modding and conversions.
6. Introduction of text quests in some form: check out SPACE RANGERS: QUEST, Out there Chronicles, etc.
7. I also think that it shall be a bit more into hard science fiction, i.e. a bit darker in tone (it does not mean that there shall be no humor) and a bit less cartoonish. But becoming more serious shall not mean that captain can die of age, or we have to have water on the ship to give it to the crew, etc.)
8. Brad, you can look at the old threads of the SCO founders (including closed ones) to see what might still be added.
9. Considering what Star Control is (or what we all know it to be) - I do not care that much about multiplayer (but supermelee shall be fun on consoles, esp. during couchplay... so crossplay (PC, Consoles, Switch) Supermelee might be a blast).
10. More lore. I cannot stress this enough.
11. More great music.
-It might be fun to have TBS in SCO/Ur-Quan masters universe, it might be fun to run around and kill XRAKI as a space marine in some FPS, it might be fun to sit in a cockpit and shoot enemy ships like in TIE Fighter, etc., but all those things shall be in separate games.
- While we are all waiting for SCO sequel - a port of Ur-Quan masters/SC2 into SCO engine might be fun to play.