Star Trek Online‘s executive producer spoke about the process of designing the MMORPG.
Making a Star Trek MMO meant finding a new way to explore familiar territory, yet making it fresh and exciting for players. “Well when we got the license we sat in a room and were like ‘OK, what sort of game should we be making with STO?,'” said Zinkievich. “It’s not a case where we said ‘OK, it’s Star Trek and an MMO, lets just apply it.’ There are a number of key features that really drove us in the way that we designed the game.”
The developers decided on a setting that was far enough in the future to offer new possibilities, yet close enough to the known events of Star Trek to be familiar. “The game is set in 2409 which is in the near future after Next Gen and Voyager, 22 years after the Hobus Supernova blew up Romulus and sent the guys back in time,” said Zinkievich. “So we wanted it to be familiar and yet a new setting for people to explore.”
Another element of the game to be decided was what role the player would take in the game. “Everyone is a captain in Star Trek: Online,” explained Zinkievich. “We thought about making the game where you were the engineer down in the transporter room pushing a button for twenty hours a day and we figured ‘Hey most people probably want to fly a starship so let’s focus on that for now.’ It really is about space and ground and moving between the two, even within a single setting or event.”
The events of Star Trek XI as well as some comic books have had an impact on the development of the Star Trek: Online. “We have been working closely with CBS over the year to make sure that all the continuity is taken care of, so when it was decided to blow up Romulus we were told about that and said ‘Oh that’s fine in our universe,'” said Zinkievich. “Things that we are doing are also reflected in other places like the new comic books as well. I think J.J. Abrams did some really great things to update it and make it more accessible, and we have taken our timeline a bit into the future to advance the look and the feel of our universe. So yeah, there are some parallels there.”