Star Trek: Online‘s Christine Thompson explains how the Star Trek: Online development team was able to keep up with multiple sources of information.
In addition to “official canon” which was aired, Star Trek: Online used sources such as novels and comic books when creating their Star Trek world.
“We look at the soft canon like novels and comics,” explained Thompson, “but we don’t feel compelled to use everything from them. Some things, like the Countdown comic series, fit perfectly, so we incorporated it. Other things don’t work as well.”
One advantage Star Trek: Online has is being set in a time future to the known Star Trek world, either canon or non-canon. “Since our game is set in 2409, we’re decades ahead of the novels and the comics,” said Thompson. “We were always prepared to go our own way storywise because of that, and I think what we’ve done has worked.”
Being set thirty years after the last movie allows for new stories as well as keeping things familiar for fans. “We picked 2409 for a few reasons,” said Thompson. “It’s in the future of the timeline, so we get a chance to add new stories, new technology, new looks for some of the ships, etc. But it’s close enough that we can have a lot of things that are familiar to fans of the shows and movies.”
“Also, Star Trek Online is the story of the players,” added Thompson. “They’re the heroes in this time. Moving forward means that Starfleet isn’t always looking to Jean-Luc Picard or Benjamin Sisko to fix things. They’re asking you to save the galaxy.”