The Star Trek Online team describes the parameters of the new MMORPG, released last week, for Star Trek Magazine readers.
The key to Star Trek: Online was figuring out what had happened to everyone’s favorite races, then deciding where to go from there.
According to Star Trek: Online‘s Christine Thompson, there was a “metastory to the game.” “We needed to figure out what happened with the Romulans, the Klingons, the Cardassians, etc.,” she said. “And once we had all those pieces in place, we needed to figure out where they move from there. There are things you go through in the game tutorial that are relevant later on, when you’ve ranked up to admiral. There are things we’ve set up that run all the way through the game, and beyond.”
“Beyond” means planning for the game’s future, which will be evolving and changing. “Because this is an MMO, the cool thing is, we’re never done developing it,” explained Thompson. “We’re always going to be adding new stuff and new story to it. So I’m already thinking six months out, twelve months out, ‘Okay, what are we going to do next? How will the story move forward? When the players find out, for example, what was really behind the destruction of Romulus, how will that affect everything else?”
“The first three major areas of the game each have fourteen episodes,” said Thompson. “Those episodes each constitute about forty-five minutes to an hour and a half of play, and they’re strung together to tell a larger coherent story. In addition, we have all the patrol content and exploration content, and those are little one-act tasks players can perform, but they’ve given me opportunities to drop in a little more story for the overall game.”
If the Star Trek: Online structure seems like a new season of Star Trek, that’s not accidental, according to Star Trek: Online Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich. “All of the content in Star Trek Online, the vision of the content in the game, is to make it feel as though you’re in an episode or a movie,” he said. “And like those, you’re never in one place for any period of time. You’re in space, you receive a distress call, you beam down to a planet and rescue some scientists, beam up to a space station, collect vital data, get back to your ship in time for a climactic space battle. That is really what we want the content to feel like, players constantly moving back and forth between environments. You’re constantly moving, constantly exploring.”
Star Trek Magazine issue 24 arrives at newsstands on February 9.