Star Trek Online Producer Foresees 2007 TestingBy Michelle
March 14, 2006 - 5:13 PM
Star Trek Online producer Daron Stinnett said that the massively multiplayer online game was on target for public beta testing in 2007, saying that the goal was to create a game that would be satisfying to players even if they were not deeply invested in the Star Trek universe, but would also be familiar and detailed for Star Trek fans.
At MMORPG.COM, Stinnett said that at present the team is still working on design and technology framework. "We expect to be in full scale production by this summer," he explained. "We're committed to making a game that is entertaining regardless of your level of enthusiasm for Star Trek...in other words, our gameplay needs to stand on its own as a satisfying gameplay experience."
Stinnett reiterated that the playable races will include many of those familiar from the series, including Humans, Vulcans, Klingons, Bajorans and several others. When the game launches, players will only be able to play for Starfleet - there will not be enemy or unaligned factions - but he felt that "with its focus on starship life, space combat, exploration, and away missions", the MMO would provide a variety of challenges.
Moreover, added Stinnett, because there will be space-based and ground-based scenarios, there will be very different gaming situations available. "Building two games at once is hardly a recipe for success, so we've put a lot of effort into figuring out how to unify the mechanics between the two environments, while maintaining the unique flavor of each," he noted. "We are building a world where players will feel equally capable in either arena. Just as it is in the series, we expect player characters to move freely between the two environments."
Though he called the decision controversial, Stinnett said that the creators had decided to focus space combat on teamwork rather than acrobatic space flight. "We don't want STO become a combat flight-sim," he explained. "Paramount, and now CBS, have been wonderful to work with. They recognize that an MMORPG is one of the best ways to pay off on the Star Trek experience and they've been very supportive. Everyone understands that there are details of Star Trek that may have worked great for the show, but are a challenge for an MMORPG."
The full interview is here.