Cryptic’s experience in creating games is a bonus when it comes to making a new game such as Star Trek: Online, according to Cryptic Studio’s Design Director/Executive Producer Bill Roper, as the developers don’t have to focus on inventing the basics, but can focus on new and more interesting ideas to enrich their new game, making the game better for players.
As reported by Virgin Media, Cryptic works from a core tool set which has been developed over the past few years. “It grows on its own with requests from the development teams,” explained Roper. “The huge benefit of that is we’re not recreating the wheel every time we’re working on a game. Those core tools are there: how missions get built, how effects hook up, the graphics pipeline, all those things that can take so long. So the teams get to focus much more than usual on just building content and game systems, which is a huge benefit. It allows us to create games faster because we’re not having to create all the associated technology every time, and it also enables us to make games that are richer in experience because we’re spending the bulk of our time on that content, on what’s going in.”Developers have spent a lot of time not just developing Star Trek: Online, but thinking about what the game should be. “What are core elements to what Star Trek is?,” said Roper. “The ship combat is very geared towards that. The fact that they have directional shields and not just, oh you’ve got a ship that you fly around and it’s got a bunch of hit points and some of those are shields. Combat is about facing and turning and the strategy that’s involved in that.”
One of the thoughts included thinking about the role that the player wishes to assume in the game. A Star Trek: Online player starts off higher in the Starfleet hierarchy than one would assume he would. “The fact that your character in Star Trek: Online is a captain,” said Roper. “Many people would assume that you would start up in Starfleet academy and you’re a lowly ensign and you work up the ranks and eventually you get to become a captain. No, you want to be a captain. That’s the iconic position in Star Trek. You’re a captain. You have a ship. Yes you’re at the beginning of a career but that career is that pinnacle career that you want. The things that you are building up are your crew around you, the ship that you have and the areas you can go to. Throughout all of it they’ve worked very hard on that.”
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