Perpetual Entertainment Plans To Consult Experts, Fans In Game Development

By Kristine
September 9, 2004 - 4:24 PM

CEO of Perpetual Entertainment Joe Keene and the president of the company, Chris McKibbin, are very aware of the high expectations the Star Trek fanbase has for their upcoming online role playing game, due to begin beta testing in 2006.

Just days after the annoucement of Perpetual Entertainment's plans to design a Star Trek Online massive multiplayer online role playing game (story), Keene and McKibbin sat down with to talk about their plans for the game, which is due to be released in 2007. Keene noted that there were many considerations that came into play when developing a Star Trek game, especially one of this magnitude.

"[P]retty much everything needs to be specifically approved," he said of Paramount's involvement in the game development. "As for things that have already happened in the universe that are well known, that's not expected to be problematic. As for that, I have to say that Paramount has been extremely generous in giving us access to people that have worked in the series, for decades in some cases, and they're very eager to work with us to create the next evolution of the Star Trek franchise."

Keene also noted that even though the annoucement only occurred two days ago, fans have already been voicing their opinions about the game. "[O]bviously it's a big, dedicated and conscientious group that likes to make their opinion known," Keene said of the large Trek fanbase. "If you look through our mail today you'll get a sense of that. I think there's a tremendous amount of excitement. We've gotten emails saying 'Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!' followed shortly by other emails giving very specific ideas about what should be added into the game."

And Keene is more than willing to listen. He expects to be talking with fans throughout the development process, and heeding their imput. "What we're trying to do is work with the fan base to the maximum degree that's feasible when developing a game," he commented. "We'll be talking to a lot of community leaders and the fan base and seeing what's most important to them. I think again that if we can deliver what's inspiring about Star Trek then we'll have done our job."

McKibbin is also eagerly anticipating developing the game, and wants to first and foremost recreate the feel of what it would be like to be a character in the Star Trek universe. "The first thing I hope they experience is the immersive experience of being a character in the Star Trek fiction," he said. "I think there will be multiple paths of evolving a character and as that character progresses and explores the entirety of the Star Trek property we want this game to match the themes of Star Trek which are exploration, community and communication, encountering challenges both known and unknown while working together with others to overcome them."

McKibbin hopes players will enjoy both developing complex characters within the game, and playing out intresting storylines as well. "We think the license lends itself to a lot of story lines, both as overarching ones and shorter durations, but we also think it's critically important that people get to establish their own characters and effectively experience what it would truly be like to live and adventure in the Star Trek world," he said. "So we're going to do a combination of both with official missions and some dynamically created content. There will be overarching stories and missions to pursue, but players certainly won't be confined to those things."

McKibbin also noted that developing a Star Trek game had been a goal of Perpetual Entertainment's since the company's inception two and a half years ago. "[W]e put together a list of franchises that would be good for the MMOG space and Star Trek was on the top of the list so we've had working designs for a Star Trek game since the beginning of the company," he said.

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