'Star Trek Online' Creators Now Playing the Game

By Michelle
September 21, 2006 - 6:15 PM

Executive producer Daron Stinnett, lead designer Glen Dahlgren and lead systems designer John Yoo announced that they have reached a stage in development of Star Trek Online where the team is able to play the game.

"We don't want to assume that those mechanics work until we see and feel it," Stinnett explained to MMORPG.com's Dana Massey (via Game News). Yoo, who was recently hired, had worked on Cryptic Studio's City of Villains and Blizzard's World of WarCraft and is part of a trend at Perpetual Entertainment to bring in more experienced MMORPG developers as Star Trek Online draws nearer to release.

Stinnett explained that the 35 full-time developers can play the game as they add and test new features, particularly in the realm of combat which is the current area of focus. Since few MMORPGs have included space combat, Stinnett said that it was helpful to be able to see the graphics because what works in notes doesn't always run as smoothly in action.

"It has to feel uniquely Star Trek," said Stinnett, who called realistic, recognizable space scenes a top priority for the programmers. The Star Trek fans, added the group, had expressed passion for detail but also flexibility in the interests of a more engaging game. Stinnett said that the quest to produce a good game was paramount and it didn't make sense to try to create a game that fit perfectly into Trek canon but wasn't enjoyable.

Presuming that players will spend half their time in space and half as characters, Stinnett explained that players would "have the same kind of access to people as you would in a ground-based game" and promised to "understand our gameplay before we build content around it." Now that theory has become practice, he added, it is time to start honing the product.

Hailing Frequency also has a downloadable audio interview with Stinnett in which he discusses the game's progress. The file may be accessed here.

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