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Star Trek Online: GDC Studio Visit: The Direction of STO

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

While in San Francisco at the Game Developer's Conference, Managing Editor Jon Wood had the opportunity to attend a press event at Perpetual Entertainment, the makers of Star Trek Online. In this article, Jon looks at how the direction of the game fits in with the legend of its IP.


Last night, members of the press were treated to a visit to Perpetual Studios' offices in downtown San Francisco. During that time, we got a hands-on look at Gods and Heroes (the subject of another article) and a look at some of what they're doing with Star Trek Online.

While we didn't get to look at the game itself (they're still in a very early stage of development), we did get a chance to look at the game's assets: race models, ships, planets, and the like. It was enough to get a good idea of the feel of this new incarnation of the Star Trek franchise.

For folks who might not know, Star Trek Online is set about 20 years after the movie, Star Trek Nemesis. Setting the game outside of the direct timeline of the movies and the television show gives Perpetual the opportunity to branch out and put their own stamp on the Trek universe. As with any IP, that can be a risky business. The games industry is full of tales of IPs gone horribly wrong, where the spirit of the original incarnation is lost because the company was more interested in capitalizing on the brand recognition of the IP than they were about making a solid game that would entertain fans and non fans alike.

You can read the whole article here.




Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • LordCaptainLordCaptain Sitka, AKPosts: 178Member

    Awesome.

    That is real great news. I have a lot of faith in Perpetual and I really hope they can pull it off. This just increased my faith :P

  • DiuranDiuran DublinPosts: 8Member
    I actually like the look of that Starship design.  I'm not a huge fan of the designs that were done in the later series of ST but this has my interest.
  • KniknaxKniknax LeicesterPosts: 567Member Uncommon

    We all know the graphics are going to be pretty, but what would be much more helpful and interesting is to know what they are actually planning for the mechanics of the game. Is it going to be level or skill based, is it going to be quest or "sandbox" based, how will combat and ship control work. How will they do "crafting" in a universe where everything can be made for you in the little machine?

    These would have been much better questions to ask than "how is the ship going to look".

    "When people don't know much about something, they tend to fill in the blanks the way they want them to be filled in. They are almost always disappointed." - Will Wright

  • DS_K7DS_K7 Roseville, CAPosts: 266Member
    Music! I wonder who composed it!?
  • LordCaptainLordCaptain Sitka, AKPosts: 178Member

    I doubt that PE is releasing that type of info yet. They could ask until they are blue in the face and they won't give anything out.

    I really doubt we will start hearing anything about the mechanics of this game until AT LEAST God's and Heros is released.

    Originally posted by jayanti


    We all know the graphics are going to be pretty, but what would be much more helpful and interesting is to know what they are actually planning for the mechanics of the game. Is it going to be level or skill based, is it going to be quest or "sandbox" based, how will combat and ship control work. How will they do "crafting" in a universe where everything can be made for you in the little machine?
    These would have been much better questions to ask than "how is the ship going to look".
  • SinuousSinuous Litchfield Park, AZPosts: 58Member
    Originally posted by jayanti


    We all know the graphics are going to be pretty, but what would be much more helpful and interesting is to know what they are actually planning for the mechanics of the game. Is it going to be level or skill based, is it going to be quest or "sandbox" based, how will combat and ship control work. How will they do "crafting" in a universe where everything can be made for you in the little machine?
    These would have been much better questions to ask than "how is the ship going to look".
    At their current stage of concept design they don't have concrete answers for specific game mechanics questions like the one you posed.



    And as far as crafting is concerned, when was the last time you saw them cook up anything besides food and drink with a replicator.  You think they make Warp Nacelles with those things?  It won't be an issue.
  • Shanks123Shanks123 Newburgh, NYPosts: 100Member
    this games going to be awesome if done right. So i really hope they do it right cause i really  cant wait for it.

    I'm Here. I'm Awesome. Get Used To It.

  • emptyballoonemptyballoon PaisleyPosts: 26Member

    Oh, wow. The image of the ship approaching the starbase is awesome.

    The background has nebula type effects, like a certain other space based MMO.  I would prefer black, but that is just a small niggle.  The station looks great, all blue and glowy.

    I can't wait for the real thing now.

     

  • EndemondiaEndemondia SalfordPosts: 231Member
    Originally posted by jayanti


    We all know the graphics are going to be pretty, but what would be much more helpful and interesting is to know what they are actually planning for the mechanics of the game. Is it going to be level or skill based, is it going to be quest or "sandbox" based, how will combat and ship control work. How will they do "crafting" in a universe where everything can be made for you in the little machine?
    These would have been much better questions to ask than "how is the ship going to look".
    Jayanti has hit the nail on the head. AS the editorial alludes to, most companies will make a hash of IP conversion to mmorpg. Why? Because the traditional method of game making is distorted by the introduction of IP. Image replaces content is the bottom line. A lot of effort has gone into making the game look for no better word "pretty" and all credit to the designers and illustrators. But much like a car, it can look the dog's bollox but if the engine in the car is total pants no one should be buying that car. If the game's designers have yet to figure out what engine is going in their game then god help us! Usually a game has a core idea and elements, such as if the game will be skill or level based, and these elements should filter through all the design of the game. You don't just tag it on at the end. Of course maybe they just won't tell us for fear of alienating anybody at this stage by making bold but essential decisions about how the game will play. Gamers are rapidly evolving with more sophisicated tastes and the fact that only one in every hundred games makes any money demonstrates how big the stakes are. My opinion is this. If they have not got sound game mechanics to flesh out the IP over then this is a ninety-niner! If they have not told us it is all part of the methodology of building suspence i.e. a marketing ploy.
  • AshleyHunterAshleyHunter Southfield, MIPosts: 3Member
    What does IP mean?
  • EndemondiaEndemondia SalfordPosts: 231Member
    Originally posted by AshleyHunter

    What does IP mean?
    Have you heard of this thing called the internet? It has a thing called google. A giant leap forward for the intelect of the human race once you know how to use it.
  • LordKyellanLordKyellan Lee, NHPosts: 160Member
    Right now I'm reserving judgment on STO. Everything we've seen so far looks absolutely amazing, but unfortunately, there's a long history of Star Trek games being screwed up.



    Wait, I take that back.



    Unfortunately, there's a long history of the entire license being screwed up and screwed with.



    Somebody needs to stop J.J. Abrams before he puts the last nail in my beloved Star Trek's coffin.

    --------

    "Give a man a fire, and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he is warm for the rest of his life."

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member
    Originally posted by Sinuous

    Originally posted by jayanti


    We all know the graphics are going to be pretty, but what would be much more helpful and interesting is to know what they are actually planning for the mechanics of the game. Is it going to be level or skill based, is it going to be quest or "sandbox" based, how will combat and ship control work. How will they do "crafting" in a universe where everything can be made for you in the little machine?
    These would have been much better questions to ask than "how is the ship going to look".
    At their current stage of concept design they don't have concrete answers for specific game mechanics questions like the one you posed.



    And as far as crafting is concerned, when was the last time you saw them cook up anything besides food and drink with a replicator.  You think they make Warp Nacelles with those things?  It won't be an issue.

     

    I want you to think about something for a second please...if you will. When I and many others look for a MMORPG to call home, we look for a MMORPG whose company knows what they are doing and can handle the monetary responsibilities of our demands. It is not encouraging to know that STO doesn't even have the answers to those questions that the earlier poster asked. They have been in development for almost a year now, maybe more (can't remember exactly). Mythic, as we all know, is a good company. When they announced that they were developing WAR, they already have been working on it for 6 months. But even then they knew the mechanics of the game and were able to answer the above questions for their game. That is what I expect from a good solid company, that is likely to finish a MMORPG in a decent amount of time and release it in a finished state, instead of a severely bug ridden state with performance and serious lag issues that plague games released by companies that don't have the budget or know how to do better.

    So wouldn't it be reasonable to expect the same amount of information, which is really basic, from Perpetual considering they are about a year into development now? I just thought it's something to think about. If the company is worth a damn, they would know already what they plan to implement, whether it's skill based or level based, quest based or sandbox. Or, they could just be witholding information, which is also fine, since they have a MMORPG that should soon be released this year. But it would be nice to know if they have figured out what they are doing, even if they wouldn't tell us. It would go a long way of telling us how stable of a company they are.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • niveknivek Boisbiand, QCPosts: 8Member
    Originally posted by Endemondia

    Originally posted by AshleyHunter

    What does IP mean?
    Have you heard of this thing called the internet? It has a thing called google. A giant leap forward for the intelect of the human race once you know how to use it.

    Google gives you lots of information about Internet Protocol. That doesn't help much when discussing what an IP is in relation to an mmorpg.



    IP - Intellectual Property ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property )
  • ks1701ks1701 Gainesville, FLPosts: 3Member
    I would have like to see those ships cuase from the article it seems that there might be an Enterprise-F unless it was the Enterprise-E he was looking at. Either way I think this game is on the right way currently

    Rillarri - 1stMI
    www.1stmi.com
    Are you 1?

  • LordCaptainLordCaptain Sitka, AKPosts: 178Member

    PE probably does know where this title is going. Who really knows how far along they are? We certainatly don't, because they ain't telling us.

    Honestly people, I doubt this was an open forum where they invited the people in and they got to ask questions. And instead of asking questions about gameplay, all they asked was "Can we see another screenshot/concept art piece?"

    PE released the info they wanted to release. The are probably not trying to show up their original IP MMO game called God's and Heros. If you really want to know how STO is going to be handled, pay attention to GnH. After that is released later this year, I'm sure we will get all sorts of STO goodies :D

  • Nu11u5Nu11u5 Rolla, MOPosts: 597Member


    Originally posted by jayanti
    We all know the graphics are going to be pretty, but what would be much more helpful and interesting is to know what they are actually planning for the mechanics of the game. Is it going to be level or skill based, is it going to be quest or "sandbox" based, how will combat and ship control work. How will they do "crafting" in a universe where everything can be made for you in the little machine?
    These would have been much better questions to ask than "how is the ship going to look".

    Last I read (in an article of MMORPG.COM no less) the game was going to be class/level based (a little fuzzy on that detail), with missions instanced for your crew - the only time you will be likely to run into another player not on your crew will be at starbases - no PvP combat or even playable races hostile to the Federation, and when you get injured, you are always instantly saved 100% healthy via Star Trek teleporter + hypospray magic.

    I can see where some of the design decisions came from in order to keep with the theme of Star Trek, but I'm not sure if I'll be wanting to play it. But despite all my negativity, I will say that they seem to have a rather interesting approach to Ship control/flight. Haven't seen any solid details yet, but it look like it will be a crew effort, with each person managing a system in a sort of mini-game.

    //insert sig here
  • DruAdeDruAde londonPosts: 25Member
    Originally posted by Endemondia

    Originally posted by AshleyHunter

    What does IP mean?
    Have you heard of this thing called the internet? It has a thing called google. A giant leap forward for the intelect of the human race once you know how to use it.

    I used google to look up pompus rude idiot and guess what ? Your  name came up....
  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member
    Hi Guys,



    I wanted to step in here now and clear some things up. For those of you asking for gameplay information,  I can see where you're coming from. I' m as curious as anyone about how the game will be constructed, whether or not it will be a sandbox, is it level or skill based? The fact of the matter is that Perpetual, as a company, isn't talking about that aspect of their game yet. The fact of the matter is that there's a lot that changes in the development of an MMORPG between pre-production (where they are now) and launch. Announcing what features are going to be in the game, before they are locked down (or close to it) is not only a pain in the butt for companies (who then have to go out and say "We changed our minds") but also a pain in the butt for fans of the game like you and I who are looking forward to it. I know that's something that always aggrivates me.



    I figured though, since I was there and saw what I saw, that I'd pass on any information I had. I know I was starved for it, and I figured others were as well.



    Cheers

    Jon

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • shaeshae Ottawa, ONPosts: 2,509Member

    Personaly, I love hearing any information about STO. Thanks for getting what you could for us guys, really hope to hear more soon of cousre.

  • LaterisLateris Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,802Member

    I think this game is going to attract players who want to be part of a crew and experience the true Star Trek feel in a game. Concerning the topic of instances wouldn’t that promote a sense of a “unique experience” on a mission with crew mates?  I can't see how this game is going to cater to a solo mentality and I am quite happy with that concept. But is it going to feel like a guild wars game in the sense of how instances work? I am still waiting to see how STO debuts & hope it does well. We all need a good sci-fi!

     

    The artwork looks amazing= thanks for the article
  • TazdaxTazdax Twin Cities, MNPosts: 16Member

    Great to see something on this project.  Give us more give us more! 

  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 453Member Uncommon
    Thanks for what little you could provide us.
  • BunglermooseBunglermoose Vacherie, LAPosts: 63Member
    Originally posted by Endemondia

    Originally posted by AshleyHunter

    What does IP mean?
    Have you heard of this thing called the internet? It has a thing called google. A giant leap forward for the intelect of the human race once you know how to use it.

     

    Have you heard of this thing called common sense? What you typed took longer than just answering the question. Not sure if that makes you a jerk or a moron.

    Anyway... I'm really looking forward to this game. Not just because I've been a Star Trek fan since my mother first let me stay up to watch the original series reruns back in the mid 1970's... but because, frankly, I'm fantasy-ed out. I'd like to play a new MMORPG that isn't fantasy-based. I'm just glad to have read even one little tidbit about how the game's coming, even if the article didn't tell us a whole lot of new information.

     

  • LaterisLateris Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,802Member
    In this case IP represents a franchise such as Star Trek, or Star Wars, or Battle Star Galactica. For example games like Star Wars Galaxies are part of an IP aka franchised name- and they have to answer to that franchise
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