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MMORPG.COM News: STO: Daron Stinnet Profile

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Daron Stinnett is the Executive Producer of Star Trek Online, currently in development at the San Francisco-based Perpetual Entertainment.  In our first developer profile Q&A in a while we ask how he got there, what he does and how you can get there. We also snuck in an update on the progress of the game itself.




imageMMORPG.com: The gaming industry draws from all quarters. Can you run us through how you came to your current job?

Daron Stinnett: I’ve been making games professionally for 25 years starting in High School at a time when the typical team size was one.  My focus for the first half of my career was on programming but the nature of small teams gave me the opportunity to become involved in most aspects of development.   In 1990 I moved to the Bay Area to join Spectrum HoloByte where I Executive Produced the Simulations group responsible for Falcon 3.0 and other flight sims.  About 12 years ago I joined LucasArts as a Project Leader/Director leading the development of several titles including Dark Forces, Outlaws, Starfighter, and most recently, Republic Commando.

MMOs are the new frontier for both game players and developers.  They offer an opportunity for innovation that has all but vanished from the traditional games market.  So after several years on the console side of the business, I decided to jump into MMO development by joining Perpetual Entertainment to head-up Star Trek Online.

The entire Q&A is available here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • TookyGTookyG Warhammer Online Correspondent Alameda, CAPosts: 1,188Member

    He calls starship combat the riskiest and most interesting game play feature, it wouldn't be so risky if there was 3D starship combat.  Sure it would still be risky but it would be leaps and bounds better than 2D with "out of plane" maneuvers.

    And what is with those ridiculous uniforms?

    Developers are dumbing so many things down and fancying up other stuff that is totally unnecessary.  Stop pandering to the lowest common denominator!  Man, it's so frustrating.

    Until you cancel your subscription, you are only helping to continue the cycle of mediocrity.

  • shaeshae Ottawa, ONPosts: 2,509Member



    Originally posted by TookyG

    He calls starship combat the riskiest and most interesting game play feature, it wouldn't be so risky if there was 3D starship combat.  Sure it would still be risky but it would be leaps and bounds better than 2D with "out of plane" maneuvers.
    And what is with those ridiculous uniforms?
    Developers are dumbing so many things down and fancying up other stuff that is totally unnecessary.  Stop pandering to the lowest common denominator!  Man, it's so frustrating.



    Well I think he means it's risky because right now there's quite the debate going on, do they make space combat a "sim" like event, with a bridge crew, with players each doing their job working together to defeat space baddies or they do make it purely a one vs. one type idea, where combat would always and forever only be decided by one person. Which of course would work great with smaller one person ships and shuttles, but what about the biggest multiple passenger ships.

    It's a big task to work out. I think risky is the perfect way to describe what they have ahead of them, this is one of those decisions that can make or break a star trek game thats online. I'm not sure why you don't agree with the term but ok.

    And exactly what don't you like about the uniforms ? Besides, they are very very pre-production art sketchs, is it worth getting in such a huff over ?

    Where and why you went off on the tangent about dev teams dumbing things down or how that even remotely relates to this small but very cool Q&A session, I have no idea ??? /sigh lighten up a little...

    Anyways, thanks for the cool Q&A guys, very neat.

  • steevodeevosteevodeevo LondonPosts: 8Member

    WOOT with bells on / / /
    an official Star Trek MPORG at last.

    Phasers on stun!

    Im a Doctor not a magician!

    Interesting, but illogical.

    K'Pla!

    It's life Jim but...[..................]


    ::::20::

  • TookyGTookyG Warhammer Online Correspondent Alameda, CAPosts: 1,188Member



    Originally posted by shae

    And exactly what don't you like about the uniforms ? Besides, they are very very pre-production art sketchs, is it worth getting in such a huff over ?

    Where and why you went off on the tangent about dev teams dumbing things down or how that even remotely relates to this small but very cool Q&A session, I have no idea ??? /sigh lighten up a little...



    I don't like the boots or the fact that it looks like it's 70's retro flared collar day in starfleet.

    Saying that things are being dumbed down isn't a tangent.  2D combat is dumbing things down so 3 finger Joe can get the hang of it and the uniforms are being fancied up, most likely, because the standard starfleet uniform isn't very "cool."

    Until you cancel your subscription, you are only helping to continue the cycle of mediocrity.

  • TookyGTookyG Warhammer Online Correspondent Alameda, CAPosts: 1,188Member



    Originally posted by steevodeevo

    K'Pla!




    Qapla'!

    Say it like you mean it! image

    Until you cancel your subscription, you are only helping to continue the cycle of mediocrity.

  • StormsenderStormsender Bremerton, WAPosts: 39Member

    I really like the profile Mr. Stinnet sounds like he is the right man for the job. One thing I do want to note if they do make the space travel side 2D instead of 3D that will blow. I hope they arn't planning on making the space travel/combat side of the game 2d I mean that is the game 3D in my opinion is the only way to go.

     

  • JestorRodoJestorRodo Albany, NYPosts: 2,834Member
     Be Batman with SOE or Boldy go with Stinnets team, after the CU and NGE it should be a no brainer on were the sadder but wiser MMO gamer will go.  Beam me up, Dannon.

    Unaware of the Jestor?
    http://about.me/JestorRodo/

    Friends enjoy his classic Vblog - https://www.facebook.com/GoodOldReliableNathan

  • qotsaqotsa sioux city, IAPosts: 838Member

    I hope they do the series justice. I'd hate to see another SWG. These franchises are ripe for these types of games and really hope someone does one of them right.::::28::

  • achesomaachesoma Portland, ORPosts: 1,000Member Uncommon
    Bring it on!  Im so amped about this game. 

    image

  • ShogooShogoo Star CIty, ARPosts: 91Member Uncommon
    Will trade wife for Beta!!!

    image

  • SpiderkegSpiderkeg Owings, MDPosts: 1Member
    Economy?  Aside from the Ferengi the Federation did away with money long ago.  Isn't there another method by which they can amass "stuff" without resorting to gold or credits?
  • kfardkfard HalmstadPosts: 21Member Uncommon

    I believe the economy should be oriented in different ways for different organizations.

    The federation should be more rank oriented, in the series they could get most thing from their replicators, what was more important than monetary gain was their career and the power different ranks entailed.

    The Ferengi as mentioned earlier are mostly interested in monetary wealth, and because of that the accumulation of gold pressed latinum (which is the kind of "money" they value the most) would be the striving point for them, but of course anything of value is worth their attention.

    The Klingon has their interest in honor and success in combat, their ranks are gained through successful battles and honorable acts (for example an ambush attack would lower their honor considerably). Due to this their main monetary gain comes with the success on the battlefield and in successful services to the Klingon Empire.

    there are many many more organizations and spicies to take into account here which is why I will stop here, but this brings me to the conclusion of how this pertain to an economy in the game. To be able to deal with other cultures the different organizations must be able to have monetary prospects that would enable them for example to purchase the very much needed plasma relays from the ferengi that just so happen to be in the right time at the right place.

    So in essence the Klingon would have honor points or something, federation would have knowledge and exploration points, and the ferengi would have monetary points....but each organization would have to acquire points for the other organizations in order to have dealings with them (i.e. you cant buy something from a ferengi if you dont have the cash...and a klingon would never help someone without honor...)

    anyway...something like that..I would assume anyway =)

    peace out image

    "...Perhaps then the Wave is just a beginning as well." - Epitath of Twilight

  • BleehBleeh Las Vegas, NVPosts: 116Member

    I have a few questions:

    1) Does anyone know if they have they decided anything on "away-mission" combat? Will it be like traditional MMOs or are they going the FPS route?

    2) Will there be boarding parties?

    3) What is the death penalty?

    Guild Wars is still an MMO.

  • BleehBleeh Las Vegas, NVPosts: 116Member


    Originally posted by Shogoo
    Will trade wife for Beta!!!

    Is she h4wt?

    Guild Wars is still an MMO.

  • GlenDahlgrenGlenDahlgren Star Trek Online Lead Designer San Francisco, CAPosts: 1Member

    1) Does anyone know if they have they decided anything on "away-mission" combat? Will it be like traditional MMOs or are they going the FPS route?

    The current plan for away team combat is a third-person character-skill model with some action elements.  It is not an FPS.

    2) Will there be boarding parties?

    You bet!

    3) What is the death penalty?

    Very little.  When you're critically wounded, your ship does an emergency transport back to sick bay.  Aside from perhaps lessening your after-mission bonus, your only real penalty is the time it takes you to get back into the action.

    Note that all of this info just reflects our current intentions, not implemented features.  Things can and do change.

    Happy holidays!

    Glen Dahlgren
    Lead Designer
    Perpetual Entertainment

  • cateros1cateros1 aurora, ONPosts: 1Member
    Well as far as money goes most of the universe including the federation and allied planets and planets with trade agreements do have access to gold pressed latinum wich is just gold holding a significant portion of liquid platinum (wich you first see in the episode of Enterprise where the crew tries to purchase a supply of trellium D  to protect the nx-01 enterprise from anomalies in the expanse)
  • happydan20happydan20 Cedar Rapids, IAPosts: 260Member

    The way I see the bridge crew working is like I see any mmo group working.  Every game community immediatly assigned a role in a group for each class.  Now the game is defining the role for you.

    How I imagine the non bridge crew people contributing is mini games that determine how effective the rescources for the bridge crew are.

    Imagine your  an engineer for propulsions, and you were given some mini game to perform that determined how effective engines woud respond to the navigator on the bridge.  Or a lot of people doing the same thing creating an average for the effect.

    They want to appeal to a broader audience, its been documented that the majority of games played are the mini games or softcore games like on yahoo or all the card games online, they could bring in that segment.

    This is just how i imagine things could work, based on nothing but my own thoughts.

  • mangeekhanmangeekhan toronto, ONPosts: 5Member

    To the Dev, I really think you should take a look at Eve online. This is a game that has implemented great space combat, but suffers from lack of content and planetary exploration. I suggest looking at the game, not copying it of course, but to me the key to making a amazing space mmo is borrowing elements from other mmo's that work, like blizzard did with WOW. As for trying out new things, sure that's great and all, but it is also risky and can result in ultimate failure of a promising game.

    Third person planetary exploration with a crew is a must. Beaming down to a planet with a 5 man crew to take out some monster terrorizing a helpless tribe, or even going solo and farming on a moon for minerals. There is enough in terms of what can be done with planetary missions and exploration of the terrain.

    But I think we all know Star Trek has always been about space combat. And this is where the key to success of this game lies. I believe a crew of real players would be very difficult to create, because some positions will be more challenging and exciting to play while others would be boring and uninteresting in nature. For example, and engineer I assume would be in charge of the well being on the ships shields, hull, warp drive etc.. all of which are important in battle. A very important role and alot of mouse clicking. But how about the captain, first scientist, doctor. Since engineer would be no doubt the ships healer, who would he heal? And someone has to manuever the ship, so would that mean we just sit back and watch as the pilot has all the fun? How about weapons, someone has to fire them , I'm assuming the captain, so where does that leave the weapons officer and scientist? I think it will be very hard to make all these positions fun and involving. Balance is a big issue to consider because if engineers and captains are the most fun to play in space combat , nobody will take a doctor, scientist, etc... We all saw this when WOW first came out, nobody took a priest, but once end game came along everybody started making alts cause no priest in raids equaled certain death. If you can find a way to make each crew member involved in the space combat in a rewarding and fun way then go for it, but it will not be easy, but good luck with it.

    As for the space combat itself, I truely believe to get the most out of the experience you need 2 seperate views. One third person view of the ship as in Eve where all the combat is clearly visible and your attacks can be seen on a grandeur scope. this view would make it easy to see what is going on in combat and make it easier to plan your next move. Second would be a third person view of your character in the ship. Like maybe each crew member at there assigned post with there own seperate GUI. For example if your an engineer you would have computers showing ship shield, hull, warp drive status, etc.. where you could easily click and do your job, all the while seeing the combat from a third person perspective in the main window. Lots to think about.

    Good luck with the game. I admire your courage to take on this project especially something new and exciting bearing such a massive trademark name. Best advice I can give you is 1. Listen to your fans and 2. Look at other games and look at what worked and what failed and learn from their mistakes.

    Good luck

  • KiladKilad Fort Worth, TXPosts: 2Member

    To the Star Trek lead, Please dont blow it like Sony did with Star Wars.

    So Far I like what I am reading on perpetual's website and I like that you enlisted Michael Okida.

    I am looking forward to this game like no other.

  • ShogooShogoo Star CIty, ARPosts: 91Member Uncommon

    Bleeh *so-so*

    Well what about Dilithium crystals for Currency? From what I remember in TOS they cant be replicated? Warp drive is centered around them so would be a universal currency. But sure someone will blow this idea out lol but my 2 cents any darn way.

    P.S. What about priv ships or shuttles? one of my Favorite characters has always been Harry Mudd! Think it might be fun to play a traveling trader, transporting illegal cargo accross the universe.

    image

  • happydan20happydan20 Cedar Rapids, IAPosts: 260Member

    If the engineer is healing the ship in combat what would you need a doctor for you ask?

    Tell me my friend, in what startrek combat sequence was there not exploding work station and crew flying around with facial burns?image

  • freiheitfreiheit Fort Wayne, NJPosts: 264Member

    STO -Make It So

  • BleehBleeh Las Vegas, NVPosts: 116Member


    Originally posted by Kilad
    To the Star Trek lead, Please dont blow it like Sony did with Star Wars.

    Amen to that.

    Thanks for the answers Glen.

    I like the idea mentioned earlier of mini-games for space combat. Any show I remember with Star Trek space combat, they're either hunched over control panels, getting blown away from them, or getting into a fight on the bridge or somewhere else on the ship. That's where medical teams and security teams would come in.

    I'd also like to see damage control crews. That would be a fun 3rd perspective mission during space combat, repairing the ship as it's fighting.

    Come to think of it... If the death penalty is that you're whisked away to sick bay, what happens when someone blows up sick bay and the rest of the ship? ::::04::

    Guild Wars is still an MMO.

  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Riverside, RIPosts: 3,266Member Uncommon

    I really hope they go with the team oriented route of ship to ship combat. Having players each doing a specific job.

    Now I can see the problem that they may be having here. What does a ship do when they don't have enough people to run the ship? Simple, fill in the missing crew members with AI controlled NPCs. They will never be as good as a real player, but they should be able to execute simple commands nonetheless.

    image

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
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  • kfardkfard HalmstadPosts: 21Member Uncommon

    Good evening star trek fans image (here to unleach my ideas again...image )

    An interesting thing would be to put in some people from some of the tv-series...this of course depends on when in the star trek universe this will be played out in....but an idea would be be after TNG but before Voyager...something like that...and of course as expansion sets comes out the timeframe would be moved forward in the game...

    but it would be fun to get missions from "Admiral Picard" and/or assist  "Captain William T. Riker" (captaining the enterprice) in a defense against the borg and something like that....but also to be able to see the monuments of former famous star fleet characters in star fleet academy or star fleet headquarters....for example, the monument of zefran cochran (sorry..not sure of his name...but the guy who invented worp drive) or a portrait of Jonathan Archer who made the federation possible.......us hard core trekkies just love stuff like this image

    and a question here in the end....are there any official "ideas for the team" forum for this game yet?

    peace out =)image

    "...Perhaps then the Wave is just a beginning as well." - Epitath of Twilight

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