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Star Trek Online: An Interview with Daron Stinnett

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Daron Stinnett, the Producer of Perpetual Entertainment's Star Trek Online took a few minutes out of his Austing Game Developers Conference schedule to speak with MMORPG.com about the progress of the game.


While we were at the Austin Game Developers Convention, Keith Cross and I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Daron Stinnett, the Producer of Perpetual Entertainment's Star Trek Online. Now, we haven't heard a lot out of these guys lately, and with good cause. STO is still in the early phases of development and talking about too much, too soon, can be a dangerous thing for an MMO. They don't want to be in a position where they have promised too much and delivered too little.

"When we're ready to talk about it," Daron said with enthusiasm, "the world will know about Star Trek Online."

Stinnett told us that Star Trek is loved by millions and millions of people worldwide and if anyone looked at the franchise, it is immediately apparent as to why the game would make a good MMO. Throughout the interview, he was always clear that they aren't planning to rest on the laurels of the Star Trek franchise. They hope to make a game that will appeal to MMORPG players as well as fans of the franchise.

"We're not building a Trekkers game, we're making a world class MMO."

Read the whole report here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • DabruuzerDabruuzer Toronto, ONPosts: 123Member

    While it is nice to hear something about STO development after a long silence (the Dev Logs have been interesting, but don't give much info at all), there really wasn't much in there to chew on. I guess we will have to wait until Perpetual releases Gods & Heroes to start hearing some more solid facts.

    A Little Dab'll Do Ya!

  • relisyssrelisyss birminghamPosts: 3Member

    omg this is just amazing :) :)

  • ClattucClattuc Alphaville, DCPosts: 163Member


    "They hope to make a game that will appeal to MMORPG players as well as fans of the franchise. "We're not building a Trekkers game, we're making a world class MMO."
    Why is it that at some point every game team arrives at this bogus epiphany?


    When the loooong awaited STO finally comes out and turns out to be a shockingly conventional grinder with Trek skinning, remember the above remark.

  • BlaxjaxBlaxjax Sutton, WVPosts: 4Member

     We haven't even seen the game and you already cutting it up

     

    Guess you don't like WoW either.

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member

    [quote]

    Before we went any further into the interview, I wanted to ask Daron to try and clear up some of the mystery surrounding the question of starship interiors. The game, he assured us, will launch with very rich ship interiors.

    There will be, he said, "No shortage of starship interiors."[/quote]

    The question was never would it have interiors. The question has always been, Will player ships (shuttles ETC.. They don’t all have to be galaxy class) have interiors, and can you bring your friends ON them for missions, and still walk around inside ETC (Think SWG:JTL Multi-passenger ships).

    If there is, great, fantastic. If not, we don’t need another EvE (A fine game, but we don’t need another). They have already said, all player ships will be controlled from 3ed person view, and that you can bring friends, but they will also share that third person view and HUD.

     

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • KeoghKeogh Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,099Member

     

    Originally posted by Blaxjax


     We haven't even seen the game and you already cutting it up
     
    Guess you don't like WoW either.

     



    If you have been following the game, you would understand the frustration being exhibited by online gammers and Trek fans.

    The game has been in the early stages of concept development (pens, pencils, paper and markers) since I believe, July of 2004. Several months back PE scrapped their earlier work on play style philosophy (players interacting with LCARS panels on-board ships) and art direction (from photorealism to  more stylized).

    My personal opinion is that its currently vaporware. There are no in-game screen-shots, 3D avatar models, 3D object models or environments.

    Right now STO is nothing but talk and not much of that, and when you consider some negative comments are already leaking out about the other PE game Gods & Heroes, I have serious doubts that PE can turn STO into a "World Class MMO".

    "Don't corpse-camp that idea. Its never gonna rez"
    Bladezz (The Guild)

  • ClattucClattuc Alphaville, DCPosts: 163Member


    We haven't even seen the game and you already cutting it up

    You misunderstand (I'll try to control my shock). I'm responding to the quote. The fact that he feels the need to tell people "it's not just a Trek game" at this early stage indicates fear of something: fear of dwindling funding, fear of Trek itself petering out as a brand, who knows.


    The people who have been waiting for a Trek game all this time haven't been holding their breath because in their judgment the market needed another "world class MMO" regardless of content. It seems to get one of those every eight months anyway. We've been waiting because we want Trek. In part because we think that the more it's Trek, the better an MMO it is by definition. So when a designer says "It's not just a Trek game, it's a world class MMO" that's somewhat nervous making.

    I'd love to be wrong! If for any reason I'm not - remember Stinnett's quote.


    Guess you don't like WoW either.

    Don't give up your day job for the mind reader circuit.
  • kevmachinekevmachine sydney, NSPosts: 18Member

    Big lover of star trek and of course the game will be a must for me!

  • LouiseKLouiseK PortsmouthPosts: 258Member

    I'm really looking forward to this game and i'm by no means a huge star trek fan.

    I just wish they'd kept quiet until they had something more solid to show us... I mean, we're still looking at 2009 or 2010 before they'll be looking to release it and the wait is going to be agony for anyone who is either dying for a new space themed mmorpg to sink their teeth into or to the Star Trek fans who want to immerse themselves in the closest thing they're gonna get to the real thing.

    Why couldn't they have waited until late 2008 and said, "oh btw, we made STO and would like some people to beta it".

  • quaverquaver londonPosts: 1Member

    In all honesty, I wouldnt be surprised if Perpetual were looking at a simultaneous Star Trek movie release / game release - so as to capitalise upon the media and hype surrounding the movie to carry the game on some free publicity!

  • JYCowboyJYCowboy Northlake, TXPosts: 660Member

    Why have we heard so little?

    Why is development still at a early planning stage?

    Just watch and wait.  You will see that Paramount is trying to flex creative control in some way.  They have a new movie on the way and, if a hit, will want this game to reflect it.  IP's can be a troublesome product for a MMO company.  If you look at the spotty products for the Star Trek franchise in gaming you will see my point.  I would love for this game to set new standards and be the best example of how to do an IP MMO.  I just don't trust Paramount.

    Heh, and you think Lucas Arts is a bitch...

  • DracusDracus The Bay Area, CAPosts: 1,449Member

    "We're not building a Trekkers game, we're making a world class MMO."

    That one sentence explains everything.

    I would like to tack that on as one of those famous last words quotes...

    And that is why...

    Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

  • LucifrankLucifrank Brooklyn, NYPosts: 355Member

    Originally posted by Dracus


    "We're not building a Trekkers game, we're making a world class MMO."
    That one sentence explains everything.
    I would like to tack that on as one of those famous last words quotes...
    Yes, but the next line in the article was:

    Further to that, Stinnett hopes that players will be happy because they are treating the license seriously and with respect.

    "We're taking the world of Star Trek," he said, "and adapting it to make a killer MMO."

    With five different ST series and countless films, some great and some awful I'd like to add, if a design team focused on jumping through hoops for Trekkers, they'd be pulled in a million different directions. IMHO, this is the first established sci-fi license that offers a political/social world with any potential MMO depth and I'll be perfectly happy with a "world class MMO that treats the license seriously and with respect" even if it doesn't pander to fans 100%.

  • DabruuzerDabruuzer Toronto, ONPosts: 123Member

     

    Originally posted by JYCowboy


    Why have we heard so little?
    Why is development still at a early planning stage?
    Just watch and wait.  You will see that Paramount is trying to flex creative control in some way.  They have a new movie on the way and, if a hit, will want this game to reflect it.  IP's can be a troublesome product for a MMO company.  If you look at the spotty products for the Star Trek franchise in gaming you will see my point.  I would love for this game to set new standards and be the best example of how to do an IP MMO.  I just don't trust Paramount.
    Heh, and you think Lucas Arts is a bitch...

     

    Not to split hairs, but as far as I remember, Paramount was recently purchased whole by CBS, including everything Trek-related.  There has been some restructuring, I am sure, but the new CBS/Paramount is a new entity.  Although I do share some of your skepticism, I won't pre-judge how, or even if, they will influence the development of the game.  As for the Trek IP in games of the past... Well, yeah - they need a good one finally.

    A Little Dab'll Do Ya!

  • gamerman98gamerman98 SKPosts: 804Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Lucifrank
    Originally posted by Dracus "We're not building a Trekkers game, we're making a world class MMO."
    That one sentence explains everything.
    I would like to tack that on as one of those famous last words quotes...
    Yes, but the next line in the article was:
    Further to that, Stinnett hopes that players will be happy because they are treating the license seriously and with respect.
    "We're taking the world of Star Trek," he said, "and adapting it to make a killer MMO."
    With five different ST series and countless films, some great and some awful I'd like to add, if a design team focused on jumping through hoops for Trekkers, they'd be pulled in a million different directions. IMHO, this is the first established sci-fi license that offers a political/social world with any potential MMO depth and I'll be perfectly happy with a "world class MMO that treats the license seriously and with respect" even if it doesn't pander to fans 100%.

    ummmmmm....NO!!! they are not showing proper respect for Star Trek...they are changing it into something they want it to be. If they were to make an acutal Star Trek game, they would go with their original idea by having starships ran by a full crew of players....respect my @$$....its going to be garbage just like how SWG ended up to be.

  • DracusDracus The Bay Area, CAPosts: 1,449Member

    Originally posted by Lucifrank


     
    Yes, but the next line in the article was:
     
    Further to that, Blackman hopes that players will be happy because they are treating the license seriously and with respect.
    "We're taking the world of Star Wars," he said, "and adapting it to make a killer MMO."
    With six films, some great and some awful I'd like to add, if a design team focused on jumping through hoops for Star Wars Fans, they'd be pulled in a million different directions. IMHO, this is the first established sci-fi license that offers a political/social world with any potential MMO depth and I'll be perfectly happy with a "world class MMO that treats the license seriously and with respect" even if it doesn't pander to fans 100%.
    Fixed

    Some past examples:

    With any license, you trade having the disadvantage of restrictions on what you can do, with the advantages of having a rich, deep history from which to pull content. Our team has been extremely happy working on Star Wars, as LucasArts has provided a tremendous amount of resource material for us to work with. Our LucasArts producer, Haden Blackman, has been involved in the game since it began. He’s been helping with the design, participating in the community, reviewing our concept art, and providing suggestions on our direction.

    - John Donham

    I think everyone on the team is both inspired and intimidated by the level of interest and the high expectations for Star Wars Galaxies. We know that we can't please everyone and that the game can't be all things to all people, but the level of interest does motivate us to work as hard as we can to refine and polish our core feature set.

    - Haden Blackman

     

    Now the interesting point, is that Star Wars Galaxies was designed (initially) more for the Star Wars gamers and not the world-wide mass market as has been done with Worlds of Warcraft.  The New Game Enhancements is a reflection of making SWG for the mass-market.  I see Star Trek Online following the same path.

     

    And that is why...

    Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

  • andyjdandyjd BristolPosts: 229Member

     




     
    Now the interesting point, is that Star Wars Galaxies was designed (initially) more for the Star Wars gamers and not the world-wide mass market as has been done with Worlds of Warcraft.  The New Game Enhancements is a reflection of making SWG for the mass-market.  I see Star Trek Online following the same path.
     

     

    I think its safe to say however that if SWG had been made with NGE in place from the start it would have had no where near the abuse which has been thrown at it. Its the fact that it changed from being something, into something completely different a year or two post release that rubbed all the players the wrong way.

  • LucifrankLucifrank Brooklyn, NYPosts: 355Member
    Originally posted by andyjd


     



     
    Now the interesting point, is that Star Wars Galaxies was designed (initially) more for the Star Wars gamers and not the world-wide mass market as has been done with Worlds of Warcraft.  The New Game Enhancements is a reflection of making SWG for the mass-market.  I see Star Trek Online following the same path.
     

     

    I think its safe to say however that if SWG had been made with NGE in place from the start it would have had no where near the abuse which has been thrown at it. Its the fact that it changed from being something, into something completely different a year or two post release that rubbed all the players the wrong way.



    Very good point. It was the shift from sandbox to Blizzard-esque linear game that got the panties of crotchety SWG players in a bunch. If it had been the way it is now from day one, we'd be spared a lot of whining on forums like this. For future reference, I think if anyone expects an MMORPG attached to a mainstream cash cow of an IP (be it Lucas, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, etc) to shoot for anything but being mainstream, it's time for a reality check.

  • spookytoothspookytooth Lansing, MIPosts: 508Member

    Originally posted by Lucifrank


     
    Originally posted by Dracus


    "We're not building a Trekkers game, we're making a world class MMO."
    That one sentence explains everything.
    I would like to tack that on as one of those famous last words quotes...
    Yes, but the next line in the article was:

     

    Further to that, Stinnett hopes that players will be happy because they are treating the license seriously and with respect.

    "We're taking the world of Star Trek," he said, "and adapting it to make a killer MMO."

    How 'bout,  "we're taking mmo and adapting it to make a killer Star Trek game"

    Thats what people actualy want, and expect out of this game.

  • DracusDracus The Bay Area, CAPosts: 1,449Member
    Originally posted by spookytooth


     
     
    How 'bout,  "we're taking mmo and adapting it to make a killer Star Trek game"

    Bingo

    And that is why...

    Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

  • CerionCerion Santa Monica, CAPosts: 1,005Member
    Originally posted by Dracus

    Originally posted by spookytooth


     
     
    How 'bout,  "we're taking mmo and adapting it to make a killer Star Trek game"

    Bingo

    Yep, for all the professed understanding and lip service as to why previous Star Trek games have failed, Stinnett doesn't get it.  He is right on one account. The MMO is the perfect vehicle for Star Trek. Too bad I see their particular vehicle heading over a cliff.

    _____________________________
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    Games I'm watching: Infinity: The Quest for Earth, Force of Arms.

    Find the Truth: http://www.factcheck.org/

  • LordKyellanLordKyellan Lee, NHPosts: 160Member

    I have little faith in Perpetual's ability to make a good Star Trek game. Of any kind.

    For some reason, Star Trek gaming seems to be cursed. More than that, though... ah, I can't say any more.

    Too bad the Firefly MMO license belongs to a nothing-company.

    --------

    "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."

  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 8,063Member

    Originally posted by LordKyellan


    I have little faith in Perpetual's ability to make a good Star Trek game. Of any kind.
    For some reason, Star Trek gaming seems to be cursed. More than that, though... ah, I can't say any more.
    Too bad the Firefly MMO license belongs to a nothing-company.
    Hurm, you seem to have knowledge about Perpetual I lack? Can you elaborate, or is it just because other Star Trek games were bad?

    I am still quite open minded. We will see it when its there. We really should not start reading into every single word someone says, both positive or negative. He said very little and what is there is really too less to make a realistic judgement IMO.

    I too hope its not like EVE, and more like SWG or so, which Planets and much ground to explore. I really would not want to be confined to a starship all the time with some tiny away missions every 10 levels. But thats just my taste of gaming. I feel being inside starship all the time may get boring very fast, so I hope its planet-based with starship as addition, not the other way around.

     

    @LordKyellan: I always snicker when I read your quote, heh. ^^ Could be SO me to say that. 

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • Tabby_CatTabby_Cat Blytheville, ARPosts: 140Member

    I am going to reserve making any comment good or bad until it comes out and I give it a try.

  • midwestnetsmidwestnets Bennington, NEPosts: 81Member

    Originally posted by Clattuc


     

    "They hope to make a game that will appeal to MMORPG players as well as fans of the franchise.
     
    "We're not building a Trekkers game, we're making a world class MMO."

    Why is it that at some point every game team arrives at this bogus epiphany?

     



    When the loooong awaited STO finally comes out and turns out to be a shockingly conventional grinder with Trek skinning, remember the above remark.


    While I'm not the shockingly pessimistic, like Clattuc,  I think these people should think about the things LOTRO did to integrate "well known" content into a game that we can all have fun playing.  LOTRO is the gold standard for a game of this nature.  Another Star Wars galaxies would be a mistake.
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