Star Trek Dev Diary #1 -- Designing Star Trek Timelines

By Tim Crosby - July 07, 2014

Star Trek Dev Diary #1
Designing Star Trek Timelines
Tim Crosby, Lead Game Designer

The Game Design Nexus

Part of game design is the taking in and preserving great ideas. Ideas -- regardless of origin person, planet, or time -- should be captured and remembered. It’s sort of like travelling the galaxy as a ribbon of temporal energy that gathers notions and ideas as a … nexus (which I’m sure that you, dear Star Trek fan, are familiar with).

Today you’ll learn how ideas become a game.

In Star Trek Timelines, you will take the role of a captain, gathering a crew of your favorite Star Trek personalities. As with Picard and Kirk’s historic meeting, these characters can come from any time. With different crew come different ways of tackling challenges -- whether you use your combat prowess, your command of diplomacy, or scientific know-how. Or, you can construct your away team to solve obstacles as you see fit.

When making a game that has many solutions to a problem, it’s important to get different perspectives from the team making the game, from other games we play, and from the fans.

Adding Your Technological Distinctiveness to Our Own

To return to the nexus analogy, one of the jobs of a game designer is to collect information. As we gather ideas, we bring them together and see how they interact. We’re currently in the process of diving deep into viewing, reviewing, and thinking about the canonical television shows and movies to make the most authentic experience we can.

We’re looking at the core principles and viewpoints of Star Trek -- the optimism for the future, the belief in equality and progress, the love of exploration, and the ever-expanding horizons -- and also how different characters interpret that universe and will react to the moral quandaries they face.

We’re also looking closely at the technology we want for building the game, and how that will inform the ways people play. We’re reviewing previous experiences from our team that can help inform the game’s development, paying special attention to what we’ve learned from players of our first title, Game of Thrones Ascent.

We’re also listening to the fans. We are taking all the feedback we receive into consideration to make a great game. What do you want from the experience of playing Star Trek Timelines? If you haven’t already, join the forum to give us your input on the game. We’ve already gotten some great feedback from fans, but we always want more.

Looking into the Future

We are still partially in the idea collection phase, but we do know some of the game elements fans can expect.

Everyone we’ve talked to is excited to have characters from all eras included in Star Trek Timelines. The iconic characters solve problems in different ways – Kirk’s bold plans, Janeway’s scientific solutions, and Picard’s logic and reasoning are all elements we want to build into the game.

We know that a vast and explorable galaxy is so central to Star Trek that we couldn’t do without it. We’ll have a variety of Federation and alien technology to let you discover unknown worlds and rediscover some old friends. You’ll be able to find new stories (and new moral conundrums) that expand on the core principles of Star Trek.

Different players have different reasons for playing games, but it’s part of a game designer’s job to build experiences for all different kinds without sacrificing quality or overall vision. Explorers, collectors, and traders are all welcome. We are going to have a strong, character-driven story and engaging player-vs-player competition.

If you have a mobile device or computer, we want you to have access to the Alpha Quadrant wherever you go. We’re crafting a game to satisfy the most hardcore fans, and hopefully even introduce some new folks to the universe.

The game is still in dry-dock, but we’ll be sharing more details in the coming months, as new systems come online. For all the latest game news, sign up for our Bridge Crew program on DisruptorBeam.com (you’ll get some special goodies, if you do) and stay tuned to our Facebook page.

 

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