First In Game Screenshot From Star Trek Online

There has been a lot of concept art from the folks at Perpetual, but in their latest DevLog they finally let loose with an actual in-game screenshot for the MMORPG Star Trek Online.

Details below

The following DevLog was written by STO Story Lead Mike Stemmle

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Entry 5.0 – “Interactions in Action”
Stardate 61390.2 (December 4th, 2007)

Hola, STO fans, and welcome back to the DevLog! There’s something darned cool lurking in this entry, so let’s skip the endearingly goofy banter and get right to it…

Over the past few DevLogs we’ve primarily focused on a sampling of the low-level processes of STO development, taking a peek at terrain generation, object design, and version testing, among other things.

Today we’d like to seriously shift gears, and start revealing a little bit about the actual game systems themselves. We’ll start with a deceptively simple game mechanic that’s deucedly difficult to nail down: the Interaction System.

What’s the Interaction System you ask? In a nutshell, the Interaction System controls every non-combat, player-to-NPC interaction in the game. If you want to talk to a Ferengi shopkeeper, it goes through the Interaction System. Need to get some additional phaser training at the local Starfleet Academy? That’s the Interaction System. Want to beam down to a planet? Interaction System. Responding to a distress call from a crippled starship? That’s the Interaction System, too. In fact, when one is done tallying up the mission givers, trainers, vendors, Transwarp Terminal operators, Dahar Masters, helpful cadets and informative colonists, you’ll find that there are just about as many peaceful interactions in Star Trek Online as the phasers-and-bat’leths variety. Put plainly, the Interaction System is the glue that holds all the other systems of STO together, transforming a bunch of disconnected (though spectacularly well designed and balanced) phaser fights into an actual game, so it’s vitally important that we get it “just right.”

As we design, implement, and refine our Interaction System, we’re trying to keep a few basic goals in mind:

  • Keep it Simple – The less clicks and extraneous buttons the better.
  • Keep it Intuitive – The best Interaction System is one the player can figure out without any instruction.
  • Keep it Consistent – No matter where the player is (ground, space, another dimension) or what kind of interaction he’s engaged in (dialogue, buying, training, obtaining missions, etc.) the widgets of the Interaction System’s interface should behave in a consistent manner.
  • Keep it Trek – A blanket goal of STO, but one that bears repeating.
  • Keep if Fun – You’d be surprised how often this gets forgotten.

So, what can you interact with in STO? A better question might be: what CAN’T you interact with?

When playing on the “ground” (the surface of a planet, the promenade of a space station, or the interior of an “abandoned” Borg cube, etc.), players will use the Interaction System to chat with terrified aliens, order cups of Earl Grey from station replicators, launch games of chance from charming Dabo girls, and get missions from Starfleet superiors, among scores of other activities. All of these interactions, from the mundane to the sublime, will be launched by the most casual of mechanisms (“Keep it Simple”): a single right-click of the mouse on a neutral or friendly NPC.

While flying through space in a starship, players will use the Interaction System in exactly the same way (“Keep it Consistent”)… but the NPCs the player will interact with will reflect more of the awesome diversity of the Star Trek universe. In space, players can respond to hails from officials on distant planets, or get orders from the commanders of besieged space stations, or do business with the owners of untrustworthy Orion shipyards, simply by right-clicking on those planets, space stations, or shipyards in exactly the same manner as if they were on the ground. In fact, the Interaction System is often the key to the player’s ability to transition between space and ground, as ably illustrated by our VERY FIRST RELEASED IN-GAME SCREEN SHOT

Unfortunately, while the Interaction System of Star Trek Online may be nigh-infinitely expandable, our blog space is not, which is why it’s time to bring this DevLog entry to a close. Please stay tuned for the next DevLog, which will reveal even more interesting tidbits about the development, systems, and content of Star Trek Online.

On behalf of everyone here at STO, thanks for the continued enthusiasm for Star Trek Online,
Mike Stemmle, Story Hologram

PS Big thanks to Greg, Steve, Daron, and Sean for helping to get this DevLog together.

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Star Trek Online is currently planned for release in 2009

Perpetual STO Devlog published with permission. Original Devlog at StarTrekOnline.com

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roberto Orci

Can’t wait to play.

David

Good to see the game is coming along. Here’s to hoping it doesnt end up like Secret of Vulcan Fury.

Ralph

looks it may become a “first”!

Sean4000

Interesting ship design to say the least.

Doug Haffner

You know, I just don’t even hold out hope for Star Trek games anymore. Game producers see it as gold, because fans have shown they’ll buy about anything trek (or star wars) and it puts little pressure for any of them to really be great. They can’t seem to figure out how to split the “landing party” style of play from “starship” play..without giving up one or the other…or worse including a horrible version of one or the other.

Sooo…not much expectation for this. How many of these “we wanna be the sci-fi World of Warcraft” have come and gone? Anyone still playing the Matrix one?

Even worse, I have this nagging feeling we’re gonna see a hastily put together game based on the new Abram’s trek flying out by next christmas. Movie based games are like new Eddie Murphy movies…you pick it up thinking about how much you used to like him, but in your heart you know it’s gonna suck.

roberto Orci

5.

Fair criticism.

I loved Bridge Commander with voice control. No landing parties in that one.

agreed…BC is probably the best Star Trek game ever…one of the best games ever. What is amazing is how the game is still alive in the modding community, even though it has no support because it is part of the Activision regime…who sued Paramount only a year after the release to get out of their licensing agreement.

The history of Trek games is a lot more lows than highs.

newman

straight up…the ship in the picture is ugly.

roberto Orci

7.

No kidding — didn’t know that.

Sean4000

I’m still addicted to Armada 2. ADDICTED. :)

Sebi

Jep. Ship design is so very ugly…. Hope it gets better…

Anyone for Kobayashi Alternative…

MaryJane

I just got off the phone from my sister who’s a big fan of Star Trek as I am…She writes Kirk/Spock slash..omg she’s going to kill me….HAHA!!

Sister : if the new movie is good… there will be as many PineKirk/QuintoSpock music videos up on youtube as there r on ShatnerKirk/NimoySpock.. Lets see if they got some chemistry.

:)~ My sis is nuts!

Im in trouble now…sorry sis.

cant wait to play the new game AweSOME!!!!!! Whoohoo!

Cenobyte

Best Star Trek game, in my opinion, was the classic Interplay Star Trek 25th anniversary game, really enjoyed playing that at the time – also Elite Force was a decent shooter with some cool moments. Earlier games like Starfleet Command were pretty good – but Bridge Commander was basically the last good game of the lot… all downhill since then.

here is more info on the Activision lawsuit
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6030912.html
Here is my favorite line from the actual legal document:
“through its actions and inactions, Viacom has let the once proud Star Trek franchise stagnate and decay”

…ouch

Sean4000

only now with JJAbrams onboard for Trek 11 is the decay starting to fade.

Jeff

Strangely, even though I thought the show sucked, the best Trek games I’ve played were Voyager.

Interesting shape for a starship. Wait…. is it me or it dragging its behind on a carpet…

16
well bear in mind that Activision sued in 2003. At the time DC had stopped making trek comics and let that license lapse, Nemesis had recently become the first bonafied Trek flop ever and Enterprise ratings were dropping like a rock and the show was clearly headed out.

those were dark days when you often heard the claim ‘star trek is dead’

in 2006 Trek got a new game licensee, a new comic licensee, Star Trek Remastered, and JJ Abrams….and there was much rejoicing

….oh and it got TrekMovie.com too!

Optimus Prime

The graphics look great – fairly similar to Legacy. Let’s hope gameplay is better! The producers seem very thoughtful; I really have some hope for this game.

MikeG

As much as Trek games have been lacking, I’ve always found Trek comics to be lacking, as well. Perhaps not as much in story as in artwork. When I see some of the spectacular artwork being produced in the comic book world, I find the Trek artwork to be hardly very far ahead of 1950’s-style artwork, in most of the comics that have been produced. Like the animated Trek, the stories could be quite good, but, God, that artwork was just so lame… IMO, of course.
At the same time, I admit I’m looking forward to checking out this Trek Online game. The graphics look quite good, and we’ll just have to see if the gaming/storyline lives up to its promise.

Meh

OMG OMG OMG I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!

JB Gestl

2D Space (Starfleet Command, Armada) = Bad

3D Space (SFA, Bridge Commander) = Good

Which will spaceflight in this game be?

Parosu Grasu

For me the best Star Trek game is Bridge Commander. Not because the game was gold when it came out, but because the mod community that improved the game a lot.

http://bridgecommander.filefront.com/

Even after ~7 years thare are still people making mods for this Game ;)

JL

Damn I remember how much fun I had playing Star Trek 25th on my Mac back in the day… OMG, it was so much fun!!

This looks like it COULD be the open ended type Trek game we have been waiting for!! I will keep my fingers crossed!! I have always believed Trek would be perfect in an open ended GTA type enviornment, yet no one has ever attempted this concept for whatever reason, until now it seems?

I wonder if STO is coming out with the new Trek movie, or if a different game will be released with the movie? I think a Trek game with the TOS characters is long, long overdue!

Capttravis

Look closely at the onscreen text and nake of the ship (on the stern).

Commander Locarno? Like Nick? Excalibur – isn’t that already in enough licensed works? Marcus – as in Carol and David?

Did they not come up with any new ideas or characters? Or is this some sort of strange attempt to connect with the fans?

Ves

Locarno and Excalibur are probably player chosen names, so just in-jokes by the developers.

Seeing how many BC fans there seem to be here, we should try to arrange some kind of multiplayer event over the holidays.

Also, requesting screenshot evidence of these Dabo girls supposed charms. >_>

Cervantes

Bleeecccch!

Just bring on my TOS-era LEGO Star Trek game…

And I hope the new Movie gets a decent tie-in, with some nice designwork.

last o' the timelords

It looks like a playable game. This was my main concern as I am not the joystick jockey I used to be.

I am still interested in how much I wil be able to interact with other players.

Imrahil

#26:
Marcus XII is mentioned in “And The Children Shall Lead,” so it’s not a reference to Carol and David.

As for “Excalibur,” this was one of the original 12 Starship names, I believe (Making of Trek).

But I think you’re probably right on Locarno. :)

That ship design makes it look like the ship got it’s butt kicked and is slinking home with tail tucked!

Robert April

The Star Trek 25th anniversary game was fun.

the standards for starfleet ship design has really hit bottom. i think it started with that flying dust-buster – the uss voyager

Vfx2k4

Are they planning to use Lando Calrissian-derived dialogue for the entire game? Maybe they should give Roberto a call and get a better script. :)

Lendorien

It’s a shame that no-one has thought to follow up on the Bridge Commander model. Oh, we had Legacy (crap) and Encounters (crap) and Shattered Univers (crap) but all three of those flet like they were quickly thrown together to appeal to fanboys. I wish some of these developers and publishers would be willing to actually put some money forward to make a truly groundbreaking space combat sim. A lot could be learned from Bridge Commander. It was a beautiful game, and that there modding community is still working on it after all these years goes to show that there really was something good there.

Muellasaurus

The ship looks awful. But the more important point is…Locarno??? Like Nick Locarno?

DaC

Actually, the Voyager starship design was at least rather innovative at the time. This ship seems to have no original elements to it whatsoever. The back of it looks like it was ripped from Voyager, the secondary hull is distinctly reminiscent of a Galaxy class starship, and the saucer could be from just about any post-First Contact ship. Very disappointing.

Pr011

Don’t like the ship at all…

#21:”As much as Trek games have been lacking, I’ve always found Trek comics to be lacking, as well. ”

Thing about “Star Trek” is that, at its core, it’s about people talking. A lot. That makes translating it into action-oriented media quite a challenge.

Makeitsnow

I feel Star Trek : TNG – A Final Unity was by far the most engrossing trek. Quite boring. Didn’t rate Bridge commander because it wasnt you that commanded the bridge it was your 1st officer. Especially when it came to interacting with the Viewscreen.

patio

at least it seems like they’re are trying more so than the developers at Bethesda.

Sean4000

42, word.

Legacy was HORRIBLE!

I’m a huge fan of BC (in fact, a member of a certain Trek gaming clan as a result) and I think it’s by far and away in the top few Trek games. The screenshot looks nice, although the ship design leaves a few things to be desired.

Captain Pike

Bridge Commander must be popular. This discussion spurred me to go check “the interweb” for copies. For a 5 year old game in “crap” game franchise it sure commands a good price – $70 used!
I’m curious – but not $70 curious.

The favorite game at our house right now is Lego Star Wars. It’s funny how a Lego-ized platformer game feel more like Star Wars than Star Wars Galaxies ever did. Lego Star Trek could be quite cool. The game play in the old 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites games was something like the Lego Star Wars games – little stylized characters solving puzzles.

RE: STO You’ll have to knock my socks off if you want me to play a post TNG era game.

Tj Trek

well, I am not one of those Trek fans that will buy anything, especially since half of the Trek games out there are excactly the same. Command a ship, blow up other ships….the details are diffrent, but that is the premise. I am not impressed with most of them.

Myrth

Interesting game mechanic. I see one potential problem with using the same mechanic for ground and space. There should be a different feeling on the ground, then from operating a starship. On the ground you should feel as natural as possible, as if you were really in your own skin, where as on a star ship you should feel like you are actually using equipment. They seem to be a good team though so i am sure they will solve this potential issue.

Captain Pike

I reserve judgment on STO. After Nemesis the post-TNG setting just doesn’t interest me.

On the other hand, I can certainly see a Lego Star Trek game as a tie-in to the new movie. Lego Star Wars is heckuva lot of fun. Even more surprising, it’s a more satisfying Star Wars experience than SW:Galaxies ever was. With a little effort, Lego Star Trek could be as engaging today as 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites were back in the 90s.

Zed

Um.. Looks like Zork with a trek skin on it…. I wish I could say I am excited about this game….

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Ultimate Universe gang did a nice job moding Legacy to get ships to look nice, but other than some cool exploration mode stuff, the game itself still sucks.