Last weekend Cryptic Studios went to NY Comic Con to preview their upcoming MMO games, Champions Online and Star Trek Online. (see our roundup of news from NYCC). In the last few days a number of NYCC interviews with STO producer Craig Zinkievich have shown up online. Below are links, videos, and highlights on all the new info on STO.
Star Trek Online Producer Talks
MTV Multiplayer: Is the story in “Star Trek Online” part of the official canon?
Zinkievich: What is the official canon is really an argument that anyone can have. For us all the shows and movies are canon. But you can get in an argument with any of the fans about how even some of the shows may have small contradictions in them. We want to make sure that we follow that timeline, and we’re true to that timeline. We see the shows and movies as canon. We’re reading the novels now; the novels are considered soft canon with a lot of more conflicts in there. You can never call yourself “canon,” but we can’t take a 90-degree angle and go it’s all totally different.
MTV Multiplayer: Has there been any involvement with people working on the movie, like J.J. Abrams?
Zinkievich: We’ve talked to [J.J. Abrams’ production company] Bad Robot a little bit. We worked with CBS to make sure anything they’ve been doing matches up with what we’re doing, but there aren’t massive tie-ins. “Star Trek Online” isn’t going to come out with everybody looking exactly like in the movie. It’s not a movie game; it’s really continuing the franchise.
…more at MTV
Moving along to gameplay, we wanted information about space and ground combat. We knew they were on the right track with character customization, but we asked if space combat would be traditional. "When we got the Star Trek license, we sat down and said ‘Alright, what is Star Trek space combat?’ It’s not a dogfighter. Some games have really tried to take the Enterprise and make it do barrel rolls and such. That’s not what Star Trek is about. Star Trek space combat is paced, strategic and positional. It’s about transferring power from different sub systems, balancing your shields, getting to your enemies’ weakest side, knocking their shields down and hitting them with that photon barrage." said Craig.
What about ground combat though? From what we were told, ground combat is more face paced with more action. You beam down with five people no matter what. If you’re soloing, you go down with four of the NPC bridge officers from your ship; whereas if you’re teamed up you beam down with your friends and the remainder, if any, is filled with NPC crew members.
…more at Allakhazam
HF: We understand that the decision was made to have one player per ship in Star Trek Online mainly due to time and software limitations, however is this something we will be able to look forward to in an expansion pack?
CZ: One of the reasons why we made the decision was so that we could really focus on the core game play that a whole lot of people really want to see, which is “I want to be a captain, I want to get in my ship and go to the Klingon frontline and battle, I want to find a brand new star system that no one has seen before”.
We’ve tried to do our best to make sure in the way we are building the game that our options are open to add that game play later on, so we will see what happens when we launch.
One of the cool things about MMOs is that your dev team doesn’t change, you keep developing the game and changing the game and your community is a part of figuring out what you need to do and what you want to do after launch. Maybe once everyone starts playing the game, there is going to be something totally different that folks want instead.
HF: Will players have any ability to interact with their NPC crews and talk to their crew or are they going to be more like traditional MMO pets?
CZ: I think they are more in the capacity of pets where you will tell them what to do and command them, but one of the cool things that we are trying to do is to integrate them into the story so that allot of the alerts and events that happen within the game don’t get communicated to you via the user interface or flashing chat bubble, but instead are communicated through your bridge crew and bridge officers so that they are the ones that are letting you know what’s going on.
Sitting in ten forward and having a conversation with your first officer, probably not going to happen, but trying to make them have a life and be an important part of the ship is what our goal is.
…more at HailingFrequency.co.uk
StarTrek-Games.com (Cryptic Meet and greet)
More STO news and links
Here are a couple of other STO updates: