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What's up with Star Trek Online? 79 has a piece talking with Daron Stinnett, producer for the preproduction-phase MMOG Star Trek Online. They discuss the decision to only include the Federation in the game's launch, the gameplay both on starships and planetside, and the many ideas still being nailed down for the title. From the article: "The uniforms are a good example of an area where we've needed to evolve the look of Star Trek to support the game. Star Trek uniforms from the shows tend to be very subtle in their variation, which of course works when you're filming close enough to make the actors themselves the stars of the show. But for an MMO, It's well understood that giving players the ability to customize their look as their character evolves is an important part of any MMO as is the ability to recognize player rank and specialty from a distance. So we have created new uniforms that are still very recognizable as Star Trek, but with recognition and customization features that will work well in our game world."
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What's up with Star Trek Online?

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  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:21PM (#14895063)
    As William Shatner said in a video clip for one early Star Trek game, "Space is boring."
  • Uniforms! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:01PM (#14895389) Homepage Journal
    On that same note: I'm still waiting for an explanation of the sudden change in uniforms coincident with the "First Contact" movie. Not the real-world explanation, which is quite obvious: the old, brightly-colored uniforms didn't go with the somber mood they wanted for the movie. But I've yet to hear an official trekverse explanation. Something like, "Star Fleet Command Directive 33863: Although it has only been a year since we last redesigned our uniforms, it has come to our attention that a planet which recently joined the Federation, Depressazon, is offended by cheerful colors..."
  • Re:suggestions: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jdubois79 ( 227349 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:16AM (#14898115)
    The satisfying climax of Star Wars is the transformation of the galaxy

    Are you just trying to start a fight or something?

    Trekkies have killed for less than that.
  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @03:31PM (#14899083) Homepage
    Everyone making an MMORPG has NO ideas and is copying the people who went before them, its really very sad. Why not get some people who
    a) Have some ideas on how to do an original and fresh MMORPG and
    b) are die hard trekkies who would laugh customisable uniforms out the room

    Because when a financer sees a 30 million dollar MMORPG development price tag, they want to ensure that the game will be a financial success by copying everyone else's financial successes (doesn't work, sadly). They want lots of control over who gets into positions of power in the game development team, and largely put in other toothbrush salesmen who also don't know the industry. These people generally hire the kinds of people who will do their bidding like a good employee, and listen too much to the marketing department.

    With so much money riding on the line, the project generally changes direction in a major way a few times over its life, depending upon the nervous whims of the leader or financers. Workflow and cost considerations ensure that the moment-to-moment content for the game is created by interns with no shipped titles under their belts. Employees get quickly burned out like some resource to be expended.

    On the other hand, you really do need some degree of visual customization of your avatar in a mmporpg, much more so than in a regular game. Otherwise the world quickly becomes a creepy endeavor of bumping into your long lost twins.
  • Re:suggestions: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GundamFan ( 848341 ) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @03:53PM (#14899162)
    There should not be "money" or "XP" involved with Starfleet advancement.

    Here is the way I see it:

    1. First day(s) of the game you start as a first class cadet on earth (A kind of tutorial but after a while it becomes more open to free play), and work your way towards graduation.

    2. After sufficient time at the academy (40 hours or so depending on the player) the player should have accumulated enough credit (advancement points) to graduate and take the rank of ensign.

    3a. At this point the player can take an NPC assignment to a starbase (or an NPC starship) and pilot small craft, go on away missions, build ships, treat injuries or perform research (all likely mission driven content at first) earning accommodations for good work (points towards the next rank*)

    3b. At some point (perhaps right out of the academy) instead of working with NPC content the player may "request a transfer" to a player run crew or fleet (taking the place of guilds) once accepted (maybe NPC can block your transfer if you have an open mission but nothing to harsh) your advancement becomes part of the player's Capitan's responsibilities.

    4. The ranking officer of the ship (or fleet) can take missions for the whole "guild" to try to complete possibly joining with other ships to for "groups" earning perks and accommodations for the whole crew and using most of the different class skills in every mission. There would be at least some involvement from each but some missions may focus on security, diplomacy or medical for example.

    5. The Capitan and the senior staff in your chain of command would be able to see the player's list of accomplishments and make recommendations to Starfleet HQ for promotions (the Capitan has more leeway on this... he/she can promote someone who does not quite meet the requirements for the next rank**)

    6. Some players may want to form a "guild" that runs a space station/starbase (like a DS9 environment) servicing other ships that pass through and with a collection of small craft for mission running but I would think space station/starbase play would be less NPC driven for those who like to create there own content. Every ship needs engineers but some may want to go down the construction road or a science officer would want to research artifacts and alien tech brought to them by other players for example. This may open up the possibilities for civilian classes in the future think of Quark from DS9.

    7. Any Starfleet officer should be able to use a tricorder or a phaser for example but a science officer should have access to better or more specialized tricorders and Security should have access to better or more advanced weapons. All classes should have specialties like this.

    8. A player should be able to transfer from one section to another (essentially multi-classing, becoming a beginner at the new "class" and keeping there old skills) this would be harder at higher ranks.

    9. There should be a limited disciplinary system (reducing ranks) but subject to some kind of review. (There would need to be a "black mark" on the player's record)

    10. For extra super special actions (saving the ship or a planet) there should be special non rank perks that can be awarded. (Medals for your dress uniform for instance.)

    11. At some point player Admirals*** should have the ability to take information collected by players and make missions out of it, for example sending a star ship to a planet that has a unique NPC culture or artifacts. Captains would be able to accept multi-player/"guild" missions while solo (or small group) players could take solo (or small group) missions keeping the solo( and small group) content interesting and involved with other players.

    12. Ongoing player content (endgame content if you will) should involve diplomacy, trade or conflict with neighboring aliens... I see this as more of a group activity tying in player created missions (to get others to do part of your mission for you) but not as "episodic" as simpler missions t

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