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Star Trek Online Developer Blog

The folks from Cryptic Studios' Star Trek Online have started this exciting new developer blog here at MMORPG.com.

Author: Awenyddion

To know where you are, first you have to know how you got here.

After Cryptic secured the Star Trek license, Jack Emmert asked me to write up some ideas of what happened in the Star Trek Universe before our game begins. Star Trek Online begins in the year 2409, which is about 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. So there's a big gap in the history that's not covered by any of the canon sources.

Starting with "what happens in a 30-year span in the Star Trek Universe" was just too big. There's so much history, and so many different races and factions … it was a lot to wrap my brain around all at once.

So I started breaking it down. I took one race or group of races at a time, and started working on their stories. What happened to the Klingons? How were the Cardassians recovering from the Dominion War? Where were Laas and the missing 98 changelings, and what did they want? What was the Federation doing when all of this was going on? What about the Gorn, or the Orions? And so on.

Then, once I had all of these individual stories down, I started seeing how they would interact, and what changed from the interaction. When the Klingons and the Gorn start fighting, what would the Federation do? How would that change the situation?

We knew the story would be fairly Romulan heavy in the first years after the events of Nemesis, because there was a leadership vacuum and multiple characters that could fill that void. But we didn’t want the story to be "Romulans, Romulans, Romulans" all the time, so there had to be a point where it could move aside and let other stories step into the spotlight.

I had a solid idea of what could happen by the time we started discussing the story of Star Trek Online. There are plotlines that run throughout the game, and we wanted to lay the groundwork for those in the Path to 2409 history.

Our work on the plot for STO was a big help for the timeline. We had the beginning (with all of the series and movies); now we had an end. The question was what happened in the middle?

The best writing is a collaborative process, and we've got a great team here at Cryptic. We have story meetings were a group of designers and producers talk about everything from the plot of a specific Episode to how everything is going to fit together over hours and hours of gameplay. Can we add a reference to one or more of the shows here? What should we do with that character? Hey, what about that loose end from TNG? Can we work with it?

The day we figured out that "Race X" was behind everything was a breakthrough. (Nope, I'm not going to tell you who Race X is. Play the game and find out.) Now we needed to drop hints about their influence on events. Another afternoon, Al Rivera (STO's lead designer) and I took over a conference room and filled the whiteboards with notes as we worked out all the moves that the different factions would make. Now you'll find hints to many of the Episodes and stories that you'll see in STO in The Path to 2409.

We work closely with CBS, and some of their team has been up here at Cryptic several times to help us brainstorm and work out the detail of the Path to 2409 and the stories in the game. Also, they've helped us get in touch with some of the other licensees working on Star Trek such as IDW, who produces the Trek comics. We're trying to make STO fit in with what's going on in the Trek Universe as much as we can. Events that happen in other media will have an effect on the game.

So I went back and revised the timeline, changed some of the players, dropped some ideas and added others. And then I did it again. And again.

As another part of my research, I started reading the Trek novels. I'd been a Trek fan for years and I had seen all of the shows and movies, but I'd never read any of the books. Now I was reading at least one a week, and we were finding characters and situations in them that translated well with what we wanted to do with STO. I did another round of revisions to the master timeline, and now there are nods to the novels. But I always knew that there would be a point that the STO story would diverge from the novels, because I was always looking toward 2409 and the beginning of STO.

The result of all of this writing and re-writing is a massive document that has notes about everything that happens in 30 years in the Star Trek Universe. When I'm writing The Path for 2409 updates for the web site (www.startrekonline.com), I use this document as my guide. I know there's no way I could do it all from memory now.

That's the story behind the story. Keep watching for more updates to The Path to 2409 – the best is yet to come.
 

j4ack5p4rr0w writes:

ok so the storyline for the new star trek movie is romulus gets destroyed by a supernova and nero blames spock(go figure), so nero outfits his ship with borg technology and goes back in time to destroy vulcan to get revenge. he just happens to wind up in the time period that kirk and the gang are at the academy and its up to them to stop him and save the galaxy!

Fri Apr 17 2009 6:24PM Report
Coldrain_13 writes:

zomgz spoiler alert.....Star Trek...wow.....just wow.

Sat Apr 18 2009 3:53AM Report
NeoWolf73 writes:

I hand't seen it, that prat just totally spoiled the movie for me

Sat Apr 18 2009 9:07AM Report
Joaz writes:

for the love of god please tell me race X isnt the xindi

Sat Apr 18 2009 12:46PM Report
deathjdstn writes:

Xindi is not a race its a faction. Made up of the repile guys the instectoids, the water race forgot their name i think there was 1 more but cannot remember their name.

Sat Apr 18 2009 3:01PM Report
curtst writes:

Folks just go read Star Trek Countdown.  It leads up to the new Star Trek movie and explains what is going on without giving away a lot of the movie.  What Jack Sparrow gives out isn't much of a spoiler.  Infact half of what he says is wrong.

Sat Apr 18 2009 6:08PM Report
UnSub writes:

Race X is... the Humans! No-one would see it coming! ;-)

Sun Apr 19 2009 8:53AM Report
warty writes:

Grats, you won the award for the worlds longest blog title

Mon Apr 20 2009 7:43AM Report
themilton writes:

@UnSub - it's been done. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. But I had the same thought.

Oh, I hope it's not the Q; that would be too much of a cop out.

Mon Apr 20 2009 8:51AM Report
Eluos writes:

 I wonder if Race X is those brain paracites from TNG "CONSPIRACY".  You know the ones that enjoy a nice bowl of Mealworms.

Mon Apr 20 2009 9:41AM Report
Samhael writes:

Race X is obviously Simon and Schuster.  Did you guys play Dominion Wars? (I was one of the 100 beta testers that was repeatedly ignored!)

Mon Apr 20 2009 10:15AM Report
Eryxx writes:

I'm betting "Race X" is the Q... who else would have that much influence over galaxywide events?

Mon Apr 20 2009 11:36AM Report
Chak-tuleth writes:

I'd like to say that a good idea for Race 'X' would be the genetically enhanced humans ala "Khan Noonien SIngh".  They could blend and manipulate human society as needed.  I would even go so far as to say they may have been behind "Section 31".

Mon Apr 20 2009 6:59PM Report
Vochre writes:

I'm Race X

Wed Apr 22 2009 10:56PM Report
SolDotter writes:

 It's not what I had in mind but I'll go for it

Thu Apr 23 2009 10:28AM Report
Focus*Bankai writes:

the movie was in a alternate timeline then the original star trek universe.

Thu May 14 2009 8:44PM Report
55memo55 writes:

MMORPG games are in Turkey! For detailed information and game reviews http://mmoturkiye.org

Sun Dec 13 2009 10:04AM Report
Daily writes: In June of 2010 I requested that my subscription of Star Trek Online be cancelled. I like many was having a hard time in our economy and needed to cut back cost. I went to the website and logged into my account and pressed cancel. It showed canceled. Since I had already been charged for June I figured I would at least get to play one more month. However within 3 days my account would no longer allow me to log into the game. I figure ok and went about my way. Then come to find out Cryptic decided to keep charging me the monthly subscription fee all on their own. They stole money that I need to buy food and pay bills for my family of four. Did they care, NO! They stole food from my wife and sons mouth and they could care less. I CANCELLED MY SUBSCRIPTION! WTF! WHY did they keep charging me for a game I could not even play anymore? I don’t know why either. When contacted about it they refused to refund the wrongly acquired 2 months of fees. So now all I can do is post how horrible they treated another human being in these times, wherever I can. I am sure my family and I will make it because we have each other, but I hope Cryptic and all theirs goes under. I hope that one day they find themselves in the same situation. On top of that the game is par at best. Star Trek had ok playability; the game stagnated by level 20 and the PVP side of the game sucks. All and all the game barely rates. The only reason I played for as long as I did is because of the content being Star Trek. In the end that wasn’t enough. To keep playing and I would not recommend playing it ever. If you do, and decide to stop they will probably just keep charging you anyways. DON’T PLAY CRYPTIC MMO’s Also as far a City of Champions goes you really want to wait for DC UNIVERSE online in November. Wed Aug 04 2010 7:39AM Report

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