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Star Trek Infinite Space Interview

Interviews By Richard Cox on April 11, 2011

MMORPG.com:

Star Trek is an incredibly well-beloved IP, dating back decades now. I see the game is set during the Dominion War of Deep Space Nine canon. What can fans of the series expect to see in terms of beloved characters or ships from the show?

Ralf Adam:

The great thing about the Deep Space Nine universe is that it offers us so many possibilities. We can have crossovers with a lot of the other Star Trek series such as The Next Generation or Voyager, and we can even reference back to The Original Series and Enterprise. Furthermore, there is a big main story arc that spans over all seven seasons which makes Deep Space Nine something special. The Dominion War is indeed an exciting conflict scenario that allows us to create many great game situations. Of course, we will have guest appearances by many of the important characters such as Sisko (whom you will meet pretty early in the game) or Quark. In terms of ships the player can expect, the game will feature any vessel that plays a major role in this conflict, including Jem’Hadar fighters, Romluan warbirds and Cardassian cruisers.

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MMORPG.com:

Will the story of the Dominion War be followed to the letter of the show? Or does the plot of the game present an alternate, side-plot to the story we are all familiar with?

Ralf Adam:

We will have two individual main story arcs, one for both sides the player can choose – federation and klingon. In terms of the timeline, both will start approximately where Season 3 of Deep Space Nine begins and will reach deep into the Dominion War itself. But we are not simply recreating the series – while most of the action in the TV show takes place at Deep Space Nine and is simply discussed by the main characters, in Star Trek: Infinite Space the player will be out on the frontiers of space to encounter each battle directly. At certain stages we will have crossovers with major events of the overall plot, so the player definitely will be able to participate in some of the epic battles of the TV series as well.

MMORPG.com:

What can fans of browser-based MMOs, or players hesitant to try browser-based gaming, expect to see from your game that will make it stand out from the rest?

Ralf Adam:

Well, first of all players can expect the greatest visual experience they’ve ever had in a browser game. Star Trek: Infinite Space is fully 3D as it runs in Unity (a free 3D browser plug-in) – all in-game shots we’ve released so far we’ve taken directly from the game. Furthermore, we have a strong focus on keeping the game easy to access while still offering a lot of depth and variety in the gameplay. We do not want to scare people off with a 10-hour tutorial just to learn the basic game mechanics. On the other hand, the game must still be fun and challenging after dozens of hours. So while it’s important for us that you can play a single mission on your lunch break and have some fun in-between, we also want to offer experienced gamers enough in-game depth to keep them engaged for longer periods of time.

MMORPG.com:

The market already has a Star Trek MMO making the rounds in Star Trek Online. What measures are being taken to differentiate yourself as much as possible from this existing MMO?

Ralf Adam:

Star Trek: Infinite Space is different to STO in many ways. First of all, it runs in a browser which means you do not need to download a client. You simply enter the URL, log in, and off you go. Like already stated above, we’ve also put a strong emphasis on accessibility. Many browser game players are not necessarily hardcore MMO gamers. For example, we have found that the most intimidating part for casual gamers is the combination of controls and cameras; especially if you’re in 3D and can steer the spaceship in all directions while continuously moving and adjusting the camera at the same time. A lot of players get confused and lost and will quit the game immediately. That’s why we are going more for a top-down kind of view with your ship always centered in the middle of the screen. Furthermore, we have direct control mechanics that are very easy to access and the player can use everything intuitively. All menus will use the original LCARS system all Star Trek fans are familiar with, which is pretty cool. Another key differentiator for us is the storytelling in the game. You can solve missions in different ways – you can try a diplomatic approach and stick to the prime directive, or play more, well… “Kirk-style”. Last but not least, Star Trek: Infinite Space is completely free-to-play.

MMORPG.com:

What can you tell us about the PvP within the game?

Ralf Adam:

Well, there will definitely be PvP in the game – that much I can tell. We will have different game modes, but we have not announced too much about this yet. There will be more details about the different modes available shortly. What I can say right now is that we will have some interesting combinations – thanks to the Holodeck. We are already planning to continuously release new PvP content after the initial launch (the same goes for PvE content of course). Another interesting fact is that you will be able to play all missions either alone or together with your friends, so group PvE fans will also encounter a fantastic experience.

MMORPG.com:

I see a heavy focus on ship-based, space combat. Will there be any character missions available in the game, or is it strictly ship-based?

Ralf Adam:

A major part of the game will take place in space, but we will also have a Space Station where the player can walk around with his avatar in 3rd person. These Stations will serve as player lobbies where the players can interact with each other, chat, start missions together, etc. Apart from the ship-to-ship combat, the exploration of the different star systems and the encounter with the different races (and the storyline) will also play major roles in the game. The interaction with your Away Team during missions will happen through dialogues and animated sequences where the outcome depends heavily on the skills of your officers. There is a huge exploration part in the game where you can beam teams down to planets or classify luminaries by sending probes.

MMORPG.com:

What measures are being taken to ensure that fans of the series will walk away from the experience feeling like they received an authentic and true representation of the ST: DS9 universe?

Ralf Adam:

Right from the start of production we had two main goals for the project:

  • To create a game in the Star Trek Universe that stays true to the franchise and gives all fans a fantastic Star Trek experience, while also attracting new players with its accessibility and the fact that it doesn’t require any downloads or other technical hurdles.
  • To deliver quality gameplay and audio-visual production values never seen before in a browser-based game.

To achieve these goals we are working closely together with Denise and Michael Okuda on the ships and the overall visual design. They’ve both served as technical consultants and art supervisors on various Star Trek series such as The Next Generation, and written many Star Trek encyclopaedias. We also brought the producer and screenwriter for The Next Generation, Lee Sheldon, on board to help us with the story and mission design. Of course, we’re also collaborating very closely with CBS Studios since they are the Star Trek experts.

MMORPG.com:

I know you're currently accepting applications, but is there any word on when we can expect a full, closed beta for the game?

Ralf Adam:

Right now we’re looking for a release window in summer 2011 and will announce game updates, closed beta, etc. on our website here: http://startrek-is.com/. I would encourage any fans out there excited about the game to sign up for our newsletter as we have plans to start running fun promotions for subscribers and Star Trek fans very soon.

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