In our first round of developer Q&As, we tackle community submitted questions about canon, customization, music, exploration and more. Thanks very much to Al "Captain Geko" Rivera and Craig "Zinc" Zinkievich for their answers!
Will Star Trek Online be considered canon in any respect? How much of the game will stick to the canon?
Al "Captain Geko" Rivera (lead designer): Every series and movie is considered canon, and we are staying very true to this in our development. Star Trek is rich with lore and history, and there is a great deal of material to build upon as we move into the 25th century with Star Trek Online. We are working with CBS to ensure that everything we create is true to Trek and makes sense.
We know that fans want to play Star Trek Online because they want to explore the Star Trek universe, and we are striving to deliver as authentic an experience as possible. Our team has seen all the shows and movies and we're watching them again every single day. We are also studying other soft canon resources such as novels and comics. From those, we are looking for inspiration and references to further enhance our game. Where it makes sense, we will include some soft canon elements in Star Trek Online as well.
Will I be able to trick out my Bird of Prey with green flame decals to show off when I decloak to "pwn Federation nubs"?
Captain Geko: One of Cryptic Studios' hallmark features in all of its games is giving players ultimate customizability when it comes to their characters. We are fully utilizing our character creation technology in Star Trek Online to include customizing both characters and starships. You will be able to customize your ship's geometry, as well as its color, decals and fleet insignia.
Star Trek has had some of the best scores and soundtracks ever made associated with it in the past. Can we expect just as much attention to go into the sound effects, music and ambience as we would hopefully see in the graphics area?
Captain Geko: Luckily, Michael Henry, our director of audio, is a longtime Star Trek fan and an accomplished musician and composer. Trust us when we say that Michael will be creating authentic Star Trek music scores and ambience – and not even a Gorn attack can stop him! We are also working closely with CBS, and its team has provided us with access to a massive library of sound effects from all of the series and movies. So phasers will sound exactly like phasers should.
If I'm not in the mood for ship combat, gaining Starfleet's favor or earning credits doing jobs for Quark, in what ways will I be able to advance my character doing what I want to do most: exploring the galaxy?
Craig "Zinc" Zinkievich (executive producer): Exploration will never take a backseat in Star Trek Online. Heck – in all the series, Starfleet is always sending captains off to chart new systems or classify nebulas. So we don't view exploration as a "break" from other gameplay – it's integral. Expect to be encouraged to boldly go! And as an incentive to explore space, discovering new civilizations is one of the major ways to open up new resources and equipment and make new alien recruits available to you, your fleet and your faction!
My question is whether the universe will be static. For example, if I log off World of Warcraft and then login a week later everything is pretty much still the same. Nothing has really changed. Will the world be dynamic in STO?
Zinc: The universe of Star Trek Online is shaped and changed by the actions of the players. The Federation and the Klingon Empire will be competing for influence and resources throughout the galaxy and players can influence the results through PvP battles and a system we're calling Competitive PvE.
The actions, victories and defeats of you and your faction will affect how the economy and history of Star Trek Online unfolds. Exploration is always happening – expect to see new planets and races discovered that were unknown the last time you logged in. Your actions could be the deciding factor on whether these new planets side with the Federation or the Klingons.