Originally given to StarTrek-Online.net
The begining is a little boring but there are some interesting bits all over the article.
It’s been a long time (too long) since I’ve given the community an update on how things are going for the Star Trek Online team and with today marking Trek’s 40th (happy birthday Trek!), I thought it would be a great time to do some catching up. I’d like to start off by giving everyone a sense of what to expect going forward. Star Trek Online was announced about a year before development began in earnest. And as a result, we had some catching up to do in order to reassure the fans that we were treating the license with respect and demonstrate our commitment to developing a high quality game. We’ve also really enjoyed the opportunity to share some of our design ideas with the community and get feedback. As you might imagine, our first year of development involved a lot of brainstorming on paper while the foundation for our new client engine and toolset was being built. It was a perfect time for us to bounce ideas out to the community. And the feedback we received had a very valuable effect on our decisions and thought process. In the last few months, we’ve gradually shifted out of the pre-production phase into our first production stage. We now have a base of staff and technologies that allow begin implementing the ideas we had on paper and shift our decision making process towards evaluating the real thing. We can dream all day about what will make for a great Star Trek game, but the best result will come about by getting the game up and running and refining the elements that work. All this is a way of saying that we’ve been, and will continue to be heads down as we build and evaluate our results. It’s a highly iterative process that has everyone on the team very focused on the daily development cycle. Over the course of the last year, we’ve also released a number of images. Again, we felt the need to give the public some idea of where we were taking things and a feel for our capabilities. The flip-side of releasing images early is that it erodes our ability to do a grand reveal for the new look we’ve created to for the game and it’s era. So going forward, we’re going to go dark, or perhaps I should say – stay dark. This doesn’t mean we’ll cease communicating with the community, or the press, or releasing images. In fact we’re in the process now of readying our teaser site, and like any good movie teaser site, we expect it to convey a sense for the STO’s soul without yet revealing too many details. And in general, we intend to be more selective about what information we do release so we can build suspense and get ourselves to a place where we can confidently share details about what we’ll ultimately deliver. Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll get on to the development update… For starters, we moved last week! For the last nine months or so, the Star Trek team was a few blocks from the Perpetual main offices and we’re really glad to be reunited with the Greek Gods and Goddesses that are busy finishing up Gods & Heroes. While we really liked our old space, our new space is even better and everyone is looking forward to being just a flight of stairs away from the wealth of MMO expertise contained that is the G&H team. Speaking of G&H, we’ve been having a field day with their excellent server technology. With our ability to leverage the Perpetual Platform, we’ve quickly merged our new client engine with the server so we’re now logging in, choosing servers, and creating a character. At the moment, all of this happens from a temporary interface, but we will have a graphic UI up and running for these functions in the next few weeks. Once you’re logged in, we can run a character around a prototype space station. There’s not much to do on the space station at the moment, but it is a good test-bed for character movement, camera, collision, rendering, and animation. From there, you can beam to your ship. The transition to your ship is quick, and once in space, you can fly around an engage other NPCs and players in a surprisingly polished form of space combat for this early in development. There are only a couple of weapons at the moment, but even so, the presentation makes for a very compelling experience and a great base for further refinement and of course new weapons and other abilities. In a few weeks, we’ll have the space combat refined to the point where we’ll have a basic set of skills, effects, damage model, AI, and cameras to the point where we can truly start to evaluate and refine our space combat model. Given that we can already log multiple players into a server and see each other in the game, having combat up and running means the we’ll be able to begin weekly team play sessions so everyone can get in on playing and refining the combat experience until it is something truly special. And while ground combat is also working at an early stage, we’re more focused on space combat at the moment because that’s where we see the most risk and opportunity. When we finish up our first rev of our gameplay prototype in a few weeks, we’ll dive into the task of creating our first sector. The design team is already focused on the task of laying out the sector by specifying a range of both space and ground mission areas. One of the issues the design team is going to tackle next is scale vs. speed. Before we start building assets to populate our first sector, we’ll have to figure out exactly how fast the ship travels at impulse relative to its size and the size of the objects that you’ll see and explore in the world. The tuning of these parameters will have a dramatic effect on how the game feels. And it will be a delicate balance; make the ship too slow and the world will feel boring, make it too fast and players will whip past each other at dizzying speeds, combat will inevitably spread out, etc. And we’re all looking forward to getting a first hand feel for what it will be like to fly around a fully realized sector including moving between points of interest and beaming to and from surface zones. So the next couple of months will be big for us. With the ability to engage in space combat and limited ground combat, fly around a sector, and run quests that span space and ground zones, we should start to get our first true understanding of what it will be like to play within this world we’re creating. And after nearly a year of R&D and design work, the team is really looking forward to having the ability to start playing so we can begin the real process of refining gameplay to a point where it is truly entertaining. Not to mention the fact that PvP happens to be a great way to resolve internal team disagreements... - Daron
I would die without GF
25th March 2005
wow crap cool! but pics?
None, of course I will post if any surface.
I would die without GF
25th March 2005
oke excellent, good job that you do! UFP is proud on you! Bye the way nice sig buddy ;)
Hehe, I keep my eye on STO every now and then..why? Well its gonna be the best MMO yet..and from what the devs have said..they dont plan to abandon it or screw it up.
And thanks...but which part were you refering to?