Star Trek Online: Designer Diary : Back from Vegas
PUBLISHED: Aug 18, 2005
Klingon, Ian, Glen, Borg, and Daron the moment before we ran for our lives.
So we went into it swinging. We upped the ante by revealing that Mike Okuda had joined the team as a design consultant, and who was kind enough to actually join our panel. We laid out the basic premise and vision of the game. We exposed the areas where we were pushing the look and feel of Star Trek forward, by presenting the early concepts of our uniforms and the new iteration of Mike's LCARS interface. And then we discussed the game's design with a very interested and intelligent audience.
The panel: Ian (lead engineer), Mike Okuda (design consultant), Ken (art director), Glen (lead designer), and Daron (executive producer) talking about STO.
The end results were extremely gratifying. As we
spoke, people began to understand that this project is the vehicle
that is moving Trek into the future. In the absence of other new
media, we have the incredible opportunity to be the ones telling the
untold stories, pushing the boundaries, and establishing a new
beachhead in the final frontier. The interaction with the audience was
great, especially because it allowed us to communicate with people who
didn't have any knowledge or preconceptions about the game, in
addition to the fans who have followed our progress from day one. And
the one-on-one conversations following the formal panel were a lot of
Mike Okuda shows us how to make the magic.
This trip also happened to be my first visit to Vegas, and I was happy to have the opportunity to see the Star Trek Experience in the Hilton. It contains two sections (the Borg and the Klingons) and they were hands-down the best motion rides I've seen (although Spider Man at Universal was a close second). The attention to detail was amazing, I appreciated the live interactivity with actors that took the illusion seriously, and I was surprised and gratified that they had incorporated all of the latest material from Enterprise into their Trek museum and timeline display (the rather large area you walk through before the rides themselves). When we sat down at Quark's Bar afterward, I noted that it was a very cool feeling-both at the convention and the Experience-to be immersed in this environment where Trek was so pervasive. Even non-believers were amazed. For the time they were there, everyone who visited was a fan.
Anyway, I should wrap this up. My plan was to use
this space to discuss elements of the design, but I guess you never
know what exactly is going to show up until I write it (I certainly
don't). Just so I don't avoid the design topic completely, I should
mention the addition of our new systems designer: Eric Heimburg. Eric
comes to STO from Turbine where he worked as a designer, producer, and
engineer on Asheron's Call 2. He's already added a lot to the process
of nailing down our systems, and I'm glad to have him on board.
Hopefully, we'll get him to post here as well.