Vision for Star Trek Timelines
I grew up with the Star Trek original series on the television almost daily; and when I was a teenager, The Next Generation became a weekly ritual for my family. I remember talking to my friends about the ethical implications of having sentient machines like Data, or what it would be like to create games for the holodeck. To this day, the adventure and optimism of Star Trek continues to cultivate new fans around the world—and I’m excited that Disruptor Beam will play a part of that.
Star Trek Timelines is under development. We don’t have a release schedule yet because we’re going to take the time to get it right—and we also want to hear from Star Trek fans about our ideas. Our goal at Disruptor Beam is to be the most fan-oriented game company in the world, which means making you more than a customer—it means making you part of the process of crafting great games.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of what you can expect from the game we’re creating.
Star Trek Timelines is being built for iOS (iPad and iPhone), Android (tablets and phones) and Web browsers. It is a multiplayer game where you’ll team up with your friends to explore the galaxy, resolve diplomatic conflicts, become embroiled in war, discover new civilizations, and research scientific breakthroughs.
What it Is and Isn’t
Let’s talk for a moment about what Star Trek Timelines won’t be: it isn’t a first-person shooter or a MMORPG-oriented environment where the action is about running around and blasting everyone with your phasers. There are already Star Trek games that feature first-person action—and we also feel that a combat-oriented game wouldn’t really capture the vision of Star Trek. Instead, we’re going to focus on giving you beautiful vistas of outer space, artistic renderings of your favorite characters, and a conflict mechanic where science and diplomacy are just as important as your ability to fire photon torpedoes. This means that some aspects of the game will be more “abstract” than you’d experience in a first-person perspective game – but we think it’s the right way to create the right experience for Star Trek.
Some aspects of this game will be familiar to people who have played Game of Thrones Ascent: dialog-driven storytelling, character development and a deep crafting system are all part of our vision for Star Trek Timelines. However, we want Star Trek Timelines to feature a more immersive exploration system (such as the ability to take your starship from place to place, and see what these unique areas look like) and a more detailed tactical system where you make decisions in the course of conflict resolution.
Story is going to be one of the most important parts of Star Trek Timelines; our first game, Game of Thrones Ascent, has thousands of quests and hundreds of thousands of lines of dialog—crafted by some of the best writers in gaming. (We’re fortunate to have had a narrative team consisting of the top writers from games like Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic!)
Temporal anomalies, mirror universes and time travel have been recurring themes throughout all the Star Trek series and several of the films. This will form the basis of Star Trek Timelines, and gives us the opportunity to explore a lot of “what-if” scenarios: what if Spock and Jean-Luc Picard got to serve on the same ship? What would it be like to have members of the mirror universe’s Terran Empire on your crew? This game will allow you to join forces with your favorite characters from across the many eras and universes from Star Trek lore—and then make decisions that impact the future of civilizations, star systems and the galaxy itself.
Exploration has always been at the heart of Star Trek! You’ll be able to visit the most famous and canonical star systems from Star Trek lore—but in Star Trek Timelines you are also going to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and new civilizations.
One of the things we’re creating for Star Trek Timelines is what we believe to be the largest and most detailed galaxy that has ever been created for an online, multiplayer game. We want a galaxy that feels as large as our actual galaxy, so that even if there are millions of explorers you’ll be able to set out and make your own discoveries. We’re developing models based on real cosmology and planetary science to populate the galaxy with diverse star systems that feel realistic while also capturing the spirit of Star Trek.
The action of Star Trek Timelines will center around your crew: the individual characters and their history, skills and personalities. As mentioned earlier, you’ll assemble your crew from many of the famous characters from Star Trek lore. Some characters will be better at combat; others better at science and medical skills; still others will excel at command or diplomacy. Some of your favorite characters will be hybrids. Star Trek Timelines will let you develop characters along the lines that reflect how you’d like to explore the galaxy.
Crafting and Development
One of the things we’re known for in Game of Thrones Ascent is a deep crafting system with many pathways to explore. We’re going to take that to a whole new level in Star Trek Timelines, allowing you to research new technologies, upgrade equipment and starships, experiment and discover new items, and fuse together different items into unique possibilities.
In Star Trek, the human elements are frequently just as important as the technology. Social interaction will be an important aspect of this game. You’ll be able to team up with your friends, form fleets, and take on big challenges through cooperation. And because your crew might consist of characters with different views of right and wrong, you’ll find that there are different ways you could resolve conflicts—which might bring you into conflict with other captains from other timelines.
We want to make Star Trek Timelines the most engaging, social experience you’ve ever had in a Web/mobile/tablet game: which means we’ll be creating tools for interacting with your friends, forming teams, and surfacing your discoveries and stories both in-game and elsewhere. Part of this is starting early with our community: I hope you’ll join us in our Star Trek Timelines forum, where we’ll be sharing more details with you over the coming months. This community is also where we’ll be drawing our first alpha and beta testers from. Thank you for being a part of what we’re creating!
CEO, Disruptor Beam