Telling the Story of Star Trek Timelines

Check out this great developer diary written by our Lead Narrative Designer, Jessica Sliwinski.

Encompassing the Star Trek Timelines Vision

As Lead Narrative Designer, my responsibility is to oversee the creation and presentation of story in Star Trek Timelines. As a long-time Star Trek fan myself, my responsibility is to do this beloved universe and all its fans proud! Like many Trek fans, some of my favorite moments are the “crossovers,” where we see Montgomery Scott assisting Geordi LaForge in Engineering, or the crew of Deep Space 9 trying to fly under James Kirk’s radar. Moments like these will be the norm throughout Star Trek Timelines as a natural result of its setting, and that’s what excites me most about the game--both as a developer and as a fan. 

A sampling of our reference materials

These days, there isn’t much difference between your favorite video game and your favorite film. Photorealistic graphics, hand-crafted cinematics, and voice-over and motion capture can make a good story great. But the best of Trek isn’t the best because of mind-blowing visual effects or slick action sequences. Rather, the most beloved episodes and films focus on character, morality, philosophy, psychology--and brute force is rarely the answer to a problem. This understanding of Star Trek as a universe where scientific inquiry and diplomatic solutions are as important as tactical strength informs our entire vision for Star Trek Timelines, and narrative is no exception.

You Become the Story

You’ll enter Star Trek Timelines as the freshly-minted captain of your own ship, embarking on your first, seemingly routine mission. But like so many other routine missions, things get dicey fast. Before you can even get your bearings, spatial anomalies rock your ship, threatening the lives of everyone on board. When the dust settles, you discover that the galaxy has been fundamentally changed by a series of temporal events--and only your ship has been spared. Where have so many of Starfleet’s finest gone? How have their doppelgangers arrived here? Only one thing is clear: you are no longer living in a single timeline, but multiple timelines, and the galaxy may never be the same again.

Our hope is that the stories of Star Trek Timelines will evoke the best of Trek. You’ll encounter familiar characters in new and unexpected settings. You’ll make choices between the one and the many, your ship and your crew, the Federation and the greater good. You’ll join the pantheon of great Starfleet captains, establishing your service record as you see fit. Are you a trained diplomat, well-versed in the cultures of other space-faring civilizations? Are you a combat veteran, preferring to act instinctually and going with your gut? Are you a scientist first, always remembering that your primary mission is exploration? It will be your choice how you take command, but every path will be as rich, exciting, and deep as the others.

Jessica loved Star Trek just as much in her early days

At Disruptor Beam, we think there’s a simple path to telling great stories: deliver well-written prose, engaging player responses, gorgeous, scene-setting art, and let the player’s imagination do the rest. This approach allows us to deliver new story content at an unprecedented rate without sacrificing quality. You’ll be able to visit many iconic locations from the Trek universe right at launch, with many more to come. There will be countless canon characters for you to recruit, befriend, antagonize, or sacrifice. And, of course, the vast, unexplored galaxy, just waiting to be discovered. If you haven’t already joined the Star Trek Timelines community, I also invite you do so and share your favorite characters, episodes, and other moments from Star Trek. Only in Star Trek Timelines will you get to encounter all of them, and help write a new chapter in the Trek universe!