Star Trek Tactical Assault

Recently I had the chance to ask a few questions about the upcoming game Star Trek Tactical Assault with Cory Nelson from Quicksilver.

Trek Fans are going to love this and with the pending Star Trek Legacy title it seems that long-suffering Trek gamers are finally going to get what they have been waiting for.

What is the background and setting for the game please?

Cory: The game is set in movie era Star Trek. We begin right around Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan for the Federation campaign and right around the Khitomer Massacre for the Klingon.

How many units will there be for each side and will we see new ships that were not in the films of television series?

Cory: Since we’re working from the existing Star Trek universe we’re sticking with ships you’ll recognize from the films, but have a few new original designs as well. The original designs are of ships known to exist during the timeframe, but never seen onscreen. The Romulan designs, for example, are all new designs because there’s very little to go on during that time period of the series.

Aside from the standard phasers and torpedoes, what other weapons or ship abilities will players be able to use?

Cory: It depends on the ship and race you’re playing. Romulans for example use plasma weapons, some races can recharge shields, overcharge weapons, cloak etc. There are a wide variety of capabilities and the way each ship is played can vary widely. During gameplay, it is really in your best interest to learn a different play style for each of the race/ship combinations.

Will players be able to select the ship they use for each mission and will abilities for each ship be standard issue or upgradeable?

Cory: The player is given new ships as the campaign progresses however; his bridge crew can be promoted, which gives them special upgrades and abilities. In Multiplayer and Skirmish modes you can choose any ship you’ve unlocked.

Can you tell the readers about the type of missions they will face for each side and how they are given? Also, are both Klingon and Federation storylines separate or connected?

Cory: The missions have been setup in the same way the storyline in the episodes were. You’ll be given mission objectives, but things can change as the mission progresses. You, as the Captain, will need to make decisions on how you want to proceed; destroy the Klingon or try to talk him down? Both may result in a successful mission but obviously as a Federation Captain, diplomacy is best. If you’re in the Klingon campaign – that may or may not be the case.

The two storylines are sequential, with the Klingon campaign starting roughly 30 years after the Federation campaign ends. There is some connection, but it’s more in the overall story rather than in specific, player-led events.

Roughly how many units can be engaged in a battle at one time? As a follow up, will supporting ships be controlled by the player, A.I. or both?

Cory: You can setup custom battles with up to 4 ships of whatever races you’d like. In campaign play however, we have several missions with 6-7 ships in one battle.

What sort of ships and weapons will players be able to use when playing in Skirmish mode and which is your favorite and why?

Cory: In skirmish mode, the player can choose one of 20 different ships, split between 5 races (Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Gorn & Orion). The weapon types and configurations are different for each of the ships.

What are some of the challenges faced with creating a game of this type for a portable system as opposed to console and PC Systems?

Cory: The biggest challenge is the resources, both in system resources and in the number of controls you have available. There are hard limits on each of these so in a given mission it’s extremely important that you make sure every element you add enhances the gameplay. Fortunately, we’ve been able to take this limitation and mold it so that it’s really focused our direction and allowed us to deliver a very precise experience to the player.

The original series and their films did not have many battles between multiple ships due to budget and technology issues. The emphasis for this game seems to be to give fans something that they have not seen before yet longed for in terms of big battles set in the classic setting. Can you tell the readers about how this feature came about and some of the joys in making the vision a reality?

Cory: We looked at countless hours of Star Trek episodes to find those pivotal moments that we, as game players, wanted to experience. The consensus was that one or two ships could get dull fairly quickly; it can be nice to watch, but when you’re controlling the ship you really want a larger challenge. As it turned out, the experience we’ve created has performed beyond our original expectations so we’re very pleased with that.

Will any of the familiar characters from the original series feature in the game and if so, who?

Cory: Not in this game. We made a decision early on that we wanted to keep the storyline within the known events but wanted an entirely new cast of characters to keep it fresh. The crew in both campaigns is brand new and although several events will be recognized, you won’t be interacting with familiar characters.

With the recent hard times that the franchise has experienced both on the big and small screen, has that affected the approach to the design and marketing of Trek titles and if so how?

Cory: Really the only thing it’s affected is our focus on making sure that the gameplay we deliver is top notch. The franchise has had a tough run of games lately and because of that, it’s even more important that we focus on turning it around. There’s so much that can be done with the Star Trek license and we’re really working hard to make sure that we deliver an experience that we would want in a game and by doing so, expect everyone else to enjoy as well.