Star Trek: Legacy Updated Q&A - More on the Story and Ships of This Starship Combat Game

Associate producer Gary Conti returns to give us the latest details regarding this upcoming Star Trek combat game.

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Don't worry, in Star Trek: Legacy you won't have to divert power through secondary ODN conduits or spout other technobabble. Instead, in this upcoming tactical combat game you'll be tasked with commanding Federation starships in glorious battle on either the PC or the Xbox 360. (Multiplayer will let you control ships from other factions, such as those of the Klingons.) Legacy is also a game that will tie together the five Star Trek television series, so you'll see ships from every era of the franchise. For the latest details on the game, which is due out later this year, we turned to associate producer Gary Conti of developer Mad Doc Software.

If you can identify all the ships in this picture, then you know you're a Star Trek fan.

GameSpot: In our last Q&A, we learned that Legacy will have a linear mission structure, which means you'll progress from one mission to another automatically. How much time will we get to spend in each Star Trek era before moving on to the next? Will we be able to get a good feel for each era and have plenty of time to explore the nuances of each one before moving on?

Gary Conti: In each era you'll have enough time to explore the different ships and get a feel for the era through the different mission styles and gameplay objectives. While each era is part of the greater storyline, they each have their own distinct "flavor," owing largely to the capabilities of the ships you are captaining.

As for length, we are looking to develop about 15 hours of gameplay in the campaign. That's pretty evenly broken up amongst the eras. So it's roughly five hours in each era.

GS: Tell us about the game's story--we understand that it ties in to an episode from The Next Generation. Which episode was this, and how does it inform the overarching story? How will it tie all the eras together? Did the team recruit some of the writing talent from the television series?

GC: While I can't delve too far into story-related topics, I will mention that some of the major plot points have changed since we released that info back in January. The episode "Contagion" involving the Iconians is no longer relative to the plot. Our current storyline is much more ingenious in the way we span the eras and cover all of Trek history, and it was written by one of the original Star Trek writers.

GS: How will the gameplay change over the course of the story? Will tactics change as new technologies are introduced? If so, how might you describe the differences between early starship combat and late starship combat and how the gameplay evolves over the course of the game?

GC: The way you captain your fleet will certainly change over the course of the campaign. Early Federation ships were much different than the ones we came to know in the TNG era. The NX-01, while a wonderful ship, was largely unshielded and didn't pack the same punch that later ships did. During the Enterprise era, you may not be best suited to running into a firestorm, phaser banks blazing and screaming Klingon curses. You'll quickly learn it's wise to take advantage of the rich space environment and use nebulas, planets, and stationary defenses to your advantage. In his day, Captain Archer was hunted with only his cunning to protect him! As you progress, the style of play will evolve. You will have more and more powerful ships and weaponry at your disposal, but remember, the enemy will have those too.

Ships blow apart in beautiful ways.

GS: Star Trek fans are legendary for their attention to detail, so what are you doing to make sure they'll be happy with how their favorite starships look onscreen? Just how detailed are the ships going to be?

GC: Our ship modelers have been hard at work for a long time, assuring that the 60-plus ships in Legacy are true to canon and, in the case of new ship designs, are respectful to the Star Trek universe. We have been fortunate enough to employ the skills of Rick Knox, one of the biggest names in Trek modeling and a true ship guru. The ships, the weapons they possess, and the way they behave in space are all being closely scrutinized in-house by knowing eyes.

Engage!

GS: Will ships be modeled in a 1:1 scale in the game? If you pull a Galaxy-class starship (Picard's Enterprise) up alongside an Intrepid-class starship (Janeway's Voyager), will you really get a sense of one being vastly bigger than the other? Or are there going to be liberties taken with scale for gameplay purposes? (We understand that planets and stars are abstracted quite a bit, so they're much smaller than we'd expect, for instance.)

Kirk's Enterprise remains one of the most popular starships ever.

GC: Yes! We've done our best to follow the scale (which is sometimes conflicting) found in Star Trek canon. We want to be absolutely sure that people get a sense of the size and power of these ships. When you roll up in your Galaxy class, you'll get the feeling that it's big enough to eat your friend's Bird of Prey. Plus, the Borg are just freaking huge.

GS: How is damage modeling being handled? If you pummel someone's nacelle, will it explode? Will you see scarring and holes in a ship's hull after a battle? And after a battle, how do you repair your ships? Is it as simple as waiting a while for them to automatically repair, or will you have to head off to a starbase to get major systems fixed up?

GC: Damage modeling is handled procedurally. If you get hit in a certain area, it will show damage. As the enemies unload on your hull, phaser burns will appear; smoke, plasma, and fire will be thrown about; and chunks will start to fly off revealing the underlying structures of the ship. If you happen to nail one of the nacelles, it will blow off the ship, making the ship unable to create a stable warp field, thereby effectively trapping it in your reaches. When a ship is destroyed, it breaks apart into random chunks, letting off multiple stage explosions and unleashing the great power within these ships.

After (and even during) battle you can choose specific systems on your ship to repair via a simple interface. Major damage will have to be done at a nearby starbase, however. It's kind of hard to replace half your hull plating and both nacelles while lazily drifting in space. You can try, but Scotty will get really pissed off.

GS: Will there be variants of each ship class? Can players "modify" their ships with extra warp nacelles, like in the TV shows? Will ship upgrades be represented visually in the game on ship models? Will we be able to name our vessels?

GC: Ships, for the most part, will not be outwardly modified with upgrades. Upgrades are mostly internal components, boosting stats, weapon arrays and ranges, and system capabilities. Ship registrations and names are set by the game as per the storyline.

GS: Considering that the game is scheduled to come out in time for the franchise's 40th anniversary later this year, can we expect to hear some familiar voices in Legacy? Are there plans to enlist some of the television cast for voice-over work? How is the team working with Viacom and Paramount to really convey the authenticity of the experience?

GC: Still no final word on voice talent. We'll be sure to keep everyone posted on any news. We are pursuing this aggressively.

The gloves come off later this year, in time for the franchise's 40th anniversary.

GS: Finally, it's safe to say that Star Trek fans will embrace Legacy, but how are you designing the game to appeal to non-Trekkers? What kind of game can newcomers or strangers to the franchise expect?

GC: We've undertaken the ambitious task of trying to present a worthwhile game to Star Trek fans while making a game that is accessible for all to enjoy. We hope to bridge the gap between hardcore gamers and newcomers to the franchise. Trek "strangers" can expect an exciting, tactical space combat game. It's really the first on the Xbox 360. We'll teach people to embrace their inner Klingon and that it's OK to admit you know a little more about Star Trek than you let on.

GS: Thank you, Gary.

Discussion

59 comments
Fraek
Fraek

I spy, with my trekkie eyes... One Cardassian starbase in clear site, another possible Cardassian starbase in the distance. One Sovereign(?)-class Federation starship. One Defiant-class Federation starship. One D'deridex-class Romulan Warbird. Two Borg Spheres. Three D-12-class Klingon Birds-of-Prey. Do I qualify for the rank of "Star Trek fan"?

Raucher
Raucher

I'll see you online as the Borg. Getting this game is a must . . . terms are futile, preperations are futile :-p

Syn_Valence
Syn_Valence

Is this going to have the same playability as Starfleet Command 1 thru 3 does. Also, will you be able to customize the weapons hardpoints like Starfleet Command 3?

danhuling
danhuling

Graphics look low res. Whats the deal? Are these placeholder screenshots? Engine needs bloom to smooth stuff out. That DS9 model looked horrid.

krio_1000
krio_1000

i'm wondering if its going to compare to Star Trek Bridge commander!! and is there going to be a instant action mode in the game allow people to do what they want..

Dkozina
Dkozina

it looks pretty sweet..........

halo2maniak
halo2maniak

I wonder how this game will be do. And I was wondering how they are going to do this game.

saf_jut
saf_jut

being the star trek fan that i am i cant wait for this game ...i mean the graphics look good and i enjoy spaceship games

kepper67
kepper67

Sweet! I'm definitely looking forward to this!

trouge
trouge

Can only hope the game lives up to all the hype it's received, I for one hope it doe's ,star trek could use a winner for a change after some of there stuff ups of late. We {trek fans} need a winner to keep us going on our journey of discovery. OH YEAH

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

One thing I hate about the term "canon" is that to be canon it has to be either in the movies or in the TV series ONLY and not the rest of the stuff that are LOGICALLY related. Another thing that is more absurd is the mistakes in the movies and TV series are taken into account for being in the Star Trek storyline.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

IonFizzle05- LMAO -Acting Captain Westley Crusher

IonFizzle05
IonFizzle05

THERE!!!!! ARE!!!!! FOUR!!!!! LIGHTS!!!!

Fate_L
Fate_L

This should help tide me over till Star Trek Online.

LION90
LION90

I'm am totally siked I've been a treky since I was two. and my parents were trekys when the first show came out forever ago. I'm second generation treky can't wait soooOOOO exited!!!! this is awesome DUDE he he he slober =))) yes i'm being ovverly dermatic

szindragon
szindragon

"I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you! And I wish to go on...Hurting You! I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her. Marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet. Buried Aliveee...Buried Alive!!!"

ejf0256
ejf0256

Hope the game is as good as it's graphics. I have NEVER played a Star Trek game worth a damn yet.....

Ponsardin
Ponsardin

The name of Gary Conti sounds beautiful, but even more beautiful is the game with its gorgeous graphics. The game is now on my tracked games list.

nappan
nappan

"dmajchrzak Pre-Ordered. Anticipation is high. " That's a great quote man. If the game stinks it will be great, and if the game is a winner it's great. I mean, that's the kind of thing you'd want as a bumper in an article about HL2 when it was coming out, or for the ironic punch, before Daikatana's release. You sir, have a winner.

evilyoda861
evilyoda861

Maj_Wood too bad this game will not have bridge view, I hated that, it made it more difficult to win, so thats ruled out sucka!

jthechosenone
jthechosenone

"We are the borg. Lower your shields and weapon systems. We will add your technological and biological desinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futal."

rb378wby
rb378wby

Why can't anyone from the companies that create games, tell us what system requirements will be necessary to use these next gen games. Planning on upgrading to a new system but to what? How 'compatible' will these next gen games be to current video cards and to what video card standards can we expect as the 'base' model. All I want to hear is the minimum video card requirements or at leas what systems are being used to create/test their new games. Not only Bethesda but EA Atari etc...

Locutus_Picard
Locutus_Picard

I AM LOCUTUS OF BORG. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOUR LIFE AS IT HAS BEEN, IS OVER... FROM THIS TIME FORWARD YOU WILL SERVICE......US!

mhder
mhder

go-divis99 WE ARE THE BORG PREPAIR TO BE ASIMALATED!RESISTANCE IS FUTAIL!! We can't spell, prepare to be laughed at.

go-divis99
go-divis99

WE ARE THE BORG PREPAIR TO BE ASIMALATED!RESISTANCE IS FUTAIL!!

agent401
agent401

My trekness is all but dead, but I think I'll give this game a try.

ReaperXxxx
ReaperXxxx

Pre-Ordering this one after work today. Looking fan-freaking-tastic!!!

dmajchrzak
dmajchrzak

Pre-Ordered. Anticipation is high.

thisisasignin
thisisasignin

I like the part about damage. Seeing a nacelle explode sounds appealing.

nappan
nappan

I want this game so much I can taste it. I love Star Trek, so yes, I'm a fanboy, and I love space combat games, and I'm a nerd. TRIFECTA! gimme gimme gimme!!!

kpgamer6144
kpgamer6144

amen, if this is anything near what armada was, this will be an excellent thing to invest hours of my life into.

Atonos
Atonos

How is the multiplayer going to work? Do tou ahve to take over certain starbases and hold them or is it just all out search and destroy?

mbott1701
mbott1701

Got mine pre-ordered. Very much looking forward to this one!

Maj_Wood
Maj_Wood

The thing I hope to the game has is the bridge and crew like what was in brige commander

trekkerboy
trekkerboy

someone should ask if a pc demo is planned for star trek legacy

trekkerguy
trekkerguy

Instant buy. Oh yeah preordered last week actualy.

tmihai20
tmihai20

i didn't play many ST games, but this one should be quite good! I remember playing ST Away Team, which I especially like :D

Hikiera
Hikiera

Sounds great. 15 hours is short though and I would like to try the other races in a campaign instead of just MP. Still realism and accuracy is the way to go.

bulldog7
bulldog7

looks great!! but i have hated every ST game I've ever played. oh please let this be a good one!!!!!!!!!111

Riker69
Riker69

I am a trek fan through and through, but like some of the rest of you I just hope this is not a major disappointment. Armada was good as was bridge commander, but both had their weak points. This sounds pretty good, but the story lenght sounds to short, and I dont like not being able to play all the fleets except in multi-player mode. I most likely will get it for the 360 unless the reviews are just bad.

asian_marine
asian_marine

I can't wait for this game to come out, I love star trek games and I'll definately get the PC version of this game. I know my friend will get the xbox360 version.

PrezKennedy
PrezKennedy

If it can take Bridge Commander's strong points and improve on the areas that it was weak (like ship variety, inaccuracies, and such), I'll definitely buy it.

vamroc
vamroc

The Romulans and the Borg will be playable in the multiplayer modes.

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

I'm not sure if i am going to buy this game or not. Most trek games are disapointments; I hope this game doesn't take the same path as its predecessors.

solsub
solsub

I want to pwn my Sovereign class!

Mc1csmo
Mc1csmo

15 hour campaign.... damn that's small. And you can only pilot Klingon ships in MP? I think I'll rent this puppy and at least see reviews first. Sounds good overall, but verdict is far from in.