Space. The final frontier. It’s time to boldly go where no man has gone before. Bethesda Softworks and Mad Doc Software have teamed up to bring something that quitely frankly hasn’t been done before. And that is giving Trekkies a game that covers the entire Star Trek universe all in one offering from TV to film with Star Trek: Legacy. I had a chance to ask Gary Conti, Associate Producer at Mad Doc Software, some questions about the upcoming Xbox 360 title, Star Trek: Legacy.
First off I’d like to thank you for taking some time to sit down for the Q&A. Can you tell the readers who you are and what you do as it pertains to Star Trek: Legacy?
Hi I’m Gary Conti, I’m an Associate Producer at Mad Doc Software, the developer of Legacy. I am involved in all aspects of production, with a focus on managing development.
How long was the development process from idea to what we see in the finished product for retail?
Like all big ideas, Legacy has been in development for quite some time. It had a roller coaster ride, but it never went away. It finally took the combined efforts of Bethesda, Mad Doc and CBS working together to bring this game to life.
Star Trek: Legacy is set to cover all 40 years of the Star Trek saga both television and film, the first game ever to do this. What was the idea behind that decision?
We wanted to make the ultimate Star Trek combat game. That means all of it: Defiant, DS9, Voyager, every version of the Enterprise, all the Klingons, all the Romulans, and the Borg. Star Trek is bigger than just one show, ship, or character. Bringing all of this together into one product is something that only games can offer.
Having all five captains from TV and film voice their roles was great. How much of the game will be devoted to each of the Captain’s saga during the single player Federation Campaign?
The game focuses on the Enterprise and all its evolutions. So you get to play Archer, Kirk, and Picard - each with their own series of missions. But Sisko and Janeway have their moment in the spotlight playing key roles in various parts.
You’ve included all of the ships in the series…something fans will love. What are your personal favorite ship(s)?
That is a very big question. Some highlights: Federation Miranda Class (the Reliant), light and fast but heavily armed. Fed Proxima Class is a juggernaut, slow and brimming with firepower. Klingon Bird of Prey, one of the iconic Star Trek ships, swift and deadly. Romulan Warbird, grace and power. The only thing more satisfying than commanding a Borg Tactical Cube, is tearing one to pieces.
Why was the decision made to not include historical battles, such as the one shown at E3 of Kirk vs. Kahn?
It would have taken focus away from the existing campaign missions which were already huge.
The control system on consoles is obviously different from PC. Can you walk through the controls of the game?
The controller is the ship. It is your direct connection to all command options. The analog sticks control movement and camera, the triggers control weapons, the bumpers targeting and the face buttons special commands and fleet orders.
Can specific systems of an enemy ship be targeted? If so is the system similar to that in Star Fleet Command III?
You bet. Here’s how it works: our game features epic sized battles involving dozens of warships. We wanted to keep the pace of the combat exciting, but give it the depth Trek fans demand. So targeting subsystems became an advanced level command. Standard combat does not require it, you can wipe out enemy ships with out ever targeting a system. But you always have the option to focus on a subsystem to cripple your enemy.
This is especially useful when you are in a smaller ship fighting a much larger one. Players decide when and how to use it. You can imagine how valuable this is in large, multiplayer battles.
Explain, generally speaking, how a typical single player mission will play out.
You are in command of a task force of warships. You will be given multiple objectives in various locations. You will be challenged both tactically and strategically to accomplish your goals. You’ve chosen the ships for specific reasons; you decide who goes where and who does what. Stay together or split up the fleet to cover more ground? At any point you can take full command of any ship to make sure the battle goes exactly the way you want. …All of this is in the context of an epic story that spans the generations.
What modes or campaigns will be available to players in terms of Xbox Live play and can you give details on them?
Xbox Live will feature both competitive and cooperative gameplay modes. From deathmatches with all the variations to co-op wave modes where players team up to take on fleets of enemy warships from every race and era.
How customizable are multi-player games?
There are numerous settings that allow players to setup matches the way they want.
Any news on downloadable content and the plans on availability/price in the Xbox Live Marketplace?
There is nothing we can say about this at this time.
As with every Xbox 360 game there are Achievements. What was the process in determining which Achievements to place in the game and the difficulty to achieve them?
This is something that I personally spent a lot of time on. I wanted to make the achievements both challenging and fun with a nod to the franchise. As such you are rewarded for heroic deeds and going above and beyond during missions.
Do you plan to use the Star Trek 40th anniversary media blitz to your advantage?
Of course! It’s a milestone for the franchise and we’re helping to celebrate that with the launch of Legacy.
How accessible is the game going to be for someone new to the Star Trek universe?
At its core it is a space combat game. What makes it unique is that you get to control multiple ships simultaneously, from a wide range of classes and eras. Everything from small scouts to massive battleships. The fact that it happens to be based on one of the most popular sci-fi franchises of all time is simply a bonus.
How long would the game last the average player?
On average, I would say about 12-15 hours. There is a good mix of shorter intense missions, and longer drawn out missions. That doesn’t include Skirmish and Multiplayer where you can play any of the 80 ships in the game. Those modes have near endless game play.
Trekkies all over the world will be playing this game. What can you say in closing to those waiting for the ride?
Command nearly every ship, from every era, from all Star Trek in the biggest battles. If that’s what you’re looking for, get ready.
Thanks Gary for taking some time to chat with me about Star Trek: Legacy. I, as well as fellow Trekkies, can’t wait for November 7. Be sure to check out some Legacy screenshots here.