This comes as no surprise. I predicted this back in 2004. So color me shocked.
Doing a Star Trek MMO is going to take a lot more than money.
1. It needs talent, which these folks clearly didn't have because its not like they didn't have the money.
2. It needs balls. Serious.brass.balls.
3. Its needs a lead developer/producer who (a) knows the mythos inside/out (b) is allowed to do his own thing within the confines of the franchise (c) who can think outside the box (d) who has/knows the tech to pull it off (e) experience in space, as well as sci-fi games.
4. A publisher/investor with a hands-off approach
This is not about money because the money these fools sunk into this since 2004, could have funded several MMOs and then some.
I can do a Star Trek MMO in under three years, with a skeleton crew and for around $5m. Guaranteed.
Primarily because I have (a) the sci-fi and space game background/experience (b) the technology (c) the discipline to stretch every damn dollar on the game instead of pissing it away and coming up with nothing
The *only* way to do a Star Trek MMO is to start with a clean slate and a multiplayer Star Trek game
. You use that internally to build on the basis and just start tacking things on.
...but hey, what do I know. Its different when you've been doing space games for nigh on twenty years, then you hear that some n00bs go and piss away millions on a beloved franchise and then end up with nothing
to show for it.
I was so excited at the prospects of a good Star Trek game and MMO, that I was rooting for the n00bs, thinking that they hadn't already dipped in the poison well. To the extent that I contacted them in 2004 and offered my consulting (since I had my own games and have no intentions of working for anyone, ever) assistance as well as my seamless space/planetary tech which they could build from. That went nowhere. The rest is history.
The biggest set of brass balls in doing Star Trek is looking at the publisher and flat out telling them that it simply can't be a mass market fodder. Once you get past that, its smooth sailing. Star Trek is about exploration first and foremost. Combat, DS9 and STV notwithstanding is usually a means to an end. That right there, puts it out of the standard MMO fare.
To create an MMO for such a difficult franchise, you need a seamlessly integrated space, planetary, indoor rendering engine with zero
loading times. The player needs to be able to move freely around his ship, get into a shuttle, land on a planet, get out, run around in fp mode, get back in the shuttle, go back to space etc. You need transporters for beaming people up/down. You need a kick-ass space/planetary combat engine. The AI has to be over the top and otherworldly because you're going to have to rely on NPCs to crew, for e.g. the Enterprise because having players in those spots will kill
the game; especially if you happen to have a griever on board who suddenly decides he no longer wants to piss around in engineering. He wants to fly the ship. You - the capt. says no - he then comes back with a pulse rifle and takes the bridge apart.
...yes, if its beginning to sound a lot like my games, then yeah, I'm a big ST fan and I already have all the tech, experience and know-how. But tech does not a good game make and no matter how good/great a game is, with poor execution - and bad luck/timing - its just going to fail.
There is just no way a team of developers - no matter how good they are - with zero experience with space games, is going to output a good space game, let alone an MMO based on such a franchise.
To wit. The recently canned NCSoft space game, Blackstar, consists of a Whos Who list of developers with space game experience. And they
couldn't pull it off.
Just think about this. Not one - but two - space game MMOs canned within the same two week period. Doesn't that tell you something? You can't throw money at something like this. That is simply not the answer.patently shameless plug. seriouslyhttp://www.3000ad.com/pics/gcES/08-01-18/index.htmlThis comment was edited on Jan 19, 08:13.
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them