Summary: JCal talks to Dr. Ian Lane Davis of Mad Doc Software about their upcoming epic tactical RTS, Star Trek Legacy.
FiringSquad: First, Star Trek not only has a long running TV and movie franchise but also has had tons of games released for the franchise as well. How did the long history of Star Trek games influence how Mad Doc designed Star Trek: Legacy?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: The rich history of the series had an enormous impact on our core game design decisions. Star Trek has resonated so deeply with fans because it’s about things we can all identify with: friendship, loyalty, bravery, adversity, life and death, good vs evil, the things that bind us, that weave the human thread. When we began the development process, we realized early on that we wanted Legacy to focus on the most riveting moments in the history of the series: the ship-to-ship battles. As a result, we’ve immersed players in the very heart of Star Trek’s most defining, compelling question: ‘To live or die in battle?’…We think fans are going to have a great deal of fun answering this one with Legacy.
FiringSquad: The storyline will encompass a large portion of the Star Trek chronology. How hard was it to pick which events would be selected for the single portion of the game?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: We don’t want to give away too much detail on the story just yet, you’ll have to wait on this one!
FiringSquad: How easy or hard will it be for gamers to control their starships and put them into combat?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: It’s easy to just jump right in and start playing, and then there’s a lot of depth to explore for the more experienced player, too. We’ve mixed elements from RTS, squad shooter, and strategy games when it comes to controls in Legacy. With Mad Doc’s top-notch AI, you don’t need to constantly micro-manage your ships. You can hop into any pilot’s seat when you want while using special attacks, allocating energy, pulling off maneuvers, and orchestrating tactics with your entire fleet.
FiringSquad: What are some of your favorite ships to control in the game?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: In Legacy, we’re finding the balance between “Trek realism” and fun gameplay. That said, you’ll find that big, bad battleships move like hulking, fully armed juggernauts – and scouts and destroyers use their maneuverability as an advantage. Personally, at the end of a long day, there’s nothing more enjoyable than taking the Defiant out for a spin. Firepower, speed, tight turns… that ship has it all. Sisko was a lucky man. Worf too. But he was a Klingon.
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: We’re really excited about the look and feel of Legacy – we’re breaking new ground: bringing dynamic 3D battlefields to life; immersing players in a backdrop of beautifully rendered space environments, realized nebulas, wormholes, planets, and stars. The look is awesome! We’re adding in the kind of detail that really makes the gameplay come to life: detailed weapon effects and damage modeling (weapons searing with energy and charged shields that surge with every hit, ships with full damage modeling that break apart, strewing debris and sparks). I’m looking forward to players’ reactions when they get their first look at this.
FiringSquad: What will the multiplayer modes be like?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: Legacy’s single-player will focus solely on the Federation, with multiplayer allowing you to command the Romulan, Klingon, and Borg war machines as well. Full details on the races aren’t being released just yet, but rest assured these fleets will be comprehensive, allowing you to really assess the strengths and weaknesses of each race – and develop new tactics accordingly. You may also see races in eras you might not have seen a lot of them in before! We’re still finalizing player numbers and modes, more info on that later.
Legacy’s multiplayer experience is all about massively cool space battle at its best. It’s focused on real-time Starfleet combat (from small-scale engagements to all-out war with dozens of warships fighting simultaneous battles across vast sections of space). Players can engage in a quick single system battle, or fight across multiple space systems and upgrade the fleet between each battle.
FiringSquad: Will there be any mod tools released for Star Trek: Legacy?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: Of course we’d love to support our community, as they’ve been so supportive of us for so long. Final details here will be up to our publishing friends at Bethesda.
FiringSquad: Will there be a playable demo of the game released before the game ships?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: Again, this one is up to our friends at Bethesda – nothing announced yet.
FiringSquad: After the game is released are there any plans to release additional content or perhaps an expansion pack?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: No word on additional content yet – it is certainly a possibility, owing to the fact that the Xbox Live service is great at supporting additional content updates and gameplay expansion downloads.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Star Trek: Legacy?
Dr. Ian Lane Davis: Yeah, the team’s been pushing hard to bring this one to life for fans - we’re doing our best to make this one a blast. We’ll keep pushing, as they say: “Our course, second star to the right - and straight on ‘til morning.”
I’d also like to thank you for your time John, and for allowing us to check in with your readers. Always a pleasure.
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