G & T Show 271 – The Future of Star Trek Gaming
Star Trek Gaming brought everyone together.
G & T Show 271 – The Future of Star Trek Gaming is now available to download. So check it out here. This week, Nick, Terry, and Mike return with an all new show discussing the latest news from around the Star Trek multiverse. They talk about Books, Games, Product, Television, Technology, and General News. In addition, they even manage to squeeze in a little Unofficial Productions News before discussing Star Trek gaming: past, present, and future. Don’t miss out on all of the fun in this week’s episode of the G & T Show.
First of all, Nick isn’t present when they begin this week’s show, but joins them a little later. They all feel a little tired this morning and jump to Coffee Klatch. Nick spoke with Kelly Thompson for a new Gettysburg Address. Mike talks a little bit about the interview. Steve produced the episode since Mike couldn’t do it with his grandfather back in the hospital.
They talk about Terry’s dogs. They worked. New Mexico temperatures are starting to rise and they didn’t get a lot of snow, though the mountains did. Allergies are in full bloom.
Star Trek: Adventures
Mike talks about the fun thing that he and Terry had done this week that was sprinkled with traffic reports. They played Star Trek: Adventures as part of the Alpha Testing phase for Modiphius. Cush is their GM. Mario is one of their players and was on duty as a traffic reporter for a local radio station in Florida. It was cool to watch, but it was also sad that Mario missed almost every single roll because of his traffic duties. Cush made the executive decision to trim down the story and cut out the combat during their initial playtest. Their next campaign will be a longer one and will select characters that they will have to live with for the next six months.
Live Love Play
Terry mentions the other role playing game run by Ross for Live Love Play. They talk briefly about Exodus, which he records. Mike doesn’t know if their play sessions have been posted yet, or if they are streamed on Twitch. However, they have not made it to Live Love Play’s website yet. Mike thinks it may be because they are still in the middle of their first campaign.
Terry invites people to join them for the games. Send them a message if you want to play either Star Trek: Adventures or Exodus and your information will be forwarded along to the game masters. Speaking of Live Love Play, Mike hits the play button on Ross’s latest Live Love Play’s announcements.
Nick walks in to the studio just as Terry said that he would not be joining them. While he gets set up, Terry talks about their Facebook page and asks everyone to Like their page and share it far and wide.
TNG’s 30th Anniversary
Then, she moves onto some of the new Products announced this week. The TNG 30th Anniversary pin has been released. She compares it to the Star Trek 50th Anniversary pin. Roddenberry.com also had some new TNG 30th Anniversary t-shirts in three colors: black, navy, and royal blue. Another 1701-D pin has also hit the market from Fansets, so check them out. Mike points out the Tiny Trek figures. They currently have TOS characters, but TNG is certain to follow. Terry mentions the Geeki Tiki Star Trek glasses. She loves the Gorn glass, but looks forward to the TNG glasses.
Once situated, Nick talks about his interview with Kelly Thompson for Gettysburg’s Address. Some of the topics discussed were about how she got into it, and women writers in comics. They also talked about her run on A-Force, Dazzler’s evolution, and so much more. He had a lot of fun. Head over to the Gettysburg’s Address website and check it out. Nick shares some thoughts on Hawkeye. He wants him or the female Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) to be a NetFlix series. Then this led to discussing other Netflix series, especially Jessica Jones. Nick asks everyone to listen and share the episode.
In addition, Nick provides a belated Coffee Klatch. He and his wife visited his parents where he caught the unbelievable Lumineers in concert. Nickthought the opening acts were unexpectedly good. He is now a fan of those bands. The Who will return to the area in June and he may be going back for that concert. Nick points out that he had hit snooze one too many times, which is why he was late to the show this morning.
DefCon’s TrekLit Blog
Friend of the show, DefCon has a new TrekLit Blog. He posts all of the latest book news there. Since 8 of 5 no longer posts, DefCon decided to step in and fill the space for book news. They love hearing that once again there is a one-stop-shop for the latest in TrekLit. Several links from his blog can be found below. Terry hopes that he or someone else will be able to keep the TrekLit flow chart up-to-date.
So with all of the earlier discussion of Netflix stories, the chat room prompted them for their thoughts on the newest Marvel series: Iron Fist. Terry wonders if the rumors were true that this could be Marvel’s first flop. Nick hasn’t seen it yet with all of the traveling he’s done. Mike has and he shares some of his thoughts on the series, including some possible spoilers. Mike thought the series was a little slower than the other series. The others had more action than the first few episodes of Iron Fist. He describes it as meditative.
Mike talks about the end of the series and how it differed from other series. The other series had the definitive moment when the hero accepts their destiny and takes their place watching over the city they love. However, with Iron Fist, his moment differed and left Mike with a lot of questions. He uses the final scene of Daredevil to illustrate his point and Iron Fist has that moment but handled in a very unexpected way. Furthermore, with that said, Mike liked the show.
Finally, Nick asked if the Defenders series is set up. Mike thinks that there were several references and there were several things and characters that connected the series together that could help bring the different heroes together. But the emphasis for this series was Iron Fist’s story will just enough easter eggs to demonstrate that they were all in the same corner of the Marvel Universe. The discussion continues for a few more minutes as they discuss some of the things they have heard from the fandom.
Referencing the Kelly Thompson interview, Nick talks about other Marvel shows. This leads to Terry asking whether S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposed to be a secret organization or not. Nick compares them to the CIA. Everyone knows that they exist, but no one knows what they do. Mike explains that S.H.I.E.L.D. started off as a secret organization that goes back and forth between existing publicly or not based on what has happened recently in the Marvel Universe. Terry had been watching Winter Soldier, which is what prompted her question.
The conversation shifts to conspiracy theories and how bad humans are at keeping secrets. People don’t like secrets. Nick even quotes Doctor Phil to help make his point. It leads to this week’s Television News about Star Trek: Discovery.
Star Trek: Discovery Speculation
An article about a current theory about Discovery’s two ships. Fans have speculated that there aren’t two ships, but rather a single ship that gets heavily damaged in the pilot and gets put into space dock during a mission with the Klingons to go after some rogue Klingon factions. The ship is rebuilt with Klingon components and hull materials in order to infiltrate Klingon space. The ship is given a new name upon completion. It is the Discovery.
Mike clarifies that this is fan speculation. It reminds him of shades of Voyager’s pilot. He would would have preferred to see two ships and their crew rather than one ship destroyed and remade into another.
While they squirrel over a Terry’s dogs, Mike is given free reign to select a link to discuss next. He selects a topic near and dear to his professional heart that he feels is important to discuss.
As he prepares, DefCon joins the chat room and offers some clarification to some points that were made earlier about the TrekLit flowchart. He has been in negotiations with the person that designed it and hopes that they will be able to recreate it since 8 of 5 has the original work file. If they can reproduce it, the new version should become available sometime in August.
Kirk Ransomware and Spock Decryptor
A Star Trek-themed ransomware called Kirk has been found in the wild. The decryptor for it is called Spock. Ransomware is malicious software that scans your files and encrypts them so that they can not be used. Currently, researchers have not figured out how to decrypt the files but are working on it. At the moment, the only way to unlock the files would be to pay the ransom they seek and the Spock decryptor would be sent to you. Mike does not recommend that anyone pay the ransom. It only encourages them to keep doing this stuff. Your do not want this technology on your computer.
Terry points out that Ransomware is a big problem that many hospitals have been facing lately. They have huge databases with personal and private medical records. Terry is disappointed that they would co-opt Star Trek for their dastardly scheme.
Even More Book News
DefCon shares the cover to Dayton Ward’s upcoming novel, Hearts and Minds. Dave Mack announced that he has finished revising and submitted to his editors his latest Star Trek: Discovery novel. He sent it in nine days ahead of schedule. Terry reminds everyone not to ask him any questions regarding the book. He will not divulge any information.
Before jumping onto Nick’s discussion topic of the week, they quickly touch on more Book News. David Goodman has a new book coming out: The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard. Terry thinks that it can be preordered now. Star Trek Sex by Will Strape will also come out soon. Mike also points out that there are a ton of comics coming out now as well.
Nick didn’t know about Star Trek: Prometheus. Terry and Mike explain it to him. He thought it was a new entry in the Star Trek: Titan series. Prometheus is the first original German language Star Trek book series. Titan Books picked up the rights to release the English language version of the series. So look for it soon. Finally, David R. George III has confirmed that his next Star Trek novel has a release date in December.
Star Trek Games
Nick’s topic of discussion for the week is on Past, Present, and Future Star Trek games on console. Most Star Trek games have been less than appealing to some of their other genre counterparts on console. They discuss some of the Star Trek games that have come out over the years. Elite Force comes out as one of the better Trek games. Mike attributes it to that most games rely on Pew-Pew to tell their stories and the best Star Trek doesn’t rely on that. Nick agrees and points out that Elite Force did rely heavily on combat. He also talked about Star Trek conquest. Terry pulled up a list of Star Trek games from Wikipedia. Star Trek Bridge Commander is another good one that all other Star Trek games seem to be compared against. And yet for console games, they can’t seem to get it right.
Terry thinks that the problem with Trek games is that it suffers from its own nerddom. Star Trek isn’t marketed to kids, which limits its audience and how it is perceived in the marketplace. They compare the franchise with Star Wars. Nick wants to see a fun and exciting Star Trek game developed for console. He thinks that the universe is untapped. It makes him appreciate the work that Cryptic has been doing on Star Trek Online. They have done so much to keep the game going, updated, and fresh. They discuss some of the issues they have been having with Star Trek Online on console. Terry and Allen still have issues with camera following, while Nick is struggling to turn off the reticle.
Star Trek 50th Anniversary: The Video Game
There were many more games created for PC than for console. Terry reads off some of the games that were made for console. Nick thinks that the 50th Anniversary would have been a good time for a game manufacture to create a new Star Trek game. Mike reminds everyone that there was a new Trek console game released during the 50th Anniversary. It was Star Trek Online. Nick meant a new game, rather than one that has been available for PC for several years. Nick pokes at Mike’s heart strings by mentioning a LEGO game Star Trek game.
They discuss how long it takes a game to get developed. They think that it’s 2 to 4 years, but it could take up to 4 to 6 years with planning and resource acquisition. Nick wondered if it would be easier to create a game for console than PC. A Trek game would take longer because of the licensing issues and approval process.
Nick offers an idea for a Star Trek 50th Anniversary game. It involved the Guardian of Forever, allowing players to revisit past episodes in order to interact with Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
Terry believes that the issues with why a 50th Anniversary game wasn’t developed lies with Paramount and their release of Star Trek Beyond. They didn’t want to crowd the marketplace and confuse their audience with multiple versions of Star Trek (Kelvin and TOS). Terry also reminds everyone that the last Kelvin Universe game that came out it didn’t do well at all.
Future Star Trek Games
Virtual Reality (VR) is the future of gaming, and a Star Trek game is being developed for it already. Terry played it and loved it. The development has been postponed several times already.
Mike believes that creating a game for a console platform is a lot easier than creating one for PC. With a console game, the developers know exactly what hardware they have to make their game compatible with, but PCs have an infinite number of configurations. They have to make decisions about what hardware their game will support, what the minimum requirements are, and more. A console game only needs to work with the console generation it was designed to run on, which does not change dramatically from revision to revision.
After some technical difficulties, Nick mentions the incremental improvements that can occur within a console generation. They typically don’t alter the hard stats of the console that can impact a new game. However, switching to a new console generation has more dramatic hardware changes and those can have a significant impact on a game’s development. For PC, Manufacturers have a lot of work ahead of them to ensure that they can keep up with the bleeding edge of technology. Mike also points out that its easier to port existing games for future consoles than it is to develop a game for a new unreleased console.
Developing for the Nintendo Switch
Terry shares that the latest Zelda game was being developed for the Nintendo Wii U, but once the Switch was announced, they delayed the game by more than 15 months in order to get the game ready for the new console. Most of that development time most likely went into the design and development of the new platform’s capabilities since the Switch is capable of a lot more new stuff than the Wii U was capable of doing.
Games like Skylander and LEGO Dimensions constantly evolve with expansion packs coming out routinely. Terry asks how long does it take to develop each of those expansion. Mike is familiar with LEGO and uses that as an example. When a new character is introduced, a manufacturer creates the physical toy portion of the game. Then, for the game itself, a new open world is created for the franchise they belong to, and with the latest round of characters they also create a new Battle Zone. That is two big production items right there. Then, consider that there are level packs with an all new playable level. Furthermore, the story packs have with up to six levels of game play. So these expansions are no small feat.
The Star Trek Video Game Problem
Star Trek isn’t really geared for kids, while most video games serve a more general audience. Nick offers another gaming idea involving a shuttle crash, which sparked a barb or two directed at Voyager.
If a new Star Trek game arose, what series or era or universe would it cater to? Star Trek already has too many options to choose from. However. with Discovery on the Horizon, it is not far-fetched to believe that the next game couldn’t be focused on the events and characters established with that title.
Terry points out that Star Trek board games tend to do much better than their video games. They make for a very focused market. It is not like Star War’s market, which is geared towards kids like Star Wars is. They have toys and more.
Mike points out that Star Wars has these moments in their films that translates well into video games. He points to podracing and tie-fighters space battles. All of those make for fun video games. Star Trek doesn’t have those moments that translate well to a video game , or that can have a video game built around it. Nick thinks that the Kelvin Universe films could be an exception to that. Mike agrees and points out that it was one of the things JJ Abrams wanted to do when he took over Star Trek was to make it more like Star Wars and that includes all of the licensing and marketing attached to it, including video games. Terry attributes that to part of the reason why the films didn’t do as well. Fans saw through it.
4K and VR is the Future of Video Games
The future of video games will be moving toward VR. We will be seeing more and more of soon. Mike thinks that because of the specific hardware requirements, that future remains remote. However, he goes on to say that they may have most likely hit the limit of what they can do with 3D. It exists as the de facto standard for more than 20 years and debuted back with the SNES’ Star Fox game. Only recently, 3D has been actually pushed to create an immersive 3D experience. This happened because the technology required to perceive the 3D environment has only now started reaching the consumer.
VR is the next evolution of 3D, by placing a person within that 3D environment. Terry has played Star Trek Online in 3D through special glasses and a multiple monitor setup. What Terry experienced was an early version of VR that fully utilized the 3D of modern games.
Nick talks about his 4K television. Playing games on it is a whole new experience. He was impressed how black the blacks are.
Star Trek Bridge Crew is the first Trek VR game. In order to play, you need the Sony VR system, or the Windows system. Terry doesn’t know what is going to happen to Occulus Rift since they face litigation. She played the game on the Sony system. HTC is the third VR system available. These are standalone VR systems. The controllers detect hand motion, while the Sony system detects individual finger movements. Computer VR systems cost a lot, one of the biggest hurdles facing the technology.
Farewell Star Trek: Continues
Before winding down this week’s show, Nick wanted to touch upon the message that Star Trek: Continues put out this week. Neither he nor Terry had the message handy, so Mike came forward and described the message as best as he could recall. Essentially, filming on the final three episodes of the series has been concluded. The episodes are in post production right now with the first of the three to be released soon (though when and where Mike can not recall). They congratulate STC for their work and look forward to seeing the episodes when they get released. They are sad to see them go, but STC adhered to the fan film guidelines.
For this week’s announcements, a new Semantic Shenanigans should be out sometime this week. Check out the latest episode of the Gettysburg’s Address. If you’re into sports, check out the O Sports Show. Please visit the G & T Show’s Facebook page, give it a like and share it with your friends and family. Terry sends Connor Trinneer birthday wishes before signing off. Join them next week for an all new episode of the G & T Show.
BLB Productions News
- Gettysburg’s Address 5 – Kelly Thompson – http://www.gbaddress.com/2017/03/gettysburgs-address-5-kelly-thompson/
- Live Love Play – http://www.iliveloveplay.com/
- First of all, DefCon’s TrekLit Blog – https://defcons-treklit.blogspot.de/search/label/News
- David R. George III confirms Star Trek novel for late December – https://defcons-treklit.blogspot.de/2017/03/news-david-r-george-iii-confirms-star.html
- Titan Books secured English Language Right for Star Trek: Prometheus trilogy – https://defcons-treklit.blogspot.de/2017/03/news-indications-that-titan-books.html
- Cover for Dayton’s TNG: Hearts and Minds – https://defcons-treklit.blogspot.de/2017/03/short-news-cover-for-upcoming-tng.html
- TNG, DS9 Writer Will Stape talks writing for Star Trek and new book Star Trek Sex – http://www.treknews.net/2017/03/13/will-stape-star-trek-sex-ds9-tng/
- Comic Book Review Star Trek Deviations – https://www.flickeringmyth.com/2017/03/comic-book-review-star-trek-deviations/
- Also, Comics Review – Star Trek: Waypoint #4 and Star Trek: Deviations – https://trekmovie.com/2017/03/15/comics-reviews-star-trek-waypoint-4-and-star-trek-deviations/
- In the new Star Trek comic, TNG crew fights in a Federation-less future – http://io9.gizmodo.com/in-the-new-star-trek-comic-the-next-generation-crew-fi-1793298514
- Preview – The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard – http://www.treknews.net/2017/03/16/autobiography-jean-luc-picard/
- Furthermore, Star Trek Sex – http://www.treknews.net/2017/03/17/review-star-trek-sex/
- Ten For Ward – 30 years of TNG Novels – http://www.startrek.com/article/ten-for-ward-30-years-of-tng-novels
- Finally, The Pure Nerdery Joy of the Trek/Green Lantern Comics – http://www.startrek.com/article/the-pure-nerdery-joy-of-the-trek-green-lantern-comics
- In addition, Patrick Stewart credits TNG cast for his long life and happiness – http://www.blastr.com/2017-3-11/patrick-stewart-credits-next-generation-cast-for-long-life-happiness
- Shatner goes back to the stars in TV Documentary – https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2017/03/13/shatner-goes-back-to-the-stars-in-tv-documentary.html
- Craig Thompson directed and produced new documentary with William Shantner about role of Star trek in promoting scientific exploration – http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/2017/03/15/craig-thompson-founder-of-stratford-based-ballinran-entertainment-directed-and-produced-new-documentary-with-william-shatner-about-role-of-star-trek-in-promoting-scientific-exploration
- Also, Star Trek Icon Nichelle Nichols Going On NASA Mission – https://www.eurweb.com/2017/03/star-trek-icon-nichelle-nichols-going-nasa-mission/#
- Oxford University on a high as Star Trek star backs medicinal cannabis research – http://www.cityam.com/261021/oxford-university-high-star-trek-star-backs-medicinal
- Masterson to Moderate U.N. Gender Gap Panel -https://www.trektoday.com/content/2017/03/masterson-to-moderate-u-n-gender-gap-panel/
- Star Trek: Live in Concert is heading to London Royal Hall – how to get tickets – http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/star-trek-live-concert-heading-12755601
- Finally, Nimoy Documentary to Premiere at Newport Beach Film Festival – http://www.startrek.com/article/nimoy-documentary-to-premiere-at-newport-beach-film-festival
- First of all, the Original Series Blind Box Tiny Trek Figures – https://www.trektoday.com/content/2017/03/original-series-blind-box-tiny-trek-figures/
- Star Trek: TNG 30th Anniversary Pin – https://www.trektoday.com/content/2017/03/star-trek-the-next-generation-30th-anniversary-pin/
- Star Trek: TAS is the last jigsaw in your complete collection – https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/03/15/star-trek-animated-series-last-jigsaw-complete-collection/
- Furthermore – TNG 30th Anniversary T-Shirt (Black) – https://shop.roddenberry.com/collections/shirts-dresses/products/tng-30th-anniversary-t-shirt-black?variant=33250116812
- Also – TNG 30th Anniversary T-Shirt (Navy Blue) – https://shop.roddenberry.com/collections/shirts-dresses/products/tng-30th-anniversary-t-shirt-navy-blue?variant=33249989900
- In addition – TNG 30th Anniversary T-Shirt (Royal Blue) – https://shop.roddenberry.com/collections/shirts-dresses/products/tng-30th-anniversary-t-shirt-royal-blue?variant=33249979916
- Kirk, Uhura, and Spock Fragrances Beaming to Europe – http://www.startrek.com/article/kirk-uhura-spock-fragrances-beaming-to-europe
- New Personal Elevator Resembles Trek’s Turbolift – http://www.startrek.com/article/new-personal-elevator-resembles-treks-turbolift
- Finall, the Star Trek: TNG Enterprise 1701-D Colector Pin – http://shop.startrek.com/star-trek-the-next-generation-enterprise-ncc-1701-d-collectors-pin/detail.php?p=1042011&v=startrek_new-arrivals
Star Trek Gaming News
- Star Trek Online (on Console) Brings Exciting Changes In Latest Patch – https://www.trueachievements.com/n27143/star-trek-online-brings-exciting-changes-in-latest-patch
- STO – Fiction – A Divided Duty – http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/10425043-a-divided-duty
- Star Trek Online – Details on Space balance Changes – http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/10426883-details-on-space-balance-changes
- Researchers Hope to Create Star Trek machine that can easily detect Hazards in Water – http://wesa.fm/post/researchers-hope-create-star-trek-machine-can-easily-detect-hazards-water#stream/0
- Star Trek Themed Kirk Ransomware brings us Monero and a Spock Decryptor – https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/star-trek-themed-kirk-ransomware-brings-us-monero-and-a-spock-decryptor/
- Campaign Launched to Restore Star Trek Wax Figures for part of new exhibition – Drexler Tours – http://trekmovie.com/2017/03/14/campaign-launched-to-restore-star-trek-wax-figures-for-part-of-new-exhibition/
- Viacom CEO Talks Star Trek Sequel – http://za.ign.com/star-trek-beyond/105242/news/viacom-ceo-talks-star-trek-sequels
- Finally, Star Trek: Discovery Leaks Explain the Role of the USS Shenzhou and the Klingons – https://moviepilot.com/p/star-trek-discovery-leaks-uss-shenzhou-is-the-discovery/4226361
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.