Mission New York – Star Trek Timelines
Star Trek Timelines
Star Trek Timelines was on the Mission: New York agenda. Terry and Janet had the opportunity to attend Star Trek: Mission New York, where they caught the sights, sounds, and feel of the new convention. While there, Terry had a chance to speak with David Heron, the Product Lead at Disruptor Beam about the G & T Show’s favorite Star Trek mobile game: Star Trek Timelines. Check out Terry’s interview with David here.
First of all, Terry admits that she has been busy this past week and hasn’t been able to get into the game lately, and asks David to get her caught up with what’s new in Star Trek Timelines. They had attempted an interview at STLV with David, but technology problems prevented it from going forward. Timelines has launched in January and the team has put in more hours developing the game since then than they had put in before launch. They keep adding new features.
Recently, they started expanding the social features. But in order to give players what they want, they do it piecemeal. This week they launched the first bit of squadrons. For David, Star Trek is about solving problems that are bigger than one person can handle. At launch, the fleet system was little more than a chat group. Hence squadrons allow fleets to create a team of five people to work on problems. And they will keep expanding on this idea.
Furthermore, the squadrons feature launched in late August in time for the Second Battle of New York event ahead of the 50th Anniversary. The Second Battle of New York event is a shuttle event. Archer is lost in time and the formation of the Federation changes. Three factions are looking for him in order to form the Federation with their own twist: Section 31, the Federation, and the Hirogen. Squadrons are formed and the points that each team member earns are added together and new rewards are earned for the team. In the coming weeks, another event will feature the squadron leader sharing their crew.
Playing in a Squadron
Players just need to be in the same fleet to play in a squadron. Then a leader creates and names the squadron. The leader can control the membership of the squad. Then as the game moves forward, squads will become a more integral part. So there will be more ways for people to play together. Terry talks about G & T’s in-game fleet and is looking forward to playing with her fleetmates rather than solo.
Then she gets clarification that there will more different types of squadron events. David says they are trying to figure it out. Disruptor Beam releases stuff piecemeal. Then they take the time to listen to what players think before releasing the next bit. Terry likes the crafting events, so David offers some different ways a squadron crafting event could work. However, that is not to say that is how it will work. For different types of events, they will have to determine unique ways to foster cooperation in fleet squadrons.
The Game’s Vision and Narrative
Squadrons fit into the larger vision of Star Trek Timelines. And then game has always featured storytelling. At launch, the game featured linear storytelling with John de Lancie narrating and telling the story of the temporal anomaly.
But Disruptor Beam is more interested in fans and players creating their own stories, specifically through interactive storytelling mechanics. The Second Battle of New York is an example of this. They proposed a big problem (Archer is lost and the Federation is in peril). The player through their actions in the events will ultimately decide who finds him. And this will in turn set off a chain of events.
Hence it’s a cross between a choose your own adventure and mad-libs. Depending on how the player and their squadrons end up on the leader boards will determine not only who will solve the problem but the implications thereof. For example, if Section 31 forms the Federation, then they could be in a position of power to place agents in the seat of governments of other factions. They will not tell the player which faction gets infiltrated. Instead, they will let players decide through another set of missions or events. Then the player base will determine what happens next, not just through new stories but new characters as well. A year down the road, they want to have created an all new world based on the decisions that fans make along the way.
David acknowledges that Star Trek fans want new stories, whether its through the books, games, comics, movies, and televisions shows. If they can tell interesting stories and bring people in to the game universe on the strength of their stories, then, they will be successful.
Terry describes the Timelines booth before getting to the trading cards being handed out at the convention. The game features all original art for every character that reflects a little bit of their personality and conveys who they are. And Terry loves her Martok. Then David talks about Martok and Klingons. They wanted to give their players a physical copy of the character art. And he recounts meeting a young cosplayer portraying Dax. He gave her the Jadzia Dax card. She took it to be signed by Terry Farrell. And then she came back later and showed them.
Terry describes the cards. They are giving away a new card every hour. During the interview, they took away the Martok cards and rolled out the Sisko cards. And every so often there are sessions where players can come together to trade cards with each other if they missed getting their favorite character card. Terry has a few cards and thought it was a fun way to get people coming back to the booth often.
Hence they are going to figure out a way to get some of these trading card sets into the hands of fans that couldn’t be at the convention. So this would be through their Facebook page. Be sure to like their page and keep an eye out for it. They are like sports trading cards. Terry praises their quality.
What is the Game, exactly?
Then Terry asks David to describe to some potential new players what is Star Trek Timelines. The game is a way to let players live the fantasy of which favorite characters would you take with you on your shuttle. Then this prompts Terry to mention G & T Show’s occasional Shuttle Pod One segment where five characters are named and one person is selected to be left behind. The game designers wanted beautiful art, ships, and space scenes in a space where you can play with friends and on your phone. And the game lets players team up young Spock and Data and have them solve a problem together. Or they can determine how Bones and the EMH would work together. The game allows them to explore those types of scenarios.
Plus the game is free to play. It’s available in the Google Play store and the Apple App Store. Just look for Star Trek Timelines. Follow them on Facebook. Visit their website Disruptor Beam.com to check out their blog with all of the latest news about the game. Sign up for the Bridge Crew through the website so dedicated fans can provide feedback, stay informed of upcoming features, and give opportunities to players. New ways to play the game are coming and they will be seeking players to help them test it. It’s an important role to help create a better experience for everyone, while getting an insight into the game’s development process and evolution.
They wind down the interview and encourage David to join them again in the future.
Star Trek Timelines on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/startrektimelines/?fref=ts
Disruptor Beam’s website – http://www.disruptorbeam.com
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.