During my time at New York Comic Con, I had the chance to meet Rich Gallup, who is an Executive Producer for Disruptor Beam to check out the studio’s upcoming mobile game, Star Trek Timelines. The company’s first game, Game of Thrones: Ascent, was a great success and they wanted to tackle another big IP, this one being the Star Trek franchise.
Star Trek Timelines is a mobile game that has some collection elements. It’s a 3D game that lets you explore the galaxy. It will have all of the characters from all of the series and films (minus the J.J. Abrams films) who have been brought together due to an anomaly (this is Star Trek after all). This means that you’ll see characters from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. Even characters from The Animated Series will be included in the game.
As a starship Captain, it will be your job to travel the galaxy and try to figure out what’s going on with the anomaly and resolve the disputes that arise while people who aren’t necessarily supposed to be occupying the same space and time are all together. Disruptor Beam is working closely with CBS (owners of the Star Trek license) who have been very accommodating to the developers in getting them what they need for the game.
Star Trek fans will be pleased to know that Q himself, John de Lancie, is a part of this game. Not only is he helping flesh out the story with writer Jessica Sliwinski, but he is also doing narration for the game as Q. Whether or not Q is involved with this anomaly is something Rich wouldn’t tell me, but if I had to make a bet, I’d say Q was most definitely involved somehow.
We started the demo at the beginning of the game where you play as the Captain of a Constellation-Class Starship who is sent into Romulan space to investigate the anomaly. Since it’s Romulan space, you get a Romulan escort. During this, Q shows up which means that something bad is about to happen, and it does when an anomaly bursts open and a whole bunch of Starship Enterprises from the past and alternate timelines show up. Captain James T. Kirk arrives on your ship, and in typical Kirk fashion, decides to take action before fully knowing what the situation at hand is.
The Romulans aren’t happy about having so many Federation ships in their territory so they prepare to fight. This initiates a ship battle, which was one of the two gameplay modes I got to see (the other being away missions which I’ll get to in a bit). The game has more gameplay modes than these two, but those are the ones this demo focused on.
The battles are turn based. When you get further in the game, you begin to learn more about the different members of your crew and their different skills. For the first turn, we clicked on Kirk’s face which caused us to initiate an attack. For their turn, the Romulans cloaked which means they would be harder to find. For our next turn, we clicked on Spock, who is a Science Officer to get the Romulans to de-cloak. Each character will have different abilities that you can use in battle. As you get to the later parts of the game, it’ll be up to you to figure out which of the crew members are the right ones for you to have.
When I selected Worf to initiate a follow up attack, I heard the voice of Michael Dorn saying “launching torpedoes,” and asked if they got the voice actor to reprise his role in the game. They did something better by getting actual audio from the shows and movies. For example, the team would ask for Worf saying “launching torpedoes” from a specific episode and CBS would send them the raw voice by taking out the sound effects and music so Disruptor Beam could process them into the game. This way, it sounds like Star Trek Timelines has all of the voice actors from all of Star Trek in the game.
According to Rich, the hardest part of this process was watching Star Trek episodes on Netflix to find voice clips for them to use in the game. However, CBS was very accommodating and gave the team whatever they needed. The game also has all of the original sound effects, and the ship ambiance is always playing in the background as well (which could be felt on the iPad I played on).
After the battle, which unfortunately ended with the original Enterprise blowing up, I was shown the galaxy map. Right now, the game only lets you explore the Alpha and Beta Quadrants but there will eventually be some stuff from the Delta Quadrant tossed in as well. The team is still figuring out how they want the content to be laid out, but there will be plenty of things to do even in these two Quadrants.
Next up was an away mission. In Star Trek, it’s not always about who has the biggest guns or the strongest shields, but who is the better diplomat, or who is a better scientist. The team has designed six skills for the characters and each individual can have upwards of three. The skills are Command, Diplomacy (Red Shirt), Engineering, Security (Yellow Shirt), Science and Medicine (Blue Shirt). Because of the anomaly, different characters in different parts of their arcs possess different traits. For example, the game will have three versions of Captain Janeway (or more). For the mission we did, we needed a security officer so we chose the version of Janeway from the episode “Macrocosm” where she is more of a fighter instead of a Commander or a Diplomat as she normally would be.
The away missions are branching narratives that give players options for forming the type of away team that they want to try to solve any given problem. For the demo, we were at Ceti Alpha VI, which was the planet that blew up during Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The planet is back thanks to the anomaly, and we needed to get all of the citizens off before it exploded again. Since we had a character to handle security, we had to find survivors by making seismic trackers to know when earthquakes would occur. For this task, we picked Spock who is a Science Officer. For some missions you are locked with specific characters and can’t swap them out. Some missions may require a Romulan diplomat or a Ferengi Commander so you need to find a character that fits that bill.
You’ll be able to shop for more characters via The Guardian of Forever from the original Star Trek series. I was met with nearly every Star Trek character I could think of (along with all of their alternate versions). You’ll collect crew members as well as you explore the galaxy and scan it for anomalies which have made the once familiar galaxy new and uncharted territory that has to be explored.
Star Trek Timelines will be available on iOS, Android and desktops later this year. After it launches, the game will be supported with regular content. The team had weekly updates for Game of Thrones: Ascent for over two years and they want to do the same with Star Trek Timelines. That isn’t locked in stone as of yet, but that is the goal. A lot of the content will be based on fan feedback. Right now, the game is in a closed beta and so far the reception has been great, with fans loving what the game has at the moment.
If you’re a huge Star Trek fan like me then this is a mobile game that you definitely want to check out. This is the most authentic Star Trek experience you can get outside of watching the TV series or movies so I highly recommend this to fans.