With Star Trek reaching its 50th anniversary this year, companies are already looking to join in the rising enthusiasm around the franchise.
Disruptor Beam has wasted no time in providing an experience for fans of all ages to enjoy with its mobile release, Star Trek: Timelines, which is available on iOS and Android today.
The game takes place across numerous eras in the Star Trek franchise, including the original series, Generations, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and a number of classic films. Players can pick and choose characters and ships from each era, creating an immersive experience that draws them in like no Star Trek-licensed game before it.
[a]listdaily recently sat down with the founder and CEO of Disruptor Beam, Jon Radoff, aboutTimelines, including its creation and how big a draw the license continues to be after all these years.
How did the Star Trek Timelines project come to light?
We shipped our first major title Game of Thrones Ascent in 2013, after which we started to actively pursue our next IP. We really needed to figure out what might be a good fit for Disruptor Beam and our model of creating games based around worlds with communities of passionate, dedicated fans. Star Trek was always high on our list, first and foremost because we are all huge fans of the IP. I mean, c’mon – it’s Star Trek!
Star Trek also happens to have millions of fans around the globe and there was an opportunity to create a great mobile game for those fans. We also recognized the sheer amount of content that exists in the Star Trek universe and also saw opportunity in translating that content into a rich, story- and character-driven game. There are hundreds of Star Trek characters — many whom fans adore, and even some that they don’t. We realized how great it would be to leverage those characters, the ships, the storylines and the entire universe that Gene Roddenberry created within a Disruptor Beam game. It was the fit we were looking for.
So, we reached out to CBS and they too recognized the potential for a great game that would bring together all eras of Star Trek. They saw the success of Game of Thrones Ascent and the potential to bring that same level of IP authenticity and depth-of-storytelling to a mobile game. And, here we are today!
How were the developers able to intertwine all these different Star Trek timelines into one product? We’re talking all the way from the original series to Star Trek Nemesis.
You got it: fifty years of Star Trek in one game. Well, it wasn’t easy, and it is something that we will continue to expand upon for months to come. But, the foundation of it all is in the opening storyline within Star Trek Timelines. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Q (a well-known character from the Next Generation series) is your guide. He informs you of a temporal anomaly in the universe that has merged time-and-space bringing together characters, ships, and locations from across all eras. It is that anomaly that provides the basis for players being able to assemble their dream crew of characters from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, plus the first ten Star Trek films.
How closely did you work with CBS and Star Trek alumni to capture authenticity?
We have worked very closely with CBS. They are the stewards of the Star Trek IP and so we’ve been in lockstep with them throughout development. It was actually through discussions with CBS, and by talking to fans, that the idea for the temporal crisis storyline came to fruition. And, it was then that the opportunity to work with John de Lancie (who played Q inThe Next Generation and other series) came about. We’ve been in touch with some other Star Trek actors, but have worked most closely with John. He has been involved in story development, working with our narrative team, and has lent his voice throughout. John has even helped us to promote the game during his convention appearances and on Twitter.
Star Trek continues to be a hot property after all these years, including the Star Trek Beyond movie coming this summer. What do you think the biggest draw for the license is?
It really goes back to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision for Star Trek and the message of optimism for humanity’s destiny within the universe. Star Trek is different than many other science fiction shows and movies throughout the years in that optimism, as well as in its complex storytelling that involves not just conflict, but science, engineering, diplomacy, and more. That complexity is what I believe has appealed to fans of Star Trek for 50 years now and will continue to for many more years to come.
If successful, could we see more additions to the Star Trek Timelines universe in the future?
Of course! We’ll continue to add to the game over time, just as we have done with Game of Thrones Ascent. There are many, many hours of gameplay in the launch version of the game, but it’s still only a small portion of what we hope the product will become over the next several years. One of the most exciting things about having a passionate fanbase is that they have strong opinions and can help us make the game even better. We’re listening to the community and will continue to expand the game for those Star Trek fans!