Exclusive interview with Frank Arnot about Star Trek: Conquest

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Star Trek Games.CZ: How much have your experience with creating of Star Trek: Encounters affected the new game - Star Trek: Conquest?

Frank Arnot: It helped out quite a bit. Star Trek ship combat is unique. The combat still has the overall quick pacing that Encounters has, but the tactics have been improved.

STG.CZ: Are there any other major differences between PS2 and Wii versions except for control system?

FA: The Wii version looks and plays a bit sharper, otherwise the content is the same. But don't underestimate the difference the Wii controller makes. The strategy map is a breeze to navigate and starship combat takes on a whole new flavor.

STG.CZ: Can we look forward to hear voices of some legendary Star Trek actors?

FA: The game features loads of voice over, but not from the big actors from the franchise. Because it's more of a strategy game you will hear voice over like "Yes, Sir; No Sir; The entire Dominion Fleet has been annihilated, Sir” etc.

STG.CZ: We are very curious about soundtrack. Is it clear now who will compose it?

FA: Yes, we've hired Michael Shapiro to create some new music for Conquest. It follows the more marital feel that this game has over the previous titles.

STG.CZ: Why have you decided to not implement a multiplayer game into Star Trek: Conquest?

FA: Primarily because we wanted to focus on the game’s single-player experience. Having a single-player game allowed us to keep a clean turn-based strategy element that would have been hard to handle with 6 human players.

STG.CZ: How much time will players spend in a strategic part compared to pure action?

FA: For the average player, I would say 60% strategy, 40% action. But you can choose to play very little or no action at all if you choose to simulate your battles.

STG.CZ: Are there any common components for both games - Conquest and Encounters?

FA: For the PS2 we kept some of the manual aiming and firing mechanics, we also kept the top down, tactical view. From there they diverge. Conquest is primarily a strategy game with intense bursts of action. The ship combat has also been revised to be more tactical and fleet oriented versus the blast fest that is Encounters.

STG.CZ: Could you reveal how you solved a problem with importing new ideas into well-known Star Trek universe?

FA: Fortunately, Star Trek is a very large, well detailed Universe. There are already plenty of adversaries and a large roster of ships, starbases and facilities to draw from. We simply chose the most interesting aspects for a galactic war between the most famous races.

STG.CZ: Does AI in a game consider different behaviour of various Star Trek races? Fox example if Romulans are more spying whereas Klingons just always attacking?

FA: Indeed, each race has been balanced to not only provide a unique gameplay experience for the player, but also to provide an AI flavor that matches their well known personalities in the Star Trek Universe.

For example, the Klingons are geared for rapid military expansion. They can expand quickly and tend to have their max fleets running at all times and will buy lots of fast, hard-hitting ships. Playing as the Klingons opens overly aggressive strategies, while playing against them brings an invasion fleet on your doorstep at an alarming speed. If they are your neighbor, start preparing for war on Turn 1.

The Romulans tend to be more conservative. You'll find their expansion to be slower, but more methodical. They have smaller fleets, but nastier warships and they reinforce everything. If you're playing as the Romulans, you can build powerful Warbirds and smaller, yet much heavier fleets. Playing against the Romulans, you don't want to allow them to get entrenched and you had better be prepared for a long and bitter fight as you dismantle their empire piece by piece.

STG.CZ: When will Star Trek: Conquest be released?

FA: Fall 2007.

Jiří Bigas,
Star Trek Games.CZ

Added: 30.10.2007

List of all articles regarding Star Trek: Conquest can be found here.