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It was a long time ago when Microprose released their turn-based strategy called Star Trek: The Next Generation Birth of the Federation. This game was accepted more than positively by the gamers and even today you can find several fan sites attending to it. Some fans went even so far that they began to create their own modifications of this game. A few Czech Star Trek fans that founded the WDK Games development team took courage to something similar, but to a greater extent, and started to work on a turn-based strategy called Star Trek: Evolution.

If you happen to don't know what the Birth of the Federation was all about, I will try to explain it briefly and clearly to you. You picked up one of five races (Federation, Cardassians, Romulans, Klingons and Ferengi) and your mission was to conquer the whole Galaxy by all means necessary. You researched new technologies, discovered new parts of unknown space, struggled, bribed, negotiated Ė everyone according to what suits him or her best. It has to be said at the very beginning that Evolution is not just a remake of the original Birth of the Federation with a new coat, but it is a full-value gaming project that develops the idea of the first game and in drastic way extends your possibilites.

I have to warn all people interested in this game that it is only in the initial phase of development so that lots of things you will learn on the following lines can be changed in the future.

It was already said that Evolution is a turn-based strategy and I suppose that even in the times when the whole world swarms with 3D strategies taking place in real time, I donít have to enlighten this concept in no extra way. In short it simply means that you will not click yourselves to death while sending out your units, but quite on the contrary you will have plenty of time to consider everything. A strong story in single player campaign should be the backbone of this game, but there is nothing known about it so far, nevertheless it wouldnít be sort of that without it. Authors have not announced yet what races we will be able to enjoy the campaign with, but it is reasonable to assume that the setup from the Birth of the Federation wonít change to excess, because there are not too many big races in the Star Trek universe that have their own branched cultures. It has to be said here that creators settled at the beginning that they would not add their own creations to the Star Trek universe and swept down from the table all potential generators of new inventions and similar nonsenses that would do just bollocks in the established and needed to say that after so many years of the existence of Star Trek still more or less transparent and well organized space. Aside from campaign, one player will be able to try his or her craftsmanship in randomly generated skirmish-like missions. Evolution will also support multiplayer gaming in which it will offer Hot Seat option (more players in front of one monitor) and of course LAN and Internet game. All of this for momentarily not specified number of players. All of you that like to create their own scenarios, missions or environments will surely be pleased by the fact that from the beginning authors place strong emphasis on the modability virtually of the whole world. You will be allowed to change almost everything you will see in the game including graphic interface that is so called skinable.

When we already are at the graphic interface, it is divided to several parts. On scrollable galactic map there are sectors in single squares. By clicking on the square you will display information concerning that particular sector, but squares themselves display information about planets and ships that are located in that sector as well. The map of sector is the second map that displays the surrounding space far more detailed, and planets and stars occupy more squares on it. Authors currently contemplate in-composition of the third special map on which battles could take place.

In the game you will be able to carry out all actions you would expect from extensive and detailed turn-based strategy. The fundamental of prosperous advance will certainly be your own research that can be optionally appended with espionage, thievery, business transactions and other techniques. If you would like to merge into detailed planetary micromanagement and determine what will be mined and produced on each of them, with whom that particular planet will trade and tens of further settings, you will certainly be able to enjoy it bellyfully. Since not everybody revels in such fiddly job with everything, it will be possible to give up a great deal of various operations to the artificial intelligence of computer. In this way you can concentrate on a struggle, for example - although it often doesnít bring the desired effect, no expansion can unfortunately do without it. You will be able to equip your ships to your likings and put them together literally part by part. Details have not been announced yet, nevertheless it will work roughly this way: you will produce a ship of a certain class, let's say Galaxy, and you will equip it as you wish. Do you want to have a full-armed Galaxy or purely scientifically aimed one? Or do you possibly need to evacuate quicky lots of colonists before impending catastrophe? No problem Ė that is why evacuative Galaxy is here, just cast up all redundant weapon systems and you have plenty of room right away. Beside fights in the deep space it will no doubt come to the battles in the vicinity of planets and other celestial objects. On such places you will then meet orbital weapon platforms and other planetary defences that will make conquest of alien worlds for your invasion units harder.

The game will be made in classical 2D graphics that suits turn-based strategies best. We will live to see 3D animations as well, which will accompany information regarding new inventions in the same way we are used to see them in the Civilization series. Music and sound effects are presently not being worked on, nevertheless we will most surely experience all those sounds known to us from series and motion pictures.

The authors havenít set any release date yet and we will have to grant them ample time, because they develop this game only in their leisure time whose it is never enough. Whole game is designed as freeware thus will be available for free download on the Internet, eventually for a minimum charge for the CD burning on some gaming site. There should be several versions of this game available graded by what that particular version offers. Do you have slow Internet connection? So you will not download the full, several tens or hundreds of megabytes large version, but manage with smaller one that will not contain intro and 3D animations and will be much more suitable for downloading. Or you will have the largest version burned on CD and will enjoy all graphic conveniences the game will offer.

The game is developed primarily in English, but will be published in Czech as well, of course. Thanks to the above mentioned modability nothing will hinder the volunteers to translate the whole thing to their mother language.

Useful links:
WDK Games: http://bigas.gameplanet.cz/wdk/
Release date: CANCELLED

Martin KovŠÝ,
Star Trek Games.CZ
Added: 07-26-2002
List of all articles regarding Star Trek: Evolution can be found here.