Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

GDC09: Star Trek DAC details (and no, we don't know what it stands for)

Kevin Kelly

We caught up with Benjamin Hoyt, senior producer at Paramount Digital Entertainment, David Baronoff, associate producer on the new Trek film and Bad Robot workerbee, and Joshua Glazer, CTO from developer Naked Sky Entertainment to talk about all things Star Trek DAC. We didn't get any juicy screenshots or video, nor did we find out what the heck "DAC" stands for (although Baronoff did say that a lot of the fan guesses are "in the right realm"), but we did come away with a lot of information about the upcoming title that's tied to Paramount's May release of the new Star Trek movie. Beam down beyond the break where you can read all about it.

We love bullet points! Here's what we could squeeze out of 'em:

  • The game features online mutiplayer (up to 12 in two teams of six), where the Federation does battle against the Romulans.There's a single-player option where you fight alongside and do battle with AI bots, or you can team up on the same side with a buddy for co-op gameplay.
  • They were extremely cagey about revealing what DAC stood for, and it "may or may not" be tied to plot elements in the film. When asked if we'd know what it was once the game came out, Baronoff said "Not necessarily. There will be clues planted around."
  • It's a top-down 3D space shooter that doesn't require a lot of hardcore gameplay experience to jump into, but it features a large amount of strategic gameplay that'll please hardcore gamers.
  • The new U.S.S. Enterprise from the movie is featured in the game, as well as several other types of ships that vary in speed and weaponry.
  • Sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Wall-E) referenced the original Star Trek sounds to create "inspired-by SFX" for the movie, and those will be featured in the game.
  • There are different strategic objectives in each game type (three game types total), and each level has a target completion time of about 10 minutes.
  • You'll be doing some sort of resource protecting/gathering and will also be able to upgrade your ships and get special power-up weapons and items.
  • J.J. Abrams has been involved with the game during development, and has given notes aplenty, including the directive to "include more SFX from the movie!" Red alert sound? We hope so.
  • The game is arcade style, and not narrative-based. There are no voices from the movie in the game. According to Hoyt, "I think it's a mistake that most movie games try to emulate the plot of the movie."
  • They have the ability to drop in DLC after the fact: new ships, levels, objectives.
  • The game will be available "near" the launch of the movie on May 8 for XBLA, and the PSN version will follow soon after. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but it should be in line with other DLC titles. There will be a free demo available on both platforms.
The best quote came courtesy of Glazer, who said, "We wanted to make a pick up and play thing that was just about getting online a kicking ass, so that anyone who liked kicking ass would like the game." We're keeping a watchful eye on this title, and should have assets to show off next week. With any luck, Star Trek DAC can avoid the fate of the Watchmen: The End is Nigh game.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr