411mania.com Interviews: Brian Miller, Executive Producer of Star Trek: The Video Game
Next month sees the release of the highly anticipated third person shooter, co-op play game release Star Trek: The Video Game. The game comes out a mere few weeks before also highly-anticipated new movie Star Trek Into Darkness. The new game allows fans to play as Kirk and Spock for the first time in decades. Recently we got the chance to speak with the game’s Executive Producer and Paramount Pictures SVP Brian Miller for another exclusive interview for what looks to be one of the more promising Star Trek games ever released:
Jeffrey Harris: OK Brian, first question, we are a couple months out from the game’s release. So exactly where is the game now in this stage of production?
Brian Miller: After 3 years of development, I’m happy to say that we JUST finished production. The game has started the long manufacturing process and we are a month or so away from finally being able to sleep!
Jeffrey Harris: The latest game video showcased that we will actually be able to control the Enterprise and have some epic-looking spaceship dogfights in the game. This is something you hinted at in our last interview. At exactly what point in the game’s development did someone say, “you know for some variety, wouldn’t it be really cool if we could not just explore the USS Enterprise, but play as it?!”
Brian Miller: Day two! We knew that the Enterprise couldn’t just be a setting. She is a character in her own right. We knew we wanted to explore all of the areas made famous in the film (transporter room, shuttle bay, the bridge) but also locations that have never been seen before (officer’s quarters, turbolift shafts.) But as gamers ourselves, we weren’t going to make a game where you couldn’t play AS the Enterprise. We challenged our developer Digital Extremes to find a way to include co-op into this part of the game as well. So the person playing as Kirk has control of Phasers and Torpedoes while the person playing as Spock controls pulse canons and torpedo targeting.
Jeffrey Harris: I’ve been eagerly anticipating this game since I saw the first demo preview at E3 about two years ago. That being said, I am still cautiously optimistic because it is still a licensed title based on a movie. And many developers have raised our expectations on similar material before. So can fans not just of the Star Trek franchise, the new movies, and also videogames really believe this will be as cool of a game as it looks?
Brian Miller: That’s been our biggest challenge and goal. We are trying to break the perception that all movie-based games aren’t worth playing. That’s why this game is being fully funded and produced by Paramount. We want to make sure that the Star Trek brand is represented as it should be in the gaming space – as a AAA title.
Jeffrey Harris: This new game recreates the Gorn for this new alternate Star Trek reality. Will any other famous or classic Trek characters from Trek lore be reintroduced or spotlighted in this game?
Brian Miller: We wanted to keep the focus on the Gorn as the main enemy, but a major part of our story also involves what happens with the Vulcan refugees whose planet was destroyed in the last film. And don’t be surprised if you see a Tribble or two in the game.
Jeffrey Harris: The entire movie cast reprises their roles for this game. So with that, do any of the actors get to say any classic Trek lines or quotes made famous by their previous actors? Perhaps an “Oh, my God” after a transporter accident? Maybe Spock might say, “That question is best left for diplomats.”
Brian Miller: We wanted to make the most authentic Star Trek game ever made. Of course you’ll hear some classic lines! As fans ourselves, that was our favorite part of the recording process.
Jeffrey Harris: Any hints at upcoming or possible DLC releases for the title?
Brian Miller: We do have pre-order uniforms and weapons that we think fans will love to get as an incentive for pre-ordering. We have no plans to release post-launch DLC at this time as we wanted to include a full game at launch. Besides, we think players spend a lot of money on the main game itself – and we wanted to make sure that they were given a complete product and not one that asked that they pay for additional content right off the bat.
Jeffrey Harris: In the original episode of the Gorn’s appearance on Star Trek “Arena”, another race of aliens intervenes in the conflict, the Metrons. Will a new version of the Metrons appear in the game?
Brian Miller: The Metrons do not appear in this Star Trek Game.
Jeffrey Harris: The game appears to begin in a very similar fashion to the episode, where a Federation outpost is established in the Gorn’s territory. The Gorn took it as an act of invasion. So how faithful do you think this plotline be to Arena?
Brian Miller: I’m glad you picked up on that. We studied “Arena” and really wanted to pay homage to what we feel is one of the best written Star Trek episodes of all time. So yes, the Gorn have attacked an outpost, Kirk gets mad and gives chase in the Enterprise. But if players are looking for an answer to whether or not our Gorn are the attackers or the victims, I can answer that now – our Gorn are quite the bad guys!
Jeffrey Harris: So, a duel with the Gorn captain, rocks being thrown, perhaps a makeshift cannon, any possibilities?
Brian Miller: ABSOLUTELY! Keep an eye out for one particular Gorn in our game who looks suspiciously a lot like the Gorn Captain from “Arena”. It was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up!
Thank you to Brian Miller for taking the time to speak with us. Star Trek: The Video Game will be released on Xbox 360, PS3, and Windows PC on April 23 in North America and April 26 in Europe. Star Trek Into Darkness will be released in theaters on May 17.