Star Trek: Conquest Interview
will be launching on 2 consoles, the PS2 and the Wii. Since this is in
effect Star Treks first push into the Nintendo Wii market the game will be going
up against highly repayable games. What in effect is the main replay value
of Conquest for the Wii and to a lesser extent the PS2?
4J: The main replay value of the game will come from the ability to play
campaigns as any of the six playable races, each with its own strengths and
weaknesses; as well as being able to set up custom campaigns of your choice i.e.
Federation Vs Dominion. There’s also a Skirmish mode that allows you to setup
any battle you want with any of the components in the game.
2: From the
looks of things Conquest is having its own run up to launch date, there is no
other Star Trek games being announced (not yet anyway) so Conquest will be able
to shine on its own without having to compete with 2 other titles like
Encounters had to do last year. Since the game is standing on it's own the
question of gameplay length comes into effect.
Both the PS2
and the Wii (more so the PS2) are known for rather lengthy gameplay times, is
this the case for Conquest? (point of reference...casual gamer possibly playing
the game for 1 or 2 hours a day...how long will the game take to complete?).
4J: Conquest is definitely much more for the casual strategist. With a full
six-race campaign, on the “easy” setting it would probably take around 1.5-2
hours to complete. It was a deliberate design choice to make a game that could
be picked up and played to completion in one sitting, like playing a game of
3: How long has
4J been working on the game itself and can you give us a back-story to the game
design? It's it an original 4J engine or is it based off another work?
4J: We started developing the game in January 2007. We produced a straight
arcade shooter with Encounters, which was well received but lacked any kind of
tactical depth. So this time around, we decided to address the lack of strategy
in our previous title hence, Conquest was born.
4: Since the
Wii uses a rather unique control interface it will be obvious that control
differences between the 2 games will be...well..different. What about the
base features of the game, will the Wii and Playstation 2 versions be virtually
the same game but only with control differences to cater for the entirely
different control schemes?
4J: In terms of
game features, the Wii and PS2 versions are identical. The Wii control system
does make a huge difference in the feel of the game, with it targeting,
maneuvering, and firing. Additionally, the Wii runs at 60 FPS as opposed to 30
FPS on the PS2, and uses its extra memory for larger and greater bit-depth
textures making it visually more appealing.
5: Within the
rather rabid foaming at the mouth fanbase (most of which reside in the STG) the
current rumour is that the game is a PS2 game ported to the Wii. The word
"port" sends shivers of fear and angst into the hearts of Star Trek gamers.
What would you say to alleviate the fears of the porting rumour?
4J: When developing a title for multiple platforms we upgrade and enhance areas
of the product that the specific hardware allows, i.e. the control system for
For Conquest, we have undertaken parallel development on both platforms. For
each feature we implemented, we considered how we’d get it to work best on both
platforms. Both versions have identical gameplay features and play well on both
machines, but as I mentioned previously – my personal preference is the Wii
because of the unique control system.
question has to be asked. When the screens and data for Conquest first
came out and was released to the public many people instantly thought
"ohhhh...that's Birth of the Federation". Simple question...is it?
4J: I’ve never played BOTF, so any similarities are not intentional. Having said
that, BOTF seems to be a game that is still loved by the Star Trek fan-base, so
if we get a fraction of the loyalty it receives we’d be delighted!
7: Was there,
at any time any thoughts in the guys heads at 4J that this game could possibly
be ported to the PC for the PC Star Trek games market?
4J: No. Conquest was only designed and destined for the PS2 and Wii consoles.
back to the classic BotF (Birth of the Federation) game, the "galaxy" was highly
customisable, map size, different styles of galaxy, minor races spread etc etc.
Will Conquests "galaxy" in the game have options to make the game longer and
shorter much like BotF had?
4J: Yes. Dependant on the number of races you wish to compete against, the
galaxy map scales allowing for shorter games.
talents and Musical Score. Any famous Star Trek actors/actresses coming to
make appearances in the game by lending their voice talents? Also,
(another major question from the official boards) who's going to be scoring the
music for Conquest?
4J: We do have plenty of VO in the game, but we don’t have any famous role
reprisals. For the music, we’ve hired Michael Shapiro to create new tracks for
10: The fans
are rather glad that 4J is once again stepping into Star Trek with another
title. Encounters was well received by the critics and players alike.
Gameplay for Encounters was mostly straight forward. Will the overall
gameplay for Conquest be easy to pick up and take in for the lions share of the
Wii players (and just under half of the PS2 players) who are "casual gamers"?
4J: Absolutely. Compared to Encounters, we have a much simpler control system
for Arcade Mode so I think any player will be able to pop the disc into the
console and enjoy the game.
Bethesda was to dump a couple of suitcases filled with £££ (not $$$$ cause £££
is worth more...bahahahaha) and tell you in a memo to "knock yourselves out
guys" what kind of game would you like to build from the ground up for the Star
Trek franchise and which platform would it be on?
4J: Platform-wise: 4J is console developer so we’d be happiest on 360, PS3, or
Game-wise: It’s hard to say as we’re really happy with the titles we’ve already
created. Maybe expand on a title we’ve already created?
Star Trek Gamers would like to thank Frank
Arnott of 4J and Erin Losi of Bethesda for the interview.