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Author Topic: Bridge Play: How does it work? How would you make happen? Is it fun???  (Read 3782 times)

Offline Kinneas

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Who would not want to sit in one of those custom built, Star Trek living rooms we have seen.


One thing that has been asked around the world is: Can they make a game that uses 'Media PC's, consoles, and external input devices to allow a living room crew to play as a bridge team?  This of course does not have to be exclusive to peoples in the same room at all.
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Some say we have never, ever, ever... seen on camera,  how it 'actually' works.

How information travels from the people operating systems elsewhere in the ship to the bridge stations.

How the bridge station parse that information and send it to command...

...and back out again.

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Does anyone have...or can anyone find old information out there on how it works?

I had read the document about three years ago and have not come across it since.

I was researching this very topic for the purposes of suggesting it be used for STO and implemented at the Las Vegas Experience.   Create another attraction that lets folks get some bridge time in each day during their stay.  Progress reports and learning material to get you ready for a battle against another crew on your last day.
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On STO-Zone LIVE this past weekend, Mr. Juliano brought up: "How do you make it exciting for the Science officer?"

I had to point out that documents exist out there that explain how it would work for real and that those ideas made for, potentially a mind blowing experience.

(anyone?)
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Juliano asked about 'Ground combat' for Science and how could it be exciting.

I pointed out some of the ideas from:  The Starfleet Survival Guide by David Mack.
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SO what do you folks think or remember about this topic?



Offline Admiral of Starfleet

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Microsoft Surface for the LCARS system would be cool but such a game would require coding for each individual key and a company would not make it unless enough people owned these to make a game to make a game like that turn a profit. I tinhk it would be very fun but it would probably not be available too many people for maybe 3 to 5 years.
« Last Edit: 24 June 2008 12:11 AM by Admiral of Starfleet »


Offline Kinneas

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We can skip the idea of 'surface' technology for now.  :)

How would you do it in a MMO?


Offline Random Redshirt

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Taking the ground combat to the extreme level, I would draw your attention to Deep Space Nine and the Dominion War. Now this being just my observation but it seemed that Starfleet officers dealt with combat the same way modern day military does. Combatant first, science officer second.

I would draw your attention to 2 lines from non-Trek movies that explain this the best:

1. In "Band of Brothers" Part II: Day of Days, Lt. Winters meets up with a radioman after the jump on Normandy, and the radioman is worried about what his platoon leader will say because he lost his radio in the jump. Winters comes back with something to the effect of "If I were your platoon leader, I'd tell you that you are a soldier first and a radioman second." That line right there tells us that in the heat of combat or a firefight, the first duty of any person on the battlefield is the fight. Sometimes it means our primary functions (like being a radioman) come second to the overall task of destroying the enemy.

2. In "Saving Private Ryan" Captain Miller goes to the translator's tent to get a translator to accompany him on his sojurn across occupied France. The translator, Cpl. Upham informs Captain Miller that he's a translator, and hasn't fired his weapon since Basic. To that end, Captain Miller replies "Did you fire the weapon in basic?" Upham replies "Yes" at which point a smiling Captain Miller says "Well then grab your gear."

So what am I trying to say in all this?

What a Science officer's duty will be in a combat or away mission will really depend on what that mission entails. If the primary objective is to wipe out the enemy, as in the Dominion War, then regardless of being a science officer, you would be expected to go armed and know how to use the weapon. How many times did we see Jadzia Dax in combat during the Dominion War? The fact is, when in the heat of combat, alot times the scientific objectives go right out the window. Starfleet officers train for that, no different than the military. If your mission doesn't involve the need for max firepower, then the science officer will be taking readings of the surroundings and acting like a scout, or acting as cover for the group as they adjust a tricorder to mask readings, etc.

Think also about the episode of "Enterprise" where Lt. Reed is testing out Ensign Sato on the phaser, and conducting her test. She's a comm officer, so most would consider that she wouldn't even need to know how to use a phaser, but Starfleet requires it's officers to know how to conduct themselves and defend themselves if combat is necessary.

So I guess what I am getting at is it will be up to the developer to write away mission scenarios that will cover a variety of situations, where the science officer can use his/her skills in a science capacity but also require them to conduct combat at times too.
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Offline Admiral of Starfleet

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Science Officers should be able to scan their enemies for weaknesses in their armor and use tricorders to disrupt shields ETC.

Offline Random Redshirt

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Science Officers should be able to scan their enemies for weaknesses in their armor and use tricorders to disrupt shields ETC.

I think if you think of Science officers in the traditional MMO role, they could be considered much like a Paladin of Warcraft. They would be providing buffs to their team, debufs to the enemy, and additional damage via weapons, but they aren't the primary source of damage. On top of that, since the Science officer often intersects with medical due to the basic training of Starfleet Academy, they could also provide backup support to the medical officer (healer) on the away team as a field medic. Essentially Science officers would be a powerful support class in some away mission settings.

Buffs that the Science officer would provide is additional information about the enemy through scans, which could be used to detect weaknesses in defense, early warning of incoming unfriendlies much like a scout, Detection buffering through the masking of the team's bio readings, analysis of the surroundings which may provide beneficial boosts to the team's damage or defense.

They could carry a hand phaser to help provide damage and protection for the team, but are not rated for phaser rifles or compression phaser rifles.

Just some ideas...
« Last Edit: 24 June 2008 08:08 AM by Random Redshirt »
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage


Offline SpeakThoseWords

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Wow... This hurts me.  I understand tactical should have better combat skills than others, but beyond that, department has nothing to do with combat.  Turning phaser battles into traditional MMO fare hurts my heart.  I would hate ground combat if Command was buffing, Science officers were debuffing and Tactical were nuking.  It's broken as is, and its certainly broken for Trek.  That kind of combat design paradigm doesn't work without damage soakers, and seeing someone out there soaking up phaser fire with their "forcefield" would really kill any Trekkiness I had accrued on my PSI.  This way madness lies:  "Can't have Ship's counselors... unless they can mindmeld/betazoid/ubertalk the enemy into a stupor." 

As for what to do planetside, planets will need to be made up of multiple kinds of challenges, rather than just be fields of mobs.  Again, imho, Star Trek Online cannot be Trek without challenging, engaging, rewarding non-combat gameplay.

As for Bridge Missions... there are multiple levels to it.  All subsequent text is from my dream world:

The First: Ship to Ship Combat
The first deceptive thing is that everyone involved in ship to ship combat isn't necessarily on the bridge.  Engineers, the 'healers' of this group are constantly running around ship.  On larger ships it could be dozens of PCs.  Science Officers, perhaps analogus to the "nukers" are crafting up some sciencey solution to cripple or end the threat.  If the solution is multi-part and requires basic solutions to create an advanced solution, this could be a half-dozen PCs.  If Intruders and Invasions are involved routinely, as they should be, then the ship is either full of combat while this is going on, or players are porting over to the other ship during breaks in the shielding for combat.  This could be dozens of PCs as well.

And then you have the actual bridge.  Obviously the Helm Officer is in full sim mode.  The Tactical Officer is queuing attacks and managing the nuances of the shields... what type of defenses basically are being put up, basically.  The Captain, and 1st and 2nd officers, and Operations Officer are the buffers here.  The Cap, 1st and 2nd are sending NPCs to help either Tactical, Engineering, Medical or Science, making decisions similar to the ones an RTS player might make.  The Commanding officer is also issuing 'commands' to specific players.  That is, buffed versions of their own moves, or perhaps moves that they don't have access to/haven't unlocked yet.  Players have the option of bypassing these commands, however, its rarely wise to pass on free buffs and more XP for all.  Operations Officers really just move power from one 'system' to another, for various effect on the ship.  Possibly Ops Officers can control forcefield and doors in the ship in order to control the intruder combat via a bird's eye camera, but lets not get greedy.  But lets face it, the actual 'combat' is being done by the Tactical officer and helm officer and being overseen by the Captain.  If you want to do Trek, all that supportive stuff has to be gameplay.

The Second: Exploration/Anomaly Missions
Well, sometimes you're on the bridge, but you're not fighting.  Novel Concept I know.  So what the heck are you doing?  Honestly... you're doing all the other stuff on the ship and taking care of downtime activities like training up skills, socializing, repairing long term damage to the ship,  feeding/training your NPCs, etc.  Let NPCs man the tactical station while you're away. But what if you just HAVE to be on the bridge? Well... you're grinding. 

Of course if you're the CO, then you've been grinding for a while, explore this way, explore that way, this heading that heading, which mission should we pick up? Etc... For the truly bored a Comm Officer or Sensors Officer could scour feeds for useful information, perhaps even find missions this way.  Again, limited grinding with adequate reward.

But then an anomaly pops up.  Some strange unexplainable thing that's having an effect on a planet, another ship... or yours.  Now we have a challenge.  Science Officers have to figure out what to build to get around this. Captains have decisions to make.  Engineers have to make compensations.  Tactical may even have to figure out new shield configurations.  Meanwhile the missions relating to the entity have all been generated.  You never know when an anomaly is going to drive some unique crew member crazy, y'know?

That's how I picture bridge missions, both involving the whole ship and being varied enough that "Bridge Missions" isn't really a useful term.



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Offline Zach

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I will respond to this later.