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Star Trek Legacy's Plot Left Behind on Away Mission 79

Posted by Zonk
from the poor-little-red-shirt dept.
Much like the deleted content from KOTOR 2, Xbox 360 fanboy has word that Star Trek: Legacy's storyline has been cut as well. Derek Chester, a writer for the game, spoke up on the official boards for the game: "[Forum poster] Star Dagger is correct, a lot of what was intended was cut. From rendered cinematics and interstitial cutscenes to a great deal of backstory and events that took place between the eras to tie them together. The total portrayal of the intended story was incomplete. Dorothy and I wrote a lot for this game...but not everything made it in. As a result there may be some difficulty in following the motivations for characters or the reasons for crucial events. The story as was written, tied together a great deal of Trek history and events to make it seem more substantial than it came across in the final game."
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Star Trek Legacy's Plot Left Behind on Away Mission

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  • well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jrwr00 (1035020) <(jrwr00) (at) (gmail.com)> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:34PM (#17209472) Homepage
    Its the attack of the trekkies! on that note, it happens, There has to be a balance of story and pure game play, a game can only be so long,
    • Re:well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Amouth (879122) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:41PM (#17209606)
      I miss the days of long games.. i don't want something with 8-12 hours of game play.. i want stuff with alteast amonth.. remember C&C how long it took to play through.. and the Orginal Unreal dear god how the hell they put that much story line on a single CD still blows my mind compared to the crap that comes out today..

      I don't need photo realistic c's i want a damn story - if you can give both i will take them but if you don't have a story and lots of game play then i woln't bother
      • by vertinox (846076)
        I miss the days of long games.. i don't want something with 8-12 hours of game play..

        The sad thing is that I consider Fallout 2 to be better than most games today even with its dated game engine.

        The story was that good.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MBraynard (653724)
          Oblivion. I think I have 40 hours on my character and have not even done the main step of the first quest. I have become Master of the Fighter's Guild and Arena Grand Champion, and done a bunch of really cool, innovative quests.
          • by vertinox (846076)
            Oblivion.

            Oh yes... I almost forgot about that gem. I used to just waste time with that futzing around hours on end with spell combinations and creations and exploring. I never did really figure out the main quest or get to the ending...

            I really want to play Oblivion 2, but my poor computer would never be able to run it properly.
      • and the Orginal Unreal dear god how the hell they put that much story line on a single CD still blows my mind

        Eh? Please tell me that's sarcasm. The plot for the original Unreal was:
        1) You're a prisoner being transferred to a prison planet. Your guilt is not necessarily proven, but you're screwed nonetheless. (This part is in the manual.)
        2) The transfer ship has crashed. Everyone from the ship is dead. (This is where you begin the game.)
        3) There are bad aliens nearby. (Level 1, ISV Vortex Rikers)
        4) There are

        • by Amouth (879122)
          yea the plot line wasn't the most indepth story ever but i will say that it had more game play time than any game being released today.. hl2 was what 8 hours.. short has hell
        • Unreal 2 takes a lot of flack. Sure, it's no Unreal 1, it's nowhere near as revolutionary, but it's still fun. I'd like to see another Unreal game, only more like Unreal 1. So, where's the only other guy who liked Unreal 2?
      • I miss the days of long games.. i don't want something with 8-12 hours of game play.. i want stuff with alteast amonth..

        I'm just over 22 hours into Twilight Princess, and I just got me the Master Sword. I have eight hearts, from a starting three, out of a total which is presumably 20.

        I'd like to chime in about how appallingly short and lacking in storyline modern games are, but I'm busy right now. I'll get back to you in about a month, OK?

        • Yeah, it zeems like TP is a rarity as far as depth goes anymore. It would have been very easy for them to make the game simpler than OOT, but I'm in the same spot you are. It seems to me that unlike most developers, Miyamoto started with his core ideas and built up, instead of starting with a good plot and shaving things from it as the project ages. And you know TP's gonna last quite a bit longer with one more dungeon than OOT, and the fact that they're making you collect five heart pieces per heart instead
      • Some of them have a solution time in the hundreds of hours.

        http://underworld.fortunecity.com/track/946/ [fortunecity.com]

      • by DeeDob (966086)
        Games are longer today than they have been.

        Most action games are around the 10 to 15 hours mark. (Unreal, while it was indeed quite long for an FPS at the time, didn't require more than 10 hours to go through.)

        RPG were always longer at around 30 hours (they still are). Adventure games are around 5 or 6 hours (but since the nature of those games is "puzzle solving" it can take dozens of hours to get through it with no help).
        RTS games are usually always longer than action games.

        If you go back to older games,
    • Re:well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:44PM (#17209642)
      > There has to be a balance of story and pure game play, a game can only be so long,

      "The needs of the shareholders outweigh the nerds with a clue, or the fun."

      • Nice quote.

        Now that being said, I think it doesn't quite compute. So a lot of stuff that was produced (ie, cost money to make) was cut out of the game. In that way, aren't you actually hurting the bottom line?

        Though, I do get the major arguement that you have to balance everything out (especially game length). Of course, why not just give users the option - regular game or UBER long game. Let them choose (granted that all teh content is there and in playable form).

        RonB
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by XenoRyet (824514)
          Well, technicaly, just because the extra story was written, doesn't mean it ever made it to any kind of production. It could have been cut in the very early stages, before much money was spent on it.

          Giving the choice to the player would nessesitat that you put all the spit and polish of a final product on all the uber long content, not just the regular stuff. So, though I would dearly love such an option, I don't really see lots of publishers deciding it's a good idea.

        • by ultranova (717540)

          Now that being said, I think it doesn't quite compute. So a lot of stuff that was produced (ie, cost money to make) was cut out of the game. In that way, aren't you actually hurting the bottom line?

          If you can enjoy a game for a month, it takes a month before you'll start looking for a new one. If the game only lasts 8 hours, you'll start looking for a new game the next day.

          Planned obsolescence - it's the sign of a mature industry.

          And of course it also doesn't help that every game has to be 3D nowada

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      balance of story and pure game play
      Good point. There are too many games that ignore gameplay altogether. Beautiful graphics and intruiging storylines are great, but awkward control schemes and pathetic camera angles can kill. However, many wonderfully designed RPGs have little to no plot.
      • by Babbster (107076)
        Gameplay is critical, but in most of the best games there is a point to the gameplay beyond "shooting bad guys." If Legacy had most of the story cut out and things happen to advance a story point that is missing, then that damages the game.

        For example, I really enjoyed the gameplay of the first MGS. It was fantastic. But, without the story - silly as it was - the game wouldn't have been as good. It certainly wouldn't have been as beloved, nor would it have spawned the franchise which is now considere
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:40PM (#17210604)
      As someone who has recently finished Star Trek: Legacy for the PC (last night, actually), I should point out that the single-player campaign itself, on the medium difficulty setting, took me in total maybe three evenings to complete. This is a ballpark estimate due to replay of certain missions. That's 12 to 15 hours.

      The major hook for STL with Trekkies and sci-fi gamer officionados is that it was sold by the PR machine to be an ambitious novel-rivaling epic; An era-spanning game that charts the progress of a story from the very beginnings of Trek's Federation to the 'modern day' post-Nemesis. It featured the voice-acting talent of the five most notable captains of those eras, centered around Trek's various television shows. Yet because of time constraints (I have no proof of which, but this game WAS promised to be delivered for Trek's 40th Anniversary), It was distilled to a few evenings total gameplay. If anyone has played Star Trek: Bridge Commander, a game with not so all-encompasing a grasp as Legacy was marketed to be, I would estimate that Legacy's single-player campaign equates to roughly half of Bridge Commander's, and due to other gameplay issues which I will not go into, was half-again as immersive. Certain eras spend one mission in existence before leaping ahead with no explanation on why it was needed in the first place. And when the 'Ohhh, I get it!' moment kicks in, it's much less of a revelation and more of a sense of finally understanding a somewhat overused plot device.

      The story was not the only thing cut from the game, but for some of us it's the most missed. Like the aforementioned Knights of the Old Republic 2, the clips in Legacy's in-game story leave the story feeling disjointed and incomplete. It is transparent. It is predictable, distilled to a measure to justify the next interstellar dogfight. There is no intrigue, no suspense, and honestly little replay value in going back to it as it is now. I'm speaking as an owner of the PC version, but if I were an XBox360 owner with that copy of the game I would feel even more cheated, considering..you know...the whole OMG Next-Generation Gaming thing. Legacy's reach is evocative of the Starfleet Armada era of games, not 2006's best efforts.

      It was not an issue of trying to keep the game from 'being too long'. You can finish it in a day if you so wish (and yes, I understand that jives well with some of you, but in my opinion I prefer to long savor a game I've waited a year or so for, and three passive evenings just doesn't cut it). But all markers point to this project being rushed to coincide with the same year as Trek's 40th Anniversary (which they missed the original launch day for). Cuts were made to likely streamline the development cycle. Alas, you end up with watered-down Kool-Aid with a price tag of $59.99.

      Cheers,

      A. Coward
    • Trekker, you insensitive clod. Now make like my pants and split.
    • Maybe a game can only be so long, but it sure wasn't a space issue. Legacy is only a little over 2 gigs in size on disk.
  • Sounds like we need a Director's Cut...
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Vampyre_Dark (630787)
      Like the Director's Cut of Resident Evil. It added a new box that listed a bunch of new features that weren't actually added, and then supplied the same exact game with a different label.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by creimer (824291)
        Sounds like Windows Vista.
        • by hselburn (1039770)
          Actually, given what I've been reading about this game's PC Version, that may be insulting Windows Vista, if you can believe that. ;)The XBox 360 version may be ok.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HTH NE1 (675604)
      I suspect that the rights tied up in games may preclude a Director's Cut as we're used to seeing for movies on DVD. At best we might get a Director's Supplementary disk, which might include a patch for the game to incorporate the extra material. Or even just the extra material in printed screenplay format.
  • by DragonPup (302885) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:35PM (#17209506)
    ...that 'Bad Strek Game' tends to be redundant these days. :-(
  • by Phoenixhunter (588958) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:39PM (#17209578)
    http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sim/startrekbridgecomma nder/index.html/ [gamespot.com]

    It may not have the All-Star voice acting, but it is fun, and significantly more realized as a game than Star Trek: Legacy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FooAtWFU (699187)
      Blah, forget that, install a true Star Trek classic: EGATrek [classicgaming.com]. Plot? PLOT? We don't need no stinkin' plot! The Klingons are invading, and it's your job to blow 'em up, in spectacular 16-color 640x350 EGA graphics. THAT'S your Plot. (Just make sure that you get the one with the real names, and not the stupid "Mongols/Vandals" version. This page [classicgaming.com] has a link.)
      • by ptbarnett (159784) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:12PM (#17210126)
        Blah, forget that, install a true Star Trek classic:

        For the true classic, you have to go back farther than that:

        Super Star Trek [wikipedia.org].

        Although it was reportedly inspired by an earlier version, it will always be the "classic version" for me, as it's one of the first computer games I ever played (the other was Colossal Cave Adventure [wikipedia.org]).

        Download and compile it [almy.us], and experience the awe-inspiring sight of motion rendered on an 80x25 green-screen CRT!

        • Don't forget the NES game [wikipedia.org]. That was sweet for it's time. Very decent sci-fi RPG.
        • by sakusha (441986)
          Ooh, I had that game for my Processor Technology SOL-20, it was the first game software I ever purchased, that must have been around 1975. The SOL-20 version had a really clever hack, someone figured out that the S-100 bus emitted radio noise that could be picked up on a nearby AM radio, so he wrote little loops into the code so it would make phaser sounds through your radio. Unfortunately during other game play the CPU emitted a cacophony of irritating noise, so overall, it got rather tedious to listen to
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eln (21727)
        The best Trek game of all time has to be Netrek [wikipedia.org]. Ah, the hours I wasted away in college playing that game.

        It was the first graphical real-time multiuser game I played, we used to hog the few NeXT stations on campus (there were only 6, and they were the only color terminals we had outside of the craptacular Windows labs) playing that game.
        • by Boronx (228853)
          Netrek is the best of all time...except for MTrek. Also a realtime, multiuser space combat game, MTrek had more and varied ship types, a universe with character, and was in 3-D. And it was much nerdier. Lacking graphics, objects in MTrek were described with 3-D vectors.
        • by VShael (62735)
          D.C.U. ??
      • Better than EGATrek is VTREK. Google for it. Runs well in 'dosbox'.

        I spent more time playing it than all other Star Trek games combined.
    • Bridge Commander bad, Klingon Academy good.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Wilson_6500 (896824)
      First, the link's broken due to an extra slash at the end.

      Good luck finding a copy of the game. It's slightly rare, and is going for up to $70 on ebay. People are listing it on Amazon for up to $90 "Like New." There's also some kind of "Extreme 3D" version of the game, but people seem slightly reluctant to bid on it--I don't know why, but it may not use the same patches as the original or something like that.

      (Although I'd like to play the game, it's not worth $70-90 to me--especially considering that
      • I can guarantee you for a fact that the "extreme 3D" version has nothing to do with the game. Looks like some 3d glasses snake oil or something. There were no extra or special editions put out for the game. There was going to be a sequel, but the game didn't sell very well despite being a mild success with critics (hence the rarity today).
        • If I can get a copy of a rare game for cheap(er) just because it comes bundled with some 3D glasses I'll never use, I don't really care about buying into the fake 3D garbage.

          However, if it's some special or crippled edition of the game that won't run with BC mods (which are what really make the game, from what I've heard) or BC patches, then I wouldn't touch it.

          I really don't feel like paying $50 only to find out that I've got some hamstrung copy of the game and have to pay $70 to get a real copy--and
      • by 3rd_Floo (443611)
        Disapointing Kahns? Never!

        Oh wait...
    • by Fweeky (41046)
      Quite; the look and feel is quite a bit less retarded too. Legacy feels more like a cut-down Armada (without the RTS bits) than the third-person Bridge Commander/Klingon Academy type simulator many previews liked to suggest. Instead of any semblance of control over a big capital ship, you're basically flying a slow fighter with minimal feedback, no real damage model, and in an environment who's scale is like something out of Alice in Wonderland (planets a couple of miles across, or ships a few thousand).

      O
  • But... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:55PM (#17209820) Journal

    I'm still waiting for Secret of Vulcan's Fury, damnit.

    • I'm still waiting for Secret of Vulcan's Fury, damnit.

      Damn, why did you have to bring that up? I pre-ordered that game. I thought it was going to be a return to great games like Star Trek: 25th Anniversary [adventurec...gaming.com] and the even better Star Trek: Judgment Rites [adventurec...gaming.com]. Perhaps even as good as A Final Unity [adventurec...gaming.com].

      And then Interplay cancelled the game and my pre-order.

  • They should release the full story line on some web page (either in text form, unfinished cinematic scenes, etc). It's like deleted scenes in a movie that actually do add to the movie (ex: Superman Returns special edition dvd), you can enjoy them and have a richer experience if you want it. However, the cut-story should still be made to stand on its own.
  • Maybe like KotoR2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by C0R1D4N (970153) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:06PM (#17210016)
    Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll leave all the half-finished stuff and voice recordings by the actors on the disc like Obsidian did in KotoR2 and an intrepid mod team can finish the game for them. You'd think they would've learned from KotoR2 though, it's friggin Star Trek, it doesn't matter if you release it during the holidays or the middle of March, the same number of Trekkies are going to buy it regardless. And more people are likely to buy it if they believe it's finished.
  • Hard to Find (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StarWreck (695075) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:15PM (#17210174) Homepage Journal
    Legacy was supposed to be released on December 5th but it sure has been hard to find. Starting on December 6th I started checking stores on a daily basis and nobody had any in stock until December 11th, at least not in Metro-Atlanta, Georgia. I can't wait to install it and play it.

    Too bad about the cut story line, I like it when it seems like a movie sometimes. (Anyone remember Traffic Department 2192?)
    • Although I cannot recommend that anyone purchase this game as it sucks, a lot, you can buy it through digital distribution. I purchased it off of Fileplanet's Direct2Drive service.

      Beyond the lack of a cohesive story and busted control schema, the AI of your fleet companions, the manual and the tutorial are all so incredibly bad that I uninstalled the game after about an hour.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Quarters (18322)
      The PC version was in stores the week of 12/4. The 360 version was released a week later and has been in stores since 12/11 or 12/12.
      • by StarWreck (695075)
        I was going after the PC version... Best Buy, EB Games, and Fry's Electronics in Georgia seem to have all gotten their PC version when the 360 version was supposed to be released.
    • by gonzoxl5 (88685)
      I had a bad feeling about this one when I saw that Amazon had discounted the RRP by 48%
  • by Jakuta (643082) * on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:17PM (#17210198)
    It's really our fault for accepting the low quality by purchasing the games. I do blame production schedules that cut corners for holidays and such. The only real way to fight it is to not purchase it and send email to production companies voicing the displeasure of inadequate games. Change starts with the consumer.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Keill (920526)
      Yep - if shit sells - thats what they'll make....

      So don't buy shit - it's the only way things improve - unfortunately - we live in the age of the Lowest Common Denominator - and I don't see it changing that quickly...
    • by skorch (906936)
      The production companies can't really do much about it. You'd have to send the messages and emails to the publishers who largely decide production schedules, budgets, and make all the unrealistic demands on the developers that force corner cutting or feature dropping and the pushing of unfinished games out to market to hit their target dates.

      Game developers always want to make the best and most complete game to their abilities, naturally because they love games too and it's generally their reputation on
  • As a result there may be some difficulty in following the motivations for characters or the reasons for crucial events.

    I've always wondered why those red shirts kept going on away missions voluntarily. I guess now we'll never know.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:29PM (#17210406)

    Having worked on a truckload of movie- and story-based video games, I'm just aghast that this happened.

    ...

    Actually, no I'm not. I've never seen a game story written during development that wasn't cut by at least 50% or more.

    Part of the difficulty stems, I believe, from there being no set limit to the amount of story that a game designer / writer can script in to a game. When you are writing a movie script, you know for a fact that you have 90-120 minutes with which to tell your story, and that each page of script is approximately 1 minute of screen time. This gives you a nice natural boundary to work with.

    Game scripts? Not so much. You know that the game needs to be between 10 and 40 hours long... and that most of that time will be taken up by gameplay... but there is a huge difference between a game that has 1 hour of story in it and a game that has 3 hours of story... even though the % of overall time taken up by that story is not dramatically different. So... when do you stop writing? What does a game writer limit himself to? Often, the answer is "way more than the developers can make".

    Also, game story sequences are remarkably difficult to actually construct and build in realtime 3D. Constructing in-game cinematics is hard work, there's no getting around it. This problem is only exacerbated on a movie/TV title: the audience has the quality of the show or movie to compare your in-game cinematics to, and thus the production requirements go up and up. This inevitably leads to someone (usually a producer) having to make a call (or, lots and lots of calls) between cinematic quality and story length... with predictable results.

    You put all this together, and you get the story dev path of most game projects:

    1. The designer/writer sits down and writes what they think is a very reasonable script.
    2. The production team forces them to cut that by 50% before they even show it to the developers.
    3. The developers confirm that yes, the designer/writer has dramatically underestimated how hard these cinemactics will be to make and that they can only make half of what is left over.
    4. During development, time crunches hit and things go wrong, and another 50% of the story gets left on the cutting room floor.

    What you are left with is a bare skeleton of the intended story, which is often unintelligible to the viewer.

    So, I say to ye old Star Trek writer guy: did more than 25% of what you wrote make it in the game? You're well ahead of many game writers. Quit cryin'.

    • Great, wonderful to hear some insider news like that.

      Still I've played to many games lately that are obviously rush jobs with storylines that aren't so much crafted, as they say horrible abortions that have been wall papered into the game rather then being finished.

      Look at NWN2, its up to 1.03 and I'm on my 3rd play through, its only after the this patch that many of the story parts are starting to work seemingly as I'm finding out things i never knew, or saw before and because of that the games more ENTERT
  • I'm still waiting for the game run mostly on voice control, so I can shout commands at my crew or negotiate with the enemy. Starfleet Academy frustrated the heck out of me. What the heck do I have all this crew for? I'm manually adjusting every minute system on the ship!
    • by erikdotla (609033)
      Enigma: Rising Tide is a WW2 naval sim covering all sorts of ships, surface and sub, and can be played entirely with voice control. The mouse and keyboard help a bit and the added value doesn't distract from the feeling that you're mainly controlling the game with voice.

      Negotiating with enemies? Obviously impossible in our lifetimes to hold a conversation with an AI. But try Enigma, it's pretty intense - the glacially paced naval maneuvers seem to move at lightning speed during critical moments, and the
  • Vulcan Love Slave

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