By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
Okay. First things first. I am admittedly a shameless trekkie. What can I say? I'm a geek. Like the hardcore, uber-geek type. I can't help it. Call it a character flaw if you will...but dammit...I like being a geek. I think it makes me a better person, dangit. Or something like that. Yeah...that's the ticket.
Anyway, so when someone decided to make a game that combines two of my favorite things in the world, those being Star Trek and senseless violence, I had to go straight to the source and get the scoop behind the thing.Christopher David Clark is one of the designers on Klingon Honror Guard, and someone I first met at the KHG launch party in Las Vegas not too long ago. Hs a like minded geek...so be warned. We don't make any attempt to translate terms for the layman here...if you're easily scared off by gratuitous uses of fictional language...well, you'd best go elsewhere.
Klingon Honor Guard is currently available from Microprose. If you're a trekkie...well, you probably already knew that. Enjoy this little trip into the geeky underbelly of game development.
- Jason Bergman, loonygames editor-in-chief, and hardcore trekkie.
Was the plan with KHG always to make it a first person game? Was a third person, or even an adventure game ever considered?
There were five other Star Trek designs created before we selected Klingon Honor Guard. In the end we felt that Star Trek fans were ready for an action game. So we chose a FPS as the gameplay pattern.
Did you find it challenging to design a game set within the Star Trek universe?
Yes. You are dealing with a world that millions of people are intimately familiar with. If you goof they're all over it! Secondly, you have to work within the restrictions of the license. There are some things that you cannot do without changing the spirit of the universe. You have keep your ego out of the process and remind yourself..."This world has been lent to you. You have to take good care of it."
Were you intimidated by the fact that every single reference you made would be scrutinized by fans?
No. I am a fan and so was the team. If we thought it didn't fit in the Star Trek universe, it didn't go in. In the end you have to trust your instincts as a designer. As a practical person you know you cannot please everyone. However, if you are true to your craft, you will try.
Do you consider yourself to be a trekkie?
HISlah, jIH yIn 'oH.
Was it your goal from the start to make a game that featured Klingons prominently, or was this a later decision? If so, what prompted it?
Yes it was. Paramount wanted action, we wanted action. Klingons are about action! It was a match made in heaven.
Was the addition of other races (such as Ferengi, Borg, or other popular Trek races) ever considered? If so, why were they not included in the game?
We wanted to stay away from the Federation so we didn't include Ferengi. (They are soft, weak p'taqs and do not make good warriors.) During the time frame of our storyline the Klingons were not invovled with the Borg and we have to maintain continuity with the telivision timeline.
When did you start working on KHG? How long was it in development for?
I started on writing Star Trek designs 3 years ago. KHG took eighteen months and twenty days from design to ship.
You started work on KHG waaaaay back when Unreal was still in the development process. Was this a major challenge to you?
A big one. When you are developing a game while the engine is being developed simultaneously you must be on your toes. As the engine changes you must change with it. Eventually we had to diverge from Unreal's development path. That is why we shipped with version 200. I can tell you that we never would have shipped when we did if not for Epic's excellent support.
Did you ever consider any of the other leading engines at the time? (Build, Quake *1*)
Yes, we considered both of those engines but we chose Unreal. We made the right choice.
What impressed you so much all that time ago?
Quake was the hot engine at the time and I was sitting in a chair looking at bilinear texture smoothed creatures and dynamic colored lights, all in 16-bit color. Nuff said.
|Credits: Illustration © 1998 Mike Sanzone. romuluSngan HoH! is © 1998 Jason Bergman & Christopher David Clark. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, dangit.|