Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 09 - Trek Gaming

With the revival of the Star Trek movie franchise, there has been a corresponding revival of Star Trek gaming as well! Today, for the fourth year, we give you our annual Twelve Trek Days of Christmas "Compendium of Fan-Made Games"!

It's of no use for me to re-invent the wheel - especially when I spent a lot of time in the wheel's development - so I will be using the same framework from previous years - 2007, 2008 and 2009 - so that the interested fan refer to them to check out previously created fan-made games, what I will be focussing on here will be new games or updates of older ones.

The Trek gaming world has been pretty much dominated by the Star Trek: Online - STO - "soap opera". Rumoured, developed, closed-down, bought-out, released, bought-out again and, most recently, to be made available to the general public on a free-to-play basic level. There can be no doubt that STO is cutting edge and that the creative team behind it is as responsive as it can be to community feedback which, in itself has been creative (see below). I think this could be a great move for them, it would certainly remove the last major argument from Trek fans as to why don't they play it. For my part, if my local fan club puts together a ship, I'll give it a go, just for the social side of the gaming - it might give me a chance to scout out the possibilities of Role-playing and machinima in STO.

Most heartening of all for me has been the release of new Star Trek board games! I'll be giving them a quick mention in their respective sections below, but this is one type of gaming that I actively want to pursue, again with my afore-mentioned local fan club! It is the social aspect of the gaming, playing as part of a group activity, that appeals to me in this case: just having fun with friends

Isn't that games are supposed to be all about?


There are very few fictional sports unique to Star Trek, The only three I can pin down are Hoverball, the phaser firing range and...
  • Parrises Squares has finally been revealed in detail! Well in fan fiction anyway!...
    • ...Tiberius has written a plausible article on Ad Astra, originally meant as an appendix to one of his stories, that finally pins down the specifics of the game.
    • The game is regularly brought up as a possible mini-game for Star Trek: Online

Martial arts

The fictional martial arts that are listed on Memory Alpha, the ones that spring to mind readily are Anbo-jitsu, The Vulcan Nerve Pinch, Tsunkatse and ...
  • Mok'bara. An Italian demonstration
  • Bat'leths, as a LARP (Live Action Role Play) game weapon continues unabated whilst some martial artists practise with the Bat'leth.

Tabletop games

Wikipedia defines these as, "any game where the elements of play are confined to a small area and which require little physical exertion, usually simply placing, picking up and moving game pieces."
  • Dexterity/coordination games
  • Board games -
    • Tri-Dimensional Chess still has a strong following...
    • KlinZha, the traditional Klingon board game ...
      • The Facebook page has the most movement.
      • I wonder if anyone has thought of making an iPhone or Android app of this?
    • Card games
  • Dice games
  • Domino and tile games - kal-toh has been mentioned as a desirable mini-game for STO.
  • Pencil and paper games -
  • Guessing games

Computer games

Strangely enough, there seem to have been virtually no computer-based games in the 24th century! The only one that comes close is "The Game", the addictive holographic game from TNG.
  • Computer Games, Text-based 
  • Computer Games, 2D Games 
  • Computer Games, 3D Games 
  • The Mods
    • This is when fans mod (modify) an existing, commercial game. In contrast to other parts of the entertainment industry, game manufacturers, the owners of the license from Paramount, not only allow but encourage their fans to mod their products - STO in particular has been pro-active in this respect right from the start. There are far too many Mods for me to list here, I've simply picked one Mod from each gaming engine to feature here.
      • For Doom: Doomwadstation is a total conversion of Doom 2
      • For Escape Velocity Nova: Starfleet Adventures has changed their website
      • For Elite Force II: [Under Construction]
      • For ST Bridge Commander: BC Supermod 3
      • For ST Starfleet Command: [Under Construction]
      • For Crysis 2: The team from ST Enterprise - Temporal Cold War are working on a new mod ST: Enterprise - MACO - Dec. 10: New alien weapons!

Role-playing games

If you prefer your gaming to be face to face and your fate decided by your game-master and the roll of a many-sided dice then the older games are still being played.
  • Last Unicorn Games or LUG (1998-2000)
    • If you own an old copy of one of the Last Unicorn Games RPGs it's not a dead end, Memory ICON has a number of Fan Produced netbooks available for free download. Checkout the other game resources whilst you're there.
  • Decipher or CODA (2002-2007)
    • After Decipher stopped making their high quality RPG manuals in 2007, a number of fans started adding their own material to the mix. Patrick Goodman's Beyond The Final Frontier has archived CODA gaming material covering every series, right up to Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • One company that is still in the market is Amarillo, with their Prime Directive RPG extension of the long-running Star Fleet Battles wargaming series for the GURPs and D20 systems, two strong and popular gaming systems.

  • With the release of the D20 Modern RPG rules, a number of gamers have tested the boundaries on this new frontier! Check out the messages, links and files on the Star Trek for the D20 System Yahoo Group .


To me the term "simulation" is very close to roleplaying (which in fact are sometimes called 'sims') but the Wiki article specifically mentions war games and this would seem to fit the strategy games best.

The Twelve Days After Christmas

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