Star Trek is a character drama driven by plot but imbued with social relevance and deeper meaning. It tells nearly clichéd tales of men and women who discover new life and new civilizations and boldly go where no one has gone before. Yet as they journey across this vast universe of wonder and techno-babble, we that watch are on a quest to discover more about ourselves, the society in which we live, and the foibles and follies that divide and yet ultimately unite us as the human race. The camaraderie of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy and their unflinching devotion to principle teach us about friendship and duty. As Data grapples with sentience, we wonder what it truly means to be human. Gene Roddenberry never feared to speak about contemporary issues, such as Civil Rights or the Vietnam War. Under the guise of the future, Star Trek, in all its incarnations, always reflected the turbulent present.
The adventure game is unlike any other genre of computer game. It roots go back to the 1970’s with Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork, games that revolutionized computer leisure. Adventure games at their best, like a good book, focus on characters, tell an engaging story, and hopefully supply a meaningful lesson. They also involve the gamer in tests of mental fortitude and logic. Action, simulation, strategy, and RPG games can be clever, addictive, exciting, and novel, but by their very nature they lack the sophistication, creativity, imagination, and edification of the adventure game.
Interplay’s original Star Trek games were adventure games. You played Captain Kirk, controlled his crew, solved puzzles, and unraveled mysteries, which is the core of Star Trek. Most of the TV episodes focused the interaction between Kirk and crew, as well as their discoveries, their difficulties, and their quest for knowledge. There was action—pitched space battles, stun phasers, etc., but that was never the focus of the show. 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites, as well as Star Trek: A Final Unity for the Next Generation, portrayed Star Trek properly, allowing the player to faithfully reenact the same kind of missions that would have taken place on the TV series. I have little doubt that Interplay’s ill-fated Secret of Vulcan Fury would have done the same, but its untimely cancellation in 1999 dashed many hopes.
The games that followed these three were Star Trek in form, but never in content. There were simulation games like StarFleet Academy and StarFleet Command; first-person shooters like Elite Force and Klingon Honor Guard; strategy games like Birth of the Federation and New Worlds, but the plot, characters, sophistication, and creativity of the TV series were lost on uninspired developers who wrote shoddy pageants showcasing over-accelerated graphics and firepower. These games were about torpedoes and hand-phasers, not about Star Trek. Gamers have complained that many of the new games, most recently Star Trek: Legacy, have promised much but failed to live up to expectations.
Spurred by the disappointment due to the cancellation of Secret of Vulcan Fury, I began work on my game in earnest in 2001 when I purchased a copy of Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition, and have been working on it inconsistently for the past six years. Now it is finally done.
Star Trek: the Continuing Voyage seeks to return Star Trek gaming to its core values and rightful place. It is a traditional point and click adventure game in which you play Captain Kirk and also control the rest of the crew. The puzzles are standard adventure fare; the story is compelling, and the dialogue faithful to what you would expect from Kirk and crew. You will explore, solve puzzles, and interact with other characters. In this sense, it is a worthy sequel to 25th Anniversary, Judgment Rites, and A Final Unity. I believe that I have gone even further, as the story in my game is much more engaging and expansive.
am really a very amateur programmer.
I am using Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0, and I am somewhat constrained by
limited knowledge of programming. I am also not a graphic artist by any
so all of my graphics are borrowed from other Trek games or Trek venues
web. Although this
ridiculous, it actually looks decent.
However, it is almost all still graphics, without
animation. But try
it—you may be pleasantly surprised
The game takes place on the Enterprise and in other locales. It begins with a routine diplomatic ceremony to admit a peaceful planet to the Federation. But when dissidents disrupt the ceremony, and you uncover a strange artifact from a distant past, Kirk and crew are thrown into a deepening mystery that threatens the integrity of the galaxy. The plot progresses over the course of eight full-length missions. In your travels you will uncover and explore a forgotten alien prison, a Romulan flagship, an abandoned dilithium mine, a Federation starbase, and much more.
Most importantly, The Continuing Voyage is a work of vision, vibrancy and imagination that hopes to liberate Star Trek gaming from the doldrums of insipid space combat and hand phasers. And it is just the beginning. I acknowledge the failings of my game, particularly in the technical sense, and I urge others to continue where I left off by improving the graphics, adding a real “save” feature, or even improving the puzzles. All of my source files are packaged with the install file for easy editing by others who have Visual Basic 6.0. I hope that others will see the value of my work, continue to improve it, and be inspired to write their own games true to the name Star Trek. Let the voyage continue!
Screenshots (Click to Enlarge):