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Interview with Outright Games: Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova

by John Rairdin - October 14, 2022, 1:40 pm EDT
Total comments: 2

Developing the first Star Trek game targeted at young kids.

We had a chance to quickly chat with Rudy Lamy, a producer at Outright Games, about Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova. Based on Star Trek Prodigy, a new animated Star Trek series, Supernova is the first Star Trek game to target a young audience with little to no existing knowledge of the series.

John Rairdin for NWR: When does the story take place in relation to the show? Is the game canon?

Rudy Lamy: The game’s story is canon and takes place in the same time frame as the Star Trek Prodigy first season run, which will provide a familiar setting for viewers of the show. That doesn’t mean you need to have watched the show to play the game though, the story exists completely standalone, exploring a new system and new civilisation during a time jump. While this did give us some room creatively to create new planets and characters, we can say that it did allow us to give some more details of the Vau N’Akat, as well as the camaraderie between the Protostar crew.

NWR: Were you free to come up with your own story? How closely was the development team from the show involved?

RL: We are very lucky to have a good relationship with the Star Trek teams at Nickelodeon and Paramount. We've even collaborated directly with Lisa S Boyd, the writer of the Prodigy series, as she edited our script, and consulted on the characters, abilities, and nailing an authentic Prodigy tone. Our game designer Pere at Tessera Studios was supported by the incredibly talented script writer Martin Korda in crafting a strong narrative. Martin Korda has amazing credits in games as a writer including Destiny and FIFA: The Journey and we’re proud of the story we tell in this interactive Star Trek experience.

NWR: I was surprised to see that essentially the entire series cast is reprising their roles. What was it like to get to work with the cast, especially Kate Mulgrew? (Mulgrew reprises her role as Captain Janeway who first appeared in Star Trek Voyager)

RL: Working with the entire series cast was an incredible privilege. Everyone brought such energy and insight to their characters, and we were even able to adapt some of the lines while recording to give the dialogue between characters more comedy and emotion. The Voice Director Brook Chalmers really facilitated a fun, collaborative atmosphere, as well as connecting the many subtle but invaluable nuances between the series and game performances. Of course, Kate Mulgrew brings years of Star Trek experience as well as professional expertise and was able to effortlessly bring her character’s innate leadership into the performance. Honestly, it was inspiring to have her and the whole cast involved, and we really felt like we were working with the Protostar crew!

NWR: Star Trek has so much material for a game; space, planets, ships, etc. What is your focus and why did you choose it?

RL: We tried really hard to get the best of all of these elements: our primary focus was presenting an authentic Star Trek experience, with a narrative and interactivity that would appeal to all ages. Of course, it needs to be accessible, with the presentation of the story and having understandable controls, but it also needs to be Star Trek. With that comes the diverse set of characters and their different personalities and histories, but also never-before-seen planets, unique tech, and the wonder of adventure. The goal of connecting the crew that serve different roles on the ship, and their constant banter really nails the feeling of being part of the Protostar crew.

NWR: Were there certain elements you knew you needed to include to make it truly feel like Star Trek?

RL: We knew that we needed to have a meaningful story about exploration, making First Contact, and about the crew’s relationship. For our Prodigy specific audience, we really focused on creating an accessible experience for all ages, that brings with it the wonder of discovering new planets and the mysteries of a newly introduced civilisation. With the support of the Star Trek teams, we were also able to include some fun callbacks to the decades of history in the franchise.

NWR: This is probably the youngest audience a Star Trek game has ever been targeted to, what are your goals when developing for such a young audience?

RL: That’s correct. Supernova is the first Star Trek game to be developed for a younger demographic. Two goals we wanted to achieve with the game was for it to be authentic to the TV show and fun for both parents and children. The former we achieved by featuring original vocal talent and script editing from the show and working closely with the Star Trek teams over at Nickelodeon and Paramount. The latter was accomplished by implementing two-player co-op and featuring many references to the series, and fun dialogue that older fans will appreciate.

NWR: Are there certain gameplay mechanics or general philosophies that you feel work best for a young audience?

RL: At the core of the collaboration between Outright Games and Tessera Studios was the understanding of how to create a gaming experience that is engaging for players of all ages. This includes controls that are intuitive, and a clear understanding of the objective at any moment. For example, we were able to include a functionality for the Tricorder that displays the current objective in text, as well as energy lights that visually guide the path towards the next objective and highlights interactive objects in the area. There are upgrades to player skills that add variety and a sense of empowerment that grows over the course of the game. Some abilities are automatic, while some that need to be triggered by the player. This has an appeal for players that want to be involved with the deeper mechanics, or as a sort of teaching moment for those that are gaining experience in games and RPG mechanics. Players should never be confused as to what they need to do next, but also engaged enough to want to continue playing.

NWR: Is the sheer amount of content in Star Trek intimidating to introduce to what may be a largelynew audience?

RL: While it is a challenge to present such a storied franchise with decades of lore to a new audience, it is an honour for us to be able to craft a new entry – specifically as a game. Similarly, we were given the opportunity to create new planets and a new civilisation that ties into the larger Star Trek universe, which is equally exciting and daunting. However, with the support of such passionate teams and collaborators, we are proud of the characters, story, and gameplay that were developed together into a cohesive experience. Our teams are full of Star Trek fans old and new and they know all to well that it is fundamental within the values of Star Trek to reach out, make First Contact, and tell stories about exploring new worlds, and the diverse connections between the familiar and the unknown.

Thank you to Rudy Lamy for taking the time to answer our questions. You can check out our review of Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova here.


MythtendoOctober 15, 2022

He can want it to be canon, but it's not. Paramount has been pretty clear over the years that only movies and TV shows are considered canon in Trek. Maybe he meant they tried to keep in in line with the show, similar to how some book writers try to keep their books in line with the canon but they are not canon either.

Quote from: Mythtendo

He can want it to be canon, but it's not. Paramount has been pretty clear over the years that only movies and TV shows are considered canon in Trek. Maybe he meant they tried to keep in in line with the show, similar to how some book writers try to keep their books in line with the canon but they are not canon either.

The game itself isn't canon, but there are a number of cases of things starting out in what's commonly referred to as "beta canon," the books/comics/games/whatnot, and later working their way into true canon sources. Most recently, the Odyssey-class Enterprise-F, designed specifically for Star Trek Online, showed up in the trailer for season 3 of Star Trek: Picard, making it canon.

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