Star Trek’s storytelling blends the best of both worlds
“The story’s being worked on by Bob Orci, who’s the screenwriter on the movie, and Marianne Krawczyk, who’s the God of War writer. So, we have this really nice collaboration where we’re trying our best to avoid the typical pitfalls of movie games.”
—Sheldon Carter, creative director, Star Trek
Star Trek hasn’t seen the typical game-movie development cycle; developer Digital Extremes will have three full years to bring J.J. Abrams’ retooled Trek universe to life, while many silver screen–to-console transitions are tossed together in a matter of months. But the difference isn’t only in the amount of time the London, Canada–based studio has to get things right; it’s also in the way they’re going about building the game itself. Creating game-based narrative is different from movie-based storytelling, after all—and that’s precisely why Orci and Krawczyk are working in collaboration to ensure that all of Trek’s narrative twists and character development makes sense in the context of a game.
Carter says that Digital Extremes’ experience with The Darkness II, another licensed property, was the perfect training ground for Star Trek. In that case, comic writer Paul Jenkins worked directly with Digital Extremes’ in-house writers. “That convinced us that the ideal scenario is where we have someone who really understands the films working with someone who really understands games,” he says. “That way, Marianne can say, ‘The scene that you’ve got written out here, this won’t play, because these guys are going to be in combat while the dialogue’s going on.’”