Hoping to provide a solid foundation for more projects in the imaginative realm of “Star Trek’s” Mirror Universe, a new partnership has been announced between Star Trek Online (STO) and IDW Publishing to approve the synergy and future narratives.
Founded by Cryptic Studios and Perpetual Entertainment, STO is currently the largest free -to -play “Star Trek” game and boasts a player pool of over 2.5 million on its expansive journey of story chapters and by missionaries.
For the 12th year of STO this past February, they released their 25th episode titled “Shadow’s Advance” featuring Kate Mulgrew returning to her “Voyager” as Captain Kathryn Janeway as a voice of Terran Empire’s Mirror counterpart, Marshal Janeway.
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IDW has been the custodian of the “Star Trek” comic books since it acquired the licensing rights in 2006. Since then, writers Scott and David Tipton have put together an amazing number of titles. ” Star Trek ”with an ongoing event this year,“ Star Trek: The Mirror War, ”with Captain Picard and“ The Next Generation ”portraying that kind of crime.
This new team provides a good continuation of the deeper story dives for Star Trek Online by combining plotlines with the development of the character in the first phase of the “Star Trek” storybook series and Tiptons at IDW, which is also set in the Mirror Universe of the last episode.
Space.com spoke with STO Associate Art Director Thomas Marrone, STO writer Paul Reed, and the Tipton Brothers to learn more about this developing marriage, and how this relates to the seasons in the online game offers a combination of Mirror Universe stories.
Space.com: How did this new development team come to be?
Thomas Marrone: After 2018 at Star Trek Las Vegas we started talking to IDW about how we were developing the communities and ships and it was interesting to see that in the comics. IDW, especially for their Mirror arc, has been instrumental in developing extensive knowledge through artist JK Woodward and CBS to explain what the Mirror Universe was like in the “TNG” era. We didn’t see the “TNG” characters on the show like their Mirror Universe counterparts. That was a fertile land for IDW and for us as we searched for the game.
We spoke with writer Mike Johnson about his character, JʻUla, which he did for the “Star Trek: Discovery” comics that IDW did. We actually took J’Ula to Star Trek Online for our “Discovery” arc. So many of these small groups have come back over the years. It’s a pleasure to work with “Star Trek” lovers like us. We all demand that the borders and boundaries of the universe fill in the gaps. STO worked very well and the committees worked very well. It’s nice to play to someone’s strength every time we work.
Scott Tipton: It’s a good thing for our moʻo. JK Woodward designed Mirror Enterprise-D and saw that the outside world in the Star Trek Online game was a lot of fun.
Space.com: How will fans see the Mirror features of IDW’s crossover comics in STO?
Scott Tipton: We are trying to see what is happening to other people in the Mirror Universe. It’s more about bringing these things out to the whole world and strengthening each other. When they see what we’re doing with one of our characters and how they’re going to move forward, preferably with a story like Mirror War, then give them these pieces more to play to put in their. stories. I have a lot there.
David Tipton: Some of the things that came out of the past Mirror stories were that Scott worked with me and others at IDW, and some of that work with JK Woodward, was that he published the words Next Gen Mirror. We’ve seen those words and ships come out on Star Trek Online. In the same way, both IDW and Star Trek Online comics have been collected and run with a remake of the Mirror material coming out of “Discovery” using the Mirror Universe. What Star Trek Online did with their Mirror experience and that’s exactly what we did. The way they use Mirror stories and the way images are made in that world today is a collective canon.
Scott Tipton: And a lot of debt goes to CBS. They have a good license to do. They were the ones who came up with the idea to create a style guide for Mirror Next Gen that didn’t survive and hired JK Woodward to design the images. And then that is what is given to us to be true in these ways. That leadership style needs to go to everyone so everyone feels like they’re coming to a certain level because we’re all working from the same game board.
Space.com: STO is celebrating its 12th year, how do you inspire and maintain the game for both old and new players?
Paul Reed: One of the things we’ve done over the years has been to re -examine the times or events or the final outcome of events that have taken place in canon shows and movies. It was a very big world. We’ve done some reviews in the past, but we’ll consider what those people featured in one of the “Voyager” events or the musicians on the show had. We created a large “Deep Space Nine” Dominion arc and found Kira and Odo and the guys on the other side of the wormhole and searched for what was going on in that quadrant. I think that’s how we keep up to date and give people answers to new questions and ideas and go in new ways.
Thomas Marrone: We are very lucky to have some new “Star Trek” launches over the years. With the launch of “Discovery” in 2018, the wind has brought our fans back. We’ve worked over the last 40 years of “Star Trek” between “TOS,” “TNG,” “DS9,” “Voyager” and “Enterprise” but now we’ve got new ones to to do. We’ve built an immediate “Discovery” -themed launch experience so that people who come to “Star Trek: Discovery,” when they enter Star Trek Online, have something to do with them. That helped breathe life into the game.
And then we had this moment with “Picard” where they really connected us and so we gave the ship design from Star Trek Online to “Picard” and accelerated the nature of the game, it was time very appropriate. Running alongside the new TV “Star Trek” and working hard has been amazing for us as a game for over 12 years. And between 2009 and 2018, we were one of the multi-media channels you could see “Star Trek.” We took that responsibility seriously, and now giving that brand new insights is a great way to grow and reach the next level of the game’s life.
Space.com: What’s more fun or good about playing the “Star Trek” sandbox?
Thomas Marrone: I’m a big astronaut and I think “Star Trek” has the best, most beautiful, most beautiful stars in all of science history and I want to work with it. I was promoted to STO’s Associate Art Director but my previous job was as Lead Ship Artist, so it took me a long time to build the “Star Trek” ships for Star Trek Online. I am very proud of the use of our features and designs by the “Picard” team to present the exhibits. We worked with their end team and they did some work on them based on the specific requirements for the TV. The STO that we built 12 years ago has nothing else that CBS knows and wants to work with us on it.
Scott Tipton: For me, it’s the pictures, especially “The Next Generation.” I was on the ground floor with that report so as I progressed I learned about them in writing. I intend to include those words so when I sit down to write Picard or Riker I can hear that voice in my head in a way that I can’t with normal expression because I think I know I understand them. “Star Trek” is different from sci-fi because it’s kind of a story. You can have magical pieces or epic pieces. The ease with which you find storytelling combined with those methods is well known to all, and I think I have a home, which is a real joy for me.
David Tipton: It’s kind of like that for me, too. Comics is a kind of conversational game and if you make a “Star Trek” comic right and if the words that come out of that word sound like a genre, then people play . But if Jordy isn’t like Jordy, you won’t be happy for the comic readers. It’s important to have those voices for comics for us and something we’re always working on. We want it to sound like a real event and it is real deception in some ways.
Paul Reed: I started watching “Star Trek” when I was a kid. “Day of the Dove” was the first episode I watched. My mom came in the middle and said she watched “Star Trek” when she was in high school. So he sat down with me and Captain Kirk explained that he was Spock and why he was pointing in the ears. I got the whole primer. I grew up with “Star Trek” and I was there when the first movie came out. Having the opportunity to tell “Star Trek” stories and examples from shows I’ve watched grow.
A big part of my job is working with our vocal team when the actors come in to create the vocals. If they have any questions about what’s going on in a model, I’m there to help give the field direction so they can do their work. Hearing the actors take these things that we did and put together that great aspect of “Star Trek” is really a big part of what makes my career fun.
The “Shadow’s Advance” trailer was released in January on PC and March 16 for consoles. Star Trek Online is free and can be downloaded on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
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