For people who grew up watching the popular series Star Trek through its various generations and movies, CBS is a household name. Understanding the impact of mobile and gaming on its audience, the media giant has decided to give the new generation of fans a gaming app to keep them hooked on to the Star Trek cult.
With its futuristic thinking and experience of creating a make-believe virtual world, CBS was looking for a partner to help them celebrate Star Trek's 50th anniversary with elan. They approached [x]cubeLABS to leverage its expertise in developing brilliant gaming apps, and the result was Trexels.
What's Unique About Trexels?
To enjoy an authentic Star Trek experience, and the pleasure of building and commanding a spaceship while leading the team through crisis after crisis, and conquering aliens using new combat styles is like a dream come true for gamers.
Through Trexels, CBS wanted to take avid fans of Star Trek back to the era when the Original Series was telecast. True to the spirit of the 1960s, we used the vintage style and pixel art in developing this game. In a way, the game celebrates the Original Series' style and era, and also becomes an ode to the retro days of game design - and that's what makes it unique.
In terms of gameplay, it balances resource management, spaceship construction, and exploration quite well. Keeping in mind the main storyline, the users are given an entire starship - albeit incomplete - to build, take command of, and explore the galaxies. Users need to construct various rooms, make them profitable and use those resources to buy more rooms. The game is true to the Star Trek theme, the crew and the language. The character art, the game art, George Takei's voiceover narration, original music from the Original Series are other value-additions that make the game stand apart.
What Did We Do?
CBS has left the entire game design and the balancing part to us. They were happy with our pitch and wanted to see our prototype to check if it was suitable. When we incorporated the suggestions they made, they knew we were on the right track and didn't get too involved in the development or the design except to make sure the game is true to the spirit of the original series/movies.
As they were a bit apprehensive initially about the depth of our knowledge on Star Trek series, CBS assigned us a full-time a person to review our work in terms of storylines, characters, setting, theme, language, etc., and suggest changes, wherever necessary. Our collaborative effort ensured that the look & feel, storyline and content were authentic.
The R&D Effort
Our designers watched all episodes of the Original Series and spent about 2-1/2 months to research and completely understand the concept called Star Trek - storylines, characters, how they spoke, the jargons used - which helped us immensely. When a game is based on a popular show, thousands of fans invariably start using it. Even a minor mistake in terms of design, characterization, or storyline makes them unhappy as they are attached to the show and wouldn't settle for anything less than authentic.