As you probably know, I am a veteran mission author in The Foundry for Star Trek Online
. Between 2011 (when that UGC tool debuted) and April of 2019 (when it was retired from the game), I completed and published fifteen unique missions for Starfleet and/or Federation-allied Romulan Republic player characters, and converted five of those for Klingon Defense Force player characters, for a total of 20 published missions - two of which were spotlit by Cryptic Studios. I also had a few other missions still in various stages of development at the time of the Foundry "sunset" announcement.
Like many of my fellow Foundry authors, I have been taking steps to remain active as a STO-related story creator, and to ensure that the stories and characters I created for Foundry missions live on in some form(s) or other after the sunset. My initial concept for this project was to simply convert my old Foundry mission stories into other format(s), such as traditional prose, screenplay-style, or even "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style interactive fiction; with only minor updates. As I began to plan out my efforts, however, it eventually became apparent that a full-scale reboot of my story continuity is in order instead. This is mainly for three reasons:
- I wrote my original Foundry missions to complement the main STO storyline, but over the years that storyline has evolved and been retconned (mainly to support the addition of new factions and subfactions, as well as content related to Star Trek: Discovery) to such an extent that if those had been in place from Day One, I might have written them much differently.
- Like most other STO content, Foundry missions tended to revolve heavily around combat, and mine were no exception. Alas, that doesn't translate well to the aforementioned storytelling formats I have been considering. On the other hand, those formats do lend themselves to stories that STO isn't well-suited to, precisely because they don't revolve around pew-pew. My new project, then, represents an opportunity to add not only a new layer, but a whole new variety of storytelling to the STO universe.
- Also like other STO content, Foundry missions tended to railroad the player through more or less fixed linear plots with limited potential for variation. Interactive CYOA stories, in addition to directly engaging the reader/player as Foundry missions did, also allow for stories that can veer in radically different directions and have an array of different outcomes based on the player/reader's decisions.
So, a reboot it is. I am titling the project Star Trek Online: The Peacemakers
, which refers to an Avengers
-style elite team of, well, my in-game characters, along with some of the most memorable NPCs from my Foundry missions, which the player/reader is soon invited to join. Since the Foundry sunset in April, I have been mapping out this new creative project that I first announced last month. While I have not finalized all of its details yet, I have got the basics down. Here is what you can expect from The Peacemakers
- Two tiers of stories, each in a distinct format. My "major" stories (i.e. ones I might have otherwise done as Foundry missions) will be developed as CYOA-style interactive fiction, in which the plot plays out based upon the player/reader's decisions. I will be using the Squiffy tool to build those missions; though exactly how and what format to publish them in remains to be determined, I will announce them and post links as needed, on this forum, on the Peacemakers portal blog, on my Twitter account, and on the soon-to-be-relaunched Starbase UGC site.
- The second tier is for lore blogs that provide character development, world-building and other background content to complement the interactive stories, and STO and the Trek universe more generally. (They will eventually include republishes of the lore I had written for my previous blog, The Federation's Peace, which I have saved and carried over to this site). These will be in traditional prose format, and will be published to my Google Drive as either Word or PDF documents. Again, links to these documents will be posted in the same locations as the interactive story links.
- My content will be presented in "seasons" corresponding to STO's in-game calendar. (That is, Season 1 will correspond to FSY 2409, Season 2 to 2410, and so forth.)
- The first few stories of Season 1 will be second-tier content, meant to introduce main and recurring characters, and to establish The Peacemakers' overarching storyline(s). I hope to have the "premiere" story published sometime in June. My first interactive story probably won't be ready until this autumn at the earliest; being the first interactive fiction I've ever written outside the Foundry, it'll serve as a sort of template for later interactive stories, so I want to take the time to get that right the first time.
- In addition to story links, I will also include news and announcements related to this project here and on the portal blog. (In addition, the blog may also feature an opinion column for my thoughts on STO and other incarnations of Star Trek, including its upcoming and ongoing TV series.)
As mentioned above, my first story for this project is coming soon. It will introduce the eventual leader of the Peacemakers
team, Jomiah Drayton. For eight years, he commanded a starship, until forced to make a heartbreaking command decision that nearly drove him to walk away from Starfleet, until Admiral Quinn convinced him to stay and lead this newly established team. Other major characters will be introduced in future lore stories. At first they will only be Federation and allied Romulan Republic characters, but eventually the team will expand to include KDF and Dominion characters (and possibly non-player factions as well, such as the Cardassians). As a rule I will introduce a character in lore before they appear in any interactive stories, but that rule is not hard and fast.
The Foundry may have sunset, but the day of the Peacemakers is about to dawn.