Style Guide overview

An excerpt from the Star Trek Online Style guide:

Players will come to this game based on their expectations to live virtually in the Star Trek Universe. Playing Star Trek Online should feel like controlling the actions of your favorite Star Trek character while watching the show.


We will deliver a game that helps players to explore strange new worlds, by creating believable alien environments, filled with fascinating characters and items. The alien locales will contain both familiar and unearthly elements. To capture the essence of the Star Trek experience, the style of the game is defined the intersection of human and alien elements.


Star Trek Online will feature a near realistic style. The look of futuristic peoples, places, and equipment will adhere to the visuals seen on screen in Star Trek. Some liberties will be taken to create a style that is more accessible to players, and to clearly communicate game status and options.


We will deliberately avoid noisy and cluttered graphics to present a clean and ergonomic vision of the future. We will primarily use simple and tintable diffuse color channels, with detail textures and normal maps applied judiciously. We will highlight forms with selective curve edge creasing. Texturing practices will respect these edges by not tiling busy patterns across them.


The palette will reflect the extremes: Black will be a common color in this game – in space, in shadowy environs, in futuristic clothing fashions. Likewise with bright colors – Astral bodies, lighting schemes, bold apparel. The game uses these contrasts in value and saturation to separate characters from background and make the FX special. The environments are rendered with subdued palette, pushed subtly toward the pastel range causing them to recede. The characters are more saturated and have a higher ambient value, integrated into the background, and yet distinct from it. The FX are the brightest and most saturated, giving visual weight to the action.

We will provide the players with Cryptic Studios’ signature simple and powerful tools for self expression through avatar customization. The bottom line is for the player to have fun with the game, and as such they will be allowed to push the boundaries of realism in order to play the kind of game and character that they will enjoy.

Procedural planets

Using classifications to seed generation of new game content dynamically:


Major bodies (including planetoids and moons) will be built with PlanetGen tech. The material’s textures should indicate surface composition (Ice, water, Forest, rock, Lava), and a cloud layer for various atmospheres.


A kit of available tintable materials should be made as a kit for each class of planet.


Hospitable to humanoid life:





Indigenous Life


Arid Desert



Sheliak, Microbes




Star Trek Currency?

A research task and proposal for standardized trade in STO:
While Star Fleet may not use money within its organization, it is clear that there is a medium of comercial exchange in the universe:

Ferengi Gold-pressed Latinum

Stated exchanges: 1 bar = 20 strips = 2000 slips

Price of Quark’s bar = 5000 bars (equivalent price of bar on earth = ~1,000,000 dollars)

Puts a bar roughly equivalent to 200 dollars (and a strip at 10 dollars)


This seems supported by a Trill mining facility that stood to lose 1000 bars a day because of a broken waveguide (200,000 dollars)


Exceptions: Quark pays bajorans only 1 slip per day during the occupation (10 cents?) A crate of root beer costs 10 slips (1 dollar?). Garak bribes a guard with 2 strips (20 dollars?). Garak selling a dress for 17 strips (170 dollars?), and a cadet’s uniform for 5 (50 dollars?). Quark says 5 bars will buy 5 Nausicaans and a fast ship (1000 dollars?). Zek offers 50 bars for the return of Ishka (10,000 dollars?)


These values seem to indicate a value of a dollar being closer to value of a slip (and 1 strip to 100 dollars. (Garak’s prices then work better: a uniform goes for 200-350 dollars, and a premium designer dress goes for 300-1000.)


Federation Credits

Offer to buy wormhole = 1.5m fedcred + 100k annually (equivalent price of a modern airport? = 150m dollars)

Puts a credit roughly equal to 100 dollars.

(Uhura offered to by a tribble for 10 credits – luckily she got it for free)


Klingon Darseks

Price to return Captain Archer to Rura Penthe = 9,000 darseks (equivalent bounty on High Profile fugitive = ~1,000,000 dollars)

Puts a darsek roughly equal to 111 dollars.


Exception: Alexander wanted 50 darseks (5550 dollars?) to see the mummified head of Molor (enemy of Kahless). 9,000 was also the impound fee on the tellarite freighter.


I suggest that there be a 1 to 1 value between Federation Credits, Klingon Darseks, and Latinum Strips (and that they be equivalent to 100 present day US dollars).