1) Okay, I've read all the stuff about KA and I want it. When will the game be in the stores so I can get it?
Klingon Academy has been released and is currently available at local retailers or through the Interplay Store.
2) Is there a playable demo available?
A two mission interactive demo is available as a prequel to the Klingon Academy story. These missions are unique to the demo and are not included with the full version. The demo can be downloaded from:
3) What are the minimum and recommended requirements to play the game?
Minimum Requirements: Pentium II 233mhz CPU, 64MB of RAM, DirectX certified 3D accelerator card w/ 8MB RAM, Windows 95/98, DirectX 7.0, DirectX certified sound card, 12x CD-ROM, 500MB free hard drive space, mouse, keyboard. Multiplayer: 56.6 modem connection minimum. Supports ADSL & Cable modem. 6 players internet, 8 players LAN.
Recommended: Pentium II 450MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM, DirectX certified 3D accelerator card w/ 16MB RAM, Soundblaster Live, joystick. Multiplayer: Cable modem/ADSL internet connection.
4) I've heard that Christopher Plummer and David Warner reprise their roles as General Chang and Chancellor Gorkon in Klingon Academy, but those characters both died in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." So, when does Klingon Academy's story take place?
The story of Klingon Academy takes place in the years between "STV: The Final Frontier" & "STVI: The Undiscovered Country".
5) Will I be able to command the Enterprise-E & fight the Borg with it? Can I defend Deep Space 9 from a Dominion attack? Will those pesky Breen be disabling everyone?
Nothing from "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "Star Trek: Voyager", or the movies "Star Trek: Generations", "Star Trek: First Contact", or "Star Trek: Insurrection" will be in the game. Klingon Academy takes place during the 2290's while the events in the other TV series take place in 2364 or later (Source: Star Trek: Chronology). That's a hefty difference of more than 70 years.
6) How many ships will Klingon Academy have, and what types?
There are the following:
Klingon: 9 warships, 6 bases/stations.
Romulan: 10 warships.
Federation: 10 warships, 4 bases/stations.
Gorn: 4 warships.
Tholians: 6 warships.
Shakurians: 3 carriers, 2 fighters.
There are also 35 assorted shuttles, workbees, defense satellites, mines, old series style warships, and civilian freighters.
7) Wow, that's a lot of stuff! How many of those will I get to command in the game?
In the solo-play campaign, you will command 8 of the 9 Klingon warships in the game. For multiplayer and QuickBattle, you have access to all warships within the game as well as the civilian freighters, and other non-combat craft.
8) What will the music for the game be like? Will you use that Klingon theme from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (ST:TMP) and "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (ST:V)?
There are a couple of points about the music. First, we can't totally work the "Klingon Theme" from ST: TMP / ST: V into the game because we don't have the rights to that particular piece of music. Inon Zur, composer of the music for the game, has developed a theme specifically for Klingon Academy, which is worked in throughout the game. I think you will all be pleased with it. Second, the music from KA stylistically and thematically supports the dark, almost gothic mood of the game and utilizes chorale voices-singing in Klingon-and driven, almost tribal percussion woven throughout.
For your own edification, I've included the KA "Discography" of the musical selections we reviewed as stylistically similar to what we want, supporting a similar mood.
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique - Dies Irae
Doyle: Henry V - Opening and Closing Titles
Eidelman: Star Trek VI - Overture
Eidelman: Star Trek VI - Rura Penthe
Goldsmith: Patton - German March
Goldsmith: Patton - German Attack
Goldsmith: Star Trek V - Life Is A Dream
Horner: Star Trek II - Surprise Attack (Kahn's Theme Only)
Moussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition - Pictures at a Exhibition: 1. Gnomus (The Gnome)
Mozart: Requiem - Dies Irae
Mozart: Requiem - Confutatis
Orff: Carmina Burana - O Fortuna
Orff: Carmina Burana - Fortuna Plango Vulnera
Orff: Carmina Burana - In Taberna Quando Sumus
Poledouris: Conan The Barbarian - Anvil of Crom
Poledouris: Conan The Barbarian - Riddle of Steel / Riders of Doom
Poledouris: Conan The Barbarian - Mountain of Power Procession
Poledouris: Conan The Barbarian - The Kitchen / The Orgy
Poledouris: Conan The Barbarian - The Battle of the Mounds
Poledouris: Hunt for Red October - Hymn to Red October
Poledouris: Starship Troopers - Destruction of Roger Young
Rachmaniov: Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 - Isle of the Dead
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite - Infernal Dance of King Kashchei
9) Captain Kirk once said that a starship could lay waste to an entire planet. That sounds like fun. Can you attack planets in the game and destroy things on their surface?
Planetary bombardment is not only possible, but called for in certain missions. However, planets might have their own set of defenses…
10) These capital ships are supposed to be big. Are they going zip all over the star system at super speeds and then stop on a dime, or will they move like a big brick?
Ships will certainly move slower than in other space combat sims that have come before. The ships will not maneuver as fast as fighters.
11) So, what kinds of weapons do these starships carry?
There are twenty weapons systems in the game. We have all the classic weapons you've seen before, like phasers, disruptors, and photon torpedoes, plus we have quite a few new ones. Some of these are variations on classic weapon designs like the dreaded Assault Phaser, while others are radically exotic. For example, the GDDS is a field generator allowing a starship equipped with one to collide with another vessel without incurring the expected catastrophic damage. This is proprietary Gorn technology that they use to great effect when ramming enemy warships.
12) What about the weapons we've seen before? Are they like what we've seen in the movies and episodes?
Yes. Phasers are continuous beams of energy that fire at a fixed point in space, and stay locked to that position even if the firing warship is moving. Disruptors are bolts of energy; photons are projectiles of intense energy that follow a more-or-less straight trajectory, and the plasma torpedoes are similar to photons but have deadly homing capabilities.
13) Space is really big, so I'm going have to travel at warp speeds to get anywhere. What will warp travel be like in the game?
There are two kinds of warping in Klingon Academy. First type is out-system warping. This is the kind used for traversing huge interstellar distances and is used exclusively for traveling between star systems (typically, this represents warp factor 2 and above). In every mission, the player is given the run of a complete sector map and can choose what star systems to go to by using out-system warps. The second type of warping is in-system warps (warp factor 1). This type is used exclusively for navigating within a star system. A typical star system in the game is billions of kilometers in volume and may contain a variety of terrain like planets, asteroid belts, nebula, etc. The player may go anywhere within each star system, in real-time, at will. Incidentally, all combat occurs at impulse speeds.
14) People in Star Trek are always beaming somewhere. Do the ships have transporters? If so, what can you do with them?
Transporters are used solely for transporting boarding parties. Boarding parties are specially trained away teams (or marines, depending upon your race) capable of beaming over to an enemy vessel and either sabotaging critical areas of an enemy vessel, or capturing it outright. The success of a boarding party depends upon a number of factors like: the number of boarding parties you transport to an enemy vessel, the number of defenders the target vessel has (the bigger the ship, the more it will have), and the effective quality of your boarding parties. Also, terrain affects the operation of transporters (a risky proposition inside a nebula). In the game, if you successfully capture a ship with boarding parties, it may be serviceable enough to fight on your side as a wingman, under your control.
15) The starships are complex, but in a fight I don't have time to mess around. How will the control interface work? During combat, will I have to jump from one bridge station to the next like in SFA?
No one will ever have to jump from bridge station to bridge station during combat unless he wants to. Our principal user interface is what we are calling the Verbal Orders System, or VOS. The VOS is a detailed menu system replicating the functionality found in the bridge station interfaces. The player will never have to take his eyes off the action to issue commands and affect changes aboard his ship. We will also tie voice-over to each of these commands when they are issued. The effect we are trying to produce, is the sense that you are actually issuing orders to your bridge crew, rather than just typing in hot-keys. Also, because of the way we have designed the game, the player is not required to leave his tactical/HUD view unless he wants to.
16) Kirk was always asking for more power to this, more power to that, and what-have-you. Will I be able to individually set power to the shields, weapons and other systems aboard my ship like that? If so, how do I do it?
Power management plays a big role in the game. The way we are simulating starships, they have a variety of systems ranging from weapons and sensors, all the way to movement and life-support, and the performance of all these is governed by the amount of power allotted to them. Each ship's system has its own unique power/efficiency curve governing its performance, and the player is given full reign to configure these systems however he wants to. With this much control and flexibility, it would be too overwhelming to assume that any sane human being can configure these settings on the fly during combat situations, which is why we've created macros. At any time during gameplay, the player is able to configure his power settings, then save them off as macros. These macros can be called upon at any time (through the function keys, or the verbal orders system), so that his ship's power settings can be reconfigured instantly. This game has a fair amount of complexity, especially power allocation, and for this reason we have paid extra attention to control interface. Even though we are allowing the player full control over his ship, we are not making mastery of this complexity a requirement for enjoying the game. For this reason, the game will ship with default power macros sufficient to carry him through the entire game without ever having to even look at the engineering screen.
17) Could I cloak my ship and park myself right next to the guy I just shot at, laughing because he doesn't know where I am? On the other hand, could somebody do the same thing to me? Is the cloaking device a complete invisibility shield, or could I somehow detect a cloak ship in a fight?
It is not only possible to detect cloaked vessels, it is possible to fight them. The kind of balance we are trying to achieve is analogous to classic WWII submarine/destroyer duels. In Klingon Academy, cloaking devices are not completely impervious to detection, just as being submerged below the ocean waves was not during World War II. It is possible to detect the presence of a cloaked ship during combat if enough power is allotted to sensors. Detection of a cloaked warship, in the game, is a function of sensor efficiency and range. However, the amount of power necessary for this, relatively speaking is enormous, and you have to be at extremely close range to even get a chance at a good firing solution. For example, a Federation warship, like the Constitution, would have to divert much of its power to sensors to have a chance at a blip on a cloaked vessel. Under this scenario, the Constitution would not have enough power to maintain full speed movement and still have shields up and all weapons charged; but it would have an indication of the cloaked ship's general location and be able to move toward it. The closer it gets to the cloaked vessel, the more frequent and longer the blips become, allowing the Constitution to narrow down that enemy's position. If the Constitution manages to maneuver close enough to the cloaked warship (I'm talking about near pointblank range), it might get a contact good enough to get a target lock on the cloaked vessel, but it would be weak at best. At this point the Constitution could fire on the cloaked ship, but the weapons fire is still subject to inaccuracies due to the poor target lock. If it misses, the cloaked vessel has lucked out, but if it hits…ouch, no shields. The game's AI is being designed with this hunting dynamic in mind. In the game, expect to see Federation warships hunting in-groups and spreading out as they conduct search patterns-much as what destroyers did in World War II.
This interpretation we've made for cloaking devices and their counter-measures may seem a little unorthodox, but it really isn't. It is based on two simple assumptions:
1. Cloaking device technology is not infallible, otherwise the Klingon or Romulan Empires would have annihilated the Federation a long time ago.
2. Cloaking and sensor technologies are in a constant state of evolution and refinement, much as stealth and radar technologies have been during the Cold War in the latter half of the twentieth century. At the time that our game takes place, we will find ourselves at the height of a cold war between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, which lends support this conclusion.
18) I've played other space combat games and they've had pretty scenery in the background but you couldn't do anything with it. I've heard that KA has "interactive space terrain". Does that mean I can finally do something with that nebula smeared on the star field or that planet I can never seem to reach?
Interactive Space Terrain is the term we use to refer to things in the game such as nebulae, black holes, asteroid belts, stars, and planets. The game playing environment typically occurs inside star systems. These star systems are true 3D environments that are billions of kilometers in volume, and the player will be able to go anywhere within this space (through the use of in-system warping) at will, in real time. All this space and freedom of movement would be wasted if we didn't find a way to populate it, and that's what we've done with this space terrain. Each type of terrain will have unique effects on your ship's systems and its performance-especially the more exotic types. Because of this, these different terrain types provide distinct tactical environments that are both advantageous and disadvantageous. The classic example has become something like this: "you are facing multiple opponents in open space and are being beaten badly. You plot a course for the edge of a nearby nebula and engage your warp drive. Your opponents decide to pursue and warp into the nebula a few moments after you do. Inside the swirling clouds of ionized gases, sensors and visibility are severely hampered and it becomes difficult for multiple aggressors to find you, much less coordinate their attacks against you. You now have the option of either sneaking away undetected, or, if bold enough, picking off your attackers one by one."
19) So what if I get damaged? Do I just sit there and vent plasma, or can I fix myself up?
Damage control is relatively simple. The player is able to set the priority for what systems get repaired and in what order. The more power you allot to damage control, the faster these repairs occur. However, if damage to an area of your ship is severe enough (like a warp nacelle being blown off, or a hole punched in your hull), it will not be possible to repair that area to 100% during a mission. That kind of damage can only be repaired at base or station in between missions.
20) All this is great, but what happens when I beat on that Federation Light Cruiser? Does it just blow up eventually or does it rip to shreds before blowing up?
We've spent a lot of time getting the ships to look as close to the movies as we can make them when they incur damage. So, what you will be able to see are ships with holes blown out of their hulls, twisted and mangled decks where the hull has been ruptured, raging fires, and plasma venting into space from mangled warp nacelles.
21) These big starships can't run themselves. They've got to have a crew. What does my ship's crew affect in the game?
Your ship's crew is very important to the functioning of your ship. Every ship system is manned and controlled by crewmembers. The overall performance of your ship is not just governed by damage and power, but by the experience level and number of the crew. The crew's experience level is determined by the actions of the ship's captain. If a player does well during battle, completes his mission objectives, as well as hidden ones, his crew's morale and experience will increase so that in the next mission he has a better crew that make his ship perform better. If the player is a poor captain, his crew's morale will suffer and the opposite will occur in subsequent missions. The numbers of the crew is determined in combat. As your ship gets damaged, so does your crew-somebody has to fly over the bridge railing. During battle, crew can be wounded, critically injured, or even killed. Wounded and critically injured crew can be healed during warps between systems, but dead crew can't be brought back.
22) Will it be possible to kill or execute your own crewmembers?
You could lower your shields and get pounded by enemies. That'd get your crew nice and dead, but it's a pain to complete a mission after that.
23) I want to take on my friends. How will multiplayer be supported?
Unfortunately we don't have much to say about this at the moment. What I can say is that work is being done on it and we have three programmers devoted to it full-time. We are very hesitant to describe features for it just yet, because there are still substantial uncertainties, and we don't want to make promises we can't keep. As development on this continues and these uncertainties are resolved, more specific information will be made available. What we can say for sure is that there is support for IPX and TCP/IP protocols on Local Area Networks or the Internet. Modem/Serial play is not currently supported.
24) I'm in a retro mood. Are there any old-series ships in KA? If so, can we fly them?
There are two old series style ships in Klingon Academy--a Constitution Class Cruiser and an Akula Class Destroyer. These ships can be used in multi-player and quick battle. There are no plans to do further old series style ships.
25) You keep mentioning this Quick Battle. What is it?
Quick Battle is a custom combat scenario generator built into Klingon Academy. It allows you to select starships, assign them as friends or enemies, and select a terrain element to fight in. Once those steps are taken, you fight it out until one side or the other is destroyed. At this time, any manned object in the game can be put into a Quick Battle scenario.
26) In SFA's multiplayer and Create Mission every ship was a Fed, at least that's what the ship interfaces and the bridge made it look like. Is every ship in KA going have a Klingon interface?
No. Each race has specific graphics for their ship interfaces and the HUD. The graphics stay the same for starship to starship within the same race, so a Bird of Prey and a Sword of Kahless will have the same interfaces since they are both Klingons but an Oberth Class escort with have it's own Federation graphics. The layout of the buttons and displays remains constant for all races, that way you can jump from a Fed to a Klingon to a Romulan without having to learn the interfaces all over again.