Friday, August 31, 2012

Biblical Reference, the rest of it

In writing these articles there were items that slipped through the cracks, elements that I did not address.  And in going through the articles there was a huge element that I missed:  what do I call the game?  What ship name do I choose?

This is a Big Deal.  I have spoken in the past about the importance of ads and if your ship's name is utterly lame then you are not going to get any takers.  I was in a game called Andoria and the name alone drew me.  Unfortunately the game itself was not so hot. For me the ship name I would use is...

Lionheart.  Is Lionheart a lame name?  Well, maybe.  I chose the name because of my love of Kate Bush and her work.  Over the years I think I have come up with better names for ships: Tyche, the Greek goddess of Luck.  Vixen.  Team Mugatu.  Fearless.  I think those names show a bit more creativity.  I chose Lionheart purely for nostalgic purposes.

If you were to name a ship, what would you choose?  What influences or inspirations could you use?  City names is one idea, mythology another.  Or you could name it after someone.  Imagine Star Trek: Uhura.  Hell yes.  I was looking at the Azeri Fleet web site (and no, I will not provide the link) and some of their names are pretty cool, to be honest.  Endurance, Asimov, Aurora, Triton, some good names there.  Some sound like traditional British Navy ship names, others named after famous people, still others using lesser used mythological gods.  But the ship named Wolverine?  Lame.

David E provided me with a name I though was pretty neat: The Mostar.  Mostar Bridge, or Stari Most, is located in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and it has some history.  It is a neat sounding name with some background.  It is a name going beyond what you normally hear.

Character photos?  Absolutely, yes, character photos should be used.  However, I think a minimalist approach should be chosen.  Players and GMs should not be trying to super impose heads on other pictures so they can have their characters appear as if they are wearing uniforms.  Sometimes it looks fine, other times it just looks terrible.  A minimum of Photoshopery should be employed.  Also, photos of characters should have era neutral clothing so at least the other characters can better imagine the photos representing a character from a futuristic era.

Details?  Should your ship have a deck listing?  Should there be pictures of the interior?  Should you post information and images of things like equipment and weapons?  Not necessary.  Look, all of that is nice but why make so much work for yourself?  I used to borrow images from such awesome web sites as Ex Astris Scientia but after a while I kind of shrugged and wondered why I was making so much work for myself?  Building the web site at one time was fun, but in retrospect it seems like such a chore.  Provide links on your web site to places like The Daystrom Institute, Ex Atris Scientia, Memory Alpha.  In my case, since I am using a non canon design, I would provide some information on my site for it as well as provide a link to the source material at Memory Beta.  I would also provide more images.  But interiors?  Well, if they were available...

There they are, created by Sean P. Tourangeau himself.

Finally, on the matter on non-canon ships, I think that people are normally turned off by them.  I think a ship like Titan is an exception because there is information available online.  I have seen some ridiculous ship designs, they usually culminate in them being "Like the Sovereign, only bigger!"  Years ago I remember seeing a person running a game where they   Upping the size of an already existing ship does not work, to me.  There are sooooo many available canon designs and sure, I used a non-canon design but it was used in a series of books released by a publisher and approved by Paramount.  I think if you are going to use a non-canon design, don't make up one.  People are usually turned off by them.  Exceptions?  Sure, there was my game, Vixen, which used a non-canon design, but because I 1) found an image and 2) there were no canon fast cargo ships I felt justified.  I guess any GM can find a justification if they try hard enough.

I hope these articles help when it comes to creating your own Star Trek game.  Heck, when it comes to creating any game, really.  It comes down to preparation, providing players with expectations both through data provided and examples, and presenting yourself in a professional manner.  The next articles will decidedly be non-Star Trek related as I discuss other matters.  When they will be ready I am not entirely sure as I am attempting to write a second Animated Series review.

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