I’m proud to announce that a new total conversion called Federation Dawn will be released for Fleet Operations very soon. It is the first part of my decade long project (seriously, I first started working on it in the summer of 2005) called Evolution , which, as the title may suggest, allows the player to play through the ages of Star Trek from the beginning of the series Enterprise until far beyond the events of Nemesis.
The mod will feature the Federation, Klingons and Romulans as main playable factions but other factions will be available later.
Instead of writing a wall of text about how awesome this mod will be, here is a bit Q&A for you.
Q: So it’s one of those often promised, never finished compilation mods?
A: Nope, this mod has a mechanism that makes stronger ships available as time passes. You’ll be forced to keep up in research because you won’t have a chance with Constitutions if the opponent comes at you with Akiras. Plus Federation Dawn is really almost complete.
Q: You said “first part”. What does this mean exactly? Will it be only a demo?
A: In Federation Dawn (again, the title tells it all) you will start form the era of the series Enterprise and currently the development cycle ends at around 2245. Later expansions will add more and more playable eras.
Q: Wow… So this will be the Ultimate Star Trek Canon History Mod?
A: No. I created my own version of Star Trek history for the mod. In other words I decided what I consider “canon” material, and what not. I consider Enterprise canon, but instead of following with Discovery that I really-really don’t like, I included Masao Okazaki’s awesome Starfleet Museum timeline. Then comes the FASA and Federation & Empire board game timelines to finally reach TOS. Then “my canon” follows the series and movies up until Nemesis, where instead of following Star Trek Online’s “everyone wages war against everyone at least once in the next decade” I created my own future timeline. This of course created some controversies. But more on that later.
Q: Will I be able to send my NX Classes against D’deridexes then?
A: Technically you will. If you can preserve some until then. As time passes new starship classes become available, but obsolete ships will no longer be buildable so if you wish to see your NXs squatted by a mighty Sovereign, you’ll have to hide them in the corner of the map long enough.
Q: But I’ll be able to start from the Enterprise era and play it through the mod up until Nemesis or even beyond?
A: Technically, yes. But the mod is designed to play though only a few decades or a couple of centuries at most. The research cycle is rather slow. It would take about three hours of playing to reach the future ages starting form Enterprise.
Q: What other features this mod has you would mention?
A: Other than the upgrade mechanism, this is a pretty general mod. It is easier to say what distinctive features it lacks that can be found in Fleet Operations. It won’t have Avatars for example (although the mechanism is used). It just doesn’t fit to choose admirals for a century long game. It also won’t have leveling up or special weapons for every ship. I mean not first, but eventually maybe. There are just too many ships in the mod. The Federation alone has more than 40 different playable ship classes.
Q: Wow, that’s a lot of ships… How can you balance them all?
A: With lots and lots of excel sheets. The factions aren’t balanced to each other like in Fleet Ops. As the balance of power shifts during history, so will the balance of the game. So very early the Romulans have the upper hand, while the Federation (United Earth really) is at disadvantage. But this will change fast as the Federation is formed and new technologies become available.
Q: What’s the status of the mod currently?
A: It’s almost complete. I have one more model to finish, I’ll have about a dozen ODFs to write, create the AIPs (that’s the part I’m looking forward the least…) do some alpha testing to iron out the last few bugs I can find and it’s ready to roll.
Q: So WHEN it will be released?
A: When it is done. During the years everything changed. I grew up, I have a job now, a wife, a son and a second on the way, our family house is under construction, so I have my hands full. By my estimate the mod would need about 30 more work hours but I just don’t know when I’ll find the time for it. Be patient and I’ll try to make some updates as I’m progressing.
Q: Can I apply for beta testing?
A: There won’t be a beta test. Or more precisely, the mod will be released as bugfree as possible and I’ll use the feedback of the community to find the last few bugs and do fine tuning.
Q: What’s the future of your Evolution project?
A: The day Federation Dawn will be released I’ll start working on the next phase. There will be a small expansion for the mod and I’ll keep balancing and polishing it before the release of the next phase. Hopefully it will be much faster now that all the mechanisms are in place and apparently working.
Q: Final question! When will we see some pictures?
And finally allow me a statement to avoid further issues.
Many of the models featured in Evolution are the works of other talented artists. I asked and received permission to use their work in my mod, although all those permissions are years old now. Proper credits will be given everyone whose work is used.
I thank those who allowed me to use their work and I ask everyone who plays my mod to respect the work of these artists and do not use any of their material in their own mod without their permission.
A quick introduction to the mod, or what Evolution is about?
Posted by k_merse on