(written from a Production point of view)
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Birth of the Federation is a turn-based video game where the player takes control of either the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, the Ferengi Alliance or the Cardassian Union in building a galactic empire. Players can colonize systems, conquer or ally minor alien races, construct starship fleets and go to war with the other galactic powers.
The game includes two game modes: domination, in which the player must conquer a portion of the galaxy, and vendetta, where the player must destroy their empire's two racial enemies.
In the single player game, the player chooses one of five empires included in the game. The empires then take turns moving ships, engaging in diplomacy, research, building and intelligence operations, and fighting. The single player game has two different victory modes. In a domination game, the player must control 60% of the galaxy. If the player allies themselves with another empire, the two empires combined must control 75% of the galaxy. In vendetta mode the player must destroy their empire's two racial enemies before the player is destroyed by one of their own enemies. The vendettas are all mutual. The vendetta pairings are:
- Federation: Romulans, Cardassians
- Klingons: Cardassians, Ferengi
- Romulans: Federation, Ferengi
- Ferengi: Romulans, Klingons
- Cardassians: Federation, Klingons
The game is divided into two parts: a galactic management mode, and a tactical combat mode. In the management mode, the game screen represents a map of the galaxy. The map is divided into sectors, some of which contain systems or stellar phenomena and others which are empty. This is where you build, colonize, allocate research, engage in diplomacy and intelligence and move your ships.
If starships from two neutral or hostile empires occupy the same sector at the beginning of any your turns, a dialog box appears asking for your response. The player can choose to retreat or hail in an attempt to avoid combat, or they can attack. If you choose to attack then the tactical combat mode appears. When this happens, a 3D representation of the sector appears. The player then takes a turn to give his ships orders then the ships carry those orders out. If any ships survive the first turn, then the process repeats until there is a victor.
Multi-player is the same as single player with the exception that one or more of the other empires is controlled by another player. Multi-player also includes a third game mode called team play. In team play, the empires are placed on teams before the game starts and a team must control 75% of the galaxy, or eradicate the other empires to win.
- Descriptions are quoted from the game manual.
Founded in 2161, the United Federation of Planets is an alliance of several planets dedicated to peace and scientific exploration. It is governed by the Federation Council, which in turn, is lead by the Council President.
The Federation's organization for interstellar exploration and defense is Starfleet Command. Starfleet's mission to explore strange new worlds and to seek out new life and new civilizations is balanced by its Prime Directive: to not interfere in the natural development of any unaligned race. As a result, first contact with other races is very important to the Federation. For every successful first contact, such as Zefram Cochrane's peaceful meeting with the Vulcans, there has been a dangerous encounter, such as the one with the Klingon Empire.
The Federation is also known for its history of able diplomacy. Through the Khitomer Peace Accords of 2293, the Federation founded a friendship with their former adversary, the Klingons. Likewise, the Federation has used diplomacy to rein in the Romulan Star Empire and Cardassian Union by creating buffer zones between their territories and the Federation's.
This reputation for diplomacy is the Federation's most significant game play advantage. In diplomacy, the Federation's credits are extremely effective in establishing treaties. Minor races show more sympathy towards the Federation than other empires. In combat, the Federation also has an advantage with strong shields and hulls, and it receives a large bonus for liberating inhabited solar systems.
By killing Molor the Tyrant circa 600 AD and defeating the Fek'lhri, Kahless the Unforgettable united his fellow Klingons with his acts of honor and courage. Even now, a clone of Kahless still serves as an inspirational Emperor of the Klingons, although the government is actually led by the Chancellor, who oversees the Klingon High Council from the Klingon homeworld, Qo'noS.
Forged in war, the Klingon Empire has continued to temper itself through conflict. For Klingons, strength and honor in battle is all. Some opponents they recognize as honorable, others they consider treacherous. Respect for an enemy's strength can lead the Klingons to forge a needed alliance.
Sometimes the Klingons fight old allies. Former allies with the Klingons, the Romulans struck at Klingon outposts in 2344 and 2346, respectively. Such situations reinforce the Klingons' belief that the future of their empire rests on battle readiness.
This readiness for battle at any moment is its main game play advantage. The Klingon Empire is quite effective in ground combat. Klingon Colony and Troop Transport starships, unlike those of other empires, are armed for space battle. Their Birds-of-Prey starships can cloak.
To understand the Romulans, one must look to the planet Vulcan. In the first century AD, the Vulcans suffered a series of horrible wars due to their violent and passionate natures. Then came the Time of Awakening, when Surak taught his people the strength of logic and the peace that came with it. Those Vulcans who rejected Surak's teachings left their homeworld for the planets of Romulus and Remus, founding the Romulan Star Empire.
Now the Romulans are governed by a ruler known as the Praetor, who is supported by the Imperial Senate, a parliament led by the Proconsul. The Romulans' military intelligence agency, the Tal Shiar, not only spies on their enemies but also on its own citizens for signs of betrayal.
In playing the Romulans, take advantage of their covert means at undermining their foes. The Romulans secretly helped foster the Klingon Civil War of 2367, attempted a clandestine takeover of Vulcan in 2368, and have highly placed spies, such as Federation Ambassador T'Pel.
To other races, the Romulans prefer to remain a mystery. In their first battle with Earth in 2160, the Romulans kept their appearance hidden from their enemies. By 2266, the Romulans had developed a cloaking device that rendered their starships invisible to enemy sensors. Nevertheless, the Romulans have entered into military alliances with the Klingons and with the Cardassians when these empires have shared common foes.
The Romulans' reliance upon their military intelligence and their desire to remain enigmatic serve as their major gameplay advantages. By building special structures, they have effective intelligence operations. Their starships, with the exception of Colony, Troop Transports and Strike Cruisers, can cloak and have efficient targeting systems with powerful plasma torpedoes.
Ferengi personal conduct is influenced by the 285 Rules of Acquisition, the first of which is "once you have their money, you never give it back." These rules were formulated by Gint, who led the Ferengi as the first Grand Nagus nearly 10,000 years ago. The current Grand Nagus oversees the Alliance from the homeworld of Ferenginar.
By the time a race has encountered them, the Ferengi have already established a financial foothold into that race's territory. Although the Federation did not meet the Ferengi until 2364, the Ferengi had been salvaging Federation property since 2355. The Ferengi like to deal with those races that are unfamiliar with their reputation for greed. First contacts are excellent opportunities to increase their profit by making deals that are favorable to themselves.
Since they prefer the acquisition of financial power rather than that of political or military power, it is easy to underestimate the Ferengi. This focus upon economic interests gives the Ferengi certain game play advantages. They can establish trade routes without treaties and build structures that boost their income. Another advantage is that Ferengi starships have strong shields and carry several torpedoes.
The Cardassian Union was formed by the civilian Detapa Council 300 years before the Federation came into existence. With the Detapa Council controlling both the military units of the Central Command and the spy network of the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian Union grew strong by gaining territory and technology through war, at the price of several million deaths. Given that before the Union, millions of Cardassians had died due to plague and famine, success through such brutal means seemed to cost no more than life before wars.
The Cardassian people, however, were once a spiritual culture, deeply interested in peace. Now that spiritual past is no longer acknowledged in a society that focuses on the military order, discipline and conquest. Races, such as the Bajorans, who are conquered by the Cardassians find their worlds strip-mined of all resources in order to support the Union. These actions are seen as acceptable, even efficient, by the Cardassians.
This military efficiency is a game play advantage, with their ability to rule other races best through subjugation by constructing special structures. The Cardassians gain a great deal of productivity that other races are unable to do to races they have subjugated. They are also efficient in intelligence operations through the development of structures, and their starships have extremely powerful beam weapons and strong hulls.
Scout ships are long-range vessels that are used primarily for exploration. They have longer range sensors than other types of starships which allow the scout to chart sectors adjacent to it, not just the sector that the vessel is in. In combat a scout ship provides detailed information about enemy vessels. The Romulan D'renet-class scout can cloak. All scout ships have an upgraded version with more powerful shields, weapons and engines. The upgraded Klingon B'rel-class scout can cloak.
Destroyers are light starships that serve as escorts and commerce raiders. They have medium range and tend to be faster than other types of ships both in and out of combat. The Federation and the Ferengi both have heavy destroyers which combine speed with more powerful weaponry. The Romulan D'ridren-class destroyer can cloak. All destroyers have an upgraded version with the exception of the Federation Defiant-class.
A warship is a general combat starship that doesn't fit into any of the other vessel categories. These ships usually make up the backbone of fleets and are generally well rounded combatants. They are slower than destroyers but compensate by providing more weapons. All warships are medium range vessels. Most races have more than one warship class, a lighter, faster, cheaper warship (Federation Ambassador-class) and a larger, slower, more expensive heavy warship (Federation Galaxy-X-class). The Ferengi don't have a second warship class. Instead they have the Tokorn-class heavy raider, which contains some of the best features of both warship and destroyer type vessels. Both the Romulan R'derex-class cruiser and the D'dredar-class Battle Cruiser can cloak. All warship type ships have an upgraded version. The upgraded Klingon K'vort-class Bird-of-Prey can cloak.
The strike cruiser carries less beam weapons than warships in exchange for a large and powerful torpedo loadout. These ships excel at assaulting systems but are usually outgunned if they have to engage in close range combat. Strike cruisers are slow and cumbersome in and out of battle. They all are short range ships. The Romulan R'tan-class starship can cloak. All strike cruisers have an upgraded version that is faster, more powerful and better able to fight in close range combat. An empire's upgraded strike cruiser is arguably their most powerful ship in the game.
Command cruisers are the most well-known class of starship. In the game they are meant to lead fleets into battle. In battle they allow the targeting of individual enemy ships rather than types of enemy ships. In battle command cruisers are heavily armed and shielded, but slow and unwieldy. They are generally more powerful than light warships, but less powerful than heavy warships. Outside of battle, all command cruisers are short range. The Federation is the only empire that fields a heavy command cruiser. The Romulan D'deridex-class Warbird can cloak. All command cruisers have an upgraded version that is faster and more powerful.
Colony ships terraform and colonize uninhabited planets. They work faster in groups although you only lose one ship from a group when you colonize a system. They are slow and cumbersome in battle, but are medium range ships out of battle. The Klingon LI'w'I-class colony ship is armed and can defend itself in battle, although it can't defeat a combat ship on its own. Romulan D'retex-class colony ships can not cloak. All colony ships have an upgraded version that are faster, better shielded and terraform more quickly.
Troop transports are used to capture enemy worlds, build outposts and upgrade outposts to starbases. They work more effectively in groups although you only lose one transport if you capture a planet or build an outpost. Troop transports have a ground combat strength that depends on the race of the transport. The Klingon Chowghwl'-class transport is armed. The Romulan R'daran-class transport can't cloak. All Transports have an upgraded version that has a higher ground combat strength, is faster, better shielded and can build more quickly.
- † = non-canon
- Scout: Oberth-class
- Destroyer: Miranda-class
- Heavy Destroyer: Constellation-class
- Heavy Escort: Defiant-class
- Light Cruiser: Ambassador-class
- Strike Cruiser: Nebula-class
- Command Cruiser: Galaxy-class
- Dreadnought: Sovereign-class
- Heavy Cruiser: Galaxy-X-class † (Note: Does appear in TNG: "All Good Things..." as a Galaxy-class refit)
- Colony Ship: Edward-class †
- Troop Transport: London-class †
- Scout: B'rel-class
- Destroyer: May'Duj-class (D7-class)
- Battle Cruiser: K't'inga-class
- Strike Cruiser: Negh'Var-class
- Attack Cruiser: Vor'cha-class (Note: in the game, the ship is classified as a 'Battleship')
- Heavy Cruiser: K'vort-class
- Colony Ship: LI'w'I'-class †
- Troop Transport: ChowghwI'-class †
- Scout: D'renet-class (Romulan scout ship)
- Destroyer: D'ridren-class (Romulan scout ship)
- Cruiser: R'derex-class †
- Strike Cruiser: R'tan-class †
- Warbird: D'deridex-class (Note: in the game, the ship is classified as a 'Battleship')
- Battle Cruiser: D'dredar-class †
- Colony Ship: D'retex-class †
- Troop Transport: R'daran-class †
- Scout: Bronta-class †
- Light Raider: Ngort-class †
- Raider: Tokorn-class †
- War Cruiser: Goront-class †
- Strike Cruiser: Ooron-class †
- Marauder: D'Kora-class (Note: in the game, the ship is classified as a 'Battleship')
- Colony Ship: Tomax-class †
- Troop Transport: Glantor-class †
- Scout: Nerok-class †
- Destroyer: Netel-class †
- Cruiser: Neterok-class †
- Strike Cruiser: Keldon-class
- Battleship: Galor-class
- Heavy Cruiser: Telok-class †
- Colony Ship: Ranol-class †
- Troop Transport: Toran-class †
Minor Race Ships and Space-dwelling Lifeforms
- Acamarian raider (destroyer/raider)
- Bajoran fighter (destroyer/raider)
- Borg cube
- Calamarain (gaseous space-dwelling lifeform)
- Chodak dreadnought at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Crystalline Entity (crystalline space-dwelling lifeform)
- Edo God (known as 'Edo Guardian' in the game)
- Gomtuu (sentient starship aka 'Tin Man')
- Echo Papa 607 (Minosian combat drone)
- Husnock raider
- Ktarian raider (destroyer/raider)
- Pakled transport (command)
- Sheliak raider (destroyer/raider)
- Talarian warship (command)
- Tamarian defender (command)
- Tarellian starship (plague spreader)
- Trill warship (command)
- Vulcan ship (destroyer/raider)
- Yridian scout (scout w/cloaking device)
Minor races and bonuses
In Birth of the Federation, you will also encounter many minor races which you can either conquer or have voluntarily join your empire through diplomacy. Like each empire, each minor race also has a race-specific structure that you can construct that will bring a significant bonus to your empire once they become part of your empire. These bonuses range from increased production, research, intelligence, morale and defense.
Each minor race special structure and the bonus is in the table below:
- Acamarian Clan Hall (+100% credits, +1 morale)
- Andorian War College (+25 ship experience per turn training)
- Angosian Super Soldier Academy (+50% ground combat)
- Antedean Harvesting Complex (+50% food)
- Antican Mustering Base (+50% ground combat)
- Bajoran Jalanda Forum (+1 morale empire-wide)
- Bandi Architectural Center (+100% construction research)
- Benzite Industrial Center (+100% industry)
- Betazoid Counseling Academy (+50% internal security)
- Bolian Cosmetology Center (+50% espionage)
- Bynar Planetary Computer (+100% computer research)
- Caldonian Research Think Tank (+25% on all research fields)
- Chalnoth Gladiatorial Arena (+100% weapons research)
- Edo Palace (+1 morale empire-wide)
- Ktarian Game Studio (+50% sabotage)
- Malcorian Kinetics Laboratory (+100% propulsion research)
- Mintakan Farm (+100% food)
- Mizarian Monument of Surrender (+5 morale)
- Nausicaan Recruitment Center (+50% ground combat)
- Pakled Collection Facility (+50 General Research Points or GRP)
- Selay Mustering Base (+50% ground combat)
- Sheliak Bioengineering Lab (+100% biotech research)
- Takaran Physics Institute (+100% energy research)
- Talarian Defense Network (+100% ground combat)
- Tamarian Mythology Library (+150 GRP)
- Trill Research Committee (+30% on all research fields)
- Ullian Psychohistorical Archive (+25% espionage and sabotage)
- Vulcan Science Academy (+35% on all research fields)
- Yridian Intelligence Service (+50% espionage)
- Zakdorn Military Academy (+100 ship experience per turn training)
Each minor race also have varying opinions of each empire. For instance, warrior races such as the Nausicaans and Chalnoth tend to favor the Klingons, whereas research-oriented species like the Vulcans and Trill favor the Federation above all others. You will see a sympathy meter when you first contact a minor race, and from that point onward, in your Diplomacy Screen database under that race's record. Races that have high opinions of your empire make diplomacy much easier (and cheaper) and lessen the expense and need for conquest. Also, having a minor race join your empire through diplomacy generally means greater morale, and thus increasing production and research, and also reduces the susceptibility of being bribed away by a rival. Conversely, subjugated planets have lower morale, and thus have a detrimental effect on production, research, etc. Should the subjugated race become angry enough, civil unrest will result, such as a general strike (and no industrial production). In extreme cases, the subjugated system may even rebel and declare independence from your empire.
- Tom Benkert as Klingon Admiral / Klingon Narrator
- Jamie Berger as Ferengi Admiral / Ferengi Narrator
- Jeffrey Nicholas Brown as Klingon Base Commander
- Elena-Melanie Fabri as Romulan Base Commander / Klingon Lieutenant
- Wally Fields as Cardassian Lieutenant / Ferengi Base Commander / Klingon Commander / Echo Papa Salesman
- Charles Halpern as Cardassian Base Commander
- Renee Hewitt as Romulan Admiral / Romulan Narrator
- Tom Jermain as Cardassian Captain
- George Joyce as Ferengi Computer / Romulan Captain
- Ron Lakis as Cardassian Computer / Federation Base Commander
- Marilyn MacDonald as Federation Lieutenant / Klingon Computer
- Fred Martin as Federation Admiral / Federation Narrator
- Caitlin McClure as Federation Captain / Romulan Computer
- Michael McKee as Ferengi Lieutenant / Klingon Captain / Borg
- Rich Nicholas as Cardassian Commander / Cardassian Narrator
- Matthew Proschold as Federation Commander / Romulan Commander
- Sylvie Schmid as Borg Queen
- Guy Slater as Ferengi Captain
- Mark Van Gelder as Ferengi Commander
- Lara Wheless as Federation Computer
- Neil Worden as Cardassian Admiral / Romulan Lieutenant
- Special Thanks to Ken Allen, Steve Weinstein, John Vifian, Joe Scirica, Dax Jacobson
- Lead Engineer: Bill Chinn
- Software Engineers: Bill Chinn, Alice Chinn, Dave Lewak, Jon Edwards, Sami Tabikh, Steve Tsai
- Additional Programming: Erick Jap, Garry Gibbons
- Lead Artist: Rima Litonjua
- Artists: Rima Litonjua, Eddie Edwards, Sebastian Hyde, Christian Ingle, Dean Lee, Stewart Stanyard, John Edwards, Rick Hess, Josh Ferguson, Suzanne Onodera, Gavin Wood, Chris Wren
- Project Manager: Wella Lasola
- Producers: Wella Lasola, Jeff Holzhauer
- Localization Producer: Simon Ffinch
- Game Design: Bill Chinn, Kyle Brink
- Additional Game Design: Jeff Holzhauer, Jon Edwards, Sami Tabikh, Alice Chinn, Steve Tsai, Dave Lewak, Dan Young
- Writers: Dan Young, Kyle Brink
- Additional Writing: Steve Olson
- Audio Director: Paul Mogg
- Sound Designer: J. White
- Additional Audio Processing: Scott Peterson
- Music Composed and Produced by: Steve Scherer
- Quality Assurance Lead: Yobo Shen
- Assistant Lead Testers: Ryan Natale, Steve Head
- Quality Assurance: Scott Crisostomo, D'Juan Bragg, Lesley Mathieson, James Bostick, Anthony Constantino XXVII, Matthew Barrett, Chris Everett, Tony Hunter, Robert Swain, Michael Siu, Hans Hagberg, Adam Terminello, Phoenix Valencia
- Beta Testers: Steffen Bartschat, John Baylis, William Browning, Ray Chiang, Richard Chung, Edwin Duerr, Thomas Jett, David Li, Scott Martin, David Porter, Devlin Spearman, John Speck, Brian Terry, Phil Thorne, James Yonemura, Cliff Young
- Compatibility Technician: Henry Wu
- Manual Editor: Marisa Ong
- Manual Writer: Aaron Malchow
- Manual Design and Layout: William Salit
- Paramount Pictures: Juliet Dutton, Harry Lang
- President: Tom Dusenberry
- Product Manager: Steve Arthur
- General Manager: Jim Buchanan
- Director of Marketing: Tom Nichols
- Director of Business Developmen: John Sutyak
- V.P. Research and Development: Tony Parks
- V.P. of Studios: Paul Fullwood
- Studio Head: Kelly Zmak
- V.P. of Technology: Rich Reily
- Director of Quality Assurance: Michael Craighead
- Director of Marketing Services: George Burtch
- Channel Marketing Director: Tim Evans
- Director of Public Relations: Dana Henry
- Creative Services Director: Steve Webster
- Creative Services Manager: Kathryn Lynch
- Art Director: Steve Martin
- Editorial Specialist: Elizabeth Mackney
- Manager of Technical Services: Tony Moreira
- Director of Operations: Bob Sadacca
- Operations and Special Project Manager: Tracy Kureta
- Legal and Finance: Bruce Kelly, Ron Parkinson, Donna Mahan, Donna Fuchs, Linda Ferros
- Special Thanks: Mary Lou Langley
Hasbro Interactive Worldwide
- Managing Director, New Business: Barry Jafrato
- Brand Director: Matt Carroll
- Strategic Marketing Director: Kate Webster
- PR Director: Jason Dutton
- Art Director: Steve Cross