Creating “Star Trek Catan – Federation Space”
After Star Trek Catan was so well received, and as many of you asked us to take this joint venture of the two franchises Catan and Star Trek even further towards the “Final Frontier,” we thought long and hard about what kind of game expansion you would enjoy.
As we knew that a lot of players liked our Catan Geographies™ maps so much, which take the whole Settlers of Catan experience towards a real map to put settlements in, we thought: Let us take Star Trek Catan into a “real” region of space to put our little NCC-1701 spaceships in.
The crucial question was: Is there a region of space sufficiently “real” inside the Star Trek – The Original Series time period? After a bit of research, we discovered this wonderful map titled “The Explored Galaxy” over at the Memory Alpha wiki. As it turned out, this was “as real as it could get,” as it had been first shown hanging on a wall in none other than Captain James T. Kirk’s quarters in the Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country motion picture (and subsequently in various episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation).
Every true Star Trek fan knows that this particular map depicts a lot of the known and beloved locations shown in The Original Series of the 60s, and some of those from The Animated Series of the 70s. We took great effort to investigate and cross-reference all these depicted celestial bodies with their respective episodes. We then added a couple of planets that were not actually shown on this map but that we would really want to have in our game, and tried to pinpoint their locations according to mostly in-canon and sometimes semi-canon sources. For example, we were convinced that we absolutely needed Sherman’s Planet together with Deep Space Station K-7—we certainly couldn’t have done this without tribbles, could we? There are seven additional planets, which we will reveal in more detail in a second blog post in a few weeks from now. We will also discuss our deliberations as to where we chose to put them on our map.
The next step was to overlay the star chart with a hexagonal grid to create a Catan board. Like with our regular Catan Geographies maps, this required making a few compromises about the true real-world locations or, in this case, fictional space topography versus suitable Catan building spots. Almost immediately it became obvious that one regular sized Catan map would not be nearly big enough – so we decided to split the map in half and create two maps instead of just one. We honestly believe that the compromises we made were acceptable expenses for having all those famous planets and systems from “The Explored Galaxy” map on our two Star Trek Catan: Federation Space™ maps.
We now present you what James Tiberius Kirk himself voices over the intro of the Star Trek TV show: “These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.”
Gero Zahn — March 28, 2013