Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Meet the Team: Josh Ferguson
05-22-2009, 04:47 PM
In this edition of meet the team, itís our pleasure to introduce Josh Ferguson, one of the Star Trek Online teamís content designers. Josh works specifically in exploration content, so when youíre boldly going where no man has gone before, he's the guy to remember!

What do you do on Star Trek Online?

Iím a content designer. Specifically, I deal with a lot of the "Exploration Content." One of the core components of the Star Trek universe is the whole "Öwhere no one has gone before" idea, and Iím doing a lot the content work geared towards supporting that notion. No "One" may have seen precisely what the player is exploring, but there is a whole lot of work needed to make sure that it makes sense, plays well, fits Trek and above all Ö that it is fun.

How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Star Trek Online?

Iíve been making games for 14 years. Iíve worked on quite a number of games over the years at companies like Turbine and Microprose, as well as more than four years here at Cryptic. I have a couple of shipped MMOs under my belt, but perhaps most relevant to STO's community, I had a somewhat minor role on Star Trek: Birth of the Federation Ė a game which I still remember very fondly, even though it has been a decade since it shipped.

Who is your favorite Star Trek character and why?

Hands down, I loved Morn from DS9. He was the source of a lot of humor, sure, but his greatest strength was in how the other characters spoke to and about him. Itís that kind of nuance and implied background that I think Star Trek has always been a fantastic source of.

Trek has always conveyed a rich universe in subtle ways, from the numerous Mirror Universe stories down to Spockís arched eyebrow accompanied with a dry "fascinating Ö." Morn exemplified that. I was among the group that so wanted him to have the final words in the series finale of DS9.

What is an interesting fact about you that players would be surprised to know?

Given the international flavor of our community and of Star Trek fans in general, it might be of interest that I was born in a small town in Australia (Warrnambool). Though I grew up just outside of Seattle in the U.S., I spent a lot of summers (okay, winters in the Southern hemisphere) in both Melbourne and Canberra throughout my childhood.

Another unusual fact is that I entered (and did well in) a couple of demolition derbies when I was younger. I havenít come across too many other people who have participated in intentional car accidents as a spectator sport.

If you could choose to be an alien on Star Trek, which species would you want to be?

Voth are really cool, especially given their "Distant Origin Theory." While their society, as depicted on the show, was deeply mired in superstition and rigidity to the point of repression, I did love their ship and their look.

Which is cooler: monkeys, robots, pirates, or ninjas?

The designer in me balks at this question! The answer should be "whichever one the player wants to be." And there should be an odd number of choices, so we can adopt a much more interesting RPS style advantage/disadvantage balancing approach.

But the short answer is Ö Zombies.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into the gaming industry?

Get a college degree, and preferably not only one from one of the "game schools." Iíve certainly worked with, and respected, people who did not have a traditional college education, but I would strongly encourage people to get the breadth of knowledge and research habits that a four-year degree promotes. It will only help you make better games!

What was your first favorite video game?

Digging back into the early days, Iíd have to say that there were a couple of games that I loved dearly and really helped shape my thinking, and even my choice of career. I played so much Elite on my C64 that the red floppy disk wore out. Then there was a game called Adventure Construction Set, also on the Commodore 64, that I spent a large chunk of my young life trying to fill up with game ideas Ė so much so that it felt more like work than a game. I do remember banging my head against various restrictions of the hardware and the software! Things have come an extraordinary distance since those days, but we still seem to always be right at the edge of stretching those same boundaries. Luckily, I can actually help stretch those boundaries today Ö and get a paycheck for it!

Original article.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-22-2009, 04:51 PM
Good 'ole Morn. Always had somthing to say... :p
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-22-2009, 04:53 PM
Welcome!

And Birth of the Federation... man, you have no ideas how many DAYS i spent on it!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-22-2009, 04:55 PM
o/

Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekhan
Who is your favorite Star Trek character and why?

Hands down, I loved Morn from DS9. He was the source of a lot of humor, sure, but his greatest strength was in how the other characters spoke to and about him. Itís that kind of nuance and implied background that I think Star Trek has always been a fantastic source of.
Awesome choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rekhan
Then there was a game called Adventure Construction Set, also on the Commodore 64, that I spent a large chunk of my young life trying to fill up with game ideas
Same here!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5 gaming education
05-22-2009, 05:28 PM
Hello I was wondering, what anyone thought of the various gaming schools and Universities, does anyone have any recommendations. Are there certain areas more in demand,, and the part i'm really interested in. Is where and who have the technologies in the schools that can teach about holo-graphic images to be able to make online gaming a 3d virtual world, I did see a good video about the future of gaming with The Profit Gamers Guild, where when you step into a room you are also in the video game.... This is the kind of technology I hope gaming schools can teach, of course that's cutting edge technology and possibly hard to learn in any ordinary gaming school.

Does anyone have any recommendations for schools that are really on the edge of technology?
Thanks
Poisedonis Meru
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6 Welcome
05-22-2009, 06:00 PM
You sound like a cool dude. GO MORN!!:p
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7 ????
05-22-2009, 06:42 PM
To Josh Ferguson
As a writer and a big trekkie i have some brilliant ideas for 'the unknown', is there anyway i could send my ideas in or is there any plans for more contests that allow fans to create their own planets or history for you to use in the game!?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-22-2009, 06:46 PM
Good to see an Aussie on board...shame he was born in Victoria though.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-22-2009, 07:27 PM
Hey, I was wondering if you worked on Asheron's Call at Turbine? That is hands down one of my favorite games EVER. I was almost fired at my job because I would call in sick once a week just to keep playing. I also Beta tested the game. A couple of months ago I revisited the game just for kicks. Nothing much had changed. I would be vary impressed if you were part of the turbine team that made the game. Any ways thanks for you're reply if you have time to make one!!!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-22-2009, 07:49 PM
Morn is indeed a special person in Trek which I'm glad was mentioned. Also the time of Commodore 64 was my beginning with Computers.
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