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Design Diary - Premiere

by Chris Lobban, Assistant Designer

10th November 2014

Investigate Anti-Time Eruption Premiere is hard to capture in a single card, because it is what created the game. We started by thinking of what card most felt to be "missing" from the game from as early as premiere. And one of the most "missing" cards in the game was Thadiun Okana. So our first entry for Premiere was this personnel. He's been asked about since the game started, Second Edition finally got a copy of him very recently, and it's about time that First Edition did as well. But once we got him on paper and started looking at him more closely, we realized that there was really nothing that we could do for him within the "Premiere era" mechanics, that would actually do him justice. After waiting this long, would people really want an average attribute personnel with 3-4 skills? Was a combination of both Honor and Treachery on the same card really that appealing? The more we looked at him, the more we wanted to give him something more... some form of special skill or something. Something that we couldn't do in Premiere. So, ultimately he got bumped. It was not an easy choice, but we felt like it was the right one. Especially in light of something else that we had in mind, a new mechanic that would fit in perfectly with his character (if you've read the more recent CRD, you probably already know what I'm alluding to here...). We already knew what gametext we wanted to give him, we just couldn't within the restrictions that we'd set ourself. So we moved on.

Our next idea was a mission. Premiere had a lot of missions, of course, because they're mandatory for the game. And it had missions that were exciting not because of some special gametext, but because they were high point value, requiring a lot of skills. Premiere also gave us most of the Neutral Zone missions that are in the game today (although they weren't formally flagged as such at the time, of course). And since it came out a few months after the TNG finale, it felt fitting that we include the mission from that finale in the set. We briefly considered releasing it without the Region text on it, and then immedidately releasing an errata to put it there, but decided it was easier just to produce the card once instead of twice. ;-) The inital version was only worth 35 points, and had "Jean-Luc Picard" as an alternative requirement, similar to some other missions of the day. But we got some complaints from playtesters that it wasn't a "big enough" mission for a series finale. So we tacked on some extra points and changed up the requirements a bit. And now, it's a 50 point mission and the Federation can potentially use 10 different mission specialists to help complete it, making it worth a full 100 points by itself. How's that for a series finale? And of course, the vast majority of those mission specialists were released in Premiere, to really seal the deal.

So although we didn't end up making the card that we'd initially envisioned for our tribute to the Premiere set, we did end up with a card that we were extremely happy with. One that I think really captures the spirit of Premiere, and should give people lots of good memories and nostalgia at the type of cards that you'd expect to see when you first cracked open one of those plain blue booster packs. One that you might even be happy to see in your rare slot... the first time, at least. But I'm really glad that, with virtual expansions, we don't have to worry about getting multiple copies of a rare mission, because that was a royal pain... ;-)

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