Star Fleet series

Group Description

The Star Fleet games are a series of futuristic turn-based strategy games set in a universe similar to Star Trek, all developed by the same core design team around Trevor C. Sorensen.

The origins of the series go back as far as to the mid-'70s when Trevor Sorensen discovered a StarTrek-type game on the Honeywell mainframe computer of the University of Kansas while attending graduate school there. Playing this game he had many ideas for improvements and additions, but couldn't get in touch with its original authors, thus decided to rewrite it from scratch. Over the next years, until about 1980, he developed a free full-fledged multi-player strategy game called Starfleet that saw great success. At its peak the game was included on a DECUS (DEC Users Group) tape in 1981 and thus achieved worldwide distribution.

Around 1980, however, the code of Starfleet had turned into an unmanageable "spaghetti" mess that forced Trevor Sorensen to rewrite it from scratch, again, vastly improving over the old game in the process. This new code base was called Starfleet X and was nearing completion when a new home computer saw its advent that, finally, was powerful enough to host Starfleet X - the IBM PC. In the light of this event, Sorensen decided to commercially release his Starfleet game and founded a partnership company called Cygnus that, after creating a new game universe due to licensing issues, released a dumbed-down version of Starfleet X late in the year 1983. This was the start of the commercial Star Fleet series which further development can be read about in detail here.

In 1998, Brett Keeton contacted Trevor Sorensen with the idea of Star Fleet 1 being ported to Windows, vastly improved in graphics and sound, and sold as shareware. While doing the coding work on this project, the team realized that the 1983 game was too shallow for the modern game market, and thus decided to re-activate the old Starfleet X code and improve upon this code base. Starfleet Deluxe was born. In September 2002, however, the development saw a major drawback when lead programmer Brett Keeton committed suicide at the age of 38, and the rest of the team wasn't able to retrieve the beta version of Starfleet Deluxe from his hard drive.

As of the time of this writing (November 2009) the game stands unfinished, but the latest version can be downloaded and played.

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