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Bruner House is a studio formed from ex-Telltale team members, so their legacy is quite robust. They previously worked on so many narrative games that made us laugh, cry, then cry a lot. Our studio has an especially large fondness for The Walking Dead and the Wolf Among Us games… On top of that, being a sci-fi nerd is practically a requirement to work at SneakyBox, so what came next had us over the moon.


Our hard work and portfolio landed us an opportunity to work on a new project by Dramatic Labs – Star Trek: Resurgence. Dramatic Labs is formed by 20+ former Telltale writers, developers, designers, artists, and producers.

This time around, an intrepid crew would star in a narrative adventure that will have you clinging to the edge of your seat while retaining the tough decisions Telltale-like games are known for.

In the game, you take control of two newcomers to the Star Trek universe. You can expect branching storylines decided by the player’s decisions, shuttle piloting, intense phaser fights, stealth mechanics, and the return of many iconic characters.


Initially, we were contracted to take care of smaller tasks. However, working with Bruner House felt like a natural fit for both of us.

We ended up doing much more – from giving new life to characters and items that are staples of the series as 3D models to creating some of the main gameplay systems of the game.

The scope of the project was huge, the expectations – massive, and the legacy of the property even bigger. It was all hands on deck.


We started off by working on 3D modeling. It was unlike anything we’ve done so far. The client demanded the utmost accuracy that even the most hardcore of Trekkies would admire.

While creating models for the characters, that meant recreating their likeness tastefully and accurately within the style of Resurgence. To this end, we needed to cooperate both with the client and other institutions closely.

For example, while working on Spock’s model, we had the utmost pleasure of consulting the Neemoy Estate to make sure our depiction is true to form and honors Leonard Neemoy’s legacy.

Meanwhile, while designing ships, props, and other models, we took inspiration from countless images across the history of Star Trek, as well as official models and even actual props used in other properties. Which was not easy as the shows use different props across multiple episodes or seasons.


Creating, tweaking, and testing gameplay systems was one of the things we were most excited about. The process went relatively smoothly too! We worked on lighting orb shooting, transporter, cover shooting, stealth, ice melting, shuttle flying, tricorder scanning, and a whole list of other systems.

However, it didn’t come without challenges, like making sure that the cover shooting mechanics blend seamlessly with the main shooting mechanics while adding new types of AI to make the combat as engaging as possible with fair difficulty.

In fact, managing difficulty was a big concern of ours. Many of the mini-games and especially the perception system for stealth gameplay required a lot of rebalancing to make it challenging but not frustrating.

Luckily, we had some amazing testers that provided incredible feedback. But the many tweaks and changes ended up coming together in a complex codebase that became difficult to work with and required substantial cleanup.

We also had the pleasure to experiment with procedural animations. We used them on the playable characters' hands in the rock shooting video game for added visual complexity and immersion.


Developing any game comes with plenty of optimization. For us, the biggest problem was having too many dynamic shadow-casting lights spawned from the cinematic sequences of the game.

The rendering put a hefty strain on the GPU, so we decided to reduce the amount of dynamically spawned lights, the attenuation radius, and the max draw distance where it was appropriate. However, the Unreal engine’s cinematic shadow system was a great help.

We also invented a solution to record the performance on console devices and use the information to determine which lights should cast shadows. We calculated which lights were the most significant and only kept the shadows enabled for those, disabling others until we meet our performance goals.

This way we recorded the whole game, partially automatically and in certain scenes by hand due to certain limitations of the automatic method.


In Star Trek: Resurgence, the galaxy is now your oyster, ready to put you in the shoes every Trekkie wanted to fill. You can experience the in-depth, pulse-pounding action and live through tough dilemmas that will keep you on the edge of your seat on PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.


Game engine: UE 4.27.2

Languages: C++, Blueprints, Lua

IDE: Visual Studio 2019

Assets Used: 

Native Unreal tools (UMG, etc.) - controller support, animations, AI

Beanie - Narrative engine, animation sequence, gameplay triggers

FMOD - Audio