About Stage 9
The ultimate goal for Stage 9 is to allow you to explore the sets of Star Trek The Next Generation in a detailed virtual recreation. We’re building this in Unreal Engine 4 because it’s one of the most user-friendly and powerful game engine platforms available today.
Once all of the sets are in (there’s still a few to go) we’ll be working on increasing the detail in each of these, adding in some subtle easter eggs and creating different things to interact with in each room. The LCARS displays can potentially be interacted with (if we can put together a good framework for this) allowing you to perform various actions in the game by pressing buttons on the displays.
After that, we’ll see where the project takes us. For now, it’s a walk through. It may become a game. It may continue to be a walk through only for a very long time. Licensing is a pipe dream after all!
Thanks to the power of Unreal Engine 4, this works on PC, Mac, Linux, and even partially on Android Phones and iPhones, It also works on virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, mobile VR like Gear VR and possibly even straight from the web browser. For now, we’re limiting our efforts to PC, Mac, VR headsets, and occasionally Linux.
Our team is multi-national with people in the USA, UK, Europe, South America, and Asia and we work on Stage 9 after our day jobs are done. More often than not, you’ll find us racing home to get working on Stage 9! However, we do keep a work-life balance and often prioritize our family first, there’s no pressure to get things done by a certain time (except a few days before a new version release). If you’d like to join us, we’re looking for programmers who know UE4 and Blueprints who are willing to contribute their talents freely to this project!
A little bit of history
Started by Scragnog, it’s grown from one, to two, to a group of 12+ devs and others who help via side projects. We all grew up with Star Trek and have families who are trekkies/trekkers as well and joined because we care about making such a true to life project as Stage 9. We all have different jobs and work on different projects within the project using tools like Git, Google Docs/Sheets, 3DS Max, and more!
Scragnog: I grew up with Star Trek, and TNG would always be my favourite series to watch. I’m pretty sure my family would admit that I’ve been fairly obsessed with Star Trek over the years, but to me, the thought of exploring that ship somehow excited me so much!
I started what would become Stage 9 in 2012 in the Valve Source Engine, which was really the only game engine that I was familiar with at the time. It was all very frustrating though, Valve don’t like to make things easy, just adding a texture was hard work!
After a while I moved onto CryEngine and it was clear it was a step up in technology, but CryTek and their lack of engine documentation killed that one pretty quickly!!
Last year I started playing with Unreal Engine 4 (just prior to when it went free) and decided that if I was going to move forward with this project, this was the engine for it. Epic Games are at the bleeding edge of game technology, which combined with the ease of use of the engine just makes everything so straightforward.
For a bit of a laugh, I’ve included some pics from the old Source engine build in 2012 (I didn’t get very far with it) compared to Alpha 0.0.3 of the UE 4 version.