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. I’m 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) I’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 I 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, well I’ll see where the project takes me, whether I start adding in the actual Paramount stages, the real world locations around the sets, or perhaps adding in some in-universe gameplay with a bit of a storyline, at the moment, I haven’t decided.
Thanks to the power of Unreal Engine 4, theoretically, with some work, this can work on PC, Mac, Android Phones, iPhones, Virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, mobile VR like Gear VR and possibly even straight from the web browser.
A little bit of history
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.