A dedicated group of Trekkies look to immortalize the shows infamous vessel via an interactive virtual tour.
Kirk or Picard? It’s a question that’s haunted Stark Trek fans for years, destroying countless friendships in the process. Regardless of where your allegiance may lie, there’s no denying the absolute triumph of television that was Stark Trek: The Next Generation.
Now, just over 24 years after the shows final broadcast, long-time fans have yet another chance to dive into The Next Generation universe thanks to a still-in-development virtual tour of the infamous USS Enterprise-D.
Under development by a team of dedicated Trekkies, the Space 9 project offers an interactive tour of the 24th century Federation Galaxy-class starship recreated in virtual reality with painstaking detail.
“Imagine walking to Worf’s tactical station on the Bridge, pressing buttons on his control panel and firing torpedoes or sitting in Data’s chair at the helm console and taking the ship into warp! You can do all and more as we develop this walk-through to be as identical and immersive as possible to the show and the ship,” states Stage Nine in their official site.
Utilizing Unreal Engine 4, the team eventually aims to recreate every room of NCC-1701-D, including areas not shown during the original program. According to TrekNews, the latter is being accomplished using older references, such as production plans designer Rick Sternbach released publically in the 90’s.
“Star Trek is something that means a lot to many people, including all of us involved in Stage 9,” spoke Stage 9 developer, Rob Bryan, during an interview with TrekNews. “This is something Patrick Stewart himself said when announcing his return to Picard, and it resonated significantly with the Stage 9 team: ‘The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration, and leadership.’ Stage 9 itself is our way of paying respect to something we all love.”
As of right now, fans can hop into VR and tour the Main Bridge, Observation Lounge, Sickbay, Battle Bridge, Holodecks, Transporter Room, Dr Crusher’s Office and Picard’s, Worf’s, and Data’s Quarters, just to name a few. There’s also access to areas rarely shown on the show, such as Main Shuttlebays 1 & 2, with more myserious locations on the way.
Beam yourself onto the Enterprise-D for free over at the official Stage 9 website. Players are free to engage in a variety of intergalactic activities, from Borg encounters, Warp Core breaches, and Phaser Ranges, to flying shuttles, exploring corridors, and participating in “disco mode” on the main bridge. For more of an Inception-like experience, check out the various simulations available via the Holodeck.
Stage 9 currently supports HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets.
Next to Ubisoft’s Stark Trek Bridge Crew, Space 9 is developing into one of the most ambitious Star Trek VR experiences currently available on the market. With continued support by its developers, there’s no telling where this impressive project could head.
Image Credit: Space 9