For many-a-Trekkie, the thought of owning a headset like the Oculus Rift or HTC’s Vive means just one thing: finally walking your very own holodeck. We’re not quite there yet, but a new demo from the Enterprise 3D Construction Project has taken us right up against the final frontier.
Built using Unreal Engines 3 & 4, the VR re-creation takes us aboard the Enterprise NCC-1701-D, the fifth ship to carry the Enterprise name. Only some of the ship’s impressive 42 decks have been built to date, but lead artist Jason has no plans of stopping.
“Creating all of them will be a daunting task,” he says. “I have compiled a large archive of reference from production drawings, set blueprints, official blueprints, and of course meticulous screen captures of the HD Blu-ray versions of the episodes.”
Fellow fans can rest easy, because Jason and his team have assured us that accuracy will be of the utmost importance during the expansion, with one rule leading design decisions: the ship as depicted in the show is canon. This means everything from paint color, to size ratios, to the dirt (or lack there of) in each room has, and will be considered along the way.
“When starting the construction of the ship, I made a choice to try and preserve that 90s design and minimalist look to the interior of the ship. I would try to only take minimal liberties with areas that had not been seen on the show.”
The idea for the project came about just two years ago, when the die-hard designer built the ship’s bridge just for fun. When Unreal 4 came to fruition, he knew it was time to summon the rest. “This Enterprise would serve first and foremost as a virtual museum,” he says. “Every deck and room can be explored. Fans would be able to visit engineering via the turbolift, or walk from Deck 36 to Deck 5 to see the Arboretum. What does Worf’s quarters look like? What about the large forward windows on Deck 3? What kind of communal areas exist on the ship? Malls? Markets? Gardens? All these questions will be answered.”
What might come as a surprise is that that vast majority of this famous ship exists only in the minds of its designers. Stretching the length of six American football fields, the Enterprise-D’s saucer alone is large enough to engulf the Pentagon. “Much of this was not visible in the television show,” explains Jason. “We are all familiar with the usual locations of Ten Forward, the bridge, and engineering, but there are 39 other decks, and square kilometers of space to explore!”
Future phases could include a populated ship, external travel with multiple planetary systems, bridge captain mode (yes, that means you have control of all 250 photon torpedoes), and online play – all in stunning 3D. In other words? This could end up being ARTEMIS on steroids. Permission to squee: granted.
Check out more amazing snaps from the project in the gallery below.