As much as we may be skeptical of its future, the Oculus Rift is undeniably impressive technology. Similarly, Unreal Engine 4 is surprisingly forward-thinking and intelligent in how anyone can access it and publish titles using it. And yet, somebody decided to taint all of it with Star Trek: Voyager.
Specifically, Thomas Kadlec put all this together, a perfect virtual reality representation of the bridge of Voyager. And it is mostly a technical demo, although apparently Unreal 4 is surprisingly easy to work with, according to a brief interview Road To VR did with Kadlec:
I was showing my progress to my girlfriend. She said something along the lines of, “I can’t wait to see it moving with the stars going by!” It was one of those moments of thinking, “crap she’s right… This is going to take a lot of work and probably not going to look good.”
Yet seemingly in no time I created a particle system that emits stretched white particles in down the x-axis, placed a camera that renders to a texture facing the emitter and voila, put that texture in a material and the material on the view screen geometry. I got exactly the effect I wanted, one I feel mimics the look of the original TV series.
Simulating television sets in virtual reality is a rather popular pastime, and actually, Kadlec’s work is undeniably impressive. It’s hard to believe whipping this up was such a simple process, especially when it looks so note perfect.
That said, come on, man… Voyager? Sure, there are probably going to be a dozen terrible versions of the Enterprise-D bridge if there aren’t already, but really, that’s no reason to lower yourself to the level of the series that gave us Threshold. Respect yourself!