Space: The final frontier. The voyages of the Starship Enterprise are happening in virtual reality thanks to a fan project from 3D artist Jason B, who is completely rebuilding the Enterprise-D from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" using the Unreal Engine 4 game development engine.
With his Enterprise-D Construction Project, Jason B plans to painstakingly re-create all 42 decks of the Enterprise to construct a virtual tour that Star Trek fans around the world can explore. Because he is building them using , the tour will also be virtual-reality-ready, so folks with the Oculus Rift, and select other virtual-reality headsets could have a truly immersive Star Trek experience on the way.
Jason B released a 12-minute-long video on Monday showing off some of the progress he's made with the build thus far, and while it's not exactly photorealistic, the Enterprise looks incredible, and we can't wait to explore the ship once the finished product is ready.
Once the ship itself is complete, Jason B hopes to fully populate it with Federation citizens and Starfleet members, add areas to explore like different planetary systems and the Deep Space Nine station, and even add an online gaming component so gamers can explore the galaxy and complete missions together.
Of course, the whole project depends on licensing. Jason B would need to get approval from Star Trek rights owner CBS before any attempt to monetize the project. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company).
That approval will likely have to come sooner than later, as Jason B has already announced he'll need to turn to crowdfunding to raise funds to hire additional developers to build out some of the additional features.
Will we ever get to explore the Enterprise-D in an immersive virtual-reality experience? For now, we'll have to settle for the test footage, which you can watch below.
(ViaRoad To VR)