Way back when I was just a little bitty boy living in a box under the stairs in the corner of the basement of the house half a block down the street fr–
Way back in last December, Star Trek Online started up a contest asking people to design the look of the next ship they would implement into the game. But it wasn’t just any ship. The winners of the context would have designed the next Enterprise class starship, which, it goes without saying, is a huge freakin’ deal, even without the next part of the contest.
The winner’s ship would enter Star Trek canon.
Star Trek online, after a long period of entry evaluation, evaluation, and more evaluation, and then a visual rendering period in order to translate the design into Star Trek Online‘s engine, have unveiled the ship pictured above, the new Enterprise-F.
Lead designer Al Rivera, talks about the rigid criteria they were looking for:
What made a ship an Enterprise? For me, it first had to fit the profile. It needed a saucer, two nacelles that pointed upwards, a deflector dish, and a distinct engineering hull (of all the Enterprises, only the NX class was missing a distinct engineering hull, but I let that slide). The ship also needed to look like a natural and logical progression. That is, what would the Federation build next? Ships are getting sleeker, the saucers are getting longer, sometimes pointier (think Voyager, Prometheus, and Rhode Island). It had to fit between the Enterprise E and the J. I remember one particular entry that looked beautiful, but it just looked too retro – almost like a next generation TOS Enterprise. Another criterion was that it needed to look distinct and recognizable. Each Enterprise fits the same basic formula, but each is instantly recognizable. There is certainly no confusing the Constitution, the Galaxy and Sovereign.
Although the STO design team doesn’t have any hard facts on what the in-game mechanical design of the ship is yet (balance, and all, being a key part of that equation), but if you wander over to Rivera’s post on the Enterprise-F, he does cover what’s on everybody’s mind: saucer separation.
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