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Star Trek Online

Designing the Voyager MSD

By LaughingTrendy | Wed 17 Sep 2014 01:00:00 PM PDT

Greetings Captains!

My name is Tim ‘Suricata’ Davies and I am one of the graphic designers who work at Perfect World, I work with several titles including Star Trek Online and I’m a long time player of the game.

Star Trek online is set in 2410, that is a whopping 32 years after Voyager returned home. As such the ship has most likely undergone a few refits (including updating the LCARS to the style we have in game). As such using the original MSD created by Doug Drexler was not really a viable option for use, so I went about recreating the MSD from scratch.

The first task was to look at the existing MSD and identify any mistakes, it became apparent that the shape of the hull was not accurate to the actual shape of the ship, this is most obvious around the Deflector area, so the first task involved plotting out the general shape of the ship using renders of the CGI ship used in the show (post season 4).

Since the ship evolved in the show there were several additions I wanted to add:-

  • [Deck 4] - Add Brig and Away team briefing room
  • [Deck 8] - Add Astrometrics
  • [Deck 8] - Add Cargo Bay 2 with Borg Alcoves
  • [Deck 9] - Add the Aeroshuttle
  • [Deck 10] - Increase the Shuttlebay size to better accommodate the Delta flyer and more accurately represent what we saw in the show.
  • [Deck 11] - Add the Airponics bay
  • Restructure the Navigational Deflector to better represent how it actually sits into the ship.
  • Add additional Deflector equipment for the slipstream drive
  • Modify the warp nacelles to the correct size and restyle warp coils to signify upgrades.

Many of these updates required reshuffling some of the existing rooms on the MSD, also a few rooms such as Sickbay required alterations to better represent the sets that were seen on the show.

Once the cross section of the ship was complete I sent over the illustrator files to Tacofangs, he then created the surrounding LCARS to make it fit seamlessly onto the aft work space on the bridge. We decided that to make the MSD more enjoyable to the players we’d keep the labels to a minimum and put them at a size that would be legible. Tacofangs did an awesome job, more so considering he was restricted to a texture resolution of 2048! We were also fortunate enough to get feedback from both Doug Drexler and Mike Okuda, the original gurus who worked on the show, to help refine the final look of the MSD.

I’m really looking forward to the new expansion going live and it has been a great experience seeing this display panel going from some rough outlines in illustrator to a fully realized graphic in game. I hope you all enjoy the new Voyager interior as much as we do!


You can find wallpaper downloads of the MSD in our media gallery here!


Tim ‘Suricata’ Davies
Graphic Designer
Perfect World Entertainment


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