Forward unto Chapter 3

Project: Path to 2265


An update!

Planning of Chapter 3

As of this moment, you can see the outline for chapter here! It briefly describes what will be in the chapter and the current roster of ships to be featured. The chapter’s working title is “Starfleet”, and as you might expect will focus on the early years of United Earth Starfleet (UESF), through its stagnation at Warp 2.5 to the breakthrough of the NX project.

Some of the secondary topics will be the usual competition between starship design & manufacturing giants, the development of warp reactors, Earth’s colonial progress, and the beginning of the end of the Earth Cargo Service’s “space boomer” community. The planned ship roster is as follows:

  • 2120 – Y-class freighter, as seen from Star Trek: Enterprise
  • 2121 – “Archer’s Model” demonstrator, as seen from Star Trek: Enterprise
  • 2127 – Neptune-class surveyor, mentioned but unseen from Star Trek: Enterprise and designed from scratch by me
  • 2128 – DY-950-class multi-mission ship, referenced but unseen from Star Trek: The Next Generation and based off Kris Trigwell’s design
  • 2130 – “BBI-993”-class explorer, referenced but unseen from Star Trek: The Next Generation and designed from scratch by me
  • 2134 – “Warp Delta”-class destroyer, as seen from Star Trek: Enterprise
  • 2137 – “Arctic One”-class research ship, as seen from Star Trek: Enterprise
  • 2140 – “Sarajevo”-class transport, as seen from Star Trek: Enterprise
  • 2143 – NX demonstrator, as seen from Star Trek: Enterprise (NX Alpha and NX Beta)
  • 2145 – Bison-class adaptable ship, fanon design from Masao Okazaki’s Starfleet Museum
  • 2146 – DY-1200-class multi-mission ship, referenced but unseen from Star Trek: The Next Generation and based of Kris Trigwell’s design
  • 2149 – Z-class freighter, fanon design by me

Below is a little taster into some of those ships (click for credits)!

Status of Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is basically finished, although I’m wanting to give it one or two read overs in the near future and refine it a little more.

Timeline feature


New and based in the History section is this timeline feature, which serves as an easy to digest overview of the events relating to the UE’s and the Federation’s starship history. It is updated and added upon as per the development of the chapters.

People database


As mentioned in the last post from March, the latest part of the Database section was finally finished last night after 4 months of delays (not technical, just didn’t get around to it). It is inaugurated with pages on Alexi Zhukov and Zefram Cochrane, the founder of the UESPA and the first human to fly at warp, respectively.

(Technical) Internal data structure rework

Continuing the trend of offloading parts of the website to the MySQL database was resulting in multiple new classes and unique methods in the SearchEngine to accommodate the new data that was needing to be fetched and displayed. However, since a lot of them have basic properties in common (all data in the database have IDs, names, and a revised/last modified dates), I created a simple class inheritance structure to cull the amount of unique classes required. For non-programmers, this basically means that the classes (which are, in theory, data structures with a collection of functions inside) that represent the data used for different features of the website are coded to reuse code via a hierarchy of extensions. In the screenshot below, you can see an implemented but basic example of this in PHP used by the website. The class Data is known as the “superclass” (also referred to as a base or parent class) and it stores the most universal and shared variables of data – and functions (known as class methods) for accessing said data – needed by all other classes. Class TimelineEvent is then a subclass (or derived or child class), which extends from Data so it has all of Data’s variables and methods defined alongside its unique variables and methods. If these classes were completely separate, Data’s variables and methods would have to be written again inside an independent TimelineEvent class. Which will eventually (and would in my case) add up when you’re dealing with lots of data that share some properties but have their own unique ones as well.


Example of the classes used for data representation in the website’s backend

I know to programmers of any object-orientated language this does not seem high tech and is a basic use of inheritance at best (since I’m not dealing with overriding methods or any complex design patterns etc. etc.), but I thought it was cool to mention none the less and shows how OO concepts can make life easier.

More stuff offloaded to the database

Organisations, the database section mentioned in the last post, has been offloaded to the database. Yet another step towards a completely dynamic MySQL database-driven website!

Instant matching of search terms

To improve the search experience, I’ve added the ability for it to automatically redirect you to the correct result if it is an obvious match. For example, entering UESPA will instantly take you to the United Earth Space Probe Agency page without seeing the rest of the results.

Possible settings/control panel page

As things with the website become more complex, I’ve been considering adding a settings page for user preferences such as how section togglers behave (are they always open or closed by default), or whether instant search matching is enabled or not. Other ideas for settings include native light and dark mode and a purpose-made reader mode. My options for storing these settings are either a user account system or simple cookies. A user account system would allow these settings to be portable across the user’s devices as long as they’re logged in, but just cookies would be much quicker to implement and I could avoid the headache of dealing with user account security. There’s deffo a bit to consider before deciding to proceed with this feature!

BBI-class early concept


As I’ve mentioned before, BBI is to be an RT-class successor and is in the same tubular lineage featuring Masao’s Bison-class of 2145. I drew this concept a few months ago and have not touched it until now since I’ve been busy elsewhere and my energies here were focused on getting chapter 2 finished. With chapter 3 finally upon us, I will be revisiting this design soon.

SS Voyager detail rework


In keeping with the changes to the designs below, Voyager‘s details have been reworked. The changes are better colour shading, added RCS thrusters, visible separation lines between hull panels, and a longer main hull with a curved transition from the habitable hull to the engine hull.

Polaris-class detail rework


Changes to Polaris are about the same as Voyager. The fore-most windows have also been shrinked, and some details moved about.

Patterson-class detail rework


Whilst also including the same sort of changes made to Voyager and Polaris, Patterson has been made to look more robust with a strengthened neck structure. The 250mm guns are now fitted to visible barbettes and the command hull has been ‘blunted’. Also finally, the UN logo has been replaced with a UESPA one!

Yoyodyne II-type reactor

The Yoyodyne II-type is written to be the DY-732-class’s reactor, and will also be used by several period ships. Read about it here!

RT-class 3D model

I have been considering using 3D models for content development, whether it is using them to screencapping sideviews clearly at certain sizes thanks to anti-aliasing or for using WebGL to provide interactive ships on the database. Not entirely sure yet, but I have been attempting to model my RT-class explorer design to test my competency and develop my skills. I do 3D modelling for my other game-related projects as well, so this could be mutually beneficial for me here and on my portfolio!


A very early RT rendition

Upcoming stuff!

In the near future, the ship reports for the BBI and DY-950-class ships should be done. Alongside it, I’ll be deciding the final class names and production volumes for various Starfleet ships destined for chapter 3, and I will be beginning the design process for my Z-class ECS freighter. In the near-ish future, expect some more flesh to the UESPA database. I want to start including information about its divisions and composition, as well as its transformation into Starfleet. I also want plan database sections for ship components like weapons, shuttles, and impulse engines etc.

In the longer term, I will be pursuing the user preferences thingy I mentioned above. I will probably start with a mock-up of a user account system and go from there.


Two more stations


Today brings two more space stations, the “Missing Sector” drydock and the “Jumping Spider” starbase.

Missing Sector

Named after the Missing Sector Orb Web spider, the second drydock design of the game takes a ‘rib cage’ approach to illuminating the encased ship. It is designed to be stationary unlike False Widow on my last post, although both are about the same size.

Jumping Spider
Named after the spider species of the same name, this is a test starbase that will be used for developing the needed scripts for later ones. Its far from a perfect model, but it will make a great placeholder for the time being! Its about 4 kilometres from top to bottle and can fit a fair amount of ships inside.

So, what are starbases?
Starbases are huge support facilities that function as unified command centres, repair and replenishment stations, cold storage, and staging areas. In size, they typically dwarf all starships, carry several thousand personnel, and the largest can even contain multiple starships inside! The game will make extensive use of starbases as major hubs and places for the Player to dock at.

I’m planning six unique types, starting with a further development of Jumping Spider as the largest type. The five others will vary in size and purpose. I’ll be showcasing some of them next week, so stay tuned!


False Widow Drydock


The next addition to the game is a bigass space station.

The “False Widow” drydock.


Drydock in orbit of Tholia III, with a Dew Drop-class explorer docked

A bit about drydocks
In reality, drydocks are huge basins that can be flooded to allow ships to dock, and then drained to expose the ship’s hull for repair work or painting. They can be also used to build ships in ‘dry’ conditions before being set afloat. Drydocks in the Star Trek universe serve the same purpose, but are based in space (no shit, I know). False Widow is the first of about four designs of Tholian drydocks to be created, which will serve as repair and replenishment stations for the player to dock in.

Common characteristics between all four drydock designs will be traditional Tholian principles (three hull ‘arms’), thrusters for orbit adjustment, and a large array of lighting. Each hull arm has one or two large illumination pads at the mid-section used to light up the docked ship, and a single smaller lighting pad at the absolute end used to help ships navigate in without colliding with the station. In Unity, the lighting effects for both types of pads are constructed with emissive material (absolute white, emission value of 1/no HDR because I don’t want it to be too blinding), point lighting to allow the effect to shine on the docked ship’s hull (absolute white, range of 4, intensity of 1), and post-processing bloom (determined by the game’s selected quality settings).

The False Widow
Whilst False Widow will share most of its design elements with future drydock designs, this one is unique in that it will have a fully functional Warp drive that allows it to travel to other solar systems to rebase itself. This means that you might see them pop up in solar systems adjacent to the sites of major ship battles where servicing ships close to the front lines is urgently needed. Current planned number of False Widows to be put into the game are about 10 operational , 20 for scenic purposes (they’ll look the same but are inoperable for the player since they already have an NPC ship in them), and a further 5 as damaged, destroyed or abandoned.



Some juicy specs:

  • Length: 850 metres to 1.1 kilometres (final scale TBD)
  • Mass: 1.7 to 2.5 million metric tonnes
  • Occupants: 1,200 (normal), 4,500 (wartime)
  • Maximum speed: Warp 6

And finally…

At this point in time, the design is still not fixed. The model has been imported only for lighting testing, collider testing, and so that the interaction scripts can be developed and tested. As with my last post, I’ll leave you with a quick video showcasing the drydock in perspective view.


It’s gonna be a big one!


So, “Tholian Simulator” (working title) is gonna be a big and a fairly ambitious project.

For starters, what is a ‘Tholian’?
Tholians are a species from Star Trek. They have only been seen on screen twice but are heavily featured in an episode of the MMORPG Star Trek Online. Despite their (IMO) under utilization in the canon Star Trek universe, I’ve been quite the Tholian fanboy for a while since they are really unique compared to most sci-fi aliens and with this project I hope to give them the creative ‘platform’ that does them justice! 😀


Tholian pilot from Star Trek: Enterprise episode “In a Mirror, Darkly”

The game

It is gonna to be a cultural simulator. It will detail Tholian society in a way faithful to what little is known from their two on-screen appearances and STO, but will greatly expand on that. To that end, it might be different to the expectations others may have of the Tholians and will largely contradict non-canon Star Trek material (like novels and most other games). I consider this a way for me to be creative!

It will feature ground and space action. On the ground, you’ll be focused on doing your part for Tholian society, help explore strange new worlds, and ultimately work your way to the top of the Assembly! In space, you’ll be engaging in galactic politics and diplomacy and of course space combat!

Current stage of progress
Right now, the game still is being planned out before large-scale development – the lore, outline of the game, how things, etc etc. However, I’m already testing game concepts in Unity (my choice of engine for all this) as we speak. Base systems for ship operations, lighting paradigms, and custom shaders for enhanced visuals are all being developed right now.

First three ships
As part of the lore development, a number of ship designs have been lined up from canon/STO and some that were sketched out are modelled and implemented!


From left to right; Dew Drop explorer, Black Lace freighter, and Funnel Web destroyer

Planned subspecies
In order to further flesh out Tholian society (and especially their homeworld), I’ve decided to plan Tholian subspecies that have unique abilities for ground exploration and ground combat (if I choose to implement it)!

Tholian fly

This “fly Tholian” is based on a design by Norsehound on DeviantART. It’s still very similar right now, but it will be developed down the line.

A parting video!
Here’s a video of the lighting effects and firing FX for your viewing pleasure. Just bear in mind this is still early days! 🙂

Stay tuned for more!

Chapter 2 nearing completion!

Project: Path to 2265, Projects, Work (Legacy)

It has been over a month since my last update for Path to 2265. Since then, there have been some big and exciting changes!

SearchEngine upgrades

I’ve once again made large improvements in the search department. Natural ordering, more meaningful weighting, complete and proper tag finding, and basic filtering are now present! Numerous pages benefit from the improvements, but the site search itself gains the most by finally getting a basic filtering mechanism that allows you to view search results of a specific category!


Dynamic content

In order to promote better reusability of data, I’m starting to offload various parts of the website to the database. Since January, the UESPA/ECS ship registries and the reactor pages now use the database to grab data. Another advantage to this approach is that it allows cross-referencing to happen for certain items in the future – for example to reduce data duplication, I can now stop writing the unit listing for ship classes twice (once in the ship database and again in the registry database) by allowing both sources to reference one place.

New font

A new font is being used for the website’s header (navigation bar) and side menu on mobile devices. It’s called “Airborne” and is the font used on Federation ship hull marking.

Status of Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is about 75% complete as of now. Now under the chapter name “Expansion towards a United Earth”, the report focuses on early freighter development under the Earth Cargo Service, advances in explorers by UESPA, the Earth-Kzin Wars (from Star Trek: The Animated Series), and Warp drive limitations being experienced by Earth in the 2100s. Ships currently added, being added, or due to be added include Y-500-class freighter, Polaris-class diplomatic escort, Emmette-class surveyor, J-class freighter, Patterson-class battleship, Declaration-class demonstrator, DY-732-class multi-mission ship and RT-class explorer.


The first new ship is Y-500, a conjectural design of a canon freighter class mentioned in Star Trek: Enterprise. I’ve assumed relation with the DY-500s, so I quickly designed the ship as a cargo-only variant. The class’s specifications are currently being drawn up, and thus has not been included in chapter 2 yet.



Previously completed personal design. Designed to be fast and reliable diplomatic couriers for Earth that play a role in early diplomatic successes and trade deals. Registry starts at UESPA-20.



Emmette is a canon ship seen briefly in the Star Trek: Enterprise intro, but suffers with very little details available about the design and the ship’s history. Specs and missions are completed but are purely conjectural. Registry starts at UESPA-27.



A well-known and documented canon freighter from Star Trek: Enterprise. Registry starts at UESPA-47 for UESPA service and a large number of ECS registries have been created. The only true canon ship of the class is the Mayweather family’s ECS Horizon. I’ve placed the canon named but not seen ECS Constellation as a member of the class.



This is my latest developed design, based on an old UESPA-9 (SS Voyager) concept I drew up around early September 2017. It is supposed to be Earth’s first battleship and an instrument to help describe the Earth-Kzin Wars. They are heavily armed for the period, power hungry, and unwieldy. Registry starts at UESPA-57.



Another canon design with conjectural history. The only thing we know is that XCV-330 (SS Enterprise) is a class member. Given their obvious difference compared to other early Earth designs, I’ve written them to be a series of demonstrators for a new type of Warp field generation that ultimately fails to gain adoption. Registry starts at XCV-300.



Exists in canon as a class name only. The original design was made by Kris Trigwell – I redrew the ship with modifications for Path to 2265. Like the preceding DY-500-class, I designated the class as a multi-mission ship. I even included a mention of the [N] variant! Currently the design’s specifications are complete and it is present in chapter 2, but it still lacks a description on its ship article page. Registry starts at UESPA-68.



Another conjectural design of an unseen canon ship, this time the RT-2203-class from Star Trek: The Next Generation! I designed the ship to be on the same lineage as the Polaris and Patterson-class, with design inspirations coming from Masao Okazaki’s Bison-class. Registry starts at UESPA-82.


Addition of organisations

This is a new database section for various organisations and companies in the Star Trek universe. At the time of writing this, four organisations are currently available for reading about; Cochrane Institute of Alpha Centauri (non-canon), Earth Cargo Authority (canon), United Starship Agency (fanon by me), and Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems (canon).

Large ship renders

Due to the rising prominence of higher resolution displays, I am making it a priority to offer large renders of ships to cope with the larger and better displays becoming more and more available. Catering for up to 1080p might not be enough anymore, so I have started to redraw some of ships that are not original from to match the 2500px+ width of my personal design renders. Four examples exist at the moment; above with Declaration and DY-732, and below with DY-500 and DY-950:

DY-500-class render (canon design):

DY-950-class render (original design by Kris Trigwell – modified by me):

Upcoming additions

Before chapter 2 can be deemed complete, a few supporting database articles need to be completed to support the narrative – namely Yoyodyne II and Cochrane III reactors and the beginnings of the People database section (Zefram Cochrane and Henry Archer).

Once chapter 2 concludes, work towards chapter 3 will begin immediately. The chapter will focus on the early years of the United Earth government, the founding of Starfleet (as a division of the UESPA), the struggles of the Warp 5 program, and the beginnings of the NX program that leads to the development of first Warp 5-capable starship. Approximate timespan will be 2115 to 2150.

Currently planned ships are (in no particular order):

  • “Archer’s Model” demonstrator
    • Early Warp 5 program testship
    • Will be the same design as the remote-controlled model ship built by Henry and young Jonathan Archer in 2121 as seen in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise
    • Ship name to be decided
  • “BBI-993”-class explorer
    • Follow up explorer to the RT-class
    • Mentioned only on an ‘okudagram’ in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Up  The Long Ladder”
    • Class name to be decided
  • DY-950-class multi-mission ship
    • Second-to-last member of the DY-family of starships
    • Conjectural design already completed based off Kris Trigwell’s vision and interpretation
    • Mentioned only on an ‘okudagram’ in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Up  The Long Ladder”
  • Y-class freighter
    • Canon and well known freighter design
    • Seen in multiple Star Trek: Enterprise episodes
    • Written as a ship to use up previously discarded reactors
    • ECS-2801 (ECS Horizon) is a canon member of the class
    • Canon mentioned but unseen ECS North Star is written as a member of the class
  • Neptune-class surveyor
    • Canon mentioned but unseen surveyor
    • Earliest class of ship to be explicitly stated as belonging to Starfleet
    • Purportedly has the same captain’s chair as the later NX-class explorer of 2151
    • Mentioned in dialogue in Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Singularity”
  • “Warp Delta”-class destroyer
    • Well known and fan favourite early Starfleet ship
    • Frequently deployed on defence missions
    • Starfleet’s workhorse and single most numerous ship of the 2140s and 2150s
    • At least 50 ships in the class
    • Seen in multiple Star Trek: Enterprise episodes
    • Despite numerous on screen appearances, ship names and even class name remain unknown
    • “Warp Delta” is the behind the scenes nickname given by the design staff
    • Class name to be decided
  • “Sarajevo”-class transport
    • Well known Starfleet ship
    • Seen serving as a personnel transport
    • Seen in multiple Star Trek: Enterprise episodes
    • Sarajevo is a canon member of the class
    • Class name to be decided –  Sarajevo is currently the placeholder lead ship
  • NX demonstrator
    • Late Starfleet-Warp 5 program testships
    • Three known ships; NX-Alpha, NX-Beta, and NX-Delta
    • Only Alpha and Beta were seen on screen
    • Delta was only mentioned in dialogue
    • Both appearances and dialogue mentions from Star Trek: Enterprise episode “First Flight”
  • “Arctic One”-class research ship
    • Well known Earth ship
    • Seen serving as an arctic explorer and a moon-based transport
    • Seen in multiple Star Trek: Enterprise episodes
    • Arctic One is a canon member of the class
    • Class name to be decided –  Arctic One is currently the placeholder lead ship

January has been hectic

Uni, University & Life (Legacy)

Where do I begin…

January has probably been the busiest month in my entire life. No kidding! Constant work, personal projects, assignments, and very little free time to myself. But I am happy to say I have enjoyed all of it!

Since December
Since my last life update last month, I have had two coursework results back from my Computer Graphics and Tool Development for Computer Games modules. The former was a 2D OpenGL scene demonstration where we had to sample OpenGL objects and techniques and demonstrate them – from Vector Array Objects to hierarchical modelling. The demo at the time went well, and I got 88% in the end! The latter was building a Python missile command game clone with the Pygame engine and developing a small physics simulator called “Marble Madness” with a lecturer-developed engine (PGE). I had 90% on that one. So I’m happy with my performance last term to say the least!

Computer Graphics
For the second term, this module now focuses on 3D rendering in OpenGL and 3D modelling with Autodesk 3DS Max. Things have continued to go well this term, and 3D modelling is actually more fun than I imagined! It has been useful for my group project in another module as well! The programming side is obviously interesting, but we are still in the opening weeks and have not done a lot of programming for OpenGL 3D yet.

Tool Development for Computer Games
Whilst I don’t have anything against Python, the module is a lot more interesting for me this term now that we are starting to do C# GUI programming with XAML. Whilst I have done a few WinForms projects before, WPF is something I have never touched before! The coursework looks like a nice challenge too, which is to build a game level designer for a tile-based game. We are given the game and its source code and have to build the designer based on the code ourselves!

Data Structures & Algorithms With Object Oriented Programming
This module recently had a coursework due on the 12th, which was the process scheduler assignment I talked about in a post back around late-December. Basically, we were given a public API to conform to and told to fill in the blanks in C++. My scheduler ended up being a multi-level queue with a custom algorithm that creates a cycle to prevent blocking (the act of higher priority items stopping lower priority items from being processed completely). The scheduler creates a cycle in which each level of priority (from 1 to 10) gets a certain amount of attention. Higher priorities get more attention than lower ones in the cycle, but the lowers still gets *some* attention rather than none.

Other than the coursework, this term has also taken up a slightly different theme. We are now covering different design and strategy patterns to OO programming. Whilst they certainly require a bit more thought to understand, one of the two we have learnt so far has already came in handy with my web work! The observer pattern, which states the relationship between a subject (essentially some hub) and its observers (dependencies like clients), is basically the same principle of the way I’m developing this small social network in PHP for my portfolio.

Professionalism: “Project FallingStar”
Once again, the largest and most impressive thing I am involved with at University. My team has made significant progress and whilst we are far from having a complete game, the game is looking rather beautiful already! Besides defacto leadership and physics programming, I have also undertaken tasks for 3D modelling and special effects for the game. Like the last time I wrote about this, I have some little peaks for you:

Personal projects
I have also made a fair bit of progress with personal things as well. My Star Trek fan site, Path to 2265, remains a top priority for me and many improvements in the back-office have been made. The website’s search engine programming has transformed into a mature, secure and robust platform that allows the website to provide intelligent and weighted search results, whilst also providing internal benefits by allowing pages to be more dynamic and use the website’s database more. I’ve also been working on actual front-end content as well with Chapter 2 being released within a month or so and several more ships added; Polaris has a completed database entry, DY-732 has its specs mostly ironed out, and an upcoming design is due for completion soon:


The new (but still prototype) design – UESPA battleship SS Patterson (UESPA-57)

I have also resumed limited work on my old GeckoFX-based C# browser KAubersnek. I’ve been adding a few features over the weeks and will likely continue full development when I have some time.


KAubersnek in its current state


Anyway, that’s it for now!