Star Trek Voyager Elite Force Unreal 4 Project – By Jeff Lincoln

“On Stardate 48315.6, the U.S.S. Voyager was transported beyond our control, 70,000 light years across the galaxy to the Delta Quadrant. There, without aid from Starfleet, we began our 70-year journey home. In our numerous encounters, we came into contact with many dangerous and violent species. Having a limited crew with no chance of reinforcements, we determined that we needed a specialized team to handle the more dangerous situations. Tuvok, Voyager’s Chief of Security assembled an elite force of security personnel named the Hazard Team.”

The opening dialogue to Activision and Raven Software’s Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force video game. A game that received critical acclaim when it was initially released in 2000 on PC. The game later went to receive both an expansion pack, PlayStation 2 export, and a sequel in 2003. 17 years later, the game stands as the most successful Star Trek games created. 

Roughly two weeks ago, I was sitting in front of my PC listening to a collection of Star Trek music that I’ve saved over the years, which included the main theme to Elite Force.



Which in turn prompted me to locate my copy of Elite Force and began playing it. While the game has certainly aged in comparison to modern graphics, the gameplay itself remains some of the best. Challenging combat, with stealth mechanics, and even some minor puzzles that need to be solved. The voice acting is phenomenal in the sense that ALL  of the cast behind Star Trek Voyager was along for the ride. UNFORTUNATELY, the game suffers from two problems in today’s age. First, it’s 17 years old and some modern systems cannot run the program. Secondly, where is the re-master?

The second question is one that has been overly asked in my mind more times than I can count. So, how do you combat this question? Well, simple, I put my 4 years of Game Design Schooling to work! I have played around with the Unreal Development Kit when I was still attending college, however, even that program is considered out of date now, so I instead opted to download Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 and have been actively working on ‘modernizing’ Elite Force, at least it’s environments. I actively use a Student version of 3ds Max and Photoshop to recreate the environments. Please keep in mind, this is a PRE-ALPHA Build. Meaning that some of the assets that I am using are subject to change, updates, or even replacement.

While I cannot claim that I am a professional by any means, I treat Star Trek as a passion and began work on the central location you spend your ‘between missions’ time in. Deck 4, Hazard Operations. Using gameplay, screenshots, and my own exploration, I recreated the hallways first, this way I can space out and design the appropriate rooms adjourning the halls. The hallways themselves took a little time to create as I had already created them twice before in practice. After that, I moved to the largest room on Deck 4, the Briefing Room this room proved to be a bit of a challenge due to its size and the lighting. However, after nearly 4 hours of work, I had the room completed. Afterwards, I realized I had an issue, I didn’t know how to get the doors to open and close during play. Thanks to a YouTube tutorial I managed to adapt the technique’s to fit Voyager’s style. And now, all of the doors work AND sound like they are supposed to.

The Locker Room was next and this room is where the majority of my time has been spent over the last week, Creating the assets in this room proved to be much more challenging because I had initially made the room too small. I had to go back and tweak the length of the hallway to accommodate this issue. Once I had completed the changes I proceeded to decorate the room and found that it had several walls that seemed devoid of any kind of life and set out to take some creative license and add a few replicators and objects to make the room feel more fleshed out. The room is not completely finished as I need to return to the coding aspect and create a series of controls that will open and close the large lockers the Hazard Team use. As well as create the individual nameplates identifying which Locker belongs to who.

At this time I’ve begun work on the Armory. Unfortunately, it is bare bones and not worthy of a screenshot but I plan on releasing several in the coming days. I have many more environments to complete, such as the Bridge, Engineering, Shuttlebay, Sickbay, and Cargo Bay 2, and that’s just for Voyager! I still have to create the interiors for a Borg Cube, The Scavenger Base (Klingon, TOS Federation hybrid), and several alien ships. It’s going to be a long journey. But a journey worth taking. As stated before, this is a passion project and unfortunately, I do not at this time know how to extract any of the old data for use in the re-master. Such as the music and speech files for use in-game and currently is an environmental reproduction.

I’ll end with that I am eager to continue work and should anyone wish, I would welcome assistance from character modellers animators, texture artists, and coders. While it is unlikely the game will receive an official update, all work will be continued free of charge and those assisting with the project will receive credit for their work.

Until then, keep an eye on Trek Fan Productions for more update blogs and my personal Facebook for periodic posts about the work being done.

Live Long and Prosper,



  • Blog Author: Jeff Lincoln
  • Blog Layout: James Hams
  • Blog Pictures: Google Images, Jeff Lincoln

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The Fan Film Guidelines Breakdown – Part Four

Well, here we are with part four, so far we have covered a total of four separate guidelines. Although I have not dissected them in order these have been some of the more simple ones to be able to breakdown for you.

As we shift into the next half of this blog series, some things are going to get increasingly tricky to dissect and as such the guideline blogs may be further apart, this is due to the time that I need to investigate things properly which in turn I hope will enable me to give you, what I hope you need, to enable you to use what is within these blogs to guide you in making some exceptional fan productions.

In this blog, I intend to breakdown one of the most misunderstood guidelines and one that has been widely reported inaccurately.

4) If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.

When people heard about this guideline they accused CBS of being greedy and only after money it was, in fact, one of the guidelines that upset so many people. On a personal note, it was painful to see the fallout from this one alone, one thing about the Star Trek fandom is we have a unique way of making the things we see on screen be it costumes, props or toys.

It took many by surprise that CBS would come up with this guideline, I mean why? What damage do we do building these things we see on screen, the simple answer is nothing. However, this guideline is not one aimed at the fans, but at the third party sellers that seem to pop up overnight online selling the very things that people like you and me, just simple fans! That have paid CBS a licence fee to be able to produce these items legally.

Even though 13 months later people are still, saying things like these third-party sellers do no harm or they sell things cheaper than people like Anovos or the other official licences, the hard and inescapable truth is they do more damage to the very thing we hold dear and that is the longevity of Star Trek.

The simplest way to put it is every Dollar, Pound or Euro paid to these people is one less given to the very people who need it to keep this 51-year-old franchise going. However, I can already hear it now “well they have millions why do they need it”, well like anything run by anyone, even by the person running that market stool we go to, or the man beside the road who sells you flowers or fruit, if things do not make money they stop! Now I do not know about you but do you want Star Trek to end because CBS does not make a profit from Star Trek?? I know I don’t?

Last June when John Van Citters appeared on the engage podcast this very guideline was poised to John by the podcasts host Jordan and it took less than 30 seconds for John to clear up the misinterpretation of it by this following statement,

“This is definitely an area of big big misconception” THEY MAKE THEIR OWN Anovos is a terrific example because this is, a this is a company that was Started by a couple of fans – (Read the full transcript below).

Therefore nothing has changed and we carry on like before, if we want to make our own costumes and props we can and this guideline is not aimed at us doing that, but if we want a professional looking uniform, phaser or tricorder we buy it from officially licensed partners and not a third parties, to me that is completely fair isn’t?

Below you will find the usual producer commentary, links and information you need to help you interrupt this guideline in your own way but with our help.


It should be noted the Fan Film Guidelines DO NOT affect anything but Fan Films, this means Audios dramas and alike are not bound by them.


4) If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.



RANDY LANDERS – Potemkin Pictures

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Paramount and CBS want you to use the officially licensed merchandise. This is because their manufacturers pay for those licenses, and if uniforms, props and the like are purchased from non-licensees, then revenues are hurt. However, Mr. van Citters said that fans can make and use their own costumes in fan films. To that end, much of Potemkin Pictures’ costumes are made by our cast and crew, or purchased and modified from off-the-rack clothing. Some are actually Halloween Costumes. Some were purchased before the implementation of the guidelines, and we continue to use those. But we are no longer purchasing “knock offs,” and are instead working harder at creating recreations of the designs from the Star Trek TOS movie era.


Nick Cook – Intrepid

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Basically what you’ve said. If you buying it, buy something that is officially licensed. Otherwise, make it yourself.  As I understand it, Roddenberry.com does sell licensed patterns and accoutrements.

https://shop.roddenberry.com/collections/uniform-patterns

There are quite a few websites and Facebook groups dedicated to Trek costuming, but I think most of these have some links to unlicensed materials, so I’m wary of sharing them.

Vance Major – Melbourne

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

I’ve seen something called the SENSE OF RIGHT ALLIANCE, Google it if you haven’t(you won’t regret it lol) and I think that’s what they want to avoid. Honestly, I’ll never pay 500 or 1000 for a uniform. I’m also not going to dress in a Halloween outfit, I’m going to look decent for a fan film. But when you look at the something like the SENSE OF RIGHT ALLIANCE, you just shake your head. I get not taking money from them, but I’m also not going to spend outside my means, whatever it is. At the end of the day, I’m not going to sense of right alliance my fan film. To me, that’s all they are asking.


Justin Burton – Former member of the Lexington production. 

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Well, I can see the point with them not wanting you to buy from costumers but officially licensed outlets far too often pop up costumes makers have taken advantage of fans by taking their money and not delivering the product as promised. Many productions make their own uniforms because of this Hidden Frontier made their own James Cawley does as well as Intrepid.


Ray Tesi – Republic

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

The issue with this guideline revolves around the uniforms mostly in my opinion. The only true licensee I believe is ANOVOS. The issue there is not only one of expense, but uniforms only come in one flavour. If you want a gold shirt, you’re a captain, a blue shirt is a first officer, etc. Uniforms almost have to be provided by some source who can customise them. Props are readily available through licensed commercial companies, readily available, and generally on the inexpensive side depending on the quality of the props you’re looking for.


Robin –  Dark Armada:

“The guidelines set by CBS are just what they are…….. Guidelines, as it was explained in the podcast they’re not supposed to be rules and CBS isn’t going to inspect every single fan film about these guidelines. The Star Trek Fan Film community used to live by a certain code or ‘unofficial rules’, until some decided to break that code and all hell broke loose. But it’s really just common sense: making a fan film means you play with someone’s intellectual property and in our case, CBS and Paramount have graciously allowed us to do that for over a decade. The risk that they would ask you to stop is always present, so do you think it’s wise to sell DVD’s, ask for money/donations, build a studio, pretend to be official Star Trek? Only a few thought it was. Most fan productions followed a few simple rules: don’t make a profit, don’t sell DVD’s or similar merchandise and make clear it’s a fan production. The only difference today is that these rules are now officially presented as guidelines by CBS. Follow them and you’re safe from any legal action. Most important about these guidelines are that your intentions are good (the common sense stuff I mentioned before), that it’s a production by the fans for the fans out of love for Star Trek (and of course…. don’t pull an Alec). My advice would be not to try to desperately work around the guidelines, but realise that they are a way for CBS to allow us to play with Star Trek as fans. Some of these guidelines weigh heavier than other. I think I don’t have to explain that collecting more money is a worse guideline to ignore than the one about the length of your film. Whether your film is 15, 30 or 45 minutes long, make sure your intentions are good and put a lot effort, a lot of work and a lot of love into it”



https://trekfanproductions.com/johnvancittersengagepodcast#Props

{} Jordan {}

OH OK now I the other thing that brought  up a lot of questions was regarding  costumes props and weapons things of  that nature that there’s  one of the guidelines states don’t have the  exact word in front of me I you know if  it is available through our license licensees the Licensors  then you know use that one

{} JVC {}

This is definitely an area of big big misconception

{} Jordan {}

Right because I was like hey if I want to make my own tricorder out of macaroni what the heck man I can do that right?

{} JVC {}

Jordan you are now committed to making a tricorder out of macaroni just so I can see it

{} Jordan {}

So can you can you shed a little light on that because that one did lead to some questions and I get it now you wake up you know Anovos one of your license makes gorgeous costumes but if somebody wants to make their own what do they do?

{} JVC {}

THEY MAKE THEIR OWN  Anovos is a is a terrific example  because this is a this is a company that  was Started by a couple of fans who did not yet even have an operating business  who did not yet have a license from  anybody else who came to us with a presentation and a plan and some samples of the quality of work that they felt  they could do and they have created a  business after that we looked at it  we were like yes let’s try this  they came out of fan ranks and they have spent over the years being a Star Trek license tens of thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands of dollars at this point in development for their products they make exceptionally good quality stuff that looks screen accurate  that that wears well that is nicely  tailored and you’ve seen the stuff at  conventions it looks amazing so out of support for Star Trek we would ask people that if you are doing the fan film that you not purchase stuff from unlicensed bootleg operators who do not help support official Star Trek in and create a climate where we can get more Star Trek so we’re asking that if we have stuff commercially available that  you consider using that on your on your projects we do have great quality stuff available from vendors like Anovos from QMX  etc and we  would like you to respect that and support their investment into Star Trek and dedication to Star Trek many times their materials are going to be a perfect fit and provide a great and very accurate shortcut for you but we’re not  looking to inhabit fan creativity we’re not looking to limit what you can do on  your episode like well they don’t have an officially licensed original series silver Lemay environmental suits so what do I do? I guess I have to cut that from my story know what you have to do then  is get our somebody who’s really  talented they can make one and  that’s fine we’re not looking to inhibit  that we’re not looking to get rid of the DIY ethic of Star Trek fans

{} Jordan {}

And correctly wrong and then once you’ve made it you’re hoping that the person is not going to turn around and sell it as a perk in there

{} JVC {}

Well yes where were we were hoping  people aren’t going to decide hey I did  a really good job making that I’m going  to go into business I doing that but I  completely get that when I was a kid and 10 years old  11 years old and I’d see a  Star Trek episode with a really cool  thing in and I’d be digging through everything in the house and like now here’s an old wrapping paper tube if I  take that in this coat hanger and this  cut out this piece of cardboard and  spray paint it silver what can it can I  make this thing that I saw in the  episode and I get that that’s part  of the fun of Star Trek that you were  talking about the costuming that you see  at these conventions where you see if  people showing up as the crystalline  entity and that that’s amazing and  that’s wonderful  and by all means please keep that  part of Star Trek going we’re not trying  to inhibit that if there is the  opportunity to use official merchandise  we would ask the fans help support the  franchise that they love so much.



Websites to:

Purchase Uniforms:

Purchase patterns to make your own uniforms:

Purchase props:

Help to build props:

Misc Prop Google search:

Uniform Accessories:

Purchase:

Misc Google search:


Facebook groups that specialise in prop and costume making 



If you run a facebook group or know of any links or information you think would be of use in this post then please comment below.

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Intercultural Communication Through Time – By Moriah Baca

This weekend my husband and I watched the film Arrival, it was right up our alley as Star Trek fans.

Communication was the focus of this film, the difficulties that we would face meeting aliens without being able to even talk to each other. Deanna Troi brings up this difficulty in The Next Generation:

Deanna: Actually, the fact that any alien race communicates with another is quite remarkable…We are stranded on a planet, we have no language in common, but I want to teach you mine. The disparity, what did I just say?

Picard: Cup…glass

Deanna: Are you sure? I may have meant liquid, clear, brown, hot. We conceptualise the universe in quite the same way.

Picard: Point taken

Deanna: In your talks, you must be extremely accurate

This idea of how we conceptualise the universe is one of the most significant aspects of how Dr Louis Banks is able to communicate with the aliens in Arrival. The reason Dr Banks has such a hard time communicating with the aliens is that they perceive time differently. Sisko in Deep Space 9 tries to explain time to an alien in the first episode of the series:

Sisko: It can be argued that a human is ultimately the sum of his experiences.

Alien: Experiences? What is this?

Sisko: Memories. Events from my past, like this one.

Alien: The Past?

Sisko: Things that happened before now…You have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.

Alien: What comes before now is no different than what is now, or what is to come. It is one’s existence.

Sisko: Then, for you, there is no linear time.

Alien: Linear time. What is this?

Sisko: My species lives at one point in time. And once we move beyond that point, it becomes the past. The future, all that is still to come, does not exist yet for us.

Alien: Does not exist yet?

Sisko: That is the nature of linear existence. And if you examine it more closely, you will see that you do not need to fear me. In a linear existence, we can’t go back to the past to get something we left behind, so it’s lost.

Alien: It is inconceivable that any species could exist in such a manner. You are deceiving us.

Sisko: No, this is the truth. This day, this park, it was almost fifteen years ago. Far in the past, It was a day that was very important to me, a day that shaped every day that followed. That is the essence of a linear existence. Each day affects the next.



Star Trek dealt with this issue of linear time differently than Arrival. In Star Trek, the alien is taught to understand linear time in order to deal with humans. In Arrival, the heptapods teach Dr Banks nonlinear time in order for humans to be able to deal with them.

Both ways the idea of non-linear time is so foreign to us and difficult to represent therefore it makes sense that Star Trek had to opt out for a more simple depiction, however, Arrival takes advantage of their budget to depict nonlinear time in an amazing way. Both these stories are hiding their point in plain sight. The issue of language between cultures even between humans there can be a difference in the conceptualization of the universe caused by culture making communication very difficult. Again, we see the way Star Trek brings cultural issues to our attention in a roundabout way.


Blog Author: Moriah Baca

Pictures:

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Making Deluxe KLINGON Gauntlets from Foam – By Shawn Hussell

Tools/Supplies:

  • -Utility Knife
  • -Pins
  • -Heat gun
  • -marker
  • -contact cement
  • -foam ¼ thick (use whatever thickness you want this is just what I used)
  • -blueprints from KAG.org, print them out 
  • A step by step guide in pictures is in the gallery below


Directions: the printer-Print

-Print out blueprints and cut them out them out

-Ok, we are just going to stop here for a bit. I got extremely lucky and on my first print, they were a perfect size. Not everyone is going to be this lucky, I suggest one of two things:

A) Print out a size you feel might be close, follow the instructions but just for one gauntlet instead of two and then use this to resize (if need) the next set of blueprints.

B) Short on foam and don’t want to make one you likely won’t use? Well just print two side pieces and make the first gauntlet out of paper, foam is stretchy so you want the wrist hole small enough your fist barely fits. Because my gauntlets have a little stretch, I can get my hand in.  

if the material had no give in it then my gauntlets would be too small!

-That last point covers “how these things should fit,” they’re big, to begin with so why make them bigger than needed.

-Got your blueprints, they’ve been cut out.

Lay them down on the foam and pin them down, to keep them from shifting. Use your marker and trace the blueprints out twice, then flip the side piece and trace it two more times. I strongly recommend labelling them, the top of the side-panel blueprint is the right side. In my photos, I labelled right as 2, left as 1 and centre as

C. -Cut out the foam pieces on the inside of the line. Now heat form them, use my finished photo for referenced of pre-shaping, this will help (a lot) when glueing them to be close to their final shape.

-Consult your contact cement instructions, and follow the printer and two different images, the fit probably isn’t going to be perfect I and two different images, the fit probably isn’t going to be perfect I believe this was the cause of a lot of my problems. If you’ve never worked with contact cement, you might want practice glueing a couple of the left-over scraps together to get a feel for it.

Press the seams together carefully and start from the bottom working your way up. When you get to the wrist part you may have difficulties, try moving to the top and working back down, I found that helped me. You might have to hold the seams together briefly ensure a proper hold. If your lines aren’t perfect, well practice makes perfect!  If you look closely at mine they aren’t either, I’m opting to make new ones in the future rather than fix these. You can fill any gap with plaster or wood fill, I haven’t found something I like using yet, so I don’t have any recommendations. Qapla’!!

You now have gauntlets, go forth my fellow warrior and never again fear for your wrists or forearms; for they will forever be wrapped in foam!

Notes: I would recommend you look up videos on making foam costumes just to get a feel for this, I like Evil Ted, his first few videos are very insightful. I never made it to the tubing part knowing I’ll be replacing these. I plan on finding a very flexy tube or glue thinner foam around a small rope to make the tubing. That’ll come down to what you find.


  • Blog Author: Shawn Hussell
  • Layout: James Hams

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Why I Started Trekfanproductions.com

I want to tackle a rumour that I have heard and one that I feel is worthy of my attention.

Today during a conversation with some others involved in the fan film community it was brought to my attention that “some” see Trekfanproductions as a site that is in direct competition to “Fan Film Factor” or to push a “hidden” agenda, this could not be further from the truth. Well, unless you think that dragging the spotlight back to where it should be is wrong or an agenda of negative intent.

Now, some would take this as a personal attack and reply in kind. I though am not one of them, I see this as feedback and one that I felt I need to address to clarify my position as the owner of this site but I also wanted to make and the position of Trekfanproductions.com very clear.

The main reason, although not the only one for me started this site is that I saw a need to help bring the focus back to the many Star Trek Fan Films that for some reason seem to have been pushed aside in favour of a “certain production”, but I also strongly felt that the same attention needed to be brought to ALL Fan Productions as like it or not, not all roads lead back to Axanar! fan productions of all genres for example Podcasts, Audio Dramas, and Fan Fiction deserve just the same attention. I felt it was the time we also get to know more about the lesser-known ones like Fan Artists and the many Star Trek related websites out there. All these have become part of what makes Trek so great our diverse look of things and how we all celebrate it.

Therefore, I hope this has put this rumour to bed as it were and now we can get back to enjoying and celebrating fan productions in all their eclectic varieties.

Thank you for your time in reading this.

As always, all Feedback good and bad is welcome and helps me divert my attention to where it needs to be.

James Hams

Owner and Creator of Trekfanproductions.com


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