Thursday, 13 October 2016

Destination Star Trek™ Europe


What a weekend! If you were at the much anticipated Destination Star Trek™ Europe at the NEC, Birmingham, you may have noticed some huge LCARS panels around the convention centre. That was us! We had 2 days to come up with some customised LCARS animations and countdown clocks to run before some seriously big Star Trek™ names hit the stage. The animations were to run on two fifteen metre LED screens provided by Fonix, the best LED screens we've ever seen. It was a rush from arrival to departure.



We used six custom builds of LCARS 47 version 6.5, three on each screen. Thankfully, Fonix brought two beefy i7s loaded with nVidia 1080s to run it. We were very happy with the result.


The guests were absolutely amazing to watch. We got to see the much anticipated Shatner's World, which was very funny and moving throughout.






Would we do it again? Absolutely. It was a great event and we loved providing the graphics throughout. We'd like to thank Showmasters and Fonix for their invitation to Destination Star Trek™ Europe. We had a great time!

Stay awesome, guys!






Wednesday, 3 August 2016

LCARS 47 • Planet Artwork


Here they are folks. This is something I've been meaning to post for ages. It's a sample of the new Planetary Database for 6.5. Featuring brand new planet renders for every planet featured in Star Trek. Now, that's a big deal, so this is something that we'll be rolling out over the life of 6.5 with continuous updates. Each planet has been rendered from scratch, while making sure that they are as screen accurate as possible. Artistic licence is used in places where planet images have been reused in the show, but I think you guys will be fine with that. The main races in Star Trek however, should be recognisable. 


Friday, 1 April 2016

Full Motion 3D and Brand New High Resolution Planet Image Assets



Finally, some 3D. Eleanor was never happy with the sparse (and badly optimized) 3D components in previous versions, so we've revised the method. New assets, better quality. Also shown is the new "reconfiguring UI" which adds a more natural transition between various UI configurations.



There's no doubt, Captain, right down to your aggressive strain of full motion 3D... New 3D additions to LCARS 47 in version 6.5, the 3D DNA comparison faithfully recreated frame by frame.

Music is our cover of the theme from Star Trek®: Nemesis™. Score courtesy of Sony ATV Publishing (STAR TREK: NEMESIS - SCORE).



This video shows the surprisingly popular interactive addition to LCARS 47, Stellar Cartography; a system that was never fully realised in previous versions. Special thanks to NASA, ESA, JPL, and the crew of the Apollo 17 mission for the inspiring images.



Stellar Cartography is getting a massive overhaul, we're adding a huge Stellar Cartography database to LCARS 47 version 6.5. That's a lot of planets. And yes. We're doing them all... From scratch. Each planet will be drawn based on established facts and what we've seen on screen. The above image shows our brand new planet images of Bajor, Qo'Nos, Romulus and Remus. This will be an area where a considerable amount of artistic licence will be needed; but we're happy with the results.


6.5 is going to be immense. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

LCARS 47 Time Beacon

Those of you that have been asking about our stardate system, this post is for you!

Here's our brand new time beacon. This stardate system is standardised starting 6 months after the events of Nemesis and will be used throughout LCARS 47. We developed a system that takes off where Star Trek left whilst maintaining the integrity of canon dates the best we can. Please note that the stardate new year is May 24 (leap year depending).

It will not work alongside other calculators that are using present day times (-335218), Star Trek Online's system (which is about 40 years after Nemesis) or any other made-up system.

Use of this system is granted for any non-commercial purposes, just make a note that you're using the "LCARS 47 Time Beacon" in your documentation. Commercial use is prohibited. That means you may not use this system as part of paid apps or apps containing ads.

Special thanks to Martin Gillow for his work on the Time Beacon page.

Welcome to 2380.


Click or Scan the image above to be 
directed to the LCARS 47 Time Beacon

Edit: 8th of April 2016

Due to an unexpected popularity regarding the T ime Beacon, we are no longer accepting individual formula requests by email as responding to each has become prohibitively time consuming. We will instead release the formula along with LCARS 47 version 6.5.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Feature-Packed 6.5



These videos are becoming a regular thing... This one shows two instances of LCARS 47 v6.5 running on twin touchscreens. Dual touchscreens really make the transporter controls an energizing experience... The helm module is also spread across two monitors.

The cursor pads at either side of the touchscreens are part of the helm module in Vexillum, which will work in tandem with Prolixus. 6.5 will support up to six monitors for you to mix and match Vexillum and Prolixus as you desire. If that's not enough, they'll also work over a LAN with other computers running LCARS 47. Want more? If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, then there's Expeditus, which will of course also connect to LCARS 47 running on your LAN. Because why wait for the 24th century?



Working on the medical systems today, starting with that classic "Patient Biomedical Status" seen frequently in Voyager. Convincing readouts are difficult to achieve, theatrically, so a whole day was spent getting this "right" (enough)...



As requested, here's a link to the monitor we used in videos: http://amzn.to/1UL1MC4

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Brand New Video Updates



This video shows one of the new features for version 6.5, the transporter control panel. The module is designed to span two monitors. However cycling between each "half" of the module is possible as demonstrated here for those of you that don't have multiple monitor setups.



This video shows 3 of the most recognisable LCARS readouts, the Subspace Scan Analysis, the Forward Navigational Scan, and the Local Memory Allocation as well as a peek at the new directory system coming to 6.5.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Set a course for... 6.5.

It's been asked for, it's been demanded of us, and now, it's getting a green light... The helm. No, not that Forward Navigational Scan, I'm talking of the actual helm. There will be two variants hitting 6.5. One version based on those gorgeous Enterprise-D panels, and one based on the helm of the Voyager. 

Now, we know what you're thinking... "But Eleanor", I hear (probably) "those panels are wider than the average monitor!", you exclaim (maybe). Well, just like the transporter, the Enterprise styled helm will require two instances of Prolixus (pictured below)


Now, we know that the image above isn't strictly accurate; I had to take considerable artistic licence to make the design fit the monitors. I took the liberty of adding an auxiliary readout to the lower left side of the helm and added an overall touch-up to the GUI to bring it closer to Prolixus than the early TNG stuff it's based on. Remember, we're going for a Post Nemesis era refit Galaxy style of LCARS.

Next, is my personal favourite. I have been wanting to do this for 10 years. It's the helm of the Voyager (below). She requires three instances of Vexillum (four if you add the Forward Navigational Scan readout monitor) and two instances of Prolixus. That's five (or six) monitors. That's a big ask, we know, but we're giving you the ability to put together the Voyager's helm... 


As the picture to the left will show, the helm will support the alert feature, so they'll all go red when you call those famous words.

And finally, I've received tonnes of feedback from previous images regarding those typos. Yes, I know they're alarmingly frequent, but sometimes they slip by since the text is often an afterthought during the concept stage. Any text will be subject to the same quality control inspection when we move to QA testing.

That's all for now.


Friday, 26 February 2016

Captain's Log, Stardate 56760.5...

That's right. Mission logs are getting the 6.5 makeover treatment this week as we're massively expanding the existing feature. You'll be able to write logs, search, and view existing logs all from within the program. Shaun has been working on the code for this feature all week and it's looking pretty good (but I'm biased). Here's a preview of the interface I threw together, under Shaun's expert direction.

The reception thus far has been positive with the only criticism being about my horrendous typos. But hey, that's why we have quality control, right?

We're also planning on adding audio/video logs at some point too. Unfortunately, the ability to dictate a log will remain in the realms of science fiction... Have you ever tried dictating the word "Cardassian" to a primitive 21st century computer? Yeah... 

In other news, yes! You're finally getting a transporter control system. That means you can all stop emailing me about it (you win). You can thank Shaun for this one (again) as he's the one that swayed the balance in favour of implementing it. As we've said before however, you're responsible for sourcing your own personnel transporter room (we just supply the software). As for Heisenberg Compensators, that's your problem—we ain't responsible for puddles of cellular residue where away teams were standing. Here's a preview for you though:

You should know that this module is designed to span across two monitors... two touchscreen monitors with at least 3-point multi-touch support. If you don't have those, you won't be sliding those transport cycle initiators. However, those of you using a mouse will be able to program a transport auto sequence.

I know, not everyone has two touchscreens, but they are pretty cheap these days and since more people are buying them, we've made the decision to roll with the times. Expect to see more touchscreen exclusives on the feature list in the future.

That's all for now!
Peace.

Friday, 4 December 2015

LCARS 47 Version 6.5 - End of Year Update

Yes it's finally time to talk a bit more about LCARS 47 version 6.5. I know it's been a long wait but we hope you find it worth while.



We finally have a release date in mind, however based on past experience and other commitments, it is not final. And as an added challenge, we've included it in the above poster as our implementation of a stardate. Determining a stardate was no easy task, with varying ideas and approaches having already been taken by others. We figured we would come up with our implementation which is true to canon, but easy to use (at least, from a computing perspective). We've aptly dubbed our implementation "Roddenberry Time" (hopefully that'll be a clue to you maths geniuses).

Eleanor's Edit:

The Stardates are now a fixed, working date system. We have implemented a standard stardate system throughout LCARS 47 as we felt it necessary to have such a thing. They will be in-universe and you will be able to accurately calculate them. All dates inside LCARS 47 will use stardates.

You'll hear more about this in the near future.

Launch Center

The New Launch Center (temporary colour scheme)


Firstly, we'll start by looking at the new Launch Center. Above you'll see an early draft implementation of what we're looking at including at release. 

The above image hints at various features. Some of these are;
  • Customisable Ship Class. Allows you to select your ship's class.
  • Customisable Ship Name. Allows you to change the name of the ship.
  • Customisable Ship Registry. Allows you to change your ship's registry.
In the new version, you no longer need to use the Master Control Panel program to change your ship name and registry. Additionally, you no longer need to run a separate setup file to change the ship class. A lot of the features offered in the Master Control Panel are going to be redundant with the new release, so we will be retiring that application.

Below the ship registry option, you'll see a list of six displays. LCARS 47 Version 6.5 will support up to six (6) monitors. If (for example) you have more than one monitor, say, a 5:4 17" monitor and a 16:9 22" monitor, you'll be able to have both Prolixus and Vexillium loaded in fullscreen mode on their respective monitor, and they will both be interconnected. 

This means you can have a Master System Display loaded on one monitor, and a Warp Core Control module loaded on the other, and when you eject the warp core, you'll be able to see [s98g7d98g798fg7dg89df9g8] happen (yes, I intentionally obscured that last part - spoilers!). The possibilities for this feature is endless and we certainly aren't short on ideas when it comes to this.

On the right hand side you'll see an option to turn Voice Commands off or on. The new Voice Command application will still be included for Microsoft Windows and improved by a factor of 10. Expect better recognition results, improved functionality, and more voice commands. For Mac OS X, we're looking at options of either developing a native application like Voice Command, using the internal recognition system, or possibly using Google Speech Recognition. More R&D is needed on this front. 

Below that, you'll see an option called Developer Commentary. This is something our great leader is looking at doing in the future. For the time being, it's a pencilled in feature that when activated. will play audio commentary when certain actions are performed with LCARS 47. Other that providing useful insights into the development of LCARS 47, listening to all the commentary may or may not reward the user. More on this later.

Ambient sound is making a comeback. A much desired feature in previous versions, using this option will allow you have an ambience audio loop played based on the class of ship selected. I'm personally looking forward to being able to set the mood in my lab with this feature.

Theatrical mode. This is a simple feature for those that use LCARS 47 in a live, interactive setup. This will prevent users from being able to change any application settings and prevents closing while running (at least, without entering an override code). This feature was requested by the crew of the USS Tydirium, an Australian Star Trek fan club (located just across the ditch from myself). 

Finally, the last few options are network connectivity related. May or may not have anything to do with network support, the Expeditus applications (LCARS 47 for Android), or wireless lighting controllers.

Entertainment Modules

LCARS 47 Entertainment Suite (work in progress)


Next up we have a screenshot of a new module. Would like to play a friendly game of poker with your ship mates? Well look no further. We've been wanting to do something like this for a while (at least, on a personal level). Now the question is, how does it know who my ship mates are?

Communications System



Perhaps that useless and overly annoying Communications button does something now?

Centralis Instant Messaging Concept




We have something to show which some of you may have heard about. We call this particular module Centralis. Centralis is our online-features module which we plan on using to help connect Star Trek fans with one another. For those of you who manage a ship and a crew, you will hopefully find this module useful. The module above shows a possible user interface for a chat client. This will allow you to textually instant message one another via the LCARS 47 application. In the future, this could expand to real time video and audio calling.

Centralis Concept Frontend
In this next image, we have another possible view of the online-features module. We're hoping to have the ability to deliver news straight to your console via the internet among other much more awesome features still to be worked on. Now you'll be be able to read about the latest victories from your favourite Klingon houses, or perhaps even order that dress you saw advertised at Garak's.

This module will require additional resourcing and will be a big commitment by us. Once we have a working module completed and battle tested, we will present it to the community for discussion and feedback. This means, that for the online features module to go ahead, we may need to charge a membership fee (or implement another community based revenue generating model), which will go towards the ongoing development and support of the project. I will remind everyone that LCARS 47 will always be freeware, this has been a consistent policy right from the beginning. Only the online features will be applicable to a membership fee. Expect to hear more about this in the future as we have some exciting features we want to roll out but can't afford to deliver on our own. This will also mean an expansion to our team, so should it go ahead, expect to see some job postings.

New Modules

Up next, Astrometrics. We're now working on a new Astrometrics module where you can check out some stunning imagery of the universe outside those lonely quarters on deck 15. Be sure to check this section out when we release.



Drydock

And finally (because hasn't this post gone on long enough?), the first five (5) ships to be included at launch with an additional two following shortly after within the second month from release. These pretty little ships will be included with the launch version and will be selectable within the application.


And Finally...

A couple of other things to touch on before I conclude this post.

1. Mac OS X will be supported. The Voice Command feature may not however. More R&D is needed in this area.
2. Expeditus (TR-600 and PD-600). Yes Expeditus is still in development. The plan is to have this ready to launch with version 6.5. No, there are no alpha/beta tester vacancies (thanks for thinking of us though). 

There's still a lot of things I haven't covered which we will hopefully cover some time in the new year. We will be looking forward to winding things down over the holiday period, but should be back sometime late January with some fresh new updates for you.

Until then, you can always contact us via email or our Facebook page. Got a question? Well then, drop us a line.


This message is brought to you by Shaun, your local LCARS 47 Lead Developer and Assistant Project Manager.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Behold. The Tricorder


Project Expeditus (LCARS 47 for Android). It's been asked for and asked for. Yes we are actively working on it and yes, it will be absolutely free. No ads, no paywalls, no in-app purchases. It's currently in closed alpha and we're planning a release along side LCARS 47 v6.5 itself. You guys have shown so much support for our small non-profit, and I'd like to thank you on behalf of my entire development team. You make all this worth while.

Performance subject to device spec. Starfleet issue case not included with app.


This is the actual tricorder from Star Trek: Nemesis (above). It had no official name, but We decided that "TR-600 - Mk XI" would be the most logical choice. There are a few stylistic differences between the canon "TR-600", and the Expeditus TR-600, but this is mostly to allow for conversion of the UI to better suit high end, high PPI 16:9 screens.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Master Systems Display and Unique Starship Abilities

Here she is. The Galaxy class starship. This took an entire month of work. It's loaded with animation and interaction. We're also confirming that this is the finalized user interface for the Master Systems Display Engineering module. This module will probably become the centre point of your LCARS 47 experience because with the rollout of 6.5, this screen will update to reflect the current shipboard situation. 

What does all that mean? Well, you probably already know that 6.5 will support multiple monitors and even have networking features. Thanks to our new event management mechanic, Eventus, LCARS 47 will now communicate with all other instances of LCARS 47, even those running on separate networked computers. For you, this means that if you eject the warp core, the MSD will update, to show that the warp core is not present, the nacelles will show a powered down state, and all systems reliant on the warp core will go offline. The core eject feature is standard across all the ships we'll be including in Drydock, but some ships will have unique abilities. Here's a class specific list of the most prominent unique ability (these aren't the only unique abilities each class will, have, just the ones we're confirming now).

The Sovereign
Those of you with Sovereigns will have the ability to detach the main deflector which will mean that shield systems lose a bit of stability, you won't be able to go to warp, and certainly not be able to navigate an asteroid field.

The Intrepid
If the Intrepid is more your thing, then you can play with the nacelles. They move and unless they're in the upright and locked position, you ain't going anywhere at warp speed. 

The Galaxy
The Galaxy has of course a wonderfully dramatic ability to separate the saucer section completely. You guys don't need details as to what happens during separation, so I'll skip the info for this one.

The Nova
Being a small ship appearing as featured ship in only two feature length episodes, deciding what unique features the Nova has was tough. We're still thinking of things to add, so, ideas on a post card, people.

The Prometheus
MVAM, MVAM, MVAM... MVAM. Plus a megatonne of other tactical systems, not limited to a sassy EMH.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more updates, and don't forget to share the news. Peace!