Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Star Trek Online: Federation Flagship

I worked on Star Trek Online at 'Perpetual' for a couple years before the game went to Cryptic. I've spotted some things that made it into the final release, like Rob Brown's beautiful space paintings and some derivatives of John Eave's designs. I definitely ran into Bobby Dedden's consoles while playing. I've seen a version of our old flagship, the 'Excalibur Class' in game trailers and I passed it's debris while flying around space.
This design found it's origination from a small sketch done by Massive Black in an earlier exploration phase. It was well liked by team leadership because it had a strong poise and it had turrets. I thought the idea of visible turrets in Star Trek would be an abomination, but it did signal the war time approach we were going for. The original sketch was very small and drawn from a view underneath the ship looking upwards. I elaborated on the thumbnail and explored a new style for Starfleet going forward. It was fun because I could explore some really extreme designs that I knew wouldn't stick but might foster some different ideas. I also changed the viewpoint, drawing these sketches from the dominant player camera.
Below is a painting of the Excalibur for a poster used at conventions. I utilized an early mesh of the game model which was in progress. This allowed me to get a new angle on the ship quickly since I didn't have a lot of time to work on it.
For kicks, I've included a couple of slides from a damage level test (painted over the finished in-game model).
Images © 2007 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and Related Marks are Trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.


  1. I have been arm twisting John Eaves for months to post more artwork from the Perpetual "Star Trek Online" project. I love the Excalibur design, Ryan. Would you have the fictional dimensions of this starship?

    I would love to see more artwork. Did you also create the "Iowa" and "Edison" classes and the runabout designs?

  2. I liked this ship, I know Cryptic actually made their own version of it early on when they got the license as it appeared in Game Informer magazine, but it never showed up in-game:

  3. amazing work here Ryan!

    really inspiring.

  4. I love this ship! It's one of my favourite Trek designs ever, because it really looks like it's from the early 25th century, it really looks like an evolution of the Starfleet design lineage. Unfortunately the same can't be said about the designs that made it into Cryptic's game.

  5. Thanks for the comments! Yes, I did do an Edison and Iowa, maybe I'll post them up somewhere, I have fond memories of the Iowa. I don't remember the fictional details of the Excalibur off hand but it was meant to be smaller than a 'Galaxy-Class', more of a battle ship - not so many families aboard.
    That is an interesting image of Crytic's version of that ship, thanks for the link.