Then, Now and the Steps In-between
Part 1 – The Bridge
I guess the origins of Cygnus stem from a map I created way
back in 2006 where I’d done my best to create a nova class bridge from a
cut-away diagram, the image only really showed me the floor layout and the back
consoles so the front of the bridge and the ceiling were rather plain.
I’m very critical of how my work looks. I mean I’ve been
mapping for EF2 pretty much since it came out in 2003 but it’s only now, after a decade that
I’m satisfied with how things look in my maps that I’m happy to release
anything even if for the moment they are just screenshots ^^; as a result until
now no-one has ever seen the original map “equinox2” until now.
Cygnus proper didn’t really start until April of 2011. I’d been working
on creating a voyager bridge using textures from the cancelled
Star Trek Voyager: Conflict of Interests mod but had hit a bit of a wall
working on that map. I went trawling through my collection of old map files
looking for some inspiration or something else I could work on to give the
voyager a rest when I found my original nova class bridge.
I ended up looking at it and deciding the map work (ceiling excepted)
wasn’t too bad and that, given a res-pray with the CoI textures, it could make
a pretty decent map. As I began working on it however it became clear that just
changing all the textures over wasn’t going to work. The few sections I’d done
of the ceiling supports looked rather off. So, being only a small thing I decided
to just remake the supports entirely. Then retexturing the consoles I realised
the graphics were too stretched out. Easiest way to make the textures look
right? Rebuild them.
It wasn’t until I’d rebuilt about half of the back wall that
I realised I was essentially rebuilding everything! In those 6 years I’d
learnt a fair few new methods of working and was able to bring those into the
rebuild of the structure. A few parts of the original structure remain as they
were in the original map. The curved parts of the handrails, the curved
“command bench”, the centre and lower floors, the step between them and the
floor in front of the view screen are the only remaining brushes from the
So a month and a half into the rebuild and my Voyager bridge
had been forgotten in favour of the nova one. That is until I came to needing a
ceiling. I’d scraped the old one completely and good riddance to it! Trying to
find good example images of the nova class sets from equinox was a real pain so
I decided to go for something that looked the right style and ended up using
the partially finished ceiling from my Voyager map. I also took (and shrunk)
the view screen and the metal section above it.
After 2 months the bridge was whole and ready for its first
compile. Loaded it up for the first time and that’s when I realised that by
texturing the brushes with the LCARs visible they didn’t glow…
Back to the map editor for a prolonged period of finding the matching
texture for each section and replacing it and a few days later It finally looked
complete. At some point I’d already started to add the corridors outside of
the bridge and it seemed natural to continue adding to them. Until eventually
the entirety of deck one, service corridors, quarters and even crew heads
(toilets) had been mapped.
In the year and a half since the bridge was "completed" there
have been numerous tweaks. Mainly to lighting but there’s also been the
addition of animated crew, a working view screen and now, thanks to the efforts
of Chris Strahl, it’s been properly clipped, caulked and optimised for running.
It’s come a long way so far but hopefully in the next couple
of months we’ll see it go even further with interactive crew and consoles
supported my Chris’ Multi Options Menu script!