Post feature RSS Q+A | Matt Hooker

This blog item was posted some months ago on the Excalibur Forums. Matt Hooker has been a member of Excalibur's development team since it began in 2008 and is now working to develop the Deck Editor which will power our interiors.

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Hello my name is Matthew and I work mostly on the interiors for the Excalibur Project. I have always loved Trek ever since I saw the original series and films and continued to enjoy it right up to Enterprise, which may not have been a great series but did have some enjoyable moments.

I first started modelling when my grandparents purchased a subscription the to magazine Computer Arts and the first issue I received had the full version of Bryce 3, which was used for modelling landscapes. I tried to make basic Trek models, but it was limited on what I wanted to achieve. Then came Truespace, again from Computer Arts. This enabled me to achieve better results but I do not have the models I made with it any more. I eventually came across 3d Studio Max 2 and found it very complex, and for a while I went back to Truespace as I found it easier to use. Then for some reason I cannot remember I went back to Max and never looked back. Even to this day I am still learning about its secrets and potential.

The building process for Excalibur interiors has changed slightly over time. I will not go into too much detail about the new process but the older rooms shown on the official website were created using 3d Studio Max and VRay, which is a good plugin for creating realistic lighting for interior environments. Before I even touch 3dsmax I would either have to gather as many reference images as I can for an existing room, such as the Intrepid-class Main Engineering, or start sketching ideas for rooms not shown and pitch it to the rest of the team for comments and suggestions. For an existing room you will more than likely find a part of it that is rarely shown or was out of focus, which means you have to be creative and try to match the styles so it doesn't look out of place.

In terms of interiors my favourite model has to be the Intrepid's Main Engineering room as it is bigger in terms of anything that I did before and was a challenge to keep the triangle count low yet still maintain the detail. I kept optimizing parts of the room to make way for detail elsewhere that was more essential and I was working on the room a lot, then with fellow member Robert's fantastic LCARS we were able to pull it off.

We do have a lot of ideas for the interiors in terms of crew interaction and interaction with objects, etc, but the main thing I would like fans to be able to do is to walk around the ship like in the virtual Voyager tour in Elite Force 1 and still be able to do missions without needing to go back to the menu. I have to say that I am proud to be working on this project and to be working with such talented individuals with the same goal of creating a Star Trek game for fans by fans. Keep watching the site and I hope you have enjoyed this article.

Comments
Nathanius
Nathanius - - 2,305 comments

Very Nice :)

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Wolf0x
Wolf0x - - 437 comments

Very interesting

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KingPhazon
KingPhazon - - 39 comments

Thanks for the update, I can't wait for this game to come out! Question, will I be able to damage the interior of my ship? For example, I blow a hole in the wall of my ship, the ship starts losing atmosphere as everything gets sucked out into space, I just want to blow **** up bahahahaha! In a very realistic manner of course. I thought there was talk of this feature, am I right? And if not it should be in the game if possible please.

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