Well, it really would be impossible to intelligently credit people without explaining their contribution to STDragon...and for that, I'm afraid I have to turn this into a bit of a history page. :) It's a little long, but that's expected: a lot of people helped me and this site over the seven years of STDragon's production. I already know that there's going to be some people I miss in this page, and I apologize for that, but I've managed to compile almost all of you!
So, let us start at the very beginning, and at the very beginning is the website Star Trek: The Adventures of Argus, created by Alex Thompson. This is what inspired me to create Star Trek Dragon in the first place. Frankly, I'd never even heard of Fan Fiction before Argus. Then one day, I plugged in Star Trek into a search engine and was overloaded by so many different results...litterally millions of websites on Star Trek. And, almost quite litterally, I stumbled onto Argus, was intruiged, and began reading. I really, really enjoyed reading the stories and, since I had a video game website at the time, thought "why not take the characters and ship I've been making up over the last couple of years and do something like this on my own website?" And then, Star Trek Dragon was born...
And so begins a checkered history. How did Star Trek Dragon begin? Without even frames: meaning there was one front page with links to a couple of cobbled-together sections. Everything was absolutely horrid at the time, the few images I had were putrid, and the few episodes I had written and posted were horrible, though at the time I didn't know any better and thought they were pretty good. As one person put it, the story concepts were good, but they weren't well-written. It was almost immediately after I created STDragon that I was approached by Wayne Clements, or at least, I think that was his last name... Yeah, any way, he told me of a place he and one other person were starting, called Millenium Pictures (yes, at the time, it was spelled Millenium, but was later changed to the proper Millennium Pictures.)
And so, three sites came together; Star Trek Defender, Star Trek Paris, and Star Trek Dragon; to form this group called Millenium Pictures. At the time, Wayne Clements was revamping his website, Star Trek Defender, and offered to make some tweaks to his old frames L-CARS design and give it to me for Star Trek Dragon. Eager to have a better-looking website, I agreed. Unfortunately, I don't have any screen shots of this old layout, but suffice it to say, it was a fairly good-quality L-CARS display.
During this time, and during the beginning of Season 2, a couple of people helped with creating some images for Star Trek Dragon...I'm sorry, I wish I could remember who they were (and if you read this, let me know and i'll put your name up here where it deserves to be :) ) However, when Season 2 began, I decided it was time for a new look as well...and I was lucky to have the creator of Star Trek Paris, Steve Davis, offer to create a brand new L-CARS layout. This one, I actually do have a screen cap of (and in fact, have the entire layout still stored on my computer.) Click here to see it. Steve did a wonderful job on the layout, and I've never thanked him enough for it :)
Before episode 13 "Hope" was launched, I had been looking around for someone willing to create CGI and title images for Star Trek Dragon. It was around this time that I also first met Pete Tzinski, who was creator of the fan fiction Star Trek Starship Khitomer (no longer online,) who was also looking for a CGI artist for his website. Where as Pete found a man who goes by the simple internet name of J, I found Chris Adamek and his popular website, Star Trek The Final Frontier. After approaching Chris, he agreed to begin making episode title images for Star Trek Dragon, and began by creating the huge battle scene you have only read about in the Season 2 episode of hope. I actually have the image upon which the title image was based. Click here to see it. As a note, Chris uses the program TrueSpace, and I have no idea who created any of the meshes seen in that image...so suffice it to say, all ships are by an unknown artist, image by Chris Adamek. For the rest of Season 2, Chris created the episode images, and in fact for the Season 2 finale of "Eye of the Storm" created all of the featured images in there.
Season 2 more or less ended with a bang, and Star Trek Dragon was slowly becoming more and more popular. In the mean time, Millennium Pictures was becoming a vast body, filled with multiple fan fiction sites and visitors to the forums, and unfortunately began to feel growing pains. There were a lot of disputes at the time, especially between Wayne and myself (as well as between Wayne and Pete.) Despite these arising problems, Star Trek Dragon trudged on into a new season, S3. Before S3, I had started to learn CGI myself by using a trial version of TrueSpace, but then J convinced me to switch to LightWave, when I got my hands on LightWave 5.6. I slowly was gaining skill in the program, but suffice it to say that my skills were really, really terrible. Despite that fact, I went on to create my own website, rather than 'leeching' off of everyone else. For the first time ever, I started to mess with frames on my own. Although the result wasn't very good, I was fairly proud of my creation at the time. Click here to see the S3 layout.
Around this time was when I really began to realize the value of having quality episodes, rather than a quality website...and the Season 3 premier was the first episode, and the first step, that really brought my writing up towards new levels. With Paris2, Khitomer, and Argus as my main sources of inspiration to better my stories and writing, I set out to write the best stories I could. Meanwhile, I was now creating my own images for the episodes, allowing Chris Adamek to 'retire' from assisting me. It eventually became a completely self-contained website, with no one else helping: just me. And it was then that STDragon really actually started to become popular. I started to recieve more visitors to the website per day, and as each episode was released, I was finally getting some positive feedback from those who visited. However, of those who would comment and critique on my stories, Pete Tzinski really became the one who was not only honest, but completely blunt: without him, my writing would not have continued to slowly improve and mature.
As my writing and CGI skills progressed (thanks to all of the helpful people at Millennium CGI), the Season 3 finale approached. I'd already written one crossover with Pete and Starship Khitomer, but I was greatly surprised when I was approached by Star Trek Unity. They asked my site to be that which started the whole project, the whole story line upon which Unity was based. I wasn't sure my writing skills were good enough to take on such a challenge, but that did not matter to me, I jumped at the opportunity and as soon as all of the necessary information was relayed, I began writing "Freedom's Price". At the same time I began the writing process and creation of CGI images for the Season 3 finale "Lonesome Road", a very special episode to me for several reasons, but that's covered in a specials document. I asked Ed Giddings, a very inspirational LightWave CGI artist, for a new mesh of the Sovereign class that he'd created, and he agreed, allowing the images in the S3 finale to be of a better quality. Click here to visit his site.
Season 3 ended very well, and by this time, Star Trek Dragon had become 'a hit fan fiction series!' Although many had been dissapointed with the episode "A Long Time Ago..." So, I decided it was time to do something different, something big. I had already approached Mike Conomy about signing on as webmaster for the new season, and much to my delight, he agreed! And so began construction of the Season 4 website, and, for the first time in STDragon history, another person was fully signed on as a member and co-creator of Star Trek Dragon. After many designs, he settled on this design. However, not only did he just do a new web design...but he went and redid every single episode title image, as well as the general layout of everything, including the episodes. As a note, many of the Season 1 and Season 2 episode title images use images from other authors, and I have no idea who the credits go to for those. I do know that many images came from Andrew Hodjes website "Star Trek Australia" (no longer online,) so thanks goes out to him and the many guest artists on his site! Although the S4 premier was not a 'big bang,' the launch of this bold new site was big, and brought a new level of quality to STDragon. While I would make images for each and every episode of Season 4, Mike would take one of those images from each episode and create the title image, further enriching STDragon's 'eye candy,' and also allowing me to concentrate more on my writing rather than the general maintanence of the website.
It was then that Season 4 ended with a bang, and I was very happy to have such a large fan base... However, as Season 5 approached, I decided I wanted to try things on my own again, so that I could maintain more close control of my site. Although Mike had already signed on for S5 and had started working on a basic layout, I decided to try my hand at it again. True, it didn't turn out to be as good looking as his designs...but it is, in most of its entirety, my own, and I was proud of it. Here is a screenshot of it.
The Season 6 design, like the last design, was also completely of my design, including the ship featured in the base images, the USS Sentinel. The only part of the Season 6 website layout I can't take credit for is the planet in the background. I created the planet object itself in LW, which isn't hard at all, but the texture on the planet was made by Topa. Thanks man! To see what the old design looked like, click here.
For the final season of Star Trek Dragon, I decided to make a new change by altering the title color, changing from a soft blue to a contrasting orange and black, and the results were great. In this case, the Sentinel was the sole focus, and only in the side image of the home page was there something not entirely of my creation - the planet used NASA generated textures. Take a look here.
The current design took quite a bit of thinking on my part. I wasn't interested in figuring out some new way to make websites, I just wanted to make a catchy, almost nostalgic design, and went so far as to make the title red again (though I may change that periodically.) It again featured the Sentinel, and I'd battled with the possibility of also using the Intrepid class, but decided simply to stick with the Sentinel. The trouble came in using the same basic layout while coming up with something thematically different from the others. I hope you all enjoy the result!
I've also finally, after I've finished primary production of STDragon, created a page documenting meshes and the like for all of the images throughout the website. Since title images and such really have no room for credits on them, I'm afraid this will have to do. Any authors wishing me to remove an image of theirs, I will of course comply, but please not that I have never claimed such works to be my own (just as I don't claim Star Trek to be my own, just the characters of STDragon.) Click here to see the mesh credits page.
And so, I thank every one who has made a contribution to this website. Without all of this help...I'm sure Star Trek Dragon would never have made it through seven seasons. Thank you so much! Before I end this page, there are a few people I'd like to mention by name, most of which did not have a direct helping-hand in this website, but deserve credit any way.
Alex Thompson for the inspiration!
Kenny Zaborny for all of his feedback, kindness, and help over the years!
My parents, my best friend Nick Welts, and his parents for encouraging my writing.
Jeff Hughes for helping me improve my CGI skills.
All of the fans out there who wrote to me over the years, your encouragement kept me going!
And of course, I give out two very special thanks:
My Great Grandmother Marcis, for always listening to my 'stories' when I was a kid. Without you, I wouldn't have ever become a writer in the first place. I'll always remember you...
And to Gene Roddenbery, for creating such a wonderful universe to write in. You've inspired millions!
May the stars guide you both to happiness...