The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: captain cindy on May 25, 2012, 12:47:23 pm



Title: things to know
Post by: captain cindy on May 25, 2012, 12:47:23 pm
 1 First off The sa-matra dose not look precursor it looks
More like a dnyarri

2 I found a planets  for shofixti its at epslion ceti 2 or organon 1


3 I have alien art work and some ships on paper do you have snail mail


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Cedric6014 on May 26, 2012, 12:51:31 am
That's an interesting post!


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: CelticMinstrel on May 26, 2012, 11:12:23 pm
For #3, get a scanner.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Steve-O on May 27, 2012, 04:55:03 am
1 First off The sa-matra dose not look precursor it looks
More like a dnyarri

We've only seen one other Precursor vessel and it was incomplete, remember.  Most of gear that gets put on the flagship throughout the game is retrofitted technology from more modern races.  For all we know, had the factory on Vela II been able to build a complete ship, it may have looked very similar to the Sa-Matra when it was done.

If you don't like that answer, you can always write it off as being from another alien race who were the peers of the Precursors.  Admittedly it would seem that most of the surviving archeological evidence relates to a single species, but when you're talking about something THAT old, how can you really be sure there aren't a couple artifacts from other races mixed in there?

Or perhaps the Precursors were just advanced enough to design more than one kind of ship. =P

2 I found a planets  for shofixti its at epslion ceti 2 or organon 1

Do elaborate.

3 I have alien art work and some ships on paper do you have snail mail

Ditto with the scanner.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Death 999 on May 30, 2012, 04:12:04 am
Or perhaps the Precursors were just advanced enough to design more than one kind of ship. =P

Anyone who's played Spaceward Ho! knows that development costs can be a killer, yeah. And the Sa-Matra looks a bit like a dreadnought...


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Valos Cor on June 21, 2012, 03:06:37 am

Or perhaps the Precursors were just advanced enough to design more than one kind of ship. =P


Kudos for your insight :D


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Stardrake on June 22, 2012, 03:29:46 am
One ship design per race IS a bit of an artificial construct, after all. It's more likely that the races do each have multiple ship classes, but comparing between races the differences are small enough that treating a single ship as representative works. (Compare to Star Trek, for instance - there are design differences, sure, but most Federation ships we see have basically the same armanent and general characteristics.) When talking about Precursor ships when there are only a couple around, though, those differences matter.

That said, it's certainly true that the Sa-Matra looks like it was based on a very different design style to the Vindicator - the Sa-Matra is incredibly alien in design eveb if you assume that the in-game sprite is a side-view and that it is actually symmetric from the top-down view like most other vessels, while the Vindicator is still fairly close to human design styles even before you start adding modules. It's also unlikely that further work would have changed the shape of the bridge section (very different to that of the Sa-Matra). It's also worth noting that the Ur-Quan recognise it not just as a Precursor ship but specifically a Precursor service vessel - which implies that they've seen something reasonably similar before and thus can make a more specific identification than "Precursor ship".

If it wasn't for the difference in appearance, I'd hypothesise that the Sa-Matra was a warship while the Vindicator was an economic vessel (which, presumably, modern races have too, but with a couple of exceptions weren't worth putting in the game). With such a distinct difference in appearance suggesting different design aesthetics, though, I'd probably guess that there were actually multiple species of Precursors, and the Vindicator and Sa-Matra were designed by different species. (The Slylandro only knowing of one species could just be that it was only that species that talked to them, just like it was only the Ur-Quan that contacted them out of the Sentient Mileau.)


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: oldlaptop on June 22, 2012, 04:24:57 am
Keep in mind that the Flagship is to the Sa-Matra as a tugboat is to a supercarrier. We're talking about very different classes of ship here, intended for very different purposes. Of course the design will be very different, especially considering the added complication that the Precursor tugboat Zelnick flew was intended to be modular, and that the tugboat likely was not even built as a combat vessel.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: onpon4 on June 22, 2012, 07:09:11 pm
I think there was mention of human scouting ships or something in one of the Hayes conversations.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Kaiser on June 24, 2012, 10:29:18 am
I think there was mention of human scouting ships or something in one of the Hayes conversations.
I know Hayes was stationed on a Shofixti Scout for a period of time.  Can't recall human scouts being mentioned.  Though I can't imagine each race didn't have a wide variety of ships for different functions.  Well, excluding the Shofixti (most of their other things probably would have been handled by the Yehat) and the Ur-Quan (leaving most tasks to thrall slaves).


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Stardrake on June 25, 2012, 03:28:13 am
Supercarriers and tugboats actually aren't that different, though. Yes, they are designed for very different purposes, but bridge and general hull design are fairly similar, radio antenna are similar-ish, neither of them have random tentacle-like appendages jutting out from the front or back, and generally you can tell by looking at them that they come from the same technological base. I'd also be inclined to say that a superdreadnaught would be a better analogy for the Sa-Matra than a supercarrier - the distinctive flat-top look of a carrier is a required function of its role, while we have no indication as yet that the Sa-Matra's role is one that requires a distinctive shape.

Now, to be fair, some limitations are imposed by the physics of wet-navy ships that won't apply in space, and the Precursors are going to have a wider range of technologies to build ships from than late 20th/early 21st century humans, but the result of an eyeballing of the general design features of the Sa-Matra and the Vindicator is pretty much that for any given feature on the Sa-Matra, the Vindicator has the opposite. The Vindacator has engine pods, the Sa-Matra doesn't. The Vindicator has a machined look, the Sa-Matra looks more like it was organically grown (in fact, it makes me think of the Vorlons from Babylon 5 except that the Vorlon ships were still symmetrical) apart from that round thing in the middle - and even that is very distinct from the rounded trianguloid appearance of the Flagship's bridge.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Flagship does look like something that could easily be mistaken for human design if seen leading a fleet of Cruisers - or Kzer-Za if painted green and leading a fleet of Dreadnaughts, and to varying degrees it could fit with various other races' ships as well (especially if you ignored SC canon and imagined that the Flagship was the Hyperspace-capable ship that brought others along with it, explaining why it had warp pods while Terminators, Scouts and so on don't). The Sa-Matra, however, only seems to have commonalities with one other ship in the game and, fittingly enough, that's the organic Mycon that are known to have been created by the Precursors.

One possible explanation is that the Flagship is designed to be built off a smaller infrastructure base than the Sa-Matra - including lacking the facilities or seed material to grow the ship from the possibly Mycon-like organic material that the Sa-Matra is built from. However, I don't think that the possibility that there were two or more races of Precursors can be ruled out when so many other periods in Star Control history have been marked by coalitions of races rather than a single race. Especially since we also have what would be a middle step in the progression, namely the glance we get of the Mark 2 from the ending sequences - which is described by TFB as being a cruiser where the Flagship is a tug. That should put the Mark 2 closer to the Sa-Matra than the Vindicator, but its appearance still looks to be closer to more conventional hull materials like the Flaghship rather than the organic appearance of the Sa-Matra. This can really have one of three explanations:

1) The Sa-Matra (and Mycon) were built by a different race of Precursors to the Vindicator and Mark 2.

2) The Vindicator and Mark 2 were designed in an earlier period in the Precursor's technological development, before they perfected the organic technology of the Sa-Matra and the Mycon.

3) The organic technology used for the Sa-Matra was reserved for only the biggest ships.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Serosis on June 29, 2012, 05:55:14 am
Maybe the factory based the design of the Vindicator off of known Human starships, since the Humans were the ones to activate the factory.
Or the Ur-Quan have retrofitted the Sa Matra so much so that what we see isn't the original hull.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Stardrake on July 02, 2012, 03:24:58 am
I don't think it's the result of Ur-Quan refitting because it doesn't fit Ur-Quan design styles either. Paint a Dreadnaught grey and blue instead of green and yellow and it could be the big brother of the Cruiser. Even the Marauder has similarities if you look at the 3DO videos - front hull section with primary armanent and (presumably) the bridge, rear hull section, engine pods (but said pods are above the hull rather than to the side, so they don't show up so clearly in the 2D version... and like the Avatar and the Terminator, it may even be an area where the versions just don't match). The Sa-Matra doesn't have a family resemblance to either - if anything, from appearance one would think the Flagship more closely related to a Dread.

The most viable countertheory, IMO, is that the factory recognised the resources it had to work with (ie mostly human technology and materials, although put to more advanced use than in the Cruiser) and produced the design it could within those constraints (a tug probably doesn't need the advanced and apparently semi-organic materials of a superbattleship). Still, I don't think it's all that farfetched to postulate that there were more than one species of Precursors - whether allies, rivals (setting the Third One aside, we still don't know why the Precursers disappeared) or simply separated by time.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Death 999 on July 02, 2012, 03:21:04 pm
Or this isn't so much a cruiser as mobile artillery, and the form really does follow its function fairly directly. The color scheme is just fashion - no need to change species for that.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Stardrake on July 04, 2012, 05:18:52 am
So the asymmetry could simply be the result of which weapon system is attached to what location? Serves as a decent explanation, and it is most commonly referred to as a 'battle platform' after all. I think there are other design differences there, though (engine pods versus lack of engine pods, and the more organic appearance of the Sa-Matra's hull... although that latter could be the result of having bubbles for smaller combat systems all over the hull) but it could certainly resolvs the most obvious difference.

I'm aware colour scheme is just fashion - my point was that the change of colour scheme is a pretty minor change, and apart from that Kzer-Za design aesthetics seem to be closer to human than anything else, and thus the difference in aesthetics between the Sa-Matra and the Flagship is unlikely to be the result of Kzer-Za modifications. Unless, of course, those modifications are adding massive new weapon systems that require too much space and power for even a Dreadnought to manage.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: CelticMinstrel on July 06, 2012, 07:10:03 am
especially if you ignored SC canon and imagined that the Flagship was the Hyperspace-capable ship that brought others along with it, explaining why it had warp pods while Terminators, Scouts and so on don't
Huh? All the ships in the game are hyperspace-capable...


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Steve-O on July 13, 2012, 05:01:38 am
especially if you ignored SC canon and imagined that the Flagship was the Hyperspace-capable ship that brought others along with it, explaining why it had warp pods while Terminators, Scouts and so on don't
Huh? All the ships in the game are hyperspace-capable...

I believe that's exactly the bit of "SC canon" that he was suggesting we ignore.

That said, I don't believe the Vindicator had anything called "warp pods" either.  At least, no such module exists according the the Ultronomicon.  Ur-Quan dreadnoughts apparently have something called "warp pods" that are part of their FTL propulsion system (one of them was a quest item), but I don't recall anything suggesting it was an external component, so I don't see how one could deduce the presence or absence of warp pods based on the ship's exterior hull design.

If warp pods are a prerequisite for access to HyperSpace, then it stands to reason all warp capable ships (which is all ships in the game) must have them somewhere.  The Ultronomicon DOES assert that warp pods are a prerequisite to HyperSpace travel, although I'm not entirely sure where they got that particular bit of information.


Title: Re: things to know
Post by: Stardrake on July 26, 2012, 06:19:46 am
Pretty much. My general point is that the design of the Flagship with external engine pods is something that, at first look, makes it look like it matches most closely with Kzer-Za and human ships, that also have external engine pods. Other features also show similarities to ships of extant races, like the bridge section looking similar to the bridge section on the Terminator. (As for module sections, I'd imagine that the Flagship's hyperspace capability is something you're not allowed to swap out, whether it's in the external engine pods or the main hull.)

From memory, the warp pod inventory item in the original did look like it was one of the external engine pods off the side of a Dread. Clearly, in actual SC canon other races have internal Hyperspace engines drives, I was just expressing that one could easily imagine, say, the Terminator as being from the same technology base as the Flagship if you assumed that the former lacked external engine pods because it wasn't intended for independant intersystem travel.