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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred on: April 09, 2018, 06:40:56 am
A long time ago, I calculated ship sizes, which still seem reasonable...
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships on: November 30, 2006, 05:51:35 am
I don't know if you should go about making assumptions about the Ilwrath having a perfect cloak. Perhaps Alliance sensors can get a general idea if Avengers are in the area...
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Dark matter found on: October 24, 2006, 07:45:29 am
I don't really like Modified Newtonian Dynamics. The dark matter explanation seems perfectly suitable, and this additional evidance lends yet more weight to it. There are also some galactic rotation curves that don't seem to make sense with TeVeS gravity.
We might learn more on this matter soon, but for now, I wouldn't count on TeVeS gravity being correct.
I wonder how TeVeS gravity would impact universal curvature and explansion models?
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A question on Open Source... on: October 16, 2006, 04:32:02 am
Directionality for turbolaser (or other ‘laser’ weapons – what are the ones on the fighters called?) batteries is more difficult then for torpedoes (photon, proton, either way...) since the actual laser could come into the beam at any angle, while directionality can be built into torpedo weapons. There’s also the problem of actually having a proper angle on the green stuff with the laser in the first place, since fighter weapons seem to be pointing in a fixed direction. Variable firepower is easier to accept, though.

For the rest, it looks like I accidentally deleted several sentences when revising my post. Simply exciting the atmophere’s molecules is dependant on frequency of the photons, but any sufficiently powerful laser will encounter problems in the atmosphere since it will ionize many air molecules in its path, which should be quite visible.

For my turbolaser explanation, I had meant to say that the laser interacts with the green stuff before the green stuff is fired, so the laser never even leaves the Star Destroyer. The leading edge may simply not have been hit by the laser. Do all turbolaser hits start the explosion before the green part hits, or do only some of them? If the latter, it may just be impreciseness in shooting the laser at the green stuff before it exists the barrel.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Rogue Spathi? on: October 11, 2006, 07:04:43 am
Hmmm, perhaps in the next Star Control Fwiffo can be abducted by the Black Spathi, so they can learn more about his fighting prowness...
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A question on Open Source... on: October 10, 2006, 04:55:07 am
With a very high energy event, I would think that the process would be more homogeneous, leading to a more homogeneous dispersion pattern, at least during the time at which there is no more solid left. As for variable firepower or anisotropic abilities for the turbolaser, I would think Occum’s Razor comes into play, though the nature of the turbolaser being unknown somewhat dulls the razor...

This isn’t my area of expertise, but wouldn’t a low powered laser in the atmosphere be invisible at any color (unless the atmosphere is polluted), while any powerful enough to excite the atmosphere would be visible? Presumably these weapons would use powerful lasers...

Anyway, I think a simpler explanation would be that the green stuff is normally invisible, but that the laser somehow “activates” it. The part that hits before the green area hits does interact, but it is just leftover and does very little damage.

Again, I do not like the fact that he refers to many technical manuals and books. Also, he seems to not consider many explanations that might be superior to his own in almost all topics.
For example, skimming the photon torpedo page, he seems to instantly take the tech manual’s statement as an upper limit. He certainly thinks that the blast cannot somehow be directed energy, citing the worry from backblast, but he says somewhere that shields reflect energy, and exploding debris would be backblast too. He states that torpedoes are not effective against highly moanuverable targets and thus what would be the point of phasers? Well, torpedoes in a DS9 episode were effective against Birds of Prey, and there are several reasons that phasers would be useful too (precision, variability against different shields, etc etc etc...), so that statement seems ignorant. He says that quantum torpedoes have some sort of disadvantage (in deployment or ability) compared to regular torpedoes, but nearly all new weapon systems take time to supply to an entire fleet.
Another very specific point in the large website (obtained from a link to the torpedo page): he seems to think that the Star Destroyers were taking many asteroid impacts since that was what was shown on screen, but there is no reason to assume this, especially since the screentime would show...things happening. He also assumes in the ROTJ battle that the ships were constantly exchanging fire, but there seemed to be only a few Calamari Cruisers, and the battle was at long rage for quite awhile, well outside the effective range of turbolasers based on the velocities.
It’s too big of a website for me to address completely unless I had dozens of hours to write, calculate, and look things up. He seems very opinionated in almost every page. I do like the Creationism versus Science section though. Wink
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ship Lengths on: October 02, 2006, 02:25:19 am
But wouldn't the Ur-quan fighters be larger then modern aircraft?
What about all the life support, engiens, weapon systems, Slaveshield generator and all the other stuff that a Dreadnought have on it besides fighters?

I just expect a ship like the Dreadnought to be rather huge, not smaller then modern day ships.

Keep in mind a few things:

1. The Dreadnought is not smaller then modern day ships. It is smaller then supercarriers, sure, but it is still very big.

2. The Ur-Quan are the most technologically advanced race in the area, besides the Chmmr. This means that they can make all their components smaller, with the same operating efficiency as other races.

3. The fighters have indeterminate size, but judging by their cockpit sizes in the spec picture (assuming the cockpit to be Earthling-size), they are probably somewhat smaller then modern airplanes. In addition, they are launched in space, so they can probably just be all lined up and stacked on a rack in the back of the Dreadnought. As a side note, since the fighters do not have hyperdrive systems, their size cannot be compared to the ships in the game, though they should be comparable to the asteroids, for what it’s worth.

4. The Dreadnought probably should not ‘actually’ carry 41 fighters anymore then the Cruiser carries infinite missiles. I would guess it has about 16 or so.

As for role-playing Star Control battles, why not just fire up Star Control to do the job?
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A question on Open Source... on: October 02, 2006, 02:11:58 am
I’m not sure what you mean by “cool to that temperature by evaporating”. I think you might be right about the fact that the gas would never recondense, however. The temperature would fall, but the pressure would fall as well, preventing condensation (I overlooked the pressure falling previously).

As a side note, you don’t “boil” things in a vacuum, you sublimate them, transiting directly from a solid to a gas. Since there is no pressure, breaking the solid structure converts straight to a gas, instead of just to a liquid.

The adiabatic calculation is of course, an approximation, but it is roughly decent, for in the interior of the gas there are still many collisions. Density is a function of position for sure, which reduces the radius in which we would expect to see a glow, but then again, our earlier example had the turbolaser providing just barely enough energy to vaporize it, which sure would be a coincidence.
I actually had looked for the equations for a ball of gas expanding in a vacuum earlier, but didn’t find any on the internet, and I don’t remember any of my thermodynamics books having them either. I lack the time to try to derive them, as you can probably tell since I’ve been taking too long to respond to everything on this board...

Also on the glow, it seems to only expand in some directions, and not in others. The brightness gradient also varies from extremely high in some zones to decent in others, which is inconsistent with fast vaporization of the asteroid.

Your turbolaser idea was similar to one I entertained a couple years ago, but I believe it has an important flaw. The green bolt moves with the initial velocity of the Star Destroyer, but if the Star Destroyer is accelerating, the barrel of the turbolaser will no longer line up with the green bolt when it hits the object. Also, a powerful and small enough laser would show up in the atmosphere when dealing with blaster fire.

I don’t have any of the movies right now to look at in more detail (I had tapes that are now at my parents house). Actually, I haven’t touched anything with “Star Wars” in its name since Episode One. *shudder*. I used to be a big fan too; I could quote the armaments and shields and such (from the Tie Fighter game) of the different ships...

It’s been a couple years since I’ve visited, so I don’t remember specifics right now. I’ll try to take a look at a few of the pages sometime in the next week or so and comment.

P.S. Do you work in the sciences? I find that most people would never know what “ergodic” means...
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ship Lengths on: September 25, 2006, 11:59:48 am
The pixel values I provided were taken in 640x480. I did this so that I would know that I made a pixel measuring mistake if I obtained an odd value. Of course, only the ratios between the pixels matters.
The rest of the distortion is probably because I did not count the engine exaust that is part of the 'normal' graphic in some ships (see original post).
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ship Lengths on: September 25, 2006, 06:37:36 am
Seemingly, the lengths change when the orientation of the ships changes (this is especially prevalent for the SC1 ships, probably indicating a screw-up of some sort).
In the 320x200 graphics mode used by PC SC1 and SC2, the pixels are 20 % higher than they are wide. Does it make more sense if you take that into account?

It still doesn't make sense with this. The only one that actually changes by 20% is the Earthling Cruiser. The other change by much less, and the SC2 ships (besides the Vindicator) change either none or only a couple of pixels.

Quote from: OOP Man
This is kinda funny :-)

It's a game, and not a sim by any means. Are ship lengths important? Do we plan to run a D20 Star Control campaign sometime soon? Or maybe a GURPS module?

I hope not. That could kill any chance of Star Control 4 ;-) 

I have no clue what any of this means. Grin Could someone enlighten me?
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Ship Lengths on: September 24, 2006, 02:08:27 pm
Hello everybody. I’ve calculated the sizes of all the Star Control ships.
Previously, I had calculated the size of the Earthling Cruiser, but my calculation was flawed. I had assumed that a dark pixel meant that the pixel was not completely occupied, which I now realize to be a bad assumption in that case and several other cases.
Now I’ve used a revised calculation based on the actual size of the MX missile, and confirmed (in the limits of accuracy) by the Vindicator picture. I present my results below: Smiley

...and now for the endless pixel recording, which is different for most ships based on whether they are facing up or to the right.

Pixels (up/right):

Vindicator: 86/100
Cruiser: 70/84
Dreadnought: 62/66
Broodhome: 68/78
Guardian: 42/46
Avatar: 76/78
Skiff: 26/34
Marauder: 76/78
Mauler: 68/72
Podship: 46/52
Trader: 62/60
Nemesis: 46/46
Terminator: 26/28
Eluder: 44/52
Fury: 38/38
Blade: 60/60
Penetrator: 60/72
Jugger: 58/58
Torch: 44/44
Stinger: 46/46
Scout: 24/26
Avenger: 62/66
Intruder: 34/40
Probe: 66/???
Drone: 28/32
Transformer (Laser-Form): 36/38
Transformer (Missile-Form): 48/50

Notes: The Dreadnought, Skiff, Fury, Jugger, Scout, Stinger, and Intruder have engine jets not counted in length, and the Probe and Podship has glowyness not counted. The wires that glow in the probe are not counted as well. I was unable to get a picture of the probe with the long axis pointed toward the right.

Seemingly, the lengths change when the orientation of the ships changes (this is especially prevalent for the SC1 ships, probably indicating a screw-up of some sort). However, the Skiff is obviously supposed to be a circle, but its length and width are only identical when facing upward. Thus, I would guess that this is the right orientation for everything, and it gives a nice in-game conversion ratio of 2.5 pixels per meter. Smiley

We now obtain the final sizes.

Lengths (using “up”) in meters:

Vindicator: 215
Cruiser: 175 (base)
Dreadnought: 155
Broodhome: 170
Guardian: 105
Avatar: 190
Skiff: 65
Marauder: 190
Mauler: 170
Podship: 115
Trader: 155
Nemesis: 115
Terminator: 65
Eluder: 110
Fury: 95
Blade: 150
Penetrator: 150
Jugger: 145
Torch: 110
Stinger: 115
Scout: 60
Avenger: 155
Intruder: 85
Probe: 165
Drone: 70
Transformer (Laser-Form): 90
Transformer (Missile-Form): 120
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A question on Open Source... on: September 24, 2006, 10:08:20 am
Death 999, sorry this took so long. I’ve been busy...
I would quote you in sections, but all the associated copying and pasting is soooo long, so hopefully this is understandable.

When considering adiabatic things, one still uses the ideal gas equation to obtain various relations, which is handy. It’s just that the basic relation CdT = -PdV for adiabatic changes is the starting point.

Of course, once the temperature falls to below the melting point, the material (almost certainly containing lots of iron if nickel is present in significant quantities) will condense to form a hot liquid or solid (depending on the pressure), which would be visible. Note that melting and boiling points depend not only on the temperature, but also on the pressue.

You are right that an expanding gas would be denser in the inside. However, f=3 only for a monatomic gas. If the asteroid is the most common, it is probably composed of silicates, which will have f=5 (for a power of 5/2 in the adabatic equation relating temperature and pressure).

I am not sure why you don’t like my wonderful red circle. At any rate, you can’t draw any line in any image in that picture through the center of the asteroid that is nearly twice as long as the asteroid itself.
What do you mean by “potato”-shaped asteroids being the normal? How can you draw any conclusions about the area of the asteroid behind that in our field of view being short? If anything, I would think it’s at least the same distance as roughly circular part of the asteroid we can see. This is because the glow is seen around the side of the asteroid, and hasn’t had time to travel to the center.
...or are you not counting the white area in the first picture as part of the asteroid? I think it is, but the pictures on Saxton’s site didn’t show the thing before the turbolaser hit...

If the explosions are identical to the planted charges, then we should also see that they are not so high energy afterall! Too low energy in fact, so it ends up as “???”.
Anyway, if the turbolaser particles somehow penetrated the asteroid, they would still have deposited more energy on the surface then in the center, and they would continue to deposit a decreasing amount of energy throughout the whole thing before emerging on the other side in reduced (perhaps invisible) state.
The beam of the turbolaser certainly moves slowly, but the asteroid only explodes a bit before the beam hits, leading on to believe that the velocity of the turbolaser I similar to that of the tracer. Of course, if it were not, then the tracer would be pointless, as relativistic particles would be essentially “point and shoot” (though not at long ranges, but slow tracers wouldn’t help there), and tracers would be useless.

I do not see a bright spot on the far side of the asteroid. Could you circle it? It might have something to do with the red dot I put in the center. I needed to reconvert the image to .jpg form, which blurs everything due to some probably stupid reason (I do all measurements with downloaded originals converted to .bmp).

Your three points seem right, but an explanation can’t have any inconsistencies, which a boiling asteroid seems to have. Another explanation might be that the explosion is low powered, with the debris quickly scattering to small mostly non-glowing bits (or just have the glow provided by the turbolaser tracer), not a threat to the star destroyers.

Overall, my GCS vs. Super Star Destroyer assessment was not based on any of my own things, but on the movie that was linked! I was just reinterpreting the movie... Even assuming a canon Galaxy class starship has much better technology, the super star destroyer could still win since is so much bigger, increasing its combat ability.
I also said that Saxton’s site was not worthless, but usually good. My main issue was his choice of sources, but canon policy is a nebulus topic for me...
Meanwhile, I also said that had mistakes.
When working with so much material, one is bound to make at least SOME mistakes and omissions, especially with as complicated an issue as sci-fi science!
I would consider both sites to be much better then that slightly loony site, which was why I refered to st-v-sw it originally. If I had know about Saxton’s site then, I would have linked to it too with the same warning I gave for (besides also mentioning the sources thing):
“I believe it has a few mistakes, but it's mostly good...”

I was under the impression that the Imperials had a much more powerful fleet overall, but some had essential Empire-maintained duties elsewhere, so their ambush fleet was not decisively more powerful then the rebels. Then the rebels won due to better crews and construction doctrine (not sure about the latter – I might be confusing it with the Star Wars games I played a long time ago...), and getting lucky by destroying the super star destroyer (lesson: do not put windows on your ship).
...and finally, how did the Ewoks take massive casualties? It seemed to me that they were completely outfighting the imperials, and only had three dead or so.

13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A question on Open Source... on: September 17, 2006, 01:00:37 pm
Death 999, I posted the relevant equation. Temperature and volume are not related inversely, but by constant=V*T^(f/2) where f=3 for monatomic particles (such as pure metals, it is larger for more complex molecules). Thus, using your own estimate of a temperature drop of 30x and making the minimum assumption of pure metal, the volume change would need to be ~164 times greater, or assuming that it’s a sphere, the radius would need to be ~5.5 times larger. We only see a small amount of expansion, linearly much less then a factor of two.

Why would the beam deliver energy in a line within the asteroid? It should deliver energy to a single sport on the asteroid at the surface. Many of these particles would be able to escape outward, along the path of the beam, and absorb even more energy from the beam as they do this. Also, if the energy was deposited uniformly, we should see a spot of white-hot material in the first picture on the other side rather then just around the edge as the blast moves through.

One can heat something by compressing it, but the compression could also simply break it into smaller pieces, like smacking a cracker into a table. It all depends on the compression...

Finally, where are the support beams in episode VI? I am not sure where to look.

Also, to Holocat: the Ur-Quan might not win since they are very bureaucratic. Yoda could just reword their Path of Now and Forever doctrine using the force (or something), and then they would have to just talk about flowers or help clear Yoda’s swamps to make more productive gardening land. The question is, would they consider computerized copies sufficient, or would rewording the original initiate the change?
Anyway, I suppose the original question in this topic has been answered, but this discussion should really be moved into that thread with the Ur-Quan vs. Star Wars story where it is more relevant.
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A question on Open Source... on: September 17, 2006, 11:28:34 am
Okay, a precise volume calculation can't be done with my present materials, and even a good estimate can't be done since I don't know if the block coefficient applies to light, standard, normal, or maximum displacement (I estimated using draft as 10 meters)). However, I was able to make a rough estimate of 116,200 cubic meters. The Iowa battleships had 2,700 crew during WWII and 1,500 in more recent service.
Here is the picture I used to make the rough estimate:

Ironically, I had put one big box in the picture for the initial calculation and got 120,000 meters, but then decided that that wasn't accurate enough, so I spent the next 20 minutes doing the more detailed work above that got essentially the same value... Grin
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A question on Open Source... on: September 14, 2006, 06:30:23 am
Arne, I would like to correct my earlier statement about the block coefficient. On closer examination, it appears that using the block coefficient in the manner described in my earlier post will only yield the volume of the ship that is underwater. On the bright side, the link gives block coefficients.

The problem is that for naval ships, mass is a much more important indicator of power then total volume, so total volume is essentially never given. I am working on a volume estimate for Iowa class battleships that I will complete and post Friday or Saturday as soon as I finish some grading. It is also fairly easy to calculate submarine volumes if you know their dimensions and have a decent picture.
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