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Author Topic: Scale  (Read 36654 times)
Bobucles
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Re: Scale
« Reply #120 on: May 03, 2005, 08:57:07 pm »

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remember that turrets would knock ships off course in space.
There are a few things to note about that.

1. You're thinking about bullets. If you take a 2-ton piece of metal, and lob it 20KM on earth, you'll get one hell of a kickback. But many weapons in URM are either energy/plasma weapons, or self-propelled. Energy/plasma weapons fire with a much lighter mass, as most of their killing power comes in the form of high level energy and heat. You can fire them at very high speeds without worrying about kickback. Self-propelled weapons carry their own engine, so the ship itself only has to give a tiny push for it to leave the weapon launcher. The rest of the speed comes after the weapon is put into space.

2. Who cares? Space is big enough for a tiny course diversion, in any direction. If a ship with a turret doesn't come with maneuvering thrusters, then it has bigger problems to worry about. If a ship gets thrown off course by its own turret, then it's a pretty crappy ship. Who knows, maybe the kickback can be used for extra maneuverability, like on a Druuge ship.

3. Range and power. A turret can never be as powerful or as long range as a weapon that runs the length of the ship. The Ur-Quan fusion blaster is a weapon that runs from the fusion engines, all the way out the front. Many other weapons are depicted as taking up a very large part of the ship, both the gun and ammo source. If you wanted to take a main weapon, and turn it into a turret, you'd need a ship at least 3 times as large as the original to use it effectively, and by then it would pale in comparison to making a bigger main cannon. Not to mention, turrets require a huge amount of mass for the turning motors and the turret plating, which would seriously hinder a ship's maneuverability. Or, you could go without the armor, and have the turret destroyed first thing. Range and speed are king in space, if you can shoot them, but they can't shoot you, you win.

4. Because of the high-paced arcade style of combat, no ship has any real problems with mobility. Going from the longest range combat to weapons range, most ships are able to turn about so they can fire. Turrets are made to turn fast when the ship itself can't. I suppose the Vindie would have the most notable mobility problems, so if it was considered to be a massive ship it could be outfitted with turrets. But it can be upgraded to be just as maneuverable as every other ship, and then some. I personally think that the Vindie shouldn't be able to get more turning speed than about 3 thrusters would give in combat, but that would make navigating space a pain.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #121 on: May 03, 2005, 09:30:48 pm »

I don't see how an argument starting from the point of view that the original authors were wrong is going to be useful.
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Deus Siddis
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Re: Scale
« Reply #122 on: May 03, 2005, 10:12:12 pm »

"And if romans were to make a space game, they would use oarsmen and catapults in their designs. Their ships would be like wooden galleys floating in space. When turning, they'd shout and shift oars, whip the slaves or whatever. Thier ship would probably have a similar amount of crew as real galleys. Maybe they'll have some high-tech weapon like a mirror death beam. Likewise, if a modern person makes a game, and make the ship dogfighters, they're probably not something else just because they can be. Occam's Razor."

I'm not really sure what this means.


"If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. I guess we just have a different perception of ducks."

Neither of us has ever seen a duck, all we know is we have a duck and a platypus sitting here, and we don't want to get stung.

However, my guess is that there are really more than one breed of duck. I think that some are small ducks (5-20 meter scouts) and some are very big ducks (300 meter dreadnaughts).


"I'll make both larger and smaller versions of the ships though, because it seems reasonable. Since I'm not doing a dogfight game primarely, I can slap on turrets on the larger ship classes."

Obviously, you're free to do whatever you want with your game. I am mostly talking about the Starcontrol 1+2 ships.


"3. Range and power. A turret can never be as powerful or as long range as a weapon that runs the length of the ship. The Ur-Quan fusion blaster is a weapon that runs from the fusion engines, all the way out the front. Many other weapons are depicted as taking up a very large part of the ship, both the gun and ammo source. If you wanted to take a main weapon, and turn it into a turret, you'd need a ship at least 3 times as large as the original to use it effectively, and by then it would pale in comparison to making a bigger main cannon. Not to mention, turrets require a huge amount of mass for the turning motors and the turret plating, which would seriously hinder a ship's maneuverability. Or, you could go without the armor, and have the turret destroyed first thing. Range and speed are king in space, if you can shoot them, but they can't shoot you, you win."

This is my feeling, too.


"I don't see how an argument starting from the point of view that the original authors were wrong is going to be useful."

I'm not sure which one of us you are talking to. If you mean me, then I think you are mistaken, I am trying to defend the original vision of the authors, or at least, my perception of it.

You know, we had a similar discussion going on in the Starflight forums. In Starflight, the ship on the cover and in the docs was very different from the in-game ship, as seen in the outfit screen. In the end, it was mostly decided that the in-game ship was a product of the old days' poor computing power. The art that came in the documents (which also looked much better by the way) was what the ship really looked like, they just could not fit something that detailed, in-game.

I think the same applies for Starcontrol. The navigation and melee ships were just made to look moderately good, and be functional. The big, close-up, spec art represents what the ships really look like. And since there is nothing new in Starcontrol 2 to overwrite these images, I think they are the most accurate.

Also keep in mind, that TFB created SC2 as something of a spoof. It's not really grounded in fact, and is just supposed to be a fun game. So in a fun universe, a 5-10 meter long motorboat really can defeat a 300 meter long battleship.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2005, 10:20:53 pm by Deus_Siddis » Logged
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Re: Scale
« Reply #123 on: May 03, 2005, 11:57:09 pm »

5-10 meter motorboats have repeatedly destroyed battleships and large cruisers in real life.

And you can't convince me that the special effects budget precluded drawing the intro slides to proper scale for a bigger ship.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #124 on: May 04, 2005, 01:31:32 am »

I'm not actually sure what Occam's Razor is, I've heard many definitions. Here's an example:

Larry Hagman: Look Patrick! What a cute little insect!
Patrick Duffy: That's not an insect, it's the planet Zorgoid, cloaked to look like a beetle.
L: But wouldn't a planet that size be a black hole, and like... suck us in?
P: Nah, the Zorgoids got special gravitational flux shields and stuff.
L: *steps on it* Hehe, I just destroyed an entire planet.
P: No, they just warped the planet away, and teleported a regular insect into its place the second you stepped on it.

I believe Occam's Razor states that Larry is correct in his initial observation, because it's fits and is simple.


But like I said, maybe it's a matter of perception. When I see dogfights, decorative design, low crew numbers, fixed weapons, I immidiately think small scale.
I guess I've been indoctrinated by common sci-fi designs and WW2 stuff. Naturally the ships can be anything, like astral projections of GnibGnork -the unholy, but I pick what I think is the simplest theory in this case.


Since TfB are humans (are they?), they're likely to use analogies that the audience and themselves can relate to. However, it's quite possible that scale was completely irrelevant to them, because they concentrated on gameplay. The ships are just decorative icons.
They may also deliberately have been fuzzy with the scale.


The different art, melee/specs/lineart, varies greatly in design. In the case of the scout, the cockpits doesn't match between the pics, and it doesn't seem like there's a clear view behind the seat on the ship pics, as seen in the big tanaka pic (but not so much in the mini cockpit).
So, yes, the authors were sort of wrong here and there, where they are contradicting themselves.


---

In the case of turret mounted energy weapons, I guess they can fit the energy source outside the turret, unlike regular cannon turrets where the energy is kept in the casing/shell.

Range is important, but not that important, because at a larger distance it's more difficult to 'lead', with the enemy being able to dodge easily. At a certain threshold having that extra range won't pay off as much, making a turret a better choice.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #125 on: May 04, 2005, 02:41:58 am »

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5-10 meter motorboats have repeatedly destroyed battleships and large cruisers in real life.

And you can't convince me that the special effects budget precluded drawing the intro slides to proper scale for a bigger ship.


Destroyed as in shooting at them with the regular gun? The regular gun on a WW2 fighter could barely scrape the paint of a battleship. They did most of the damage by dive bombing, torping, suiciding (limited ammo).

I guess that a tankbuster plane could cause some damage with something like a 75mm (3") cannon, atleast against smaller ships, so who knows...


Even with a monster budget there'll be inaccuracies. Sometimes artists only have a few days, and don't have time to put themselves into the project details properly. Although some Art Directors (AD) can be nitpicky, many accept a certain level of discrepancy. Sometimes when I make a batch of pics the AD will accept faulty pics just because the majority of pics are okay.
I'm probably responsible for causing arguments about 'scale' myself... hehe.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #126 on: May 04, 2005, 04:30:20 am »

Torpedo boats... they would carry 4 to 8 torpedoes, externally (sometimes without a launching tube). Unload them on a cruiser or battleship, and it becomes a new reef.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #127 on: May 04, 2005, 10:14:32 pm »

Hmmm, well I think if I'm allowed to make another WW2 analogy, then I'd have to say if the UrQ dreadnought is a well built battleship, then it's the Cruser that's the 'torpedo boat'.

Anyways, torpedo boats (or PT boats) back then were usually longer than 15 meters, up to 50. The larger ones can be mistaken for destroyers. The smaller ones took a crew of maybe seven, and carried only 2 torpedos.

This italian torpedo boat got a battleship kill in WW1 (unique and famous case). I think it was 16 meters long, pretty small

Mostly though, for torpedo boats, think 30 meters. They attacked all sorts of stuff. Smaller versions probably dealt more with destroyers and sitting ducks. They were less effective at the time of WW2 because larger ships had become faster.

A more suitable example of a small ship being able to damage a battleship is probably torpedo planes, but they could only carry one torpedo, and battleships usually required a couple of good hits.

Yamato was with its 256 meters was one of the largest battleships ever, and it took maybe 20 torpedo and bomb hits before sinking. Her sister ship, Musashi , which was as impressive, absorbed an estimated 18 heavy bombs and 20 torpedoes.

Since a torpedo plane is pretty much obsolete in battle after after having launched the torpedo, it's similar to the Shofixti kamikaze. Because of flak and enemy fighters, few planes ever returned. The machineguns were ineffective angainst ships, and probably only used as defence against fighters.

Torpedo planes were 11 meters or so. Crew, maybe 3.


But, hey, you could always put a mini nuke in a rubber boat. Maybe cloak yourself under a greenpeace flag. We ... come ... in ... peace! BOOM!



Edit:

Size is guesswork of course.
Also, the whole WW2 analogy is sort of silly. Battleships in space can't be sunk, but maybe they got a similar problem with getting depressurized, although that won't destroy the ship, and there's always vac-suits.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2005, 11:42:30 pm by Arne » Logged
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Re: Scale
« Reply #128 on: May 05, 2005, 08:45:39 am »

You don't know that energy darts are only as powerful as machine guns. Again, you don't know how that technology works, or how much juice is behind it.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #129 on: May 05, 2005, 09:31:17 am »

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You don't know that energy darts are only as powerful as machine guns. Again, you don't know how that technology works, or how much juice is behind it.

The WWII thing is more of an allegory than an actual comparison of firepower. The point is that the energy darts' effectiveness in combat is comparatively similar to the stopping power of a machine gun against a warship.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2005, 09:32:52 am by Halleck » Logged


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Re: Scale
« Reply #130 on: May 05, 2005, 09:44:53 am »

I'd say the only thing in melee that does comparative damage of a machine gun to a battleship is collisions.  Collisions (ignoring the planet) destroy the UQ fighters, but do no damage to any ship.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #131 on: May 05, 2005, 10:00:58 am »

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Ion gun? Ooohhhh.... you mean the precursor ion torch. I thought that was for precursor ship maintenance. It just happens to be a little powerful for performing maintenance on normal ships.  Wink


Seems unlikely that you'd need a tool intended to blow holes in things at long range for ordinary ship maintenance. If the Vindicator is an all-purpose vessel there's no reason it couldn't have been given the ability to at least defend itself in combat by the Precursors.
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meep-eep
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Re: Scale
« Reply #132 on: May 05, 2005, 02:21:20 pm »

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I believe Occam's Razor states that Larry is correct in his initial observation, because it's fits and is simple.

Occam's Razor doesn't say anything about correctness. Just preferability of theories.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #133 on: May 05, 2005, 02:52:54 pm »

Well, like I stated earlier, both the Scout and Dreadnought has a single main gun, and despite being more technologically advanced, the UrQ has only managed to muster 1/11667 of the Scout gun efficiency.

This is like having a 7.5mm gun on a small WW1 patrol boat, and a single 50mm cannon in the front of a 250m WW2 battleship. Not only that, but the battleship is so poorly built it can just take 40 hits from the tiny patrol boat gun.

Of course you can always say that the patrol boat has a 1 meter (cal) cannon at the front. This would maybe make it 1/4th as powerful as a weak nuke. But then you still have the Dreadnought being redicilously nerfed. And why would anyone bother to build big ships if they're only 1/11667 times as powerful?

So basically the other races are wasting an awful lot of mass on nothing, making their ships slow, underarmoured and underpowered.

By this logic, we could make a 20 meter Scout (4x len), which would give it much more internal space. Skip the glory device, and you can fit 40 guns on it. That would kill any ship with one shot (making almost 200 damage per second). And that's not the only bunus with this fantastic Shofixti/Yehat technology, the ship would also have over 200 crew, making it a little tough mofo, pretty much owning any battleship, including the gigantic Vindicator with Hellbores and Shiva furnaces. Not too shabby for a 20 meter ship.

It would cost something like 18000 RU though (180 pts). I think it would still be as fast, since its just scaled up. If I were the engineer though, I'll dump half of the guns and squeeze up the juice on the engines, so it could outrun any ship, spin a little faster so it can shoot incoming stuff.

Anyone care to make a hack? (I was thinking it could shoot like a slight spread, so the bullets form a shield, maybe not doable if the number of bullets are limited.)


Meep> You're quite right. I only meant to use the word 'correct' as in the sense we hold the gravitational theory to be correct. It's just a model that fits the obsevations, and it isn't neccesarily correct as in God or the Universe agree with it.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2005, 03:17:51 pm by Arne » Logged
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Re: Scale
« Reply #134 on: May 05, 2005, 03:20:28 pm »

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Meep> You're quite right. I only meant to use the word 'correct' as in the sense we hold the gravitational theory to be correct. It's just a model that fits the obsevations, and it isn't neccesarily correct as in God or the Universe agree with it.

I wouldn't equate "correct" with "fits our observations". Our observations may be incomplete, and what we observe isn't necessarilly what is.
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