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Neutrino 123
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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
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2006, 04:56:40 pm »

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?
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OOPMan
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2006, 09:29:17 pm »

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 ;-)
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2006, 11:54:23 pm »

Do we plan to run a D20 Star Control campaign sometime soon? Or maybe a GURPS module?
Obligitory GURPS Star Control URL: http://hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu/~mcmartin/gsc/
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2006, 02:35:25 am »

Are ship lengths important? Do we plan to run a D20 Star Control campaign sometime soon? Or maybe a GURPS module?
...yeah, actually, I was planning to with some friends. This topic will help a lot!

Why do you think this would kill any chance of SC4, OOPman?
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Quote from: Arne, on the origin of the Mycon
Maybe a precursor were just like "Hey I built this mushroom thing, it can traavel between plaaanets!" and the others were like "Yaaaay!" and then they all deliriously clapped their hands and giggled like little schoolgirls.
Neutrino 123
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #5 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?
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 08:54:53 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.
Actually, the old CRT displays that had the 320x200 resolution had pixels that were wider than they were high.  I suspect some of the variance stems from that in the original SC1 ships.

For that matter, I don't understand where the pixel readings in the original post were derived from. Examination of the source PNG files for the Ur-Quan
Dreadnought shows that it is 35x28 pixels when facing to the right, and 29x33 pixels when facing upwards.

A better explanation for this phenomenon would be to look at the scaling that occurs as the ships "turn".

I suspect that the ships were all drawn in either the "face up" or "face right" orientation originally (I assume "face up" and I'll talk about why in a moment). 

As I mentioned above, facing upwards, the Dreadnought is 29x33 pixels "face up".  In its first tilt to the right it is 30x33, then 34x31, 35x29, and finally 35x28.

If you look at the PNG files carefully, they painstakingly provide similar shadowing and detail at every angle - not always proportionate, but very deliberate nonetheless.  I suspect the "bloat" on pixel size has less to do with any error, but rather a deliberate attempt on the part of the artist(s) to maintain a smooth transition for the eye as the ship rotated on-screen (bearing in mind that these pixels were much larger and not perfectly proportioned as today's pixels tend to be).

Since the pixel "bloat" occurs as the ships from SC1 transition from "up" to "right", I would wager that the original blueprint was created in the "up" position (borne out also by the ship display in the right hand panel, which was probably used to model the first battle image for each ship).

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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?

D20 and GURPS are both references to pen-and-paper role playing games along the vein of Dungeons and Dragons.  D20 is a reference to the published rules that govern the latest incarnation of Dungeons and Dragons (version 3.0 and later), and GURPS is the Generic Universal Role Playing System which has been published for about two decades by Steve Jackson Games.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2006, 09:00:45 am by Icemage_999 » Logged
OOPMan
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2006, 09:04:31 am »

Are ship lengths important? Do we plan to run a D20 Star Control campaign sometime soon? Or maybe a GURPS module?
...yeah, actually, I was planning to with some friends. This topic will help a lot!

Why do you think this would kill any chance of SC4, OOPman?

Fuaaaagh!! GURPs and D20 are like the plague. Or something :-)

But then and again, I don't think Star Control would really work as an Unknown Armies module :-(

And if you don't know about UA then refer to the WikiPedia...
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Neutrino 123
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #8 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).
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2006, 06:21:19 pm »

Are ship lengths important? Do we plan to run a D20 Star Control campaign sometime soon? Or maybe a GURPS module?
...yeah, actually, I was planning to with some friends. This topic will help a lot!

Why do you think this would kill any chance of SC4, OOPman?

Fuaaaagh!! GURPs and D20 are like the plague. Or something :-)
Yeah, games where you have to use your imagination suck! Tongue
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Quote from: Arne, on the origin of the Mycon
Maybe a precursor were just like "Hey I built this mushroom thing, it can traavel between plaaanets!" and the others were like "Yaaaay!" and then they all deliriously clapped their hands and giggled like little schoolgirls.
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2006, 08:36:02 pm »

Those calculations make the Cruiser bigger (or at least longer) then the Dreadnought.
Now the Dreadnought is a space fighter carrier that contain 41 fighters in it. Don't you think that 155 meters is way too small?
For comparison, nowday's Nimiz class aircraft carriers length is 333 meters.
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OOPMan
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2006, 10:31:54 pm »

Are ship lengths important? Do we plan to run a D20 Star Control campaign sometime soon? Or maybe a GURPS module?
...yeah, actually, I was planning to with some friends. This topic will help a lot!

Why do you think this would kill any chance of SC4, OOPman?

Fuaaaagh!! GURPs and D20 are like the plague. Or something :-)
Yeah, games where you have to use your imagination suck! Tongue

Pah, I was taking a shot at D20 and GURPS, systems I have a strong dislike for....

Unknown Armies, on the other hand, is brilliant. An incredibly quick-to-play system that's easy to learn and yet isn't particularly forgiving. It's also mostly very well balanced. Also, UA features possibly some of the best magic ever seen in an RPG. And to top it off, it has a great setting to boot :-)

I know, I know, lots of people get their kicks out of DnD and so forth, but I've also preferred a role-playing experience which involves more role-playing and less roll-playing :-)
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2006, 11:07:32 pm »

I'm not a huge GURPS fan either, but I like how you can make almost any setting in it.

I oughta try UA now, from what you said about it, it sounds interesting...
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Quote from: Arne, on the origin of the Mycon
Maybe a precursor were just like "Hey I built this mushroom thing, it can traavel between plaaanets!" and the others were like "Yaaaay!" and then they all deliriously clapped their hands and giggled like little schoolgirls.
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2006, 04:13:06 pm »

Those calculations make the Cruiser bigger (or at least longer) then the Dreadnought.
Now the Dreadnought is a space fighter carrier that contain 41 fighters in it. Don't you think that 155 meters is way too small?
For comparison, nowday's Nimiz class aircraft carriers length is 333 meters.

In space, a runway is pointless.

In the ocean, you have unlimited reaction mass.

See why perhaps smaller ships might be a good idea in space?
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OOPMan
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Re: Ship Lengths
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2006, 09:56:26 pm »

But if you build your ship big enough it might collapse and form a black hole, which would be a very nasty trick :-)

Jumping Peppers: Give UA a shot. It's a horror RPG with a modern setting. Oh gah, I totally forgot. It's got probably the best sanity system of any RPG. Yes, that includes CoC :-)
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