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Author Topic: Star Control Story  (Read 27593 times)
Valaggar
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #90 on: April 04, 2007, 02:45:22 pm »

Nope. The wildlife attacks the lander since... well... they're ferocious predators. Or they're really scared.

Also, the drills would be attacked too.
Not to mention that they won't land exactly on top of their target and will have to walk 'till there.
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konthra7
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #91 on: April 05, 2007, 02:22:03 pm »

WHy couldn't the drills hit square on? If we can place a 95lb artillery shell down to the meter today, then in the future we should be able to put automated mining devices on target as well.

 Anyway, I like the idea for drills, but I have an idea of my own. Either the ship or the lander come equiped with a device similiar to the Chmmr's tractor device. Basically, it reaches into the earth and grabs the minerals, bringing them to the surface. I think this idea was already brouoght up to some degree, but it needs mentioning again.

 Thanks!
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Valaggar
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #92 on: April 05, 2007, 02:31:23 pm »

You can't target with the lander (the explanation is that it's because the lander is of Precursor design) so this would be the same with the drills too - especially since they'd be Precursor too.

As for the tractor device - from the ship it's too far, from the lander it's basically the first BioSlayer explanation, only not that fancy.
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konthra7
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #93 on: April 05, 2007, 02:57:07 pm »

The lander misses because it is piloted by an Earthling.
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Valaggar
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #94 on: April 05, 2007, 03:02:31 pm »

Nay, it should have automated landing... also, the Flagship doesn't have such problems.
The lander misses because it's built by Earthlings - it's not copied well enough.

So if you were to use those drills, you would only have a limited supply of such.
Then, what if you lose them in earthquakes or hotspots?!
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Grakelin
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #95 on: August 31, 2007, 05:01:36 pm »

Wait, the precursor vessel doesn't have that problem? Yes it does, it misses constantly until it's heavily modified with human technology.
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Simon K
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #96 on: August 31, 2007, 10:44:55 pm »

Actually -- just to pick nits -- the particular piece of tech that makes the Precursor vessel's weapon systems actually hit stuff is not human, it's Melnorme. And given the nature of the Melnorme, it's possible that they didn't invent it themselves, but either bought it from someone (the Keel-Verezy are implied to know a thing or two about weapons technology), or found it lying around somewhere. It's possible that the targeting system is itself a Precursor invention, discovered or bought by the Melnorme.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 01:31:31 am by Simon K » Logged

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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #97 on: September 02, 2007, 09:51:04 am »

So Grakelin is still working on this?
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Grakelin
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #98 on: September 08, 2007, 04:39:26 am »

I'm a terrible procrastinator. And my proffessional writing takes precedence over this, I'm afraid. >.> I'll be writing something else this weekend, but not week I'll probably do a second chapter. Or edit the first one. Depending on what people say between now, and... Wednesday.
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #99 on: September 08, 2007, 11:02:31 pm »

I didn't mean to be a bother, I was just wondering.
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pendell
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #100 on: October 21, 2007, 03:26:19 am »

Dear Grakelin, 

I have just come to find your work here. I don't know if you're still working this, but if you are
I have some comments on Chapter 1 ...

1) You do the characterization very well.   The human characters are believable, and the
dialog looks good. Far better than I could do.   

2) I admire your strict adherence to the story and your refusal to 'sex it up' with
your own inventions, a plague that haunts hollywood screenwriters no end. 


Now the two constructive criticisms:

1)  I would cut the prologue of the Ilwrath-Pkunk battle.  The reason being that we,
the players, don't know who the Pkunk are at the beginning of the game. They are
unknown.   I would prefer to gradually introduce them and reveal details bit-by-bit rather
than simply put it all out there at once.    It would give more a feel of discovery for the
reader if we gradually reveal their capabilities and motives, rather than give too much
detail at the very start. 

2)  As I said, you've done the human characters well, but it doesn't read very ... I dunno,
very SF-like.  It reads more game-y.  That may be your intention.  But the space scenes could
be done better. 

Example: Some cuts from your description of the Ilwrath-Pkunk battle. 

Quote
A burst of flame burst forth from the Avenger’s front end, setting several of the Pkunk ships ablaze. The rest of the tiny vessels zoomed in, firing their weapons at their foe. The searing hot metal pellets crashed into the battleship, chunks of metal flaking off. As the Furies spread away, recharging their machine guns, the Avenger began to flicker, seemingly dematerializing. The Ilwrath were activating a cloaking shield. One lonesome Pkunk took this opportunity to charge in.

There was a burst of machine gun fire, an explosion, and the Avenger popped back into view almost immediately. The Pkunk let out a scream of joy.


"Setting ships ablaze?" 

Fire doesn't burn in space. No oxygen. Unless the ship is venting atmosphere, and taht could
catch fire. The Ilwrath weapon (IIRC) is actually a superheated plasma stream. Sort of like
being hit by the sun.  A ship exposed to that would melt or warp but would not burn. 

"Machine gun fire"?   That kinds makes it sound like WWII , not space. 

I *was* going to post an example from contemporary SF, but most are several paragraphs and would make this post too long. Instead, I will point you to some authors and books worth reading:

Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle: "Mote in God's Eye" , "The Gripping Hand"
Roger Macbride Allen, "The Torch of Honor"
The Fleet anthology, edited by David Drake.
Honor Harrington series, by Weber. 

Maybe I'm just being picky, but I would want to give it a slightly 'harder' SF feel.  These folks would be a start. 

Or another example -- when the characters are approaching Sol ...

Quote

“Graves,” he called, leaning forward over the table. “Any closer to Sol this morning?” Sol. He hardly believed it was real. The place where his ancestors had lived. One shining jewel of a planet, in a nearly barren solar system. And for millennia, humanity had gone without ever making contact with the people outside the confines of that solar system. Now, he was the outsider.

“Almost there, sir,” Erika replied, keeping her eyes transfixed on the screen ahead of her. The yellow orb, the Sun, shone brightly, its intensity toned down to a viewable range by the ship’s scanners. In front of it, several tiny planets, one of which was bright red. The starmap on Zelnick’s console said it was Earth. But Earth was supposed to be blue, wasn’t it? “If you look closely, you can see something orbiting around that planet. I think it’s a space station. Somebody said there was energy sources coming off of it.”


Uhmmm ... you'd have to be really, REALLY close to a planet to see it's color. Space is immense.  Most of the time one would be looking at computer displays. Visual contact where one could see with the naked eye what the planet looked like would have to wait until the vessel was at least closer than the orbit of Mars. 

Here's a short paragraph from Mote in God's eye, by contrast. A survey team is examining an unknown system...

"Until we located the gas giant and the Trojan asteroids we weren't precise about the plane of the system.  From the probe's instruments we have deduced the temperature the [aliens] find comfortable, and from that we deduce how far from the sun their planet should be ... and we still must search out a toroid a hundred and twenty million kilometers in radius.  Do you follow me? "

...

"We're going to have to search that entire region. We know the planet isn't hidden behind the sun because we're above
the plane of the system. But when we finish photographing the system we have to examine this enormous star field for the one dot of light we want". 

==============

The broad point I'm trying to make is that you've made a great start, but a little work on the SF "feel" would improve the atmosphere, make it seem a bit less like a game, make it just a touch better.

In any case, an excellent start, and I wish you well in completing this project. 

Respectfully,

Brian P.
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pendell
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #101 on: October 21, 2007, 03:33:09 am »

Regarding artificial gravity , I can think of three ways to attack it:

1) artificial gravity is an artifact of hyperspace technology. Hyperdrive 'bends' space
to allow the ship to exit Truespace and enter hyper.   

If you can bend space to allow hyperdrive, you can also bend space to provide gravity. Gravity, after all, is simply an artifact of the phenomenon that mass distorts the space around it. 

This also allows us to explain how we can achieve incredibly high accelerations
without turning the crew into good ... the same space folding that allows entrance
to hyperspace and provides artificial gravity can also be used to ameliorate the
effects of inertia.  The arilou have perfected the technique with inertialess drives,  but more primitive versions are used by the other spacefaring races, allowing the
Spathi, for example, to perform operations that are beyond the normal capabilities
of an organic body. 

2) Natural gravity.  When not under thrust, docking, or in battle, the VINDICATOR spins on it's long axis, so that  "down" is towards
the middle of the ship.   When accelerating or in battle, "down" is towards the back
of the ship, since the force vector is towards the stern.   

3) What artificial gravity?
I don't recall any dialog in the game that requires there to be artificial gravity aboard the Vindicator or it's escorts.  There is gravity aboard the starbase, but that could easily
be provided by spinning the base. 

Respectfully,

Brian P.
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Valaggar
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #102 on: October 21, 2007, 10:21:35 am »

Regarding way 1, I have to say that Star Control's HyperSpace, TrueSpace and QuasiSpace are three different dimensions (as in "planes of existence" or "universes"); they share the exact same space, but have different "reality phases" (which keep objects from different dimensions from interfering) and different laws.
So just folding space would not allow you to translate into HyperSpace.

As to how we can achieve such high accelerations - what about dumping that into the "game mechanics" category - that is, we could say that they aren't how things are actually done within the SC universe, they're just simplifications for the sake of gameplay, so in his story, Grakelin could use lower accelerations and speeds.

(Also, I'm not sure that making the Avengers so big would be realistic - the Ilwrath are a bunch of uplifted religious fanatics with rather primitive technology, and the Avenger only has a single frontal flamethrower, thus rendering the rest of the ship completely defenseless)

And as to the machine gun objection - the Pkunk Furies have a tri-directional minigun with superheated metal pellets. That's the canon. See here.
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #103 on: October 22, 2007, 08:24:13 pm »

Hey, heres an idea. Smiley
One of the characters in the story should be a guy who eagerly joined the Vindicator crew and was shortly afterward transfered to an Orz ship. During an ambush by Hierarchy forces [or some other dramatic event] the ship gets separated from the main fleet.

It runs out of fuel, and the poor fellow finds himself stranded in deep space with nothing but Orz for company, and he can't figure out what the hell any of the *fingers* are actually saying.

He can't stand it when  the Orz tell him not to be so *frumple*. He eventually goes insane, and yells at every other member of the ship's crew until he decides that the ship should be blown up. Unknown to the Orz , he finds a way to overload the ship's systems, deactivating everything, including life support. He escapes in an Orz combat suit, but finds out, to his horror, that three of the marines survived. The Orz quickly realize he was responsible and, while screaming *NNNNNNNNGH* in rage, they gun him down with their weaponry.

The flagship arrives at the site a day later [they were searching for the lost Nemesis] and pick up the derelict ship and the remaining Orz, who tell Zelnick what happened. The captain objects to the *dancing*, *dissolving*, and the *sauce*  *enjoyment* that followed [the Orz say that this was the best part], but the Orz threaten to *squeeze the juice*, so he leaves them alone. He sends several subordinates to try and learn more about the incident, but this proves to be as useless as asking the Orz about the Androsynth.
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pendell
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #104 on: November 01, 2007, 06:56:24 pm »

And as to the machine gun objection - the Pkunk Furies have a tri-directional minigun with superheated metal pellets. That's the canon. See here.

Sorry it took awhile to get back to tthis. 

Reading the wiki,... I'm going to be an idiot ans ask, how canon is it? 

My point is, that 'machine gun' doesn't sound very SF, even if that is the *effect*.  The specific phrase used is

"triple mounted minigun"

"Machine gun" is one possible synonym, but not the only one. 

"Mass drivers in a rotary configuration" might be another.  "Recoilless gatling" yet another.  "Rapid-fire gauss accelerator" might be yet another. 

After all, we only know that it's a rapid-fire slug thrower.  That doesn't necessarily mean it throws lead objects powered by chemical explosive.  It could also be electromagnetic acceleration. And so on. 

Respectfully,

Brian P.
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