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Author Topic: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred  (Read 4744 times)
Deus Siddis
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2018, 05:09:29 pm »

While hunting through my old documents the other day, I found a diagram I did of our ships relative to one another specifically for scale. I sort of shook my head and disagreed with my past self at the scale choices -- the ships were too close in size.

Ooh, I would love to see that diagram even so.
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2018, 01:14:05 am »

I'm guessing the Sa-Matra battle platform is larger than shown in this video?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFsCsQI4ACs
At least I picture it to be much larger than shown in scale to the Dreadnought and the Marauder. (I think the scale when placed next to the Avenger is absurd)
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2018, 02:31:00 am »

I'm guessing the Sa-Matra battle platform is larger than shown in this video?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFsCsQI4ACs
At least I picture it to be much larger than shown in scale to the Dreadnought and the Marauder. (I think the scale when placed next to the Avenger is absurd)

That's UQM-HD, right? The Sa-Matra takes up a lot more space in the original game.
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2018, 03:03:21 am »

That's actually the MegaMod. It's catching on... Excellent. Cheesy
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2018, 03:04:50 am »

There's no other version I could illegally place hierarchy and melnorme ships (besides the Umgah, Spathi, and Yehat) next to the sa-matra.
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2018, 03:07:05 am »

You could use a debug build of UQM. You press the F5 key and it will unlock all the ships to be bought.
Though I think you actually have to map the debug key yourself inside the .uqm (read .zip) file.

http://uqm.stack.nl/files/snapshots/
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2018, 08:27:29 am »

Here's my diagram on Star Control ship relative scale, created in 1992 on my dot matrix printer.  25 years later, I think I didn't get much right except perhaps for the relative scale of the Flagship and the Chevy Suburban. 

For what it's worth, last night spent some time looking at George Barr's painting of the Flagship being prepared for lift-off from Unzervalt.  Ultimately I decided it was about 275 meters long.  The original Enterprise is just a hair larger.

Looking at the large image of the Shofixti Scout from Star Control 1, I'd estimate it is no more than 7 meters long, so those other 5 Shofixti must be packed in there like sardines.  For comparison, a Colonial Viper Mark 2 from Battlestar Galactica is estimated to be a little over 8 meters long.   

I appreciate the scale estimate from the in-game bitmaps, but the relative scale in combat was intentionally compressed to make the experience more fun.



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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2018, 12:22:07 am »

Speaking of George Barr's paintings - are they the images you've been showing us in your blog posts? Because they are of much higher resolution than the in-game pictures, yet much truer to the original than the UQM HD graphics.
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2018, 01:07:16 am »

Yes, those are higher-res scans of the original artwork. I am sure I've said this before, but George is a fantastic illustrator and painter, whose book covers have inspired my imagination since the mid 1970s.

I am in the process of rescanning the originals at MUCH higher quality, which made me remember that there were little tweaks I did to some of the images in DPaint, mostly to deal with the artifacts of low resolution and only 256 colors. 
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Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2024, 09:40:20 pm »

But, in-game, the scout has a crew compliment of 6 and Commander Heyes did mention that he traveled aboard a Scout before.
No mention how exactly he fit on-board, given that the Shofixti are smaller than Humans on average and their ships would more match their physiology, only that he was worried about the Glory device.

Commander Hayes said he "once flew as an observer aboard one of their ships" and that it had a "Glory Device' ... strapped to the bottom of its hull," but he never specifically referred to the ship as a Scout.

Looking at how much space the visible Shofixti takes up in relation to the rest of the ship in the large view, it would be pretty impossible for Hayes to fit in there.


The engine for the rear thrust very likely extends to or just before the cockpit's rear wall. If the Shofixti can ball themselves up real good and remain like that for prolonged periods of time, you could maybe fit 1-2 in the area between the pilot's seat and the cockpit wall that the control panel blocks from view, and if there's some empty space between the external glory device and paws and another small compartment between the engine and cockpit wall, perhaps another 3-4 balled Shofixti could fit in there. In which case, they wouldn't be onboard to actively man their own stations, but so that one of them can roll out and take over flight control if the pilot dies.

(Another option is the Captain's Window is simply representative of what the cockpit looks like when most of the crew have perished, and if you actually looked into a fully crewed Scout, you'd see a wall of hair behind the pilot with the odd hand, snout, or ear sticking out of it because there's only enough space below and/or behind the cockpit to fit more than a couple Shofixti. If so, perhaps Pistol Shrimp can fix this for the sequel.  Tongue).

In any case, I can't see Hayes being able to fill a comparable amount of space, even if you cleared out all the Shofixti, save the pilot. He wouldn't fit crouched behind the pilot and even if you could shove him in an empty space near the glory device/engine, he's no longer an observer; he's dead weight. He couldn't see anything, get into the cockpit to take over should the need arises, and it would be a very tight and uncomfortable fit for him.

It would make more sense if he was simply aboard a larger, never before seen Shofixti ship. For example, they had to have cargo ships, troop transports, etc, and it feels very in-character for them to strap a Glory Device onto anything that flies, even if we have nothing in canon to tell us that they did. With a war raging, occasionally repurposing civilian and/or military transport vehicles for patrol missions makes sense, especially if you have a habit of blowing up your main fighter class with wild abandon and you need to occasionally accommodate larger Alliance members who want to participate in an observation exchange program.

As an aside: I'd love to know where the life support system, water filtration system, and ration storage area(s) are supposed to be stored on a Shofixti Scout. Captain Tanaka (and his brother, Katana) took a pretty long time to get home from Mycon space and then remained in orbit around Delta Gorno for a bit with no mention of food, water, or oxygen being a problem, as far as I can remember.

Re the Ur-Quan fighter craft:
A number of factors make me think they would be at the most 50% the size of the Shofixti:

- They have only a single crew member on-board
- They are so fragile that meteors destroy them (ie, basically no hull armour/mass)
- They actually have a limited fuel reserve (need to return to Dreadnought or they die)

All of those suggest that they are missing a large number of 'basic' systems that even the tiny Shofixti scout has.  I think they literally are just a pilot seat, basic thruster system (with small fuel/life support tanks), encased in paper-thin hull and with a tiny swivelling laser gun, and not much else.  I'd be inclined to think this is all to make the fighters smaller, so the Dreadnought can carry more of them.

The range issue may be by design. Restricting autonomy may be the best way the Ur-Quan found to ensure the compliance of their enslaved alien fighter pilots. If you don't have the ability to fly beyond the scope of the immediate battle or enter hyperspace, you have little choice but to engage the enemy and try to return to your Dreadnought for refueling. This would also...

A) Motivate pilots to fight with as much fury and gusto as they can muster as they'd likely be punished if they hesitated in battle and they can't try to escape the consequences of such mistakes by making a run for it.

B) Prevent enslaved aliens from escaping with Ur-Quan secrets. A Dreadnought's alien crew members would have access to technology and battle plans beyond the scope of what Battle Thralls are given. Fear of annihilation would likely prevent a defector's species from taking them back, but an alliance of free aliens or individual free aliens still engaged in active resistance against the Ur-Quan would probably welcome defectors. The threat of retaliation against their species can't be used to keep Dreadnought crews in check in this case as wiping out an overall loyal Battle Thrall over the actions of a few Dreadnought crew members would reduce the Ur-Quan's combat effectiveness to a greater degree than tolerating defections, and it would ultimately prove to be a hollow threat anyway as the Ur-Quan are motivated to take great care to avoid going to such extremes (only reaching the Sa-Matra in a Precursor vessel with the help of a re-evolved Dynarri resulted in them promising to annihilate humans completely). Thus, keeping a tight leash around Dreadnought crews may be their preferred solution to the problem of potential defectors.

The crew disparity issue makes sense to me as, per my previous comments, I struggle to see how a Shofixti Scout has room for more than a single crew member. That this isn't the case seems to be a joke related to how small the Shofixti are or an oversight with how the large image was drawn for SC1. Below is a larger view of the Ur-Quan fighter from SC1.


It seems like it has a larger cockpit than a Scout due to the rounded front and possibly reduced engine size (a thinner hull may also add a bit of room), but you would need more space if you wanted to comfortably fit a single Ilwrath or Mycon in a ship comparable in size to a Shofixti Scout. That means you could probably load up a fighter with more than one of their smaller fallow slaves, like the Umgah, but the limited strength + range of a fighter versus the impact on a Dreadnought's "health" + the reduction in the overall number of fighters it can launch probably makes giving some fighters the ability to take more than one hit a poor trade off, as far as the Ur-Quan are concerned.

The asteroid issue does present a problem. Sure, they could have paper thin hulls, but I think it would've made more sense for a planetary collision to continue to damage them (as was the case in SC1), since hitting a planet always takes out at least 1 crew member, and for fighters to instead bounce off asteroids, since they're apparently supposed to be similar in size to Shofixti Scouts. Of course, the decision to do the opposite made it a little harder to kill a Dreadnought as it was always easier in SC1 to lure fighters into a planet than into an asteroid, and I appreciate that the most logical solutions don't always make for the best game mechanics.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2024, 11:40:56 pm by Zeroarmy » Logged
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