Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Discussion and information relevant to creating special missions, new ships, skins etc.

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Staer9
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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Staer9 »

Cmdr Wyvern wrote:Not too bad looking for a big fat ugly bulk hauler, huh? :)
So thats a hauler!! at first glance it looks like a heavy fighter ship, but that is probably just because there is no scale in most screenshots, nice work.
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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by CaptSolo »

The "Accipiter", Latin for a genus of birds of prey. Size just a wee bit smaller than the Cobra Mk III.
Image
A very bad bird. Think the name stupid? Suggestions in that case:
1) Hawk
2) Talon
3) Your suggestion here
Last edited by CaptSolo on Wed May 04, 2011 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Staer9 »

nice ship Captsolo, but don't use hawk, I think someone already made a ship called the Hawk but I can't find it on the wiki. Talon could be the name of the police version (Talon Interceptor?). If you want I can make you a pirate texture with flames. or attempt to set up some shaders on it.
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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Kaks »

Nothing wrong with Accipiter - or Accie for friends! :P

Me judice, of course! :D

PS: there's the added bonus that Accie 'should' be pronunced Axe-y which feels quite appropriate somehow! :mrgreen:
Hey, free OXPs: farsun v1.05 & tty v0.5! :0)

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Switeck »

What about the Owl or some kind of owl?

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Switeck wrote:What about the Owl or some kind of owl?
Hedwig? :wink:
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Disembodied »

Lammergeier? I think it's better to work with species names rather than genus ... apart from anything else you won't run out as fast! ;)

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Potential Debris »

Here is something I've been working on, but stalled: The Orthoptera range - 5 similar looking ships. The one pictured is the original Locust mk XIV, although I think the Locusts will have a dusty brown colour scheme, with the green reserved for the grasshoppers and shiny white / custom paintjobs for the Cricket.

The concept was for a ship that has a massive number of missile slots, so that people can really have fun with all that strange and interesting different missile-mounted OXP equipment. The payoffs for these missile-heavy ships are various, but include:
- No laser weapons at all (!) on one version, and no rear / side lasers on any of them.
- Cruddy maneuverability & speed on most versions.
- Mediocre cargo space.
- High price on the decent variants.

This is my first attempt at using Wings 3D, and I don't think I've done too badly, but I'm kind of stuck now. I think i need to sculpt all the different models before I begin skinning, but I have no idea how to go about skinning or whatever lies beyond that (scripting, presumably?). Also, I think it might need some kind of custom dashboard, to make missile management easier. I may have been a little overambitious...

Anyway, screenies and writeups below:

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Locust mk XIV

The Locust mk XIV is a defunct military missile ship.

About a century ago, some promising developments in missile technology threatened to upset the balance between missiles, ecm and laser weapons. In response, the military ordered a new platform for what looked to be a new era in space combat. The result was the locust, at the time a state-of-the-art, super-tough ship with an astonishing 42 missile slots. The intention was for a fleet of locusts to release a swarm of missiles that would utterly overwhelm any counter-measures deployed by the enemy. It featured a standard issue fuel scoop to reclaim unused ordinance and the best ECM of the era, and as soon as the designs were ready, huge numbers were put into build.

By the time the first locusts rolled off the production line, the new missile technology had already been made obselete by advances in ECM. Rather than scrap the program though, the military displayed either laudable foresight or stubborn refusal to admit a mistake and continued funding the project. The massive fleet of locusts was maintained in anticipation of some future game-changing development in weapons technology that might necessitate a massed-missile patform.

So the locusts languished in mothballs for decades, to be dusted off once in a while and retrofitted with upgraded hardware, until at last the ageing spaceframe could be be updated no further. After over a dozen revisions, the locust finally fell prey to budget cuts. The fleet was auctioned off to various interested parties, and the designs and license to manufacture sold to Orthoptera Shipbuilding, a small startup headed by a few ex-military engineers who had been looking after the locusts for the last thirty years or so.

The Navy has been reluctant to comment on rumours of a new missile platform project to replace the locust.

As you might expect, the locust's age and design makes it an unusual choice for most uses, unsuited as it is to modern laser duels. While quick when it was designed, it is painfully slow by today's standards. Despite being in the same size class as a cobra mkIII, it handles more like a python, with the cargo space of a cobra I and no laser mount. Therefore most extant ships are in the hands of collectors and enthusiasts, who view it as a charming piece of eccentric militaria. However some are in active use, and those rare few willing to pilot one in open space will fiercely advocate its strengths - The locust is heavily armoured, and the massive missile magazines can be re-purposed for all kinds of innovative (but usually expensive) 3rd party equipment and weaponry. It has a small but devoted fanbase, who refer to the mkXIV as the "Locust Classic", in order to differentiate it from its successor. Properly equipped, and in the right hands, even its worst detractors will admit that the locust classic can be a versatile and dangerous ship.

Locust mk XV Rubbisher

Within a year of buying the rights to the locust, Orthoptera unveiled the Locust mkXV Ravager. According to the marketing blurb, the Ravager brought the locust line into the present, combining the strenghts of the classic locust, while addressing its shortcomings with improved speed, better maneuvering, greater cargo capacity and a front laser mount.

According to Toop Gear magazine, it was a botched attempt at an impossible task. The basic design had been upgraded so many times over the last century that it was almost impossible to squeeze anything more out of it. In order to fit the front laser they had to move the cockpit from the head to the body and reconfigure the entire interior of the ship- for example, to get from the cockpit to the cargo bay, you have to climb over the engine coils and go through a trapdoor above the toilet. The meagre cargo space improvements came at the cost of more than half the magazine capacity and the ship's laudable ruggedness had been sacrificed in order to provide speed and handling improvements that were nominal at best. All the selling points of the original had been sacrificed for barely noticable improvements elsewhere. ToopGear famously summed up their review with "The Locust mkXV Rubbisher (Even rubbisher than the mkXIV)" and the moniker stuck. Nobody remembered the name "Ravager" and even today most HUDs and targetting systems will ID a mkXV as a "Rubbisher". Although many thousands were produced, few remain in use today- their terrible combat capabilities have taken countless Rubbishers out of circulation, and most shipyards that receive one in part exchange will simply scrap it rather than have it sitting unsold on their forecourt indefinitely. It is universally regarded as a truly terrible ship with no redeeming qualities, that no sane pilot would willingly fly for any reason.

Co-founder of Orthoptera and ex-Head of Engineering Sally Mandibles (deceased) admitted in her autobiography that the mkXV was rushed prematurely to market in an attempt to recoup the cost of purchasing the locust legacy. She also asserted that with another six months to finish development, they would have fielded a reworked locust that equalled or surpassed its predecessor in every way. These plans were eventually finished and they were ready to begin production of the mkXVI, but by that time the name and brand had become a laughing stock, and Orthoptera were in serious financial trouble.

Grasshopper

It took several years to sort out the financial mess, but the original Orthoptera team re-emerged, heavily in debt, ready to try again. While they had the plans for a mkXVI locust, it was decided that the spaceframe was too old and its reputation too poor to be worth the risk. Instead they designed a new ship from the ground up, keeping the familiar form factor and niche role of the Classic but with a brand new, state of the art, slender spaceframe. Most people agree that the Grasshopper delivered on the promises of the Locust MkXV. While it still has somewhat less magazine space and durability than the Classic, it is much quicker - almost nimble, in fact - with a laser mount and a respectable hold. Much of the project's budget went on image-management services, which for the most part succeeded in distancing the Grasshopper from the disaster of the Rubbisher, while retaining a link to the quirky appeal of the Classic. Due to these rebranding efforts and the high development costs, the main criticism of the grasshopper has always been the price, although prices on the second hand market tend to be more reasonable.

Grasshopper Blade

Having just about covered their debts with the Grasshopper, Orthoptera decided to break out of the missileship niche with the release of the limited edition Grasshopper Blade. The Blade was an attempt to give the Grasshopper a more mass-market appeal, by converting more than half of the magazine space to cargo. It also trades some of its ruggedness for extra maneuverability, making it a worthy contender in laser combat. New materials and production techniques enabled the designers to slim the craft down a little to reduce its target profile. While it certainly handles more like a traditional blockade runner, most people agree that it still doesn't quite measure up to the less expensive Cobra mkIII. Therefore it is commonly regarded as a bit of an outcast, caught between two different design functions and fulfilling neither particularly well. However it is a nice ship to fly, and of course still boasts an uncommonly high number of missile slots. The Blade sold in moderate numbers, enough to put the company firmly back in the black, but the sales weren't compelling enough to continue development of a mainstream variant, and the next ship in the Orthoptera lineup returned to its niche roots.

Cricket

The Cricket (inexplicably referred to as the "Krikket" in some localities) was the last ship in the Orthoptera line, and undoubtedly the best. It took the best of the two grasshopper craft and improved them again. Built on the Blade chassis, it is tough, nippy, with 40 missile slots and over 20 tons of cargo space. It is also the only Orthoptera ship capable of mounting fuel injectors. All this ability comes at a price though, and only a small number of wealthy enthusiasts were prepared to purchase one. Most of them complained vehemently about the shining white paint job, which made it an easy target in combat. Therefore if you are lucky enough to spot one in the wild, you will most likely see it in customised colours.

Sadly, Orthoptera's manufacturing facility was completely destroyed in a mysterious attack less than a year after the Cricket began production. The ongoing investigation into this tragedy has so far been completely fruitless and almost all Orthoptera management and employees were killed. Although offsite backups of all their ship designs and blueprints do exist, they are currently all tied up while the complex legal web of ownership and inheritance is settled, so no new Orthoptera ships are likely to be built in the near future.

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by CaptSolo »

@ Potential Debris: Nice work. I still consider myself a learner but if you post your problems here there are plenty of modelers and skinners that would help.

Thanks for the suggestions mates. I still like "Accipiter". The common names for this genus is "Goshawk" and "Sparrowhawk". And Kaks, the name is curiously pronounced Ax-cip-iter

It is in-game for testing purposes as a pirate and when one is encountered it causes my tension level to rise. It is no push over by a long shot. One of these and two of my Copperhead Blackquards would make for an interesting dogfight. But that would necessitate me adding the role of escort to the Blackguard.

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Smivs »

Another nice one, Solo, and funnily enough as soon as I saw it the silhouette reminded me of a Sparrowhawk, so that would get my vote for the name.
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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by ramon »

Griff wrote:Started work on a stupidly high polygon cobra III remake
Looks good Griff - quick question, how stupidly high is 'stupidly high' and, I take it, it'll still run nicely in the game.

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Griff »

ramon wrote:...quick question, how stupidly high is 'stupidly high' and, I take it, it'll still run nicely in the game.
it's about 3300 triangles, when i was working on it i just decided to go crazy and add lots of small bevels to a lot of the edges and not really care that much about the final polygon count, it's a one off test really, just to see how it looks in game, it wouldn't be too hard to cut the ship down to about 900-1000 polygons and still keep a lot of the fancy pipes and all that though, i'll upload it here in obj format if you want to take a look, it's UV unwrapped over 2 UV tiles then scaled down 50% in the U (horizontal axis) so it fits back onto 1 UV tile so it'll need a texture twice as wide as it is high to work properly http://www.box.net/shared/nohca1yehv

Have you had a chance to do some more work on that amazing looking asp remake?

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by JensAyton »

You seem to have found a bug in the Oolite 2 OBJ importer. :-/

Image

By the way, I see you’ve made every edge hard, even lengthways ones on pipes. This seems like a good time to mention that in Oolite 2, soft edges will be more efficient than hard ones (because vertices with the same attributes – position, normal, texture coordinates – can be coalesced and reused).

In Oolite 1.7x, it doesn’t make a difference, because of inefficiencies in the loader and file format. In any case, using soft edges (and then converting your models using Obj2DatTexNorm.py, or using smooth groups) doesn’t cost anything.

Apart from actually curved surfaces, soft edges should also be used between polygons which are supposed to be on the same plane. (For example, there are some of these on the top back of the Cobra.) If you put an unnecessary hard edge there, the two faces are almost guaranteed to get slightly different normals, which will result in a visible crease under some lighting conditions. A lot of the built-in models were adjusted for 1.74 to remove creases like this, and to smooth surfaces that are actually curved in original Elite, like the top rear panels of the Asp.

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Griff »

hmm, that looks really weird - like it's filled in the engine hollow bit with some crazy polygon - i'm not that tidy a modeller, could this be caused by me slicing through and extruding out polygons and not worrying too much about clean edge loops?
Annoyingly LightWave's modeller program doesn't support edge weights and i must admit to not paying a lot of attention to them, i'll have to have a go at setting them in wings3d, what's the best method for weighting a model with so many edges? after importing the model set all edges to soft and manually mark the hard edges or set them all to hard and manually mark the soft ones?

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Re: Show and Tell (new ships/ ships in progress)

Post by Killer Wolf »

wouldn't that depend on your vision for the ship? if it's all smooth except for crisp engine lines you'd do it one way, it if was all edgey apart from, eg, a cockpit bulge you'd do it the other?

lightwave looks pretty cool, shame it's so expensive. not compared to 3DS of course, lol, but that's not helpful.

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