Misc Artwork for the Flight Demo

Delance

Victory, you say?
I remember blue and red balls flying around when dogfighting Jalthis, but not their exact order and proportion.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
I distinctly remember 2 neutron and 4 laser. I also remember thinking to myself that the Caw Marks description was wrong. At the time, I'm sure I thought it was a limitation of the engine - something about requiring pairs of guns, I guess. Far more likely is that it was just a minor disconnect between the manual and the final numbers in the game. As for which spec the Pioneer Jalthi will use...I'm leaning towards the actual-in game stats...any way you arrange them, 3 of each would look odd.
Also - on the naming scheme for the Kilrathi Raider ships - I'm not certain these names will remain the same. we might eventually just decide to go with a standard kilrathi naming setup. For now they're just the Viking and the Blackguard.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Yep, the Jalthi definitely has 4 lasers and 2 neutrons. It's not a game limitation or anything like that - just one of the balancing changes they made after the manual went to print.

(though as an aside, I fail to see why you think 3 of each would look odd. The Kilrathi are big fans of asymmetric designs, so having different guns on either side of the ship would be a perfectly Kilrathi thing to do)
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Quarto: Well, they are and they aren't. Up until Armada, all Kilrathi designs were symmetrical. After that point, they got considerably more asymmetrical (to the point where I don't think any Kilrathi ship was even remotely mirrored. Vaktoth is the closest one I can recall.) There's probably a simple reason for this: the switchover to a realtime 3d engine. That change opened up many new areas for design.
Anyway, the basic reason for why I think it would look odd is that we'd then have an asymmetrical gun layout on a symmetrical ship design. That's something that we have no reference for any other WC1 or 2-era kilrathi ship design having. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Quarto: Well, they are and they aren't. Up until Armada, all Kilrathi designs were symmetrical.
Hehe, not entirely - remember that bit about Salthi always turning to the left? :p

Anyway, the basic reason for why I think it would look odd is that we'd then have an asymmetrical gun layout on a symmetrical ship design. That's something that we have no reference for any other WC1 or 2-era kilrathi ship design having. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.
Well, I would argue that Claw Marks' description of the Jalthi is precisely the reference you're looking for. Other than that... well, I don't see why the lack of such references should be a limiting factor in any case - we know that asymmetric design is not something the Kilrathi came up with in 2669. Earlier games didn't show it, but that doesn't mean it was something new. In addition, I don't think that "looking odd" can ever be an argument when it comes to asymmetry. Asymmetric designs always look odd to us. We're not used to them. When we look at an asymmetric WWII plane for example, we find it hard to believe anybody would come up with such a thing. In this aspect, it makes no difference if the whole design is asymmetric, or just the gun layout (though the distinction is a fairly blurry one when it comes to the Kilrathi, who make guns so prominently visible on their ships) - it will look odd to us in any case.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
When we look at an asymmetric WWII plane for example, we find it hard to believe anybody would come up with such a thing.

I know you are probably well prepared for this question but what kind of plane you are mentioning here? Because I personally could not recall myself any WWII plane, whichis assymetrical according to its front-back axis. Mind you the assymetry in a space conditions with near complete vacuum is possible- where the same in the Earth's atmosphere is either not ergonomical (aerodynamics) or not possible altogether (in order for the plane to fly properly).
 

Magnum

Rear Admiral
Asymmetric aircraft look odd because of aerodynamic necessities that make them harder to design and hence more unusual. Asymmetric spacecraft are just hunks of metal floating in space, so the requirements aren't quite as strict. As for asymmetric gun layouts, the most common thing I can think of in WWII fighters is where Russian or Japanese planes would have one gun offset mounted in the engine cowling.

As for the placement of neutrons vs. lasers, my instinct (not based on any particular reference) would be to put the 2 neutrons as the most inboard guns, since they are the hardest hitting and shortest range guns. Think about the Spitfire. Most versions had cannons inboard, and mgs closer to the wingtips.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I know you are probably well prepared for this question but what kind of plane you are mentioning here?
Hehe, naturally I'm prepared ;). The Germans had an asymmetric aircraft in WWII - you can see it at the top of this page. Below it, you can also see a number of other asymmetric designs from the same company, though that first plane is the only one that actually went into production.

Several other German companies also developed plans for asymmetric designs, as well as a number of other very freakish planes - I very highly recommend a page called Luft '46, which shows original German plans for hundreds of bizarre (not necessarily asymmetric) aircraft. It's really amazing stuff - you could make a whole new WC game using just designs from this page, and nobody would even for an instant think that you used authentic WWII-era designs.

There is another small detail worth taking into consideration - all single-engine aircraft in WWII were effectively asymmetrical, since they only had one prop which only turned in one direction :). This meant that the forces applied on the aircraft were also asymmetrical - if you play a flight sim like Il-2, you'll notice that when you taxi your plane on the ground, there will be a strong tendency for it to turn sideways because of the force exerted by the turning prop. I suppose this means that in theory, making a plane asymmetrical might actually allow you to counter this force (although as far as I know, the reason why the Germans tried to design asymmetrical planes had more to do with improving visibility from the pilot's cabin).
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
(although as far as I know, the reason why the Germans tried to design asymmetrical planes had more to do with improving visibility from the pilot's cabin).
Yes, this is what it was designed for, since the Bv-141 is a recon plane. I think the shape of Kilrathi ships was more a result of the switch from sprites to 3D models. With sprites, you can have ships like the Clydesdale or Sartha, which have lots of smooth surfaces and rounded edges. Instead of trying to come up with a not so good-looking set of ships that retained the same design as WC1-2 ships, they went in a different direction, because limitations on technology made hi-poly models impractical.
 

Magnum

Rear Admiral
There is another small detail worth taking into consideration - all single-engine aircraft in WWII were effectively asymmetrical, since they only had one prop which only turned in one direction :).
The vertical stabilizer on planes like the Bf-109 was also offset to the side and not completely centered.
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
Yes, this is what it was designed for, since the Bv-141 is a recon plane. I think the shape of Kilrathi ships was more a result of the switch from sprites to 3D models. With sprites, you can have ships like the Clydesdale or Sartha, which have lots of smooth surfaces and rounded edges. Instead of trying to come up with a not so good-looking set of ships that retained the same design as WC1-2 ships, they went in a different direction, because limitations on technology made hi-poly models impractical.

You actually can have all of the WC1/2 ships in the WC3 engine. I did a little project a couple months back where i took the Broadsword and Ferret and got their poly counts under the 500 tris of WC3. So, the argument for technology limitations doesn't really stand up.

Brad
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Quarto: Well, they are and they aren't. Up until Armada, all Kilrathi designs were symmetrical. After that point, they got considerably more asymmetrical (to the point where I don't think any Kilrathi ship was even remotely mirrored. Vaktoth is the closest one I can recall.)

The Ekapshi (and sort of the Dralthi) have about the same thing going as the Vaktoth. Overall they're pretty symmetrical, except there are some pods just left and right of center on both that are different.
 

Shere Khan

Rear Admiral
You actually can have all of the WC1/2 ships in the WC3 engine. I did a little project a couple months back where i took the Broadsword and Ferret and got their poly counts under the 500 tris of WC3. So, the argument for technology limitations doesn't really stand up.

I guess it was more about limitations of the old sprite engine, not the new 3D one. asymmetrical sprites don't flip well. either you have to make much more sprites, or the sprite flip is obvious when a ship turns. symmetry must have been a design decision taken early, right when the engine was born. with the 3D engine, it must have been decided that alien ships must differ from human ships more than just in color and occasional circular details, and asymmetry is a very good way to make the shape of a flying machine somewhat alien.

anyway, it's a topic hijack :) Howard, you've got the best Dralthi I've ever seen. and Blackguard is brilliantly stylized: it could've been in WC1 along with the Dralthi, Jalthi and Salthi :) way to go; can't wait for the new eye fodder.
 

Kosch

Spaceman
WoW! the images in this thread are just making me drool and when I saw the MFD images for the ships it brought back a whole flood of warm fuzzy memories =)

Keep up the good work Pioneer team =)
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Okay - I've done a bit o' work on the Jalthi. Tried not to modify it much from the original version. It was also sort of tricky to give the proper feeling of bad-assed bigness... Any thoughts?
 

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