Bradshaw as a Major

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
Sorry for all the questions - but this one also popped into my head. Were you ever considering making Bradshaw a Major for the regular campaign? I always thought he was a tad junior in rank to be commanding forty pilots.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
He's a Wing Commander on a small escort carrier. And at any rate, I imagine the crew would be more interested in saving Earth than promoting themselves.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
...Exactly. While we do realise that a Captain is a bit junior to command a wing - even on an escort carrier - we never gave any thought to promoting him. This entire campaign took about a week from start to finish, so who had time to think about promotions? Besides, when Earth is about to be destroyed, I would expect most commanders to take on a "wait and see" approach with promotions - what's the point of all that paperwork if the world as you know it is crashing down? :p

A few other things to consider, from a gameplay perspective - the idea behind promotions in WC1 (and, to a much stronger degree, in its spiritual sequel... Pacific Strike!) is to reward the player. Not only do you get a fancy little promotion ceremony and new rank insignia on your uniform, but you can even get new powers - in Pacific Strike, choosing planes, loadouts and mission assignments were all priviledges of rank that you earned over time. Obviously, we had none of this to offer in Standoff - there could be no new priviledges of rank for Bradshaw, since he was already top of the pile. A ceremony? Reismann is the kind of officer who'd use a promotion ceremony as an opportunity to chew you out ;). And finally, new rank insignia? Who'd even notice?
 

Ilanin

Captain
Whilst Bradshaw is a bit junior to be in command of an air wing, in the crisis situation the TCN found itself in post-armistice it isn't entirely implausible he might end up there, especially on a carrier commanded by an officer like Resimann who probably prefers people with a career path similar to his.

However, he should still have a brevet promotion (let's just assume the TCSF does them) to Major, simply so that he outranks the rest of his fighter wing. Notably, Sparrow has been a Captain longer than Bradshaw has, so is theoretically senior to him. Having people in a unit outrank the commanding officer does happen from time to time in warfare, but it's best avoided if you can, surely (especially when all it takes is a warrant from Admiral Terrell).
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Ok, ok, we admit it - Bradshaw, while holding the permanent rank of Captain, was also brevetted for the duration of the conflict to the rank of Kentucky Colonel. However, he stopped using this title after Trigger mistook him for the Colonel, threatening to do some very nasty things unless he divulges the Secret Recipe.

Also, Cougar punched him out for selling Pepsi - them Gemini folks are mighty proud of their Lynch Cola.

Commodore Reismann, meanwhile, simply ordered a Zinger.
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
Speaking of rank appearance...and this isn't really a criticism since i'm amazed you guys made cutscenes at all, but is that as crisp as you can make the uniform textures?
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Until I saw this thread, I always figured Bradshaw was a Captain simply because of the producers' fondness of WC2 - and therefore by making the main Standoff protaganist a Captain brought him into line with the 2665 Bluehair.

Obviously I was wrong on this, but I still think that WC2 is at least the favourite game of somebody behind Standoff, it's inspired most heavily by WC2 IMO :)
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Ok, ok, we admit it - Bradshaw, while holding the permanent rank of Captain, was also brevetted for the duration of the conflict to the rank of Kentucky Colonel. However, he stopped using this title after Trigger mistook him for the Colonel, threatening to do some very nasty things unless he divulges the Secret Recipe.

Also, Cougar punched him out for selling Pepsi - them Gemini folks are mighty proud of their Lynch Cola.

Commodore Reismann, meanwhile, simply ordered a Zinger.
He not on the Firekka, he dead! What wrong with you, I say you he dead!

:eek:
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Until I saw this thread, I always figured Bradshaw was a Captain simply because of the producers' fondness of WC2 - and therefore by making the main Standoff protaganist a Captain brought him into line with the 2665 Bluehair.

Obviously I was wrong on this, but I still think that WC2 is at least the favourite game of somebody behind Standoff, it's inspired most heavily by WC2 IMO :)
I don't think Blair being a Captain in WC2 was ever a serious conscious consideration, but I'm sure it might have worked on a subconscious level :). Mainly, though, I think that Captain just sounds better than Major.

Plus, knowing my (often atrocious) sense of humour, it probably saved us from a whole bunch of idiotic puns. You know, Freyers telling you after a bad mission that your performance is a major disaster and the like...


...And no, WC2 is definitely not a major inspiration behind Standoff. Whatever would give you that idea? If we were fans of WC2, would we make a mod that concentrates on WC2 ships, tries to imitate WC2 gameplay, and even uses near-identical WC2 angles in all our cutscenes? ;)

So, yes, yes - I admit it. WC2 is, in my opinion, the best game in the series. I can't speak for Eder, but I get the feeling his answer would be similar, too :p.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I know the 'What's your favourite WC game' question has been discussed myriad times before, but I'll add that WC2 is probably my favourite as well, for its balance of gameplay goodness and storyline brilliance. That, and the possibly the fact that it was my first WC experience. Of course, I love all the other games in the series too.
 

Eder

Mr. Standoff
Speaking of rank appearance...and this isn't really a criticism since i'm amazed you guys made cutscenes at all, but is that as crisp as you can make the uniform textures?
No, but the same could be said for just about the whole game. At the time we were also amazed we could have cutscenes at all, so we left it at that.

Even if I were to make any of the game's textures higher res, I would certainly not start with the ones that only show up in the lower 1/3rd of a 320x160 screen area in a bunch of ultra compressed 40-second-long scenes. :p

As for Bradshaw's rank, he's a captain because the whole wing is supposed to seem weak from the start, comprised of what few people were left on active duty during peace time in a frontier system. I never considered whether "Major" was already low-rank enough or not to pass the right message, but Captain seemed to me like it was, so I went with that.
 

Ilanin

Captain
Eder said:
the whole wing is supposed to seem weak from the start, comprised of what few people were left on active duty during peace time in a frontier system.
But it isn't, is it? It's comprised of the few regulars that were around plus whoever else Reismann could pack aboard the Firekka before it moved out - militiamen, criminals, privateers, whoever. A "major" with five years' worth of experience in command of the lot seems about right to me.

As an aside, I tend to think the wing doesn't take heavy enough casulaties given how little experience it has - practically everyone ejects and gets picked up on the relatively frequent occasions they get blown up by the cats. You should on occasions be in danger of running out of pilots as well as fighters.

(I should point out that engaging in nitpicking this extensive is a sign I really like the game and that my brain is treating it as being proper Wing Commander.)
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
As for Bradshaw's rank, he's a captain because the whole wing is supposed to seem weak from the start, comprised of what few people were left on active duty during peace time in a frontier system. I never considered whether "Major" was already low-rank enough or not to pass the right message, but Captain seemed to me like it was, so I went with that.
With this aim, I would certainly agree with you that using the Captain's rank was the better choice.

As for there being 'insufficient' casualties in the group, I think perhaps that could be offset by looking at Reismann's remarks about how impressed he was that even a bunch of 'rag-tag' pilots from a quiet sector like Gemini could put a decent fight against the incoming Kilrathi hordes.

(And Standoff can never be a 'proper' Wing Commander, but certainly, this discussion shows that a lot of thinking of thinking and consideration went into planning the storyline and background references for all the characters.)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
As an aside, I tend to think the wing doesn't take heavy enough casulaties given how little experience it has - practically everyone ejects and gets picked up on the relatively frequent occasions they get blown up by the cats. You should on occasions be in danger of running out of pilots as well as fighters.
You are, of course, absolutely right. Up until Episode 5, all our pilots were actually immortal - they always ejected. And this is pretty unnatural, for a rag-tag wing like the one we see.

The truth is, it was purely a technical concern. For reasons I don't even remember any more, we had trouble using WCP's automatic-wingman-assignment option. Remember how in WCP, you'd have different generics every time you flew a mission? Well, this didn't work for us. I guess we probably just used it wrong, and then got so used to the idea of it not working that we never got around to checking what we actually did wrong :).

Anyway, so for every mission, I had to plan who'd be flying it. Had we made our pilots mortal, I would have no way of knowing who'd be alive at this point, and therefore, I'd have to use each pilot exactly once, and assume that he may be dead afterwards (this, incidentally, is the case for most pilots in Episode 5 - once a pilot is permitted to die, he never appears in another mission regardless of his survival). This would have required a lot more than 40 pilots, obviously...

Of course, had we used the WCP system, we'd soon have run into another major issue - the fact that the system in WCP was broken (incomplete, if you prefer). There was no way of tracking the number of still alive pilots and/or making them immortal if the number of living pilots got too low - so, if you take too many losses in WCP, sooner or later the game will crash at the start of another mission, telling you that "squadron <x> ran out of pilots". This was a consequence of the game being told to launch another ship and put a generic pilot in... only to find that there were no more living generic pilots. In WCP, most people never saw this - there was a huge oversupply of pilots. But in Standoff, this would have been a nightmare. Even had we found a solution that prevented the game from crashing by limiting the number of ships being launched... well, by about the end of Episode 3, the loss of pilots would be a far bigger concern for the player than the loss of ships. Imagine, having a dozen Rapiers sitting on the deck, and only seeing about three of them in the air, all populated by the immortal "lead character" pilots :p. That would certainly be an interesting and fun experience - but it's not what Standoff was supposed to be about.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
In view of all that, I think having 'invincible' wingmen - or at least ones who knew how to use the ejection seat - was a decent solution.

A side-effect of not having so many pilots die all the time is that it really helps
Spoons' plot death
have a stronger impact. It'd also show poorly on Bradshaw for him to go beserk over the death of one pilot when so many others are falling all around him. :)
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
In view of all that, I think having 'invincible' wingmen - or at least ones who knew how to use the ejection seat - was a decent solution.

A side-effect of not having so many pilots die all the time is that it really helps
Spoons' plot death
have a stronger impact. It'd also show poorly on Bradshaw for him to go beserk over the death of one pilot when so many others are falling all around him. :)

Interesting thread - I think the only possible way to achieve a balance between having either invincible wingmen or risk losing all of them would be to script more pilot casualties into the story. I'm not exactly sure how this could be done but I think in the winning chapters (3-5) its more than likely that the Firekka would be involved in more missions then the ones that Bradshaw is flying in. In that case a lot of the less important and less skilled wingmen could be removed along the way (scripted like Spoons) without changing the outcome of the story. But of course this would need to be done without taking away fighters from the Firekka and penalizing the player unfairly.
 
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