General ideas

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
I have some ideas and suggestions which i'd like to share, what will you do with them is up to you...

1. When i read about the structure of star systems - that these will be rather realistic with eliptic orbits, jump points in libration (Lagrange) points and so on i was glad. One idea from a guy, who likes physics a lot - what about a deadly black hole or pulsar system. System would have a small BH in the center with a Schwarzschild sphere of several hundred kilometers. Few planets - rather a big amount of planetary debris and asteroid fields (the rest from gravitationally grinded planets). Among those asteroids there can be many interesting secret places. Don't know how much realistic your space flight model is going to be but closing too much to the central BH could mean that a players ship wouldn't be able to best the gravitation of a monster and would be sucked in - game over. I wont be writing about many interesting relativistic effects occuring in a vicinity of such an object :) could make another game I guess... Pulsar on the other hand could very seriously disturb all elecronical devices of a ship and only a very expensive ship ELMAG shielding would protect it from its deadly effects - an interesting ship element and a must-buy if you will place a storyline vital mission in one of such systems.

2. Second idea concerns jump drives - it always seemed strange to me, that there was only one typ of a JD available - not like in elite/frontier where were many classes of jump drives - with different range/time-needed-to-jump specifics. What about at least 3 classes of JD - 1st class being 20 times less expensive than the 3rd. 3rd class would allow to use a jump gate to jump for example to 6 different (even very remote) systems while a 1st class jump drive would be a be-glad-youre-jumping device ;)

3. I know somewhere here was said that there will be only 5 player-flyable ships available and that there's a small chance that other will be added. However I must confess, that I always missed an opportunity to fly a Kilrathi fighter just like I was able to sit behind a steers of a Tie Fighter in SW games (ok, Armada allowed it – but I really didn't dig this game – it was too simple). The „bad side“ is always very compelling to me ;). Well, seeing your project i see a slight light of a chance that something might change in this. My idea is, that a kilrathi fighter could fill in a place not yet filled – a heavy fighter – secret bonus mission prize (like an targoid ship in frontier). A chain of missions would lead us to a stranded in space and totally disabled Kilrathi heavy fighter like (sorry if i will breach some WC canon here, according to timeline and technology advancement :) )Jalthi, Hhriss, Grikath or whatever. It'd be fun to sit in a twice that big chair pulling a meter long steers, and having a list of cargo manifest in kilrathian text (learning it, by buying later a specific good at the station and drawing down the symbols :p ). Energy levels – the same bar as always – speed, CMD info and other shown in kilratish :). This, i guess would be additional fun and pain in the ass at once apart from the fact you would have on your ass every kilrathi-hater in the systém. Heavy shielding, armor and powerful weapon systems should compensate that drawbac though. Im ready to send you my concept art of how i see a cocpit of such a ship in case you're interested.

4. Last idea – at least for now – is something which I missed in every spece trade simulator. It was placed only in two games i played (Armada, WC3) for players use – a stealth device. This is a funny thing. The way it should work I cannot tell – this is a topic for a discussion and ideas from other community members here, however an SD in some form is a must in such a detail-focused project as WC Pioneer. As with a Kilrathi ship – this can be a secret bonus.

Sorry for the length of a post and thanks for patience ;)
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
I have an idea: What about a "ten most famous privateer" list like the one in Sid Meier's Pirates!... Each with their own AI and goals. And that new ones are randomly generated when old ones are killed.

As for the stealth device, it didnt exist in the WC1 era... except for the kilrathi fighter in academy, but that was a different kind of stealth.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Dyret said:
As for the stealth device, it didnt exist in the WC1 era... except for the kilrathi fighter in academy, but that was a different kind of stealth.

But is it really a problem? Remember, it was first seen by Confed (!) in WC1/WC2 to be mounted on a standard although new type of a ship (strakha). Who knows when SD was first developed by Kilrathi and tested in a remote system far from Confed's prying eyes and possible interruption. As I understand, some Kilrathi system will be bordering with Landreich where the action of Pioneer takes place, so connect the dots :)
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Yes, the thought of being ambushed by a wing of strange craft while making a smuggling run through a backwater bordersystem is indeed exciting, it shouldnt be possible for the player to ever get this kind of device, and I think(LOAF can probably clarify this) that the stealth prototype that attacked the Tigers Claw in academy was the only prototype, and the Strakha was developed, and probably tested, at... Well, I cant spell the name(Gorah Kar?), the kilrathi world with the rebels, and would probably not be seen in the area in question.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
My first question is why you are so against SD at the first place? Maybe it is a result of a wrong understanding of SD, because in higher post I didn't specify it precisely in order to leave a space for discussion. But I will write how I imagine this to work. Stealth will take a few seconds to switch on, it will eat a bulk of ships energy so you won't be able to shoot your weapon systems (missiles too), also your shield strength will slowly deteriorate until no shields are left no matter how powerful generators are installed (the more powerful will last a little bit longer). So, stealth device will allow a player just run away from a hot situation without being blown into pieces and have fun observing their ship (in out-of-ship view) to blur into nothingness; won't be an all-powerful machine of death which will allow you to blast everyone without being even noticed. I also mentioned that it should be a bonus item – something VERY difficult to obtain – might be that a mission or a chain of missions could be triggered by something seemingly not connected with this or altogether decided by luck just like encounters in a RPG game Fallout 1 & 2.

Second question is do we really need to stick to a rigid timeline and story of WC Universe as it was described by a mainstrain storyline? Well even our real history – that of humanity – has many points where nobody knows how it really was, so WC universe is surely the same case. Maybe 10 years before even idea of attacking the Tiger's Claw with squadron of stealthed crafts one of the Kilrathi clans already possessed such a technology and had it in a phase of testing. Or it could be some remote science post placed in a deep space relatively far from all tradelines and jumpoints where some scientist (humans) worked on a revolutionary prototype – the imagination runs free.

Personally I don't see reason why not, but well it was just an idea so if everyone and especially developers will say no then ok.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Plasteel Skull said:
My first question is why you are so against SD at the first place? Maybe it is a result of a wrong understanding of SD, because in higher post I didn't specify it precisely in order to leave a space for discussion. But I will write how I imagine this to work. Stealth will take a few seconds to switch on, it will eat a bulk of ships energy so you won't be able to shoot your weapon systems (missiles too), also your shield strength will slowly deteriorate until no shields are left no matter how powerful generators are installed (the more powerful will last a little bit longer).

I understand perfectly well what you mean.

So, stealth device will allow a player just run away from a hot situation without being blown into pieces and have fun observing their ship (in out-of-ship view) to blur into nothingness; won't be an all-powerful machine of death which will allow you to blast everyone without being even noticed. I also mentioned that it should be a bonus item – something VERY difficult to obtain

Well, *if* there was decent cloacking tech at that time, some civillian sure as heck wouldnt fly around with it. As you said yourself: It would be something top secret the kilrathi were experimenting with, not something for handing out to random privateers.

Second question is do we really need to stick to a rigid timeline and story of WC Universe as it was described by a mainstrain storyline? Well even our real history – that of humanity – has many points where nobody knows how it really was, so WC universe is surely the same case. Maybe 10 years before even idea of attacking the Tiger's Claw with squadron of stealthed crafts one of the Kilrathi clans already possessed such a technology and had it in a phase of testing. Or it could be some remote science post placed in a deep space relatively far from all tradelines and jumpoints where some scientist (humans) worked on a revolutionary prototype – the imagination runs free.

Well, the smartest thing for a Fan project to do is to stick with continuity, or all sorts of weird things can happen, if you don't understand what I mean, try out a vegastrike mod named "Wing commander universe".:)
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Dyret said:
Well, *if* there was decent cloacking tech at that time, some civillian sure as heck wouldnt fly around with it. As you said yourself: It would be something top secret the kilrathi were experimenting with, not something for handing out to random privateers.
But it wouldn't be handed down to random civilians - as you said *if* it will even appear in a game it would be an effect of great coincidence and luck, skill on a side of our pilot (after all, his gonna be the best in Landreich or how the sector is called :) ) and a lot of work done and risk taken - and still it will be just one cloaking device in a vast humanity-contolled space. Info about something such insignificant doesn't have to spread. At least if you don't show off. Let's take an example of steltek gun from Privateer - i don't remember any of manuals and timelines of WC3 and later to write something about a lonely privateer flying with a big gun spitting green plasma that seems to be the most powerful ship-mounted gun in a known universe. There was nothing even about a strange ship, that was chasing him all over the space. Unfortunately for guy from Privateer it's hard to use a completely strange type of a gun and not being seen with it - sooner or later something like that incident on the beggining of Righteous fire had to occur. But keeping a possession of a cloaking device mounted on your ship secret is much more easy. The worst what can happen are stories about a strange ship somewhere that disappears into thin air (ehm, vacuum :) ). And those stories would be considered a myth or urban legend at best by all sensible people. But arguing about it is purely academic and doesn't solve anything. We can debate for all eternity - final say belongs to developers... EOT :)

Dyret said:
Well, the smartest thing for a Fan project to do is to stick with continuity, or all sorts of weird things can happen, if you don't understand what I mean, try out a vegastrike mod named "Wing commander universe".:)
Ehh, no thanks. I find this project to be the most interesting. I tried VS and was greatly disappointed by several things which did cause me to cease playing this game.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
No cloaking devices. There's just no point to it. Sure it would be cool, but it's just a poor gimick that lets the player unrealistically interact with the universe. We've said from the beginning that this is going to be a realistic game.
One of the toughest things we've had to deal with is the desire to add *anything* that looks or acts cool. It's pure fanboyism to think that a civilian ship flying around with a cloaking device would be a good thing. It's not. Personally, I think we're pushing the envelope by allowing the player to eventually purchase a Nuke Mine. It's ridiculously expensive, but it is available. Just think - In a day and age that the slightest possibility of a NATION having a nuclear weapon is enough to bring the mightiest nations in the world to action.....a civilian owning one seems far-fetched at best.

Anyhow, as for the continuity question....This is Wing Commander, is it not? Then we must adhere to the universes' rules. If we don't then there's no reason to call it Wing Commander. WC continuity really isn't as confusing or contradictory as it seems at first. Surprisingly most of it make a good deal of sense. I think that's one of the reasons it's so popular - a lot of thought has gone into it. As a game artist currently working in the industry, I know how much work the game designers do to get a story, plot, and game that makes sense. These guys will kill themselves. I've known designers to simply not leave the office for days on end. They rack up 40 hours in two days. To think that the Pioneer team could mess with anything in the storyline to make it "better" is ludicrous.

Alright, now for your other suggestions:
Black hole/Realistic Gravity:
Got it already - there will be several black hole (or gavitational oddities) present in the universe. You do not want to get too close. However, the is some incentive to go near the event horizon on these puppies - some of the best jump routes are found there. So you've got the element of danger in choosing the quicker path - I like those kinds of decisions.

Jump drives (and levels of therein)
Yup. I'm not entirely sure what the exact specs are, but the jumpo drives are going to be expandable this time around. Both in endurance, and fuel capabilities. The lowest level jump drive will have a bit of a turn-around time (IE - you can't just jump immediately back outta a system you just jumped into - it needs a cooldown period) Higher-level drives won't have this limitation.

Kilrathi Ships:
Possible - I'd love to see your concept art if you have it available. Keep in mind that this is falling into the fanboy realm of wanting to be able to fly anything you want. The likelyhood is that this would not happen - realistically any kilrathi ship found would be turned over to the government ( or forcefully taken away) so it probably wouldn't happen...but this is the frontier. there's not much of a confed presence out here - and I'm not sure how the LRFR would react to a private citizen flying aboutst in a Jalthi. Cool? Yep. Realistic? Not so much...put possible.

Anyhow - thanks for all your ideas, and just keep in mind that anything we do has to be done in the framework of a already existing universe with rather strict rules about what can, and can't happen.

EDIT: The reason the steltek gun doesn't show up in WC3, is because technically the privateer storyline takes place during the WC3 one. At least there is some overlap there. Remember - Privateer takes place in 2669.

Howie
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Howard Day said:
No cloaking devices. There's just no point to it...
Well it's a shame but somehow I will have to cope with it :p

Howard Day said:
Black hole/Realistic Gravity:
Got it already - there will be several black hole (or gavitational oddities) present in the universe...
That's even more than I've expected, cool! :) What about pulsars and the "anti-pulsar device". I think such systems could be a hideout of some of the nastiest criminal elements in the sector. After all - nobody is going to hear your S.O.S. signal because of waves from neutron star.

Howard Day said:
Kilrathi Ships:
Possible - I'd love to see your concept art if you have it available.
That's simple - i'll draw it, scan it, post it, ok?

Howard Day said:
The likelyhood is that this would not happen - realistically any kilrathi ship found would be turned over to the government ( or forcefully taken away) so it probably wouldn't happen...

If the confed wants to hunt me, because I'm flying unassessed :) and illegal ship - fine by me. All the same, somehow I always fall into conflict with authorities sooner or later in these games :p. If Kilrathi would like to "hang my bones in their hall" for disgracing their warship (which they can considar a shrine to their war god) not to be profaned by an ape - let them take me. If some crimelord from Landreich will want to have a Jalthi in his bodyguards's fighter squadron he'd have to come for it - the conclusion - a major drawback after we decide not to handle this ship to any of these parties would be an enmity of them all. And these kilrathi MFDs and all... As always - if you decide to place it in a game, great. If not, fine. Please, consider that even the most strange things happen sometimes, though :)

As it comes to WC framework and all - I understand - I will just place some ideas here from time to time - 75% of them being wishes to santa - hoping they will fulfill :) Debating about them yet never arguing for them with anybody. That's not my way...
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Howard Day said:
Kilrathi Ships:
Possible - I'd love to see your concept art if you have it available. Keep in mind that this is falling into the fanboy realm of wanting to be able to fly anything you want. The likelyhood is that this would not happen - realistically any kilrathi ship found would be turned over to the government ( or forcefully taken away) so it probably wouldn't happen...but this is the frontier. there's not much of a confed presence out here - and I'm not sure how the LRFR would react to a private citizen flying aboutst in a Jalthi. Cool? Yep. Realistic? Not so much...put possible.

If I were a Confed/LRFR, and I saw a Krant flying around, I'd shoot it. IFF/Comms be damned. If the player can fly Kilrathi ships, they're going to have to deal with everyone shooting at them (it's been established in WC1:SM2 that faking Kilrathi IFF is tricky even for Confed with a Dralthi), and nobody (except maybe pirates) giving them clearance.

EDIT: Oh, and IIRC Kilrathi ships don't come with English manuals. I don't know how this would be modeled.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Dyret said:
I have an idea: What about a "ten most famous privateer" list like the one in Sid Meier's Pirates!... Each with their own AI and goals. And that new ones are randomly generated when old ones are killed.

I guess my suggestion kinda drowned in the debate.

Also, welcome to the forums, Plasteel Skull. It's always good to see new member that's willing to debate Wing Commander in a civil and intelligent manner.:)
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Dyret: Indeed it did. My apologies. This could certainly be something we do. Not just for the privateers, mind, but also for the kilrathi aces. Could be interesting. We're already doing universe tracking of specific ships and names - so maybe the idea would be made one better if you meet a bunch of people in the beginning that are just lowly traders like you - and they move on up just like you can...hmmm. It's a neat thought. Not that hard to program either.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
ANother bunch of ideas/questions

As in title, my inquisitiveness knows no bounds? :D

1. Will be cargo scanners implemented in WCP? Will there be different types of scanners each with different range and power. When iI say power i mean to propose a counter-scanner measure - anti-scan hull coating - which could be bought on some stations with hi-tech upgrades. Such a scanner can be a very useful tool for a pirate and militia alike.

2. This time something for explorers among us - Howard in some topic mentioned something about hidden jumppoints - in a vicinity to singularities but also in space. From declaration of BradMick (i guess) it is clear, that JP will be in Lagrange points between objects with large masses - so it's relatively easy to find them, unless they are not present somewhere else. Idea is, that something like long-range gravitational anomaly scanner (LGAS) could be implemented, which if toggled on would warn a pilot of a JP in some defined distance. This would be a good thing especially if JP in WCP are not highlighted in space with a strange (and ridiculous) blue ball in space, but are just invisible to human eye special timespace warping points.

3. Maybe it was mentioned and asked before, but what and how many types of weapons will there be available in WCP? As i understand the technology timeline doesn't allow many guns known in Privateer to be implemented in WCP so I guess it leaves us with neutron gun, laser, mass driver (maybe) and not much more... My proposition is to do with guns wich was done witch universe of the game. Not to go into quantity but into quality - make for example 4-5 types of only lasers - with different power. Make it that some powerful lasers can be better than some weak neutron gun models (not speaking about range - lasers in that field excell, I guess). Probably it was already designed in that or similar way, though. Also you can take in consideration those gatlings...

4. Staying with weapon systems - will there be any auto-targetting system (I mean this system which tells me where to shoot to hit my target computing the speed of projectiles with vector of a target - not this system known from Excalibur, which done a lot of work for you)? If available in game, will it be mounted on ships by default or will need to be bought?

5. And last question - what the landing on planets/bases will look like - total in-engine animation, manual to some extent or completely manual with switching off engines :)? And about planets - is it going to be like in Starlancer or Privateer 2 - asking for permission to land and cut, or like in Frontier (a tough nut to crack - very, very difficult and demanding on part of game engine especially with that level of details you show on pictures) that You will fluently enter planet atmosphere from space and will be able to land whenever you wish on a planet?
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
So here's my concept of a kilrathi heavy fighter cockpit...
http://www.image2share.com/image/i0602/jalthi_cockpit_hxrmu.jpg.html
Some words about it: It's a Jalthi cockpit. When drawing it i based on a Jalthi fighter model from the most orthodox source i found to avoid stoning :p
http://claw.solsector.net/24.html
It's a lousy picture when it comes to colour and filling, so i only hope, that everyone will know, where is a window and where is ship interior. I know, that some people will say: "hey, thats Tie Fighter" or Maj.Striker's turret interior (which I admit it resembles the most). Well that's not my fault :) - this is how i believe it looks inside looking at the shape of an cockpit from the outside of a ship. The inside devices configuration has limited number of combinations so here i couldn't be original too. Still i tried to imagine how a predatory and feudal-minded race could design the cockpit of its fighter and that's the outcome. Numbers:
1. This could be something like autopilot indicator, or ready to eject ind.
2. MFD (everything with a hatching means its a place for something to be displayed)
3,4. That's pretty clear - shields and radar. In case of radar i wonder whether it would be theoretically too difficult to make it from red-hued, transparent glass (like those HUD's in modern fighters)
5,6. Those jewel-like set of lamps (one red and the other green) are fuel and power level indicators
7. A ships rudder. I imagined it could take a shape of Sivar's blessed hand holding its warrior palm while he burns heathens with ships 6 laser cannons :)
8. That's my personal imagination - Kilrathi warrior code on engraved platinium plate - so they never forget to kill :p

The whole interior is rather raw in looks, not cozy like for example Camel, metallic, with spikes, pipes and cables (which i was too lazy to draw :p) and made mostly of for kilrathi characteristical copper-hued metal.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Wow. Okay - this is pretty impressive. First of all, take a look at the Pioneer Jalthi model here:
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/JALTHI1.jpg
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/JALTHI2.jpg
You can see which cockpit shape we've got going on. Anyhow, what you've got there is a great start - but doesn't seem to match up to the WC1 style Kilrathi cockpit. Look at the Dralthi screenshots below...
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/Dralthi_Cockpit.png
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/Dralthi_Front.png
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/Dralthi_Left_Side.png
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/Dralthi_Rear.png
You're close, but not quite there. If you can match this style then you might be on your way to having a jalthi somewhere in the game. Don't forget that you need a co-pilot chair.
Okay, on to your suggestions:

1: Yup. This function will be intergral to your radar system. The quality of information you get will increase as the radar's price and model complexity increase. The basic models will just be able to tell you how much cargo a ship is carrying - not what it is. The advanced versions will tell you a complete breakdown - like your own cargo list.

2: Nothing along these lines is planned right now...I know we were doing secret/undiscovered jump paths, but I was under the impression they'd be in kilrathi and unknown systems - they're just undiscovered to you.

3: Gun types:
Photon
Laser
Mass Driver
Meson
Neutron
Plasma
Stats for these will be made available once BradMick gets back.

4: No auto targetting. This is considered cheating. ITTS will be a rarity.

5: We will cut to a in-game animation of your ship landing. The landing will be automated, and you'll only be able to land at established bases. Once you get to the bases you're free to explore, but only within reason.

Anyhow - I've figured out something for you to do. :)
If you'd like, take a look at the following ships:
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/Fighter1.jpg ( Phalanx Fighter)
and
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/MINOTAUR1.jpg (Hydra Gunship)
Ignore the lighting and poor glowmaps on the cockpit windows. These are really old shots.
Take a look at those and see if you can come up with any cockpit concepts for them. The Hydra is somewhere between the Tarsus and the Camel in style (greenish paintjob) and somewhat reminecent of the Broadsword cockpit...don't forget that you need a co-pilot chair as well. and the Phalanx is pretty bare-bones and is somewhere between the Hunchback and Tarsus in complexity. Brownish-grey color scheme - very tiny.
See what you can come up with...they might just be the final cockpits. :)
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Howard Day said:
Wow. Okay - this is pretty impressive. First of all, take a look at the Pioneer Jalthi model here...[snap]. You can see which cockpit shape we've got going on. Anyhow, what you've got there is a great start - but doesn't seem to match up to the WC1 style Kilrathi cockpit. Look at the Dralthi screenshots below..

Thanks;). If I understand it right - they should be more simple and functional, less ornated? I'll start on weekend and have it ready maybe on saturday.

Howard Day said:
You're close, but not quite there. If you can match this style then you might be on your way to having a jalthi somewhere in the game. Don't forget that you need a co-pilot chair.

That really gives me quite a motivation! :) Question on a co-pilot - is he always present - even in seemingly one-man fighter class crafts as Phalanx? Isn't there at least a slight possibility of replacing those with some sophisticated yet very expensive software/hardware solution (ie pilot bot connected with ship systems somewhere on board - not necessarily in main cockpit) - it doesn't have to be full scale match for living pilot but looking just on a picture of Phalanx I can hardly imagine there's space for two people - unless they are really keen of each other if you know what i mean? :D Well, then again there's always a place for one more seat, isn't it?

Howard Day said:
1: Yup. this function be be intergral to your radar system....
snooping is cool :p

Howard Day said:
4: No auto targetting. This is considered cheating. ITTS will be a rarity.
I didn't even have auto-targetting per-se in mind, I was just asking for ITTS and now have an answer - rarity - and thats good enough :)

Howard Day said:
Anyhow - I've figured out something for you to do. :)
If you'd like, take a look at the following ships:...[snap] Ignore the lighting and poor glowmaps on the cockpit windows. These are really old shots.
Take a look at those and see if you can come up with any cockpit concepts for them. The Hydra is somewhere between the Tarsus and the Camel in style (greenish paintjob) and somewhat reminecent of the Broadsword cockpit...don't forget that you need a co-pilot chair as well. and the Phalanx is pretty bare-bones and is somewhere between the Hunchback and Tarsus in complexity. Brownish-grey color scheme - very tiny.
See what you can come up with...they might just be the final cockpits. :)

With pleasure. Just have one request. Could you please send me a sample of Broadsword cockpit - my search on google was rather futile and it's a long time I played WC2 :). I'll try to have them asap, however I don't want to scamp this task so it can take some time.

Thanks for a chance to actively participate in this project...
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Functional? Yep...there's a lot of cirecular cues in that dralthi cockpit. I've used those a lot on almost all the kilrathi ships...somehow it just looks right.
Phalanx does have a co-pilot....sits behind the pilot, not side-by-side. And remember the glass isn't the extent of the cockpit. it can extend back a bit if it needs too.
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/Broadsword_Cockpit.png
No problem - these concepts hould give me some good ideas. Just remember to take a look at the three cockpits I've already finished for style ideas.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Sure, now drawing that Jalthi cockpit. By "cirecular" cues you meant circular, right? Because my dictionary doesn't contain that word ;). Just one question that remained unanswered - is a semi-transparent glass radar display possible, or should i avoid such objects in my sketches?
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Well - we're focusing mainly on just screens at this point. We're not doing anything too fancy. And yes... Circular. slip of the fingers.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Pioneer takes place in the early 2650s. The series' backstory prevents a cloaking device from being a viable part of the continuity at this point: the entire plot of Wing Commander II revolves around the fact that the the rebellion on Ghorah Khar delayed Kilrathi R&D in this area for eleven years. As a result, the existence of stealth fighters wasn't confirmed until 2667. *We* (the player) know that the Kilrathi began to test them just before the rebellion... but no one else in the Wing Commander universe does. Remember that this was Wing Commander II's storyline - no one else believed Blair's stories of stealth fighters because the Kilrathi hadn't been able to build more of them.

The 'stealth fighter' on Academy (2654) is a different technology -- it's the Kilrathi equivalent of a Shroud or sensor cloak. That is to say that it was invisible to (space) radar but not to the visual spectrum. It was apparently a one off, considered a failure because it was ultimately shot down fairly easily (or perhaps the technology was overcome by better sensors... still, the Confederation didn't manage to put together their own shroud for another fifteen years.)

There's also the gameplay issue: no one has ever made cloaking fun in a single player game. It's fun to *fight* stealth fighters, but it isn't interesting to be one. It's very hard to get the sensation across that your fighter is invisible -- a button that makes the AI ignore you just stops gameplay for a moment, it doesn't create any new kind of fun. Look at Wing Commander III -- cloaking is a silly little ridiculous thing that they have to force the player to use as a mission requirement rather than a fun toy to play with like a new gun or a new missile. Wing Commander IV treats it the same way... you take it because you don't want to offend Pliers and not because you're especially interested in "sneaking" in your lets-blow-up-spaceships game.

Pioneer could (or could not, who am I?) try another approach if it were interested and play with 'low visibility' cloaks -- paying to have your fighter painted black, having sensor packages and ECM weapons you can buy to disrupt enemy sensors... but even there I think you'll run into the same problems as the official games did: the player ultimately has very little interest in what AI drones can and cannot see.
 
Top