Hydra Cockpit WIP

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Here's where I'm at on the Hydra cockpit. It took a bit of fiddling before I got it into a layout I liked - there were numerous versions that sucked. Anyhow, you can see the basic controls, and general size reference thanks to the biped dummies. The back wall and it's doors are not yet designed and placed. All that's left on the modelling side beside the doors are bits and pieces of tech-widgets. It's currently at 4500 polies (without the bipeds) and the goal is 8000-9000.
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/HydraCockpit01.mov
Enjoy, and comments and suggestions are very welcome at this point!
 

Attachments

Cargoman

Spaceman
Howard , great work as always . Once I get home and can see the mov. ,
I'll say more ( or not if there is nothing to add ) , I think it would be good to
have a display [small digital read out] on the support between the two nose
windows of the craft . I think that having a read out of distance to "collision"
there would be helpful when inching up to dock . I doubt it would have any
game play value at at all , nor would I expect it to .
Just a thought .
Thanks again for sharing your work with us .
 

BattleFate

Spaceman
Cargoman said:
Howard , great work as always . Once I get home and can see the mov. ,
I'll say more ( or not if there is nothing to add ) , I think it would be good to
have a display [small digital read out] on the support between the two nose
windows of the craft . I think that having a read out of distance to "collision"
there would be helpful when inching up to dock . I doubt it would have any
game play value at at all , nor would I expect it to .
Just a thought .
Thanks again for sharing your work with us .
Could use it as a distance to target indicator, along with a target speed indicator (instead of having them elsewhere, or as well as). This is something necessary in combat at least...
 

CptnEisen

Spaceman
Looks pretty cool, can't to see it complete and with textures, the struts look a little... big, what roll is this again? Hauler? I could easily imagine a hauler with the more limited view as of course, fighting isn't it's primary roll.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
CptnEisen said:
Looks pretty cool, can't to see it complete and with textures, the struts look a little... big, what roll is this again? Hauler? I could easily imagine a hauler with the more limited view as of course, fighting isn't it's primary roll.

No, the Hydra is the heavy fighter-bomber craft--basically it is the predecessor to the Orion but with two turrets and three main guns--in-universe it probably gets replaced by the Orion because the latter offers more armor and more powerful engines.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
This ships role is that of a gunboat/armored transport. As some of you have noted, the cockpit beams a a bit thick, however, I don't believe that will be much of an issue, given how much overall visibility you have.
Okay,I've done a rough pass on coloration and the controls. The lightings is temporary, and the controls will change based on the feedback I get from you guys.
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/HydraCockpit02.mov
Enjoy, and as always, feedback is welcomed!
 

Attachments

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
I dunno, but IMHO the left and right MDF are hard to read. Would be better if the would be given a slightly better alignement to the pilot (more 'flat').
 

Ijuin

Admiral
I don't think the visibility overall is any worse than in the Orion in Privateer, so it should be all right.
 

CptnEisen

Spaceman
cool - looks good in colour, I do agree the panels seem like they could be awkward, also, just curious, will there be a jump fuel indicator on this one as I can't see it
 

BattleFate

Spaceman
I have an idea for the cockpit.

The usual position for the ship status indicator (if I remember correctly) is on the left, so the "mini-screen" on the left console should be the shields/armour indicator.

I also think the speed and jump/auto indicators should be on the struts, they'll be easier to see there. That also opens up one mini-screen for another use. And since the role of this ship is a gunboat it would seem useful to have one mini screen have the weapons HUD constantly visible.

Overall the whole cockpit design doesn't seem to "fit," but I'm not saying that to imply that Howard didn't come up with a good design. I think it does what it's supposed to do perfectly. What I mean is that it's a bulky ship, with a bulky feel. The cockpit reflects it's non-sleek, non-smooth purpose very well. Overall I think this is a great design considering what the ship is meant to do (muscle over elegance).

This view supports the "awkward" feel of the displays. It's not a fighter, and shouldn't have all the screens as easy to read as a fighter's. A fighter needs to have the information available in a split second, it needs to have that information easily accessible. But a gunship/heavy transport doesn't necessarily need that. If you find yourself repeatedly in the situation of needing that information available split second, maybe you should be in a fighter instead.
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
At a guess, he just mirror-imaged the screen display, for a quickie graphic, since it doesn't really matter for the purposes of this particular teaser.

I mean, with cargoes like "random shit" and "your mom", the odds are kinda low that's how it will look on release. :)
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
:D Exactly right. Pure laziness on my part. As for the "readability" of the screens - I think that's in most part due to the font. It needs to be simplified - changed to something more readable. The other thing that may be of interest is that since the cockpits are completely 3d, we have no real incentive to make all the information available in the default view forward. When you're flying around and in combat, the MFDs will not be completely visible. This is intentional. The will be a "Quick look" button that quickly changes the camera to shift back down to the MFDs, thus giving you a quick glance at whatever information you need. As long as you hold it down, you see the displays. Let it up, and you snap right back to the reticle. The idea behind this is to immerse the player as much as possible into the game. Having to turn you head - even a slight amount - to see the displays is a very realistic thing. Anyone who's ever use dual monitors knows what I mean here.
The radar and power displays will always be visible, since they're more integral to your survival.

I'll get some more updates tonight!
 

Magnum

Rear Admiral
BattleFate said:
I also think the speed and jump/auto indicators should be on the struts, they'll be easier to see there. That also opens up one mini-screen for another use. And since the role of this ship is a gunboat it would seem useful to have one mini screen have the weapons HUD constantly visible.
I kinda like this idea. It would be cool to have some gauges mounted on the bracing. Even if they were non-functional, they would add some visual interest.

The head turning thing sounds neat. I guess that fits in stylistically with the padlock view when dogfighting.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Howard Day said:
The will be a "Quick look" button that quickly changes the camera to shift back down to the MFDs, thus giving you a quick glance at whatever information you need. As long as you hold it down, you see the displays. Let it up, and you snap right back to the reticle. The idea behind this is to immerse the player as much as possible into the game. Having to turn you head - even a slight amount - to see the displays is a very realistic thing. Anyone who's ever use dual monitors knows what I mean here.
The radar and power displays will always be visible, since they're more integral to your survival.
Having to look down would be immersive, but having to press a key to look down would seem like it might break the immersion to me. Some of us run multi monitors, have large monitors or run at high enough resolutions so that physically looking down to see the displays could work. It really depends how it's done. Looking around in your cockpit in the original Wing Commander games was great, but I almost never did it while stuff was going on, and I don't know if I'd have liked to have done so do look at my VDUs.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Oh, I understand. The freelook is still an option. I guess the major distinction is that the MFDs are still visible - you just can't see then in their entirety. It's a subtle headmovement thing, to bring them more to the center of the screen. It's certainly not something you need to do - it can be done by hand, if you don't like the shortcut. The biggest problem we've got here is the camera angle. What we set that to will determine how much you have to move your head to see everything. We don't want to go much above 75-80deg, as things begin to distort heavily, and it becomes hard to see what you're actually facing. In the end, this may not even be an issue. It certainly won't be if you're running a widescreen monitor.
Anyhow, good news and bad news.
Bad news first - I didn't get anything done on the Hydra cockpit. Good news - the reason is that I had an idea of how to improve the hand-generated explosions. I got sidetracked.
Anyhow, the new system is based off the old - but only vaguely. I think it's much improved, but check it out for yourself:
Old:
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/P_Explo4.mov
And the New:
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/P_Explo5.mov
http://www.hedfiles.net/wcpioneer/P_Explo6.mov

Thoughts?
 
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