Last Line of Defence

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Wow we have the guns inside the cockpit? ^_^

Strangely most of the WC designs have guns that are pretty far on the outside if the wings. Hornet, Raptor, Gladius...
Sure it looks pretty cool but its not working very well.
Question would be, if you redo them, would it work to just let them point more forward or would you rather move them to a different all together?
For some models you could surely change just the position they are pointing at, for others I would move them conpletly.
Hornet and Gladius you could change make them point at the convergance point. Raptor? I would remove them from the wingtips and move them closer to the hull. I thing there was a point that looked similar to guns so it would possible.
Just say that the wingtip are now some antenna or something like that. ^_^

Thats why I love Klavs models. He solved that very nicely.
 

Red Baron

Rear Admiral
Well the Raptor's main trademark are its "shields", so changing the gun placement doesn't take away too much from its design. The Gladius on the other hand does look very different without its wing mounts. I think the most elegant solution *with* the wingguns would be to give them an autoaim feature like the Excalibur.
I don't know if that's possible in the Freespace engine, but you could leave the other guns straight-shooting, so the player would still have to aim if he wants to do any real damage and the impact on gameplay would be minimal.
This is assuming the wingguns are lasers, i don't know what you intent to arm it with in LLOD.
 

Deathsnake

Rear Admiral
LLoD arm:

4 Laser, 2 Meson
4 IR, 1 Torpedo

Edit: Would be possible with the autoaim for the Gladius laser.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
For the Gladius I think the best solution would to put the wingguns at an angle that they would shot in front of the ship instead of straight ahad.
Since the guns are pretty small it wouldn't be so much noticed I think.
With the Raptor...well that kind of doing it would be pretty obvious I think. Depends on how far in front of the fighter you let the guns point at.

4 Laser,2 Mesons, is that the armament for the Gladius or Raptor?
 

Red Baron

Rear Admiral
The main problem remains: If the two guns shoot straight, you can't hit a target thats smaller than the distance between them (At least one shot will always miss), like, say, a Gladius shooting at a Salthi.
If the shots converge on a point in front of your ship, you will hit a target as long as it is exactly there, a few dozen metres closer or farther and you're off again.
This "point of convergence" approach does indeed make sense "real-life": The guns would be zeroed in for a specific distance and pilots would be trained to use it at this range, switching to heavier or lighter armament for shorter or longer ranges.
But for a semi-realistic space-sim it would be kind of a gamebreaker, players will moan about not hitting their targets half of the time, simply because players, in the end, aren't "trained pilots".
Though i think you're probably talking about the design aspect, while i was more thinking about playability, that's why i think auto-aim is the easiest solution.
Designwise i see no problem at all, you pretend to have your point of convergence (the effective range) but it usually is so far away that you wouldn't notice it just looking at the guns' angles to each other.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
About convergence, I think you can use this, even if the player isn't trained when you find the right distance. Like if the gameplay is so that most of the fighters are eye to eye you have to move the point very close to your own fighter. When most of the fights are at longer range you go for that.
On the other hand I would find it very interesting that there would be a need to switch weapons for the right distance. In a way WC has this with the Lasers beeing the longrange weapons and others haveing a shorter range but it wasn't that much noticable...yet it was still there.
I think it had the most impact in WC1. At least its the only game of the lot where I remeber switching between guns instead of allways going for full guns.
As for the gamers, there the question remains, who is your audiance? If you go for a simulator and tell people straight about it they will welcome the switching. If you try the same gameplay with call-o-duty player you find many friends ^_^

So I think you could either say I go for the arcade approach and just have everything set up so every shot hits, the middle way where people have to keep a roughly right position to hit with full guns or you go the sim way.
Autoaiming, as it was working with the Excalibure in Saga, would be a bit to much I think. If you could get it to work in a way that the aiming is hardly noticable it is okay but as its with the Excal its just to obviouse.
 

Red Baron

Rear Admiral
That's why i asked if it was possible to leave the other guns straight-shooting. If only the relatively weak lasers aim for themselves, the player would still be forced to aim his heavy-hitters at the enemy manually. It would only be a noticable advantage if the enemy is out of reach of the other guns and the player decides to deactivate those to save energy. Imagine if only the Excalibur's Reaper Cannons were autoaiming.
I'm far from suggesting an all-out arcade approach, but let's face it: Most players just switch to all-guns like you (and me) and shoot when the target (or its lead marker) is in the reticle. I only ever watch the distance meter till i'm up close. Forcing the player to not only watch the target's lead, but also check if it isn't a few yards too close or too far away for the selected weapon's convergence point would not be very entertaining. Hit rates would go down, and the Wing Commander style dogfights would be turned into hour-long skirmishes (which they'd probably be in "real life").
Another approach would be to have the game engine constantly measure a target's distance to the player and calculate the convergence point to just that distance, but i'm really not sure if the Freespace engine can do that. Or maybe it already does. Players wouldn't even notice, would still have to aim at the lead marker and only you and me would wonder how both of the Gladius' wing lasers manage to hit a tiny Salthi at every distance.
Heck how did the XWing games solve that, it should be next to impossible to hit a tiny Tie Fighter with an X-Wing if its guns only shoot straight ahead?
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
They solved it by having a degree of convergence on the guns (i.e. they didn't stick straight out). I think Corran Horn mentions in one of the novels that their point of convergence can be set; this is not true in the games of course, but makes sense.

Perhaps the point of convergence is something that could be manually set by the player in flight (or perhaps prior to flight).
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
I also never looked at the distance meter but you develop a feeling what guns you should use at what distance. Also IIRC in FS all the guns have a convergance point by default.
Since today fighters also have a small aiming assistance it wouldn't be to far fetched to give a similar system to WC fighters.
Still I find it hard to belive that you can hit anything with the outer guns of a Gladius or Raptor ^_^
 

Red Baron

Rear Admiral
Hmmm maybe i'm overrating an issue that isn't even that big at all. In my mind i have that image of always missing a smaller target if my shots converge in front of or behind it. I mean they don't just merge there and fly in a straight line as one from thereon like the Deathstar beams, they'd probably just spread even more.
But maybe the size-difference between all the fighters isn't even that great to make it an issue, and at least one shot will find its mark in 99% of all cases.
It's just that i remember reading in a Standoff thread that there were problems with a fighter (Hornet or something, don't remember) where the guns were so far apart that they'd often miss because they only shoot straight. That made me think that just having them converge at some preset point in the distance can't be the ultima ratio either.
Convergence.jpg
 

Kyle Maverick

Rear Admiral
They solved it by having a degree of convergence on the guns (i.e. they didn't stick straight out). I think Corran Horn mentions in one of the novels that their point of convergence can be set; this is not true in the games of course, but makes sense.

Perhaps the point of convergence is something that could be manually set by the player in flight (or perhaps prior to flight).
It's mentioned in several of the Star Wars books, mainly in the X Wing series, and in the games, the guns don't shoot straight ahead, they do actually converge, but it's so slight few people notice
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
In the game X-Wing Alliance, many fighters have gun-convergence.
And Freespace 2 can handle gun-convergence. Some fighters in the WCHF Asset pack have it.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
@Scooby
Your latest fighter at HLP has one slight problem...how does it land with the one wing on the underside or is the prespective just wrong?
PS: Can't post at HLP...my password is wrong and I don't get any email about a reset.
 

ScoobyDoo

Rear Admiral
Which one? that raven? it's a "X" wing.
And yes I'm having that issue with the Jendevi, it's got vertical wing instead UGH

Oh as for gun convergence, I battled that issue a long time ago. I think the easiest and most doable solution is to use blindfire (auto-track) but with a much smaller cone angle. This will effect all the gun mounts but at least the outer board ones will be useful.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Yes the Raven. The shot I saw first gave me another impression of the wings. The new front view you posted us much better.

Your solution to gun convergence is most likely the best.
 

Deathsnake

Rear Admiral
After thinking about the critic from Quarto about the Epee, I was trying to give it a "old look"

I take Scoobys model, chance first the size the Z-axis to double size, then change all-axis together down (near) to canon size.
What did you think?
test1.jpgtest2.jpg
First pic - old size to see the difference. What did you think now?
 

SabreAce

Rear Admiral
Both look nice. IIRC, the Epee we fly in WC2 is the F-54C. To indulge in a bit of fan-fiction, perhaps the original model could qualify as an F-54A or B, with an eventual design change adding some stretch to form the C, similar to how the C-141 Starlifter had some extra length refitted to existing planes to create the C-141B. In terms of a fighter vs a transport, it'd be easy enough to justify some additional fuselage space for additional fuel, sensors, or perhaps to mount the torpedo we hear Angel mention.
 
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