Phalanx Cockpit WIP

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Okay, Ladies and Gents - two more to go! This one was graciously concepted by Bohdan Garstka (Plasteel Skull. See: http://www.crius.net/zone/showthread.php?t=19508), and is in the very first stages of creation.
Any comments would be welcome at this point - everything you see here is in a fair state of flux.
Enjoy!
 

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Aplha 1-1

Spaceman
Looks nice so far but also it has a real low profile. I can see those struts obstructing the players directly infront.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Well, what can i say - simple, yet functional :) - that is what a fighter's cockpit should look like! Made the whole "body" of the cockpit from dull metal - that's cool, Phalanx now has a "dark soul". I can already see this frontal pannel with all those displays on - how it livens up... Few suggestions though:

- in my opinion transversal position of MFDs would give the whole cockpit more drive ;)
- my struts were probably too and had wrong overall shape, but I guess yours are too wide - i would thin those struts, on behalf of improved visibility and fidelity to original ship model look. Also I wouldn't do round corners of windows - on a fighter1.jpg it is different.
- I can see that there is a lot of things, that are still missing yet are clearly planned to implement, so i will save the rest of my suggestions for later.

:)
 

Andropolos

Spaceman
looks to me like the inside of a messerschmit. Simple, utilitarian, and you can't see well outside, that is why you must keep changing directions for a good view, like the pilots of yore.

Having seen the sketches, I really like what I am seeing, it is just that the cockpit's top should elongate and cover all of the screen. I imagine it will, in the finished version, just thought I should mention it.

@Plasteel skuls... MORE COCKPITS! Casts spell--DRAW+4
 

Chevieblazer

Spaceman
yep the struts and top of the canopy could be way higher. looks like they're just about eye high right now.
otherwise, it looks very good and credible.
i just can't remember what the phalanx looked like from the outside...
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Like some others I think the top structure should be smaller/thinner or the Pilot should sit higher, lower or more in the back...but at the moment the view to the front is to much blocked.

For the cockpit itself. It looks very simple and sturdy. Don't know but it gives me the impression that the fighter is a cheap but reliable design.
If that is the case it would be well fitting.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Alright - I think there's been a misunderstanding. Those are the struts from the external version. When I create my cockpits, I take the external version and invert the normals of the cockpit area. I then start to build the cockpit mesh inside that flipped-normals cage. The only change I made to this one is the slight rounding of the window edges - this is just to make the mesh more visually interesting. The top strut is not eye-height, it's above the pilot's head. the reticle goes smack in the middle between the top strut and the top of the displays.
Now, here's what I can do - I can slim down the external struts so the internal ones can be thinner too. I won't, however, make the internal mesh any different from the external one. This is cheating, and I just won't do it. Anyhow, I kinda like the idea that each ship has it own visiblity problems. Tarsus being the worst, of course. Anyhow, I'll work more on this when I geet home. The most likely change is sliming down both the external and internal struts. I'm probably not going to move them, though.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Howard Day said:
The most likely change is sliming down both the external and internal struts. I'm probably not going to move them, though.

Changes in priority order (as I see it)
1. slim the struts
2. put them up, just a tiny, tiny little bit - and it will be ok
3. prune away the rounding of the corners of windows (both on the inside and outside)

As much as I agree with you, Howard, that the visibility problem is cool - especially considering those hundred or some space simulators (some even cool), where devs were to lazy to make few cockpits and all you see is HUD (with a mesh in several of these games as a "scratch behind a ear") - however Phalanx is a space fighter - it was designed to be a fighter and it would be rather unfortunate if the visibility in that ship was worse than in Hunchback.
 

Speradon

Commodore
Plasteel Skull said:
- however Phalanx is a space fighter - it was designed to be a fighter and it would be rather unfortunate if the visibility in that ship was worse than in Hunchback.

I get where you're coming from, but poor cockpit design (visibility-wise) has been a problem in the past. I'm thinking mainly (and it's a fairly well documented example) of the P-51 from WW-II. Early P-51 models had a cockpit canopy/cover that contained struts which affected visibility. By the time the P-51D rolled around, the canopy had been replaced with a "bubble canopy" that greatly increased visibility for the pilots.

Ideally, such issue would be worked out during testflight phases but the possibility of poor visibility from the cockpit of a combat fighter could still exist, even in the era of WC: Pioneer.

You can see the various canopies here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-51
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Speradon said:
Ideally, such issue would be worked out during testflight phases but the possibility of poor visibility from the cockpit of a combat fighter could still exist, even in the era of WC: Pioneer.

I do not deny the possibility. I just ask for the best visibility in Phalanx from all available fighters (or at least one of the best) - because it will be a spaceship used primarily for a dogfighting...
 

Magnum

Rear Admiral
Speradon said:
I get where you're coming from, but poor cockpit design (visibility-wise) has been a problem in the past. I'm thinking mainly (and it's a fairly well documented example) of the P-51 from WW-II. Early P-51 models had a cockpit canopy/cover that contained struts which affected visibility. By the time the P-51D rolled around, the canopy had been replaced with a "bubble canopy" that greatly increased visibility for the pilots.

Ideally, such issue would be worked out during testflight phases but the possibility of poor visibility from the cockpit of a combat fighter could still exist, even in the era of WC: Pioneer.

You can see the various canopies here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-51
Cockpit visibility was a major concern in WWII fighter design. The P-47's cockpit design underwent nearly the same evolution as the P-51. Cockpit design and visibility was also one factor that transformed the Typhoon's intended purpose from air combat to ground attack. You can also see a longer progression in Grumman fighters from the Wildcat to Hellcat to Bearcat.
 

Cargoman

Spaceman
I like it.
I would think you would be more concerned with the ships to
your left , right and above , the guy in front is gonna die soon .
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Yes, yes. The fact still remains that this ship has the best visibility of any of the ships in the game. Even as it stands now it's far better that the other ships. Any slimming of the cockpit struts (which I'm not sure I'm gonna do) is going to be minimal. Many aircraft, even today, have visiblity problems when looking straight forward. It's not really a problem. Giving the player a unobstructed view of thier suroundings isn't going to happen. If it was we would have just gone with the HUD and nothing else.

Okay - I just messed about a bit - I decided to just move the struts up a bit (half-again) and call that good. The scaling just didn't look right.
I'll have more images here in a bit.

Howie
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Howard Day said:
Okay - I just messed about a bit - I decided to just move the struts up a bit (half-again) and call that good. The scaling just didn't look right.
I'll have more images here in a bit.

I can't wait to see the next version - although i believe the struts should be higher (Howie said, he will do it - and that's ok with me) and half of its actual width - at least the verical ones (because the horizontal one is a strut, where the fixed and side-hung part of the cockpit are connected so it's logical it must have reinforced constitution). Nobody's wants HUD but the struts covering 1/6 of the possible view is way too much IMHO.
 

Chernikov

Spaceman
My $.02:

This cockpit would be great in a turning fight where keeping an eye on your victim is as important as pure forward visibility, but will this be a factor in the finished game? I like the look. Possible solutions might be to raise the top crossbar six inches or so to place it more on the edge of the pilot's FOV, move the pilot's chair forward a bit (putting the console at the forward edge of the windows), and/or re-angle the struts so the pilot views them from more of an edge-on angle than he does now.
 
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