Progress Update #3

Paradox Jast

Spaceman
Whoops, thought I logged in. =/

Anyway... just being curious... do you guys have like a set list of ships yet that you definitely know will be in the game, and a list of ships you're contemplating putting in?

Or is it just gonna be a 'however many we can get in' sort of thing?


Oh, and Bandit... I just noticed. Ashton, MD... in Montgomery County? If thats the case, I live right next door in Olney. Freaky. :confused:

If not, ignore me. =D
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
He could probably do the Gratha too. I mean, this is set only two years before Wing Commander 1. Do we have a firm service entry date on the Gratha?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
True, but isn't there like 10 years between WC1 and 2? We never saw them in WC1, and 10 years is a long time...
I wouldn't worry about that - the backgrounds for many later ships have thrown out the 'if we don't see it, it doesn't exist' analysis that we used to apply to the ships added in future games. Take the Victory, for instance, established to be one of the oldest ships in the fleet in WC3... or even the fact that Wing Commander I (proper) talks about Kilrathi carriers again and again but never actually shows one.

The Fralthra and Ralatha are a bit different in that we don't know one way or another -- they have almost no background in the fiction.

I'm waiting to see the Snakeir... though it may not make it into Pioneer since it didn't appear until Secret Missions.

Which also means we'll probably never see the Sivar, either. Bummer.
The movie retcon's both of these as being possibilities, with other ships using the same hulls for different tasks earlier on (Snakeir and Siver dreadnaughts) -- I think the big caution here (and with the WC2 ships) is more whether or not they fit into whatever Howard and friends have planned for Pioneer. Seeing the ships again is great, but in all honesty there was a reason you didn't see anything larger than a destroyer in Privateer...

Oh, and Bandit... I just noticed. Ashton, MD... in Montgomery County? If thats the case, I live right next door in Olney. Freaky. :confused:
Yes indeed, born and raised here -- that's an interesting coincidence. Have you been in Olney for long? Based on your age in your profile then you would have been in the same high school class as one of my brothers if you're from here.

(Please note that I am a dude and not TV's Bones.)

He could probably do the Gratha too. I mean, this is set only two years before Wing Commander 1. Do we have a firm service entry date on the Gratha?
Howard is correct about the Gratha's - the Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide has Halcyon interested [Bluehair]'s first encounter with them because it's the first time they've been encountered in the wild.

That said, I'd sure love to see Howard try either a classic Gratha or the 'red' one from the WC Super Famicom box art...



And look in the background - another Fralthi! The Japanese sure love their cruisers!
 
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ELTEE

Rear Admiral
That's awesome box art. I like to think that maybe the Kilrathi aces paint their fighters differently - kind of like WWI aces on the Axis side.

...you mean you don't look like the pic in your avatar? Man, I guess that's why I didn't get my Valentine returned. bummer. At least it wasn't a case of rejection, right?? I mean, there's hope, right? ;)
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Bob McDob: That's at least the second time you've asked for that. :D I totally agree,
I know, but I never got a response back the last time, so I wasn't sure if you got the message.

(that and, in all honesty, I'm not sure that it even is a Fralthra... the general layout fits, the silhouette fits, but the Fralthra's launch bay is at the back, not in the front, and some of the details are different - the two conical bits on the side, for instance.) Still, I'd be interested to see your take on it, because it's an interesting mix of curves while the texture gives it a shade of the the 'blocky' style that characterizes most of the capital ships here (personally, I think they look *too* blocky, but I can see you're taking cues directly from the original game art, and the 'pixel art' should help to break up the monolithic forms a bit).

Although, LOAF is absolutely right here of course- if there's no purpose to having it story and setting-wise and it's going to take an inordinate amount of time, there are better things to do (whether a game of this type *needs* two cruisers is debatable, since they're filling virtually the same roles - the Fralthra did seem to pop up as a smaller, wolfpack nemesis to the Concordia, but it's possible that the Fralthi was used in a similar manner at the time. When in Enigma . . . .)

Sylvester said:
Is that a Hornet Cockpit on that box art?
I count four missiles and the layout seems to bear only a passing resemblance to the Hornet; so no, probably not.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Is that a Hornet Cockpit on that box art?
It's either a Hornet or a Rapier -- you can see on the real thing when you look at the left VDU, but the photo isn't clear enough... I'll dig it out tonight and check.

(that and, in all honesty, I'm not sure that it even is a Fralthra... the general layout fits, the silhouette fits, but the Fralthra's launch bay is at the back, not in the front, and some of the details are different - the two conical bits on the side, for instance.) Still, I'd be interested to see your take on it, because it's an interesting mix of curves while the texture gives it a shade of the the 'blocky' style that characterizes most of the capital ships here (personally, I think they look *too* blocky, but I can see you're taking cues directly from the original game art, and the 'pixel art' should help to break up the monolithic forms a bit).
Do we know that the Fralthra's launch bay is at the back? We don't have a detailed 3D model to study, IIRC.

Nevertheless, I think we can put together a reasonable theory about what happened here -- the Japanese artists had the awesome Claw Marks line drawings as reference when they went to do the new Wing Commander I SFC/FMT artworks... and they had a lumpy silhouette when it came time to work on WC2.
 

Paradox Jast

Spaceman
Yes indeed, born and raised here -- that's an interesting coincidence. Have you been in Olney for long? Based on your age in your profile then you would have been in the same high school class as one of my brothers if you're from here.
Lived here for the past 21 of my 25 years. I went to private school though, St. Peters for grade and middle school, and Good Counsel (which has since moved to Olney) for high school. Class of '01


And yeah, sometimes the box art for these things is wicked.

Some of the books have interesting art too.
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Do we know that the Fralthra's launch bay is at the back? We don't have a detailed 3D model to study, IIRC.
I'm probably thinking of the Ralatha here (since I know the hangar is in the back there,) but I distinctly recall studying the sprites and seeing it. I'll check Marc's reconstruction, too - he had a good base to build upon from the model file's guts.

Nevertheless, I think we can put together a reasonable theory about what happened here -- the Japanese artists had the awesome Claw Marks line drawings as reference when they went to do the new Wing Commander I SFC/FMT artworks... and they had a lumpy silhouette when it came time to work on WC2.
It does have the same bay style as the SWC Snakeir - did those come later on, or was the FM Towns port released simultaniously?
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
It looks awesome, and made me want to do a Frathi. Unfortunately (for me, not you) Brad Mick has called dibs on the Frathi, so I decided to go back and re-do the Ralari in that style. I had to re-do a goodly portion of the mesh, although the main shape and poly-layout are still Micks. The most work was on the textures.

Honestly bud, with me going into Gunnery, I have absolutely zero time for much in the way of modeling, or anything else. Knock that Fralthi out of the park! The the revisions to the Ralari is just awesome.

Brad
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Alright, how's this for some surprising good news.

I found the program Marc used to open up the Origin Fralthra model and loaded it into it, expecting to get a shot of the faceless vertices to prove the bay is at the back. Well, apparently the AC3D people have made leaps and bounds, because voila, a full model!



It's not textured, of course, and it lacks about half the ship (which thankfully is hardly a concern, since the model is symmetrical), and I can't figure out how to navigate AC3D, but none of that really matters right now. This is the back of the ship, and I can't be certain what that hole is supposed to be - but given the design of the other Cat capships, it's a safe bet that it's meant to be the launch bay.

Now, I'm going to go try to export the model to a format my program can read and get some proper renders out and put this somewhere where it belongs. Here are the a couple more views of the ship:

http://reckoning.solsector.net/images/fralthra2.png
http://reckoning.solsector.net/images/fralthra3.png
http://reckoning.solsector.net/images/fralthra4.png
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
This is the back of the ship, and I can't be certain what that hole is supposed to be - but given the design of the other Cat capships, it's a safe bet that it's meant to be the launch bay.
I still can't figure out what you're referring to here.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Yeah, I understand that's what he's looking at... but I don't see the precedent he's citing. I think that the only launch bay we specifically see up to this point (in linear development history) is the forward-facing one on the Rigakh cruisers.
 

TCS-Concordia

Rear Admiral
An simple request for the bengal

Howard, if you find a few minutes of extra time, could you possibly, just for our enjoyment put:

TCS Tiger's Claw
CV-07

on the conning tower a la TCS Midway in WC:p? I know its not going to be the claw int he game but it would just be real nice for my desktop background.. ;)
 

ZorClone

Spaceman
hey all, long time lurker-first time poster...

Just wanted to say to Howard and all of the Pioneer team: yall are my heroes!!!! I can't express the happiness I get inside each time I see an update on this project. Especially so when we get more eye candy from Mr. Day. My favorite WC games were always the original 2 (and I've played pretty much all of them) so seeing the ship designs I loved so much remade into these modern marvels is sheer joy for me. I hope everything goes well with the project and the team and I wish you all clear skies and smooth sailing as progress continues.

If I may join in on some of the requests I've read so far; Howard, I would just love to see you model the Concordia! I know it's a pipe dream for everyone and not (far as I know) part of the project design doc but I'll cross my fingers that you decide to do it some day :p

Also having some shots of your Bengal with TCS Tiger's Claw on it for wallpaper use would make this old fan a happy camper :D (pssst! 1680x1050 res please!)

Last... I'm not a 3d modeler and not much of a writer but I do meddle in sound/video editing and I'm an old photoshop junkie so if there's anything I could do to contribute I would love to help. Even if it's nothing but helping to make promotional material later on when you get close to release (like banners or posters or whatever). I have a small ammount of working experience in the games industry and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to expanding that experience by helping out with something so dear to me. Just shoot me an email or hollar at me on AIM if there is anything I can do.

Cheers,
Brooks
 
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