When did Kilrathi ship design change?

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by nickmitsialis, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. nickmitsialis

    nickmitsialis Rear Admiral

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    I ain't played WC1,2 OR 4 Just a bit of WC 3, and all of Prophecy & Saga; I've been watching other players do play throughs (WC1, 2 & 'Standoff' for ex) and it occurred to me: when did Kats change their ship models from the 'conventional' & somewhat bulbous shapes (see the Kamekh, Ralatha, Ralari & the Fralthra for an example) to their ships & fighter/strike craft looking more like edged weapons? Is it canonical or did the modelers simply get to the point where it was easier to create such things?
     
  2. Dyret

    Dyret Super Carrot!

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    I think someone just decided evil shoeboxes were a better design for them at some point. It wasn't an engine thing, Armada seemed to support the more traditional designs just fine.
     
  3. nickmitsialis

    nickmitsialis Rear Admiral

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    Thanks;
    Thanks; The evil shoeboxes simply seem a bit more alien in their design-the older generation of craft seem too 'conventional'--I wasn't wondering about the game engine supporting the design I was more wondering if making those sharp, blade like angles & points were a 'new' feature;
    it DOES make me wonder if the earlier designs are for real. If anybody wants to use the FS2 Open to 'recreate/polish-up' WC1 & 2 will they use the newer styles as opposed to the older styles.
     
  4. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    The change was more on the development side than something that happened in the Wing Commander world. From our perspective, the change happened in 1994 between the Privateer Righteous Fire expansion and Wing Commander Armada.

    Behind the scenes, the overhaul had to do with a big visual rework for Wing Commander III (where they moved to live actors instead of animated characters for cutscenes.) Having the Kilrathi ships change was partially a result of the new game engine: Wing Commander I, II and Privateer had a sprite-based scaling engine. It stored all the ships as (for the time) detailed pre-rendered images and then scaled and rotated them in flight. Almost all ships were designed to be symmetrical because it significantly reduced the number of rendered images the game needed to store, which was a major concern before the games started shipping on CD-ROMs. This also meant that things like curves which were difficult to achieve with a 3D engine could be used in ship designs more easily. Wing Commander III used a 3D engine, an ancestor of the sort most games use today. Ships are (very, very small) 3D meshes with texturing applied. That meant straight lines often looked best and that asymmetrical ships could now be done very easily. So from that tech they developed the art direction that the Kilrathi ships tend to be jagged and off-center.

    As far as the history of the Wing Commander universe goes, many of the designs exist at the same time... so there's not a backstory about the Kilrathi changing at a specific time.
     
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  5. nickmitsialis

    nickmitsialis Rear Admiral

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    Thanks; I figured it had something to do with the 'tech' that was available. I look forward to whatever 'playable' comes next-be it FS2-open based, or not...and why not, the war lasted 30+++ years, I'm sure there are plenty of stories, short and long that can be created.
     
  6. nickmitsialis

    nickmitsialis Rear Admiral

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    I figure then that anybody who wants to create their own missions/campaign can 'redesign' the early Kilrathi ship models so they conform with the 'angles, points & blades' of the later styles?
     
  7. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    Well, the Wing Commander movie had a Dralthi that was very angular and bat-like and that movie takes place before the first game, so thats all the clearance I think you'll ever need. :)
     
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  8. nickmitsialis

    nickmitsialis Rear Admiral

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    I SORELY lack the skills and the imagination for such a task; I'm gonna leave it to better tech people than myself...so far I consider myself lucky to find the 'on/off' switch on my PC-- :)
     
  9. ptiluc

    ptiluc Spaceman

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    In my imagination Kilrathi ships always looked like in WC1 and WC2, never got used to the later designs.
     
  10. Darkmage

    Darkmage Vice Admiral

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    I like the Privateer colour schemes for WC1/2 ships it's darker and moodier more like WC3. The WC2 military green has its place though...
     

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