Last week dug up the 1992 Starfire & Imperial Starfire

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Re: Last week dug up the 1992 Starfire & Imperial Starfire

Postby southwestforests on Mon 03 Sep 2012 00:53

Ahh crap, apparently I've been clicking quote instead of edit.
alright let's try this again.

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I'm used to thinking in simple 2d terms where there is a definite up/down orientation to things.
Yep, you too, eh! Space is a wee bit different from where most of us live; takes a bit to start thinking in 3D.

I haven't ever bothered to try to make much out of ships for Starfire from my story since with the game scale and mechanics about the only thing it would impact would be what goes in which hull space.

On the drive field thing, given the pseudo science in their world this one culture's ships would still have a turn mode for the drive field itself, meaning that if there was a lapse of situational awareness they could still smack in to something. Their ships have two pilots/helmsmen, whatever you want to call them: one handles the ship's drive field trajectory and the other handles the ship's orientation within its drive field bubble. Unlike Starfire, the way their gizmo works doesn't cause a blind spot.
Unlike some sci-fi does, I'm making zero effort to explain how engineering works: what its visual manifestation is, yes; nuts and bolts and plasma conduits, no.
The closest I'm getting to that is that the culture above makes no effort, and apparently has no desire, to explain how their fighter and other high speed small craft work to their allied culture. That the system's unofficial name bestowed upon it by "troops in the field" is "hotdrive" is all the allies have gotten out of them.

Other notes and trivia:
The culture above, most of their starships even up to BB size can land in water.
The allied culture's as a general rule do not land but a fair number are set up to hover at low altitude, meaning as little as a few meters depending on size of ship and how much stuff sticks out the bottom, via antigravity. and for the story's pseudoscience (I'm liking that word tonight) you kind of really do not want to be under them when they are doing that, it could ruin your whole day.
There are 2 more cultures. One is an offshoot of the first, their tech is pretty much the same. The fourth has a bit of a difference in that instead of that horizontal thing, decks in their ships are perpendicular to the long axis, the flight axis - think where the transverse bulkheads are in a submarine - like a lot of Retro ships.

It was a happy thing when Starfire supplement "Akelda Dawn" introduced railguns - that is one of that allied culture's heavy weapons, seeing that system in the game was neat.

Oh, a bit more yakking away over pizza and Dr Pepper at 02:26 local time.
The primary culture's ships have a fit of assorted weapons, particle beams, lasers, missiles; but, their heavy weapons, again, note the pseudoscience, are concentrated EMP bursts (fired from some really funky looking masts with hemispherical FoF) directed and propelled by a magnetic field; and a ball-mounted plasma cannon somewhere in the bow region. Theory being EMPs are fired to knock down shields and fry control systems then Plasma burst comes in right behind EMP burst. The setup also works in the story to counter plasma attacks using EMP burst to break up plasma "ball". As well as shields and armor, that culture's ships use hull plating which is shot through with channels, capillaries sort of, liquid to channel heat from plasma hit away from hit point.
So, yeah, inventing sort-of-kind-of-in-a-way almost plausible stuff for what could be called fantastic sci-fi is a blast.

Trivia on the allied culture: most all their fighters have what amounts to an aft firing D or Di system of 4 small ball mounted single-barrel laser guns. Its settings on automatic are such that depending on what has a clear arc, the system might decide to use 1, 2, 3, or all 4, you never know, might go after one target or go after multiple targets, just depends on how the program algorithms interpret threats. Oh, another thing, when fighters and shuttles come aboard in a bay which is immediately sealed and pressurized, a point is made to not touch the thing's body with bare hands because it could be 200 F below 0 or 400 F above depending on what it got from interstellar space or local sun.

Oh, more random story trivia, where one famous sci-fi franchise pretty near passes the potatoes and gravy at dinner with transporters, these cultures don't have transporters or teleporters. Well, the primary culture has them but doesn't normally use them when there are witnesses, and isn't overly inclined to even share that they have them.

The primary culture is a really quirky, idiosyncratic bunch who do what to us sounds like really oddball stuff. Navigational references for example. When operating in interstellar space, the galactic plane is the XYZ axis baseline. When operating in a solar system, the equatorial and polar planes of the sun are XYZ axis baseline. When operating in planetary orbit, the planet/moon's equatorial and polar planes are XYZ axis baseline. Their navigational protocols are set up to smoothly make the transition between reference baselines. Annoys their allies when operating together, but, oh well, they'll either get over it or not.

Why am I sitting here babbling all this irrelevant imaginary trivia to y'all :?:
Last edited by southwestforests on Mon 03 Sep 2012 01:12, edited 1 time in total.
Screw the rivets, I build models for atmosphere, not detail
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Re: Last week dug up the 1992 Starfire & Imperial Starfire

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Mon 03 Sep 2012 05:25

Cralis wrote:The point is this: it is possible. That is all we care about. We (the SDS) don't want to get into detail on the actual ship's shape and design because then our system will no longer be simple.


The shape of the ship doesn't matter much when you're moving cardboard counters. Where some of us may get concerned is matching the game mechanics to potential miniatures.
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Re: Last week dug up the 1992 Starfire & Imperial Starfire

Postby krenshala on Thu 27 Sep 2012 19:50

Not sure if it still matters, but a side mounted weapon can normally fire into the forward arc, unless its a limited arc installation. This means weapons on the side of the ship actually have a 180 degree firing arc -- the front arc, plus one side.

And when Matt mentioned the limited yaw and pitch, he (intentionally?) neglected to mention that the ship isn't really limited in its ability to roll (on the axis of movement). This is why a side arc weapon is able to fire both left or right as the player desires. Check the diagram on ship arcs in Section B (iirc).
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Re: Last week dug up the 1992 Starfire & Imperial Starfire

Postby procyon on Thu 27 Sep 2012 19:56

krenshala wrote:Not sure if it still matters, but a side mounted weapon can normally fire into the forward arc,


Wouldn't that be pretty much everything but the blindspot. Particularly on a fast or J engined hull...
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Re: Last week dug up the 1992 Starfire & Imperial Starfire

Postby krenshala on Thu 27 Sep 2012 20:19

procyon wrote:
krenshala wrote:Not sure if it still matters, but a side mounted weapon can normally fire into the forward arc,


Wouldn't that be pretty much everything but the blindspot. Particularly on a fast or J engined hull...

For a "normally" mounted turret, yes. :D
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Re: Last week dug up the 1992 Starfire & Imperial Starfire

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 28 Sep 2012 04:10

Limited side arc is 60 degrees. The expanded side arc combined with the ability to roll is one way to account for the turreted arcs.
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