can u buy large ships

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can u buy large ships

Postby Christian991 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:24 pm

in privateer remake i am woundering if u can buy larger ships like captial ships i haven explored much mostly because when i leave the system i get destroyed so i haven bin out of the starting system:(
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:47 am

In PR you can't; but in PU you can, for now, at least.
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/index.php
BTW, PR is no longer maintained; you might as well get PU, which is a descendent
of PR, and is in active development.
However, if you want to fly cap-ships, you'd better hurry, because we're planning to
remove them from the game.
Long story.
Capships are a can of worms.
Among the unresolved issues:
1) Are they atmo-capable? Can a Drayman land on a planet? If not, how does it trade
with an agri planet, for example?
2) Can they launch fighters? A Drayman has enough space in the cargo hold for
several fighters; but does it have launch and recovery capabilities?
3) How many people does it take to crew a Drayman? Shouldn't we have to hire
people, rather than just fly them solo?

About getting destroyed when leaving the system:
You should upgrade your ship to like best engine and shields and a good sensor
before attempting to leave Troy.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:53 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:Among the unresolved issues:
1) Are they atmo-capable? Can a Drayman land on a planet? If not, how does it trade
with an agri planet, for example?


Aerodynamics might help explain all those curves in their hulls.

2) Can they launch fighters? A Drayman has enough space in the cargo hold for
several fighters; but does it have launch and recovery capabilities?


It seems like in space, you wouldn't necessarily need those things. Would you have rearming and repair equipment onboard might be a question though.

3) How many people does it take to crew a Drayman? Shouldn't we have to hire
people, rather than just fly them solo?


One mechanic that might 'fix' this if it needs fixing, is to have a "cut" taken from any of your profits to simulate what you have to pay your crew. The bigger the ship, the more the crew and the bigger the cut. So with a big ship you would want to focus more on bigger missions, because you have "more mouths to feed".


Just some thoughts anyway.

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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:12 pm

The questions I posed are in a WC context; not an RL context.
For example, whether a drayman can land or not; it's a WC canon question
that we don't have a definitive answer for. Chances are it can't. The largest
ship I know of that (in the novel Milk Run) lands on a planet is the Venture
corvette.
The Venture has the same length as a Drayman, but it's a lot thiner and
has wings.

As for cargo ships landing on planets, the largest we know of is the ship
that Kruger flew when he was a young privateer in the 2630's. Its class is
never mentioned; but from the pilot seat you could turn around and see
the rear turret gunner, line of sight; so it couldn't be too big. Kruger had
an auto-fire bottom turret installed; but the top and rear turret needed
human gunners. That means you needed 6 people minimum, because
people have to sleep; you need at least two shifts.
That's from the novel Action Stations.

My guess is it was a size somewhere between a Galaxy and a Drayman.
It had big wings, relative to the fuselage; and the vertical length from top
to bottom stabilizers was large enough to be a tight fit floor to ceiling on
the deck of the (first) TCS Concordia. Taking off from a planet it needed
a runway, and like a plane, needed to pick up speed to get lift; so it was
definitely airplane-like.

But anyhow; your answers are RL-based; what we need is WC-context
answers, which takes a lot of research and thinking in a WC context.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:55 pm

So then I take it there isn't much canon evidence to support the usage of orbit-to-surface cargo shuttles or space elevators either?
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:19 am

Well, let me say first that I'm not an authority in WC matters. Of all WC games I only played Privateer, RF
and Privateer 2; and I'm too old now to play them... --I tried playing WC1 on dosbox but I don't last ten
seconds; find it impossible from the start. But I HAVE read all of the WC novels, watched the (horrible)
movie, and read every document I come across.
There are numerous mentions of shuttles taking people from planet surface to carriers and back. Never
heard of a carrier landing on a planet.
I've never read any mention of shuttles taking cargo up to a large cargo ship; but by the same token
I've never read of any large cargo ship landing on a planet. So, AFAIK, the canon doesn't address
the issue of trade.
There is no mention in all of what I've read of space elevators, except the "space hook" in McAuliffe.
The McAuliffe space hook is actually just a very tall tower made of steel, rising up to space. So
massive that the kats nuke it at the base to make it fall.
In the same novel (Action Stations) there's a conversation between two kilrathi, one of them having
serious reservations about the planned war against the Terrans, and he says that the terrans have
"thousands" of systems; --so many, he says, that "the Confederation don't even know where most
of their people are."
That being so, it would stand to reason that McAuliffe would not be the only terran planet to have a
"sky hook" or similar thing.
But the short answer is that the canon has no straight answer.
We've discussed that perhaps space elevator stations should magically appear orbiting planets the
moment you need them... --i.e.: the moment you buy a Drayman. It would imply that they were always
there, but you didn't see them because your ship's computer did not have the coordinates.
The more serious problem is sizes. Planets were as small as a few hundred meters diameter in the
original game.
Our current plan is to make them a few kilometers diameter; for a bit more realism.
But even so, they'd be too small to have orbiting space elevator stations. We'd probably go to full
scale, vegastrike-like; and then we'd need something like SPEC.
VERY hairy problem...
We don't WANT to change the game too much from the original; but that means we can't have space
elevators; which means we have to let Draymans land on planets, which look ridiculous on the pad.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:55 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:There are numerous mentions of shuttles taking people from planet surface to carriers and back. Never
heard of a carrier landing on a planet.
I've never read any mention of shuttles taking cargo up to a large cargo ship; but by the same token
I've never read of any large cargo ship landing on a planet. So, AFAIK, the canon doesn't address
the issue of trade.

...

We don't WANT to change the game too much from the original; but that means we can't have space
elevators; which means we have to let Draymans land on planets, which look ridiculous on the pad.


When the canon for a universe is this vague, my personal strategy is to leave it that way and not face it head-to-head.

And in this instance, IMHO, it sounds like a possible solution is to put a small canon shuttle of somekind on the landing pad whenever you "land" a Drayman or Paradigm or anything big. Then let the player draw his own reasonable conclusions-

Did that shuttle take you to the landing pad because your Drayman was too big to land there at that smaller pad and had to lander further away (like on that runway you mentioned), or is it too big to land at all and is still in orbit? The player can decide which makes the most sense to his or her self.

And because you can't see where your mothership is parked, it shouldn't interfere with canon or the scale of the landing pad screen, I don't think.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby TBeholder » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:36 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
chuck_starchaser wrote: We don't WANT to change the game too much from the original; but that means we can't have space
elevators; which means we have to let Draymans land on planets, which look ridiculous on the pad.


When the canon for a universe is this vague, my personal strategy is to leave it that way and not face it head-to-head.

And in this instance, IMHO, it sounds like a possible solution is to put a small canon shuttle of somekind on the landing pad whenever you "land" a Drayman or Paradigm or anything big. Then let the player draw his own reasonable conclusions-

Did that shuttle take you to the landing pad because your Drayman was too big to land there at that smaller pad and had to lander further away (like on that runway you mentioned), or is it too big to land at all and is still in orbit? The player can decide which makes the most sense to his or her self.

And because you can't see where your mothership is parked, it shouldn't interfere with canon or the scale of the landing pad screen, I don't think.
Other than capship landing, the rest is stuck at an implementation. Right now, VS haven't any sensible (that is, better than "stand before me and wait while i'll tractor you in" command) fighter/shuttle retrieval mechanism and even though docking as such can be fixed, the necessary tasking system is non-existent - so far. :( So mod haven't it either - so far.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:05 pm

I like the idea of showing a shuttle on the pad. That's very clever.
Implementation, as Turbo Beholder points out, is another matter;
but the idea has promise. What would you do in regards to the
repairs booth? Show the shuttle? The mothership? Nothing?
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:50 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:I like the idea of showing a shuttle on the pad. That's very clever.


:)

Implementation, as Turbo Beholder points out, is another matter;
but the idea has promise.


Implementation should only involve making the engine allow for different models (or renders of models) to be shown in the base screens versus what you fly in space.

Because the shuttle would not be used in space (unless you wanted the player to be able to for whatever reason.) So you don't have to worry about launch and retrieval. The shuttle is purely eye candy.

What would you do in regards to the
repairs booth? Show the shuttle? The mothership? Nothing?


Would a wireframe or "hologram" of the mothership work?
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:27 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
chuck_starchaser wrote:Implementation should only involve making the engine allow for different models (or renders of models) to be shown in the base screens versus what you fly in space.
Yes, I know; but after several failures trying to implement simple changes to the engine I fear anything that involves engine work. And I know from experience that the devs (other than Klauss) wouldn't move a finger to help a mod with something; and klauss has very little time.

Would a wireframe or "hologram" of the mothership work?
A hologram......
Hmmmm.....
Like alpha-blended?
Random neural firings:
Would this look too trekkish?
WC mentions "holovids" all over the place; but never shows one, AFAIK.
I lie! Hobbes' last message to Maverick in WC3 was a full body holo... starwars style.
What would the player think the alpha blended ship means? Not necessarily a holo;
unless we fade it in gradually, and fade it off before we leave the room; and put some
that looks like a holo projector, whatever the hell that might look like...
And what does the ship do there?
What do ships do there generally, anyways? Nothing in PU, as we don't have graphics
showing sensor model or engine model, like the original game did.
Yeah, I think that could work :D
Thanks!
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:43 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:I lie! Hobbes' last message to Maverick in WC3 was a full body holo... starwars style.

. . . .

and put some that looks like a holo projector, whatever the hell that might look like...


Do they show the projector in WC3?

In SW, the projector is just a flat platform that the image sits on top of, or a single projector shooting from any angle. In other universes I think it is often an array of projectors attached to the ceiling like stage lights, all shooting at the same spot where you see the holo-something.

What would the player think the alpha blended ship means? Not necessarily a holo;
unless we fade it in gradually, and fade it off before we leave the room;


Yeah, you want to visually communicate to the player somehow that this is a representation of his ship, not his actual ship.

Star Wars made it one color (bluish), partially transparent, had it flickering and also had these white lines traveling up or down the surface of the projection.

Other ideas are to make it partially or fully wireframe, solid colored or have it rotating slowly around in a circle.


Another back-up plan if a holo projection is too complicated to implement the tech hasn't been invented yet, is to put a big display screen sitting on a wheeled stand there, with the image of the ship in the screen.


Yeah, I think that could work :D
Thanks!


No problem, just glad something I said made sense. :mrgreen:

I think if this was implemented, it could help Vega Trek for those times when their landing party doesn't teleport to the surface but takes a shuttle instead (they almost never landed the capital ships in the shows iirc.)

And Vega Strike too, since you can't fit a Clydesdale into an asteroid base of the same size. :shock:
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:51 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
chuck_starchaser wrote:I lie! Hobbes' last message to Maverick in WC3 was a full body holo... starwars style.

. . . .

and put some that looks like a holo projector, whatever the hell that might look like...


Do they show the projector in WC3?

In SW, the projector is just a flat platform that the image sits on top of, or a single projector shooting from any angle. In other universes I think it is often an array of projectors attached to the ceiling like stage lights, all shooting at the same spot where you see the holo-something.
I pointed to this thread from a thread at the PU forum, and nphillips came up with the idea of
a screen, instead of a holo. I think I like that better, as, scientifically speaking, a hologram needs a projection surface anyhow.
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 0960#20960
Holos on thin air, like Data, are an absurdity. (Well, to be fair, there is a technique out there that uses a rising sheet of
steam as the projection screen; not sure where that's at; been a long time since I heard).
But anyhow, just as we'd replace a shuttle for the real ship on the landing pad; we'd replace a
big screen for the ship on the repairs booth; and the screen would show the ship, probably schematically.

Other ideas are to make it partially or fully wireframe, solid colored or have it rotating slowly around in a circle.
In fact, nphillips suggested the screen would show a wire-frame.

Another back-up plan if a holo projection is too complicated to implement the tech hasn't been invented yet, is to put a big display screen sitting on a wheeled stand there, with the image of the ship in the screen.
HAHAHAHA... This is what happens when one hits Reply before reading the full post :D
A "wheeled stand"... THAT'S IT!

I think if this was implemented, it could help Vega Trek for those times when their landing party doesn't teleport to the surface but takes a shuttle instead (they almost never landed the capital ships in the shows iirc.)
I'll mention it to them.

And Vega Strike too, since you can't fit a Clydesdale into an asteroid base of the same size. :shock:
No kidding...
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby TBeholder » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:34 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Yeah, you want to visually communicate to the player somehow that this is a representation of his ship, not his actual ship.
...
Other ideas are to make it partially or fully wireframe, solid colored or have it rotating slowly around in a circle.
IMO it should be unified with the status/repair representation, possibly WC-style.
Deus Siddis wrote:And Vega Strike too, since you can't fit a Clydesdale into an asteroid base of the same size. :shock:
Lots of Gleaners do. :( Even i could fix that dock code to check the damn size and more correctly use external docks, but... this won't do much; it's more important to make it work properly all the way. This means autopilot support - something like a dispatcher really granting the clearance and giving waypoint-based docking guidance.
Again, this requires some AI and mission code improvements: once AI will perform a waypoint-based mission we assign, it will be easy to make a good docking with minimum changes and working shuttles. Then again, once we'll have working shuttles, you won't need to swap models or something, just buy a device in retail variant, bring it on board in a shuttle and install. Maybe, even via some external repair bot - it would need only the same "go on a mission" mechanism with waypoint walking, pauses and re-docking. :D
chuck_starchaser wrote:But anyhow, just as we'd replace a shuttle for the real ship on the landing pad; we'd replace a
big screen for the ship on the repairs booth; and the screen would show the ship, probably schematically.
Something like WC style status map, 3 projections, an active position highlighted?..
chuck_starchaser wrote:
Other ideas are to make it partially or fully wireframe, solid colored or have it rotating slowly around in a circle.
In fact, nphillips suggested the screen would show a wire-frame.
IMHO enough of lines to see its form may add more distracting details than low-LoD semitransparent body would.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:19 pm

Turbo Beholder wrote: Something like WC style status map, 3 projections, an active position highlighted?..
Yeah, eventually, something like that. Problem is, to *actually* show damage, part changes, etceteras, will take some coding.
Time to burn some candles and incense to the Flying Spaghetti Monster...
So, at first we'd have just a plain texture on it, for eye candy.

IMHO enough of lines to see its form may add more distracting details than low-LoD semitransparent body would.
You're right, wireframe would be too few wires or too many. Better to just do a good manual job.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:39 am

So, how would we implement this?
Switching one mesh for another is probably easy if you'd just hard-code it; but
that's far from what we want, right? There has to be a way for a mod to specify
what ships need shuttle and screen substitutions, where (at what bases), and
where to find the alternative meshes, and for the screen, where to find the image
to put on it.
That sounds to me like 4 or 5 new columns on units.csv...
Or, do we code some test based on ship dimensions vs. some "base dimension"
to decide, rather than specify for each ship whether to use substitutes?
And how do we specify the image to put on the screen? Point to an image
directly?, or to a script, so that later we can implement damage and equipment
representations?
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:02 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:So, how would we implement this?
Switching one mesh for another is probably easy if you'd just hard-code it; but
that's far from what we want, right? There has to be a way for a mod to specify
what ships need shuttle and screen substitutions, where (at what bases), and
where to find the alternative meshes, and for the screen, where to find the image
to put on it.
That sounds to me like 4 or 5 new columns on units.csv...


Originally I was thinking that you'd just have two extra colums for content directory paths.

One column points to what model should be used to represent a ship on the landing pad, in or on bases of anykind. For a fighter, this points to the same mesh used in space or another model of the same ship but with deployed landing gear. For a large ship this points to the shuttle model.

The second points the model that will represent a ship in the upgrade facility. For a fighter this is once again the normal model used in space, or maybe another model of the fighter sitting on a repair platform, with its service panels removed and repair drones inspecting it and such (a possible bonus feature for mods to use- looking at you Vega Wars). For a large ship this points to the model/image of the screen on wheels, with the image of the ship as part of its texture/image. . .

However:

You mentioned that in the original privateer, your ship would visually change as you added different upgrades to it. This is a very popular feature in many other games as well, so it would probably be better to support this for alot of mods.

So instead, we could use the second column as a "Large Vessel" yes or no query. In the upgrade room, large vessels have different positions and orientations for their meshes than small vessels do, for each individual base interior (how it already works for ships of all sizes). This allows a small ship to sit inside the upgrade hangar, while a large ship is positioned to fit inside a monitor somewhere else in the scene.

In addition, if the vessel is tagged as a large vessel, the base could be set to display its normal model outside a viewport looking out into space in the landing pad scene or any other. So in New Constantinople, you might see your shuttle in the foreground landed at the small pad and your Drayman in the background docked to the edge of the cylindrical docking structure.

Now all that is left is that monitor stand for PU. That would have to be another model that is automatically placed in the upgrade room whenever the player is using a ship tagged as a large vessel. The model and its position should be specified by the base interior code.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:47 pm

What I'm afraid is that having a "large ship" boolean in units.csv maybe a solution for some
mods, perhaps including all current mods; but might prove insufficient for some future mod;
or even for some future bases in Vegastrike. Fendorin is doing some superb base
backgrounds; one of which shows a rather large landing pad, for example.
OR... for another example:
You've got (meaning Vegastrike the game) stations that feature several different types of
dockings. Some artist in the future might say "why have a generic landing pad?", and
proceed to create different backgrounds for each docking type. IF/WHEN that happens,
you might want to restrict large vessels to large vessel dockings, and then show the vessel
at its real docking. Then this whole "large vessel" scheme breaks down.

I think that what we need is a "size" column, that applies to ships (their lengths, say) AND
to dockings (-eventually, if we make them sub-units), or to bases (for now). Then the code
would compare the dock size to the ship size, and if the dock size is smaller, put a shuttle
mesh on the landing pad, instead of your ship.
But then the upgrades poses another hairy problem...
Presently, the upgrades rooms' platforms are roughly the same size as the landing pad;
but we shouldn't assume this to be a universal law; --and use the landing pad decision
to decide also whether to show the ship schematically at the repairs
Well, come to think of it, if we got down by flying a shuttle, the ship probably is not near
enough the upgrades room... So, yeah; the first decision has to override if it decides to
show a shuttle; but it should NOT override if it decides to show the ship. Yeah; suppose
instead of a landing you show a nice view of the large docking and your real ship docked
to it, looking huge and magnificent. That's no reason to show the ship at the upgrades.
BUT, we could still do with a single "size" column; because in this case the dockings
would be sub-units and have their own "size"; so the "size" for a station could be assumed
to be the size of the repairs room.

PROBLEM:
No; this solution still lacks generality. Thing is, there should be no distinction, really, between
"ship" and "base"; because some ships you can dock with, AND got a repairs and upgrades
room.
I think that every object needs outer and inner sizes.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:57 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:I think that every object needs outer and inner sizes.


They already have volumes for both I think, so I assume you mean the 3 dimensions of the outer bounding box and the 3 dimensions of the inner docking/cargo bay space, right?
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:21 pm

Really? This is not the same as "cargo volume".
No; what I meant was a simplifed "size" restricted to one dimension; but perhaps 3 would be better.
Actually, we don't need multiple columns; just one column and a format for all this data.
The format could be XYZ outer dimensions; and XYZ max dims in repairs shop (and landing
pad if the landing pad or dock is not a sub-unit).
No; 3 dimensions make no sense without a rotation... Back to one:
So, float outer_dim; float inner_dim; some_way_of referring to the dynamic ship schematic.
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:30 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:Really? This is not the same as "cargo volume".


Different fighters take up different amounts of space in a Clydesdale or other transport, so I would assume there is someplace where it stores the "size" of a vessel.

No; 3 dimensions make no sense without a rotation... Back to one:


Just curious, what do you mean by a 'rotation'?

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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:46 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
chuck_starchaser wrote:Really? This is not the same as "cargo volume".

Different fighters take up different amounts of space in a Clydesdale or other transport, so I would assume there is someplace where it stores the "size" of a vessel.
You're right; flawless logic; I never saw it but it's got to be there.
But as for "inner" size; meaning NOT cargo space, but repairs room space; I don't think that's anywhere.

No; 3 dimensions make no sense without a rotation... Back to one:

Just curious, what do you mean by a 'rotation'?
I mean that if we were to write code that compares ship x to repairs room x, y to y
and z to z before deciding whether a ship fits, we'd need to consider how the ship and room coordinates
align. At a 90 degree relative rotation, we'd have to compare x to y and y to x, instead. Probably cheaper
to have a 3D model of the repairs room, stick your ship in it and check for collisions. IOW, I was saying
that going to 3D gets too complicated to do properly, so might as well just use a generic "size" or "radius".

The heat is killing me; I can't function.
Go to the faucet and cup some cold water in your hands and apply it to your upper and lower arms and legs (I'm assuming you're already wearing shorts and short sleeves). Maybe keep some ice water with you in a cup so you can apply more as it drys out. Fastest and most convenient way I know of to cool down.
LOL; that is EXACTLY what I do, like every 15 minutes (splash water on my hair, let it drip down and wet my shirt);
and what I advice people to do at every opportunity (they don't usually believe me, though). I totally agree.
Water works a lot better than sweat, since sweat contains the very salts that our bodies produce precisely to
retain skin moisture and prevent water evaporation.
(That's a big problem with ID (Intelligent Design)... Sometimes the design sucks.)
The problem right now (and for the past month) here in montreal is that the humidity is so high people are
growing gills.
I splash my head and the water never evaporates; it only feels cool when I'm splashing fresh water on it;
but in a minute it warms up to body temperature and does no more cooling at all, and my head will stay
wet for hours.
Well, it begins to get better after having the dehumidifier running for several hours, with the windows
closed.
Another thing people don't usually believe me: When the air starts getting hot, CLOSE the f... windows,
I tell them. (That's why I can't have a room-mate.)
I open the windows at midnight; close them mid-morning, and turn the DH on; that works best for me.
(I also got all my windows covered with aluminium foil, to bounce back sunlight.)
((Before anyone asks about air-conditioning: Not common here in Montreal, where average temperature
is rather chilly. Thing is, anyone who doesn't believe in the green-house effect should have lived here
the past 20 years like I have. Winters have been getting milder and summers harsher in like a straight
line (if not exponential). Hell, 20 years ago, winter lows would go to like -40. Nowadays they rarely touch
-20. And the summers used to have an occasional hot day; nowadays we get month-long heat waves.))
(((And, speaking of the devil... Another unbearably hot day, today...)))
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Re: can u buy large ships

Postby starmyth » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:56 pm

Consider: Will the large ship orbiting the planet, base be invulnerable to enemy fire? Planet/base protects the large ship from attack? Comm to planet/base that the ship is under attack if it is not protected?
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