Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Let's talk scale!  (Read 9108 times)

Casper

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Email
Let's talk scale!
« on: January 11, 2013, 01:06:00 PM »

Hello, fellow captains! Let's talk scale. Now, so far, Starsector is pretty awesome, that much is obvious. I'm playing it right now. Well, not right NOW as I type, but it's open. Anyways, as I was smashing in pirate skulls with my Paragon, I thought of something. Scale. I began thinking of what would happen if a fleet from Starsector engaged a fleet from Star Wars. And that's where it hit me. Starsector doesn't exactly have the same massive scale as Star Wars. After all, in Star Wars, there's a 19 KM long spaceship. That's long. That would take a good few hours to walk across. And in Star Wars there's hundredss of Paragon sized ships in a small fleet (Rough calculation of the Paragon's size. I'd say about 200-300M long and across when comparing it to fighters. Then again, the scale is a little woobly when a 25 crew frigate is just a bit bigger than a tandem fighter. Feel free to correct if anyone has a more accurate number on the Paragons size.)

So I got to thinking, when Starsector is all done, what will the scale be like? I know we can't have 19 KM long ships, dear god no, that would be impossible to manage, but I'm thinking, is the Paragon the biggest ship we will see? And is 120 the maximum fleet size of the future? I know it most likely hasn't been decided to the point yet, of course.

So, would you want bigger fleets in the future? What about ships? I know that I for one would love to see giant ships with hundreds of turrets duking it out. And Starsectors graphics are simple enough that it most likely wouldn't cause that much lag. Then again, what do I know, I have no understanding of programming and what takes the most resources.
Logged

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4737
  • Quantum Mechanic
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 01:12:41 PM »

Hi! Welcome to the forums.

This topic came up a long time ago (took me a while to find it) and here was David's answer:

The scale of the ships is determined by how big they're supposed to feel visually, working within the constraints of what we can display on the screen. In other words, they have to work within the game as a piece of (fun!) software foremost. The fiction gets made up after.

This may not be a satisfactory answer in terms of game fiction but it's probably the way to make the best game possible. We spoke of and definitely wanted to avoid the problem seen in Supreme Commander where due to the size of the battle all these beautifully detailed units were modelled and animated but most of the game is optimally played in 'radar mode' which reduces them to simple icons. This is why weapon ranges in SF are best for the game's visuals when kept rather short and ship speeds kept relatively slow -- and (part of) why the role of the warroom has been reduced and the one-colour icons there replaced by resizes of the ship sprites.

If they were being true to a fiction, the ship sprite representations would be on a bit of a logarithmic scale, I imagine, hence why fighters are so big. ('Course the real reason fighters are so big is so you can see them.) I'll admit though that the inspiration for the basic range of ships was an idealized version of WW1/WW2 naval combat with its interplay between battleships & screens, carriers & torpedo bombers, and so on (... including submarines, but we're still getting there ... ).


I've always though of the Paragon being about 3km long, but thats just me. I don't think there really is an official size for the ships :P
Logged

Casper

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 01:16:13 PM »

3 KM long is a little overkill for 600 crew. Or 300 with level 10 in Command Experience. Or 1000 at most.
I like to over think things. A lot. :P
Logged

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4737
  • Quantum Mechanic
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 01:21:53 PM »

True (depending on automation), but thats how big it feels :P. I also think the crew numbers are purely for gameplay reasons, not anything to do with lore.
Logged

Casper

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 01:24:57 PM »

Yeah, with the bigger ships, maybe. But the fighters have 1-2 crew like they should have, and 300 fighter pilots are 300 Capital ship crew. :P
Logged

Gothars

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4209
  • Eschewing obfuscatory verbosity.
    • View Profile
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 01:25:28 PM »

Welcome Casper :)

For ships above frigate size 1 pixel = 1 meter works pretty well. It corresponds with docking fighter sizes and the windows you see. I say docking fighter because they usually are above the battlefield, you only see the real size the moment they dock on/launch from a carrier, it's about half as big.

e/ That makes the Paragon ~360m long. Fighters 12-21 m.

There are some mods with a different scale, I don't feel like it adds much. Stuff just gets harder to see.

Regarding fleet size, I will allow me to just quote what I wrote yesterday:
"Regarding the scale of engagements, it will likely not grow. The problem with having too many ships on the field is that it shifts the game character from a tactical action game to a strategy game. The importance of piloting your ship is undermined. Sector is not designed as such a game and it would not really work."

@ Thaago: good find :)  Mhh, maybe stuff for the FMS thread...
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 01:27:39 PM by Gothars »
Logged

Erick Doe

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2463
  • "Pretty cunning, don't you think?"
    • View Profile
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 01:32:53 PM »

When modding and creating new ships, I usually refer to a pixel as one square meter. This may not be entirely accurate where vanilla starsector ships are concerned, but for me it is a handy indicator when drawing ship sprites. Also, when looking at fightercraft; when they dock with a ship you can see them lowering down upon the carrier and decreasing in size. This suggests that fightercraft are scaled up during battle, since they are higher up and closer to the top-down camera view.


Now let's take a look at this image:



1.) Looking at picture 1, you can roughly see how big a person would be lying down next to a hound, if 1 pixel was 1 meter. (yes, the tiny dot next to the hound)

2.) / 3.) If we look at the art in pictures 2 and 3 though, we can see that people are actually much larger compared to the hound. If we consider the person standing near the ship to be 2 meters tall and we rotate him, placing him next to the engine, we can see that the engine's nozzle is a little over 2 meters wide. Perhaps 2 and a half.

4.) Looking at picture 4, we can see how big that person would be in pixels. Considering that this person is eight pixels tall, next to a 2 meter wide nozzle, we can assume that 4 pixels is 1 meter.



A Paragon is 320 by 360 pixels. That would mean that a Paragon is 90 meters long and 80 meters wide. :D
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 01:39:26 PM by Erick Doe »
Logged

Xareh

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2058
  • It's been one of those days...
    • View Profile
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 01:34:49 PM »

Scale eh
Logged
Changes as of May 24, 2013
  • Reinvented Starsector.
  • That is all.

Gothars

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4209
  • Eschewing obfuscatory verbosity.
    • View Profile
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 01:40:16 PM »

Ha, Casper is not the only over-thinker here^^

Frigates are excluded from 1p=1m approximation, Alex or David said at one point that they are out of scale. For the lore I just assume that they are flying closer to the camera as well, but not close enough to pass over other ships.

Besides, the person is closer to the viewer than the engine and appears larger.
Logged

Erick Doe

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2463
  • "Pretty cunning, don't you think?"
    • View Profile
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 01:44:49 PM »

Ha, Casper is not the only over-thinker here^^

It was fun to do though.  ;)

The person I rotated isn't that far off from the ship though. He's roughly as tall as the person standing inside the cargo bay. But hey, none of this is exact science, right? :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 01:51:47 PM by Erick Doe »
Logged

Casper

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 01:46:06 PM »

Well, we have a whole 'Leadership' branch to pour skill points into. The following is my oppinion, and only that, and I do not have any reason to claim it as the right, or the correct way for the game to work.

Now, we have a few branches. Tech, Combat. And Leadership.
With this, there is the ability for the player to choose how he wants to play. And the most important for this argument is Leadership. Pouring points into leadership increases maximum fleet size, which is pretty awesome. Players who pour into this wants bigger fleets. Personally, I think it would be awesome with big fleets. The thing about too big fleets taking focus away from the player as a pilot is of course valid, but there are many ways to change that. First of all, there's numerous skills that are 'Player only'. These give pretty huge advantages. With these, it becomes hard to take away the requirement for the player to be on the battlefield, up to a certain point. Of course, with giant fleets, 1 ship begins making little difference if there's 10 other of the same type, which is why bigger ships could be a possible branch to explore as well. Even if the fleet count goes to 1000, it will be hard to take away the need of the player if he has a big, 140 point ship, with various player only buffs. Ofcourse, even then, most of it will go down to piloting around while countless guns automatically eradicate everything around you.

But in the end, it comes down to preference. Sometimes, I just feel like sitting back and looking on as my giant behemoth of a ship tears through countless enemies. Other times I might wanna get into the action. But I think it would be easy to make something so the player could choose if he wanted tactical, player in the middle, gameplay, or strategic gameplay, with something like, lets say, an options slider at the start of a new savegame.

Of course as I stated earlier, this is just my, rather uninformed I might even add, with my lack of knowledge in gamemaking and coding, opinion. It just seems like it would be easy to change the game from tactical to strategic at will with a few options. Seems.
I also want to add that I do not say this because I don't like the game. I love it and would like to see it evolve.
(Please don't hate me q.q)
Logged

Iscariot

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 852
    • View Profile
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 03:36:21 PM »

Ehhhhhh.... I'm not really comfortable about this entire topic. I like the ambiguity of it, it lets you think of them as being as large as you want them to be and it keeps the visuals from clashing with the lore. I personally like to give a long capital ship like the Conquest at least a kilometer, because I think that's a good number for displaying the heft of an interstellar war machine, and smaller frigates at around 200 to 300 meters because a lot of frigates still mount weapon systems that capital ships might use as well-- but someone else might disagree or work their mental depictions of the action from another angle and I'm fine with that.
Logged

The idea is that the various tech levels represent different - not "better" - ways to do things.

K-64

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1117
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 03:58:42 PM »

Now let's take a look at this image:



From the look of that picture, the artwork-Hound looks narrower than it should be compared to the game one, if that indentation at the middle of the aft there is the door when its closed on the sprite.
Logged

Erick Doe

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2463
  • "Pretty cunning, don't you think?"
    • View Profile
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2013, 04:02:37 PM »

To me, the scale on the artwork hound looks about right compared to the sprite.
Logged

K-64

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1117
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Let's talk scale!
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2013, 04:05:36 PM »

The middle part to me looks about half as wide as it should be.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2