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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:23 am 
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Admiral
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All fan ships have been moved to a new topic. This thread will remain for my normal creations.
I give permission for members of Project Caelus at the Starfarer forums to use any and all of my ships, so long as credit and notification are provided. This applies to anyone else who would like to; just let me know first and make sure you don't claim them as your own. Additionally, if you need any better images than I posted or the files themselves, just let me know. Glad the situation was resolved.
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Partitioned for new ships
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Spoiler: show
So I've been putting together a fleet of ships, and while I'd like to wait till their far more finished, I'm going to Yosemite for a week so I wanted to get these out there for more feedback. Several people have been instrumental in refining them as far as they are now, but theres still alot to do, and a number of ships not finished enough to show.

I also threw together a backstory, which I don't normally bother with, but figured what the heck. It was written at 5am though so don't be too harsh. I'd like any constructive criticism from anyone willing to take the time. That includes telling me their junk and I should start over.

It was in what would have been the last days of humanity that the aliens came to Earth. Not so far in the future, a mere dozen years, but in that time chaos had become the norm. No troops were recalled from foreign wars, no revolutionary fuel discovered, worse than nothing done to repair the ever increasing damage to the planet. Although outright intercontinental war had not yet broken out, those whose influence had long since faded whispered in smoke filled back rooms of a return to the days of the Cold War; an ever decaying and yet escalating spiral from which mankind would not recover a second time.

Not on it’s own.

When the ship appeared in orbit of the third planet from the sun, things did not go as anyone since Galileo first peered beyond our atmosphere imagined.

No beams of destruction rained down from above, no giant walkers stormed our streets. Perhaps most disappointingly, there were no three breasted women. Nor was there any cover-up by the government; indeed, there was no point in attempting such a thing. Broadcasting itself through every TV, computer, cell phone, and chat room, the alien’s face spoke to the whole planet at once. It was not an unkind face, though unmistakably non-human. Still, the voice spoke in a gentle and aged British accent as it told Humanity, who for once did not interrupt, of it’s own last days and of what the future held for the sons and daughters of Adam.

Mankind, for its part, reacted quite maturely by the standards of it’s fictional telling of first contact. Too long had people looked through telescopes knowing the futility of the universe if we were indeed alone, and imagining almost every conceivable type of life and how they might react to us. And, of course, a deniably small portion of the population who spent most weekends dressing up with pointed ears and swinging glow-sticks were not surprised in the least. Oh there were riots and doom criers, but the alien had timed its appearance as well as circumstances allowed, and for the first time in history, mankind stood as one and listened. And learned…

The alien was quite young. Traditionally it is the centuries old beings that possess all the power and wisdom, but perhaps this was not well thought out. That this species was an evolutionary dead end, rather than the alleged perfect being, would quite probably have made Darwin chuckle. Having a short individual lifetime brought determination and passion far beyond that of a species with even our limited lifespan. Similarly, as a species, there was a far greater drive for knowledge and wisdom with which to leave a legacy. So for centuries, rather than thousands of years, this species had fought and learned and made the most of the moment in its growth into the universe. Perhaps this was to our benefit because in observing many planets, they saw not our centuries of dark age mentality, but the drive and growth of the last two centuries. In that time they saw something of themselves in us, and when it became obvious their race was going to die out, they had no wish to fade away without a legacy.

Thus, they acted quickly and chose us.
“All of these worlds, all our technology and culture and history will you become guardians of”. A mind-boggling thought, but the aliens had chosen well, and we did not hesitate. The history went to the scholars, the music and art to critics, even a team from the Vatican was sent to observe their religion. One would have expected a team of men in black suits to sweep in and secret away all traces of technology, but that too did not go as expected, and here our story begins.

The President of the United States had not come to office in the expected way either. He was the first to successfully run his campaign for free: using sites like Youtube, virtual, ads and debates within popular games. He received the largest youth vote in history, though he did take a minor cut for choosing Horde. When NASA came to him demanding sole access to the new technology, he scornfully turned them away and looked to the internet. Banding together the world’s greatest programmers, and with the help of the alien ambassador, a interface program was created. It allowed a simplistic simulation to be widely distributed as freeware, which in turn allowed anyone, anywhere, to submit a design for Earth’s first fleet.

Thousands of usable ships were submitted, culled in a virtual combat which became as much a pastime as Baseball or UFC. Simultaneously, actual scientists were constantly developing new ways to use the alien technology and new materials. The interface quickly improved from a laggy bug ridden beta to a self contained operating system surpassing Vista in sales. As one of their last acts before they departed to their ancestral home world, the aliens provided a station that could create ships of any design using common components. Competition among ship designers became feverish, with corporations rising up behind the top designers to support upgrades, but in the end no design style was chosen exclusively. Humanity knew that its greatest strength lies in its diversity. Thus a hodgepodge fleet of ships, of all shapes and sizes, now orbits earth, waiting for the inevitable contact with a less benevolent race.


The story is mostly designed to explain why so many of the ships are of similar size and fighting ability but vastly different design. I tired to keep a theme among them but that size seemed like the winner to me so I've not bothered trying to classify them as cruisers, destroyers, etc. I'll fill in details later but think of them as purpose built ships.

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I'm aware of the mirroring error here but lost the original file; its now like four sections.
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Note: This ship is designed not to look good but to support the story. It was NASA's attempt at a warship, afterwhich the president laughed at them and turned to public designs. Need to update the story to reflect that.

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I've had alot of criticism of this ship so I know it needs work but I like the mental design so much I can't help but keep trying to fix it.
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Will add a .gif of it rotating and more recent changes later. Gotta run for night class.


Last edited by jwa8402 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:14 am, edited 30 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:20 am 
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Fantastic. I really like your use of those "slanted" sections. They really give a proper sense of depth.
You did a great job making the fleet feel consistent, but making each ship unique.

The Station bugs me a little bit, it just looks kind of "off", but I think seeing it rotate will fix that.

Just a personal nitpick, I think some engine exhaust would be a nice touch.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:37 am 
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Quote:
Surpassing Vista in sales.

That was a great read. :D
But, aren't there any ultra-nationalist or xenophobes out there making a ruckus or hacking into shipyards and remote controlling ships of there own? A lot of symbolism could be put on them, like a sputnik-fighter-clone fleet or something reminiscent of a paranoid Scottish society.
...
The ships are great, except that heavy triangular one. Either remove the giant reverse engine or complete a second wing below them. Right now it looks like a tank with a very small case of HE COMES!
And overcrowding...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:38 pm 
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If your talking about the fourth from the bottom, those are cannon mounts, not engines. I will see what I can do to make that more obvious though. If you mean the one below that...also cannons, as I was going for the tank look and also intended it to be larger, so may have to rebuild that.

Glad both of you like them. The station is very unfinished, it will make a lot more sense once I've properly depthed everything and added stuff to all the arms. I will take a picture of the ships moving because they all have functional engines. Was originally going to have a shot of them moving while firing, and an inverted blueprint style beauty shot, but sw sections do not seem to invert well.

As for other factions, I have indeed thought of that, though not all the ideas you mentioned. Mainly I was thinking of having a Vatican faction that gets so pissed off at the aliens religion that they build a fleet of ships and try to storm their planet. That won't happen for at least a few weeks though. Also maybe some sort of IRA/Maquis type freedom fighters that would mostly use small ships.

To anyone else who is hesitant to comment or doesn't like the ships, please let me know. I want to either refine them to look good or not waste my time if they suck.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Wow cool story and even cooler ships, however all but the second to last ship have triangular shapes pointed forwards, maybe a few ships that don't have such a classical shape would make the ships look like they are more of a hodgepodge than just one guy trying different styles.

But they still look sweet.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:52 pm 
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I really like your story. It was a mildly entertaining read an gives you the ability to post ships of different styles under one faction. Two thumbs up.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Well, I promised last time to try and offer constructive criticisms of your ships, so here I go. I'll to my best to help.
jwa8402 wrote:
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Small, to such an extent that there's not much to criticise. It's pretty well done all around, generally. Could use some colour, maybe, but over-all good.
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This ship is... bland. It's very brickish with a rather uninteresting shape. The color that is there looks like it was slapped on as an afterthought, and really just doesn't seem to fit. It might just be me... more shading would be nice.
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I like this. It's nifty. Small, but nifty.
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I was gonna say I didn't much like this, but then I read the backstory and I just laughed a bit, so it's cool.
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The outer shape seems to be lacking any real sort of cohesion, and the whole thing just flows together poorly. Internally the details seem inconsistant and boring.
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This one's mostly good. It's a bit flat at the back and could maybe use a splash of colour but I like it. It's penis-bricky, but the detailing is interesting and seems to make sense, and the whole thing flows together fairly well.
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Externally, this is consistent. It's a triangle. Just a triangle. The outward shape has nothing else to define it. Internally, the details seem inconsistent and jumbled and generally not very good.
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I've had alot of criticism of this ship so I know it needs work but I like the mental design so much I can't help but keep trying to fix it.

The biggest problem with this ship? The use of the very large sections. They could be replaced or largely covered with smaller, more detailed sections. It's unpleasant to look at, and when I stare at it, I like the over-all shape, and lots of the detailing it really well done, so I figure that the large flat sections are the primary cause of the ugliness on this ship.
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Small. Detailed. Asymmetrical. Looks like a cool like space station without looking like a mess.
Quote:
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This... has lots of good and interesting details. Unfortunately they're put together in a way that doesn't flow together well, leaving it looking somewhat messy and haphazard.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Thanks everyone, and SWS, thats actually very helpful. I hadn't added color to most of it yet because I wasn't done changing the structure, but your right that where there is color its mostly thrown on.

I'll work on some of the others in the next few days but this is a possible replacement for the triangle ship...Trying to reimagine it while keeping the function but with cleaner section work. Not sure if I succeeded since this was really only a few minutes of swapping stuff around.
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and an alternate version
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I feel like I want to make it larger or more interesting shape but I wasn't designing it to be a big ship so not sure whether I want to take it further. Actually looks better without the nose cone but then its easy to kill. Might try to make the ship a bit longer though.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Looks cool, like a homicidal pigeon.

The first one with the dark antennae looks better I think.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:16 pm 
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Why not combine the two?
Very unique.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:13 pm 
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I agree with unsunghero that you should probably combine the two. I think it would look pretty good that way.

However, there are a couple of bits I have an issue with. The main body has lots of criss-crossing lines going through it, and it just makes things look off, and the side wings feel a bit too flat.

I'd fix it by doing something like this, probably:
Image

Also, remember to hit "home" to set it to the default zoom before taking the screenshot. It always makes it look better.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Sorry, my eyes are starting to go out, so I've been zooming in out of habit and forgetting about it when I take the screenshots. I tried to follow the gist of your suggestions, but while I wanted the antenna on there, I also wanted a version that looked more warlike, so I added armor and such. Not sure if it was a success; the mecha sections in white are supposed to be armor plating. I'll definitly be adding color after this because at least some of the swa sections really don't shade that well.

Image

Am I going in the right direction or did I not pay enough attention to your advice? I tried to break up some of the lines but it was starting to seem cluttered.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:18 pm 
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...meh

It looks a bit fat now, which made it cluttered, which made it lose depth.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:28 pm 
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I think you might have gone a little bit overboard, man. The internals didn't need that much excessive alteration or covering up, and the outline of the ship was really smooth and crisp before, but now it looks rather cluttered and messy with the armor plating. A lot of the depth that it had before is gone.

Do you know what I mean, or...? I mean, I know conveying this stuff in text is tricky...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Basically hes saying that layers of blubber make anyone/anything look bad


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