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Radical shift of ship design

Discussion concerning the TV, film, and comic adaptations.
Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:46 am

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The issue I have with the looks of the ships in the game (again: I do not know what the movie-ships will look like so maybe I'll be positively surprised there and happy in the end) - but anyway my issue with most of the game ships I have seen is the over-stretching of believability.

The RMN ships one can play in the game actually are on the tolerable (for me) side. I am not enthusiastic about them so far but can live with their looks and think they aren't so bad a place to start out from design-wise. So slight hat-tip to the designers here.

The problem are most of the enemy ships. They more and more deviate from the basic hammerhead & tube design into monstrosities with enormous bow and/or stern parts that serve no purpose (I can think of) except for making them looks - well enormous. Or ENORMOUS!!! + !!! rather.

Take the sollie ships in the game: Monstrous stern sections that look like they have giant reaction-thrusters as their propulsion system. When we all know that while reaction thrusters do exist on the Honorverse ships they are but manoevering and auxiliary engines and certainly NOT the main design parameter those ships are being built around. And it especially makes no sense to have that feature (monstrous reaction thruster stern parts) as the main design feature of one country's ships but not on other countries'. That would give the impression the different star realms built their ships around totally different physics. When in fact they are not.

The Silesian ships look even more irrational. Their looks defy any logic (that I can see).

If we converted this to an earth-based naval-warfare movie it would be like US ships looked like - well, ships, french ships like starfish, british ships like pyramids, german ships like squids etc
It simply makes no sense at all.

And do not tell me a movie-goer cannot tell the difference between a french and a british ship-of-the line even when they follow the basically same design philosophy (3 masts, several rows of guns etc).
They do NOT have to look like squids and starfish to be told apart.

EDIT: After having written this I noticed my post be an answer to your question, SWM - whether the changed ship designs affect the plot.

The fact that in the game the ships of the different countries look so very different from each other (and some of them vastly different from Honorverse ships) gives the impression that they have been designed on different physics contraints. Which goes contrary to the basic book settings.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by SWM   » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:41 am

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Bruno, there's no problem discussing other aspects of the questions in the original post of the thread. If you aren't quoting me, it's not necessary to frame your post in the context of my posts. It's when people are quoting me that I expect them to write in that context. :)

I unfortunately have not been able to play the game, so I haven't seen those designs. My Android device is too old to support the minimum operating system for the game. But my understanding is that both the game and comic book designs were intended to be test cases for designs for the movie/tv series. So the game designs probably are, or were, representative of movie design concepts at that time.

Not all concepts make it to a movie, and those that do usually evolve quite a bit, so there is hope that the ones which offend your sensibilities most will improve.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by Tenshinai   » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:41 am

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SWM wrote:I'm actually surprised. No one can come up with any effects that the Evergreen designs would have on the plot of the stories? I was sure there must be some that I couldn't think of.


Haven´t seen enough of them. But if it isn´t based on usefulness, then they´re already unrealistic and people will notice and that indirectly affects the plot, as for example it may make some or all nations in the plot look stupid for building ships made for pretty instead of useful.

The claim that audience needs visual differences? That´s just rubbish. Most of all exactly because the tech used precludes having more than one sides ship(s) shown together at any time. Meaning that graphical pointers like paintjob and flag, name etc could be used for the same effect.

For an example, look at how B5 handled the EA civil war. Both sides use identical ships but that isn´t a problem at all.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by Roguevictory   » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:32 pm

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Tenshinai wrote:
SWM wrote:I'm actually surprised. No one can come up with any effects that the Evergreen designs would have on the plot of the stories? I was sure there must be some that I couldn't think of.


Haven´t seen enough of them. But if it isn´t based on usefulness, then they´re already unrealistic and people will notice and that indirectly affects the plot, as for example it may make some or all nations in the plot look stupid for building ships made for pretty instead of useful.

The claim that audience needs visual differences? That´s just rubbish. Most of all exactly because the tech used precludes having more than one sides ship(s) shown together at any time. Meaning that graphical pointers like paintjob and flag, name etc could be used for the same effect.

For an example, look at how B5 handled the EA civil war. Both sides use identical ships but that isn´t a problem at all.


Ships looking the same wouldn't necessarily make it hard to tell who is on what side but I believe it would clash with the source material. If memory serves there are distinct visual differences between ship classes of the same type mentioned in one of the novels so why shouldn't ship classes in the game and movie follow that pattern? I don't exactly like all of the designs in the game but nor do I dislike them enough to feel a need to complain.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by George J. Smith   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:18 am

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Roguevictory wrote:

Ships looking the same wouldn't necessarily make it hard to tell who is on what side but I believe it would clash with the source material. If memory serves there are distinct visual differences between ship classes of the same type mentioned in one of the novels so why shouldn't ship classes in the game and movie follow that pattern? I don't exactly like all of the designs in the game but nor do I dislike them enough to feel a need to complain.



I think that was when Oversteegen mentioned the differences in the shape of the nodes on the ships being used by the pirates at Tiberius.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by Tenshinai   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:38 pm

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Roguevictory wrote:
Ships looking the same wouldn't necessarily make it hard to tell who is on what side but I believe it would clash with the source material. If memory serves there are distinct visual differences between ship classes of the same type mentioned in one of the novels so why shouldn't ship classes in the game and movie follow that pattern? I don't exactly like all of the designs in the game but nor do I dislike them enough to feel a need to complain.


Eh, duh... Stick with the canon from the books was the point i was making already.
And AFAIK, most of that isn´t differences that a movie audience would notice much of.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by crewdude48   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:13 pm

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Roguevictory wrote:If memory serves there are distinct visual differences between ship classes of the same type mentioned in one of the novels so why shouldn't ship classes in the game and movie follow that pattern? I don't exactly like all of the designs in the game but nor do I dislike them enough to feel a need to complain.


Those "distinct visual differences" are mostly placement of radar and gravitic arrays and the number and location of weapons hatches. It is something an expert can use to tell the difference between classes and even production models with in classes. However, looking at the ships from any sort of distance, to the average person Mandticoran DDs look almost exactly like Havenite SDs and vice versa.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by Roguevictory   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:08 pm

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crewdude48 wrote:
Roguevictory wrote:If memory serves there are distinct visual differences between ship classes of the same type mentioned in one of the novels so why shouldn't ship classes in the game and movie follow that pattern? I don't exactly like all of the designs in the game but nor do I dislike them enough to feel a need to complain.


Those "distinct visual differences" are mostly placement of radar and gravitic arrays and the number and location of weapons hatches. It is something an expert can use to tell the difference between classes and even production models with in classes. However, looking at the ships from any sort of distance, to the average person Mandticoran DDs look almost exactly like Havenite SDs and vice versa.


I could swear there was some scene in the books where a ship was pretending to be a ship of another class and they mentioned that as soon as the enemy got into visual range the gig was up. To me that sounds like more significant differences in design then where the sensor arrays and weapon hatches are placed or the number of sensor arrays and weapon hatches. Maybe I'm remembering wrong though.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by SWM   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:20 pm

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Roguevictory wrote:
crewdude48 wrote:Those "distinct visual differences" are mostly placement of radar and gravitic arrays and the number and location of weapons hatches. It is something an expert can use to tell the difference between classes and even production models with in classes. However, looking at the ships from any sort of distance, to the average person Mandticoran DDs look almost exactly like Havenite SDs and vice versa.


I could swear there was some scene in the books where a ship was pretending to be a ship of another class and they mentioned that as soon as the enemy got into visual range the gig was up. To me that sounds like more significant differences in design then where the sensor arrays and weapon hatches are placed or the number of sensor arrays and weapon hatches. Maybe I'm remembering wrong though.

You are remembering correctly, but not remembering enough. That was a case of a ship of one class pretending to be a ship of another type entirely. For instance, a dreadnought pretending to be a battlecruiser, or a cruiser pretending to be a freighter. The obvious differences in size and existence or non-existence of hammerheads will certainly give a ship away at extreme visual range.

At closer range, a warship can visually tell the difference between different waves of a specific named ship class, such as the Mars class, through the arrangement of hatches and sensors. But again, for a movie audience, only gross differences will be obvious in a 3 second shot on screen. Even differences in size may not be obvious unless there is something to compare it to.
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Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:00 pm

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SWM wrote:I'm actually surprised. No one can come up with any effects that the Evergreen designs would have on the plot of the stories? I was sure there must be some that I couldn't think of.

The only time I can recall close visual inspections happening were
1) examining the q-ship in OBS looking for visual differences between it and a real merchant ship
2) looking at the Andie's weapons layouts to try and see if their new class of BCs were likely pod layers.

But bizarrely tarted up designs wouldn't really affect either of those.
I can't recall one class of ship trying to pass for another within visual range; so class to class visual differences likely wouldn't ever screw up an existing plot point.
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