[MOD] REARM V2 WIP thread

(REARM V2) #1505

One thing I can certainly do is to edit its engines:

Like this. It looks good and I’ll avoid adding yet another animation, which is something I really want, no more animations on that little lovely transformer.

(Herbyguitar) #1506

Redesign the engine to stay (hinge) level as the bird tilts. Problem solved.

(REARM V2) #1507

Did I just ninja’d you? :slight_smile: Is this what you meant?

(Herbyguitar) #1508

Hah! you beat me to it. Yes, you ninja’d me :smiley:

(REARM V2) #1509

This is the solution I like by far the best. It solves the presented problem and it looks good.


I agree with @Hell_Diguner on the tilted Defender, it feels unnatural and looks wrong because of the nonalignement.

-Tilting the Defender for obtaining a birdy look- itself is forcing something into something else. Not to mention that birds fly in an athmospherical enviroment, they attack their preys with a different angle and movement. This is not a bird, there’s no reason for the inclination, aside from the fact you want it to be “birdy”.

Also, what I don’t get is how you can see a crab in the non-tilted version…I actually see a bird in the non-tilted version too, adapting the birdness to a ship…which is not an animal.
Predatory birds flap their wings for flying, keep their wings along their body for nosediving and then they open their wings for gliding and stretch out their taloned claws for catching preys, the defender resemble that behaviour with the animation…it flights with the arms closed and in combat it open its arms, two open like wings for gliding and the bottom one stretches out like birds’ taloned claws for catching the prey.

I don’t see the “hanging down from its wings” in the tilted version more than in the normal one, it’s only a matter of perspective and misleading too. To achieve that, you should move the cockpit below the two horizontal arms.
But something I really like (probably childishly) about it is the surprise effect, its innate shapeshifting nature: it looks like a “common” vaygr fighter while moving and then, surprise, what seem to be its chassis turns out to be its arms. It’s very subtle and the animation looks gorgeous to me…it’s smooth and subtle, yeah. While the stealth bomber does subtle things, the Defender looks subtle - it does something ordinary (: defending) but conceal its true form before unleashing its guns.
In short, it was fine before the tilting to me…you are slipping away right now imho.

(Herbyguitar) #1511

Something to consider… In normal stance the speed and maneuverability can be as a normal fighter (main thrust from the rear). With arms spread it can change attributes to act more like a defender (thrust vectored to the sides) with more maneuverability, turn speeds, and less forward speed. There ‘could’ be a stark contrast between (stance) the two options…

(doci7) #1512

I’m sure his point isn’t to make it look ‘like a bird’. Look at the vulture picture he posted. It’s all about capturing the aggressive ‘raised shoulder’ effect that’s going on there. The fact that this is something found in birds and that birds are flying animals is happenstance. Pouk knows better than to think that things that fly in space need to mimic atmospheric flighted animals. It’s just a look he likes that birds happen to demonstrate.

Anyway, I think everyone is overreacting and just needs to let him do his thing, because from another vantage point, one could actually consider this defender design to be a pretty conservative rendering. You get way more of the same forms between this defender and the other fighters in its family than you do with the other defenders in their families. Who would honestly look at the Taiidan defender and Taiidan scout models (without textures) side-by-side and recognize without prior knowledge of Homeworld that they belong to the same fleet? This one is much more obviously at home with the assault craft and bombers and scouts and lance fighters and stealth bombers. The few degrees won’t change it. If anything it’s helping to infuse some of that disparity between defenders and the rest of the fighter family that we’re used to, IMHO.

One could argue that there’s a tactical side to this too. Defenders are sitting ducks with independently-tracking autoguns. Tilting the ship up a few degrees reduces the pilot’s exposure to return fire from craft directly in front of the defender, which is useful on a ship that isn’t about evasion and doesn’t require best field of vision for the pilot (since surely the guns are automated).

I think we should let Pouk do what he wants here, personally, because to me it really isn’t so drastically whimsical as we’re making it out to be.


Ehm. Sorry if I seem (extremely?) aggressive, it’s just my style when discussing things…probably also because english is not my native languange and consequently I prove very blunt.
But don’t worry, Pouk and I are used to such very direct exchanges… It’s almost the norm actually. There’s no aggressiveness or overreaction, you can trust me.

I know he’s not making the defender look like a bird because he wants it to be a bird. But achieving that look by tilting the ship is not working in my eyes, it’s only making the ship very unnatural. I see the “birdy” look in the non-tilted version as well (with the difference that the tilted version makes me think of a plane orientation problem - with or without the engine change) and I don’t see more “hanging down from its wings” in the tilted version even after having played it.

(doci7) #1514

I’m sorry if what I said might have sounded aggressive too (yours sounded fine, by the way). This is all a little vexing to me because it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal as it’s being made out to be, but I have the disadvantages of having not seen the ship perform in the game (which probably affects how natural/unnatural it seems a lot) and also of being used to coloring outside the lines for personal aesthetic. Also I just am in the camp of people who think it looks more interesting tilted and that don’t recognize any really bad side-effects. Probably we’ll all stay in our camps no matter what anyone says about the ship. But I still think (hopefully) people will feel better about it when it’s textured either way.


No problem :slight_smile: we both had the doubt of having sounded aggressive but it was not the case, all’s fine!

We don’t need to agree. The only point here is providing feed-back. He asked and we’ve been all providing our own. Pouk’s making the ship and he’ll choose, the end.


Do the animations have to swing the arms out, or can you have the arms slide back instead? The winged look is amazing, and I’m curious how the it will look if the arms were to move in a linear fashion backwards such that the center of each wing/arm aligns close the the front of the cockpit.


Later read…

Just to be sure @Pouk doesn’t misunderstand.

I’m not saying that the inclination changes it. To actually achieve the “hanging down from its wings” the cockpit should stay between the two upper arms and the lower arm…but that changes it, between the two I prefer the current shape because of the reasons I stated before.

Not that I think the shape is going to change drastically at this point.

(REARM V2) #1518

In the REARM dev group I encourage people to be as blunt as they can, because being tactful is so ineffective to me. And because the lack of criticism and only praise really doesn’t filter out the bad and really dumb ideas. Inevitably that always leads to Fil.zp explaining he didn’t mean to offend anyone and me or someone else explaining he didn’t mean to offend anyone back. :slight_smile:

Birdness. It isn’t the goal, it is the result I like. I made something, I didn’t plan it and it turned out that in my mind (not necessary in other people’s minds) it has this particular bird-like quality.
I didn’t set myself to make the Defender to look like a bird. And now that it looks like a bird to me, it isn’t my goal to continue searching for ways it would look like a bird more, or for the ways it’ll look like a bird from a different viewer’s perspective.

Here I have to say I’m quite stubborn, I’m still way too fond of my model here.
I really really do need to hear the criticism, it’s indescribably important. To hear what’s wrong with it, or what’s perceived as unfitting, over-complicated, or just plain moronic. And it doesn’t have to change my mind, sometimes it’s just a great tool for testing the waters, to get a feel for which aspects of my designs are weaker or aren’t shared as broadly and which hold up. As a metaphor it’s like that colored stress simulation of constructions in engineering.

Now oversimplified models and explanations of problems my configuration solves:

Don’t forget the basic solution needs the arms to be double jointed:

First they need to unfold to the side and then they need to rise up:

Technically they can be single jointed, but the wings would then have to be connected by a joint looking like this:

While mine has a single flat angle:

Like this, because the elevation is performed by the body itself:

With its mechanical simplicity I find it to be way more elegant solution.

And with the wings still angled forward I don’t compromise on that claw-like nature:

(Hell_Diguner) #1519

[quote]@Pouk - Mod author, ship creation
@Fil_zp - Weapon balance, map making
@Hell_Diguner - QA, gameplay concepts[/quote]

Examining and criticizing every little detail is what I do. And Fil to a lesser extent.
Discussing this kind of thing on the GBX forums is an experiment. This kind of discussion has been on private forums for the last six years.

The structures circled in yellow are largest thing I have issue with. Their tilt away from horizontal is unauthentic to Vaygr aesthetics. Magenta highlights the cross section of the upper wings. Again, their angle away from horizontal is not authentic. Together, they make the ship look tilted. I can tell you did not originally design the ship for the new orientation. I know you can do better than just tilting the whole ship. You can design high shoulders/low body and have it look good in both flight and attack mode.

I can also make a pseudo-science argument: Both the Hiigarans and the Vaygr try to present their enemy with a small front profile to minimize the risk of being hit. Intentionally designing the ship to present an unnecessarily large target would be folly* - especially the underside. Homeworld aesthetics tend to have a “vulnerable” underside, and mechanically, ships actually took more damage when hit from below in HW1.
* HW2 destroyers are the only exception I’m aware of, and that is in service of the broadside gimmick.

[At this point Pouk has ninja’d me]

I have no issue whatsoever with implementing two joints for the upper arms - nor do I have issue with an invisible second joint. Taiidan wings have three axes of rotation and the structure of their joint isn’t outwardly apparent. In fact, the structure of most animated joints in HW1 and HW2 isn’t apparent.

Or use the single angled joint:

I think this solution is just as elegant as using the body to tilt, but also maintains the horizontal orientation of the yellow and magenta elements in the first picture.

I can see that argument, but we don’t really see this in any Homeworld design. Not even concept art. The cockpit/bridge either has some view forward, or isn’t externally visible at all.

(Hell_Diguner) #1520

Actually, it looks like the single angled joint would still tilt the wings, presenting their underside to an attacker. So two axes of rotation are needed.

(doci7) #1521

Well, it is a bit humbling to be reminded that I’m not part of the team here, but you guys can moderate how much stock to put into my opinion, so for the sake of the experiment, I and other GBX peoples should be voicing our thoughts, I suppose.

I appreciate your willingness to appreciate the argument I made. Certainly, I concede that there are incredibly few Homeworld ships designed to fly off-axis, with some exceptions in Cataclysm which I shan’t go further to cite because I’m sure it will only cause nausea here, lol. In spite of the lack of apparent design to this end though, in the original (HW1C/HWC) engine Fighters were logging crazy hours in off-axis flight paths during combat maneuvers, which has helped tremendously to soften the unconventional nature of this fighter at least in my eyes. To me it doesn’t look all that wrong for HW fighters to be flying like this; in fact inasmuch as it reminds me of good old original Homeworld, I’m fond of it.

That’s just my two cents though, and really, I do see where you’re coming from on all this, just so you know. In spite of anything I might try to say, this is a precedent that is at least a little bent if not quite broken. Homeworld 2 had mostly direct flight paths and nothing much really diverged from that… certainly not on the fighter scale. To me it doesn’t ruin the immersion, but especially in the case of HW2 purists and/or hardliners, I can see how it could.

(Herbyguitar) #1522

…goes back to my original thought (duality). In flight the ship is fast and slim. When it reaches its destination and unfolds its guns it morphs into a gun platform with limited speed but very agile. The tilt or stance in defensive mode is irrelevant because firepower is paramount. So, Pouk’s idea is justified and appropriate… if he can script it to display a dual role. Should be doable.

(Hell_Diguner) #1523

The situation is not so black and white. For V1, Pouk wanted REARM to have a professional public appearance. No ‘WIP’ stuff shown on the main page and very little tucked away in public forums. The private ModDB group and discussions therein are primarily to discuss what ideas are reasonable, how to technically achieve them, and get aesthetic feedback on WIP ships from like-minded people with different backgrounds. So we haven’t considered ourselves a ‘team’ so much as ‘excessively talkative friends’ until six months ago, and even then, Pouk clearly runs the show. So your (Plural. You all, not just Kragle) situation is not all that different from mine.

The Homeworld community has changed in the last two years, Pouk shows WIP stuff publicly, and this is one of the longest threads on these forums. The ‘experiment’ is discussing what makes Homeworld, Homeworld, and how we can make REARM more Homeworld among people who have less similar opinions and goals. This hasn’t been done much in the past because managing public relations is daunting, and a source of stress. In the private group we step on each other’s opinions, scrap cool ideas, things get put on the back-burner indefinitely, and we break promises. We can do this because we respect and understand each other. Discussing such things with a wider group of people has the potential to backfire. Maybe not now, maybe not in a month; but at some point, somebody will get hurt. I just hope Pouk is ready for it. We are not knights in shining armor.

The irony is I am more of a HW1 fan than a HW2 fan. Pouk is the HW2 guy. I know what you’re talking about. Corvette circle-strafe, Defender jitter, Scout/Interceptor behaving like a turret as they do a fly-by. In all examples I can think of, the non-Newtonian main thruster is in service of a flight maneuver. When in combat, but out of weapon range, strikecraft ‘fly straight’. They also ‘fly straight’ when not in combat, but that is not my point of focus. Pouk’s tilted defender does not ever ‘fly straight’ when it is in combat.

Lore-wise, sure, but in terms of how it would actually work in-game, it is unlikely we’ll let the Defender be anywhere near as fast as an Assault Craft in flight mode. After all, were that the case, you’d have little reason to build Assault Craft once you have unlocked Defenders.

(REARM V2) #1524

Well said here.

An engine solution I can absolutely go with and like:

I understand it is not a hunderd percent what you want, it’s not even seventy percent what you want, but a ship that changes states is always going to be a compromise between one state and the other. The only exception to this rule are actual Transformers, that simply just don’t give a f*ck about topology and chose to go with space magic instead.

Anyway I like this solution. And honestly it would really be quite similar if I had designed it with the shoulders rising upwards from the beginning, because I would always implement some “clavicle effect” (meaning part of the geometry would be pulled up at an angle with the shoulders). I wouldn’t just elevate the main joint on a rail like a forklift. And when I can make the same effect without animating the body, it’s much better, avoiding convoluted overengineered overanimated designs.

If I were you, my main argument would be the Vaygr Hyperspace Gate. The HS Gate is the literal manifestation of your argument.

Nevertheless, this is my issue:

The Y shaped front profile is as atypical to the Vaygr as anything else you pointed as being off, no less than.
My Defender unfolds its wings into a wide spread crab/eagle. It is inherently atypical from the very start.
And I’ll return to what I said in the beginning, it transforms from one state to another, it is a geometrical puzzle, you just pick which compromise sits with you the best, but you cannot tick all the boxes at once, you always have to compromise on one of them:

  • If you want to raise the arms, you can base them low in the body’s center mass and only raise the arms themeseves.
    -But then you’ll get a clear frontal Y shape. No Vaygr ship has that.

  • Or you keep the main body nice flat, you extend the arms in nice typical 90 degrees off.
    -But then you tilt the whole body. No Vaygr ship has that.

  • Or you simply don’t raise the arms in the first place. You keep the whole thing flat as it was before I had my crazy idea.
    -But then its whole center of mass is off, its engine baseline is way on the top and it has this big piece sticking down out of it.

  • Or you make four arms. You solve all your problems at once and you’ll make it look like a HS Gate. All being symmetrical and non-problematic.
    -But then you lose the whole Defender association, which is a ‘big’ thing for me as you know. I want the thing to evoke HW1 Defenders and the player telling himself “oh yeah, that is a Vaygr Defender, that makes sense, I can see that”. But with 4 wings it’ll look like a HS Gate remade into a turret crossed with the fighter from Babylon 5, or worse, an X-Wing. The legacy is important, there are whole topological associations around the Defender craft I never want to break.

One last thing I never mentioned that will likely raise a whole new wave of dislike in many people:

But it had to be obvious.