A bit on relative ship sizes (nice to be able to talk about a conceptual issue rather than a coding one
TLDR: ignoring the ship dimensions I based size on description and made a table (see below)
A reminder for anyone who's new here: this thread isn't about trying to rationalise scales in oolite (honest!
) but rather trying to hide their glaring irregularities whilst playing the game.
Here's a link
from the Ian Bell website that purportedly represents the guide notes he wrote for the Elite player's manual.
There's a few little gems in there that didn't make it into the finished product (moray pilots with latinised 'fish fingers', how many missiles can a mamba carry? 2) or were just reworded slightly such as was the case for this entry:
are large unarmed craft which run cargo between the planet and its orbitting space stations. The naughty old player can shoot these and reap a rich harvest of cargo canisters. Of course, the space station might have something to say about it....
Large? It's amongst the smallest by recorded dimensions, about the size of a worm (in game worm, not the garden variety).
From the manual this time:
These unarmed and often unmanned craft are built under license in every planetary system. Based on a prototype developed by Saud-Kruger AstroDesign, they are used for cargo ferrying between planet and space station, but can be modified to hospital ships, or orbiting prisons. Favorite targets for small-time criminals, because of their instantaneous release of cargo canisters, they are often followed by single fighter patrol ships.
Orbiting prison? Hospital (not medical) ship? and with 60TC capacity (as recorded in elite manual) and a crew of 6. This thing should be pretty big shouldn't it?
What if I completely ignored the recorded dimensions of the ships and instead focused on their descriptions, could size be reassessed almost entirely?
A strict formula is likely to be so debatable as to be of questionable utility but a guideline of some sort might help.
It can carry up to 100 passengers, and has a cargo capacity of 10 tonnes undefined bulk.
Interpeting this sentence from the manual to mean that 1TC storage soace can accomodate up to 10 passengers, I now have a guide.
OK, so they're Gal Tonnes and not necessarily metric tonnes but given the use of grams and kilograms in the 4th millenium, I'm guessing it's not too far away. Besides, it doesn't need to be accurate, just proportianal and functional.
Furthermore I'll be assuming that extra crew means extra equipment, both of which will take up extra space. Equipment could be enormouisly variable (and perhaps automated for the presumably solo pilot in oolite) but again, for convenience I'll be assuming that each crew member after the first (plus the equipment they're supervising) is equivalent to 2TC.
Minor adjustments for weapon references and presence/absence of a hyperdrive and what would we get?
something like this :
Remarks are all from the manual or Ian Bell's notes.
I've marked any changes I've made in red
and they are as follows.
Krait and Mamba
10TC seems quite a lot for a 'one man fighter', especially with the mamba having space added as an afterthought. For comparison the cobra mk I trading vessel has the same ammount of cargo space and (unlike either of these two) a hyperdrive. I'm going with either an unlikelt '1.0 TC' or a (perhaps only slightly less unlikely) '1o TC' with an ornate full stop eventually making it into a zero. Remember: this isn't a search for truth on my part but rather convenience and a more varied and interesting ship population.
Was it 750 TC? Could it have been 250 TC? Or, perhaps more likely, 150 TC?
Python: 100 TC
Boa: 125 TC
Personally, I think 150 fits best given that they're all supposed to be able to dock within a slot that was (in Elite) the bane of inexperienced cobra pilots.
Of questionable merit this one when it comes to game sizes but I'm not trying to represent things accurately (with those numbers how could an anaconda pilot ever be expected to scoop a cargo pod?), just to hide the fact that I'm cheating. Maybe once we get to the largest vessels I could reduce or ignore the modifier for crew. Not every crew member need be attending to an essential piloting function. Announcers on an anaconda, 'butlers' on a fer de lance, doctors/prison guards on a shuttle.
Anyway, I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with this yet but I do quite like the idea of some orbital prisons and hospitals popping up, perhaps with an AI that remains stationary until attacked (escorts perhaps?) And one man fighters that are actually small (costing them an energy bank or two I suspect).