Ship dimensions...

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Pansen
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Ship dimensions...

Post by Pansen » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:41 am

Looking on the oolite section of the elite wiki, I note that most of the ships are pretty huge in size - the cobra mk III is 130x30x65 metres, for example - similar footprint (in terms of area) to a typical football field.

The original Elite manual on Ian Bell's site gives the same numbers as the elite wiki, but in FEET.

I'm working on some fiction at the moment, and trying to get an idea of how much interior space is available for the 'action' to take place in.

Anyone got any views on this?

My reason for asking is that I don't want to produce work that grossly overestimates what people think the internal areas of these ships would be.

My current sketch plans of a (modified) Asp Explorer used by a team of 4 prospectors for deep space mineral exploration give it a large - roughly 10m x 6m) bridge area at the upper level; living area comprising galley, four crew cabins, infirmary, mess etc on the mid level; cargo hold, storage, research lab, escape pods on the bottom level. The other (approx 1/2) of the ships interior is given over to drives/essential systems. Still have a fair bit of space left over.

Cheers.

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Post by Diziet Sma » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:25 am

There has been considerable debate in the past on this very issue.. one particularly good thread had pics of a cobby to scale parked on the ground in Regent's Park and at the London Eye. Here's the thread.

The end result after LOTS of debate was: Let sleeping dogs lie... :lol: (translation: it would mean messing with about a zillion places in the game-engine to fix, and would mess with the dimensions of planets and suns, as well as the volume of space in-between, so it ain't gonna happen)

Here's a couple of clickable thumbnails to some massive plans drawn up a long time ago by Jannah Berihn. They show a Cobby MkIII in the original feet dimensions. (She's a big ship even then.. If you convert this to meters, you can see how crazy the sizes in Oolite are)

Warning, the actual images are 3057 x 2355. They are quite detailed, and might give you some ideas re internal layout, which is why I'm posting them. Just save the full-size versions to your computer so you can zoom in and check out the awesome job Jannah did.

Image

Image
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Re: Ship dimensions...

Post by DaddyHoggy » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:26 am

Pansen wrote:Looking on the oolite section of the elite wiki, I note that most of the ships are pretty huge in size - the cobra mk III is 130x30x65 metres, for example - similar footprint (in terms of area) to a typical football field.

The original Elite manual on Ian Bell's site gives the same numbers as the elite wiki, but in FEET.

I'm working on some fiction at the moment, and trying to get an idea of how much interior space is available for the 'action' to take place in.

Anyone got any views on this?

My reason for asking is that I don't want to produce work that grossly overestimates what people think the internal areas of these ships would be.

My current sketch plans of a (modified) Asp Explorer used by a team of 4 prospectors for deep space mineral exploration give it a large - roughly 10m x 6m) bridge area at the upper level; living area comprising galley, four crew cabins, infirmary, mess etc on the mid level; cargo hold, storage, research lab, escape pods on the bottom level. The other (approx 1/2) of the ships interior is given over to drives/essential systems. Still have a fair bit of space left over.

Cheers.
Don't worry about it - the numbers in Oolite don't work - a Coriolis is only 1km across, a planet only 30km - the values are nominal - a cargo cannister is huge compared to the size it "should" be - but if it was the size it should be, you wouldn't be able to see it, until you all but fell over it, trying to scoop it in the depths of space...

Most ship builders seem to build a ship presuming metres in their 3D modelling tools try it in game and then go back and scale accordingly (i.e. it's supposed to be the same size as an Anaconda but is only (in game) the size of a Sidewinder...)
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Post by Disembodied » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:03 am

I've always assumed that, on a trading ship at least, the available crew space will always be cramped. Apart from the atmospheric appeal, it makes sense: space = money. Cargo holds can be quite roomy, though: cavernous, even, depending on the size of the ship. And then there are other important areas like engine rooms, which could be quite big, and lots of service ducts and the like.

If you want staterooms, etc. then you're best to go with something like a Fer de Lance, or at least something that's been kitted out for comfort (like the Imperial Cruiser in Mutabilis).

The best recommendation though would be to decide what sort of atmosphere you want for the story: is it going to be tight and claustrophobic, or are there endless corridors, or huge (and possibly zero-g) internal voids, or a mixture of some or all of the above? Then write your ship to suit the mood. ;)

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Post by Commander McLane » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:31 am

What the other guys said. Please don't try to reconcile sizes and distances in Oolite, because it simply can't be done. After all, keep in mind that Oolite is a game, not a faithful space simulation. So at the end of the day we don't implement what would be correct, but what works as a game.

Therefore the ships are sized not with regard to what their interior would look like, but purely from an outside point of view: their visibility in space. If you fly through your game and you meet another ship, you actually want to see it. But you wouldn't see any object smaller than 10 meters before you've scooped it. If you would have to come to scooping distance to another ship, in order to make out anything on its hull, the game would be boring, and all our ship designers would waste their beatiful shaders in vain. And we don't want that. It's as simple as that.

We want to see other ships from the outside, therefore we have to oversize them, and we simply don't care what their interior would look like.

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Post by ClymAngus » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:03 am

Solutions have been offered, but they proved to be some what unworkable. Mainly because we all have better and cooler things to do than get all "StarTrek" about this.

There was the school of thought that if you rescaled the cargo and fitted it with flashers, defined the rest of the world in metres and hang the extra size and made the planets moons of larger planets. Then you might get something that "felt" more realistic.

Problem is even then, it's all bollocks. a 30km planet is still only a little bigger than the mars moon Phobos. And the jury is still out on if a body that small could actually pull itself into a spherical shape.

Basically your getting more and more extreme explainations trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. When everybody would really rather be building ships or exotic weaponary. :)

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Post by Pansen » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:55 am

Wow - the plans of the Cobra mk III are superb. Very interesting reading the threads/viewing the attached links.

Thanks for the posts - I'm quite happy now that regardless of scales/measurements, any descriptions of (or allusions to) interior space in my story are not going to make the ship seem excessively large/small, to the point where it seems totally non-canonical. The discussion above suggests that It's pretty open to the individual's imagination, which is a good thing;-).

That said, as Disembodied suggests, I've tried to keep the interior fit for purpose: it's an exploration/research vessel used by a mining firm for long voyages so roomy enough but fairly utilitarian.

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Post by allikat » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:51 pm

Thanks for the pics. It seems to me, the rough size of the cargo bays is somewhat close to the size of the average artic trailer.
For comparison, the average trailer is roughly 10ftx10ftx40ft internal, about 4,000 cubic foot of volume.
Note as well that the standard cargo containers mentioned in the Elite books are supposed to be sealed and environmentally outfitted to cope with being dumped/moved around in space without suffering damage to the contents. This would take more space than the average pallet in the real world.

But I am definitely not going to suggest that we change anything, obviously certain large lizards will require more space than us humanoids...
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Post by Kyle Aaron » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:09 am

Commander McLane wrote:What the other guys said. Please don't try to reconcile sizes and distances in Oolite, because it simply can't be done. After all, keep in mind that Oolite is a game, not a faithful space simulation. So at the end of the day we don't implement what would be correct, but what works as a game.
Which is funny, because when people complain about the long flights from end of jump to station, the response is, "but space is big, that's realistic..." :)
We want to see other ships from the outside, therefore we have to oversize them, and we simply don't care what their interior would look like.
It matters to people who write fiction, and anyone else with an imagination. I mean, with the game as presented, for all we know the ship commander is actually a sentient computer, when you buy a new ship the computer is just slotted into it 8)

Your comments on visibility are interesting, though. In reality, a spacecraft will be visible in the infrared spectrum from hundreds of thousands of kilometres away - because even a ship at water's freezing point is 267K or 267C warmer than the background of space. Maybe in the Oolite universe everyone sees in infrared?

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Post by Cmdr James » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:38 am

Kyle Aaron wrote: Which is funny, because when people complain about the long flights from end of jump to station, the response is, "but space is big, that's realistic..." :)
Um, thats where the gameplay occurs. If you make the journey from jump to station short you dont have any game left.

I dton think Ive heard people argue that this is realistic because space is big. It would be quite easy to leave space big and just make the witchpoint close, but of course that is still a silly thing to do.

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Post by drew » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:02 am

I had a much simplier approach to the exterior dimensions and interior space problem when writing my stories.

I just ignored the problem and it went away. :wink:

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Post by ClymAngus » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:44 am

woot! Well I do have a rather small PM think tank on the subject. I've outlined some of our ideas above. But it's staying as a thought experiment for the moment. There are wider "fix it and it's not elite any more" issue. That's just one of the social issues that the maths doesn't take into account.

To be honest there is no drive to push for a solution that satisfies both "physics-lite" and gameplay. If there's no drive then you have no debate, without debate you don't have a solution.

Sure I'm leaning towards "it's impossible!!" but impossibilities never sat very well with me, but to be honest I have 101 more important things to do. This minor annoyance is worthy of a quiet PM debate. But that's about it.

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Re: Ship dimensions...

Post by treczoks » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:14 am

Pansen wrote:Looking on the oolite section of the elite wiki, I note that most of the ships are pretty huge in size - the cobra mk III is 130x30x65 metres, for example - similar footprint (in terms of area) to a typical football field.
I ran into the same question some time ago. Originally, the unit of measure was feet, now its meter, and it is way too big IMHO.
I wanted to build a scale model of a Cobra MKIII in 1:42 from LEGO bricks (1:42 is the standard LEGO figure scale), but that would have ended me up with a model (MOC in LEGO fan speak) of more than a meter wide. Not too much for my collection, but quite bulky and heavy.
Now I'll do something entirely different for the exhibition in November, and maybe, if the powers that are will settle the problem one day, I'll dig up the idea again.

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Post by ClymAngus » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:17 am

On that day Satan will be skating to work. Pick the size you want and go from there. The upside of all this is NOTHING is wrong.

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Post by Sarin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:35 pm

Nitpick tho, Asp, no matter what version, isn't a good craft to pick. While sizes are free to pick, other things are quite well defined in canon, and Asps are long range two-seated combat crafts, (almost) without cargo bay. Old good Cobby 3 should do better I think, after all, it's cheaper, have more missile pylons that can be used for fuel tanks (if you consider one widely-used OXP canon), and have quite roomy cargo bay (with expansion) that can be partially converted into living space for two additional persons and science lab (Cobra is originally two-seater too, but is usually piloted by just one person).

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