Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Imagining Hard Sci fi Ship Combat

Lately there has been a drove of WW2 inspired Space Ship combat. By WW2, I mean extremely short ranges and internally inconsistent combat ranges (why are the carriers too close to each other).

I just watched Battlefield Yamato 2199 and the Dangerous Elite trailer. Since Honorverse being something of a very very distant future (i know it has some soft scifi but at least it has more internal consistency than some sci-fi).

Scales of Light Seconds. 

In scales of Light Seconds you cannot see the ship: THEN SUPERIMPOSE ITS IMAGE! I mean all that work on the 3d modeled ship has to go somewhere so super-impose the thing!

Space is not Black!

if you can see the beam weapons then your probably not in the human visible light range, if thats the case play with that Aesthetic. Don't make space this dark place, make it like some fantastastic world when you can see light ranges beyond the human spectrum. You have Auras, Radiation, magnetic fields, etc... all finding its way into your Aesthetics (making every ship unique by its "signature"). There is the HUD also that may be tracking everything.

F*ck Intertia

Well with the Life Suit and the Assumptions of Nano-Tech keeping us intact and pretty much tougher than normal humans,Ii was imagining the same technology and cyberazation augmenting the human crew to be more inertia resistant in high Gs. In my assumptions though there are G buffers or "dampeners" since the assumption of reaction-less drives manipulate Grav and inertia and space time.

Still, my minds eye would have a scene or shot of the crew as their life suits are pushed to the limit by high G evasive maneuvers that push the ship to its performance edge so that it can exceed predictive abilities of the enemy computers. All that nano-tech and cybernetics and the life suit holding everything together just barely, and the pain and disorientation felt by everyone but the captain.

The HUD overlay.

I imagine that the space combat will have HUD overlays, of trajectories paths and variables. You have the ship super imposed, then you have a color band to display the ship's variable paths because of the distortions created by its evasive maneuvers and various other EW systems that bend and alter EM transmissions.

I'd like to see the velocity of the ship, have it as part of the HUD aesthetic. Flash those damage codes, or weapon activation codes so that the audience can track whats happening. If shots are compensating for lead and variables show the cones and bands of probability.

Use the HUD to orient the viewers where the battle is taking place, and ideally where everything is happening. the HUD becomes another storytelling engine showing another layer of context. I guess in a 3d animations perspective, one camera on all the actioin and one camera in a macro view of everything relative to the star system's

Combat Scale of Ranges

I imagine that there are no direct shots, its mostly diffused energy bands that increase the probability of the hit. Visuals are parts of the ship melting or being irradiated. The few direct shots are from Laser Heads from Counter Missiles that are used offensively and other small exceptions like fragmentation and shrapnel.

Good Foundation is Pegged Assumptions and thinking things through

I guess in a long term project (because one should not expect their wishes to be carried out by others) I also have to peg down the assumptions and technologies in a biblio to keep consistent. Talk to fellow munchkins in tracking down all the assumptions. Maybe I'll do this as a join GURPS Space ships exercise lolz.

Bottom line I gotta research how I'm gonna pull this off in blender and create a processes of how to scale and animate such a fight. Better collect tutorials of how to do all the above.

Augmented Thought: bounded Rationality Matrix.

The Captain and the command Crew would be in gestalt and would bring their collective intelligence and Intelligence Instances online to make the ship work in a level of "bounded rationality" beyond imagination. Branches and branches of thought and possibility, emerging with many instances of the character's selves pursuing various branches of possibility and probability. This allows the ship to react in superhuman reflexes and the human element, the biological anchor and key of which of the hundreds of Instances based, defaults as the "real" and true parent instance.

I imagine it as literally a branching dense clusters of probability and for every major chain, an full Intelligence Instance of the character pursuing the probability and crunching data and best possible reactions. The way these branches out can be a way to illustrate how captains and crews think, with patterns to be unusual and strange. The more deviant the thinker, the more unusual the patterns and can be shown to the audience.

The scene is an abstraction of what is happening, with crewmen intertwined with the captain and the captain being replicated for every probably maneuver. The more training and simulation the captain and crew go through, the more complex the network of branching probabilities and the farther and farther the bounded rationality expands.

The Audience gets to see all the possibilities and for dramatic effect the worse case scenarios happening at the same time in an after effect. Greater probabilities are clearer while faint ones, the destruction and least likely scenarios, are less clear and glimpses of explosions and terror can be seen playing out. Then suddenly an unlikely scenario becomes real and it pivots the audience into something unexpected and dramatic.

edited for clarity and grammar.

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