Author Topic: I sketched a ship concept on an index card  (Read 702 times)

Offline Unarmed Civilian

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I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« on: November 10, 2016, 10:10:06 pm »
Not sure where to put this, but this seems appropriate. I made this as the result of me stating that I wish the devs would design more Skirmish ships rather than wacky Alliance ones with repair layouts that make me want to ruin my match completion rate, and would draft up a concept today.

May have to open it in a new tab to see it clearly. Hopefully my writing isn't too awful.


I wanted a ship that relied primarily on broadsides like the Junker and Galleon, but actually be fast enough to use those broadsides aggressively (by motoring up next to its target). I also wanted to experiment with having two guns very close to eachother on the right side (very powerful setup for gunners but super easily disabled), and a gun placement with the captain using it in mind. Due to the shape of the ship, the ship can approach with the side guns fairly well protected by the cockpit's hitbox.

For the ship's maneuverability, I had in mind poor turning but very good forward thrust, coupled with a good top speed by virtue of very low weight (this is a very compact ship).

For toughness, due to the firepower potential so close to the hull, and the small size of the gondola, it should have around the armor of the Goldfish (cause panic, force common repairs). For hull health, while small it is still a bulky target due to its two-floor design, so around the Pyramidion's should be reasonable. This is a ship capable of trifectas that is also fast, even if only going straight, so it needs to be a bit squishy to compensate.

The gondola being rather close to the larger balloon overhead reduces its vulnerability to high arc weapons at range (literally only the Hades), but it is not significant, especially since long-range guns shoot almost straight (esp. with lesmok).


Here is the component placement:

On the right side, there are two light guns that are very close to eachother. A single artemis could disable both easily, but it's still some serious firepower that only really needs one guy to do it.

At the front, the helm is in a roofed cockpit, with a ladder leading to a gun pedestal on the roof. The captain could theoretically climb the ladder to that gun to fire it, then quickly jump down to the helm. Save for the helm, that particular gun is very isolated and intentionally to the left of the center of the ship to reduce the effectiveness of close-range trifectas. This gun is ideal for approaching, so a potent disabling gun (artemis) or gun that puts a lot of pressure without being at point blank (lesmok gat) might be the best options.

As a way to inhibit the lower engineer from getting to the helm gun, the door is rusted shut. The upper engineer can still get to it easily though.

The left gun can be used for a left-side bifecta (if you are one of those people who likes using the port guns of a pyra), but is primarily a utility/defensive slot, which is always nice to have (flare op). It is comparable to a Goldfish's left gun that doesn't make you feel bad for using as utility.

The hull component is nearby so that the gunner feels pressured to help repair it rather than shooting if the ship is critical.

The engines are purposely separated to allow one engineer to get both turners, but not let one engineer maintain constant burn by the captain without assistance. Constant burn is the Pyra's thing, and is one of the reasons why high-level pilots can use them to such great effect despite their natural sluggishness.

The balloon is in a sensible spot to give the roof engie more stuff to do near the engines.

And now for the shape.

The gondola is shaped such that if you tried to jump off the edge onto the lower deck, that's not gonna happen. A safety railing on the inside prevents you from getting inside the lower deck from outside, and a safety railing on the upper deck hopefully prevents you from doing something so absurd. The only major shortcut is from the helm gun to the lower deck via jumping off the cabin to where the stairs begin. Honestly, this ship is really compact, so unless you're going from the turners to the main (which two split engineers easily covers), you don't need a shortcut. If that's a problem, I'll try to address it when I re-draft it so that there's more crazy parkour tricks on your ship that is coincidentally similar in size and shape to a short bus.

The lower rear of the ship is surrounded by low walls (think pyra rear) that don't block visibility much. The pilot can't see behind at all due to the location of the helm, so that is more important than you'd think.

The has a frontal wedge (like the pyra) specifically designed to cause it to veer off course when ramming (like the pre-galleon-weight pyra) because this game does not have deformable collision meshes (not even sure that is doable in real-time). Combined with its low weight to make it easily tossed around, this makes it a ship that you can intentionally "mess up" a ram with to get your side guns in arc (Galleon is too heavy for that to ever happen, Junker is slow and doesn't like ramming for that reason).

It's also a shape intended to make a pyramidion trying to ram you frontally be deflected by the nose (you turn left and thrust towards him), having your gun on his weak side, or cause it to spin you about while it keeps going forward (results in your right guns against his left hull guns, which should favor you against most pyra loadouts). This makes it capable of punishing a pyra's aggression by being too easily tossed away from the ram and hard to pin, which would hopefully give the pyra another counter.


In hindsight, the ship is too small (would be half the length of a Squid, which is a lot bigger than it looks), even for being designed to be small. Probably because I designed it around a zeppelin gondola shape, which is very, very small, and GoI ships being the size of houses (even the Squid). The two very close guns combined with the front gun are also still potentially overpowered, as an engineer could just take that gun and boom, two person trifecta. The major downside preventing this is that an engineer all the way on that gun has a long trip back to repair anything but the hull, and can't get back there easily, but if you're on someone's flank the second engineer can easily pick up the slack.

The resulting repair layout is also too similar to a Goldfish's and too similar to a Junker's at the same time for me to be comfortable with. It's hard to come up with a repair layout that's both unique (Mobula, Pyramidion, Squid) while not being completely insane (Crusader, Magnate rear half).


After I'm done messing with this one, I'm going to mess with the concepts of physically shielded components and driver visability more. Then I might try one that plays with verticality and exotic gun placement.

Offline Naoura

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 11:00:51 pm »
Possible theory for the design similarity, without being too insane: Remove the "upper deck", then space out the balloons and put catwalks in between them, leaving a single "gondola" with a pair of ladders leading up to in between the balloons, with the balloon repair point sitting on the catwalks. To ensure that the "Balloon Engie" would have enough to do... maybe relocate engines towards the front and put the front-facing weapon up there as well?

The thought here being that the upper deck would be the higher-level area, being somewhat difficult to navigate and a little maze-like. The Top-deck Engie would have to know his route, dance between the two front engines, tap the balloon, go for the forward gun, etc., while lower deck, with a somewhat generous amount of armor and access to the weapons, would be for a lower level engie who the captain doesn't trust as much. Perhaps have multiple bulkheads throughout, making it something like an actual house-styled ship with a difficult to navigate interior, to make it so that the bottom Engie, gunner, and Pilot can't just jump on hull together.

Perhaps have it so that the Pilot's access would be from the left of the wheelhouse, leading into the "room" with the left facing weapon. That, in turn, leads over towards the right-facing weapons room, which goes back towards the "engineering" sector, with the main engine and the hull.

Narrow doorways and maze-like bulkheads would make movement throughout the gondola slow, but balanced. Maybe put ladders up towards the balloon catwalk section at the rear, near the main engine, and next to the port gun. That would give the top-deck engie enough access points down without making it too easy. A skill jump into oblivion and trying to land into the port-gun point would be higher level play, or else a skill-jump at the back ladder, trying to slip into the segment of the ship where the ladder is going up. Leave it open to the air to encourage a skill jump, but put some kind of slope above it, to make it a little more challenging. And to keep the rain out.

Let me know if I make no sense whatsoever, but I really like the look of what you drew. I need to start actually trying to draw a third of the ideas I've come up with... visual aides are a wonderful thing.

Offline Unarmed Civilian

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 01:10:15 am »
Thing is I really want that front gun to be very isolated and inconvenient to use, but I suppose the problem is that doing that along with having those two gns on the side so close makes this a 3 man ship in effect. The top engie should only really be able to use it if nothing above is at risk, and you may have noticed how the turners are intentionally super exposed to the point where they are vulnerable from directly in front ( no other ship except the squid has this problem). That said, the gun placement and exposed engines might be too cruel for the top engie in its current form.

Speaking of the top engie, I'd love to make the top zeppelin-esque, but this game has literally no zeppelins, based on the balloon collapse models. Mobula is probably the closest in behavior to a zeppelin. A zeppelin's balloon is called the hull, and the balloons are inside the hull. Also I actually like the big circle balloons on the Pyra and Galleon. Not sure about a catwalk between the balloons though. With the kind of suspension used for holding up the hulls/gondolas in this game, my inner wannabe engineer is screaming against it.

In my next draft I'll add a couple spots for the top engie to jump down and be a hero from the top, including the right side guns and the main engine.

I'll draft a version of the top with my current layout, and a more catwalky one with the engines in front, isolating the balloon.

I also want to redraw the actual balloons and enlarge the gondola to make this at least similar in size to the Junker's main area.

Offline Naoura

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2016, 02:40:34 am »
Think of the catwalks similar to the Crow's nest from the Galleon mixed with the catwalks from the Pyra. Imagine the catwalks wrapping around the balloon of the Pyra, with the repair point located inconveniently at the back of it. You could utilize the ball-balloons and have the walks move in between them, just spaced out a little bit.

Where the front and center balloon are seperated, put a catwalk in between, leading to the two turning engines, exposed on either side of the ship, but not all at once except form straight ahead and straign behind, protecting one turning engine at a time at all times. With the balloon repair point all the way at the back, it'd have the top deck engineer rushing away from the front weapon so often that he won't be able to do much on it. At best it'd likely be utility, or perhaps LesGat like you said.

This would actually help with your desire for an actual Zeppeline, due to all of the catwalks between the balloons being similar to how the interior of a Zeppeline would be like. Perhaps add some small armored panels around the balloons, making it semi-tanky for it's balloon and making it seem more like a zeppeline overall. The balloons would be spaced apart only enough to make the character fit through. It'd be claustrophobic and tight up top, and you would be sprinting around it more than you'll be on that gun, so making some armor, similar to the Goldies' armor plates, would make it seem like you're inside the entire time.

I agree on making the Gondola length comparative to the Junker. Nice and long, but I still lobby for lots of bulkheads. Make it claustrophobic to crew on it, similar to the pit on the Junker itself. Tight, narrow, but with plenty of dakka to choose from.

Offline Unarmed Civilian

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2016, 08:28:39 am »
The thing is that zeppelins are slow,  but tough and stable. It would not make sense thematically, unless the balloon is reinforced like crazy similar to the Pyra. I also want to save the zeppelin-style balloon for that exotic gun placement ship I mentioned. I have two alternative second levels sketched right now, sketching an alternate, more bulkhead-ed interior now.

Offline Unarmed Civilian

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2016, 10:20:35 am »
Index card no. 2



There's two interior variants and two top variants. The first interior is based on the first design. The second one is more realistically separated. Major differences between the two are level of access to the hull component and crampedness inside the gondola.

The first interior design puts a long wall between the two fighting compartments, and the hull in a corner that is very close to the right guns, but far from the helm. The right side guns are separated enough for a person to get through them, allowing the top engie to be able to jump down to the main floor.

The second interior design features a large fighting compartment with the hull component secreted away into a back room to increase distance from the helm and guns. The larger fighting compartment gives more room to move about in the center and more ability for a frustrated pilot to man the guns himself without giving him fast access to the hull. There is also a variant on the design of the left gun emplacement, with a place for a removed left side gun that serves as a platform for the top engineer to jump down to. The layout also looks like a ship from FTL, so I drew the FTL compartment symbols for fun.

The first roof design is a prettier refinement of the original design, giving the top engineer a rather luxurious lounge to loaf about in. There is also a hatch that's opened up leading to the main engine room if somehow the main engine is under more stress than the turners, or he needs to help tank the hull in some clutch situation. He'll still have to climb a ladder to get back to the balloon. Speaking of which, the balloon is closer to the center of the ship to reduce the distance to the helm gun so he's more likely to get a chance to use it.

The second roof design has the engines at the front of the ship (even more absurdly exposed) closer to the hem gun, but with stairs leading down to those engines (fast to get to the engine, slow to climb back up). The balloon remains next to the ladder to leave it a bit more separated. In hindsight, I should have moved it all the way to the original position to make the ship very vulnerable to balloon pressure as a drawback for having so many places with close-ish components for engineers to hang around. It has a more "catwalk" appearance in the layout, so I envisioned it as a catwalk up close to the balloon. The engine hatch is still in the same location if you jump down to the roof

Overall the body is a little longer, reaching about the length of the Squid's center pontoon. I feel that the gun emplacements could probably be pushed further out at the cost of making them more exposed from the front, but the engines are already pretty crazily exposed, and I'd like more ships to have someone protected guns to counter hwacha/disable builds, though perhaps that is a concept I should explore in a different design.

Offline Naoura

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2016, 02:37:20 pm »
The second set is almost exactly what I was thinking about. It gives it a very interesting look, and somewhat seperates the top-deck engie from the bottom deck, unless they skill-jump down around the side of the ship. I would almost say put a pair of balloons on either side of the catwalk. Something similar to the Squid's outrigger balloons, on either side of the balloon repair point, the tips positioned just behind the stairs towards the engines. Reversing the engines would make it so that you don't have people questioning why the blades aren't slicing the balloons, and it would look absolutely perfect.

Interior, I'd say adding a low wall in between the right hand guns and the left hand gun. Something like a table with a few chairs around it, making it look nice and homely while still slowing movement around the gun-deck. I like the ladder inside the Wheelhouse. Gives more accessability for the captain, potentially letting the captain just jump up and shoot while the top-deck engie is focusing repairs.

EDIT: For the balloon style, you know the Chaladonian Axii? The smaller ships that have three balloons? That. That would work perfect for the Zeppelin style, because it would have you "inside" the balloon the entire time.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 02:44:33 pm by Naoura »

Offline SteamBrains

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Offline The Mann

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2017, 02:44:29 pm »
That ain't no Bone Fish.

This is a Bone Fish:




EDIT - oh wait.. It is a Bone Fish... But my pic is cooler :P

Offline Naoura

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Re: I sketched a ship concept on an index card
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 12:01:07 pm »
Pretty sure the Bonefish is going to be an Arashi AI ship, but that's just me.

Personally, I'd love to see that as the second ship for the Arashi. All the factions, hopefully, will get a second ship.