The Classic Ships OXZ

Discussion and information relevant to creating special missions, new ships, skins etc.

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The Classic Ships OXZ

Post by Smivs » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:25 am

Current version - v1.4

I remember 'back in the day', when Elite was a huge part of the lives of my friends and I, dreaming of how good it would be if the ships were actually 'solid' and not just wireframe, and really looked like 'proper' spaceships. When I discovered Oolite my dreams seemed to have come true at last, albeit in a rather crude way. However, the introduction of Oolite v1.80 brought many changes, not least of which was the move from the original models and textures to the new Griff/Solo set.
This was a popular and some would say overdue improvement, but the old 'Elite' shape ships have a heritage that many, including myself, think should not be lost.

I am therefore pleased to announce the release of The Classic Ships expansion.

The Classic Ships are facsimilies of the original Elite ships, as first seen in 1984. They were re-modeled and textured by Giles Williams (Aegidian) when he first coded Oolite in 2004. In this form they were the default ships until the release of Oolite v1.80 in June, 2014 by which time they were looking rather tired and dated. Although now superceded as the default shipset, they are still held in high esteem by many, and have a strong nostalgic and Retro appeal. In producing this Expansion, my aim was to re-imagine them in a thoroughly modern way while preserving the heritage they represent.

Aegidian's original models have been used and are unchanged. New models have been produced to add engines to the ships and a Gun model has also been utilised. This approach retains the authenticity of the classic shapes while giving them the more rounded, complete look demanded today. The texturing has also been completely updated to meet modern standards. The texture designs are heavily influenced by Aegidian's original set, but have been extensively re-worked to meet today's standards of detail and quality. Using diffuse, emission, normal and specular mapping this shipset requires a shader-capable computer to look at its best although it will work (and still look good) on most non-shader machines. Users of low-end computers might find the high-resolution images too heavy on resources however, but a 'Lite' version of the set with much smaller graphics files is scheduled for release very soon.

Two versions are available in line with recent shipset convention, a 'Replace' set which replaces the default ships with the Classic Ships, or an 'Addition' set which adds the Classic Ships to the default set to allow a mix.

The shipset has been extensively tested and all appears to be working, including in Trunk, but if any problems or bugs appear, please post details here.

Full details are available on the wiki page, which also includes download links, a gallery, some background to the ships and details of the special features included in the OXZ. The Classic Ships are available via the in-game expansions manager.

This OXZ has no affect on gameplay or game mechanics.

Many thanks must go to everybody who participated in the WIP discussion, particularly Redspear, Maik, Diziet Sma, P A Groove and Spara. Thanks also to Disembodied and Rorschachhamster for additional ship decals, and of course a huge Thanks to Aegidian for creating Oolite and the inspiration behind these ships and designs.

I hope you enjoy them.
Last edited by Smivs on Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:10 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Diziet Sma » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:37 am

Congratulations on completing this huge project, Smivs! 8)
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:39 am

Thanks. :)
Yes, it was a bit of an epic - just over seven months in total. And the whole project is not yet finished - I already have the 'Lite' version underway, and the two planned supplements are still waiting in the wings.
Still, it gives me something to do...
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Geraldine » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:50 am

They look simply great Smivs, much appreciated. 8)
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:41 pm

The wiki page gallery gives a good indication of the range of ships, but a small image can never show much detail, so I've just added a larger composite image and thought I'd share it here as well. This features the Python Trader, the Gecko and the Cobra MkIII alternate.
Click on the image for full size.

Image
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:05 pm

The first Classic Ships complementary OXZ is now available.
The Classic Variety Pack contains twenty new textures to give a wider and richer range of ships. These additional textures should mostly appear with the same frequency as the original set, and there are also two 'Easter Eggs' which will only appear very rarely - see if you can find them.
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Redspear » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:49 pm

Not had a chance to try this yet but you know I'm after testing that Cobra Mk1 8) (possibly with some tyre squeel sound effects for good measure :P )

In any case, great job from what I've seen so far.
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Tichy » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:43 am

Hi smivs! Do you plan to make a classic version of the stations too?

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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:10 am

I had thought about it, but have no immediate plans to do so.
I have a backlog of other projects waiting for my attention which really should get priority, not least the Lite version of the Ships which I sort of promised to do. Also, spara is making excellent progress updating Xeptatl, and I have a fair bit of modeling and re-skinning to do for that as well. Plus I still have two OXZs to update ready for Oolite v1.81.
Back to your question, when I started this project it was unclear what sort of demand there might be for a 'Classic' Ooniverse. When the move to the new ships happened I felt a bit like a voice in the wilderness standing up for the old ships. But I was confident I wasn't the only person who likes them, and the encouragement I got throughout the WIP phase was really great. Since release they have been 'selling' well which I am very happy about.
The stations are a different prospect though. The ships had good designs from the start and the Classic Ships has largely taken these and brought them up to date (with a few liberties taken), but the original stations were just plain, blank even, so in essence there is nothing there to update. If I was to tackle them in a way that people might actually want they would have to be much more 'Me' than original Oolite. While I'm sure I could make them look rather good, the current default stations are still basically the same shapes as the originals, and also look very nice, so I'm not sure what I could add other than an updated and improved version of the old Accessories style of stations. I'm more than happy to look at this though, so if anybody else has any thoughts or comments......
As an aside, I am giving serious consideration to giving the old Rock Hermits a make-over. To me, a Hermit would be a hollowed-out rock made by a few hard-core miners so they had somewhere to camp out for a few days or weeks during a mining foray. Any structure would be hand made out of scrap and salvage and would simply be adequate to provide warmth, shelter and atmosphere for the miners, and somewhere to store stuff. The new hermits are in my opinion far too impressive. They are like cities in space where I believe they should look more like a garden lean-to.
So at some point some Classic Hermitages might be made available.
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Tichy » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:45 am

Smivs wrote:The stations are a different prospect though. The ships had good designs from the start and the Classic Ships has largely taken these and brought them up to date (with a few liberties taken), but the original stations were just plain, blank even, so in essence there is nothing there to update. If I was to tackle them in a way that people might actually want they would have to be much more 'Me' than original Oolite. While I'm sure I could make them look rather good, the current default stations are still basically the same shapes as the originals, and also look very nice, so I'm not sure what I could add other than an updated and improved version of the old Accessories style of stations. I'm more than happy to look at this though, so if anybody else has any thoughts or comments.....
I was thinking about a modernized version of the stations in Accessories. The default stations are not enogh angular :)

I agree with your considerations about rock hermits, and I think there should be more variety in their shapes. I imagine them as improvised outposts built upon asteroids, so there should be different kinds of them with a very rough look.

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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Diziet Sma » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:29 pm

Smivs wrote:As an aside, I am giving serious consideration to giving the old Rock Hermits a make-over. To me, a Hermit would be a hollowed-out rock made by a few hard-core miners so they had somewhere to camp out for a few days or weeks during a mining foray. Any structure would be hand made out of scrap and salvage and would simply be adequate to provide warmth, shelter and atmosphere for the miners, and somewhere to store stuff. The new hermits are in my opinion far too impressive. They are like cities in space where I believe they should look more like a garden lean-to.
So at some point some Classic Hermitages might be made available.
Tichy wrote:I agree with your considerations about rock hermits, and I think there should be more variety in their shapes. I imagine them as improvised outposts built upon asteroids, so there should be different kinds of them with a very rough look.
I'd imagine there would be a mixture of Hermit types.. some rough'n'ready, short-term types, whilst others might be long-established and "improved" over the course of decades, and everything in between..
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Fri May 01, 2015 6:45 pm

v1.1 is now available.
I recently came across a situation where the gun sub-ents were not present under certain circumstances, so this has now been put right. At the same time a very minor (but to me rather annoying) anomaly on the standard Python texture has been corrected.
The variety pack is not affected.
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Layne » Fri May 01, 2015 6:59 pm

This is probably my favorite recent ship expansion; while Griff's ships and stations are wonderful and intricate, they lack a certain retro flair that I love. Keep it up, Smivs! These packs are terrific!
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Fri May 01, 2015 7:04 pm

Thank you very much :)
The good news is there is more in the pipeline...
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Re: [RELEASE] The Classic Ships

Post by Layne » Fri May 01, 2015 7:28 pm

Nice to hear! I'm actually even still using your earlier Smivs' Shipset & Accessory pack-- the little damage animations for when you shoot up ships are fun to see. Yes, I know it's considered out-of-date by current standards but I think it's worth keeping in play.
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