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Jester’s Trek: Internal communication

I was looking over the new missile launcher turret models and admiring how nicely consistent they are, both internally and externally, when it reminded me how ridiculous I feel some of the gun turret models are.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think the art team — overall — did some great work on the gun turret models when they were introduced last year.  They look nice, the animations are a treat, and they show off how far ahead EVE is when compared to competitors, particularly Star Trek Online.  I might also bitch about turret placement on some of the ships (particularly the Ferox), but the turrets remain one of EVE’s graphical strengths.  They really help make EVE ships look more dynamic and consistent.

Still, there’s always room for improvement.

I fly a lot of Minmatar ships, and one of the things that really impresses me about the Minmatar turret models is their internal consistency.  You can tell that the same person worked on all of the models, or at least the same couple of people, and they talked to each other, showed each other their work, and collaborated.  Take the 425mm AutoCannons.  On the left is the single 425mm AC used by cruisers and battle cruisers.  On the right, the dual 425mm AC used by battleships.

There’s no question about the family relationship.  The two guns could have come out of the same factory.

Even Minmatar guns that could otherwise safely claim to be completely unrelated share design cues.  On the left, the cruiser-sized 650mm Artillery Cannon.  On the right, the battleship sized 650mm Repeating Artillery (which is actually an AutoCannon):

Again, nice clean lines, nice symmetry, and nice internal consistency between the two, even though one is a long-range weapon and one is a shorter-ranged one.  You can tell that either the same person worked on them, or the team that worked on them talked.  That’s not to say all the Minmatar weapons are perfect in this regard, of course.  The 1200mm Artillery and 1400mm Artillery cannons look nothing like each other, nor do the 125mm and 150mm AutoCannons, two things I always find amusing.  But overall, the Minmatar guns are great in this regard: really good internal consistency.

Compare and contrast to the railguns.

On the left, the frigate-sized 150mm Railgun.  On the right, the cruiser-sized Dual 150mm Railgun:

You would be forgiven for thinking these two weapons, ostensibly directly related, were in different games, much less on different size ships.  They look absolutely nothing like each other and share no design cues whatsoever.  It would have been the easiest thing in the world for the guy working on the frigate model to just copy-paste one of the two cruiser gun models, downsize it a bit, and fit it on his emplacement.  Not only did he not do that, he didn’t even wander over to look at the sketches given to the guy working the cruiser model.

The gun the next size up isn’t much better.  On the left, the cruiser-sized 250mm Railgun.  On the right, the battleship-sized Dual 250mm Railgun:

Not only do they look almost nothing alike, they don’t even share design cues with their smaller cousins.  You see this right across the railgun line.  At least three people were involved in the art, and none of the three of them even close to talked.  Look at the 125mm Railgun, the 250mm Railgun, and the 150mm Railgun.  Three totally different design aesthetics at work with few or no commonalities between them.  The people that worked on the blasters did a much better job, nearly as good as the work done on the Minmatar guns; the only thing I’d change about the blasters is to make them more visually interesting.  They’re kind of dull.

But as poorly thought-out as the railguns were, they’re wonderful work when compared to the lasers, which are just ridiculous.  On the left, the frigate-sized Dual Light Beam Laser.  On the left, the cruiser-sized Quad Light Beam Laser:

Again, other than the color scheme, you would be forgiven for thinking that these are two completely different weapons.  First, I realize that there is some question about whether lasers will produce recoil.  And honestly, I don’t care how the artists decide on this question.  But please, decide that question first for all of your lasers, one way or the other.  😉  Because it seems clear that again, at least three people were involved in the laser design and the three of them all had different ideas on this question.

In particular, one of the artists really wished he had been working on the Minmatar guns and so produced Minmatar lasers instead.  😉  His work was good enough to be showcased in the Incarna log-in art, so good on him there, but if that was going to be how lasers were going to look and work, I wish the decision had been consistent.  Instead, we’ve got some guns that keep their workings internal while others have these ridiculous-looking siege gun style barrels.

This is really shown off in this pair.  On the left, the cruiser-sized Heavy Pulse Laser.  On the right, the battleship-sized Dual Heavy Pulse Laser:

The cruiser-sized weapon says “laser” to me.  The battleship weapon says “World War I” to me.  😉  At least the same person that worked on the one battleship-sized pulse laser worked on the other (the Mega Pulse) as well.  Still, it would have been nice had this person talked to the two people that were working on the cruiser-sized weapons.  And we know it was two different people because all we have to do to confirm that is compare the Heavy Pulse Laser to the Focused Medium Pulse Laser (which itself looks almost nothing like the frigate-class Medium Pulse Laser).

But the internal consistency of the pulse lasers is fantastic compared to the beam lasers.  Oi.  On the left, the cruiser-sized Heavy Beam Laser.  On the right, the battleship-sized Dual Heavy Beam Laser:

Do I even have to talk about this one?  I guess I don’t.  The barrels on the latter spin.  They spin.  And the battleship-sized beam lasers only become more grotesque and ridiculous as they get bigger.  😉

Anyway, it’s a great argument for getting your people to talk to each other from time to time.  If you ever need proof that CCP sometimes has a communication problem, you have visual proof right in the game.  That’s why it was really nice to see how internally consistent and well-done the missile turrets are.  I really look forward to seeing more finished versions, presumably at Fanfest.

Ripard Teg

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  1. derp

    This is the pressing issue of the day? I guess EVE is in pretty good shape then.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm Reply
    1. hey

      Yes it is.

      More seriously, he issue is more about CCP internal communication than guns design, and reveals a lot about the way CCP works (and it's not really looking good …).

      March 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm Reply
    2. Yeah, it's intended as commentary on how CCP operates. That said, the very same day on my blog, I posted this, which you might find more to your liking:

      March 24, 2012 at 7:00 am Reply
  2. Hahahaha

    Assburgers much?

    March 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm Reply
  3. ...

    I don't even… why did I…

    Give me back those five minutes so I can spend them on porn.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm Reply
    1. Random Miner

      You deserve more then my +1 can give you….

      March 23, 2012 at 6:12 am Reply
  4. lolguns

    You learn 'em Jester!

    March 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm Reply
  5. The14th

    I remember the first time I looked at all the hybrid turrets, I didn't understand why they looked so radically different. Made me wish I could switch the models on some of them, because some of them look way more badass than others.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm Reply
  6. JustAGuy

    This is kind of a silly comment, but just in case nobody else has noticed, the little introductory paragraph at the beginning of every Jester's Trek is always the only thing that gets presented on the front page. That means that the only way to have any idea what his post is about is to open it.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm Reply
    1. Yup, i don't see any problem with it.

      March 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm Reply
    2. Some Dude

      Yeah, I find it irritating. Most of the time when I come to EveNews24, I quickly scan the headlines to see if something interesting is going on. If unsure, I look at the blurb. But the Jester Trek headlines rarely give much of a clue about content (e.g. who would predict "internal communication" would be all about turret models??), and then the blurb is boilerplate intro text. So I usually skip reading Jester Trek on EveNews except when none of the other articles grab my attention.

      Which is not to say I don't read Jester Trek. But I when I do, more often than not it's because I'm on Ripard Teg's blog, not EveNews24.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm Reply
  7. Surprise!

    Minmatar wins again.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm Reply
  8. Johann

    Yeah, I couldn't believe the Saints either. I mean cmon, contracts on other players?

    March 23, 2012 at 3:47 am Reply
  9. Imigo

    The old turrets and their icons were ridiculously consistent for each line of gun types, so I'm somewhat stumped as to why these are so different.

    Still, I'll go for the broken record theme again: iteration is a good thing, let's just hope they keep doing it.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:40 am Reply
  10. anon

    I like variety

    March 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm Reply
  11. Michael Meio

    If only half the effort was put on the sound FX, EVE would be a more immersive gaming experience. Mining turrets, tractor beams, salvagers, cynos', etc… have recently been revised and some are cool, yes. I particularly like the pop-corn tractor beam, tho I would have highlighted some 'twisting metal' kind of grinding to it.

    Sounds are hard to explain.

    Of course there are players that mute EVE, few use the infamous jukebox and well, from time to time, even I get mesmerized by the beauty of he game and take a peek at the turrets FX. But when I fight, EVE universe becomes a bunch of animated dots with sound.

    Essentially, the majority listens. And some turrets sound FX in EVE are outdated and inconsistent / lacking creativity.

    If only we could fetch an internal comm about sound…

    March 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm Reply
    1. Michael Meio

      Oh, BTW… These assembly / deployment, recharge visuals are accompanied by silence.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm Reply
  12. FlyinPiper

    On the left, a .22 caliber rifle, on the right, a .50 rifle. Not only do they look almost nothing alike, they don’t even share design cues. IT'S AN OUTRAGE. If only the designer of one had copied the designs of the other….

    Seriously, dude did you stop to think about the fact that even in RL, different designers means two different products, even if they are similar sizes? A 9mm Glock does not look anything like a 9mm Ruger.

    November 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm Reply

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