Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crimson Eagles - Aircraft Design

After I worked the maneuvering chart I began to convert the planes to this system. There are two areas of conversion; maneuvering and structure.
In Crimson Skies, aircraft can attempt any maneuver: it just gets more difficult the harder that you redline the engine (trying for more speed), or pull G's (harder maneuvers). The Canvas Eagle system allows a plane to perform all of the maneuvers possible for it's design. I wanted something in between: the speed of having predetermined maneuvers, but some way to push the edge of the aircraft. I decided to take a plane's max speed and G's and use those for the base. If the aircraft's speed and G's were greater or equal to the maneuver's speed and G's then it was allowed. For instance, a Warhawk has a max speed of 2 and a max G's of 3. It can handle all maneuvers with a speed 2 or less and G's of 3 or less. To add the feel of pushing the limits of the aircraft, but at the same time keeping the game from becoming one of endless die rolls as players attempt any maneuver, I allow a plane to try moves that are just above their design limits. I figure this by finding a plane's maneuver limits - max speed plus max G's. It is allowed to try any move that has the same total or less; but if the maneuver's speed exceeds the aircraft's it is a redlining move, and if it has a greater G then it is pushing the G's.
So for the Warhawk. It's maneuvering total is 5 = speed 2 plus G's 3. It is allowed to try any maneuver with the same total. Maneuver 3SF has a 5 = speed 3 and G's 2. But since the speed is greater it is a redlining maneuver so it is a possible failure.
Redlining moves are those that exceed a plane's max speed by 1, and Pushing G's are those that exceed the G limit by 1 - as long as the total is less than or equal to the plane's total.
Acceleration and deceleration are from the Crimson Skies statistics. Diving and climbing limits are based on a formula derived from the size of the plane, it speed, acceleration and G's.

After setting the plane's movement characteristics I began working on its structure. In Crimson Skies all the aircraft have the same damage chart with the exception of the armor. Canvas Eagles is based on historical data of the aircraft. Since Crimson Skies is based on sizes which have no comparison to reality I needed to develop a system from scratch again. After much trial and error I have come up with a base score that reflect somewhat on the different sizes. I take the number of units and divide by the speed plus G's to determine a unit for the fuselage and wings. For instance a Brigand has a Base Target Number of 6 which is equal to 38 in my system. It has a speed of 3 and G's of 2 for a total of 5. 38 divided by 5 is 7 with a remainder of 3. So the starting score of 7 X 3 for the fuselage and 7 X 2 for the wings with the left over points place where it seems to work. The engine and tail numbers are determined by the engine mass and acceleration or the number of engines and general look of the plane.The armor is then added all sections: engine and tail use the number of armor points from Crimson Skies divided by 10. The wings and fuselage receive the remaining armor divided by 10 and shared equally.

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