October 8, 2014


Commentary for October 8, 2014:

I draw on a variety of sources for inspiration writing my comic. In that sense, it is truly what you might call a fan comic. It has bits and pieces from a variety of things I've watched, read, played, etc. over the years and enjoyed. But the spacecraft are probably the most patchwork pieces of my comic there are. They've been inspired by Star Wars, Star Trek, Mass Effect, Babylon 5, and Battlestar Galactica -- and that's probably not an exhaustive list. "DRADIS", for those who don't know of it, is a space radar that is used in Battlestar Galactica, and the term stands for "Direction, RAnge, DIStance". It's never shown in the series haw dradis works (the series was very good at leaving all of the technology completely unexplained -- ostensibly to avoid Star Trek style techno babble), but that doesn't mean I don't have an idea about how it works, and that idea is one I've elected to borrow from sensors in the Mass Effect series -- which was really good, scientifically, at least on paper. Basically, dradis uses lasers to actively scan an area in search of contacts, determining their position and heading. You might remember from the previous chapter how both Kochanski's crew aboard the Inferno and Brabanzio's crew aboard the Divine Crusader were reluctant to use dradis, because it would give away their position. This is the difference between active and passive sensors. Active sensors work by actively sending out a signal of some kind and listening for "echoes", whereas passive sensors passively receive incoming signals (heat, radiation, transmissions, etc). Active sensors give you better, more accurate data, but passive sensors can keep you from being noticed if you're trying to hide. Of course, hiding in space is difficult, unless you have a specially designed stealth system that can capture your ship's heat and radiation emissions and can move without producing any visible light. The best anyone can do is shut down as many systems as possible to reduce the ship's energy signature to the bare minimum and hope that nobody's sensors are pointed in their direction. Since space is huge and there's only a limited amount of sensors you can dedicate to any search, I would guess that this could still keep you hidden for a while, but not if you actually wanted to get anywhere.

But enough about sensors. Behold the complete bridge re-design of the Invincible! Fortunately, you hadn't seen the original bridge model, so it's not a glaring continuity error for the comic, but let's just say, you aren't missing anything. And talking of inspiration, this one is largely inspired by Star Trek (on a ship largely inspired by Battlestar Galactica). The main source of inspiration for the bridge, I would say, is mostly the NX-01 bridge from Enterprise with a touch of the Constitution class bridge from the 2009 Star Trek reboot (mostly the huge viewscreen, which is actually a window (although, I do not think the Invincible's viewscreen can have images projected onto it -- it is just a window). I also redesigned the Union Fleet's duty uniforms into what are basically jumpsuits, which makes sense on a spaceship, I and even added mission patches to them. Because mission patches are cool. The inspiration for that was a combination of Enterprise, Star Trek: First Contact, and Stargate SG-1. I'm pretty pleased with how most of what's on this page turned out.

Addendum for December 12, 2019:

In order to bring the format of the earlier chapters into line with Chapter 7 onwards, Iíve made an updated version of this page, which is larger, with clearer text. Hopefully, this will make the earlier chapters easier to read.

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