Not Impressed with MGT Preview #4

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Supplement Four
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Not Impressed with MGT Preview #4

Postby Supplement Four » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:32 pm

Taking a look at Preview 4, I have to say, I continue to be not impressed. We should be moving forward with the look of deckplans in this day and age of printing & design. Check out DGP's deckplans from the 1980's for the Beowulf in the Starship Operator' Manual. THAT's how deckplans should look.

Heck, look at some of the fan made deckplans out there--some fan made deck plans blow these usual-general-since-the-1970's deckplans out of the water.

I'm not trying to say these Mongoose deckplans look bad. It's just that my expectations are higher than the quality of the stuff I'm seeing come out of Mongoose on this game. The deckplans provided are functional. They do the job. But, in no sense of the term are the GREAT!

Others have said (on CotI) that the illo of the ship doesn't quite match the deckplans. I agree. And, the cockpit viewports have been changed from the classic design. If you're going to change the design a bit, at least do it for the better (use the T20 scout ship that Gibson did for T20 as an example...different design, but a damn cool looking ship).

Again, I am not so impressed with Mongoose Traveller.
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Postby -Daniel- » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:37 pm

Also there is some talk about the plan used the wrong Grid Square to Ton ratio and thus is also "wrong".

Could someone from Mongoose please address that please?

Daniel
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Postby Zowy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:01 pm

Well the Bridge and crew sections seem ok, Air/Raft bay is to small, Engineering seem a bit small ( but it could have more headroom than the liveing spaces ), cargo section is -way- to big and it looks like alot of the fuel is not show as it is above and below the deck plans :?:
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Postby TrippyHippy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:13 pm

It looks like a GURPS Traveller plan. Whether this is good or bad I dunno. It's good enough for me.
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Postby Tathlum » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:19 pm

The size thing stems from the scale of 1 square=1.5mX1.5m. The Traditional scale 1dTons = 2 cubes of 1.5X1.5X3 metres. This map has 1 dTon = 1 square.

The "right" scale for 1dTon = 1 cube would be 2mX2mX3.5m

So to add up the sqares should be 2mX2m or there should be twice as many squares.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:31 pm

Folks, this is the way to present a deckplan: http://www.sff.net/people/kitsune/trave ... coutlg.png

This is Bryan Gibson's version of the 100 ton Scout.

He changed the look of the ship, too. But, compare what he did with the pic shown in the MGT preview. Which ship would you like to use in your game?

Plus, look at the deckplans. Which are more use-able for your game? Which give you a good idea of what the ship looks like inside? See how the deckplans in the link aren't just hallways and hatches?

Suggest MGT up the quality of what they're putting out.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:45 pm

The standard design used in the preview seems fine to me. If fans think they can design them better, or prefer to use fan-designed plans, then great!

Actually, I think a lot of the fun of a game like Traveller would be in designing such things. I've had players come forward with their own character sheet designs already too. Same thing.
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Postby Chronus » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:55 pm

Well . . .

I kinda like the deck design, actually.

What drove me crazy about the classic design was the top level with all that space for comm equipment and such which was cleared out for the detached Scout. It gave the impression that more cargo should have been allowed. The actual 3 ton cargo bay was below the main deck and, if I recall correctly, was only accessible from the outside via a hatch in the floor (??!) Yeah, I know . . . it's a Scout ship, not a Merchant ship. But would you want to load 3 tons of cargo via a ladder through a hatch? I suppose one could assume a larger bay door somewhere in there but the deck plan didn't show it. At least Mongoose has a bay door in the cargo section and very little ambiguous space throughout the ship.

With that said, I do hope they fix the tonnage/square scale.
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Postby Libris » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:10 pm

TrippyHippy wrote:The standard design used in the preview seems fine to me. If fans think they can design them better, or prefer to use fan-designed plans, then great!
Maybe so, but the Scout/Courier is the Millennium Falcon of the Traveller 'verse - everybody knows what it looks like. What's wrong with simply making it the same as the classic one that's been in print for years.
Actually, I think a lot of the fun of a game like Traveller would be in designing such things.
Yes it is.
I've had players come forward with their own character sheet designs already too. Same thing.
No it isn't.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:20 pm

I think the comparison between designing character sheets and deckplans holds fine actually. They are all out of game activities that players can do to maintain their enthusiasm to their hobby. Same as painting minatures or, erm, writing poetry or whatever. If it's fun, then do it.

With respect to making the deckplan the same as the old one, well, I just don't get the attention to detail in the matter that others do. It really doesn't seem to be that different to me, or to be honest, all that important.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:41 pm

Chronus wrote:But would you want to load 3 tons of cargo via a ladder through a hatch?
Shouldn't be too hard in Zero-G...

Don't forget that Traveller tech can control gravity, so maybe they just make it real easy to move things with a flick of the G-Plate switch.

Or, maybe there's this man-hole-cover sized cargo mover that moves by remote. It a small G-sled. It'll pop your cargo up through that hatch in no time.

Or, maybe there's a type of crane and chain on lower tech worlds that will lift cargo straight up (I've seen some cargo come out of tight places in RL from ocean vessels on the ship channel right here in Houston).

Or, maybe...I could probably come up with a few more ideas.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:47 pm

TrippyHippy wrote:With respect to making the deckplan the same as the old one, well, I just don't get the attention to detail in the matter that others do. It really doesn't seem to be that different to me, or to be honest, all that important.
When I first saw the deckplan for the Beowulf in the Starship Operator's Manual, back in the 80's, I got excited! Man! I'm ready to PLAY!

When I first saw the Scout deckplan in the MGT preview, I felt: Oh, OK...they didn't "wow" me there. Nothing exciting to see. Same old stuff.

Game material that you purchase should make you get a stiffy for the game. It should make you want to play, right there and then. "Hey! Look at this!"

That's why a game's art and illos. can be important to some people--conveying the atmosphere and the down right "coolness" of the game.

I'm not getting that from the MGT preview.

With some people, something as small as that--Hey, man, this is cool...did you see how awesome the deckplan for the Scout is--can make people want to buy and play the game.

The MGT preview of the Scout is milktoast.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:01 am

Well, I'd be wary of assuming that what makes you excited is universal to every gamer. Like I say, it's just not all that important, to me, about the exact style in the plan design - so long as it's functional and easy enough to use. Your tastes are obviously different to mine though.

Is there any other area of the previews or playtest rules that you have enthused about?
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Postby Sturn » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:02 am

TrippyHippy wrote:The standard design used in the preview seems fine to me. If fans think they can design them better, or prefer to use fan-designed plans, then great!
But, we are buying a game, not designing one of our own. So of course we want the most bang for our buck. After looking at the MGT scout, I'm going to use older CT/MT designs instead if it is par for the course.

I would have hoped for something better for a modern product. It's the fact that many, many fans COULD make a better plan at home that is unsettling to some, since we aren't supposed to be the proffessionals.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:23 am

Perhaps, but on initially reading this thread, then checking out the preview, my initial, basic reaction was <shug>. It didn't seem that bad to me.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:00 am

TrippyHippy wrote:Perhaps, but on initially reading this thread, then checking out the preview, my initial, basic reaction was <shug>. It didn't seem that bad to me.
It really isn't "that bad". It's OK. It's functional. It's not exciting at all, and it doesn't lend itself to the feeling of, "OHHHhhhhhh, I can't wait to play this and show my players that!"

As I said above, it's milktoast.

On top of the way they look, there's a problem with the deckplan size. That's not inspiring either.
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Deckplan boo-boo

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:38 pm

OK, I've read the stuff over at CotI about the deckplan, and there is a real problem with it.

I'll summarize for you here (and if you want to read the entire thread, click here: http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discus ... hp?t=15486





First off, the MGT materials state that the combat grid used in the game will be 1.5 m squares. Fair enough, as that's standard for Traveller in most of its editions.

Now, look at the deckplan in Preview #4. The key states that a 1.5 m grid is being used. Good, we're on track.

But, here are the problems...



1. Tonnage of the Deckplan doesn't match the ship! If you count squares, then the tonnage of the ship is off by about half! It's a 50 ton ship rather than a 100 ton ship!

I'm not trying to pick on the artist who created these deckplans, but on the CotI, he said this: "I believe that they wanted to correct the deckplans of the past. If you look at the plans in any of the OTU books you will find that the ships are actually 2 to 3 times the size that they are listed. The scout ship you hold so dear was too large for its designation. The far trader, fat trader, and free trader all were twice the tonnage listed, if not more. So, correcting a mistake that has been perpetuated from one version of Traveller to the next is a good thing."

Now, that's a bit strange given the problem with the deckplan.

I, personally, think the artist made a mistake when he was drawing the deckplans, because he said this, "The scale of the deckplan is 1.5m by 1.5m by 3m per grid square. I believe that those dimensions equals 1 dton, correct? If that holds true than that would be 100 squares, correct?"

And, this, of course, isn't correct. A dton is two 1.5 by 3m squares. So, not "100 squares" as he says above, but only 50 squares. Which is why the deckplan is off by half.



2. Deckplan Mapping Confusion. Well, after the correct dton was pointed out, the artist of the deckplans said this, "After getting home and checking my notes the deckplans are at 2m by 2m by 3.5m scale to put it at 1 dton per square. This was done to make the mapping process easier. I apologies for any confusion this may have caused."

And, this makes for some confusion because (A) the stated MGT combat scale is 1.5m per square, and (B) the key to the deckplan in Preview #4 is clearly marked as having 1.5m squares.





HOW TO FIX THIS:

1. What needs to happen is this. The deckplans need to be re-created on a 1.5m combat grid to accuratly display the interior of the ship. As it stands, we've got deckplans for a 50ton vessel when the Scout ship is a 100ton vessel.

2. All other deckplans we haven't seen yet need to be checked for accuracy as well.

My fear is that Mongoose won't change this (maybe for time contraints) before the book goes to print.
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Postby Klaus Kipling » Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:51 pm

The original CT type-S is the only one for. All the others are "full of wrong" in my eyes, no matter how well they conform to a strict 100dtons volume.

The original deckplan has a sense of space and lots of nooks and crannies. It's an interesting place. What's more, it seems that even on the smallest starship possible there's the possibility of getting some privacy from the rest of the crew.

Why 40tons of fuel? Why a 10 week endurance, when the type-S is a born fuel skimmer?

So I use the CT deckplan with the T20 specs: once all the IISS kit is removed from the gallery and the rear lab/recroom then this frees up a further 17 or so tons of cargo space - not ideal for shipping goods, as you have to wrangle it through corridors and hatches, but nonetheless perfect for a smuggler.

The problem I have with the more compact designs, like Bryan Gibson's or this preview, no matter how efficient and well designed on paper, is that the crew is on top of one another all the time.

If I was a scout I'd prefer the Sulieman; so I knew I could a long way away from my compadres when I needed to.

Reminds me a bit of Darkstar too, which was surely the point, back in the day :)

An 8 man crew would have killed each other before the 10 weeks were over in this design... ;)
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:07 pm

Klaus Kipling wrote:The original deckplan has a sense of space and lots of nooks and crannies. It's an interesting place. What's more, it seems that even on the smallest starship possible there's the possibility of getting some privacy from the rest of the crew.
Putting some "logic" into the deckplan as well as making the design efficient. I think that's a very good comment, Klaus.

I bet the design you're speaking of would actually sell more starships. The grizzled old scouts who are now administrators purchasing starships would consider something like that.
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Postby Zowy » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:54 pm

When I draw deck plans, I tend to put staterooms around a open lounge / galley area. In order to get rid of as many space wasteing hallways as I can. People can hide in there staterooms if the want privacy.
Security is allso a big part of where I stick the statrooms. I try and segregate the passengers onto their own deck, with limited access to the bridge, cargo and drive decks, turret mounts, ect.

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