Frequently Asked Questions

This is for all you monkey-users. It's here to catch whatever you're flingin'!

Texture Maps
Polygon Count
Texture Resolution
Starship Design Rules
Abundance of Feddies
Canon Ships
Missing Ships
Other Sci-Fi Ships
Converting to other Games
Atolm's Designs
Hi-Res Ships
Ship Requests
SFC Installation
BC Installation
SFC Version Differences
Brk Models
Mod Policy
Kitbashes and Parts
Posting on Other Sites
Why Even Post Ships for Download?
Replies to E-mails
Tutorials and Assistance
Use of Images
Link Banners
Site Motto


-General Ship Questions-

Q: Why do some ships have dozens of texture maps?

A: Most of those ships were made a few years ago before I started using combined maps. They were easier to setup, swap, and kitbash though they have the downside of requiring a lot of file management. Since then I have improved my modeling techniques to use combined/less individual textures which makes it easier to load the ship and takes less time to setup and alter.

Q: A lot of your ships are high on polygon count. Just what exactly does that mean and how does it affect the game?

A: Polygon count is essentially the amount of detail the model has. Polygons in this case are the 'facets' of the model that combine to make the overall form. Think of them as the number of bricks in a building - the more bricks you have, the more detailed the shape of the structure can be. Polygon count is a way of measuring this amount and the more polygons a model has, the more work the game engine (or modeling software) has to do to show it. The general rule is that the higher the polygon count, the more likely the game will lag when displaying a particular ship and this can become more severe when there are other ships on-screen.

Most of my ships have a high count compared to the average model, especially where the Federation ships are concerned. The whole point of being a modder is to supply more options for a game than what's already out there, most notably when the stock models available are quite lacking in appearance. My ships have an average range of 2000 to 10,000 polygons which varies on the type of ship, the accuracy, and overall personal opinion on just how detailed I think it should be. I do try to keep the count reasonable but most users shouldn't have a problem running the occasional hi-res model and if it does lag they can certainly find a more playable alternative.

Q: Why do a lot of the ships have lower resolution textures?

A: Contrary to what some petulant fools have dared to question me about, polygon count is not the prime factor in game lag. The textures are what cause a bigger issue and should be the first thing considered when making a model more playable. That is why the more recent ships posted have been reduced to 256 colors and had their textures optimized. It also reduces the overall file size with a negligible loss in quality. If one of my ships is causing game lag issues for you, my first suggestion is to resize them to 256x256 or to reduce them to 256 colors (8 bit resolution). The game engine tends to do this anyway when the ship is loaded so there really isn't any reason not to cut the color range.

Q: Some of your ships violate Gene Roddenberry's "Starship Design Rules". Why don't you follow the rules set up by Star Trek's creator?

"1: Warp nacelles must be in pairs"

"2: Warp engines must have a 50% line of sight across the hull"

"3: Both engines must be fully visible from the front"

"4: The bridge must be at the top center of the primary hull"

A: Because those 'rules' are not and never have been canon (i.e. said on-screen), those 'rules' are contradicted by various canon ships, those 'rules' rather conveniently contradict all of the Franz Joseph designs, those 'rules' can be easily countered by any line of treknobabble to explain why a ship doesn't follow them, and those 'rules' only apply to Federation ships while every other race is free to do whatever they want. Pick whichever explanation but put simply, those 'rules' mean nothing despite the fact they came from the Great Bird himself. I'm certainly not going to restrict my creativity to fit a few supposed limitations that aren't even canon, and neither should anyone else. If this still grates against what you think a ship should conform to, you certainly aren't obligated to download my work.

Q: Most of your ships are for the Federation. Why do the other races get the shaft?

A: Because Fed ships are easy. Anyone can build a Fed and it takes very little time to crank one out while other races (at least for me) take and deserve more effort. There's also the fact that few people ever chime in when a non-Fed is posted and yet gripe about how nobody ever builds a Klink, Rom, or any other race.

Q: Why aren't there more canon ships for download?

A: For one, canon ships take extra time and effort as there are numerous references to compare to so the ship has to hold up to scrutiny. I personally prefer noncanon or "canon based" work as I can use existing ships as a guide while not having to worry so much about being accurate. There's also the point that I have done canon ships in the past and had them completely ignored (often by the same people who requested them) in favor of less detailed, far less accurate, and older/lower quality versions. The simple fact of the matter is that the average user cares little about accuracy or quality and just wants a ship that looks good to them and a ship they can drop into the game and play without any hassle. I have better things to do than cater to what others think a ship is supposed to look like and I'd much rather build something for fun instead of worrying about accuracy.

Q: You used to have a certain ship for download but it isn't there anymore. What happened?

A: Some of the older ships have been removed either because I plan to upgrade them, they're taking up needed server space, or I just plain didn't like them.

Q: Why aren't there more ships for other sci-fi shows?

A: Star Wars and Stargate ships are a bitch to texture, I'm not a B5 fan, BSG stuff is in the works and I just haven't been interested in other series' ships. Not to say I won't have more eventually but SFC is a Star Trek game.

Q: Can I port one of your ships to another game?

A: That's an iffy question. Zambie Zan is the only one porting my ships to Bridge Commander. Pretty much any other game would require extensive downgrading to make them playable (like Armada). My policy regarding Legacy is muddy as I'm not a fan of that train-wreck of a game and have opted to not support it, even indirectly.

I also don't have the time or capability to port the ships to another game or even make them playable or able to be ported. If someone wants to convert a ship, it will have to be up to them.

Put simply, if you still want to port a ship, it's best to contact me directly.

Q: Why are a lot of your ships designed or co-designed by Atolm?

A: 'cause he's a genius? But, mainly because we share the same outlook on starship designs and toss ideas back and forth quite often.

If you wish to alter a ship that is designed by Atolm, it's best to contact both of us if you intend to post it for download. While I may have built and textured it, it is still his design/concept.

Q: I want to make a hires version of one of your ships, is that fine?

A: I don't have a problem with it as long as you credit me or Atolm (if it's his design) for the original. With the exception of the Godslayer and Battlestar Chrysaor - I already call dibs on those.

Q: Can you build this ship for me?

A: Default answer - no. I know it sounds selfish, but I simply don't have the time to handle other people's projects and I have a fairly long development process so even if I were interested, you'd most likely be waiting a long time for the ship to be completed.

Q: What if I offered to pay you for your services?

A: Surprisingly, I'm not interested in money so if I were to build a ship I'd have to already be up to the personal challenge.

Q: Fine, what if I could get you a night with Kate Beckinsale?

A: Send me the blueprints, wait patiently...

-General Game Questions-

Q: How do I install a ship into SFC?

A: Hit the Tutorial Section Here

Q: How do I install a ship into BC?

A: Hit the Tutorial Section Here

Q: What is the difference between the versions of ships listed for SFC?

A: The SFC 1 and SFC 2/OP versions are identical, save for one key difference - SFC 1 models do not have illumination maps and any ship for the other games will crash SFC 1 if installed. SFC 3 models are the same as SFC 2 except the hardpoints are numbered differently and thus, the weapons would fire from the wrong places. SFC 3 models also have additional files for the user interface and ship displays but they have no bearing on the models themselves.

Q: What is the "_brk" model for?

A: The brk model is the trashed model that appears when the ship is destroyed. It is typically just a hacked and butchered version of the regular ship that has parts and debris flying off for that added effect.

-Mod Use Policy-

Q: Why do you have a mod use policy and just wtf does it all mean?

A: There used to be a time when all I asked was for the readme files to be included. But, that was ignored. Then there was a time when I didn't want my ships posted on other sites. That was fact, certain types who shall remain nameless went so far as to subvert my own site just to post my work elsewhere. Then there were times when people screwed with my work however they damn well pleased "for the good of the community". There were other times where I had to watch more extreme instances involving my fellow modders and how their work was stolen/butchered/miscredted/etc. All this helped cause/justify creating a mod use policy to help discourage such activity and give me a perfectly good reason to bitch when such things do happen.

What does any of this mean to the average user? Diddly. It only applies when the ships are intended for download and since the standard SFC/BC versions are only posted here on this site, all anyone else has to wonder about is using them in a large game mod or for use in other games. If that's the case, then you should contact me directly.

Q: I want to use parts of your ships in a kitbash that I'm making. Is that allright or are you going to sic those wolves on me?

A: *Grabs leashes* No, I'm not sending the wolves on someone for making a ship using my parts. As already stated on the Parts Section, pieces of a ship are fine for your use as long as I'm properly (and accurately) credited. If the ship is to be posted for download, I'd simply like to be contacted first, mostly to make sure the part that is mine actually is mine as people have mistaken my work for others and I don't intend to give permission for stuff that doesn't belong to me.

Q: Can I use your ship(s) in a mod that I'm making for SFC?

A: Certainly, all that I ask is that the readme file stay with the ship at all times.

Q: Can I post your ship(s) for download on my site or elsewhere?

A: As already stated on the download section, no. I've had too many problems with my work being posted on other sites that it's just easier to keep them all under my own boot.

Q: If you're such a control freak, why do you even post them for download in the first place?

A: Because that would be lame. I hate using stock ships and I know there are countless others who feel the same way so instead of hoarding them all for myself I'm trying to be charitable. Besides, the average person doesn't have to bother with the mod policy since all they're doing is playing the ships in their own game. The policy is just a way to catch people's eye and dissuade casual abuse.

-General Site Questions-

Q: How do I contact WZ or Atolm?

A: Aside from the very obvious e-mail button on this very website, you can send either of us a private message on the DRS Forums or if you really want us to reply, post on the forum itself. That way we feel more obligated to respond as part of our public image is to at least look like we give a damn. Oh, and bring cake. Preferably chocolate.

Q: I sent you an e-mail/PM but there was no reply. What's the deal?

A: The Z is a busy person for a dead guy and oftentimes I'm swamped with e-mails and other day-to-day stuff. There may also have been a glitch and I just never received it so you could try contacting me again or use an alternate way. There's also the likely possibility that I just don't care. Ever. At all. Maybe.

Q: Your tutorials were helpful but they didn't cover exactly what I needed to know. Can you help me?

A: Certainly, just send me an e-mail, PM, or post on the forums.

Q: I want to use one of your renders/images on my site/for a project. Is that OK?

A: As long as you link back to my site, don't use it to make profit, and obviously not claim it as your own. It has happened before...

Q: What's with all the link banners?

A: Diversity, bitches.

Q: What does "Silentium Ex Obscurum" mean?

A: It's a latin phrase that's supposed to mean "Perfection out of Darkness". If it's wrong, do what I always do when something is foul - Blame Atolm.

Q: Where is your site and the downloads?

A: Your guess is as good as mine...

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