This week’s concept image showcases the S-31c “FireArc,” built by Galactic Starfarer Industries. The FireArc is actually a re-purposed S-31b “Star Ferry” shuttle, used to ferry passengers from one station to another within the local star system. When your system is overrun, the powers-that-be quickly realize that the only way to defend the system is to go on the offensive. In desperation, they make use of their surplus of Star Ferry shuttles, upgrading the armor and adding various offensive and defensive systems.
One thing you’ll notice right away is the lack of weapons. I simply don’t have final weapon concepts yet, so I didn’t “waste” the time painting any in. Otherwise, let me give you a brief description of what you’re seeing. First, notice the dorsal and ventral attachment points. Various equipment such as solar arrays and secondary weapons can be mounted to these. If the attachment point is not being utilized then it can be used for external docking with other ships, hence the red/green docking lights that I described when I discussed the station.
On the port and starboard sides you can see primary weapon hardpoints. These were added for the FireArc, replacing the Star Ferry’s original 4th and 5th attachment points. So, as you can see, you’ll be able to configure your FireArc with various primary and secondary weapons based on the current mission objectives.
The cockpit “ball” uses the FireArc’s 3rd attachment point. As such, in case of emergency, the entire cockpit can be ejected from the hull and used as a lifeboat. Using the Canopy Monitor system it’s easy to provide the pilot with a VERY large field of view.
Some other details–as you can see this FireArc has its secondary radiators fully deployed. Also notice the nose art and squadron logo, both of which you’ll be able to personalize. Finally, as the FireArc was a shuttle in its previous life, it has internal space to carry up to 24 passengers; so, it can double as a troop transport.
And again, I’ve rejected the idea of needlessly exposing vital technology or adding useless moving bits and panels. If it’s there, there’s a reason for it to be there…
You might wonder why I decided to work on the strike vessel first, rather than the dedicated interceptor. By doing the FireArc first I can work on refining various gameplay elements such as external docking, externally attached equipment, and a few other things I’m not going to discuss yet. All these are vital for gameplay and I want them finalized sooner rather than later for obvious reasons :)
Anyway, as always comments and questions are welcomed.