Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cylon Raider MK-VII

My love for the Battlestar Galactica series goes back to when I was a little girl in the 1970's. I remember falling in love with the Chrome Toasters and having dreams of being a viper pilot and zipping around the stars in epic battles to save the human race. 20+ years later here I am even more in love with the modern version of BSG.

As a SecondLife "builder" (artist) I dive into projects that peak my interest or challenge me to improve upon what I see. This was the case when I created my Cylon Centurion Elite Edition. About 2 months ago I got the idea of making a Raider that was as close to the original MK-II as possible. To do this I knew I would need the help of other much more talented SL-Builders.

Dollwife Pink has always been sort of a mentor to me. She has a very giving soul and has no problem teaching and sharing what she knows. It is her original Cylon Raider that I based my design on. I also closely examined the work of Ta Moxie and Damian McBride who both had different takes on the Raider. Once I had in my head all the things I wanted and didn't want I went to work on the plywood build. I'm an obsessive builder and once my plans are laid out I tend to keep going until I'm done.

I knew that my version of the Raider could not have "ripped" textures. It needed professional made to order textures. I started looking for someone to fill that position. One day I got lucky and met MimiSoleil Dagger. Mimi is a very busy girl and had many real life projects going on but still found time to work on my raider. The textures took a few weeks but were worth the wait. I could never texture something this good on my own. Thanks Mimi!

The flight and combat scripts were going to be tricky. I am a fan of Ta Moxie's vipers and like how they have different flight modes and realistic features. I originally tried to get my hands on Ta's scriptor but apparently she HATES being contacted by people she doesn't know. I find this odd as her name is mentioned as the scriptor in Ta's vipers........ Tip: If you don't want to be bothered..... be anonymous! Moving on....... I then tried to enlist my good friend Paxan's BF who is a very talented scriptor but again I was turned down. I was starting to lose faith. I knew that the scripts I had at my disposal were great but not great enough. I knew what I wanted and wouldn't stop until I got it! That is when a long time friend Orval (the cute kitty) told me that our mutual friend Rez Grey is a talented scriptor. Slaps forehead, "Why didn't I think of that earlier?" I contacted Rez and told him my ideas and a few weeks later our collaboration turned out the Multimode flight scripts that the Raider now possesses.

Flight Script: The Raider has 5 flight modes and they are Hover, Advanced Hover, Acrobat, Mouselook and Advanced. These 5 modes fit all levels of flying skill from beginner to the most advanced pilots. As I stated to a friend.... it is very noob friendly. The script is the combination of the hard work of Rez Grey and Dollwife Pink with my own tweaks.

Weapons: The Raider is equipped with custom twin machine guns that fire physical bullets at an extreme rate. It also has Missiles that can shoot straight or once locked become guided missiles that explode in a brilliant display. Main weapons scripts written by Rez Grey with the bullets being my own modified physical rounds.

Engines: The engines were tricky. The series Raiders have a constant flame shooting out the twin engines and have a distinct sound. I searched high and low for the right sound and particles. I went through hours of searching google for sounds and then finally found the answer in my own inventory when I decided to fly my Ananke Nightshade Spacecraft by Carrah Rossini. When I sat in and started the engines it hit me like a ton of bricks.... "THIS IS IT!!!" I thought excitedly to myself. I contacted Carrah and humbly requested her assistance. She IM'ed me the next day and sent me scripts. This further demonstrates why her ships are in such demand and why she has such a following. I can't say enough about her..... Thanks Carrah!

Voice Commands (gestures): The raider is not menu or hud controled as I feel that is too slow and cumbersome in battle. I opted for gesture commands instead. To give the commands a cylon feel my next door neighbor recorded his own voice into a Vocoder for a 1970's style Centurion voice. All command gestures are set to F keys and can be triggered quickly without ever having to leave mouselook.

Other influences helped to motivate me to get it right. Stacia, Freyakc, Cathiee and Kazime all contributed great ideas. Stacia and Freyakc are always there with encouragement and to be honest.... most of what I do I couldn't do without them......... (faklempt moment) ;-P

Once complete I renamed it the Raider MK-VII. It took approximately two months from start to finish but was worth all the hard work. It is an example of what unselfish and generous builders, scriptors and friends can accomplish and is a fitting tribute to the show I love.... Battlestar Galactica!

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