Secret Ops Ship Catalogue

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Right... as I promised in the Silhouettes thread, I've cooked up a rough-and-dirty ship viewer for Secret Ops. This mod (if I may even call it that) does the following:
  • Replaces the easter egg with the object viewer.
  • Breaks SO completely - with this thing installed, you will not be able to play through the campaign (which also means that you may have trouble using this mod with a savegame in place... but it just possibly *might* work, unless you try actually flying a mission).
  • Adds every single ship from WCP and SO to the object viewer. I've also modified the text files, adding names for all those other ships - but only names. Stats are only available for those ships that already had them in WCP. Apart from ships, there are also various other objects - the cargo container, the ejection pod, buoys, capship missiles, etc..
  • Adds a few other curiosities. There's a couple of objects included in SO that were never used in the game:
    • The Copernicus-class research vessel from the WCP intro (note: the mesh files included in SO are actually broken, so I'm including fixed mesh files with this viewer - the credit for these files goes to KillerWave).
    • The mining probe (or whatever it is) from the WCP intro (also seen in the first mission of UE).
    • An unknown hull that I have no idea about. The file is called callisto.iff, but it is clearly not Callisto Station (which is under a different name). It appears to be a capship, not a station of any kind. I'm not sure whether this is a complete ship, or whether there should be components attached to it - it actually looks pretty complete.
    • An unused version of the Fralthi II cruiser wreckage from WCP, with debris included as part of the model. Presumably, this didn't work too well, because in the end they chose to use the wreckage alone, with the debris added separately as a kind of asteroid field.
    • An alien drone - and the only reason I can even identify it as a drone is because that's the filename, adrone.iff.
    • A weirdo alien buoy... with Kilrathi parts sticking out of it! I'm pretty sure this one wasn't used in WCP.
    • Some unused meshes probably meant for the Stellar Accretion Device. As you might recall from SO, the Stellar Accretion Device actually wasn't a single object - they placed a drydock and a relay station together with the wormhole cone. The wormhole cone is a separate ship... but it seems that they did consider creating a single capship that would include all three of these things as one object.
While I'm at it, there's a few things that I found that are worth mentioning, but which are not visible in this viewer:
  • Power-ups. Yep, all the meshes are there for WCP's multiplayer powerups. I didn't include them in the viewer, because they have no textures - so it's impossible to make out any details anyway.
  • 3d planets (rather low-poly). Did they want to have 3d planets as part of the background? I don't know.
  • 3d terrain. That's right - there is a mesh in WCP called terrain.iff. I can only presume this was a test for planetside missions. This mesh, unfortunately, makes the game crash when I try to display it - so, we'll never actually get to see it. Keep in mind, the existence of this mesh does not actually mean that planetside missions were planned for WCP and cut out - as far as we know, no design doc for WCP has ever included planetside missions. This was probably a test conducted purely for technology's sake.
  • Missiles and gun bullets. I know these could probably be useful for you guys, but I haven't added them at the moment. It's just a chore, because there's quite a few of them - so, if anybody actually wants them, I'll update this package at a later date, but for the time being, they're not in there.

One final note. WCP's object viewer has some limitations - it was never really designed to display capships. What this means is that while it is possible to show an object that consists of a base mesh with child objects (after all, this mechanism is used in some fighters, e.g., the Wasp and its detachable booster, the Vampire and its rotating engine nacelles), it is not possible to show the child objects that would normally be attached to a child object. Or, in less technical terms - I can attach turrets to capships, but I cannot attach gun barrels to turrets. This is not a problem for most capships, but there are two whose silhouettes will be significantly different because of the missing barrels - the Cerberus and the Plunkett. Nothing I can do about that, unfortunately.
 

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Iceblade

Admiral
One or both of those more bulbous alien buoys can be found on the Jammer mission in WCP.

That Callisto sure looked like a gigantic Razor to me. My guess is that it was meant to be frigate or destroyer or perhaps merchant vessel. I can see where providing the Midway with some light escorts would have been a idea batted around by the designers initially. I mean it is a new carrier going out on its own even if it is in safer territory.

Anyway, thanks for the tool. And those are definitely some interesting finds.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Replaces the easter egg with the object viewer.

Please forgive my ignorance; only really picked up Secret Ops for the first time about two months ago. To what easter egg are you referring?

Got the screenshots I needed for the Hakaga from the Standoff viewer, BTW, and thanks for putting these viewers together. (And yes, I did overwrite the Standoff viewer with the SO viewer).
 

Iceblade

Admiral
In the "3d" representation of the Cerberus in the "center of the room" and in the upper left of that, you will find this little sphere thing. That is the easter egg.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Yeah - it's almost surprising, that this easter egg actually kinda looks like an egg :).

Incidentally, you will actually be able to see most of the WCP/SO ships in Standoff, using these same files. Only one or two will be missing, because we had to replace some of the meshes with Standoff meshes.


One or both of those more bulbous alien buoys can be found on the Jammer mission in WCP.
Both of them. They're mixed up at the jammer navpoint. Only the third, Kilrathi type, is unused.

That Callisto sure looked like a gigantic Razor to me. My guess is that it was meant to be frigate or destroyer or perhaps merchant vessel. I can see where providing the Midway with some light escorts would have been a idea batted around by the designers initially. I mean it is a new carrier going out on its own even if it is in safer territory.
I guess we'll never know. It does look kinda destroyerish (or corvettish?), but we just don't know what it would look like as a complete ship. It's a bit weird - the mesh is entirely closed, which is not normal for capship models (usually, you can see where the components go, because there are big holes in the mesh there)... but at the same time, you don't see anything like a bridge or the engines.
 

Lt.Overload

Rear Admiral
The Kilrathi/Nephilim Buoy was in fact in the jammer mission as well. I never noticed it looked like some Kilrathi technology with Nephilim stuff on it.

I'd love to replace the Stellar Accretion Device in SO with the meshes they made for it, see how it would look with the stretched out drydock and Comm Relay...

That unused Fralthi is extremely low-poly, still looks pretty cool, though.

This is a nice little catalogue, it would be cool if we could get every mesh in the game to appear in it, but that's pushing the envelope. :p

I do remember the terrain in the mesh files one time when I was playing with them. I was able to view them in the simulator screen as a replacement for another ship mesh. It's just a greyish brown, square patch of ground.

I also noticed the 'Callisto' capship/corvette is slightly tilted. It might have been some sort of destroyed/wreckage like the Fralthi or Cruise Liner. It would have been cool to stumble onto a destroyed Confed fleet if you tried to skip a nav point during a mission or something. That may be why it has all it's components. Or, it may just have been a corvette, maybe the Brack from the WCP ICIS? Would have been nice to see it floating in space, dead, in Kilrah near the end of WCP, it makes me think of how Blair and Angel stumbled onto Pegasus wreckage in the Movie.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Got the top-downs of the ships I was missing, thanks again. Went ahead and got most of the other top downs while I was at it; what I had for Prophecy was most VDU images anyway, so this gives me the opportunity to improve on some of them. Did have some problems today with the background grid when I was working with the Standoff Hakaga image; haven't figured out a good way around that yet.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Yeah, the grid is a bit of a problem for screen-grabbing. And it's not an easy thing to get rid of - I remember somebody on the Standoff team (Pete?) was able to find a way to modify the menu screens, I'd have to check how that's done and replace it with blackness.

The Kilrathi/Nephilim Buoy was in fact in the jammer mission as well. I never noticed it looked like some Kilrathi technology with Nephilim stuff on it.
Wow, really? That's neat. And I never noticed it was there at all...

I'd love to replace the Stellar Accretion Device in SO with the meshes they made for it, see how it would look with the stretched out drydock and Comm Relay...
It would take quite a lot of work, involving a 3d modeller. These meshes aren't ready to be put together into one object, they don't have hardpoints and destroyed meshes. But yeah, it would be a nice thing to see. I actually totally forgot how the Accretion Device was put together, so I was a bit puzzled when I found the model missing from SO... so I went back to play that final SO mission, and there it is - three different ships pretending to be one. How shameful :p.

It does make you wonder, though. Secret Ops, while being standalone, seems to follows the tradition of the addons for the earlier games, in that it exploits models that had already been made, but did not make it into the final game. The fact that they didn't make a complete Accretion Device model (and the one they attempted to make is just modifications to existing models) certainly suggests this. But then you look at the number of different ships added in SO, and the mind kinda boggles: did they really make all of this stuff during WCP's development cycle, and simply reused it here?

This is a nice little catalogue, it would be cool if we could get every mesh in the game to appear in it, but that's pushing the envelope. :p
Actually, all the other meshes are simple affairs, they take about twenty seconds each to add. Only capships involve a lot of tinkering. As I said, I considered missiles and gun bullets, but that's about all. The other stuff is really not that interesting - yeah, it's exciting to find out a 3d planet was made for WCP, but it's not really exciting to see that this 3d planet has about as many polys as WCP's low-poly asteroids :).

I do remember the terrain in the mesh files one time when I was playing with them. I was able to view them in the simulator screen as a replacement for another ship mesh. It's just a greyish brown, square patch of ground.
Now, that's very, very interesting. It crashed the object viewer on me, so it's remarkable that it worked on the simulator screen for you.

I also noticed the 'Callisto' capship/corvette is slightly tilted. It might have been some sort of destroyed/wreckage like the Fralthi or Cruise Liner. It would have been cool to stumble onto a destroyed Confed fleet if you tried to skip a nav point during a mission or something. That may be why it has all it's components. Or, it may just have been a corvette, maybe the Brack from the WCP ICIS? Would have been nice to see it floating in space, dead, in Kilrah near the end of WCP, it makes me think of how Blair and Angel stumbled onto Pegasus wreckage in the Movie.
I don't think it was a destroyed model. Both the Fralthi II and the Ana Maria Alberghetti show how much work Origin's artists would put into turning a functional ship into a wreck (probably to expiate for the great sin of not having properly destroyable capships in the game :p ). This is nowhere near wrecked enough to be a wreck.

It could be a corvette. The fact that it seems to be missing the bridge and the engines suggests otherwise... but if you look hard enough, you'll find that there are actually separate engine meshes for the Barracuda as well, suggesting that at some point, the team considered making corvettes with destroyable components. So, yeah, that is a possibility.
 

Lt.Overload

Rear Admiral
It would take quite a lot of work, involving a 3d modeller. These meshes aren't ready to be put together into one object, they don't have hardpoints and destroyed meshes. But yeah, it would be a nice thing to see. I actually totally forgot how the Accretion Device was put together, so I was a bit puzzled when I found the model missing from SO... so I went back to play that final SO mission, and there it is - three different ships pretending to be one. How shameful :p.

It does make you wonder, though. Secret Ops, while being standalone, seems to follows the tradition of the addons for the earlier games, in that it exploits models that had already been made, but did not make it into the final game. The fact that they didn't make a complete Accretion Device model (and the one they attempted to make is just modifications to existing models) certainly suggests this. But then you look at the number of different ships added in SO, and the mind kinda boggles: did they really make all of this stuff during WCP's development cycle, and simply reused it here?
Was it really 3 different capships? I only remember being able to target the Comm Relay and the Drydock, not the funnel itself. It just seemed to be there.

I did get to fly around the 'Stellar' Drydock model, but the Comm Relay crashed because it didn't have the component parts, as to be expected.

That last part you mentioned leaves the question, was the models in WCP or just SO? If it was just SO, I would assume it was created for the game, or on some older Origin files that never made it on the WCP factory disk. However, many things like multiplayer fragments (text, meshes, textures, not sure about coding) , powerups, and many many MANY other things that weren't in WCP were still on the disk. If they were in both games, I wonder what it was originally planned for, if just SO, it could be safe to assume it was made for the device.


Actually, all the other meshes are simple affairs, they take about twenty seconds each to add. Only capships involve a lot of tinkering. As I said, I considered missiles and gun bullets, but that's about all. The other stuff is really not that interesting - yeah, it's exciting to find out a 3d planet was made for WCP, but it's not really exciting to see that this 3d planet has about as many polys as WCP's low-poly asteroids :).
Could you take a screenshot of the low-poly planet? :) I'm interested to see what it looks like.
If I recall correctly, most of the gun meshes were just blocks of one solid color like WC3/4.


Now, that's very, very interesting. It crashed the object viewer on me, so it's remarkable that it worked on the simulator screen for you.
Crashed when I tried to load the mission though. I've tried some crazy stuff, like I even flew the Stellar Accretion funnel, but I NEVER found the 'Callisto' craft or the modified Drydock/CommRelay. I must have skipped over them. :)


I don't think it was a destroyed model. Both the Fralthi II and the Ana Maria Alberghetti show how much work Origin's artists would put into turning a functional ship into a wreck (probably to expiate for the great sin of not having properly destroyable capships in the game :p ). This is nowhere near wrecked enough to be a wreck.

It could be a corvette. The fact that it seems to be missing the bridge and the engines suggests otherwise... but if you look hard enough, you'll find that there are actually separate engine meshes for the Barracuda as well, suggesting that at some point, the team considered making corvettes with destroyable components. So, yeah, that is a possibility.
What about a disabled corvette? Like, not destroyed, but out of power? Something like what Blair did to the Lexington in WC4?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Was it really 3 different capships? I only remember being able to target the Comm Relay and the Drydock, not the funnel itself. It just seemed to be there.
Yeah, there is something odd about the funnel. It is definitely a separate object in the mission files... but it's not targettable, and it has no ship file, only a mesh. It may be that they added the possibility of placing non-interactive static meshes in SO. If that were the case, I'd actually feel rather embarassed - not that we ever needed static meshes, but it would be shameful if, more than a decade since the game's original release, SO still had secrets to hide from the modding community :).

I did get to fly around the 'Stellar' Drydock model, but the Comm Relay crashed because it didn't have the component parts, as to be expected.
Crashed, or exploded? The game definitely shouldn't crash because of missing component parts.

That last part you mentioned leaves the question, was the models in WCP or just SO? If it was just SO, I would assume it was created for the game, or on some older Origin files that never made it on the WCP factory disk. However, many things like multiplayer fragments (text, meshes, textures, not sure about coding) , powerups, and many many MANY other things that weren't in WCP were still on the disk. If they were in both games, I wonder what it was originally planned for, if just SO, it could be safe to assume it was made for the device.
No, these models were not in WCP (I seem to recall the Cerberus being in there, but...). I don't think this proves anything (none of the new SM1/2 ships were in WC1, nor were any of the new SO1/2 ships hidden away in WC2), but at the same time - it doesn't seem too likely that these ships were actually planned to be included in WCP and cut out. We see a lot of different design doc revisions for WCP, none of them ever indicate the need for any of these ships. I think it's more likely, if anything, that these ships were developed during WCP's development cycle, but not for WCP. Very often, artists actually have spare time during some stages of a game's development, and they will create things just to add to their portfolios, or in the hope that the designers will relent and find some excuse to put them into the game.

Could you take a screenshot of the low-poly planet? :) I'm interested to see what it looks like.
Not at the moment, I'm away from my WC machine. But I'll see what I can do later this week.

What about a disabled corvette? Like, not destroyed, but out of power? Something like what Blair did to the Lexington in WC4?
Unlikely. There is nothing anywhere in any WCP documents indicating that anyone ever thought about adding the possibility of disabling craft, either for us or for the aliens.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Question -- to get around the grid (and to get higher res shots anyway) would it be possble instead to just have a mission with all the ships arranged in space, set so they can't move? Could use the in-game camera for the screenshots.

It does make you wonder, though. Secret Ops, while being standalone, seems to follows the tradition of the addons for the earlier games, in that it exploits models that had already been made, but did not make it into the final game. The fact that they didn't make a complete Accretion Device model (and the one they attempted to make is just modifications to existing models) certainly suggests this. But then you look at the number of different ships added in SO, and the mind kinda boggles: did they really make all of this stuff during WCP's development cycle, and simply reused it here?

It's a strange collection of odds and ends.

The Cerberus was built as part of a pitch for "Maniac Missions." It was intended as the home cruiser for that game.

The Vesuvius, Thunderbolts and Excaliburs are from Wing Commander IV, of course.

The original plan was to reuse models from WC4 for the other capital ships, too. The Murphy and the Plunkett were built by their respective artists while Prophecy was going through QA and they didn't have so much work--basically to keep current in building spaceships and to flesh out their demo reels (that's why there are super high res versions.)

I believe the cruise liner is original to WCSO (which is part of why it looms so large in the fiction.)

The Kilrathi/Nephilim Buoy was in fact in the jammer mission as well. I never noticed it looked like some Kilrathi technology with Nephilim stuff on it.

There's SOMETHING odd about the whole drone storyline and it's about time we think about it.

We see the Devereaux launch a buoy at the start of the game.

Then there's a mission in T'lan Meth where you're ordered to locate and retrieve "ALIEN jamming equipment." At the end we're told it's a buoy and has been left with Science Division.

Then a few missions later you have a conversation with Finley where she talks about (and you see part of) the "that Confed signal buoy you guys brought back."

But none of this is ever really explained. Is it supposed to be the buoy from Devereaux? Why was it jamming things? What does it really do? I remember Captain Johnny asking me for some stills of the intro at one point because he was trying to jog someone's memory about what they'd 'planned' for the buoy and the Devereaux... but I can't find any reference to anything other than what we got in the (rather extensive amount of) Prophecy documents collected so far.



I don't think it was a destroyed model. Both the Fralthi II and the Ana Maria Alberghetti show how much work Origin's artists would put into turning a functional ship into a wreck (probably to expiate for the great sin of not having properly destroyable capships in the game ). This is nowhere near wrecked enough to be a wreck.

I don't think they realized that was a problem yet. The capships were a response to a big complaint about WC3 and 4, which was that you could blow up capital ships and see their "skeleton"... but it would explode off screen the minute you looked away trying to play with it. Unfortunately they took it too far the other way.
 

Lt.Overload

Rear Admiral
There's SOMETHING odd about the whole drone storyline and it's about time we think about it.

We see the Devereaux launch a buoy at the start of the game.

Then there's a mission in T'lan Meth where you're ordered to locate and retrieve "ALIEN jamming equipment." At the end we're told it's a buoy and has been left with Science Division.

Then a few missions later you have a conversation with Finley where she talks about (and you see part of) the "that Confed signal buoy you guys brought back."

But none of this is ever really explained. Is it supposed to be the buoy from Devereaux? Why was it jamming things? What does it really do? I remember Captain Johnny asking me for some stills of the intro at one point because he was trying to jog someone's memory about what they'd 'planned' for the buoy and the Devereaux... but I can't find any reference to anything other than what we got in the (rather extensive amount of) Prophecy documents collected so far.
Funny thing about the mission is that the jammer could be any three of the buoys, two very alien ones and one Kilrathi/alien hybrid, and whatever one Casey is looking for is random.


Another thing I'd like to mention is the Alien Probe in WCP. One Midway sound file has Anderson mentioning an 'alien probe' in the area, which could be used to attack the Midway, and to destroy it. There is also a probe in WCP's mesh files, which Killerwave has restored in the past. I was surprised when I didn't see it in Quarto's catalog. Here is a picture of it.

Just throwing other stuff out there from deep within WCP.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Another thing I'd like to mention is the Alien Probe in WCP. One Midway sound file has Anderson mentioning an 'alien probe' in the area, which could be used to attack the Midway, and to destroy it. There is also a probe in WCP's mesh files, which Killerwave has restored in the past. I was surprised when I didn't see it in Quarto's catalog. Here is a picture of it.

"Probe" in the sense Anderson is saying means an alien force, not a specific type of ship.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Question -- to get around the grid (and to get higher res shots anyway) would it be possble instead to just have a mission with all the ships arranged in space, set so they can't move? Could use the in-game camera for the screenshots.
That won't be a problem for most ships. Some of the weird unused stuff would be harder, but I assume that for the most part, that's not too useful for the WCPedia.

The original plan was to reuse models from WC4 for the other capital ships, too. The Murphy and the Plunkett were built by their respective artists while Prophecy was going through QA and they didn't have so much work--basically to keep current in building spaceships and to flesh out their demo reels (that's why there are super high res versions.)
I thought as much. They seemed to be a last-minute decision for SO, the ships are even named wc3destr and wc3crusr, and there are notes in the ship source code that the files were modified for the Murphy and Plunkett. Plus, you can see that the Murphy and Plunkett are very well implemented - whereas the Vesuvius is pretty atrocious, and really isn't designed to be shown inside a mission.

There's SOMETHING odd about the whole drone storyline and it's about time we think about it.

We see the Devereaux launch a buoy at the start of the game.

Then there's a mission in T'lan Meth where you're ordered to locate and retrieve "ALIEN jamming equipment." At the end we're told it's a buoy and has been left with Science Division.

Then a few missions later you have a conversation with Finley where she talks about (and you see part of) the "that Confed signal buoy you guys brought back."

But none of this is ever really explained. Is it supposed to be the buoy from Devereaux? Why was it jamming things? What does it really do? I remember Captain Johnny asking me for some stills of the intro at one point because he was trying to jog someone's memory about what they'd 'planned' for the buoy and the Devereaux... but I can't find any reference to anything other than what we got in the (rather extensive amount of) Prophecy documents collected so far.
Interesting. Yeah, I remember being a little surprised when Finley said "Confed buoy", but I never really gave much thought to it. Maybe that explains why there was a model for the Copernicus-class, to show something to do with the Devereaux? Then again... don't we hear, at the start of the third disc, about someone picking up a Confed buoy? There was definitely something like that in there somewhere. Blah, I don't have all the WCP files here, so I can't check.

Is Captain Johnny around still? It would be very interesting to hear what he remembers about that.

I don't think they realized that was a problem yet. The capships were a response to a big complaint about WC3 and 4, which was that you could blow up capital ships and see their "skeleton"... but it would explode off screen the minute you looked away trying to play with it. Unfortunately they took it too far the other way.
By the time they were releasing SO, they would have realised it - and the Ana Maria Alberghetti wreck definitely goes beyond the call of duty.

Another thing I'd like to mention is the Alien Probe in WCP. One Midway sound file has Anderson mentioning an 'alien probe' in the area, which could be used to attack the Midway, and to destroy it. There is also a probe in WCP's mesh files, which Killerwave has restored in the past. I was surprised when I didn't see it in Quarto's catalog. Here is a picture of it.
Wow. As you saw in the catalogue, I did include an alien probe in there - but it's not the one you pictured. I don't think I saw that one, at least not in SO.[/quote]
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
By the time they were releasing SO, they would have realised it - and the Ana Maria Alberghetti wreck definitely goes beyond the call of duty.

Oh absolutely--I went to Austin a few months after WCP came out and got the tour and they asked me what I would improve about Propohecy. And before I was finished saying the cap ship explosions everyone was hanging their heads in mock shame.

Interestingly, lead designer Billy Cain didn't remember that the cap ships didn't explode when we asked him about it in August.

Is Captain Johnny around still? It would be very interesting to hear what he remembers about that.

I've asked him before and he hemmed and hawed and said he couldn't remember how it was supposed to work.
 
This is cool. I hope to look into it this weekend. I do hope you will be able to add ship specs and get it working so it doesn't crash the game. Maybe then Pete can add it to his installer.

Keep up the good work!:)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
This is cool. I hope to look into it this weekend. I do hope you will be able to add ship specs and get it working so it doesn't crash the game. Maybe then Pete can add it to his installer.
Ship specs... you know, it's not a problem to add those, but that's an incredible number of ships, writing out their stats would take a pretty big effort :).

I don't think it would really be approprate to add this to the SO installer, though. For better or worse, SO did not include a ship viewer - it seems rather inappopriate to me, to put one in there, and especially inappropriate to supply the player with alien ship stats when the designers consciously chose not to give the player such information.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Hey Quarto,
I think this may confirm that the 'callisto.iff' was the original Midway.
Very interesting - a really great find! I think there's something curious going on here, though. While the update claims both unidentified images are the original design of the Midway, it's clear that the wireframe (middle, 2nd row) and the fuzzy "callisto.iff" render (1st row) depict two different designs. And the filename for the one in the top row is "ccruiser.png". Given that last bit, I'd say that fuzzy render, which is indeed the same design as callisto.iff, is a cruiser.
 
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