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<     Episode 2255: Don’t Count Your Buttons Before the Hatch     >

Episode 2255: Don’t Count Your Buttons Before the Hatch

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For inspiration on how difficult and apparently poorly-designed something can realistically be in a game world, just look at frustrating user interfaces in real life.

Imagine someone in a cyberpunk world trying to connect to Cyberspace via a public terminal, and having to deal with an interface similar to a self-serve supermarket checkout. Oh yeah.

For extra fun you can even code a site with an actual interface and let your players try to deal with it.

Editorial note: This annotation was accidentally published on strip 2253, which is why it might look familiar. If so, please go back and check the corrected annotation for 2253.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Only one bomber left? Well, at least this explains why there was such a big deal over Allan taking out the last turret. A proper gun turret would have swept the whole bomber squadron before they even got close if all of these ships were that fragile. B-17s these are definitely not. Though to be fair, these are spaceships that need to worry about maintaining a breathable atmosphere, and even whatever shields they had likely weren't specialized with "keeps the air in" upgrades either.

Hmmmmm, looks like maybe.... 240 bombs? 6 bomb orbs obviously visible on a side per row with 5 lights behind them at least; round that up to 6 for symmetry. 2 rows visible by Paige, plus another 8 dots in a line in the vertical view panel. Multiply that all together with a bit of addition first, and we get an estimate of 240 beach-ball-sized thermal detonator lookalikes.

Alright then. I don't have a feel for how dangerous these bombs would be, but if the full load ends up being enough to take out the Fulminatrix on its own, that would explain the story direction better. Plus, there's obviously a big deal being made out of dropping this specific payload as the last available ship, so that makes it feel more like this will be successful. Star Wars did like the "single fighter wins the fight" trope. Even if the Cobalt Hammer will probably blow up soon after.

Transcript

GM: The Cobalt Hammer withstood a shrapnel hit and is the only bomber left. It’s over the Fulminatrix, but its bay doors are shut.
Tallie: Finch! Why aren’t your doors open?
Finch Dallow: Nix is the bombardier. Nix!!
Paige: Hmmm. I exit the gun turret and check the bomb bay.
{Paige enters the bomb bay}
GM: The bomb arming lights are on, but the doors are closed.
Paige: Can I open them from here?
GM: There’s a button right near your hatch.
Paige: I hit it.
GM: The doors open.
Paige: I drop the bombs.
[SFX]: klik
GM: You didn’t ask where the release button is.
Paige: Would I have liked the answer?
GM: No, but I would have liked informing you that it’s on the upper deck.
{Paige looks up and sees the red light of the bomb button on the upper deck catwalk, far above}


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Published: Tuesday, 10 January, 2023; 01:11:04 PST.
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