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Minor Artemis Canon Announcement: Blips are Out :-)

posted Dec 27, 2012 00:19:31 by Mike_Substelny
Thom has asked me to help develop some official Artemis canon documents and I'm hard at work on the project. I've just made a discovery/decision:

There are blips on certain screens (Tactical, LRS, Helm, Weapons, Science, Captain's Map, and Game Master) that represent ships, monsters, stations, etc. I've always called these things "blips" or "icons" but those terms are inaccurate because Artemis displays give a lot more information than a mere blip.



Henceforth the official term, which I borrowed from air traffic controllers, will be "Position Symbol." In the illustration above, the position symbol for G60 shows the target at bearing 146, range 519, with shields up. The player ship is within the arc of all of G60's beam weapons. Position symbols in Artemis SBS give a lot of information!

I have needed a term for this every time I've trained new Artemis players. Now the whole Artemis community has one. You're welcome. :-)
[Last edited Dec 27, 2012 01:26:23]
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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16 replies
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AaronStrickland said Dec 27, 2012 01:20:15
Thank you!
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MarkBell said Dec 27, 2012 11:04:13
Love it! Looking forward to more :-)
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xavierwise.tsn said Dec 27, 2012 19:06:50
I'd be interested to know more. I have spent long hours on TSN Handbooks, and would love to have some more background and information to go off as I write them. What other ideas are you working on and developing?
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AshleyNathanielReese said Dec 27, 2012 22:15:30
I prefer position indicator
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TreChipman said Dec 28, 2012 05:01:53
I think the actual term used is "Radar Position Symbol" or RPS, but SPS (Scanner/Sensor Position Symbol) is probably more appropriate to the background and is slightly quicker to say than "Position Symbol", and time is always of the essence in Artemis. It's sorta like yelling "Micky, duck down!" instead of "Ensign Phineas Quagmire McGillicutty, duc-- oh, well... too late."

That being said, I personally like "Contact" instead, because "Tactical, target contact G34" sounds cooler than "Tactical, target position signal G34", and seriously, unless you're playing with former ATCs, cool, not accuracy, should be driving this bus.
[Last edited Dec 28, 2012 05:15:10]
I'm not a mad scientist. I'm an angry one. You'd be wise to fear the latter.

Visit Artemis Command!
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Mike_Substelny said Dec 28, 2012 05:28:15
Tre: I agree that "contact" is good for bridge orders. I'm referring to written training material.

And I don't think the word radar has been in it for a long time, since aircraft are tracked by transponders. Because Artemis SBS assumes some data comes from player sensors, some from station sensors, some from friendly and neutral transponders, I think generic "position symbol" will do.
[Last edited Dec 28, 2012 06:13:43]
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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Mike_Substelny said Dec 28, 2012 05:29:15
Ashley: I like position indicator, too. But position symbol has fewer syllables. :-)
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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TreChipman said Dec 28, 2012 05:55:00
NOTE: THIS RESPONSE IS MOST EFFECTIVE IF READ IN THE VOICE OF THE COMIC BOOK GUY FROM THE SIMPSONS.

splitting hairs

You're right, Mike, but IIRC, transponders are generally tuned to respond to specific queries on frequencies friendlies are broadcasting upon and pass back a good deal of data (in fact, just the frequency you broadcast on can serve as a duress signal, a mechanical failure, etc., for example), while radar contacts are flying hunks of metal that aren't interested in talking back (i.e. badguys). So,yes, associating position symbols to transponders are totally appropriate in allied fleet maneuvers, associating them to enemy contacts is probably not going to get you anywhere (although decrypting that could be a fun thing for communications to hack).

/splitting hairs

[Last edited Dec 28, 2012 05:56:02]
I'm not a mad scientist. I'm an angry one. You'd be wise to fear the latter.

Visit Artemis Command!
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Mike_Substelny said Dec 28, 2012 06:58:23
xavierwise, I am not ignoring you. I think you have set out to come up with something much more intense than I.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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Charlie said Dec 28, 2012 07:13:59
the position symbol for G60 shows the target at bearing 146, range 519, with shields up


I think as a technical term or training term any of these I like so Position Symbol sounds good, and different bridges can use there own bridge talk. I usually call a target a Target or Enemy, but Bogey works anything seems better than
"Ensign Phineas Quagmire McGillicutty, duc-- oh, well... too
but every Blip on the radar is a Position Symbol not necessarily a Target.
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TheoBrinkman said Dec 31, 2012 01:30:36
but every Blip on the radar is a Position Symbol not necessarily a Target.


All the more reason for the generic term, "Contact", or "Sensor Contact" when in the field.

Also applicable: "Unknown Vessel", etc.

Once you know what you're dealing with, 'Position Symbol' isn't really what you're talking about, except when you're discussing the actual visual indicator on screen. IOW: It's fine for a 'training manual' write-up, but the manual might also give common terms used when referring to the thing the Position Symbol represents.

Using BSG as an example, the sensor operator doesn't shout about multiple new Position Symbols, it's "Multiple DRADIS contacts!" because they're not actually informing the captain about the lights on their display, they're informing the captain about the new *vessels* which have appeared in sensor range.
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DaveWightman said Mar 09, 2013 18:18:39
I love the idea to standardize verbiage, but my only concern is practicality. A person can say "blip" very quickly, so I would hope we could get some verbiage that is short or at least abbreviates nicely. :p
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AdmlBaconStraps said Mar 10, 2013 00:12:28
If it helps, the official word (for things like radar controllers and military monitoring stations) is 'Contact'
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Charlie said Mar 10, 2013 14:37:11
the sensor operator doesn't shout about multiple new Position Symbols


no but "Position symbols" on the sensors would indicate "unknown contacts". I didn't think Mike was wondering what to call this stuff in combat but what to call a "symbol" on the map that gives information about a "contact.

You would not call, "the (contact) is giving me information about the (contact)", you would say "the (position symbol) indicates...(unknown contact, 30 k distance, sector A4)"
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Mike_Substelny said Mar 11, 2013 15:30:08
I have no illusion that crews will say the words "position symbol" during combat. But the manual needed a term that sounded military and I went with position symbol. If you were attending a military academy, I guarantee your instructor would say something like "Select the nearest vessel by clicking on its position symbol" rather than "Select the nearest vessel by clicking on its blip."
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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