Monday, October 17, 2016

CarpWheel Development Note 3: Core Corp Internal Memo Series

Engineering: We've finished the power conduits, fixed the deck gravity issues, and settled on the final connection for the power supply. The new standard should allow the connection of several types of singularity batt as well as the new QVCs, assuming Vac-Tech ever manages to finish them. Everything on the prototype has been passing every quality test, and I think we'll finish on schedule. As for the rest, it's outside of my jurisdiction. All I know is that I would buy one, and I frankly don't really care what you call it.

Design: I've got something of a vested interest, considering this is going to end up on my resume whether I like it or not. It's not a remarkably striking ship, but it's got good lines* and a classic design. Can't we give it a solid name to match?
*This observation was somewhat prophetic, since the year after its introduction the CarpWheel class won a design award specifically titled "Good Lines" from the Galactic Advent Commerce Design Awards Commission (GAC DAC).

Business Development: For the record, I'm leaving the corporation. I tried my best, and you idiots have given me a completely unsellable ship to sell. So stop copying me on your memos. And I didn't pick the name, but what the heck, since you lot have been stonewalling me everywhere for more than two years, I'm going to defend it. I can't think of a better way to describe this whole debacle than a wheel of fish.

Engineering: I'd like to point out that our "stonewalling" was largely ineffectual in regards to the deck layout, since you got your fixed decks with a small door at the nose.

Business Development: Oh. My apologies, a#%-hat. I got my fixed decks. Decks made with exorbitantly expensive gravity plating matched to twenty individual controllers in a density that is frankly ridiculous in a ship with power conduits and connections that are engineered to support military-grade hardware (a ship with no weapons or military use case, I might add) and which is carrying three of the most sophisticated fusion engines ever developed to fly from one hemisphere of a planet to another and that's been outfitted for Benders at no small expense despite the fact that everybody stopped using Benders three years before we started development on the product. But yes, I got my fixed decks.

Engineering: All of those features are highly desirable and should make the ship appealing to a wide range of customers. The design is unmatched in its class for versatility*, and we didn't cut any corners aside from the fixed decks. If you can't sell unmatched versatility, maybe you're just not the right marketer for the ship.
* This is a verifiable truth, no other ship in the light frigate mass class has ever approached the CarpWheel ships in the number of different professions it's been used for. On the used spaceship market, the CarpWheel has held its value remarkably well.

Business Development: Do you have any idea what goes into selling a spaceship? The market research, the surveys, the profiling? Give me a ship that does one thing better than everything else and I'll sell hundreds of them. Give me a ship that does one thing really well and costs less than its competitors, and I'll sell thousands of them. Give me a ship that does a bunch of things pretty well and is easy to configure, and I'll sell millions. And I can prove that, since I've literally sold millions of variations on the Hypercat class. But give me a ship that does a bunch of stuff pretty well, but costs twice what anything else in its class costs and requires three doctorates to configure, and divine intervention won't make it sell*. That's the "wheel of fish" you've given me, that last one right there.
*This is also a verifiable truth, considering the abysmal sales and rapid discontinuation of the CarpWheel class are matters of public record. They were too expensive to be bought for single use purposes, and the multi-use audience for a light frigate just isn't that large.

Engineering: I don't see what the big problem is. Just describe it honestly. I've done that and a few of my friends off-world agree it's a great design and well worth the money.

Business Development: J@#$% the k%&-*#@, all of you.

Design: Um, you know what? It's cool. CarpWheel is a perfectly serviceable name.