View Full Version : Planets... or billiard balls?
September 24th, 2003, 06:38 PM
I am impressed with the smoothness of the models displaying planets, and the graphics are good, but when you get close, you realize these 'planets' are rather small compared to your ship. They resemble billiard balls more than planets.
When a planet is between your ship and a star, it becomes hard to spot because its so dark. Perhaps not unrealistic, but then they become invisible death dealers.
I'd like to see planets change in three ways.
1. Make 'em bigger!
2. Give them an atmosphere! Visually representing an atmosphere will make them easier to spot from the dark side, and also make them look more like planets.
3. Have the interaction between planets and your ship a little better. There should be some kind of warning or buffer zone between being close to a planet and suddenly exploding. In reality you'd have plenty of warning. Gravity, atmosphereic buffetting, heat... your on-board computer would trigger the klaxxons and give you a chance to steer clear (if it didn't do it for you)!
On a similar note, if you run into an asteroid that is smaller than your ship, and you had powerful shields, and you went really, REALLY slow, would you explode? Maybe - if your ship was made of paper and you had nitroglycerin in your cargo hold.
September 24th, 2003, 06:50 PM
I do agree with all these points
September 24th, 2003, 07:38 PM
1 and 2 are moddable.
I have survived an asteroid collision before, just barely, and in a heavily armored battlecruiser that took severe internal damage.
September 24th, 2003, 08:07 PM
I'll buy that. I guess you could fiddle with the planet size in the data files and create hi-res skins for them too. I look forward to doing that. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon6.gif
Do you have an example of how you'd add an atmosphere? I've got no clue on this, aside from some vague comments in another topic on adding some visual effects. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/confused.gif
September 24th, 2003, 09:46 PM
I'm no graphics artist, but the halos seen around stars would make great atmospheres, IMO. Coloured to match the type of atmosphere, of course.
You could always simply add blinking nav beacons to the map around planets, just like you have buoys on lakes to indicate rocks & stuff.
Unexplored or undeveloped systems without such nav beacons would of course be more hazardous.
September 24th, 2003, 10:10 PM
If you've got the power to run the game faster, than just increase the planet sizes. It makes it more interesting not knowing what might be behind a planet...
September 24th, 2003, 10:14 PM
It is interesting that you can survive ramming ships (or, sometimes, STARS) but ussually not asteroids.
I was totally inside a star once. Not sure what happened, because when I circled around to do it again I hit and died.
September 25th, 2003, 12:08 AM
sphere for planet.
translucent sphere for atmoshpere...
texture both and set the outer one spinning to get some cool storm / cloud effects
September 25th, 2003, 01:57 AM
That works in 3D programs, but can you make a planet translucent in SESF?
I like SJ's idea of using a star's halo, if you can make it a lot dimmer. Otherwise it might look like a system full of stars...
[ September 25, 2003, 06:19: Message edited by: Wydraz ]
September 25th, 2003, 06:03 AM
Good ideas for the atmosphere... I wish I came up with it during the beta. Maybe a patch will add it in, it probably is not that hard to do I hope.
September 25th, 2003, 10:34 AM
wot would be good is if you could go into the atmospheres (ok maybe if the planets were a thousand times bigger)
Now that has given me a mod idea
How about having a map for sol with one planet in each system that is really big wit atmosphere or something that wont kill you and instead of warp points taking you to different systems they could be warp points that take you to different parts of one system (those who have played Earth and beyond will know wot I mean)
This way we have the big planets and can have the atmosphere (no pun intended) of a HUGE sol system
Wotcha all think, if this is reasonable and I get the full Version then this will be my first mod http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon7.gif http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon7.gif http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
September 25th, 2003, 05:32 PM
Sounds like an interesting idea. Maybe you could even have cities on the planets that launch missiles! Too bad you won't be able to land, tho. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon10.gif
[ September 25, 2003, 16:39: Message edited by: Wydraz ]
September 25th, 2003, 07:08 PM
Ok, here is a crazy idea that you might think about. Since the game is 2D, perhaps you could model ground combat. Make the backdrop look like you are on the ground and let planets become buildings or terrain features. Mod a vehicle that looks like a tank and has tank like manuevering qualities. I'm not sure if it would work, but if you are really looking for ground combat, you might be able to pull it off.
If anyone remembers the old board game "Ogre", just imagine you are in control of a massive combat vehicle with lots of weapons and set the game up to swarm you with small units.
September 25th, 2003, 07:29 PM
I bet you might be able to do something like that if you linked it as a [warp point] transfer to another map (notice how it loads a 'map' when you enter a warp point). Position the [planet-warp] wherever to warp you to the new map. not sure how you would handle the conVersion to a new ship type to manuever on the [planet map] though...
September 25th, 2003, 07:49 PM
Uh, let's not get to wacky here. I've been making my own skyboxes, and I can tell you that turning it into the surface of a planet just won't work. At best you will feel like you're floating high above the surface of a cube-shaped world.
Because the skybox is tiled, there is no way to split the sky in half (it is a giant cube that surrounds you, with each side using a background tile four times, and a secondary 'feature' tile in the center). So at best you'd either be hovering above the ground plane, or you'd feel like you're inside a box.
I was thinking more along the lines of having a super-scaled planet, and hiding a space-sation inside; or for that matter making a huge space station that looked like a planet! It's weapon hardpoints could look like cities on the planet's surface.
[ September 25, 2003, 18:52: Message edited by: Wydraz ]
September 25th, 2003, 07:56 PM
Hover tanks? http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/tongue.gif Nah.
I have DO... i wonder if there could be a way to mate the two games so that a [portal] (like the warp point) would transfer you to that map type for ground combats. If that was the case, you would be able to have space combat in the SF engine, then ground combat in the DO engine... which would allwo for the creation of multiple cities on any planet... multiple battlescapes... perhaps SF II or SEV could run with this idea...
September 25th, 2003, 08:33 PM
I suppose you could go to an all black background, activate the grid and think of it as "Battlezone" on steroids, but I guess there are other things that would make better mods.... http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon12.gif
September 25th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Anyone know if there are 'cloaks' in the full Version? I'm thinking of something that prevents others from seeing you, or locking onto you with their targeting while on- you can't fire either until you turn it off...
Ship boarding would be nice, but from the demo, it dosen't look possible.
I also wonder if there might be a way to mod in gravity from planets and suns... or blackholes... which pull you in
September 25th, 2003, 10:11 PM
There is a button to cloak, so presumeably you can cloak in the full Version.
And coding in gravity would be such a nightmare it makes my head hurt just thinking about it (hint: count the number of planets Freeport has)
September 28th, 2003, 12:27 AM
You should only have that for blackholes really or/and planets really close (5-10 ls from surface)
Tho I think something should be done to make stars abit more dangerous. High Grav, radiation at close range, affects shields or something oh and they definatly need to be bigger (at least twice the size of an aaverage planet IMO)
As for my mod idea, I will get started on it first thing I get the game http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon7.gif eta: unknown, mail money to PO Box: get DeadZone a game fund http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon12.gif
September 28th, 2003, 05:42 AM
Originally posted by Phoenix-D:
And coding in gravity would be such a nightmare it makes my head hurt just thinking about it)<font size="2" face="sans-serif, arial, verdana">Well, having gravity would make no sense since the planets and moons aren't in orbit around anything. I don't see any reason to model gravitational effects. It might be nice to have a "Warning: Gravity Field Detected" message when you get close to a planet, just to give you a feel for when you are getting too close for comfort. But it's such a minor tweak I wouldn't want Aaron to lose any sleep over it.
hint: count the number of planets Freeport has<font size="2" face="sans-serif, arial, verdana">Why would the number of planets make any difference in the code?
September 28th, 2003, 06:03 AM
Because if you model gravity accurately, every single one of those planets has an effect. In a different direction, and changing as you go.
September 28th, 2003, 10:26 AM
It would be cool if the planets were orbiting the sun and moons with them, but then wit the size of the systems I really think it would be no point
September 28th, 2003, 06:48 PM
i arent a programmer in any way, but i does got an idea for the tiny planets problem:
make the ships smaller!
iz that not poss, cos it sounds easy 2 me
September 28th, 2003, 07:09 PM
I would believe that detail would suffer with that one, but could be worth trying I pose
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