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News:

Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

Poll

Do you disable the ship explosion whiteout in the settings?

No, I like them. A ship explosion that hurts my eyes is perfectly realistic!
- 11 (12.4%)
Yes, I prefer to not wake up the whole neighborhood when I play at night.
- 25 (28.1%)
Wait, you can disable the whiteouts? How come I was never made aware of this?
- 8 (9%)
What whiteout? I always play with GraphicLib and there's no whiteout on ships deaths.
- 30 (33.7%)
Actually I don't really care either way.
- 15 (16.9%)

Total Members Voted: 71


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Author Topic: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout  (Read 1158 times)

Tartiflette

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A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« on: March 24, 2021, 12:55:33 PM »

The ship explosion whiteout is an infamous topic, on the one hand they sure make every ship explosion impactful, on the other it is hard to keep playing while your eyes start bleeding. Also by Alex' own admission they are partially a crutch to hide the sausage fabrication when the ship hull is replaced by the destroyed hulk.

I've come to suspect that Alex, surely being mindful of his health a little bit, codes in a well lit office on a dim monitor. Obviously no true GAMER respecting themselves can play any other way than in a dark room only lit by their RGB cooler and their screen, a very different setup indeed. Thus I'm proposing to gather some funds, buy a good 1000nits HDR monitor, lock it at full brightness, and get it delivered to him. I bet the whiteouts would get turned off by default under a week after that!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 01:10:38 PM by Tartiflette »
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Tartiflette

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2021, 01:00:06 PM »

This topic has been prompted by Alex' latest tweet:
https://twitter.com/i/status/1374451098056978441
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Grievous69

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2021, 01:06:58 PM »

I mean I've already asked if it's going to see a change in the future (on some older tweet), and from what I remember the answer wasn't too optimistic. Think he said he'll look into it but unless something neat comes up it will probably stay as it is. Also he couldn't believe the impact of flashbangs so your assumption of a well lit office is spot on.
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Please don't take me too seriously.

Alex

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2021, 01:28:04 PM »

I bet the whiteouts would get turned off by default under a week after that!

You're not wrong :)

(It's in the back of my mind! It just involves making some new, good quality vfx, and that sort of thing is at a baseline "2 dedicated weeks with no guarantee of success", at least going by past experience for anything similar. And it'd be an option, probably not the main thing, still... so, it hasn't quite ever made the cut.)
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SCC

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2021, 03:09:33 PM »

heh
I once played with vanilla explosions without white splash and it seemed fine.

SafariJohn

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2021, 04:01:08 PM »

I will reiterate that my #1 quibble with the whiteouts is that they exist in-between the player and the GUI. wtf? Empire Earth got that right 20 years ago - the whiteout from EE nukes didn't cover the UI and quickly faded out if you moved the camera away from the boom (and stayed gone, nicely).
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Tartiflette

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 06:30:57 AM »

At least the poll, while not unanimous,  shows a strong preference to get rid of the whiteout among those that do have a firm opinion on the topic.
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Serenitis

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 11:37:03 AM »

Flashcubes are for Starfleet Battles where they only exist on paper.
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Gothars

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 11:42:47 AM »

A quick fix might be to give the option to make it a blackout instead: the screen turns super dark for a second if a ship explodes. I mean, who's to say how these ship reactors work - they might generate a short lived singularity that swallows all light.
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The game was completed 8 years ago and we get a free expansion every year.

Arranging holidays in an embrace with the Starsector is priceless.

Megas

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2021, 12:26:00 PM »

I have mixed feelings on the whiteout.  The effect is nice at times, but what I dislike about them are 1) whiting out the UI so I cannot read it if I happen to bring up a screen the moment a ship explodes and 2) AI is not blinded by the whiteout (and thus giving the enemy a brief advantage).  Also, the whiteout is not so nice if I play in a darker room.

It would be nice if Starsector had nice ship explosions without relying on the whiteout.  Currently, it relies too much on whiteout to sell the effect.
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Thaago

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2021, 01:35:37 PM »

When an enemy capital ship explodes during a tense battle and the whiteout blinds me, its kind of nice because of how the visual shock prompts an emotional climax that synchs with destroying an important enemy ship. When its going off like popcorn from pirate destroyers and frigates, not so much.
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sector_terror

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2021, 09:43:45 PM »

Key base a poll: Honest answers that arent vaguely insults for picking them is a better way to run a poll.

As far as the suggestion itself, I say just make them less, well, intrusive. I am fine with the idea of a ship exploding close up taking up your vision. It's incredibly immersive and means you have to try and be at least not suicidal in your charge and have a period where you can go "out." I agree with Megas about the UI though. The UI should shine through since technically the UI is the equivalent of the console on the bridge, which really doesn't get blurred out in a normal situation. The AI not being hit with it is also an issue, and I'm not sure the fix.

I do have to admit I'm biased. I'm one of the crazy bastards that's perfectly okay with light mode on everything because most of my time is in word processors. So blind darkness hurts my eyes badly.
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Tartiflette

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2021, 11:42:07 PM »

Key base a poll: Honest answers that arent vaguely insults for picking them is a better way to run a poll.
I mean, the poll and the whole suggestion are obviously facetious in the first place. You can even pick all the answers if you want!
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Histidine

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2021, 06:21:52 PM »

I think I've identified two issues that make the vanilla explosion without whiteout look bad on larger ships:

- The shield disappears instantly, and the ship texture turns into its "scrap" state, instantly. Shield should visually disappear after a delay (but can cease working immediately) and texture should change only after the explosion cloud covers it.

- Explosion also starts out too large? It sort of pops into existence which looks strange.

Maybe the whiteout part could also be changed? Instead of a [255,255,255,255] square it could be an overlay of static noise, or something.
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SCC

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Re: A solution to the ship explosion whiteout
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2021, 07:13:50 AM »

You know, I think I like the half-whiteout that occurs when a big ship dies nearby more. It's not blinding, but it conveys well that something big and impressive just went boom.
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