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Author Topic: Planetside Battles  (Read 5449 times)

TheDTYP

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Planetside Battles
« on: May 18, 2015, 12:49:04 PM »

I had an idea when trying out some mods.
Some, if not all mods I've tried out (I don't use them often, if ever, so this is a new thing for me) change up the backgrounds of the battle and campaign areas- a lot.
Sometimes if fighting in the vicinity of a planet or something, it will show up in the background. Well, why not take that one step further? Instead of a space background, maybe if you're even closer to the world or if you intervene at an outpost being invaded... or something... then maybe the entire background changes to the desert ground miles below the fighting ships? Maybe some factors could be added to spice up and differentiate fighting on the surface of a planet as opposed to in orbit or in space, like... hmm... some kind of speed modifier, or something, due to the gravity? I don't know, I'll leave that hypothetical idea up to the creators.
It seems like a simple enough addition, it's just a question of whether or not that is in line with the vision for the game, I suppose. Anyway, thanks for reading
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Morrokain

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 02:52:34 PM »

I would love some of these as well, but the reason why to my knowledge (it has admittedly been a while since I last checked due to modding projects) you don't see these things much, is that right now it is currently impossible to mod in specific battle types based upon proximity to other objects or other scenarios.

So there is no way to say: player is by a planet so spawn "battle_nearplanet" and have the background different, new cap points, etc. I expect this to be possible in the near future it just isn't right now  :)
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Tartiflette

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 03:36:57 PM »

Scy first mission... (and there are more after)


There are several good reasons why it shouldn't be done in campaign though:
First, it's quite a distraction. The busier the background, the harder to read the battle get. Nobody like being rekt by a harpoon that happened to come "hidden" in a bright background area.
Secondly it's a big amount of work! You'd need a background for every planet type, probably two with the night side. Make that four for the cases a "battle happen on the ground". So yeah, that rise fast. And every mod would have to add his planets backgrounds too.
Thirdly, memory usage is already quite high, and backgrounds takes a lot if you add that many.
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orost

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 04:06:46 PM »

Backgrounds are loaded on-demand as far as I know, so memory isn't an issue.

But I strongly dislike backgrounds like this. I had serious trouble playing that mission because I could barely see anything, and I ended up skipping it.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 05:40:33 PM »

Backgrounds eat VRAM as soon as the game is loaded.

Morrokain

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 06:50:52 PM »

Backgrounds eat VRAM as soon as the game is loaded.

That seems silly. I wonder if there is anything that can be done to lessen that. I wouldn't think all the backgrounds would have to be loaded at all times and it should definitely be rendered on an as-needed basis. I would rather have brief loading screens between battles than a small maximum number of backgrounds.

As to the other two points, I agree that having the background be too noisy should be avoided and I think there are ways to do that without scrapping the whole idea. As for the work part, not any less work than redoing sprites and then having to redo ALL of their skins  :-X

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Alex

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 06:53:11 PM »

(Backgrounds are not all loaded at once. There's one current combat and campaign background, new backgrounds get loaded into the same memory as needed. This is why there's a slight loading time when jumping into a new star system, for example.)
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xenoargh

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 08:10:24 PM »

The big issue with this is that there isn't any parallax of the background implemented, so motion of the ships against it feels very awkward, when the objects aren't supposed to be incredibly distant. 

That's a major part of why the visibility issues crop up, too; because we're not seeing the background move relative to our current ship's motion or the ship we're camera-following, it simply doesn't feel right.  Of course, there's a bit more to this, to get a good feel; a washed-out set of hues with noise won't be as effective in that context and a better approach to the treatment of the art would be required, but the lack of parallax is a prime issue.

We can't really fix that with mods, because we don't have access to the rendering process there and can't implement a new system to handle that. 

I've wanted to do a land-based TC based on this engine for quite some time now, but it's just not practical until that portion of the engine is accessible and we can rewrite the core method there.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2015, 08:19:18 PM »

Ah crap, my bad for spreading misinformation unintentionally.

Morrokain

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2015, 09:31:21 PM »

The big issue with this is that there isn't any parallax of the background implemented, so motion of the ships against it feels very awkward, when the objects aren't supposed to be incredibly distant. 

That's a major part of why the visibility issues crop up, too; because we're not seeing the background move relative to our current ship's motion or the ship we're camera-following, it simply doesn't feel right.  Of course, there's a bit more to this, to get a good feel; a washed-out set of hues with noise won't be as effective in that context and a better approach to the treatment of the art would be required, but the lack of parallax is a prime issue.

We can't really fix that with mods, because we don't have access to the rendering process there and can't implement a new system to handle that. 

I've wanted to do a land-based TC based on this engine for quite some time now, but it's just not practical until that portion of the engine is accessible and we can rewrite the core method there.

Yeah I kind of figured that would be an issue. I have theorized using the "nebula" effect to kind of custom build an immersive "environment" that can affect movement and make a sort of terrain like feel. It would take a huge amount of work and finesse to pull it off though and I am not sure it wouldn't cause all sorts of performance issues. Honestly I have pushed off attempting some sort of ground based combat until I can actually implement it in the campaign anyway.

For that to happen I need to be able to designate different battle types and also flag ships as only deploy-able in specific ones (to separate ground forces from space forces).


(Backgrounds are not all loaded at once. There's one current combat and campaign background, new backgrounds get loaded into the same memory as needed. This is why there's a slight loading time when jumping into a new star system, for example.)
Ah crap, my bad for spreading misinformation unintentionally.

No worries I probably misunderstood what you meant and ah makes much more sense  :D
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Tartiflette

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 11:35:23 PM »

But I strongly dislike backgrounds like this. I had serious trouble playing that mission because I could barely see anything, and I ended up skipping it.
That's pretty much why I put it for the first mission. In later fleet battles you just burn your eyes trying to see anything.
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Debido

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2015, 09:12:15 PM »

I tried adding a kind of 'atmospheric scattering' effect which helps preserve the details, gives an overall tint that is discernible from the combat ships, and hopefully reduce the constrast.





Tell me what you think?
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xenoargh

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Re: Planetside Battles
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2015, 11:45:34 AM »

Works better, but really, this is something where the art has to work for that purpose.  Basically, land stuff needs stronger outlines to establish the borders better.  Anyhow, it's all kind of moot without a good way to implement parallax.
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