jump points

For collaboration on developing the mod capabilities of VS; request new features, report bugs, or suggest improvements

Moderator: Mod Contributor

Post Reply
safemode
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

jump points

Post by safemode »

I know it's been debated about how to represent jump points in VS. Pretty much nobody likes the wireframe pretend things we use now.

Basically, in VS the idea of jumping is that we jump at special points in space that allow the opening of a wormhole (initiated by the jump drive). I dont think we need any visual representation of this on screen. Just have the wormhole open up when we get close enough to it's mapped position and jump. We dont need an additional structure in space, and the wireframe thing is just dumb.

We'd all like the graphics of jumping to be better, but more importantly, making jumpoints basically invisible and only visible on your map makes for a possible feature of gameplay. Selling of jump point maps would be even more important, since it would be the _only_ way to find them outside of randomly happening upon one. Plus, the unstable wormholes could be highly guarded secrets. Rather than sending you to a random system, an unstable wormhole could simply be a wormhole that moves. It always links the same two systems together, but because it moves, You'd have to barter for info on it's last known location and find it yourself. Radar could then have an additional feature for detecting gravitational anomalies when in close range, allowing the detection of jump points not on your map, as well as perhaps future features such as detecting cloaked bases.


so my wishlist would be:
1. Remove wireframe jumpoints.
2. Jumpoint maps are traded like system maps, though, much more frugally with how much info is in each map. (makes you have to visit more than one place to get a complete list, etc)
3. Higher end radars can sense grav anomalies, allowing the detection of unmapped wormholes (these are added to your local map that you can then sell a copy of, and the more data you add the more you'll get for it assuming the buyer doesn't have those locations for grav anomalies)

4. unstable wormholes simply move around the systems they link together. These should link highly prized areas together, to make them sought after. Knowing these locations should be integral to certain missions. Bases will buy the last known location of these moving jp's from you, and you can thus buy the last known location it complete certain missions or just to travel.

5. Eventually, it'd be nice to have a wormhole animation fill the screen during the loading of the next system. Perhaps run a cutscene of your ship entering (from outside it) and then the flying through the wormhole and exit on the other side.


That's not asking too much right? heh.
legine
Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:40 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Post by legine »

I have always seen the Wireframe as a symbol of the HUD...

As much I love cutseens, I tend to switch em off after a while. So if cutseens are added they should have a feature to switch it off...

Alternativly to (prerendered) cutsenes it would be great if the Gameengine could peform a jump with a external view. Maybe just 3s long, but that would be realy great...

For the Grid:
I always thought of it as a hud marker. if you ever playe independence war, they had a similar one with Added Infos what flightpath to take to make a jump.
We could add something like this, you need to i.e. have a certain velocity to enter the Wormhole and need to follow a certain vector.

Sure I dont know if our engine can be modified like this. So in short I am fine with what the game offers for now. :P
safemode
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Post by safemode »

except it's not a part of the HUD. if you get damage and your HUD has flickering output, the wireframes dont also flicker.

Basically a wormhole should be designated by a grav anomoly unless it's been mapped, and the crosshairs can point to where the sensors say it is. You get a distance and when you get within a certain distance you can try to jump.

the cutscene is only there to mask the frozen state the game will be in as it loads the next system. If we went with a rendered animation or movie, it would be played while a thread handled the loading of the next system, then when that thread was done, (we'd have two systems loaded at once) it would pass back to the main app and the main app would switch systems like we do now. the cut scene would end and we'd be in the new system.

if you skipped that all you'd see is a frozen screen for a couple seconds like we do now and then just pop into the next system.


In any case, i like the idea of having unknown grav anomalies that may or may not be worm holes throughout the system. Then the ability to use knowledge of their locations as highly prized information to be traded and sold to various markets.

i think that's doable without much rewrite. moving wormholes may not be at the moment. but everything else should be.
swright
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:06 pm

Post by swright »

I believe wormholes could be made to move in the existing engine very easily, though perhaps not in the way that your suggesting. All objects can be made to orbit either the star or the planets in a system, for that matter just about any object, AFAIK.

Of course this would be movement in a predictable manner, and at a very slow rate, certainly not the kind of thing that would facilitate the selling of information regarding their locations.

On your overall concept, I understand your argument about the instability of a gravitic anomoly. Still, it comes down to a question of whether the anomoly is designed or natural. That is whether it was intelligently created by some means beyond current known technology, or whether they are a happy accident which is being utilized to greatly increase interstellar travel.

In the first case, surely the advanced designers would have created them to have the type of stability that would make them reliable and easy to use. On the latter possibility, it seems a bit too convenient that all the anomolies happen to be in such convenient locations near stars with orbiting resource rich planets. Surely some of these anomolies might transport the traveller to some brown dwarf or neutron star, the systems planets having long been swept aside by some cataclysmic shedding of interstellar gases. Or worse, just beyond the Schwarzschild radius of a supermassive black hole, or into the deepest darkest space between galaxies.

At any rate, I think 'jump gates' are simply a game designers way of overcoming the daunting problem of realistic interstellar travel while maintaining some suspension of disbelief. They are a literary mechanism to make game play more fluid while maintaining as much realism as possible, thus maintaining the delicate balance between the two. The result is immersion, a game designers ultimate goal.

Personally, I like what your suggesting. I think it would add an interesting dimension to the realism. The possibility of getting 'stuck' in a system and needing to either buy your way or fumble your way out by stumbling across another anomoly. But it does present some interesting new programming challenges also, for example, keeping track of what anomolies are mapped, when they 'move' or randomize, and changing your grav map to reflect those changes. Ultimately, the question becomes this. Is the effect sufficiently beneficial to the immersion experienced by the player to warrant the cost in processor resources. To my chagrin, I am ill equiped to answer that question.
loki1950
The Shepherd
Posts: 5799
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Ottawa
Contact:

Post by loki1950 »

What it boils down to it is try it and find out :lol: we also need to consider it's effect on the mods we support.

Enjoy the Choice :)
my box::HP Envy i5-6400 @2Q70GHzx4 8 Gb ram/1 Tb(Win10 64)/3 Tb Mint 19.2/GTX745 4Gb acer S243HL K222HQL
Q8200/Asus P5QDLX/8 Gb ram/WD 2Tb 2-500 G HD/GF GT640 2Gb Mint 17.3 64 bit Win 10 32 bit acer and Lenovo ideapad 320-15ARB Win 10/Mint 19.2
safemode
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Post by safemode »

orbits can be made to be much faster than they are done now. It's done the way it is now due to the size of the objects and it's purpose in the game. We dont want to have to chase bases down anymore than we do now, and we dont want to have to worry about planets physics cycles taking up all the cpu in the game.

Having a wormhole orbiting could be made to be much faster than a planet, because there will be nothing on screen to update until it's activated.

Keeping track of what's mapped and what's not can be done by adding a special "cargo" item that contains a map. This cargo can be bought, sold, stolen, but it is added to by the ship. As you buy more maps of grav anomalies in a system, they are added to your map rather than being kept separate. You'll never know if you've found them all. And the more you have the more your map is worth to those who dont have as many in their map. This would be something very much worthwhile in a new/poorly known system.

Keeping track of them on the radar would be easy as sensors would be retrofitted with a new type of detector. A grav detector. Grav anomalies not mapped would only show up on the radar in close range, ones that are mapped would be seen as they are now. When you actually visit the anomaly and jump through it, it will be saved to your local map. If it is orbiting something, you will be required to go back and scan it a second time, after jumping back through and then your nav computer will have "learned" it's orbit...and it will show up on your radar under it's "extrapolated" orbit.

That second part sounds hard, but it's really not. The python will simply make you scan it a second time, and then the radar will simply allow you to see the anomaly as it moves in orbit just like you'd see a wormhole that you've mapped (regardless of distance). the fact that it's moving doesn't matter, we'd just make the extra scan a mandatory requirement for moving wormholes to be more realistic in the gameplay.


VS has always had an issue with designing good star systems and making immersive play. This is because there is a serious lack of people who can put forth the time to design a system and design the python AI routines to make the game units behave correctly. We're left with too much random generation and too much half hazardness from the ai. It'd be cool to make a nexus system (only thing in the system is wormholes to different systems) where you have to travel between two MASSIVE lengths of asteroid fields to get to the other side of the system where your other wormhole is to get out and to where you want to go. This could be a way around enemy systems, or a place to ambush merchant vessels. The path could be very small so it would require some amount of skill in piloting. A ship could tractor some asteroids into the path to try and cut this jump point corridor off ...perhaps to protect their "home" system or to cut off rescue efforts. That would be cool.

Nothing like that exists in the game right now, and the only thing stopping it is some one to take the time to write up the python.

I'm not talking about missions here, just well designed systems with a purpose and the ai with an overall goal per faction. Though the ai may be a stretch under current setups.

But back to the wormholes. I think it will definitely add to the game to get rid of the wireframe crap and add a certain number of undiscovered wormholes to the game, perhaps going to new systems, or different places in current systems, sometimes being a shortcut or easier jump than the known ones, sometimes being something that drops you in the middle of an impossible asteroid field.

I think that would only make the game more fun regardless of the mission being run or the way you play.
safemode
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Post by safemode »

how a wormhole is represented is already moddable I thought. and we already buy and sell maps of systems... The main difference would have to be hiding the functionality of sensors detecting wormholes as a grav anomaly and removing the option of selling grav anomaly maps if no unknown anomalies are created in the universe. So mods without hidden wormholes (current setup for everyone) dont get the whole economy of wormhole map trading and generation and such, while VS can and any future mods that want it.


Most of the gameplay altering changes are python specific, so those wont hurt mods. The code-side stuff we can probably make dependent on the existence of unknown worm holes in the generated universe. This way all new features are turned off for all existing mods and such, since they wont know to create uncharted wormholes. (or they do it a different way)
ollobrains
Trader
Trader
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:10 am

Post by ollobrains »

As a long term player of vs perhaps a few ideas ive seen elsewhere

Jumpgates - x2-3 have the right idea basically a big round circle u can fly into - or perhaps like star fury just a blue cloud u can fly into and it activates

Wormholes ( natural) could be green and randomly appear, disappear move around etc

Wormhole generator - perhaps on cap ships or station bases that the player buys and maintains. ( idea) x3 again could at great expense generate a time based artifical wormhole

* 2 sub categories one that goes to unknown and a control technology that aims at specific systems

Onboard jump drive generators - advanced or rare tech like elite that gives the player the ability to aim for a certain system - could consume fuel and perhaps be limited to small fighters and small craft.

But getting rid of the wire frame is a desire and request
Xante
Hunter
Hunter
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:53 pm
Location: 48:36:17N 7:45:32E

Post by Xante »

I allways thought those green rings were artificially marked points that indicates the position and direction to jump in order to prevent collision with stellar objects while jumping. Or maybe a hyperspace portal. But not a wormhole.

To me wormholes are annomalies in space/time that appear naturally and connect distant places. Places much more far away from each other than the systems actually connected by those green rings.

What leads me to the point : how about real wormholes, I mean those who let you travel trough the whole galaxy at once. They would indeed occure randomly since they are natural phenomenons, but they'll get you like on the opposite of the galaxy.
safemode
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Post by safemode »

in the WC universe for which lots of VS owes it's existance to, jump "gates" are natural stable wormholes that have been mapped and are products of singularities. They must be navigated by an advanced AI nav system or pilots of extreme skill that borders on a 6th sense. Otherwise death results.
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
Posts: 8014
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 4:03 am
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Post by chuck_starchaser »

The WC story on jump points is a long one. In early WC games, jump points are marked out by buoys. The Kilrathi also had buoys. Later, in Privateer and Righteous Fire, we see blue balls of light in space. Later, in Privateer 2, there are rings in space that help you jump, and charge you a toll. In the WC movie, we had a different kind of jump point, --the Charybdis jump lines, I'm not sure if I'm spelling it right, that the "Pilgrims" had a 6th sense for...

In WC literature, the story goes that this scientist, --forgot her name now... Ackwende, I think--, found that "antigravitons" (don't ask me... :)) produced in space, sometimes showed "drift". At one point, she was mapping antigraviton drift throughout the solar system, and after producing a large amount of them, her ship ended up in another system. I can't remember how the story ends...

Anyhow, so, the official story in WC is that jump points (the original jump points, NOT the movie jump points) are detected by measuring antigraviton drift at many locations, and then using a supercomputer to work out, through some regression algorithm, where the points are located. Therefore, jump points are DEFINITELY not visible to the naked eye. One can only conclude that the jump points we see in Privateer are computer projections onto the HUD.

There's more arguments to the invisibility of jump points being the canonical WC truth:

During missions in Privateer for the Exploratory Service, you explore one system at a time and get back to HQ. The first time you visit each system, you don't see any jump points. Once they analyze the data you collected and give you the next mission, now you see a jump point in that system.
(This doesn't work right in PR/PU yet, as we don't know how to hide jump points.)

Also, in Privateer, when someone gives you the data of the jump to the homeworld of the Retros, Eden, only then you see the jump point that leads there. (This also doesn't work correctly in VS mods; same reason.)

There are also canonical contradictions: In Heart of the Tiger, the kilrathis manage to install cloaking devices that "hide jump points", which would seem to imply that jump points WERE visible, after all... But the overwhelming evidence is that they are not visible.

And in fact, antigraviton drift detectors are only available to the Exploratory Services and the Confed navy.


All this to say...

Perhaps the fact that the jump point mesh doesn't flicker when your HUD flickers IS the problem to address... Maybe it should.
Well, I can't speak for Vegastrike, but I'm speaking for the WC-related mods. This is a feature that's been in the to-do list for us, for a long time. My wish list would be to make it very plain and obvious that jump points are projected visual aids by...
1) Make them NOT be clipped by the windows, OR by making them clipped by windows but not too precisely.
2) Making them NOT visible from external views
3) Making them flicker when your computer is flickery
4) Making them invisible when your nav comp doesn't have the coords
5) Making them usable whether or not your nav computer knows where they are. IOW, somebody could tell you, fly to jump point such and so, then fly half way to the asteroid field, and hit Jump, and it should work. Your computer would automatically add the coords when you successfully jump through a jump point that wasn't already in its database.
6) By changing the visuals for jump points depending on the nav comp's brand name/manufacturer.

And my vested interest is, if you make them like this for VS, they'll work out of the box for PU ;-)


Visual representation:

The question is, what would it look like being inside a wormhole?
Let's simplify the problem:
Imagine space was 2-dimensional and you were a flat-lander. A wormhole in a 2D space would be like a funnel shaped depression that turns into a thin hose that then opens up to another funnel that opens up to another flat space.

Now, imagine our flatlander is inside the hose: He (or she) does not occupy the "space" inside the hose; rather lives on the surface of the hose. If he looks to the left or right, he sees himself. Why? It's not a "mirror" effect. More the fact that light bends around the cross-section of the hose full-circle. If the hose gets smaller and smaller, such that the distance around it equals the shoulder width of the flat lander, he can actually touch himself; not just "see" himself; --i.e. he wraps all the way around the hose.

Now, let's bring this back to a 4D wormhole on 3D space:

The cross section of our "real" wormhole is NOT a circle; it is a sphere.
So, if you're in a ship inside a wormhole, you see yourself in every direction. This could be represented in-game by putting your ship inside an exact copy of the mesh of your ship, except larger, and with the normals pointed inwards. Same texturing.

Simple enough?

The big question is what does it look like when you're approaching and entering a wormhole...
I would suggest that it would look like a miniature black-hole. But, as you approach it, it looks like a mirror ball that expands to a plane, then becomes concave, and finally surrounds you; and once you're fully inside it, you see yourself inside a copy of your own ship...


Now, this contradicts what I said earlier about jump points being invisible, but I was talking about WC then... ;-)
safemode
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Post by safemode »

Wormholes aren't open constantly in most of all Sci Fi. They require usually some trigger to "open" them. So under that suspension of belief, we can say that the wormholes are invisible. Until you activate one. Then it should look as if there is a distortion of space, basically it should look like a sphere with the target system covering it. You would basically be seeing the target system mapped across the sphere, (just as you would see the entire universe as an ever decreasing circle behind you as you enter a black hole. So when a wormhole opens, you see the target system texture mapped over a sphere representing the event horizon of the wormhole. It would basically be a ball of white due to the compression of all the star light in such a small space.

Inside we have a tube not sphere i would think. So, while you would see yourself to the left and right of you, you should see the target system as a compressed circle in front of you, ever expanding and the system you left as an ever decreasing circle. Leaving the wormhole would be smooth, it would simply look like the ever increasing circle of the target system getting larger and larger until it completely surrounds you and the wormhole closes. Leaving you with an unwarped view of the system.


Now that takes care of the visual aspects of wormholes... onto game representation again.

I think the cloaking of wormhole tech was cloaking of the bouys maybe? It's been a while since i played WC games.

I got no problem with dealing with wormholes the way your wish list has them being dealt with. I would really like to see a coordinate system used in the nav comp. You can set a coordinate rather than select a known target to be your destination. Then hit autopilot and you will end at the coordinates you selected. This way you can have campaigns where someone tells you a secret coordinate to meet someone, to find a jumpoint, whatever.


I think it would be cool to incorporate something else in VS.

There should be a "federation" faction, that controls a group of systems as their home and keeps a jump "corridor" open. Meaning, they have physical gates at jump points between them that require only a communication from ships to activate the jump points and hold them open for travel. In this way, the game can start off with you being a trader in this group of systems, moving between multiple systems without having to get a jump drive. In this way, we can also make jump drives more realistically attached to only larger or more specialized ships, make them more expensive and more costly to run. Perhaps other races would do something similar. Communication with the gate would probably require some sort of friend or foe status, enemies wouldn't be able to use the gate, but they could destroy it, or open the jump point themselves.

I really like that idea, and dont see how it would conflict with the spirit of the game. It would also add to the strategy of the game too. Missions could be made to seek out and destroy a certain gate to cut off trade routes, and military.

Anyways, it's all mental masturbation until i have any amount of time to actually get working on something. I have priority plans to deal with comp ai stuff anyways before even thinking about this. :-/
Rabiator
Merchant
Merchant
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 8:47 pm

Post by Rabiator »

safemode wrote:Wormholes aren't open constantly in most of all Sci Fi. They require usually some trigger to "open" them. So under that suspension of belief, we can say that the wormholes are invisible. Until you activate one.
Sounds good.

Before you activate it, I'd suggest some simple representation on the HUD. The current wireframes look like something left over from the original Elite game, when CPU power was barely sufficient to draw the edges of the ships.
For consistency, lets say a green rectangle similar to the docking port indicators on stations. Maybe add a distance indicator (for both stations and wormhole entrances) as estimating the distance merely from rectangle size is a bit difficult.
Xante
Hunter
Hunter
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:53 pm
Location: 48:36:17N 7:45:32E

Post by Xante »

I just want to mention that the wireframe can't be a HUD display, since you can see it while in the external view of your ship as well, which isn't the case for all the other HUD displays. So the wireframe is in fact really some kind of holographic presence tag for a wormhole wich floats in space.
So I agree with everyone saying that the jump points should be invisible, only targeted and shown on the HUD until activated by hitting "J". It would look also more reallistic to me.

Another possibility is to make real materialized jump gates, some "Stargate"-like portal wich has to be activated. But then you couldn't fly toward it from the side, you would have to approach it from front (or back), watch out for the ring and fly trough it when activated. That could be an annoying problem with those clumsy cap-ships. But it would look fine and add a strategic touch to long-range travel, since you would be able to destroy them and prevent pursuers / enemy fractions to come through. It would take them some weeks to get repaired, but until then you'll have to find an alternative way to your target system.
()Alf
Mercenary
Mercenary
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:55 pm
Location: im Schwabenländle

Post by ()Alf »

look at old Privateer 2, there were jumpgates, like in stargate the supergates, you paid a price wooosh you where at the other side of the galaxy ;)
Enjoy the Tri p :shock:
__________________________________
My Box:: Board: Fujitsu-Siemens D2156S; CPU: Pentium 4 - 3.4GHz Core²Duo; GraCa: ATI Radeon X1600Pro (PCIe); RAM: 3GB; Sound: Creative SB Audigy 1; 2xHD(ntfs): Pri_120GB,Sec_250GB; OS: Win-XP-Pro-SP2_32bit
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
Posts: 8014
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 4:03 am
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Post by chuck_starchaser »

safemode wrote:Inside we have a tube not sphere i would think.
Wrong. Wormholes would be tunnels, but not tunnels IN space; rather tunnels MADE OF space. And you don't navigate INSIDE the tunnel, but rather on its surface. The inside of a wormhole is a 4D space; its surface is a 3D space.
So, while you would see yourself to the left and right of you, you should see the target system as a compressed circle in front of you, ever expanding and the system you left as an ever decreasing circle.
Nope; and in fact there'd be no direction in 3D space that would be in the direction of motion through the tunnel, no matter how you turn; because the direction of motion through the tunnel is normal (right angle) to all 3 of your dimensions. Actually, this is not entirely true... Let me think... Space bends into the direction of the tunnel... You're right, you would see... I think you would see the target system as a tiny sphere, which then expands, becomes concave and finally engulfs you.
Leaving the wormhole would be smooth, it would simply look like the ever increasing circle of the target system getting larger and larger until it completely surrounds you and the wormhole closes. Leaving you with an unwarped view of the system.
Exactly. But inside the tunnel it would look microscopic. Most of what you would see is your own ship. Definitely spherically around you.
It's actually a bit more complicated, if you like complications...
Imagine you copy the mesh of your ship, scale it up, and put it around your ship. Now move every vertex of that outer mesh such that its distance to you is new_dist = S - old_dist; where S is the perimeter of the wormhole's section. When S is very large, new distances become almost a perfect sphere far away, so the normals all point radially inwards, as if the outer mesh were inflated like a painted balloon. As S gets smaller, the outer ship mesh gets closer. But the nose of the outer ship approaches you sooner than your cockpit. That is, the order of distances gets inverted.
Unfortunately, the normals would have to be recalculated, and I don't think there's a way of doing it in the shader; unless they can be computed as a function of S and the original normal, somehow; but my math is rusty.

EDIT:
Wait! And it's not a mirror reflection: Ahead of you you'd see the back of your ship..
NewDistance = -( S - OldDistance)
Where NewDistance is always negative, and so projects each vertex around you to the other side.
And there'd be a small area of aberration straight ahead, where the destination system appears as a sphere.
Erk
Trader
Trader
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:33 am
Location: Japan

Post by Erk »

heh. If we could have a wormhole animation that headache inspiring, I'd use jump points just to watch it happen.
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
Posts: 8014
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 4:03 am
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Post by chuck_starchaser »

Sorry, Safemode; you were right. Just thought it over: The flatlander on the surface of a tube sees a 1-dimensional "reflection" --left and right.
The 3D ship on the 3D surface of a 4D tube sees a 2D reflection --left, right, above, below... essentially a ring; and even compressed in the fwd to back direction. Moving forward of this ring image of itself, is a dark and blurry area that gets brighter towards the forward direction. That's because looking forward but at an angle, light travels forward while turning around the tunnel like a spring. The closer to the forward direction is the angle, the shorter the path light travels. So, yeah, a ring of self, flanked by dark areas that turn to grey towards the forward direction and are brightest at the point straight ahead; all of it blurry come to think of it. I'm still pretty unsure how the transitions would go... I think the ring would compress and move backwards, and the bright point at the center would expand; but I'm not sure if there's a sharp or smooth edge between blurry and sharp image of the destination system...
safemode
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Post by safemode »

The approach i would imagine would be like so:

You approach the point on your nav comp that indicates a jump point is present. You activate your jump drive. Up until that point, space looks normal.

Now, you see a warpage of space grow from a dot to something your ship can pass through. Light behind it would be warped inward around the edge of the spherical "event horizon". This would be due to the warpage of space similar to a black hole, but not as drastic.

The wormhole would be luminescent with the compressed light around the other side of the wormhole, dimmed slightly as we aren't trapping all light that enters the wormhole. So your would approach this ball of light, (you would not see starts or details, just a ball of light significantly dimmer than a star).

As you enter the ball's surface you would see the warpage of space along the edges of the ball compressed greatly and consisting of the entirety of space behind and beside the wormhole. Behind you the warpage would decrease until directily behind you it would look normal still. The compression along the edge intensifies as the edge of the wormhole creeps beside the ship and eventually encompasses you. Leaving a tightly compressed image of the system you left directly behind you, slowly becoming the same size and simarly, a bright ball as you entered.

At the same time you are witnessing this of your departing system, the wormhole itself is growing around you. Soon you are no longer facing a ball of light but a rapidly expanding series of stars and planets and whatever, starting directly in front of you and proceding in a circular way towards you. The exact opposite of what is happening to your departing system. What is around the wormholes on either side determines the colors and what is visible in front and behind you.

Now, for a brief moment, a wormhole is a tube-like shape, warping space around you. So as you become fully enveloped by the wormhole when you enter it, as the compressed view of your departing universe is almost completely the light from both systems makes it extremely bright and if you can see anything to the sides, you'd see an image of the opposite side of your ship. First this would look stretched from the conical mouth of the wormhole, then as you see the departing system the same as the destination (a circle of compressed starts (bright)) you see a perfect image of yourself to the right and left. This then stretches again as you depart throught the other mouth.

I see the light from both systems lighting the ship up greatly. So greatly that it would be hard to see your doppleganger image if you looked right or left.

External view would see the ship stretch from the nose towards the back as the back enters the wormhole. The stretch would be so great that the nose of the ship would be leaving the wormhole as the last of it was entering the other end. As the ship exited the wormhole, the rear of the ship would look stretched far into the whiteness and compress to normal toward the front of the ship as it flies away. External view inside the wormhole would look like a spiral swirling funnel. This is due to looking at an angle to either side seeing light trapped by the cylindrical nature of the wormhole. Inside the ship, you would see the same thing along your sides until you looked perpendicular to your heading. Your own stretched ship would be visible as a warped swirl effect externally.

Externally outside of the wormhole, as the ship stretches into the wormhole, time would slow, but not stop or nearly stop. The wormhole isn't a singularity and the light isn't trapped to hide what happens as the ship enters, only the blended and warped light hides it. So after a delay, you see it disappear. On the ship, time would increase slightly due to the higher warpage of space. I dont think that would be significant to the game.

Rather than gravity causing the tunnel warpage of space-time in the wormhole, it would be akin to an underwater tunnel completely surrounded by water. So long as the wormhole is stable and the jump drive functioning correctly, the special energy required to keep the wormhole open allows this punched tunnel of normal space-time to exist against the "pressure" of this 4th dimension that it is punching through. When a wormhole closes. this tunnel is imploded and annihilated. It would be inadvisable to be stuck completely or partway in a wormhole and have it close.

That's what i imagine it being anyway.

In the game the visual aspects i think are doable via a quick couple second cutscene as you enter the wormhole. Just before this cutscene, a thread would be created to load the next system. The cutscene would loop if need be until the next system is finished and then the thread would exit and the exchange of current systems would be made and you'd exit the other side of the wormhole.

I really think the cutscene is needed to hide all the stuff going on in the other thread (to avoid GL thread races) It wouldn't be any longer than however long it currently takes to load a system. This should get rid of the long pause prior to entering a system and ruining the emersion of the game.


Natural wormholes i think are being confused with unstable wormholes. All wormholes are natural. In the VS universe anyway. We can have unstable wormholes that can provide awesome shortcuts (they do not randomly send you somewhere, if they are mapped you know where they will go). What makes them unstable is that the collapse randomly after being opened. They can't maintain a stable wormhole. You may make it to your destination at a great savings in transit time, security from enemy factions, or it could randomly decide to close on you and you will die.

In any case, I dont think anyone will be working on this until all the important goings ons are dealt with ... which is an increasing list. :(

Just not enough intersted developers around right now.
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
Posts: 8014
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 4:03 am
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Post by chuck_starchaser »

Sounds about right. I might give it a crack once I get to work with the shaders.
ace123
Lead Network Developer
Lead Network Developer
Posts: 2560
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2003 9:13 am
Location: Palo Alto CA
Contact:

Post by ace123 »

I believe most of the system loading now has to do with the python script generating a boatload of ships.

If the python script held off on that a bit and generated one type of ship per python frame, it ought to go pretty smooth without using multiple threads, which, given the engine design as it is, is a plan for disaster.

It might be possible to do simple things like XML parsing in a separate thread, but even then, the parsing itself generates the units so that will have to be rewritten which is a lot of work.

This animation/effect sounds cool, but also might be a lot of work.
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
Posts: 8014
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 4:03 am
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Post by chuck_starchaser »

ace123 wrote:This animation/effect sounds cool, but also might be a lot of work.
I think most of it can be done with a special vertex shader and two meshes. One mesh would be a sphere you pass through. The other mesh is a copy of your own ship's mesh, and kept in the same position as your ship. The vertex shader would simply move each vertex of the ship's copy mesh by a formula, applied before the rest of the vshader stuff. Sort of like,

Code: Select all

float tunnel_size; // (coming from the cpu, updated dynamically)
float wormhole_pos; // (coming from the cpu, as this is a relative position that is a fake, rather than a spatial position in real space; positive if ahead of you; negative if behind, or something along the lines)
vector3 vertex_pos;
vector3 camera_pos;
vertex_pos -= camera_pos;
vertex_pos *= -1.0;
vertex_pos += tunnel_size;
//so far this would make a sphere-projected ship around us
//now we need to multiply vertex_pos by the view matrix, then...
vertex_pos.z *= ship_size/tunnel_size; //or something along the lines, to compress the sphere into a ring, then...
vertex_pos += wormhole_pos; //or something along the lines, so that the ring is shifted forward when we're approaching the wormhole, and then shifted backwards as we're leaving it.
The normals wouldn't be touched, tho.
Breakable
Hunter
Hunter
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:19 pm

Post by Breakable »

My 0.002$:
I would love to see the wormholes not to appear in the space. This adds many additional possibilities to the gameplay and cleans up a lot.

Anything else IMHO should be left for (far?) future versions:
some of them could have the gates and you would be charged to use them;
some kind of animation for entering and exiting;
not appearing on object list buying/selling maps and hints;
not showing as a jump point (try jump) and scanners for detecting wormholes;
transportation to other random systems;
in system random wormholes;

PS:I didn't disappear, im just lazy (and busy) :(
Post Reply