Asteriods

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Asteriods

Postby micheal_andreas_stahl » Thu May 03, 2007 5:01 am

I was Playing Vega Strike when i noticed that their asteriods did not move about as iv they were in steriods! 8)

I think we should find out how to keep them destrucable and get them to keep in one damn spot.
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Postby Dilloh » Thu May 03, 2007 10:22 am

I don't quite understand... what do you want to do with the asteroids? Stop them from moving?
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu May 03, 2007 1:34 pm

I've done a lot of thinking about asteroids, over the years in this forum. There's 5 areas of consideration:
1) canon
2) realism
3) gameplay
4) ease of implementation
5) runtime performance

1) Canon:
In the original game, asteroids did not move about; much less hit you from behind.

2) Realism:
In real space, real asteroids are so far apart you wouldn't see any others with binoculars, if you were standing on one. Only places where you find chunks of ice next to each other is in Saturn's rings.
But if we accept high concentrations of asteroids as a WC universe's given, the gravitational attraction between the asteroids would be extremely small, like sub-milligram. Definitely not enough to overcome the centrifugal force of their moving in circles. Yes, they'd orbit each other, but would take years to complete a circle. For all practical purpose, for the sake of realism they shouldn't be moving about; though the could be spinning slowly.
Another consideration for the sake of realism would be for there to be different sizes, ranging by orders of magnitude. Some being bigger than space stations, some being like pebbles that hit your windshield.
The smaller, the more abundant.

3) Gameplay:
The question here is what do asteroids add to gameplay? Lots, actually. They change the tactical situation; they make travel more challenging.
But, for challenges to be good to gameplay, they must feel like "fair" challenges to the player. Asteroids that hit you from behind doesn't feel fair. It would be more fair if actual asteroids would move about "like on steroids", but the fact is they wouldn't within a "cloud" of them. So, it's like unrealism NOT for the sake of gameplay, but for the sake of precisely ruining one's game experience.
It gets worse the bigger the ship you pilot. I once tried to get through asteroids in a Paradigm, and it's almost impossible. Repair costs are huge even if you make it through.
Well, that was the last time I played PR, which was about a year ago.
For asteroids to be good for gameplay, they have to be avoidable, and the only way to make them avoidable is to make them stationary.

4) Ease of implementation:
Stopping the motion is relatively easy. Varying their sizes and/or increasing their numbers may take some programming.

5) Performance:
I offered some ideas to the devs long ago for improving performance with asteroid fields. One idea was to add fog, to represent the look of abundant small pebbles and dust. Particle systems for small pebbles within visual range. This would leave only collidable rocks needing standard mesh representation. Further afield roids could be billboarded, specially if they aren't moving.

In summary:
All 3 top considerations: Gameplay, Canon AND Realism demand the roids to stay put, rather than move around. The rest is icing on the cake.
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Postby Shissui » Thu May 03, 2007 3:18 pm

I think you missed something here --

The original implementation appears to have intended to permit you to play "Asteroids", the long ago dead & defunct arcade game, in 3D. If you go out & mine for a while, you can even expect a pirate ship to appear out of nowhere to contest the field with you.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu May 03, 2007 8:12 pm

Quite possibly. I once put my arguments for stopping the asteroids to Mamiya Otaru, the original developer/maintainer of PR. Long post, like my previous one. All he said, paraphrasing, was "I like them this way". He may have been an Asteroids addict, in a previous incarnation...
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Postby Gavinfoxx » Thu May 03, 2007 10:40 pm

I would love to have denser, non-moving asteroids with some particles or smaller specks in the field...
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu May 03, 2007 11:09 pm

I totally agree: The difficulty that is removed by removing their motion could be compensated for by increased density.

And, precisely, having non-moving asteroids allows for performance optimizations, such as billboarding distant asteroids, which would then allow one to have the higher densities without paying a performance penalty.

But probably the simplest optimization that could be implemented would be the use of fog: In a dense asteroid field there would be tons of dust looking like a fog. Fog is something videocards can do in hardware; --just a matter of turning it on. And then one can simply NOT display any asteroids that are beyond the fog's visibility depth. That's a HUGE optimization.

And fog has the added advantage of making asteroids less visible, and therefore harder to avoid.

Another thing I once suggested was to have two types of asteroids: Rock and Ice.

Rock asteroids would be minable, but not blow-up-able. The more common, ice asteroids would blow up easily but have not much in terms of resources. Secondly, if you hit an ice asteroid, you'd get a lot less damage than hitting a rock one. ("Ice" being like lightly packed snow, really.) I think hitting a rock asteroid even the size of small car should be fatal. But they should be clearly distinguishable, with ice asteroids being dirty white, with specularities; and rock ones being dark and matte.

Hahaha, just a crazy idea: The danger with "ice" asteroids could be with really big ones. If you hit one, your ship'd get itself buried deep in the snow, and the only way to get out is by firing your guns for like 15 minutes to melt your way out through it. But it could also be used as a hiding technique...
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Postby Dilloh » Fri May 04, 2007 2:46 am

I often need to think of other SciFi-genres when talking about asteroids. I remember a Star Trek episode when they hide out in an ice asteroid. I'd say one could make the ice asteroids 'dockable' in some way similar to a cloak: your foe would need to shoot the ice to find you.

Also, asteroids should have a radar jamming function, according to their size and quantity.

I'd like to see the total size of the AFs enlarged, with asteroids of total different sizes (like in star wars) and yes, little to no movement. Still, a certain movement is reasonable for in 2669, there are other influences than we can think of today: space traffic, mining ships, or just fighters hittings the asteroids with their arms. That doesn't only split the rocks, but also gives them movement. Especially around mining bases, those movements are reasonable. Plus, mining bases would surely decide to produce a light gravitation field to keep the rocks together.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri May 04, 2007 9:22 am

Dilloh wrote:I often need to think of other SciFi-genres when talking about asteroids. I remember a Star Trek episode when they hide out in an ice asteroid. I'd say one could make the ice asteroids 'dockable' in some way similar to a cloak: your foe would need to shoot the ice to find you.

Sure. I still like my funny idea of ending up intact but buried in snow when hitting a large ice one ... :D

Also, asteroids should have a radar jamming function, according to their size and quantity.

Not "jamming" exactly; your previous term, "cloaking" is more appropriate. And in fact, being behind any object, for that matter; "out of the line of sight", should make two ships invisible to each other in the sensor screen. This might be easy to implement.

I'd like to see the total size of the AFs enlarged, with asteroids of total different sizes (like in star wars) and yes, little to no movement.

I'm totally with you there. the fields should be much larger, and the density should be kind of gradually increasing towards the center, like a gaussian function, rather than a sharp change in density. With the current approach it would be a horrendous performance hog to have fields that are denser AND larger; but using hardware fog, and only showing asteroids that are within the range of the fog's visibility would be a much better approach, which would allow AF's of virtually unlimited size.
So, when approaching an AF, first thing one would experience is the sound of random, pebble-sized stones hitting the ship, long before you even see anything around you.
One problem with the "fog" trick is how one sees the asteroid field from a distance. Should be like fog, but only in the area of the screen the field occupies. I think that rather than hardware fog I'd try implementing this in a fragment shader. I've done a bit of shader work before, but I'm not sure where, in the enginge, the display routines are. It might be quite a challenge for me to get started coding a shader for the VS engine, but if I ever got started I could come up with wonders in no time. Klauss was working on implementing shaders, but he took a long year to not finish it; and now seems to have gone MIA. Well, he was trying to incorporate an Ogre3D back end to go with it, too; but implementing shaders per se doesn't require a change of the whole rendering pipeline. I might download the current svn and try and see if I can figure out where to throw in a shader...

Still, a certain movement is reasonable for in 2669, there are other influences than we can think of today: space traffic, mining ships, or just fighters hittings the asteroids with their arms. That doesn't only split the rocks, but also gives them movement. Especially around mining bases, those movements are reasonable. Plus, mining bases would surely decide to produce a light gravitation field to keep the rocks together.

Not sure about the gravitation fields but I agree about the other justifications for slight asteroid movement. And, in any case, slight amounts of movement (almost imperceptible) would make them more believable, if slightly less realistic, so why not? I'm all for it.
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Postby Dilloh » Sat May 05, 2007 3:19 am

Sure. I still like my funny idea of ending up intact but buried in snow when hitting a large ice one ...
I like this one too, still we're ending up in realism? A ship capable of reaching light speed should be able to dig itself free from snow in seconds.
using hardware fog, and only showing asteroids that are within the range of the fog's visibility would be a much better approach, which would allow AF's of virtually unlimited size.
I'd favor this, we would go back to a simple technique from the original privateer where the game generated a bulb of asteroids around the player (notice that your opponents never had their own bulb). However, performance would dramatically decrease the more ships are around which also needed a bulb on their own if you'd decide to not only leave the disadvantage of asteroids to humans. Plus, I say: Multiplayer!
So, when approaching an AF, first thing one would experience is the sound of random, pebble-sized stones hitting the ship, long before you even see anything around you.
Woah, some premonitions for the the big rocks! A sound like hard rain enters my mind! The hairs in my neck are already standing tall!!
One problem with the "fog" trick is how one sees the asteroid field from a distance. Should be like fog, but only in the area of the screen the field occupies. I think that rather than hardware fog I'd try implementing this in a fragment shader. I've done a bit of shader work before, but I'm not sure where, in the enginge, the display routines are. It might be quite a challenge for me to get started coding a shader for the VS engine, but if I ever got started I could come up with wonders in no time. Klauss was working on implementing shaders, but he took a long year to not finish it; and now seems to have gone MIA. Well, he was trying to incorporate an Ogre3D back end to go with it, too; but implementing shaders per se doesn't require a change of the whole rendering pipeline. I might download the current svn and try and see if I can figure out where to throw in a shader...
Hmm... I'm surely no expert, but couldn't you just change the visibility (=transparency) of the asteroids change depending on how near the player / his camera is, plus, if the visibility is at 0% (=the player is faw away) only give the really big asteroids 100% visibility? Ah well, maybe implementing fog is the best solution. Didn't GG change to ogre?
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat May 05, 2007 7:53 am

Dilloh wrote:I like this one too, still we're ending up in realism? A ship capable of reaching light speed should be able to dig itself free from snow in seconds.

Yeah, and hitting snow at "kilometers per second" would be fatal, too; but then again, the visual representation in game is approximately same number of "METERS per second". And there's no lightspeeds involved at all. Jumps are like wormholes. AFAIK there's not even a mention of ships traveling at near light speeds in WC. But then again, to get across a system in a few hours would require FTL travel. But then again, planets and systems are incredibly tiny in the WC universe...
Alright, forget about getting buried in snow.

I'd favor this, we would go back to a simple technique from the original privateer where the game generated a bulb of asteroids around the player (notice that your opponents never had their own bulb).

EXACTLY!

However, performance would dramatically decrease the more ships are around which also needed a bulb on their own if you'd decide to not only leave the disadvantage of asteroids to humans.

Then again, do we really care to have bulbs for ships outside our visual range? I'd say one bulb is enough; just compute collisions for enemy ships within the player's bulb. For enemy ships outside visual range we can just randomly add collision effects (damage).

Plus, I say: Multiplayer!

Uh? Do you have any idea how difficult it would be to synchronize asteroid fields across the internet? Specially if you can blow up asteroids, and all other players have to be updated that asteroid # such and so split into two fragments, traveling along vectors ...
I hope you're not a big multiplayer fan; nothing, IMO, makes games shallower and more mindless than when a multiplayer feature is thrown in... To me, the only multiplayer gaming philosophy worth having would be a persistent universe, with npc ai's so good you can't tell them apart from real player avatars, and where there'd be 3D planets one can walk around and explore and settle and build a house... Well, not specifically, but you know what I mean? If we were talking about such thing as being able to meet other Drayman owners at a bar and we decide to make a convoy run all together and share the expense of hired escorts, then we're talking. But "head to head" multiplayer... let's just say I'm not willing to soil my soul and waste my time taking any of its requirements into consideration.

Woah, some premonitions for the the big rocks! A sound like hard rain enters my mind! The hairs in my neck are already standing tall!!

Glad you like it. That was indeed the feeling I had in mind: Games don't have to kill you to be fun; they just have to terrify you.

Hmm... I'm surely no expert, but couldn't you just change the visibility (=transparency) of the asteroids change depending on how near the player / his camera is, plus, if the visibility is at 0% (=the player is faw away) only give the really big asteroids 100% visibility? Ah well, maybe implementing fog is the best solution.

Shaders are definitely the way to go.
Didn't GG change to ogre?

Where did you hear that? Not that I know of, but then again, what do I know?
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Postby Dilloh » Sat May 05, 2007 2:01 pm

And there's no lightspeeds involved at all. Jumps are like wormholes.
Excuse me, but according to Einstein, a wormhole is a shortcut in bended space which is either produced synthetically (=by bending space which is of course not proven at this time) or naturally (like in WC where jump points are just markings). I either don't see the reason for jump drives then for any wormhole should be accessible for any standard engine, or the jump drive generates massive speed, and therefor is able to accumulate reactor power and / or fuel power to a highest point until everything is released in a single, short acceleration.
AFAIK there's not even a mention of ships traveling at near light speeds in WC
Not in text, but regarding e.g. the original Privateer jump animation you see how your ship transforms into a flash of light and passes the stars at a warp factor similar to Star Trek animations - which can be considered as standards for any kind of that animations.
But then again, to get across a system in a few hours would require FTL travel. But then again, planets and systems are incredibly tiny in the WC universe...
Alright, forget about getting buried in snow.
I didn't want to convince you to forget about it, I like the idea. If we'd go for total realism, we could turn out our sound boxes, forget about oval-shaped 4-emitter-shields, possibly even forget about antigravitation fields, etc. I just think we should make clear that we appreciate realism, but favor gameplay. Plus, I must admit, being burried in snow currently reminds me of Duke Nukem 3D's freezer gun - a ship being frosted in an asteroid is something maybe too radically new in a genre that has hardcore-fans running at conventions and asking actors how they can afford to be Vulcans and still have emotions at the sametime.
But overall, if it's a cool new function, I think most players would surely like it, including me (never been on a convention, hehe).
Then again, do we really care to have bulbs for ships outside our visual range? I'd say one bulb is enough; just compute collisions for enemy ships within the player's bulb. For enemy ships outside visual range we can just randomly add collision effects (damage).
I'd first say that foes should have the bulb too, so that the odds are okay, but after some thoughts I believe that the AI is and forever will be too dumb to evade the asteroids like a human player (I saw Orions afterburning towards Nexus - whole squadrons wiped out by collisions), so I think it's okay if the KI only has to dodge asteroids when coming nearer to the player.
Uh? Do you have any idea how difficult it would be to synchronize asteroid fields across the internet?
No, but I have an idea to solve that: give them a schedule / movement pattern. Let's say asteroid0579 begins movement number 5 at 16:00h GMT - so you'd only have to send the sync information of it being destroyed to all players.
all other players have to be updated that asteroid # such and so split into two fragments, traveling along vectors ...
Well, you should limit those infos to players who are actually in the relevant system. You also have vectors, shield informations, projectiles, ships, laser bolts, etc. from other units.
I hope you're not a big multiplayer fan
I enjoyed playing ipx net or zeromodem games like doom in the garage of a friend 15 years ago, but I think massive multiplayer games are the most aggressive desease the world ever faced - I know guys who have woman and children, stating they are playing WoW "from time to time" while they are at level 59 of 60?!?
To me, the only multiplayer gaming philosophy worth having would be a persistent universe, with npc ai's so good you can't tell them apart from real player avatars, and where there'd be 3D planets one can walk around and explore and settle and build a house... Well, not specifically, but you know what I mean?
Yeah... I think you'll most likely enjoy Sid Meier's "Spore" as soon as it's out...
If we were talking about such thing as being able to meet other Drayman owners at a bar and we decide to make a convoy run all together and share the expense of hired escorts, then we're talking.
I could simply kiss you (but my girlfriend is sitting next to me :oops: ). That's what multiplayer is all about, else, it is multislaughter.
Games don't have to kill you to be fun; they just have to terrify you.
Never-ending games like Privateer always fascinated me for that.
Shaders are definitely the way to go.
You're the man.
Where did you hear that? Not that I know of, but then again, what do I know?
I read it a long time ago, but I cannot recall where and if it really was GG. I just thought about that for the code of GG is still open source. I also don't have too deep connections with GG --
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Postby Zool » Sat May 05, 2007 3:26 pm

Dilloh wrote:I'd favor this, we would go back to a simple technique from the original privateer where the game generated a bulb of asteroids around the player (notice that your opponents never had their own bulb).

I'm not sure I like the idea of having an AF just appear suddenly around me. I SHOULD to be able to see it coming, I WANT be able to see it coming (unless the asteroids are in a huge cloud, and then I should be able to see the cloud). Not forgetting that when Priv was made graphics cards topped out at 8Mb, and code was simpler then too. Graphics had to be done certain ways to make things work.

(Any one here ever play Freelancer? I thought their AF's were ok, and similar I think to what your aiming at).

Now you guys have have some good ideas with this, and I fully appreciate the desire and need to keep these sort of things simple as possible.

Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that someone else feels the way I do about huge worldwide multi(slaughter)player games. They are a disease. :wink:
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Postby forlarren » Sat May 05, 2007 9:00 pm

Zool wrote:Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that someone else feels the way I do about huge worldwide multi(slaughter)player games. They are a disease. :wink:


Subspace/Continuum is not a disease. It's an a addiction much like heroin, but it leaves smaller track marks. Sorry off topic.
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Postby micheal_andreas_stahl » Sun May 06, 2007 5:26 am

I rather hate trying to fly through a roid field and getting killed by them, but the thing is i've taken up mining and it is hard the way it currently is and it needs to change. Not just mining, as Chunk pointed out that fly a cap ship through them is impossible. maybe get your turrets to shoot the asteroids out of your path like in one of the Star Was movies where the Falcon fly's into the field to escape the Impirals.

Dilloh wrote:I read it a long time ago, but I cannot recall where and if it really was GG. I just thought about that for the code of GG is still open source. I also don't have too deep connections with GG


I have over heard the devs here talking about it.
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Postby Dilloh » Sun May 06, 2007 9:11 am

Zool wrote:I'm not sure I like the idea of having an AF just appear suddenly around me. I SHOULD to be able to see it coming, I WANT be able to see it coming (unless the asteroids are in a huge cloud, and then I should be able to see the cloud).

chuck wrote:So, when approaching an AF, first thing one would experience is the sound of random, pebble-sized stones hitting the ship, long before you even see anything around you.
Zool, you'll at least hear it coming. Plus, the shaders won't leave you with some sort of dusty cloud. I think chuck is way too competent and motivated to end up with a semi-satisfying solution.
Zool wrote:Not forgetting that when Priv was made graphics cards topped out at 8Mb, and code was simpler then too. Graphics had to be done certain ways to make things work.
Still, the asteroid bulb sounds like a good idea to me. Old techniques could help make WCU available for more systems, less faster machines, which would finally make it more popular.
Zool wrote:Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that someone else feels the way I do about huge worldwide multi(slaughter)player games. They are a disease.
As I said, I know guys leaving their family and their jobs behind just for playing WoW or SecondLife.
MAS wrote:i've taken up mining and it is hard the way it currently is and it needs to change.
I totally agree. The longer you sit around in an AF, the higher the chance you get killed. I tried it for myself - to fill my Tarsus I needed to stay about 5-10min in the AF and got hit several times, even at zero speed.
MAS wrote:Not just mining, as Chunk pointed out that fly a cap ship through them is impossible.
Well, I think there should be reasonable barriers for capships also, like a dreadnought cannot cross a minor river.
MAS wrote:maybe get your turrets to shoot the asteroids out of your path like in one of the Star Was movies where the Falcon fly's into the field to escape the Impirals.
That's interesting... though the asteroids cannot be targeted before shot, the turrets could really need a hotkey ctrl+anything to target the rocks.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sun May 06, 2007 2:03 pm

Dilloh wrote:Zool, you'll at least hear it coming. Plus, the shaders won't leave you with some sort of dusty cloud. I think chuck is way too competent and motivated to end up with a semi-satisfying solution.

Wow, thanks; that's quite a compliment and vote of confidence. Indeed, I first thought of using hardware fog, but then I changed my mind --precisely because of the need to see the "fog cloud" from the distance as you approach it. The only way to do that is with shaders: The vertex shader, given the location of the vertex, the location of the AF's center, density and "mean deviation" of density, or some numbers along the lines, can use a gaussian function (sample and integrate, I guess) to determine a final "visibility factor" for each vertex. This visibility is interpolated in hardware, yielding a per-pixel visibility, which the pixel shader can then use to blend the color of the pixel ("fragment") with some shade of grey or brown, representing the fog, the brightness depending on the amount of light reaching that spot within the AF, which come to think of it, could also be calculated per-vertex in the vertex shader. Nah, it needs to calculate an integration of scattering along the line of sight, plus an integration of scattered sunlight getting injected into the line of sight, as well as sunlight reaching the actual vertex, for illumination modulation purposes... Or something along the lines... :D
DISCLAIMER: Once I get playing with shaders I'm going to be completely immersed in it for a month or two or more, so I'm reluctant to take the first step. First I need to finish a few ships for WC0, including texturing; and I also have the texturizer project on hold while writing an unwrapping tutorial; so this shader stuff won't happen for a while yet.
Shaders may also be the solution for creating the bubble of asteroids around the player. A feature called "instancing". One could have a number of asteroid meshes, and have the gpu create random instances of them as we move through the field, which would be a lot faster than the cpu doing it...

Well, I think there should be reasonable barriers for capships also, like a dreadnought cannot cross a minor river.

Interesting concept. Might explain why we never see any kat carriers in Gemini, --all the eastern towns are infested with roids, AFAIR.
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Postby Shissui » Sun May 06, 2007 3:57 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:Interesting concept. Might explain why we never see any kat carriers in Gemini, --all the eastern towns are infested with roids, AFAIR.
Thinking of Gemini: What *I* want to know is -- why are there always more Kilrathi ships in New Detroit than on the border ??
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sun May 06, 2007 4:57 pm

I solved that mistery in Privateer 3 by having an off-the-charts jump point between the Grovsner Colonies and ND-57... ;-)
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Postby Dilloh » Mon May 07, 2007 3:45 am

chuck wrote:The only way to do that is with shaders: The vertex shader, given the location of the vertex, the location of the AF's center, density and "mean deviation" of density, or some numbers along the lines, can use a gaussian function (sample and integrate, I guess) to determine a final "visibility factor" for each vertex. This visibility is interpolated in hardware, yielding a per-pixel visibility, which the pixel shader can then use to blend the color of the pixel ("fragment") with some shade of grey or brown, representing the fog, the brightness depending on the amount of light reaching that spot within the AF, which come to think of it, could also be calculated per-vertex in the vertex shader. Nah, it needs to calculate an integration of scattering along the line of sight, plus an integration of scattered sunlight getting injected into the line of sight, as well as sunlight reaching the actual vertex, for illumination modulation purposes... Or something along the lines...
Alright. I'll try to translate that into german and come back next year. :roll:
chuck wrote:Interesting concept. Might explain why we never see any kat carriers in Gemini, --all the eastern towns are infested with roids, AFAIR.
I'm not too sure, I think it is the asteroid thing among a mixture of pirates, retros and strategical unimportance what causes both cat and human carriers to better stay at the front. It's a historical fact we've seen e.g. in WW1, when Germany's forces accumulated at the french border near Verdun, fighting for a few meters of ground while they quickly lost their african colonies with much fewer forces against much fewer resistance, but they surely lost more territory and ressources that was conquerable in Europe!
Shissui wrote:Thinking of Gemini: What *I* want to know is -- why are there always more Kilrathi ships in New Detroit than on the border ??
Among the Grovshner Jump Point, just think a bit: If you were a cat squadron commander, without a mothership, obviously with the objectives of a raiding party, would you stay sitting at the border and wait until a superior ape force arrives to dismantle your ship or would you go deep into the heart of human space, seeking the battle, trying to cause as much damage to the humans as possible, always trying to gain new slaves in the afterworlds? Kilrathi feelings for honor are not comparable to those of e.g. Trek-Klingons. Kilrathi don't mind to shoot an unguarded ship, they only count the number of foes they kill, no matter if they are enemy warriors or just children. They don't need to face confed fighters to gain honor, Draymans also do the job. :twisted:
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Postby micheal_andreas_stahl » Mon May 07, 2007 5:45 am

Dilloh wrote:
chuck wrote:The only way to do that is with shaders: The vertex shader, given the location of the vertex, the location of the AF's center, density and "mean deviation" of density, or some numbers along the lines, can use a gaussian function (sample and integrate, I guess) to determine a final "visibility factor" for each vertex. This visibility is interpolated in hardware, yielding a per-pixel visibility, which the pixel shader can then use to blend the color of the pixel ("fragment") with some shade of grey or brown, representing the fog, the brightness depending on the amount of light reaching that spot within the AF, which come to think of it, could also be calculated per-vertex in the vertex shader. Nah, it needs to calculate an integration of scattering along the line of sight, plus an integration of scattered sunlight getting injected into the line of sight, as well as sunlight reaching the actual vertex, for illumination modulation purposes... Or something along the lines...
Alright. I'll try to translate that into german and come back next year. :roll:


:wink: Try Babal Fish, i really on it heavily 8)

AF's = iron, gases and other minerals, so Gemini dispite being backwaters and 'unimportant' has a lot of capital to offer.

Dilloh wrote:Well, I think there should be reasonable barriers for capships also, like a dreadnought cannot cross a minor river.


This is space! You can go anywhere! Ok that over, has any one heard of the space game Heagimonia? In it you have to develope different tactics for destroying the foe, and one of my favourites is having 3-5 fighter squads in an AF. As Fighters don't get damaged in them and every other ship does as, the other larger ships gain damage and you can with your lowly fighters evan destroy Battleships! So it is a tactical advantage in AF's

Dilloh wrote:That's interesting... though the asteroids cannot be targeted before shot, the turrets could really need a hotkey ctrl+anything to target the rocks.


It would be supported by other games, but this is where my lack of knoledge of Wing Commander comes in. I have never played them, thus i can say whether it is supported or not by WC. It is imaginable as you just get the men in the turrets to shoot at 'roids.

Someone wrote:Subspace/Continuum is not a disease. It's an a addiction much like heroin, but it leaves smaller track marks.

Someone wrote:Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that someone else feels the way I do about huge worldwide multi(slaughter)player games. They are a disease.


If i had the internet connection i would be in on world wide multiplayer games only set in the medieval times, but as i said, i lack the internet connection.

Rear Admiral M. A. Stahl

P.S. Sorry for my little joke with my name! it is a family joke.
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Postby Shissui » Mon May 07, 2007 6:13 am

Dilloh wrote:Alright. I'll try to translate that into german and come back next year.
I think that (at least some portion of) these ideas were originally developed in German. Regardless, mere language translation will not help you. If you seriously wish to understand that paragraph, I suggest an undergraduate university level text on modern computer graphics. A very recent book would be much better than an older one -- much of what Chuck is routinely doing now was not possible 10 years ago.

Or, if you have lots of time, then you could learn it the way that Chuck did -- by using these features until they made sense.
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Postby Dilloh » Mon May 07, 2007 11:31 am

MAS wrote:This is space! You can go anywhere!
Space is a hazardous place... talking about quantum singularities, nebulaes, or gigantic asteroids moving at insane speeds. AFs, as we know them from space sims and movies, don't appear in regular space, more around collapsed planets, in rings or as results of huge collisions. I think a reasonable asteroid field should/would not only have the size of some kilometers, more likely of some thousand of kilometers!

You surely can go anywhere, but you cannot survive anywhere! It is scientifically proven that a bullet and a feather of the same weight, dropped into a vacuum, fall down at the same speed. No matter what the AF consists of, if the ship moving towards it collides, is damaged. And if you have asteroids moving really fast, you're deep in trouble.
MAS wrote:It is imaginable as you just get the men in the turrets to shoot at 'roids.
This question I point to chuck. But I believe that asteroids where once targetable, until one guy had to work on an "intargettable" flag - maybe because the AI ships spent too much time shooting rocks rather than their foes. An idea would be to give turrets special scanners ignoring the flag and "visualizing" the asteroids as foes.

And/Or, create a low-energy mining turret for AFs only, plus a stand-alone tractorbeam-turret.
Shissui wrote:If you seriously wish to understand that paragraph, I suggest an undergraduate university level text on modern computer graphics.
It's interesting, but most of my english skills rely on my experience with computers. The passage chuck wrote is quite hard to read, still I think I can understand such things much better than -- let's say a similar passage about a new flower discovered in South West East Absurdistan.
Shissui wrote:A very recent book would be much better than an older one -- much of what Chuck is routinely doing now was not possible 10 years ago.
Another fascinating topic is the developement speed of how things come together -- give me a time travel machine and I'll show Chris Roberts what the VS guys have achieved. They'll close down their company immediately. Though many OpenSource projects are still behind current commercial productions, the gap is getting smaller and smaller. I anticipate a future where you no longer pay for your software, not even games - but help developing them. That's Web2.0, guys!
Shissui wrote:Or, if you have lots of time, then you could learn it the way that Chuck did -- by using these features until they made sense.
That's also my way, and my final aim for anything in life - learning by doing. But time is also a factor. I currently spend my spare time in looking for a new job, cus my boss fired both my girlfriend and me - so I'll next go for updating my RealLifeOS1.0 to 1.1 --

Cheerio!
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Mon May 07, 2007 6:26 pm

Dilloh wrote:This question I point to chuck. But I believe that asteroids where once targetable, until one guy had to work on an "intargettable" flag - maybe because the AI ships spent too much time shooting rocks rather than their foes. An idea would be to give turrets special scanners ignoring the flag and "visualizing" the asteroids as foes.

Never heard that developmental story, but it makes sense. Certainly, if we're going to have NPC's you can hire to "man" turrents, we'll need to make roids targettable, but give them lower priority than enemies; and we'll have to have a "shoot roids" order.

The passage chuck wrote is quite hard to read

Sorry about that, I tend to use technical jargon. Basically I was trying to say there's two effects from dust (or "fog" for that matter). Actually just one effect, namely "scattering". So, part of the light (image) of an object at a distance is removed by the scattering.
At the same time, scattering by dust reflects sunlight, say, coming from the side, and sends it towards your eye. In other words, the dust "shines in the sunlight". So, part of the original light was removed, and some light was added. The big question is "how much?" A linear function of depth (distance) would be horribly naive and would look like crap. So, assuming the AF forms a kind of gaussian density distribution around its center (sort of a mexican hat function), and given two points in that field (your eye, and some object), the trick is to come up with a function that approximates the total scattering of light away from your eye, plus the sum of all sunlight that is scattered by the dust into the direction towards your eye. The latter is particularly difficult, because the amount of sunlight reaching each point in the line of sight is not constant, but rather depends on which direction the sun is, and how far it has travelled through dust before reaching that line of sight, to then get scattered towards you. I haven't the foggiest idea where to start on that; I was just mumbling.
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Postby Dilloh » Tue May 08, 2007 3:36 am

You'll most likely need a physican for that :shock:
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