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boldwolf89 08-23-2012 09:32 PM

A few realistic improvements for the devs to consider
 
There are a few things that keep getting requested and understandably are never resolved because they are somewhat impractical under the current game engine but i think i have a few really practical solutions to some of these problems.

#1 everyone wants more play-ability with the bridge. with the fact that the interior of the ship is a level in of itself this poses an issue. I think a good solution for that would be to simply set up a tactical mode like bridge commander. where you don't really move but you can fight from the view screen and give commands to your bridge crew. only logistic problem i can see with that is there would need to be one for every bridge theoretically unless turning your view to the sides and behind wasn't an option. but if this was done people would use the hell out of it so it wouldn't be wasted.

#2 more practical bridges please! honestly there are how many variations on the galaxy bridge but what about voyager, or NX-01, or the akira class. these bridges are a little more compact, practical and some of peoples favorites. i think most of the bridges we have available now aren't really worth the time they took to make as it is but these ones would be used and would be more appropriate for a wider range of ships. but hands down we need more simple compact bridges. some of them have more square footage than my house.

#3 the ship display on the bridges. They always miss the mark for me. so two suggestions, allow an upload option for custom imagery there or eliminate it all together together.

#4 and i think this is the real genius one and it would be so simple allow an option for the ships to basically auto pilot itself to the next mission start location while we take care of our business inside the ship basically allowing enough practical time for the journey and when the ship would have arrived our first officer tells us we are there and when we exit the bridge after the allotted time we are at the next mission.

bottom line everyone keeps saying the devs don't bother with the bridges cuz no one uses them but i think we would if some time and thought was put into it.

resoundingenvoy 08-23-2012 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boldwolf89 (Post 5427331)
#1 everyone wants more play-ability with the bridge. with the fact that the interior of the ship is a level in of itself this poses an issue.

Your talking about rebuilding the GUI. Even if proper object oriented programming(OOP) methods was followed from start to now, that's no small feat. (Not a monumental one, but not a small one.) 90% OOP isn't input lines of text into a compiler. It's the planning of a layout. Because each part builds on the last, small changes to the way things are lay out snowball, Quickly!

Quote:

#3 the ship display on the bridges. They always miss the mark for me. so two suggestions, allow an upload option for custom imagery there or eliminate it all together together.
Depending on how paranoid and backward thinking they (or whatever library they handed the job off to) tried to obscure the code, that actually would be something that could be as simple are switching one address in memory for another correctly layout one.

What is displayed is a very long string of three or four numbers (The red, green, blue, and maybe alpha values for a pixel.) feed to rending engine that make it "3d". That would just be as hard as finding where those value are read from to display one thing and switching it over to read from some local screen shot or something.

Quote:

#4 and i think this is the real genius one and it would be so simple allow an option for the ships to basically auto pilot itself to the next mission start location while we take care of our business inside the ship basically allowing enough practical time for the journey and when the ship would have arrived our first officer tells us we are there and when we exit the bridge after the allotted time we are at the next mission.

bottom line everyone keeps saying the devs don't bother with the bridges cuz no one uses them but i think we would if some time and thought was put into it.
That one I like. :) I really like that one because it has the potential to skip half a dozen or more loading screens that can give me trouble. Though that is a little how trans-warping works for the episode missions.

kyeto13 08-23-2012 10:20 PM

#1 A Tactical view for the bridge has been suggested many... many... many times before. And the Devs have clearly said that in order to do anything of the sort, they would have to tear up their game engine from the ground up and redo the whole game.

Right now, their are two modes of gaming, Space and Ground. When you are in space, your avatar, or what you control and what represents you in the game is your starship. The game does not render little people on the bridge or the interior maps within there. As far as your computer is concerned... you ARE the ship. Your ground character is stored away and the portrait is used on your icon, but that is it. The rest is imagination.

And again, when you are on a ground map, whether on a spacestation, your bridge, or a Risan beach, your avatar is now your captain And like wise your ship no longer is rendered. As far as the game engine goes.. YOU are the captain, and nothing else. Even when you beam onto your bridge, your ship in space disappears.

I know that Bridge Commander did it, but that was a different game, a different STYLE of game, on a different engine. Cryptic was pressed for time when trying to make this project so they had to improvise. One such improvisation was using the Cryptic game engine they know, love, and most importantly, own already and have functioning in other games. They build from that foundation program up around it to make STO work. Maybe if they had the time from CBS to build a custom engine for STO, we could see something like Bridge Commander. But as of now.. not going to happen without the game being shut down for 6 months.

#2 Again, part of the reason for large interiors id because this is a game. And a third person game at that. Because of that, you have to account for the Avatar AND where your camera can go. In order to ensure that you can't fall through walls or end up peeking through them, cameras cannot go behind walls. Thus, in order to avoid having the camera approximately a meter from your butt, the rooms have to be a larger design to accommodation for this.

Also, Each of the Starship groups have access to different types of "standard" bridges. Escorts have smaller more compact bridges. Cruisers have grand, majestic, and open bridges. And Science vessel are inbetween. So there are generally bridges that fit each size of ship. However, you can fudge this with Zen bridge packs.

And as far as making more bridge packs, as of now, not worth their time. The devs have their hands full trying to blast out new content to us. Making new ships, new events, writing new missions, tweaking the game engine. Since the bridges are a social zone mostly that few people use, the amount of effort they put into making a bridge would not be worth how many people are going to see it/use it. If they were to remodel, say ESD, then EVERYONE would see it. That would be worth the artist time and manhours to make.

#3 If you are talking about the LCARS ship systems display on the back of the ship... there is nothing you can do about that short of having a dev draw every possible combination of ships, decks and configurations possible. Again, not worth the man hours to pull off

#4 This one was suggested not a week before you in some other thread. Again, I point you towards my first few paragraphs: Your Ship and your captain CANNOT coexist. When one is up, the other is stored away in the sever. The only way to do this would be to say "start mission." and then have you go to an interior map of a ship as the first thing. (not sure if there is any guarantee that it is the players chosen interior that is pulled up.) You dink around for a few objectives and when the objectives are done, you have a pop up saying "We're here, captain!" But it would in no way be a "wander around the ship and wiping consoles with a white rag" type stuff. You have to put in specific objects that must be finished in order to pull this off. So it might feel forced or out of character for some people.

And in all honest...all of this can be solved with a bit of imagination. In combat, I imagine shouting orders to my bridge officers. (I even have custom "attack patterns" that are based off my standard combat roll). I can see my officers, I have my communication bar, i can see the ships status, where the lower my health is the more sparks are flying out of consoles. I can hear the klaxons of the red alert, my phaser fire, feel the torpedo hits shaking my hull. My Engineer is on the conn screaming as my that he is "giving it all she's got!"

All of that happens on my ship, seeing the exact same screen that you are seeing. Imagination... such a powerful tool.

boldwolf89 08-23-2012 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by resoundingenvoy (Post 5427591)
Though that is a little how trans-warping works for the episode missions.

yeah but big difference is no energy credits to do it in exchange your still taking the commute time and you can work on duty rosters and the like while you wait which is what all of the captains we know an love did while waiting to arrive at their destination

resoundingenvoy 08-23-2012 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kyeto13 (Post 5427641)
#3 If you are talking about the LCARS ship systems display on the back of the ship... there is nothing you can do about that short of having a dev draw every possible combination of ships, decks and configurations possible. Again, not worth the man hours to pull off.

:P

As far as the coding requirements go?

That depends if you read assembly, write libraries to decode image standard "because you can", and have no issues with playing games with a EULA. The first two are hobbies. The last one, I can not lawfully do, so I don't.

Unless you want to claim Cyptic write their own graphic drivers for each and every video card out there, package it with their game? It really is as easy and finding where the RGBA values are decoded before feeding them to a rendering engine or driver?

It really is as easy as just rewriting a single number in memory.

Though, you would have to know how to format what your redirecting the game to.

Edit: The only real limit would be how bored you are, and what you have on hand to replace the image with.

boldwolf89 08-23-2012 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kyeto13 (Post 5427641)

And as far as making more bridge packs, as of now, not worth their time. The devs have their hands full trying to blast out new content to us. Making new ships, new events, writing new missions, tweaking the game engine. Since the bridges are a social zone mostly that few people use, the amount of effort they put into making a bridge would not be worth how many people are going to see it/use it. If they were to remodel, say ESD, then EVERYONE would see it. That would be worth the artist time and manhours to make

#3 If you are talking about the LCARS ship systems display on the back of the ship... there is nothing you can do about that short of having a dev draw every possible combination of ships, decks and configurations possible. Again, not worth the man hours to pull off

#4 This one was suggested not a week before you in some other thread. Again, I point you towards my first few paragraphs: Your Ship and your captain CANNOT coexist. When one is up, the other is stored away in the sever. The only way to do this would be to say "start mission." and then have you go to an interior map of a ship as the first thing. (not sure if there is any guarantee that it is the players chosen interior that is pulled up.) You dink around for a few objectives and when the objectives are done, you have a pop up saying "We're here, captain!" But it would in no way be a "wander around the ship and wiping consoles with a white rag" type stuff. You have to put in specific objects that must be finished in order to pull this off. So it might feel forced or out of character for some people.

they have access to possibly thousands of people who do 3d design FOR FUN open up the design of the bridges to other people to. that way they get more content they can make money off of and don't have to do the work. my biggest aggravation with the devs here is how much demand they will get for something simple and ignore it saying its not with the time no one uses it. obviously if you've got hundreds of posts asking for the nx-enterprise bridge and the voyager bridge obviously people are going to use it. cannon bridges should have been the first ones they made the other custom bridges were most likely the waste. and they rip us off with those because you can't actually see the bridge till you pay an arm and leg in credits (even more in zen) before you see it. and i'll point out again there's like 10 freaking versions of the galaxy bridge set up in more than one set if i recall correctly.

the lcars display as i said i can't see it being that hard for a custom image you choose or at least a collection to choose from of the most popular styles (which are already exist out there for example akira, intrepid, constitution style cruisers etc, that you select as part of your customization in the ship yard. they could have at-least gone with the more common to begin with. i find it hard to believe the 4 nacelle assault cruiser and the sphere fronted science vessel are the most common but they stick out the most when they're on the wrong ship

and the last one like i said we aren't talking anymore about the simultaneous ship and captain. i mean they have timers all over this game for the pve ques the duty roster assignments the trans warp cool down, all it would have to do is set your next mission load and send you to the inside of your ship for the allotted time. it would bring more realism, the time you spend in your ship wouldn't be taking away from game play time and would be alot less boring than subspace when you have to go through multiple sector blocks.

and yes imagination is wonderful but on that note we could go back to the days of yahoo groups with text based role playing.

and another idea that has been suggested that make sense why cant the user interface in flight mode look like its its inside just a view-screen. nice little border with your UI built in?

resoundingenvoy 08-24-2012 02:04 AM

Here's idea for 'fighting from inside the bridge'. (you'd lose the ability look around properly, but if that's your cup of tea ...)

Just replace what the player see for a ship model as a tiny room, place the player's PoV inside, and cutout the view screen so the play can see what's outside. Then just redraw the power bar and such displays on the bridge. Some scale issues may pop, but that should already be taken care of the same scale code models sizes to simulate distance.

It would have almost zero functional use, but it could be done with by some creative model hacking.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kyeto13 (Post 5427641)
... #4 This one was suggested not a week before you in some other thread. Again, I point you towards my first few paragraphs: Your Ship and your captain CANNOT coexist. ...

Also, I have no idea where you get that idea. What technical requirement bars it? Sure, the could have shot them selves in the foot done thing dirty, but as far as I know the game is nearly a total conversion of City of Heroes. Even some of the consul commands and the macro prefix ($$) seem to have carried over! With "ships" also using the flight power set with of the numbers on a slider rather then a fixed set of variables, and captains ground bound.

dalolorn 08-24-2012 02:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kyeto13 (Post 5427641)
#4 This one was suggested not a week before you in some other thread. Again, I point you towards my first few paragraphs: Your Ship and your captain CANNOT coexist. When one is up, the other is stored away in the sever. The only way to do this would be to say "start mission." and then have you go to an interior map of a ship as the first thing. (not sure if there is any guarantee that it is the players chosen interior that is pulled up.) You dink around for a few objectives and when the objectives are done, you have a pop up saying "We're here, captain!" But it would in no way be a "wander around the ship and wiping consoles with a white rag" type stuff. You have to put in specific objects that must be finished in order to pull this off. So it might feel forced or out of character for some people.

As a matter of fact, there was a properly functional idea back before the forum switch incorporating a timer similar to doff assignments. Basically you'd input your destination, and the game would calculate the shortest time to reach it given your maximum warp speed (this may cause issues with slipstream) at the time. Do whatever you want while the timer ticks off, maybe roleplay a bit... and in so-and-so minutes you're on Defera, or DS9, or in the Mutara Nebula, or wherever. :D

Leaving the bridge would be the tricky bit, as you'd have to extrapolate the ship's position during that moment, stop the timer, and put the ship to those coordinates. Very, very, very tricky.

Edit: Also, while trying to type this message in, I got stuck in some strange preview mode :confused: It seems I can now edit the page? Assuming there isn't any protection against that, that is. Which there probably is. Not that I mind, I just want to get out of said view.

Re-edit: Okay, that's done. Ignore my above edit. :)

Re-re-edit: And apparently I could just as easily have brought up the tools or whatever OUTSIDE the view. :confused:

colonelmarik 08-24-2012 03:24 AM

We're not going to be able to fight from the bridge. I would have liked it, but it's just not possible for the engine. However, there are other things that SHOULD be possible, that would make the Bridges somewhat more useful/immersive.

1. Have the viewer display the area you were in before you came to the bridge. So, if I was on DS9, the viewer would show an image of DS9.

2. Allow us to remain part of the chat channel we were in before we went to the bridge, or let us CHOOSE a channel to be part of, so we can remain social while ON the bridge.

3. Allow TRANSIT while on the ship. This would be accomplished by allowing the game to determine the distance between where we are and where we're going, and then calculate the time it would take to get there. The viewer would go to a stars moving screen, and once the time elapsed, we would be at the new location.
For instance, suppose I'm at DS9. I'm on my bridge and set a course to Sol. The distance is X, which the game calculates will take 7 minutes to travel. The viewer changes, and I can now putter around on the ship while in transit. 7 minutes later, I'm now at Sol, so when I leave the bridge, that is where I'll be.

Let's face it, there's NO reason for sector space. There's NOTHING THERE. No encounters, no nothing. Thus, we wouldn't really miss anything doing it this way. That said, they should not take sector space away, as some of us do still like travelling that way too.


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