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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
This might just be whishfull thinking.
Then the Dev's might like it and work towards it?


Now that i've seen the TOS Interrior (love it!!!), do you think it might be possible one day for Foundry Authors to use that interrior and put more rooms behind all those closed doors and to make these avaible on Holodeck for everyone to use?

Turning the official "Movie Set's" we get from Cryptic (hopefully more often now) into full blown Ship Interriors?
With every single Deck and Room somebody might have on Blue Prints burried somewhere?

That would then be a community Project, not just the work of one guy with to much free time.
And instead of just a "Map" that can be used in a foundry Mission that Map would be avaible ingame for everyone in the Ship Tailor screen, behind another Tab as a second Option + ratings for the guys that did their *own custom thing*.


I know there was talk about letting people build there own ship interriors,
i never have seen anybody say how or IF that would be shared with other players (before or after publishing it) or if we could work together on it as a kind of Community Project.

Cryptic would then build the "official Movie Set's", witout us beeing able to screw arround with that, we would only be able to put Stuff behind all those closed Doors.

As an official Community Project the Dev's could even help out if we run into technical limitations or throw in some badly needed Art Assets for certain Rooms.

just thinking out loud
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-26-2011, 04:37 AM
This is harder than you think, for a few reasons.

First, the fixed doors (ones that don't open) are a specific piece of map geometry that doesn't open, period. We would have to make it possible for you to replace those with opening doors and then add new geometry and map areas behind them. Not necessarily impossible, but this opens the door (pun intended) to lots of problem maps -- if builders can place their own geometry freely, it raises the spectre of mission maps that have big gaps, geometry holes, failed connections, and places to get stuck -- and that would be a bad thing.

Second, every map takes a certain amount of memory to load. Add too many rooms and too many items and the map just becomes too large to load efficiently. Thus, maps are not infinitely expandable. Remember the desert map from "Coliseum"? The size of that map actually caused us some nervous moments over memory management. Detailing an entire starship with every room per the blueprints would potentially be a memory-hogging nightmare. You might be able to get away with it by making every deck a separate map, but it would still be cutting it close.

Third, draw distance! Ever wonder why those hallways in SB39 and K-7 are curvy when you're just going straight from one room to another? It's because long draw distances cause performance problems. In general with interiors you want to force shorter draw distances and use a limited number of rooms so that you don't have to worry about portals and redraw. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't sweat it, just realize that when you have many rooms, the computer has to do a lot of computations to figure out what parts to draw and what parts to skip.) Fortunately for us, many of the hallways in Star Trek are curved already, or short, because they were built for sets and in their limited space the set designers couldn't have really long hallways. If a blueprint calls for a long, straight access hall, though, or a location with a long view and a lot of windows or side rooms, this can cause issues with the drawing speed, which translates to bad framerates, which makes gameplay suffer. (This is an issue for pretty much any game that draws in 3D; you have to use various tricks if you want to get around this, usually by setting up your maps in very specific, custom ways.)

So . . . very hard. I won't say impossible, but hard. You may be better served by trying to use transition points (doors) that lead to other map sections for various parts of the ship, and leaving out areas that you don't plan to use for a story purpose. (Consider it the dramatic variation of Occam's Razor, "Do not multiply entities beyond necessity.")

I will be interested to see where this goes, though, because dedicated fans are a creative lot who like to find clever ways around the usual engine limitations, and perhaps someone will pleasantly surprise us with an interestingly-detailed interior ship kit once the Foundry is fully operational.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-26-2011, 05:07 AM
If I had a pound for each time I was asked to make all the doors open in my maps, i'd be richer.

I do know the reason I couldn't do that, was because too many rooms meant the map wouldn't compile. As scotty would say, my computer dinnai have da power. It would throw me up an error telling me I had too many brushes used.

Not to sure how it works with Cryptics engine.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-26-2011, 07:28 AM
I would love to be able to replace my ship 'interior' with something I could build in the foundry. I'm not a big fan of the current interiors.(they do not feel at all like they belong inside a starship with the odd shaped corridors etc) While I do not think building the entire ship would be feasible, I think it should be very possible to build some parts of it 'accurately' without overloading anything.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-26-2011, 07:55 AM
Would be nice if the foundry tools could give one "snap in" prefab rooms and corridors.

I.E pieces of curve, straight, corner, T-sections etc that one could place around freely that sort of "snap in/auto-align" with the other parts.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-26-2011, 11:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jheinig View Post
This is harder than you think, for a few reasons.

First, the fixed doors (ones that don't open) are a specific piece of map geometry that doesn't open, period. We would have to make it possible for you to replace those with opening doors and then add new geometry and map areas behind them. Not necessarily impossible, but this opens the door (pun intended) to lots of problem maps -- if builders can place their own geometry freely, it raises the spectre of mission maps that have big gaps, geometry holes, failed connections, and places to get stuck -- and that would be a bad thing.

Second, every map takes a certain amount of memory to load. Add too many rooms and too many items and the map just becomes too large to load efficiently. Thus, maps are not infinitely expandable. Remember the desert map from "Coliseum"? The size of that map actually caused us some nervous moments over memory management. Detailing an entire starship with every room per the blueprints would potentially be a memory-hogging nightmare. You might be able to get away with it by making every deck a separate map, but it would still be cutting it close.

Third, draw distance! Ever wonder why those hallways in SB39 and K-7 are curvy when you're just going straight from one room to another? It's because long draw distances cause performance problems. In general with interiors you want to force shorter draw distances and use a limited number of rooms so that you don't have to worry about portals and redraw. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't sweat it, just realize that when you have many rooms, the computer has to do a lot of computations to figure out what parts to draw and what parts to skip.) Fortunately for us, many of the hallways in Star Trek are curved already, or short, because they were built for sets and in their limited space the set designers couldn't have really long hallways. If a blueprint calls for a long, straight access hall, though, or a location with a long view and a lot of windows or side rooms, this can cause issues with the drawing speed, which translates to bad framerates, which makes gameplay suffer. (This is an issue for pretty much any game that draws in 3D; you have to use various tricks if you want to get around this, usually by setting up your maps in very specific, custom ways.)

So . . . very hard. I won't say impossible, but hard. You may be better served by trying to use transition points (doors) that lead to other map sections for various parts of the ship, and leaving out areas that you don't plan to use for a story purpose. (Consider it the dramatic variation of Occam's Razor, "Do not multiply entities beyond necessity.")

I will be interested to see where this goes, though, because dedicated fans are a creative lot who like to find clever ways around the usual engine limitations, and perhaps someone will pleasantly surprise us with an interestingly-detailed interior ship kit once the Foundry is fully operational.

Interesting. However, SWG (Star Wars Galaxies) does use some of this tech along with the deco possibiities of hanging something on every wall, ceiling, floors, etc. However, I did end up having about 1400 items in my SWG bunker and even with an Alienware Area 51 and on a T1 line, it did take a few seconds to load my own bunker. Some people who were on poor ISPs, it even took minutes to get my bunker to load. And the loading of housing, in SWG, was on the main planet map, LARGE planet map, (enter the house, no loading screen, but the bunkers did have other floors via an elevator but after the 1st floor loaded, all was loaded and no further lag happened going from floor to floor)

Is this something that Raph Koster designed into SWG via the original engine? And that engine was prior to 2003, The UO engine, which did some of the same things, even farther back intime. And is this all that different from what the engine, here, will allow?

When I started SWG, back in 04 and just left to come here a couple of months ago, I admit that housing was not very important to me. But at end game, it became a place to differentiate myself from other players. Even the collectors, in SWG, had the same things in houses/bunkers but the layout in every one of them was different and represented the player, somewhat. I, with reading all the talk on these forums about interiors and the possibility of designing your own, via this new development, was hoping to recapture some of that individualality among the playerbase here. Being a "collector" in SWG sure helped end-game retention as that "mini-game" was a very long and tedious "grind" of sorts. Something to look forward and strive to in game.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-26-2011, 11:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esquire View Post
Interesting. However, SWG (Star Wars Galaxies) does use some of this tech along with the deco possibiities of hanging something on every wall, ceiling, floors, etc. However, I did end up having about 1400 items in my SWG bunker and even with an Alienware Area 51 and on a T1 line, it did take a few seconds to load my own bunker. Some people who were on poor ISPs, it even took minutes to get my bunker to load. And the loading of housing, in SWG, was on the main planet map, LARGE planet map, (enter the house, no loading screen, but the bunkers did have other floors via an elevator but after the 1st floor loaded, all was loaded and no further lag happened going from floor to floor)

Is this something that Raph Koster designed into SWG via the original engine? And that engine was prior to 2003, The UO engine, which did some of the same things, even farther back intime. And is this all that different from what the engine, here, will allow?
SWG's housing is phenomenal but our ships are already larger, have more items, and use more memory (due to higher res assets). I kind of wish the devs would put together world zones for some planets (like Qo'nos) where people could place housing geo (even if there had to be multiple instances or "neighborhoods" as they refer to it in LOTRO).

I think the big issue is that STO takes place on a single shard.

This means the database containing our ships, boffs, items, banks, fleets, etc. are combined. Adding player housing (in addition to ship information) means that database gets much, much larger.

Whereas SWG had a cap on the number of people online (and the number of characters on a shard), STO doesn't. Their database is huge and synonymous with combining all the SWG servers onto one shard.

That said, it makes any additions to the database (which is going to include the Foundry soon) very expensive as this isn't updating several smaller databases but a giant one that must be accessed at once.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-26-2011, 11:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jheinig View Post

Third, draw distance! Ever wonder why those hallways in SB39 and K-7 are curvy when you're just going straight from one room to another? It's because long draw distances cause performance problems.
And here I thought it was because those parts of SB39 and K-7 were round?

Thanks for ruining my immersion!!!

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-26-2011, 12:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jheinig View Post
Second, every map takes a certain amount of memory to load. Add too many rooms and too many items and the map just becomes too large to load efficiently. Thus, maps are not infinitely expandable. Remember the desert map from "Coliseum"? The size of that map actually caused us some nervous moments over memory management. Detailing an entire starship with every room per the blueprints would potentially be a memory-hogging nightmare. You might be able to get away with it by making every deck a separate map, but it would still be cutting it close.
Who says a ship interior has to be a single map?

My ideal is something like this, as you look into allowing Foundry customization for ship interiors:

- Every ship gets a bridge, crew deck, engineering deck, and shuttlebay. These maps are set, based on established floor plans, but we can pick different color and styles of interior and place crew and detail tab items freely. Additionally, the ideal would be that while an interior kit may come with items like a warpcore, replicator or a console set in place, we can move, remove, or replace them although some may be required to be in a certain area. However, essential features must be located SOMEWHERE on the map in order to successfully publish. In turn, if you ever do have missions set on ships, things like enemy placement will be relative to fixed objects.

- Each ship gets one additional deck, purely for customization. We pick a floorplan, which includes basic style and color. (If you have a special interior pack like TOS interiors, you get a generic TOS floorplan included as an option.) The area is totally empty. This is its own map.

- Additional decks may be sold for merits or atari tokens. Again, this is technically a totally separate map from the interior, just accessible from the turbolift. Yes, someone could have a Defiant with 10 decks but it adds no actual functionality and is, by necessity, a per ship transaction. It also only breaks your immersion if you're hanging out on a Defiant with 10 decks. (I'd suggest placing the cap for these decks at 10 just because it's silly to build much more than that and it could start creating issues with the game if people have too much tied up in spaces that don't get used.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-26-2011, 12:16 PM
Dont the main starships (Enterprise 1701 A, D, and E) have complete level blueprints?

Since the tvs and movies probably never showed a crewman walking around the complete circumference of a deck, it would be safe to assume that if you walked around the outer most hallway on the middle deck of the saucer section of a Constellation class, you would run into bulkhead doors. So, lets just take the middle deck for instance. As for loading a map, you cut the deck into 4 pieces of pie, and load up one slice at a time. So, if I were to walk the circumference of a deck, I would have to stop and pass through four doors, one at the front of the saucer section, one at the back, one on the starboard side, and one on the port side.

Now, I know that STO maps show enemy contacts on the whole floor level (and oddly on different decks above and below your current position), and it may annoy you that you cant see red dots on the other side of the door where the other invisible piece of the pie is, but Id call that an acceptable loss. And NOT seeing whats behind the door makes it more fun anyways IMO.

So, in map view, the game displays the whole deck level and floor layout for you to see where to go, but the game only renders the piece of pie you are currently occupying, and other sections are separate instances. And for big ships like the Galaxy, you could draw one inner circle creating a donut (oval shaped) with an outer ring and the center, then still slice it into 4 pieces, so the pie cuts and inner ring makes 8 sections on the largest deck (deck 10 I believe for the Galaxy).

Whats important is that even though a mission should NEVER ask you to visit all decks and all sections, the Foundry authors should all abide by an established map layout of each ship. So that way everyone knows what departments are on what deck of each ship in game. So then the authors just connect the dots with doors and guide the player from one area to the next. But, a smart player knows without reading a map, "ok, I need to go to the turbolift to section 4 deck 8, and when I come out, I go left down the hallway to cargo bay 5." What Im getting at is that after a while, players get use to the layout of their ship, so when they play a mission on a Galaxy ship, they should know where every important room is on what deck. When you have players trying to draw in a players ship for them, they should stick with guidelines in describing where that location is on the ship, instead of players saying Shuttle Bay 1 on the Galaxy class is on all different sort of decks. That sort of disjointedness annoys me.

So, when you are building decks and sections for the player to visit on your mission, you look at the established deck layout, and build that section from your Foundry Lego blocks to look just like that section says in the blueprints.

As for making the doors open, just take an interactable door, and place it just behind the door on the set. Sure it wont open, but when you walk up to it, the popup menu comes up asking if you want to go through it to whatever section. Its an easy work around.
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