Lieutenant
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 84
# 1 Put it on the view-screen!
12-04-2012, 08:22 AM
Just a thought, but I was wondering if it was possible to have the view-screen show an animated view of the space you're in, I.E, random space scenes in sector space, DS9 when you approach it, etc?

If there's a reason this hasn't been done, fair enough, but I just feel it'd be a nice touch to the bridge area, after all atm I just see a black canvas with a few white pixels on it which kinda detracts from the feel of Star Trek.
***The above ramblings are, as always, my own opinion. Based on my experiences and interpreted by my mind, they by no means reflect the universal truth (unless coincidentally). Peace.***
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,925
# 2
12-04-2012, 08:34 AM
It has been stated that this is impossible due to the game engine's limitations. The thing is, when you are on your bridge in STO you are not actually on YOUR bridge in space, you just run around a pre-defined map, just as you would run around a space station. When you leave the station and are in space, your character (the girl/guy you played on the station) turns into s space ship and "walks" through space as the game is unable to simulate an actual ship transporting sonething through sector space.

This means there is no connection whatsoever between your bridge and the rest of the game. The only reason this would be possible I think are cutscenes which would play (and had to load seperately) every time you approach something.

The sad truth is: The Star Trek game everyone wants is just not Star Trek Online and it will never be
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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 371
# 3
12-04-2012, 08:53 AM
I think the best they could do is have the display show something based on the last map you were on. For example, you park your ship avatar on the DS9 space map, then go to your bridge (transfer to the bridge map as your captain avatar). Since your last map was DS9 Space, it could display a picture of DS9 on your viewscreen, but it would just be an animated GIF or a static picture, not representing what's really happening on the DS9 map at the time, since a player can't occupy two maps at once.

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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 977
# 4
12-04-2012, 09:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by obsidiusrex View Post
I think the best they could do is have the display show something based on the last map you were on. For example, you park your ship avatar on the DS9 space map, then go to your bridge (transfer to the bridge map as your captain avatar). Since your last map was DS9 Space, it could display a picture of DS9 on your viewscreen, but it would just be an animated GIF or a static picture, not representing what's really happening on the DS9 map at the time, since a player can't occupy two maps at once.
Yup, this is about the best we could expect. Even this would be welcome though.

The problem with showing what's actually happening around you is that the game would have to load two different environments to run simultaneously, one of you on the ship interior, and one of whatever is in the space map you were on. There would also presumably have to be a little invisible avatar of you in that space map as a reference for where the "camera" should be when you look out the view screen. That's a lot of work for both the server and the game client.

I wouldn't mind a first person view mode where your various HUD windows are built into the frame of a viewscreen (basically just an elaborate overlay). Not sure how well that would work in practice though since your view would be very restricted and you'd constantly be getting blindsided by stuff.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 163
# 5
12-04-2012, 10:52 AM
They do give us a few nice things. For instance, on DS9, you can see the wormhole opening and closing out the windows every now and then.

500 years in the future and we still look like schmucks when getting our ID photos taken...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 159
# 6
12-04-2012, 11:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by angrytarg View Post
It has been stated that this is impossible due to the game engine's limitations. The thing is, when you are on your bridge in STO you are not actually on YOUR bridge in space, you just run around a pre-defined map, just as you would run around a space station. When you leave the station and are in space, your character (the girl/guy you played on the station) turns into s space ship and "walks" through space as the game is unable to simulate an actual ship transporting sonething through sector space.

Even with this, I'd think it would be reasonably simple.... just add one variable to each character file. "Last space location visited". Use that variable to stick a (default for each location) different texture file on the viewscreen.

/shrug
Lieutenant
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 84
# 7
12-04-2012, 04:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by obsidiusrex View Post
I think the best they could do is have the display show something based on the last map you were on. For example, you park your ship avatar on the DS9 space map, then go to your bridge (transfer to the bridge map as your captain avatar). Since your last map was DS9 Space, it could display a picture of DS9 on your viewscreen, but it would just be an animated GIF or a static picture, not representing what's really happening on the DS9 map at the time, since a player can't occupy two maps at once.
I'd be happy with something along those lines, I'm not after playing STF's from the bridge or anything, just something a little more 'zazzy' to make the bridge feel a little more related to the rest of the game.
***The above ramblings are, as always, my own opinion. Based on my experiences and interpreted by my mind, they by no means reflect the universal truth (unless coincidentally). Peace.***
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,343
# 8
12-04-2012, 04:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kagurazaka77 View Post
They do give us a few nice things. For instance, on DS9, you can see the wormhole opening and closing out the windows every now and then.
But that is very small scale, the wormhole is on the same map as the station interior, just outside the wall.
There exists a space outside the bridge, that is the reason you can see parts of your ship's hull on the Odyssey bridge for example.
But you can't move them through the space, because they are fixed geometry ,unfortunately, same as all those suspended asteroids and planet rings.
It would theoretically be possible to code the bridge as giant mounts in space, but then you couldn't just have the bridges, as that would look very strange, you'd have to build the entire HUUUUGE ships around them and make the space at least 10 times bigger to move around them convincingly.
I don't think that is possible for a long time.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 801
# 9
12-04-2012, 05:39 PM
Actually you're all wrong including whatever dev it was that said it's not possible...

Okay now that I've got your full attention, here's how it COULD be done and relatively easily.

Now mind you there's only one way this would work and it would require some fixes to the current map auto navigation system.

For those of you who don't use the auto-nav or don't use it enough to know, it's garbage. The map boarders are all over the place, meaning specifically the actual trigger zone that gives you the cleared for warp message aren't lined up properly. Secondly, the vast majority of the auto-nav paths are incorrect, for example try using auto-nav from sol system to Beta Ursa, guess what...You can't do it, Delta Voltanis gets in the way and messes it all up. The third problem is the auto-nav doesn't correctly adjust for a systems height in relation to the "map floor", meaning you still have to manually adjust your ship's angle properly to the planet before you can enter the system.

NOW, assuming they corrected all these problems here's how they COULD actually do this:

No matter where you are in a sector, the system calculates your distance from a system and gives you that readout, for example 3.45 ly. Now if you entered the bridge view, sat in your captain's chair and were able to give auto-nav instructions the system could use the calculations it already makes to load a view screen cutscene, it other words a video inset i the viewscreen window showing you at warp and then when you get into range showing the planet/system/base you're going to. the length of the scene played within the view screen would be determined by your distance from, in other words if you're 5.7ly away and it takes you're ship 28 seconds to get there it would play for 28 seconds where as another ship may only take 10 seconds from the same distance so the "cutscene" would start at 18 seconds not 0.

Following along so far?

Now, this is the point where you all say "Well how the %#& do you know they can do this when they say they can't??!!":

Simple. Firstly, timers are Cryptic's best friend, anyone that plays the game knows that. Secondly, I can think of several games all the way back from windows 95 if not earlier if I really thought about it that were capable of doing this. Thirdly, There are numerous freeware, shareware, payware game creator programs that are more than capable of doing this very easily.

So all this begs one very simple question, If I can come up with a viable solution for this why can't Cryptic?

Again very simple answer, they can and probably have. Here's the problem, you'd need a UI artist, an environmental artist, an animation designer or two, and atleast 2-3 core system programmers working dedicated to this project for probably 2-3 weeks and priority access to their development servers. Now why is that a problem, bottom line, money. Those people would be working on something that wouldn't bring in any income at all, and with the amount of work they would have to be dedicated to just this project, and on top of all that the viewscreens of every bridge would have to be modified to have a transparent viewscreen so the video would be seen properly. This is simply a quality of game issue that would have no return on the cost.

So basically everything I just typed was a waste of time, but it does prove/outline a possible and viable way that they COULD do this, not that they will.
Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,917
# 10
12-04-2012, 08:23 PM
I don't remember anyone ever saying it's impossible.
What I remember saying, repeatedly now, is that it would take significant time and resources from all teams, and that the gain would be a relatively (imo) minor improvement.
-The Artist formerly known as Tumerboy



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