Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 487
# 11
01-19-2013, 06:28 AM
Again: I simply wanted to point out to totally inappropriate planet textures (VAST city lights representing a tiny colony etc.). That would be an issue which could be improved so easily thereby getting rid of a major immersion-killer.

... As for procedural planets: I wonder if Cryptic has ever heard of this technique. Most likely the good ol' Game Engine is not able to handle it.

Talking 'bout procedural engines: THIS is a wayyyy better video showcasing its power.


BUT: Let's stick with the matter at hand. It's highly unlikely we will see procedural content in STO. So take it one step at a time --> Please Cryptic, shortly check that no planet supposed to have nothing more than an "outpost" or a small colony has vast city lights spanning whole continents.

Some examples of such incorrectly textured planets in STO:

* H'atoria: 3.2 million inhabitants --> The WHOLE planet is covered with city lights and looks like Coruscant.
* Narendra III: 47,000 inhabitants --> Half the planet is covered in city lights.
* Bhea: Although it's mentioned that the planet's terraformation was rejected, it is still covered with gigantic cities.
* Una: 256,000 colonists --> continent-wide cities...
* Reimers: 670,000 colonists --> A good third of the planet is covered by city lights.
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 186
# 12
01-19-2013, 11:48 AM
Adding a procedurally generated planet system would probably take a whole lotta work.
Also, with the link from the last page of flying from orbit and into the low altitude atmosphere, however cool it is, will probably require a whole new game engine.

I would like to see that kind of seamless feature when we get a STO2 or a Mass Effect style Star Trek epic rpg.

Also, blurry planet texture = TNG season 1 special effects.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 116
# 13
01-19-2013, 11:15 PM
Well here is one thing you forgot to address what size is the planets? are they earth size are they mars size or smaller but with a higher density to account for the assumed 1 Earth-G are they larger but less dense. the other problem is normal every planet we visit has 1Earth-G only like 2 or 3 have less but none have more.. ground maps need to have better vary of Gravity. or even Atmospheric pressures but that is getting off topic. the point is a planet have the size of earth but with the same mass ie higher density would look more populated then an earth sized planet. but yes they need alot more planet textures all the cities look like circles huge planed cities, no hapzard real colony layout or even really straight lined. very few earth cities are laid out in circles
Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 487
# 14
01-20-2013, 04:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smazazel View Post
Well here is one thing you forgot to address what size is the planets? are they earth size are they mars size or smaller but with a higher density to account for the assumed 1 Earth-G are they larger but less dense. the other problem is normal every planet we visit has 1Earth-G only like 2 or 3 have less but none have more.. ground maps need to have better vary of Gravity. or even Atmospheric pressures but that is getting off topic. the point is a planet have the size of earth but with the same mass ie higher density would look more populated then an earth sized planet. but yes they need alot more planet textures all the cities look like circles huge planed cities, no hapzard real colony layout or even really straight lined. very few earth cities are laid out in circles
Different atmospheres (i.e. simply different sky colors in STO - so it's no big deal, forcing you to wear an EV suit) and different gravities would definitely be pivotal for any revamp of the exploration system...

But AGAIN: For now, the most effective short-term measure or Cryptic is to have a second look at those planets which certainly have totally unfitting textures (see list above)
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Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,196
# 15
01-22-2013, 09:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerobang View Post
just a thought: less maps more stuff to do there.

if you make 2000 space maps where you fly in a circle to scan 5 clickies and warp out, that is quantity over quality and things like planet textures get re-used frequently, because it doesn't really matter anyway.

Instead Planets that you re-visit a lot, like say New Romulus or Defera in multiple Questlines for multiple reasons, results in quality over quantity.
Agreed. And when/where we can, we will. The 2000 space maps were randomly generated for launch, when we only had a year and half to fill a galaxy. Now, if/when we have the time to address certain key locations, we will make new textures for them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by zerobang View Post
and what would i give to have tech like this in STO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5gb2XfjW0U
imagine doing that with a Runabout... or X-Wing... or Viper...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL8zDgTlXso

add a persistent universe, and Foundry style tools to populate this stuff with content + some canon via a Planetary Wiki (so we don't end up having 500 different species living on the same Planet).

*dream* maybe in Star Trek Online 2?
This tech constantly gets brought up. It's amazing no doubt. However, the person responsible for that tech has been working on it for years, and while he has made some cool videos, there is NOTHING playable there. There are no objects, there are no buildings, there are no plants. There is nothing to do. There is no game. Let alone an MMO surrounding it. I'm sure game tech will get to that point in the future, but we are no where near that now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by zerobang View Post
But really... wouldn't it be possible to just put 4, 9 or 16 2048x2048 textures on one "sphere" to increase resolution? (not that i think it would be necessary, but if your engine can not handle bigger textures, then just split up the picture into more texture files and puzzle them together while placing them?....)

*still wants to know why the texture slider in video options goes to 200% if it is not used*
This is a phenomenally bad idea. I mean no offense, but when restrictions are put in place, walking around them usually does not lead to happy places. If we used 16 2048's on one object, not only would everyone that looked at that object have to load all 16 2048's (16 mb a piece = 256 mb, or 1/4-1/8 of a decent video card's entire memory), but each of those 16 would have to be a separate material, and each new material is drawn in a separate pass, so now 1 object has to be drawn 16 times.

People regularly chide us for limiting textures to 2048, but it's done for a reason. We are an MMO, everything we make has to be shoved through magic tubes to get to you. The smaller we can make it the better, and as much as we (artists) may want giant textures and huge triangle counts, it's bad for most of our users, and bad for business.

I have no idea about the texture slider in options.




Quote:
Originally Posted by kagasensei View Post
Again: I simply wanted to point out to totally inappropriate planet textures (VAST city lights representing a tiny colony etc.). That would be an issue which could be improved so easily thereby getting rid of a major immersion-killer.

*snip*

Some examples of such incorrectly textured planets in STO:

* H'atoria: 3.2 million inhabitants --> The WHOLE planet is covered with city lights and looks like Coruscant.
* Narendra III: 47,000 inhabitants --> Half the planet is covered in city lights.
* Bhea: Although it's mentioned that the planet's terraformation was rejected, it is still covered with gigantic cities.
* Una: 256,000 colonists --> continent-wide cities...
* Reimers: 670,000 colonists --> A good third of the planet is covered by city lights.

So noted. I agree, more care could be taken in picking planet textures, and I'll mention it to the team. Thanks for the list, I'll keep it in mind when we have some time.
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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 855
# 16
01-22-2013, 12:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacofangs View Post
So noted. I agree, more care could be taken in picking planet textures, and I'll mention it to the team. Thanks for the list, I'll keep it in mind when we have some time.
As the late great Engineer, Captain Montgomery Scott once said...

"If something's important, you MAKE the time."

2000 randomly generated planets before launch i'm sure was a good thing (at launch). But here we are, 3 years later. Those planets quite simply "doesn't cut it" anymore. I see ThomastheCat posting random "development patches" for various ship classes quite often (latest being the Ambassador). Surely you could assign someone to think up new planet textures, which then can be "randomly applied" to a planetary sphere?

Planet "Earth" gets texture "Earth.dds" (or tga, or whatever format is used)
Planet Psi-Epsilon-47-A gets texture "Random1.dds"
Planet Omega-Omicron-1701 gets texture "Random 2.dds"

I mean, if you have 2000 random systems already, it can't be too difficult to have those systems "randomly choose" one of the many (or few) planet textures that you guys have? With the map selecting a specific type depending on the random mission (colony world, few lights for example)
Lieutenant
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 93
# 17
01-26-2013, 10:33 PM
I do agree that making a few lot more textures is something that would help immersion.

For me, though, that's not the biggest issue. The biggest issues are:

1) Flying up to what is clearly a gas giant and being told about what's on the surface. You know what's on the surface of a gas giant? Metal so pressurized and hundreds of degrees hotter than Earth it's a liquid. Ain't no "surface" in any sense of the word.

2) Every planet has Earth gravity and a breathable atmosphere. Every single one. I think there's one (1) planet that requires an EV suit, and that's it. Mass Effect does a better job of showing how hostile other environments can be, and it's a tiny, tiny thing in scope compared to STO. I know we spend all this time on our toons' looks, but only a handful of planets' surfaces should be safe to beam down to. I am aware that most planets we'd care to have charted are habitable, but not all of them.

3) "Scans show no signs of life". Okay, so when we beam down, why are there freaking eighty-foot trees and grass everywhere? Helm, you been at that contraband alcohol again, ain't you? Go home Nav, you're drunk.

And I do understand having the game procedurally create these on the fly would be prohibitively expensive. But I don't think that's what was being asked: I think what was being asked was that the developers use procedural generation to crank out a few hundred more planet wraps, and tailor them to fit the story a bit better.

I subbed up. This is the first game, ever, I have paid a sub to, mostly because the community is great and the game (well, space missions anyway) are quite fun. But I think setting one or two graphic artists down with a procedural system and a tiered list of planet sizes and inhabitation levels to come up with a few hundred planet textures isn't too much to ask. Nor is changing several of the unexplored planets to have non-breathable atmospheres or higher/lower gravity.
Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 307
# 18
01-27-2013, 06:42 AM
Creating planet textures is quite a bit of work (especially if you want them to look good) and rendering a planet in an appealing fashion is expensive on top.
If you have a look at the EvE Online planets for example, which were procedurally generated last I checked: They look okay but not great.
Now with the amount of planets in STO (vastly less than Eve) creating nice individual planet textures and reusing them is a better approach.

Altho you have to consider that the time spent creating visuals for a nice, new planet could also be used to create a new outfit design or maybe fix the Diplomacy BOffs outfits...

He's dead, Jim.
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