Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
04-06-2012, 10:18 AM
I would like to build nearly skin-tight shields for ships, but the tech required, and time required to build such things, which offer nothing but a variation in visual stimulation, isn't exactly worth it, at least not right now.

To do it right, we would need to build a shell version of every ship, and every ship combination of parts. I'm not exactly sure how many it is, but I'm very confident it's up in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. It partly has to do with how the fx system works, and how ships are built -- it cannot be done with a simple procedural system, which would be ideal.

Skin tight shields could be done on a one-off ship, but even so, one-off ships tend to be more complicated than ships with multiple variants for parts, like the Oddessy, with it's escort, and saucer separation, that suddenly requires not one, but 5 skin-tight shields, assuming we want to keep skin tight shields on a detached escort and saucer. Building the geometry takes time, especially if the plan is to have it look nice.

Another problem, is allowing the player to differentiate between having their shields struck, and their hull. With skin tight shields, it would more-or-less, be a flash of light right by the hull, maybe with some shield effects peaking through, rippling across the slightly pushed away gemoetry surrounding the affected part.

With a large bubble around the ship, it's still akin to older Star Trek, and visually, easier to tell when shields are down, without being forced to baby-sit a UI the whole time.


There are other ways to do the effect, but all of which require new tech, most of it graphical based. I can confidently say there are no plans, as of now, for creating new shield effects for existing ships, but that could change, provided we acquire the required tech to make it happen -- keep in mind that we're always creating new tech that allows us to do more and more. Usually the art time will find some way to adapt a new piece of tech into something cool like this -- like missing shots in space actually missing ships.

In essence, I wouldn't pin all your hopes on this happening, but it certainly isn't out of the picture. I was just talking with our FX guy last week about doing something similar. We're on the same page, time will tell if it is a reasonable task.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
04-06-2012, 10:37 AM
instead of creating like loads of those additional models, would it not be possible to just get a visual "bloom" effect to fire off upon detection of a hit on which particular "facing" shield it is on, with a minus value for the effect to show? or do you think that would create too much clipping?

a cheap but visually effective way of doing it ?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
04-06-2012, 10:47 AM
Perhaps the Bubble Shields are somehow tied into the Warp Field...

Both are approximately the same shape...

Both have been seen being used at the same time...

And both require large amounts of power be directed to the exterior of the ship.
(perhaps that power comes directly from the Warp Engines themselves)

Maybe the new Skin-tight ones are a new experimental version that take less power to activate and control, but aren't quite as effective.
(the power for this version coming from the Impulse Engines only)

Perhaps a reason for these newer ones, is to try to extend the life of the WARP Engines...

Or maybe even to direct more power from the WARP Engines to the weapons instead of the Shields..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
04-06-2012, 10:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamJamz View Post
I would like to build nearly skin-tight shields for ships, but the tech required, and time required to build such things, which offer nothing but a variation in visual stimulation, isn't exactly worth it, at least not right now.

To do it right, we would need to build a shell version of every ship, and every ship combination of parts. I'm not exactly sure how many it is, but I'm very confident it's up in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. It partly has to do with how the fx system works, and how ships are built -- it cannot be done with a simple procedural system, which would be ideal.

Skin tight shields could be done on a one-off ship, but even so, one-off ships tend to be more complicated than ships with multiple variants for parts, like the Oddessy, with it's escort, and saucer separation, that suddenly requires not one, but 5 skin-tight shields, assuming we want to keep skin tight shields on a detached escort and saucer. Building the geometry takes time, especially if the plan is to have it look nice.

Another problem, is allowing the player to differentiate between having their shields struck, and their hull. With skin tight shields, it would more-or-less, be a flash of light right by the hull, maybe with some shield effects peaking through, rippling across the slightly pushed away gemoetry surrounding the affected part.

With a large bubble around the ship, it's still akin to older Star Trek, and visually, easier to tell when shields are down, without being forced to baby-sit a UI the whole time.


There are other ways to do the effect, but all of which require new tech, most of it graphical based. I can confidently say there are no plans, as of now, for creating new shield effects for existing ships, but that could change, provided we acquire the required tech to make it happen -- keep in mind that we're always creating new tech that allows us to do more and more. Usually the art time will find some way to adapt a new piece of tech into something cool like this -- like missing shots in space actually missing ships.

In essence, I wouldn't pin all your hopes on this happening, but it certainly isn't out of the picture. I was just talking with our FX guy last week about doing something similar. We're on the same page, time will tell if it is a reasonable task.


The way you say that, perhaps a graphical flare could be used. After all in ST6, we couldn't see the shields themselves on the Enterprise of the Excelsior.


Perhaps have skin-tight shields having no graphics at all, except a flash of blue-white for the shield impact itself. And maybe the flash changing colors depending on the shield arc status.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
04-06-2012, 10:57 AM
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
04-06-2012, 11:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamJamz View Post
and visually, easier to tell when shields are down, without being forced to baby-sit a UI the whole time.
I'm going to have to contend that. In the heat of battle, the shield effects (both mine and my enemies) are too weak/soft to notice. I find it much easier to look at my Shield UI (and the enemy's target box) to tell shield health. I'd love it if the shield glow was way more pronounced. At least then, I could see the shields in situations that aren't relaxed me vs 1 other thing scenarios.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
04-06-2012, 11:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmfreddie
How come in game we are some 40 years after the events in star trek nemesis but we still use shield tech / fx from first contact and further out?

Shields in ST: Nemesis
http://bit.ly/IcKN5J - Nemesis aft hull tight shields
http://bit.ly/HiHcAh - Scimitar shields using the same Fx as the Enterprise
http://bit.ly/HVWjE0 - Nemesis - Enterprise's hull tight naecell shields

Shields in ST: Insurrection
http://bit.ly/HrEoV1 - Insurrection Enterprise shields are almost hull tight but not quite - resemblence of the shape of the ship

Shields in ST: First Contact
http://bit.ly/HPzfoc - First Contact new Enterprise with shields from the TV shows

But the shields and Fx for them in game, in my opinion, don't have the 2409 look, especially since the Odyssey and advanced Odyssey cruisers have the same Fx as in First Contact but not like Nemesis which would be the logical effect - so why has it reverted to the old shield Fx style?

http://bit.ly/IbgNEy - Emergency Power to shields
http://bit.ly/HlQ9MS - Odyssey Class Shields

Surely because the Oddy was built in 2409 with 2409 tech then they shouldn't use shields with the 'bubble' effect?
Ever heard of testing? Perhaps the Insurrection and Nemesis shields were test runs of Skin Tight Shields. The fact that STO doesn't use them (game engine notwithstanding) indicates Starfleet didn't like the performance of skin tight shields. Newer does not necessarily mean better.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
04-06-2012, 11:26 AM
Of course, it would be perfect to have different effects for different shield types.

Bubble shields for resilient and skin tight for covariant for example.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
04-06-2012, 11:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by atatassault View Post
Ever heard of testing? Perhaps the Insurrection and Nemesis shields were test runs of Skin Tight Shields. The fact that STO doesn't use them (game engine notwithstanding) indicates Starfleet didn't like the performance of skin tight shields. Newer does not necessarily mean better.
It's interesting that Starfleet would dabble again with "skin tight" shields, especially after their use in the 23rd century, it would seem they decided to go a different route for the 24th:

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...7/twok0571.jpg

The shields seen later on the Enterprise-A also seem to have been both "skin tight" and a "bubble", perhaps an intermediate step? They certainly still allowed weapons fire to hit extremely close to the hull either way:

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...12/tuc0627.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...12/tuc0624.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...12/tuc0629.jpg
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
04-06-2012, 12:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamJamz View Post
I would like to build nearly skin-tight shields for ships, but the tech required, and time required to build such things, which offer nothing but a variation in visual stimulation, isn't exactly worth it, at least not right now.

To do it right, we would need to build a shell version of every ship, and every ship combination of parts. I'm not exactly sure how many it is, but I'm very confident it's up in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. It partly has to do with how the fx system works, and how ships are built -- it cannot be done with a simple procedural system, which would be ideal. [...]
Are you sure about that? The shield booster effect from EVE Online is a pretty close representation of hulltight shields and they appear to be created by putting the effect texture on an invisible slightly upscaled version of the ship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNwqTpg_qK0

Couldn't the same be done for STO? Take the player's current ship, copy it, upscale it by 5 to 10%, remove all textures/effects from it and use the copy to display the shield graphics.
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