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 Anonymous
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I think that a circle grid like that, centered on your position, will be useful to plan the route to far systems. With that, I can easly see the distances and where to stop over.

But if I need to see what systems are in -5, 3, 8, I need a square grid.

Maybe we could have both? The square grid alinged with the system coordinates as it is now, and the circle grid alined to my point of view, so I can rotate the star map and use the circle grid to do my measurements.


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fluffyfreak
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I think I'll avoid the circular layout actually after seeing that Star Citizen one. There's some nice things to it but that isn't one of them.

 

Also I think having a circular layout makes it all too centered on the player, they're just one player in a galaxy after all 🙂

 

With the jump sphere and disk I might try out some circles and distance markers related to that but that's as close as I think it should get.


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lionheart
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There always the star citizen way 🙂

 

 

It's ironic though that the second you want to actually make use of the map it converts to 2D 🙂 I think a functional 3D starmap is actually a huge design challenge, I'm interested to see if Braben has the guts to do one for Elite Dangerous, but I have a feeling he'll wimp out and go 2D.

 

 

ideas;

 

-rendering the systems in 3d

-perhaps having the highlighted system as a light source.

-having the light source cast shadows on the systems around it.

-having some sort of animated sonar ping type wave emanate from the centre of the sphere, temporarily highlighting planets as it passed them, and then having them gradually fade back to their standard brightness.

-having systems further away from the selected system appear more transparent or dull.

-having the text labels of systems further away from the selected system appear smaller

 

and a radical one; instead of a third person camera, place it in first person on the selected system, that way you could rotate 360 and have nearby systems shown more brightly, with systems in the distance gradually fading to invisible if they were out of jump range, effectively conveying their distance. you'd also lose the problem you have in third person of having to look through a bunch of stars to see your targeted system, and then further on to other ones, whereas with first person view you'd only see stars in your field of view, which you could easily rotate. Also two words;

 

Oculus, Rift

 

Pretty sure people would go nuts for a 3d view with them at the centre that they could rotate around using their headset.

 

Anyway got a bit carried away there, so most of the above is probably of no value 🙂


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TheBob
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and a radical one; instead of a third person camera, place it in first person on the selected system, that way you could rotate 360 and have nearby systems shown more brightly, with systems in the distance gradually fading to invisible if they were out of jump range, effectively conveying their distance. 

 

 

Effectively celestia with a few more modifiers for luminosity... Celestia is a great program, no doubt, but it would not be the kind of interface I would want for the job at hand. The current setup works very well (a little more zooming distance before it switches to the dot-view might be nice) for what it needs to do, that is, giving you a good impression on where you are and where stuff is. A nice addition might be to show the players current position in the galaxy map, although that would probably only be of any use by a very few people that travel really, really far...


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fluffyfreak
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@LionHeart

I like some of those ideas and I think they could apply in different ways/areas.

The map is already 3D, there's just nothing to give it a sense of depth aside from the grid. I'm hoping that when I get this disk working it might make things feel a bit more... deep.

 

Other stuff like being able to look around a select star systems would be a good addition to the in-flight mode.

Especially when my f**king Oculus Rift arrives (4 months, 5 months on the 22nd!) and I can get it working!


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lionheart
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Effectively celestia with a few more modifiers for luminosity... Celestia is a great program, no doubt, but it would not be the kind of interface I would want for the job at hand. The current setup works very well (a little more zooming distance before it switches to the dot-view might be nice) for what it needs to do, that is, giving you a good impression on where you are and where stuff is. A nice addition might be to show the players current position in the galaxy map, although that would probably only be of any use by a very few people that travel really, really far...

 

 

Yeah I'm sure you're right, I think I just got a little carried away with the idea. I agree about the zoom too, I think it could do with going a bit further before switching to dots.

 

 

@LionHeart

I like some of those ideas and I think they could apply in different ways/areas.

The map is already 3D, there's just nothing to give it a sense of depth aside from the grid. I'm hoping that when I get this disk working it might make things feel a bit more... deep.

 

 

 Ah sorry, I should have said 3D system orb rather than system, I just thought 3d orbs in conjunction with light and shadow would be a great way of conveying depth effectively, 

 

kbrPcUT.png

 

Of course it's easier to me to create a lame mockup of it than it is for you to implement it 😀


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TheBob
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While I get the intent of this, somehow I can't quite come to terms with the concept of shadows on stars... 😆


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robn
 robn
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The difficulty with the circular grid is that the space goes in six directions. I don't know how to make it look right. Bit that's just me, maybe you have a big idea.


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 Anonymous
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How about this? I imagined it like the map is inside some kind of volumetric fog. The selected system (or the system you are in) illuminates the fog until the limit of your hyperspace range. Inside this, we have different spheres at every X light year step. The nearer to your system, the lighter the volume inside the spheres. The other systems are glowing lights (but not light sources). The grid is no longer an horizontal plane but a 3d grid thet reflects the light of the selected system (like it's made of metal wires). Maybe, the grid could cast some shadow inside the fog to give the feeling of a 3d scene.

When you zoom inside a system, it turns into the system orbit screen, with the star (or stars) that illuminates the planets (non glowing spheres) and the planets that casts shadows into the fog. In this view, the orbits could be neon glowing or "metal-like".


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fluffyfreak
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Well...

  • Lit spheres representing suns with a shadow should actually be quite easy so I might try this - despite shadows on stars being a bit odd 😉
  • Illuminated volumetric fog will be quite difficult I think so might leave this until later,
  • Zooming transition to the SystemOrbit screen is good so might try this too,
  • Having the grid handles all of the systems as thought they're glowing lights would probably mean rewriting the renderer to be a deferred or light-pre-pass one... so I'll leave that for now 😀

Either way, it's the weekend, the Sun is out and there's a BBQ at 1pm so erm... laters!!! 😀    


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fluffyfreak
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Okay latest attempt.

 

[attachment=2070:screenshot-20130714-151807.png]

 

I've extended the cached system distance outwards, also I can now zoom further out before it switches to the far system view which I feel works much better.

 

There's a disk through the centre of the sphere, I did want it projected down onto the green grid but after bashing my face against all of the matrix transforms I've just left it there where it is for now! 

 

Oh and I fixed the issue I was having with the hyperspace jump sphere and the disk being different sizes, it turns out I was simply using the wrong transformation matrix for the hyperspace sphere!!! Doh! 

 

Comments and feedback welcome.


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 Anonymous
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I like it. 🙂

I'll try to make the sphere a little less opaque on the edge. Maybe also trying some different colour? Could it be the colour of the faction of this volume of space? I think that the colour could be used to comunicate some information.


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TheBob
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Very nice!! I'll second Tychi, though: Tone the borders down a bit, they're standing out too much.


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fluffyfreak
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Ok these are with it scaled to be half as opaque, or more transparent if you like. What isn't obvious from the other shot is that the disk uses the same shader so it's transparency is a function of the angle that you're looking at it. I've done 3 screenies to demonstrate that this time 🙂

 

[attachment=2071:screenshot-20130714-161415.png]

 

[attachment=2072:screenshot-20130714-161419.png]

 

[attachment=2073:screenshot-20130714-161423.png]

 

The edge is going to be quite severe but as you're swishing the view around it also highlights the fact that it is your jump limitation.

 

I dislike the idea of colouring it by faction since it naturally overlaps multiple factions at times and I am reluctant to colour the vertices of the sphere + disk according to where they lie in faction volume space... though I think I could... no no, horrible idea, bad Andy! 😀

 

Maybe later i could add the option to pick what colour you'd want it to be, via the options screen perhaps, but for now I'd just like a pick a colour and keep this commit as simple as possible.


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TheBob
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Maybe later i could add the option to pick what colour you'd want it to be,

 

 

 

Don't give people the opportunity to destroy the interface. Rather, design it well and choose the colors well.


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 Anonymous
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IMHO i't much better now, with a more tansparent edge.

 

I dislike the idea of colouring it by faction since it naturally overlaps multiple factions at times and I am reluctant to colour the vertices of the sphere + disk according to where they lie in faction volume space... though I think I could... no no, horrible idea, bad Andy! 😀

I admit, that I also thought that, but I didn't wrote it because I feared to be asking too much... after that volumetric-monster I proposed earlier. 😀

Do you plan to draw some circles on the disk? To indicate the distance, as seen in the Eve screenshot.

I had another bad idea... How about having the space outside the sphere a little opaque, and black inside the sphere? Practically, the opposite of what it's now. In this manner the player can focus more on what's inside of the sphere. For the outer colour, maybe you could use that dark blue colour used in the other screens of the new ui.

So: sphere as it's now, but with a clearer/darker inside and external space in dark blue colour.

What do you think about it?

 

TheBob, on 14 Jul 2013 - 5:25 PM, said:

Don't give people the opportunity to destroy the interface. Rather, design it well and choose the colors well.

 

I agree. 🙂

It's better to find a good layout that gives to the player all the informations he seeks, in a clear and easy way.

And since this is the "Apple" way of designing interfaces, and I am a gnu-linux fanatic (power to the user. customize everyting), now I'll go punishing myself for what I just wrote.  :O


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TheBob
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Do you plan to draw some circles on the disk? To indicate the distance, as seen in the Eve screenshot.

 

 

 

Somehow this seems a bit... I'm not sure, redundant? unnecessary? You'd only have the circles on the disc, and you'll rarely have a system in intersection with the disc. The distance to a system gets shown when you select it. Distance rings on the disc woudln't be very useful.

 

It might be a nice visual pointer to increased hyperspace range though. Like "I dumped 5 tons of cargo, now I have two rings more, cool!". Now that I think about it, that could actually be quite important, if not really functional, then at least "motivational".


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 Anonymous
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I just thought... to improve the interface could be useful to think about some scenarios.

 

I need to go to a system that's over my range, so I have to plan some stop in the middle and find the shortest route. So I need to easly find in which systems I can stop without going too far from my ideal linear route.

 

Or, similar: Since the time needed to arrive at HS destination is exponential (am I right?), if a need to do fast deliveres, sometimes, it's faster to do more small jumps than one single big leap.


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fluffyfreak
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Do you plan to draw some circles on the disk? To indicate the distance, as seen in the Eve screenshot.

I had another bad idea... How about having the space outside the sphere a little opaque, and black inside the sphere? Practically, the opposite of what it's now. In this manner the player can focus more on what's inside of the sphere. For the outer colour, maybe you could use that dark blue colour used in the other screens of the new ui.

So: sphere as it's now, but with a clearer/darker inside and external space in dark blue colour.

 

No I think it's quite cluttered as is so I'll leave off the distance circles. Too much in there with all of the labels + stars already.

 

The trouble with making the "outside space" opaque is that you wouldn't then be able to see through it and into the sphere...

 

Imagine if you will a snow globe... inside a solid cardboard box 😀


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 Anonymous
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The trouble with making the "outside space" opaque is that you wouldn't then be able to see through it and into the sphere...

 

Imagine if you will a snow globe... inside a solid cardboard box 😀

 

My recent trip to Flatland made me forget the third dimension. 


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shadmar
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Looks good fluffyfreak, just had to try it in green too:

 

 

 

 


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shadmar
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And lionhearts favorite color 🙂

 

 


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 Anonymous
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IMO, green is good. It blends well with the grid and the final result looks like some kind of holographic projection.


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nozmajner
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Nice 🙂

I'd say stick with a neutral gray, so it won't interfere with the faction colors.


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Marcel
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@fluffyfreak,

"Other stuff like being able to look around a select star systems would be a good addition to the in-flight mode."

 

Would that mean that you'd have to take the 3D galaxy map and project it onto a sphere surrounding the player's system or is there a better way to do it?

Are you actually interested in doing this? It could be extremely cool. An HUD mode that would label the systems in range in which you could look around and target a system. As eye candy/immersion your ship could rotate to face the system before engaging the hyperdrive. As an added bonus, if the targeted system is on the other side of a nearby planet you couldn't jump until the path is clear.


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