Space Opera Gravity

Show off your games, demos and other (playable) creations.
scirath
Citizen
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:44 am

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by scirath » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:54 pm

Man, I'm looking forward to a .love for this. And so far, no matter how many other screenies I see, pic #6 in the opening post still makes my mind do a *WTFAWESOMEASPLODE*
(USER MIGHT BE BANNED FOR THIS POST.)

Magitek
Prole
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:23 am

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by Magitek » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:06 am

scirath wrote:Man, I'm looking forward to a .love for this. And so far, no matter how many other screenies I see, pic #6 in the opening post still makes my mind do a *WTFAWESOMEASPLODE*
#6
Image
Yeah it's a pretty intense scene.

Sadly, judging by the frame rate, you're not likely to see such a thing in normal circumstances. The game is considerably faster now, but probably not fast enough to maintain 60 FPS in a scenario like this.

The center of the galaxy should become this populated over the course of a game; however, each individual player can only see other ships at a certain distance at the moment. Ships out of line of sight are still going on their business and are not 'frozen' when the player goes out of view, so even if it looks less epic, it should hopefully still be pretty grand! :crazy:

Although, this line of sight behavior could be lifted for the host player, it's probably not a great idea to synchronize so many ships over an internet connection.
I'm still keen on flooding space with icons though, so I'll be doing my utmost to fill it with space-junk and not empty vacuum! :awesome:

Some random/useless statistics:
Lua code approaching 700kb in size.
Memory usage with a medium-sized galaxy refined to 130mb, previously ~400mb.
Largest galaxy generated so far: 5000x5000 (5x medium) with 10,000 planets and 60,000 asteroids (1.8gb memory total)
Time it takes to cross in a ship 667 times faster than a frigate with an afterburner: 1 minute 20 seconds @ 500,000 meters/second

SomethingMoreUnique
Prole
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:03 pm

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by SomethingMoreUnique » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:02 pm

Your game looks absolutely amazing! It's everything I've ever looked for in a space game. Once it's farther along, have you considered doing something like Project Zomboid and preselling?

Also, what sort of collision detection are you using? Your FPS is great for so many objects on screen

Magitek
Prole
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:23 am

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by Magitek » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:49 am

SomethingMoreUnique wrote:Your game looks absolutely amazing! It's everything I've ever looked for in a space game. Once it's farther along, have you considered doing something like Project Zomboid and preselling?
I think there are really too many similar space games coming out for anyone to take much notice of my project, but in event that it becomes more popular I might consider doing such a thing. It really is a bit early to think about something like this, however.
The screenshots may look inspiring, and combat/multiplayer work reasonably well; but there's still absolutely no content.. no purpose.

I also don't know if it's wise to jump on this alpha-selling bandwagon that has been appearing over the past few years. While certainly wise from a financial and motivational point of view, I'm still afraid of turning my game into a full-time job. :death:
SomethingMoreUnique wrote:Also, what sort of collision detection are you using? Your FPS is great for so many objects on screen
The game features an exotic collision detection algorithm, where I don't actually have any at all. :huh:
I decided early on I wouldn't be doing many collision checks; projectiles must have a target locked, ships pass over/under each other etc.
I knew that doing collision checks for each projectile, each ship, would pretty much destroy any hope of having huge fleet battles.

It would be nice to have accurate collision like Starfarer has, but I think it would interfere with combat mechanics quite a lot. If you've played X3 you know just how destructive and frustrating collisions can be when the game doesn't have the CPU time to guide everything to a safe path. Managing a fleet becomes like running a nursery. The game field is already divided up into thousands of little quads, so I guess it wouldn't really be terribly difficult to set up if I change my mind.

While I devote a reasonable amount of time to making the game prettier and sometimes more realistic, the main focus of my project is the mechanics and balance; giving players an environment that can compete against them. Ramming ships could get really destructive in combat strategy and also require players constant attention to it, rather than thinking of his next move in combat.

If anyone can make a serious case as to why I should have collisions, I may still be tempted to do them, because I acknowledge the fun of scraping metals!

User avatar
MarekkPie
Inner party member
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:48 pm
Contact:

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by MarekkPie » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:13 am

No collision sounds good, though you lose the danger of things like asteroid fields. Do the projectiles have a lifetime, or once they are fired they "hit" and just need to actually reach their target before they disappear? I hope the first, otherwise the odds of surviving a direct assault on an Imperial Star Destroyer is 0.

EDIT: Changed to "first" from "second." I had them in the other order, rewrote them, and forgot to change that identifier.
Last edited by MarekkPie on Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Magitek
Prole
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:23 am

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by Magitek » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:39 am

MarekkPie wrote:No collision sounds good, though you lose the danger of things like asteroid fields.
I don't necessarily have to lose asteroid effects; for instance maybe I could damage ships traveling through belts based on their speed and size. It is something to think about, because I do want localized combat effects for different areas.
MarekkPie wrote:Do the projectiles have a lifetime, or once they are fired they "hit" and just need to actually reach their target before they disappear? I hope the second, otherwise the odds of surviving a direct assault on an Imperial Star Destroyer is 0.
It depends on the weapon system:

Laser weaponry hits instantly, they do however, track pretty poorly. Even subtle movement can cause them to miss the target.
Cannons travel quickly, their hit chance is calculated the moment they leave the barrel, and no amount of movement after the fact will dodge them.
Missiles must chase their target manually and damage is calculated when it actually impacts, they can be outrun in certain situations and have limited fuel.

Instant damage isn't too much of a threat because positioning and velocity is that important when entering into such a combat situation.
If you're targeted by half a dozen battleships and you aren't moving to evade: you're probably already space toast, regardless of what you are flying.
You can't enter combat haphazardly expecting victory, unless you have superior numbers or a configuration that negates your opponents offense/defense.

User avatar
MarekkPie
Inner party member
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:48 pm
Contact:

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by MarekkPie » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:56 am

Magitek wrote:Laser weaponry hits instantly, they do however, track pretty poorly. Even subtle movement can cause them to miss the target.
Cannons travel quickly, their hit chance is calculated the moment they leave the barrel, and no amount of movement after the fact will dodge them.
Missiles must chase their target manually and damage is calculated when it actually impacts, they can be outrun in certain situations and have limited fuel.
This seems to indicate dice rolling, which I would think is more frustrating than poorly optimized collision detection. I think a better choice would be a hybrid of targeting/collisions. You must target a single ship before you can fire, but then that ship must actually collide with the projectile in order to take damage. You can speed up the process by giving a bounding circle around a ship, that triggers the more accurate collision detection once it is within range. There you have the best of both worlds: skill required to take down an enemy, and a faster processing since you can meld the collision detection into the steering algorithm.

Magitek
Prole
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:23 am

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by Magitek » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:55 am

MarekkPie wrote:
Magitek wrote:Laser weaponry hits instantly, they do however, track pretty poorly. Even subtle movement can cause them to miss the target.
Cannons travel quickly, their hit chance is calculated the moment they leave the barrel, and no amount of movement after the fact will dodge them.
Missiles must chase their target manually and damage is calculated when it actually impacts, they can be outrun in certain situations and have limited fuel.
This seems to indicate dice rolling, which I would think is more frustrating than poorly optimized collision detection. I think a better choice would be a hybrid of targeting/collisions. You must target a single ship before you can fire, but then that ship must actually collide with the projectile in order to take damage. You can speed up the process by giving a bounding circle around a ship, that triggers the more accurate collision detection once it is within range. There you have the best of both worlds: skill required to take down an enemy, and a faster processing since you can meld the collision detection into the steering algorithm.
The 'chance' is completely influenced by situation- you're either going to force the projectile to miss, or it's going to land on your hull; simple as that. The closer you are to the operating parameters of your weapons, the more definite things become; if you stress these parameters too far, it does pretty much become dice rolls.

The combat is less about actively dodging projectiles in motion, and more on plotting an intelligent course around your opponent in order to minimize his combat potential, while maximizing your own. Including avoidance into the equation would make combat very difficult, as many ships would have to take sub-optimal orbits; this will almost always result in the destruction of smaller ships as even a single shell from a larger ship might disable them.

Trying to maintain an orbit around your opponent in a frigate is already pretty taxing, I can't imagine what would happen if an enemy cuts in-front of you in order to crush you with his hull. Fighting a vessel larger than yourself is already a dangerous task as it is.

Combat is very dependent on the situation, and how you approach it; each and every ship in the game is subject to these rules.

I can't see collision for many things in the game as a plus; it negates many good things about the combat system and pushes it further into a shooter that requires good reflexes. You'll see that in my original post, my third reason for writing the game was to have a game that didn't rely on reflexes or personal aiming skills.

Even with the most efficient algorithm, I don't think I could do collision for every fighting ship in the game at once; it would just be a pocket around the player. This would also mean the player has a set of rules stacked against him that the AI outside his view does not. I'm hoping I will be able to create a fair environment for both the AI and player for a more authentic experience.

I have put a considerable amount of thought into collision but I always come to the same conclusion: It won't better the gameplay, and it certainly won't do anything for the framerate; there are many places to spend CPU time but this one is too huge for too little benefit in my opinion.

I hope this post doesn't feel too negative, I just want to make my reasoning clear. :oops:

User avatar
MarekkPie
Inner party member
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:48 pm
Contact:

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by MarekkPie » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:23 am

Magitek wrote:I hope this post doesn't feel too negative, I just want to make my reasoning clear. :oops:
Don't worry about it. It's your game.

Magitek
Prole
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:23 am

Re: Space Opera Gravity

Post by Magitek » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:29 pm

Warp mechanics

Image
Thermal star-map of a randomly generated galaxy in the game.

The higher the intensity (red), the more powerful the warpdrive will perform. The colder the space gets, the less benefit warp will provide.
Pilots may slingshot around a star in order to reach maximum velocity before coasting through freezing regions of space.
Over-extending your stay in cold space will result in drive failure, and eventual loss of all momentum, including traditional drive systems.
In the event you become stranded, you can post an SOS bounty and hope someone rescues you, ask a friend to tow you, or self-destruct woefully.

Each star radiates its own particles that our warpdrive needs to propel itself, and as a pilot gets further from the center of the galaxy, the less particles each star produces. Reaching distant stars takes a bit of creative path-finding and creates unique choke points and micro-economies within each galaxy.
Reaching beyond the frontier is virtually impossible without obtaining superior technology and support.

The drive is currently codenamed as the Remnant drive. It's easiest to think of as a solar-powered warpdrive.

Regions

Spire
The spire is the center of the galaxy and provides the entire core with superior warp functionality.
You'll probably find some of the biggest factions residing here.

Core
Supported by the warmth of the spire, the core allows full warp capabilities.
Warp here can sometimes exceed 4000 meters/sec, relative to the distance to the spire.
It is usually the busiest hub of the galaxy due to the abundant trade market, security and ease of travel.

Outer Rim
Further from the spire, systems are more likely to contain rarities and untapped resources.
Naturally, the further from the core a pilot strays, the greater the dangers that will manifest.

Frontier
The frontier is extremely hostile and the star systems here are often very old.
Dangerous entities and artifacts of older civilizations frequent here.
Pilots can easily become stranded here attempting to traverse these routes carelessly.

Beyond
Many promising star systems lie far beyond traditional warp technology.
Tapping these relics may require construction of lifelines as well as the careful exploitation and survey of connecting nebula.

While the warp system is still under heavy development, I feel reasonably happy with how it's come together so I decided to talk about it.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests