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Re: Star Map?

#16
Also fair enough. :)

I can see your point of view. Certainly, a full 3D map that rotates in front of your eyes will evoke a lot of "aaah!"s and "oooh!"s from players. It's gonna be awesome, no doubt.

But I'm not convinced of its usefulness in the long run. In the long run, I will have crossed hundreds or thousands of systems and I will like to have them represented on my screen. Now, a lot will depend on how far I've actually traveled. As long as I've only moved in let's say a 10 x 10 x 10 grid, that's easily displayable in 3D. But above that I think it'll get confusing. It's difficult enough to represent an "infinite x infinite" grid on a finite screen, ;) but layering infinitely many layers of infinite size on top of each other will make things confusing very quickly (the German word I have in my mind is "unübersichtlich", and means that it's impossible to get a quick overall view of your situation).
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Re: Star Map?

#17
Yeah, all reasonable points. On the whole I agree; verisimilitude is important!
Flatfingers wrote:Overall, maybe it's just a feeling on my part, but it comes down to: a 3D map is not that much harder to implement or use, and it's more accurate and more fun to render a 3D space in a science fiction game with a 3D model.
My position really hinges on the notion that a 3D map would actually be harder (for me, at least) to use. And also that you're probably not spending too long staring it it, so thematic issues are less of a big deal. I just feel that you're sacrificing very little in return for something that's vastly more usable (I'm not exaggerating when I say I've found 3D star maps to be unusable in the past; I'm really just that bad at it).
Commander McLane wrote: ...(the German word I have in my mind is "unübersichtlich", and means that it's impossible to get a quick overall view of your situation).
That describes exactly what I mean! I wish I could make new words by jamming several other words together in english.
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Re: Star Map?

#19
I don't think the question is whether or not 3D doesn't have its perks for a star map, it becomes navigation around said map.

Realize this as well though, there are many designers out there that create 3D games, and have probably had to tackle this problem in their own level editors, much less maps. Why not just take a look at it from that angle and see what makes sense?

If you were to try and build a sector yourself (as put forth as an idea in so many other threads), how would you do so, so that you weren't fighting the UI and getting confused?
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Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Star Map?

#20
My personal preference is for a 3d map for getting the big picture and a list view for quick navigation. For seeing things like empire boundaries, travel distances or just seeing the volume of space you have explored you can't really beat a map and the universe is 3d. But, I also want a list view of the systems I know about that I can sort and filter on things like distance, affiliation, known products, known needs, etc.

Based on most space games I have played humanity loses the technology of databases, spreadsheets and even data files as soon as we develop space travel. I am not asking for an entire DBMS to be implemented in the game, but a computer that can fly a space ship should be able to also store a bit of navigation data. A Galactic Positioning System (GPS) should at least be available. Most navigation I do anymore involves typing in an address or selecting one from calendar, email, or list, more than looking at a map, but I still like looking at the map as well.
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Re: Star Map?

#21
utukxul wrote:… and the universe is 3d.
How do you know that? I don't remember Josh saying anything so far to the effect that the game universe will be 3D. If you have more knowledge, could you provide a link?

My point is precisely that the universe should not be 3D, but should be limited to 2D (with some variation on the third axis).
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Re: Star Map?

#22
I see a fairly elegant solution to this problem. Have a menu or list of galaxies within the universe and only display the one selected on the map. The layout of the map should be a 2D plane with toggleable layers on the Y-axis. This would allow easy display of information whilst allowing people to build up a mental image of the 3D space, the previous and next layers could be viewable in lower opacity and maybe colour (blue for lower, red for upper). This wouldn't be a problem as galactic content, systems etc, are grouped around a flat disc in relation to the normal of the axis of rotation. In keeping with the view that the game should be as customisable as possible a 3D rendered view could be implemented and displayed by choice as I think it would be far more beautiful to look at despite potentially not being very useful but I dont see it as a problem to code the render for it as all co-ordinates are already stored and the leg work in done by the engine already.
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Re: Star Map?

#23
Commander McLane, I was just referring to the actual universe being three dimensional. Sorry for the confusion.

Limiting the universe to two dimensions really breaks the immersion for me in this kind of game. I have had no problem with 3d maps in other games, but I do understand that not everyone can visualize them easily. That is why I suggest both a map and list view. Even I prefer a list view when I just want to get to somewhere I have been quickly, but I tend to enjoy wandering and exploring in games and real life and for that a map is preferable. From the dev blogs it sounds like the engine should easily be able to handle both.
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Re: Star Map?

#24
There are certainly workarounds that can make a 3d map more usable. The real question is, whether gain in plausibility/gameplay is worth the loss of usability/comprehensibility. For me, I suspect the answer is no; you can't beat a flat map for easy comprehension, and I don't think much is lost by abstracting away the 3rd dimension on a screen I'm not going to spending too much time in. There are certainly other valid opinions though! As I said before, I have a hard time reading 3d maps, so I'm likely biased.
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Re: Star Map?

#25
So now we've seen Josh's early star-map, what are the thoughts? I liked the 2D tree projection. I'm not really a 3D-map die-hard, but I must admit to thinking as I was watching the video that it would be cool to rotate and move that tree structure in order to observe the 3D nature of what you're looking at. I think it was partly because it was it was so clean and uncluttered, and your current location so clearly marked that I figured you really couldn't get lost.

I also think that, if Josh explored the 3D option, that having some of the usual shortcuts to return to 2D projection from directly above - or even having a main 3D window with inset 2D projections of XY and XZ - would be a must.
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Re: Star Map?

#26
While I think that it would be cool to have some 3D in that map, I wonder if it would add any useful gameplay.


If it's 2D you have a clear and obvious relation between jumpgate travel (follow the road...) and jumpdrive travel (go off-road).
You can judge distances by eye without having to rotate the map every which way.

I feel that all that 3D would add here is a chore. In 2D you have all the relevant information at once. I'd like that.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Star Map?

#27
Gazz wrote:While I think that it would be cool to have some 3D in that map, I wonder if it would add any useful gameplay.

If it's 2D you have a clear and obvious relation between jumpgate travel (follow the road...) and jumpdrive travel (go off-road).
You can judge distances by eye without having to rotate the map every which way.

I feel that all that 3D would add here is a chore. In 2D you have all the relevant information at once. I'd like that.
And somehow Gazz manages to describe all my concerns in three succinct sentences.

Anyway, I must admit I was relieved to see the star map in 2d, even if it's just a prototype.
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Re: Star Map?

#28
Revoke wrote: And somehow Gazz manages to describe all my concerns in three succinct sentences.

Anyway, I must admit I was relieved to see the star map in 2d, even if it's just a prototype.
Hear! Hear!

The latest star map reminds me of something generated out of Space Empires IV...which is not a bad thing. :D
In Josh we trust.
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Re: Star Map?

#29
B--but... It's 3D...

Oh damnit. You can all screw yourselves. I'm getting me a 3D capable monitor so I can see the map in 3D... and then realize that 3D was never a stretch goal and frown while looking at my 2D map in... fancier 2D?

:(
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Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.

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