Stars and planets...

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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Blunderbus » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:20 am

Great post.

I posted something similar a while back speculating about how star type could be used to suggest system composition, we got some good arguments going, but it seems all the more more relevant now the game is that much closer to reaching beta.

Link below:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1445
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:22 pm

Back in mid-2014, I described the thought that the universe shown on our screen when playing LT would actually be emitted or reflected electromagnetic radiation at many frequencies.

If that radiation was in the visual wavelengths, we could "see" it: stars would look like stars; planets and ships would look like planets and ships; etc. Otherwise, our ship's scanner could filter and shift and expand/compress frequencies into the visible band. This would allow us to "see" things the unaided human eye can't normally see, from infrared and ultraviolet radiation to more exotic EM-band energy.

This, I thought, could be a fun way to hide interesting information, and give ship scanners something more to do than just "ping" for nearby ships. Here's how I put it back then:

Flatfingers wrote:Astronomy generates false-color images because various radiative frequencies are being filtered out. Photons collected at the relatively narrow bands passed are mapped to some color. Often several frequency bands are obtained for the same region of space. When their images are composited, that's when we get the awesome -- but not visually accurate -- pictures like the "Pillars of Creation" processed by the Hubble team.

So why can't our ships do that?

I see no reason why we can't hook up our ship's frequency-mode scanner to the "window" of our ship (whether a glass analogue or a projection) and tell it to apply the current filter being used by the scanner.

Normal mode would be no filtering; as the frequency scanner is set to show all spikes, your "window" shows energy sources (emissions) and objects (reflections) in the part of the spectrum visible to the Mark I Mod 0 eyeball.

If you were to apply a filter to your scanner that tells it to block light in the visible-blue range, then sync your viewscreen to your scanner, what you'd "see" in the game would be everything with the exception of anything that reflects or emits blue light. If stars were modeled realistically, you could then see purple stars.

Filters usually work the other way around, though: they block everything but let a small selected band of frequencies through. That's useful for scientific astronomy, but it could also be handy for exploration in LT.

Suppose wormhole endpoints emit radiation at a particular very high frequency. Onto your trusty ship's scanner, you slap three mods: a filter to block everything but wormhole frequencies, a shifter that divides frequencies such that they enter the visual frequency range, and an expander that maps the wormhole frequency range to the full visual spectrum. Then you flip the switch to display that information visually.

Suddenly all the world goes dark... except for any nearby wormholes, which glow in the night like a flickering, many-colored aurora.

And you could do the same thing for any emitted or reflected energy that has a characteristic frequency band.

I can't think of any other space games that do that. :)

I mention this today because I just saw a spiffy video of the Sun as seen through multiple filters: https://www.facebook.com/NASASunScience ... 937771632/ .

This is a great visualization of what I was trying to describe previously.

I'd still love to see this idea implemented in a space game someday.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby BFett » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:22 pm

That's a great idea Flatfingers. I can see that being useful for finding ancient relics, cloaked ships, or even particular exhaust signatures of wanted ships. This would be a must have mod for a ton of players.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Silverware » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:38 pm

It would be cool. But I think, if we look from a game-play perspective, we want only a handful of filters, that give you some edge and add a penalty to match.


One Filter might show you richer asteroids, the really good roids would likely be radioactive right? :V
But in return, maybe you lose the ability to see flares and trails from engines and the sun, and darkening the perspective, maybe a good bit of blue shift.
Its a non-combat filter, used for mining, but use it in a dangerous area and you might not spot an enemy before your system detects it.
(presuming our ships dont detect targets further than we can see them at)


Perhaps the filter doesn't just go over your view, but also your ship's detection abilities.
Making the above filter also detect targets at a shorter range, but making ore scanning equipment better.


It'd be something cool to toy with anyway.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:51 am

I'd personally keep what the sensors detect independent from what the ui shows you.

the sensors always detect the same stuff, regardless of your visualisation settings.
So when you tune to a spectrum that your sensor doesnt have any capabilities to see in you dont see anything either.

Theres may some ways to tune your scanner on the fly (within limits) with something (eve online style scripts?)
Which changes what you can detect
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Flatfingers » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:17 pm

Cornflakes_91 wrote:I'd personally keep what the sensors detect independent from what the ui shows you.

the sensors always detect the same stuff, regardless of your visualisation settings.
So when you tune to a spectrum that your sensor doesnt have any capabilities to see in you dont see anything either.

Theres may some ways to tune your scanner on the fly (within limits) with something (eve online style scripts?)
Which changes what you can detect

I normally don't quote entire messages, but this one deserves it -- I agree with all of this.

I imagine two things related to this system design idea:

1. Sensors have limited processing power, so they can only be "tuned to," or optimized for, particular frequency ranges.

This would be a tradeoff (which is to say, a gameplay choice that the player can make). You can either use the default scanner in broad-spectrum mode, where it watches the full range of electromagnetic (EM) phenomena but has relatively low sensitivity... or you can greatly increase sensitivity within a narrow band (effectively making you blind to energies outside that band).

2. On extremely rare occasions, you may be able to find or buy (or craft) sensors that have higher-than-usual sensitivity in certain EM bands. If "Sensor" is a slot on a ship's schematic, then you could -- if the super-sensitive band is one in which you're interested -- remove the default sensor module and replace it with the enhanced sensor module. This would also create a nice secondary market for different kinds of sensor modules along with other ship components.

(I don't know how hard it would be to implement, but I also like the idea that ship designers could make a tradeoff of multiple sensor slots in exchange for giving up some weapon or defense slots. There'd need to be code to intelligently integrate the inputs from multiple sensors (MATH!), but that might be fun to program.)

The point of all these is to include some restrictions on sensor capabilities without breaking the idea that energy sources radiate in different and distinctive EM frequencies, and that what's displayed on our ship's screen is actually a representation of energies detected by our ship's sensor(s), and we can "see" different kinds of energy-emitting objects by changing the sensitivity of our sensor(s) to different frequency bands than the default "visual light" frequencies detectable by the human eye.

I also would make changing sensor frequencies take several seconds so that doing it in the middle of a firefight is unhealthy, but that's me. :)
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:11 pm

Flatfingers wrote:(I don't know how hard it would be to implement, but I also like the idea that ship designers could make a tradeoff of multiple sensor slots in exchange for giving up some weapon or defense slots. There'd need to be code to intelligently integrate the inputs from multiple sensors (MATH!), but that might be fun to program.)


it could just be a sum(sensor_outputs) function.

to prevent 5 crap sensors outperforming a single good sensor a lower bound for detecting anything at all could be introduced.
a good sensor may only needs 1 irradiance to detect "something" a bad sensor may needs 5.
so even if they had the same overall signal amplification (sensitivity) the bad sensor before it can analyse the signal at all and provide the results to the sum() function.

example:

ship A is a scout using a "good" sensor with treshhold 1 and amplification 5
ship B is a scout using 5 "bad" sensors with treshhold 5 and amplification 1

if one just looks at the amplification/sensitivity numbers those ships would have the same sensor capabilities
irradiance * amplification * number of sensors = output signal.

an object with an emission that causes an irradiance of 2 at the ship's position is checked for detection.
ship A detects the object.
ship B doesnt.
because the irradiance doesnt exceed the treshhold (2<5) of the bad sensor all the sensors of ship B return an output of 0, failing to detect the ship
whereas the tresshold of A's sensor is exceeded (2>1) and it returns an output signal of 10.

the object would have to come significantly closer, so that the irradiance reaches 5 or higher, for B to detect it.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Flatfingers » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:29 pm

It could be sum(sensor_outputs), but how do you prevent "overexposure" if you have several sensor modules? You could scale down the maxima, but then you lose information in the frequencies that don't overlap.

You could instead use average(sensor_outputs), but what if you want to integrate signal over time?

I'm not saying any of this is an insurmountable, or even seriously hard, problem. All I said was that integrating multiple sensor data is an extra coding step that's not needed if ships can have only one sensor module.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:35 pm

Flatfingers wrote:It could be sum(sensor_outputs), but how do you prevent "overexposure" if you have several sensor modules? You could scale down the maxima, but then you lose information in the frequencies that don't overlap.

You could instead use average(sensor_outputs), but what if you want to integrate signal over time?

I'm not saying any of this is an insurmountable, or even seriously hard, problem. All I said was that integrating multiple sensor data is an extra coding step that's not needed if ships can have only one sensor module.


Well, any "overexposure" would only be in the software, the math that combines the sensor data.
As each sensor still works independently and just the data gets fused.
So any such effects would be compensated by simply scaling down the representation.
And "locking" detection would depend on a different treshhold.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Dinosawer » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:09 am

Distribution based sum - take more of each sensor output where ranges don't overlap and less where they do.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Flatfingers » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:59 am

Again, my point was that this is more code that has to be written, versus keeping things simple with a single sensor module, but yes, inputs from multiple sensors can be combined in various ways if you take the time to write those functions.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:23 pm

Had to think of this thread and the filter mechanics when i saw this.



Mild horror warning, be aware of seizure inducing stuff.
Also, beware of markiplier.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Detritus » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:25 pm

Cornflakes_91 wrote:Mild horror warning, be aware of seizure inducing stuff.

In other words, do not click unless you actually want to be clinically insane for the rest of your life, locked away in a small, padded room, dreaming of the horrors of that one video which started it all. :D
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:26 pm

Detritus wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Mild horror warning, be aware of seizure inducing stuff.

In other words, do not click unless you actually want to be clinically insane for the rest of your life, locked away in a small, padded room, dreaming of the horrors of that one video which started it all. :D


So its already too late for you.
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Re: Stars and planets...

Postby Detritus » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:27 pm

Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Detritus wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Mild horror warning, be aware of seizure inducing stuff.

In other words, do not click unless you actually want to be clinically insane for the rest of your life, locked away in a small, padded room, dreaming of the horrors of that one video which started it all. :D


So its already too late for you.

I don't have youtube.
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