What is generated at "the edge"?

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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby BFett » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:49 pm

Flatfingers wrote:As for "what's an edge system?" let me de-spoilerfy Cornflakes's excellent diagram:

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Everything in red is an edge system. So the question is, how few systems away from one of those systems (in red) at the edge of the existing universe should a triggering ship be before new systems get created beyond the nearest edge systems?

Zero is not necessarily an incorrect answer. If the system generating code is crazy fast, then it's OK to do this when the player's ship (for example) actually does enter an edge system. For that matter, as I suggested earlier, LT could cheat a little and do the new system generation while the player is traveling through a wormhole toward an edge system. To the player, it would just appear as though the travel time was a little longer than usual... and even that could be made imperceptible by always randomizing wormhole travel time slightly. ;)

If generating new systems does take some perceptible time, though, then that's when I'm guessing the number of hops may need to be > 0. That way LT can start the new system generation routine well before the player enters what had previously been an edge system. That system will then already be starting to interact with the newly-created systems beyond the previous edge.

Oh, and one other quirk: it may be that the things that are at the "edge" of the universe aren't individual systems at all, but entire sectors containing multiple systems.

In that case, same question: how few hops away from an edge sector can a triggering ship be before the new sector-of-many-systems code is called?


Okay, so by your definition it is impossible to ever be in an edge system; got it.
Flatfingers wrote:Everything in red is an edge system. So the question is, how many systems away from one of those systems (in red) will a triggering ship be before new systems get created beyond the nearest edge systems?

I believe my answer is: The ship will be 3 systems away from the edge system at the time of generation. Where two of the systems are preexisting and the third is the edge system. (I hope this clears up all confusion.)

For the second question: Maybe 4 or 5 hops as this would need substantially more time to work out NPC locations and other things.
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby Lum » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:40 am

The "infinite LT-universe" is finite. Because there is a finite number of systems that will be simulated at any given time. As per CF's diagram, there is high simulated systems, middle simulated systems and poorly simulated systems. The player jumping to other stars makes the universe bigger every time, pushing the boundaries outwards, but it is still finite. What isn't finite is the generation process, since the player can jump in any direction forever and still getting new sets of systems. The "problem" with this is that if you jump 20x in any given direction, far enough to make that your starting system is out of the original boundaries, the simulation for that systems is lost. Maybe when you get to your destination and come back, the system isn't the systems you knew anymore. I wonder how Josh will work that issue around. Freezing simulation of any known system but saving the state of affairs in a file or something? So that, if the system takes again the poorly simulation, than the middle simulation level and then the highest simulation level, all will be more or less the same?

If so, being an explorer will take more and more disk space to save a lot of simulated systems, but a player with a small mining operation with no wish to expand beyond the original set of systems will have to deal with a larger processing problem because the high simulation will persist over time and gets more complex, needing less disk space because at the same time he won't need to save any new sets of systems?
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby bkdevil » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:26 pm

The "problem" with this is that if you jump 20x in any given direction, far enough to make that your starting system is out of the original boundaries, the simulation for that systems is lost. Maybe when you get to your destination and come back, the system isn't the systems you knew anymore.


I would think that every system that is fully generated, i.e. that the player has visited, would have it's very lowest level details saved to a table somewhere. This could include how many planets/nebulas, whether there are asteroids, the factions that are dominant there, how heavily populated, etc. It would be cheap to store this on disk somewhere, then if the player gets close enough the interim time could be simulated referencing the basic details. That should avoid the chances of returning to a system and have it being completely different than it was the first time. Information stored about factions and population could be time sensitive so the longer you were away the less relevant they would be to free up space wasted on information that would naturally change quite a bit with time.
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby Lum » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:33 pm

The graphical part isn't complicated. You have your algorithm to generate it. It will always be the same. It's the content what it is difficult to maintain. Maybe he will save the evolution of the system until the moment it passes the edge of simulation...
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby Flatfingers » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:13 pm

But systems should change.

That's why a timestamp would be included when a distant system's data is written to disk to suspend it. The difference in time between when a system is saved and when it's restored (to high simulation) would be the input to code that would race through the high simulation to change the system.

At the end of that process, the system should be something like what it would have been had it not been suspended.
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby Lum » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:25 am

Yeah, that would be a good solution. Beginning with the low simulation, the "returning system" fast forward its development to catch up with the current events since it was timestamped. By the time it reaches the high simulation zone it should be up to date. Makes sense. :thumbup:
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby Hyperion » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:08 am

Alright boys and girl, this will be the first of several necros, since I haven’t really been active in a few months, but am having a spurt of motivation and creativity.

The only thing that matters in regards to “The Edge” is the same single thing that matters to everything else: Maintaining the suspension of disbelief for the player without breaking the computational bank. We actually have a real world example to draw from in what sort of things should and should not be simulated at various distances, the ancient Silk Road; All roads lead to Rome, so that will be my reference.

I think we all agree that edge systems should be generated in loosely defined concentric circles radiating out from the player and a lesser degree from systems the player has visited in ever decreasing detail. Edge systems therefore exist to prime the more detailed simulations, but are also generated by the more detailed systems which already exist. For explanation purposes, the circles of detail are A)B)C)D)E)F)G) with A being the systems adjacent to the one the player is currently in or has been in at one time, while beyond G nothing exists at the given moment.

Note: These numbers are just examples.

Circle G, 30-35 Jumps from Player: These systems “exist” in zones/clusters structured like the outermost lane-slices of Warp Lanes. They don’t have discrete systems, but they do have basic, static PCG traits like # of stars, Zone makeup (avg number of planets, avg size of stars, avg material per system, etc) & Gross Resource Value of the whole zone. The game knows these zones exist, but the player doesn’t. They will have NO effect on the player at this stage. They are to A what the Americas were to Rome. If the player never approaches, they are completely dropped from memory to be regenerated as needed.

Circle F, 25-30: G zones stay as they are until the player is 25 jumps from them, at which point they convert to Circle F all at once. These use the details from G to create the systems, split the Gross Zone Resource Value into Gross System Resource Values, convert zone makeup to system makeup, and link the stars to each other and the E circle. They are still static zones and have negligible to no impact on the player, no matter how powerful (s)he is. They do however have an impact on E, as System Gross Resource Value has a static Net Transfer between E and F. They are to A what Japan was to Rome. If the player moves 5 jumps further away again, their information is packed back up into a G zone.

Circle E, 20-25: Like F from G, E circle zones become more detailed as a group when the player is 20 systems out, and go back to F when they are again 25 out. Circle E is where LT gains its Broad Strokes Cultural Diversity, Historical generation, and stops being static. Here, the Zone as a whole gets a Population Density, Culture Vector, Hegemony Value (Is it a huge empire, small-medium kingdoms, many isolated islands), Military Value, Tech Value, and Production Value (How much stuff is made here). These values have minor-medium changes, calculated once every 5 minutes, but can represent 50 years of Zone History. The Systems do not interact with each other, but as a Zone, their occasional changes affect D, trading “stuff”. They are to A what China (Cathay) was to Rome (Daqin); the player may or may not ever hear of its existence. Should the Player move back to 25 jumps out, an E zone goes static, but the information is not erased until/unless the player moves to 30 jumps out.

Circle D, 10-20: D zones take the Information from E, and split it into a number of polities based on the Population Density and Hegemony Value, each polity getting a variation from the mean of the Zone’s other values and a name. History generation calculations happen more frequently but represent less time (1 minute = 6 months). Systems do not interact with each other, but polities do. Their economies become more dynamic, having Net Trade of “Stuff from [Polity]” with each other as well as a whole adjacent E zone and C circle polities. They have a Simple war and conquest mechanic (Stronger military – Weaker military / Systems in stronger polity – Systems in weaker polity * Luck [>0 goes to Stronger, <0 goes to weaker] = how many systems Stronger took from weaker) war of course causes destruction on both sides. 1 system in each polity is randomly designated the Capital, getting a name and accounting for 10-50% polity value; for simplicity sake, if the capital is taken the whole polity is taken. NPC’s can spawn in the Capital system, but always come closer to A. These zones are to A what India was to Rome; Trade roots are established as goods from D become more specific as they pass into C. Like Circles E & F, they transfer into and out of Circle C as a whole zone, Unlike Circle E, Polity information is stored until the player has moved far away AND hasn’t come close in a long time, dropping straight from D to F.

Circle C, 5-10: Like D,E,&F, Zones enter and fade from C circle as a whole group of systems. History generation still happens infrequently but representation shifts to near-real time (1 minute = 12 hours) :ghost: . Every system gets a name, % of polity value, discrete resources, number of planets, warp lanes, Discrete military presence, and General economic simulation (Industrial production, Mining output, Economic Stability, Tech advances, etc), all highly influenced by culture and broader values. NPC’s can spawn in any system, but they are simple and uncommon until/unless they get closer. Polities, now become Factions, and are fully fledged factions, and simpler sub-factions appear; These will not always be very important to you, but major developments here can cause major changes for the player and you will want to pay at least some attention to them, these are your big-kahuna neighbors. They are to A was Persia was to Rome. Since there is a fairly decent chance the player will have at least some direct contact with at least a few of these areas, they can be converted into B circle levels of detail on a case by case basis. These are never erased from memory, but can be put in storage and larger time simulations if they are no longer relevant.

Circle B, 2-5: Stars enter B one by one, the closer you get, once in B, they stay in B forever. However you have B type 1 and B type 2, Type 2 being something that was once close, but you haven’t been nearby in a while. B type 1 exist in real time; they have fully functional economies; NPCs are fully capable of high level decisions, but the mechanics of how are placeholder. These are basically fully functional systems, just rather simplified. B type 2 slowly kills off NPCs you haven’t interacted with, and increases the representation of time simulation as you get further away, until ultimately putting it in storage.

Circle A, adjacent or visited: You’ve been here, or could be here at a moment’s notice. Almost everything here is identical to the system the player is in, except there is no graphics simulation, complicated physics, collision detection, or minute details of mechanics such as transfer beam logic. They stay type A until you are far away AND do not have assets in the system, at which point they become B type 2.

Ok, I know that’s a lot of reading, and perhaps rambling, but there you go.
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby HKY09 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:12 am

I'm, personally, a fan of the idea of a mega-pire; an empire so large, that it contains the universe in of itself, and then the factions of this mega-pire fight it out and thus eventually create a mega-pire inside the mega-pire, and this process repeats.
Realistically speaking, its simply unfeasible - things will get too big to manage, but figuring out this point where things are too big to manage is part of the fun and uniqueness of the idea behind Limit Theory, and the question it ultimately asks - Where, if there is one, is the limit?

Ultimately, there shouldn't be unfair modifiers acting on the player or the AI for doing too well, unless of course, you are a fan of crusader kings (but with the added benefit of 1, being infinite and 2, being in space!).
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby Black--Snow » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:14 am

HKY09 wrote:Ultimately, there shouldn't be unfair modifiers acting on the player or the AI for doing too well, unless of course, you are a fan of crusader kings (but with the added benefit of 1, being infinite and 2, being in space!).

There's a reason EU4 > CK2
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Re: What is generated at "the edge"?

Postby HKY09 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:28 am

Black--Snow wrote:
HKY09 wrote:Ultimately, there shouldn't be unfair modifiers acting on the player or the AI for doing too well, unless of course, you are a fan of crusader kings (but with the added benefit of 1, being infinite and 2, being in space!).

There's a reason EU4 > CK2


I play CK2 solely because its basically like game of thrones. Opt for elective monarchies and make all your dynasty diplomacy focussed, and watch as you and your successors easily score the highest ranks in the realm while everyone else kills each other.
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