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Differences between universes?

#1
This is firstly a question, but depending on the answer it could also become a suggestion.

In another thread the concern has come up that the universe will ultimately feel repetitive:
If you have seen 20 systems of the same kind with similar backgrounds and the same kind of lava planet, where is the driving force to seek out number 21?

Same thing for the conqueror, after you have defeated all known kinds of fleets and factions there are, where is the motivation to continue even if you know there are infinite amounts of them?

Yes all of them will not be of the same kind, but sooner or later it will become repetative that is inevitable.
From what I understand, Josh intends to optimize his PCG algorithms in order to guarantee as much variation as possible, but ultimately I think the comment quoted above is right: repetitiveness is inevitable.

In that other thread I suggested starting from scratch in another universe, once boredom kicks in. But this of course leads to the question at which level and to which extent the universes will be different from each other. And that's my question here: at which level and to which extent will the universes be different from each other? For instance: will there be slight variations in the physics between universes? I think that for a player who has "been there, done that" in one universe, even a new universe may feel like just more of the same, but if not only the visuals are a little different, but also the underlying mechanisms are actually a little different, this would really create a different and fresh experience.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#2
You mean, like if the ratio between different gameplay aspects is randomised as part of the procedural approach?

For instance, one system might be high-tech and flashy and full of rich advanced species, whilst another would be low-tech and full of the equivalent of peasants? And everything in between.

Other examples:
One system might be relatively "safe", whilst another is more dangerous;
One system is predisposed to be full of traders, whilst another is not;
One system is busy, whilst another is empty.

That sort of thing? I think that would probably be good. Especially if there is a very large number of potential "factors" that can be randomised (in terms of gameplay, social, trade, warfare - wars between nations/species with the system, as well as visual aspects).

It would be good if the different systems are randomly predisposed to different play styles. Like in one system, it might be best to be a bounty hunter, in another a pirate; military solider; merchant trader; or employed as part of a transport envoy. Of course, just randomly happenstance due to the procedural nature - you're not told which "profession" to have, or which is best, you just figure it out and see what happens.

If each system has vastly different quantities of people "types" in it, and thus you are predisposed to completely different professions whilst in different systems, then I can imagine that gameplay has the potential to be quite rich!
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Re: Differences between universes?

#3
I really like what you are suggesting here Commander McLane with every universe being noticeably different!

It could apply to alot more things aswell, in one universe the material required to build powerful engines might be in abundance pretty much everywhere, meaning all ships go much faster...

In another it might be the material required to mass produce missiles meaning that's what most ships will use as their base weapon instead of your generic laser type...

In your third universe stars might be much brighter leading to abundance in solar power (and an interesting tactical element if NPCs have a hard time spotting you coming at them from the direction of the bright sun).

In a fourth universe there are lot's of moons everywhere (and most space stations are instead moon bases).

The next one is more or less one big nebula screwing up all shields and sensors almost permanently... (and so on).
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Re: Differences between universes?

#5
Commander McLane wrote:@ terrordactyl: You're misunderstanding. The question/suggestion is about the different universes, not systems within the same universe.
Would the same not apply for systems as for universes? I suppose it depends on whether bias towards particular factor values is imposed at the universe level as well as for systems...

Are you saying that you would like inter-universe characteristics to be noticeably more different than inter-system characteristics?

If the systems are sufficiently variable, wouldn't you get completely different systems between universes as well as between systems in the same universe? Or are you saying that you'd prefer for there to be some common theme tying all systems within a universe together?
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Re: Differences between universes?

#6
terrordactyl wrote:
Commander McLane wrote:@ terrordactyl: You're misunderstanding. The question/suggestion is about the different universes, not systems within the same universe.
Would the same not apply for systems as for universes? I suppose it depends on whether bias towards particular factor values is imposed at the universe level as well as for systems...

Are you saying that you would like inter-universe characteristics to be noticeably more different than inter-system characteristics?

If the systems are sufficiently variable, wouldn't you get completely different systems between universes as well as between systems in the same universe? Or are you saying that you'd prefer for there to be some common theme tying all systems within a universe together?
As I understand it, there is no inter-universe level dynamic, as each 'seed' encompases a single, massive universe that is without end. You cannot pass into another universe. So the question/suggestion is, how different are the components of each seed?
I am 42.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#7
terrordactyl wrote:
Commander McLane wrote:@ terrordactyl: You're misunderstanding. The question/suggestion is about the different universes, not systems within the same universe.
Would the same not apply for systems as for universes? I suppose it depends on whether bias towards particular factor values is imposed at the universe level as well as for systems...

Are you saying that you would like inter-universe characteristics to be noticeably more different than inter-system characteristics?

If the systems are sufficiently variable, wouldn't you get completely different systems between universes as well as between systems in the same universe? Or are you saying that you'd prefer for there to be some common theme tying all systems within a universe together?
Please read my original post before derailing this thread.

I am asking whether universes will be different on a fundamental level. I expect all systems in one universe to share the same physics. Everything else would be an immersion-breaker.

Thus my question was—and is—very specifically: will all universes share the same physics (as one example of a difference on a fundamental level)? And that's a question aimed at Josh.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#8
It would be nice if all universes were different, but I suspect to make them really different and still make them playable may be hard if you end up altering the physics to do so. If they are quite different on look rather than physics then that would be easier, although you could end up with loads of universes that just look too odd and then it may be hard to find the ones that look "right" that you could relate too.

I love the idea of making the universes really distinctive from each other, but I think it is a challenge to do that and not end up making most of them looking too odd ball as to look simply false. Although of course what right have I to say what other universes should look like :)

I do like the comment that some universes and systems may be more dangerous than others or differences such as that, which may provide a difference while keeping it still playable.

Will be cool to see how it all ends up.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#9
Surely physics is physics... different universes can't be based on different physics - surely that would just be false and completely ruin any immersion? Different gravity perhaps, but that should be an inherent property of the system based on masses - proximity to stars, planets etc. Can you think of any physical properties that could realistically be variable in different universes?

P.S. I sure wasn't trying to derail your thread - I apologize if you felt that way. I did read your original post. Multiple times. To quote: "And that's my question here: at which level and to which extent will the universes be different from each other?". Whilst you mentioned physics, I understood the word "mechanisms" to be a more general concept, and thus chose to comment in relation to gameplay mechanisms, since I feel that it is more reasonable for these to be more variable in different systems/universes.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#10
terrordactyl wrote:Surely physics is physics... different universes can't be based on different physics - surely that would just be false and completely ruin any immersion?
What observations of alternate universes form the base of your theory?
Why couldn't there be a universe that is all yellow? And where yellow tastes funny?
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#11
something i would like to point out. as far as 'been there done that' mind set is conserned im as guilty as the next person. however lets take the OP at face value.

"If you have seen 20 systems of the same kind with similar backgrounds and the same kind of lava planet, where is the driving force to seek out number 21?

Same thing for the conqueror, after you have defeated all known kinds of fleets and factions there are, where is the motivation to continue even if you know there are infinite amounts of them?

Yes all of them will not be of the same kind, but sooner or later it will become repetative that is inevitable."

the driving force to seek out the 21 system would be the same as it was to seek out the 20th system or the 50th. curiosity. to see IF the next system is the same or not. and lets say yes ok its the same boring old planets what of the other features? the npc traders the wars the pirates the laws the many many other variables that feed into it all. so what if the plants arnt 100% unique in each system if that were the case youd never see anything familiar and would begin to feel home sick im sure XD.

as far as the war armada in the conqueror senerio whats to say that this is a case of rock paper scissors? so you have the biggest baddest ship on this side of the system. the deth star was able to blow planets into tiny dust partials but was taken down by the equivalent of a gnat. there is no 'best' ship in the game there for no army can be invincible therefore theres an element of risk. the last 15 systems dident put up much of a fight and your spys say the system ahead only uses small corvette ships. yawn right? what if those tinny irritating specks of light were equipped with (and yes im borrowing this from the weapons ideas thread) a quantum energy resonance weapon? now that giant behemoth of a ship is nothing more than a lumbering target for your new foes. ok so you go in and get vaporized and manage to escape vowing revenge. you return with newer faster ships only to find that they have move on to using emp weapons (the quantum weapons were banned for obvious reasons) and now your ships systems are crashing down around you.

tldr Limit theory limitless possibility.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#12
Gazz wrote:
terrordactyl wrote:Surely physics is physics... different universes can't be based on different physics - surely that would just be false and completely ruin any immersion?
What observations of alternate universes form the base of your theory?
Why couldn't there be a universe that is all yellow? And where yellow tastes funny?
A tasty yellow universe? Sure, why not, if that's what floats your boat!!! :)

By physics, I was thinking about atomic interactions, which are governed by chemistry, which is governed by the laws of physics. Everything at the macro level is in turn determined by these properties, and thus you can't change "space physics" without an implied alteration of changes at the subatomic level. Which, in my opinion, would be unrealistic even for a different universe, and thus would break immersion and make it feel like an arcade game.

On the other hand, both yellow and tasty things exist in reality, so that wouldn't be a violation!!! Such properties are determined by structures at the molecular level, which could more plausibly be variable (e.g. think non-Carbon based life-forms, for example).
Last edited by terrordactyl on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#13
lol lets keep things simple at first shall we and save the purple and yellow butternut tasting systems to a minimum shall we at least until we can set themas an option in LT2 shall we? XD
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#14
You clearly haven't played strategy games Dadalos.

As long as your enemy is the AI and it plays by roughly the same rules that you do there is always a well rounded and balanced player force that will demolish everything and anything the AI can assemble, not matter how random or varied it is. That is just how things work.

Even significantly smaller player fleets will win most of the time due to being superior in tactics, strategy and ability to adapt to and exploit game mechanics.
Dadalos wrote: so you have the biggest baddest ship on this side of the system
Sorry but since when did an "Armada" consist of a single big ship? :/

It doesn't matter if the AI in a system has a few dangerous corvettes if an armada can have many times their number in smaller anti corvette ships as escorts. A player armada and how many different ships it can consist of can always be bigger and more lethal then what the AI can have unless there are special galaxy invasion events. Or unless the AI faction power scale with player power in such a way that it's always possible to encounter a bigger threat.
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Re: Differences between universes?

#15
Ixos wrote:You clearly haven't played strategy games Dadalos.

As long as your enemy is the AI and it plays by roughly the same rules that you do there is always a well rounded and balanced player force that will demolish everything and anything the AI can assemble, not matter how random or varied it is. That is just how things work.

Even significantly smaller player fleets will win most of the time due to being superior in tactics, strategy and ability to adapt to and exploit game mechanics.
Dadalos wrote: so you have the biggest baddest ship on this side of the system
Sorry but since when did an "Armada" consist of a single big ship? :/

It doesn't matter if the AI in a system has a few dangerous corvettes if an armada can have many times their number in smaller anti corvette ships as escorts. A player armada and how many different ships it can consist of can always be bigger and more lethal then what the AI can have unless there are special galaxy invasion events. Or unless the AI faction power scale with player power in such a way that it's always possible to encounter a bigger threat.
as far as my career with strategy games is concerned i started with dune 2k when i was 9-10 then moved on to chess and shogi at 13 (ive not lost a game of chess in at least 7 years now but shogi im still inexperienced...) ive made the usual gambit of starcraft and Homeworld and civilizations and Age of empires ive had my fair share of space based fleet fighters and dog fights in everything from ww I fighters to jedi star-fighters so yes i do have a little experience with the genera of statical strategy fighters

and while you statement about balanced player force crushing ai forces is typically true the hundreds of losses that people suffer vs ai can be attributed to timing skill and more of those random events one cannot account for.

and i never implied that your ship was alone nor did i sugest the lone ship in-itself was an armada. when i referred to your ship i ment the flag ship of the fleet you would undoubtedly be commanding from.

and in my post i did mention a wide advancement in the tech level of the ships of your war ship vs the corvettes , they were using quantum pulse weaponry whereas i made no mention of your armaments and left that up to personal imagination.

PS i would like to point out that i was quoting someone else statement in the beginning part of my posting and apologies for any confusion that might have occurred as i did not format the post to show it as obviously as some on the forums have done.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.

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