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Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#1
A couple of suggestions that occurred to me whilst watching today's video update:
  • I'd like to see the dark side of planets retain some ambient illumination. Having 50% of each planet be a matte black circle on screen is neither beautiful nor informative for the player. Please let's not get into a discussion about the lack of ambient light being "more realistic" or I'll be forced to take away your nebulae. ;)
  • When exiting the final gate in a warp lane, it feels rather jarring that the ship instantly decelerates to cruise speed. A gentle deceleration would feel much nicer, unless you plan to couple the insta-stop with some juicy bow shock visuals and a sonic boom sound effect - then I could get on board with the idea. :D
Last edited by Zero Gravitas on Fri May 31, 2013 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Experiencing a significant gravitas shortfall
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets and Jump Gates

#2
You mentioned turning jump gates into "proper gates". Like built structures.
Why?

You would stay far more flexible if they were natural phenomena.

Maybe they wander a bit, maybe one disappears and pops up elsewhere... all easy to explain without having to clean up any structures behind them and rebuild them in another place. =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#3
Zero Gravitas wrote:A couple of suggestions that occurred to me whilst watching today's video update:
  • I'd like to see the dark side of planets retain some ambient illumination. Having 50% of each planet be a matte black circle on screen is neither beautiful nor informative for the player. Please let's not get into a discussion about the lack of ambient light being "more realistic" or I'll be forced to take away your nebulae. ;)
  • When exiting the final gate in a warp lane, it feels rather jarring that the ship instantly decelerates to cruise speed. A gentle deceleration would feel much nicer, unless you plan to couple the insta-stop with some juicy bow shock visuals and a sonic boom sound effect - then I could get on board with the idea. :D
1) You're right, I was being lazy :P

2) Take my word, from experience, that not stopping nearly instantly is a death sentence. Don't care how far your safety margin, it is a death sentence. I could get on-board with the idea of the warp lane animation (which isn't implemented yet, obviously) ending with some kind of "boom," indicating that a massive reverse force has just halted you
Gazz wrote:You mentioned turning jump gates into "proper gates". Like built structures.
Why?

You would stay far more flexible if they were natural phenomena.

Maybe they wander a bit, maybe one disappears and pops up elsewhere... all easy to explain without having to clean up any structures behind them and rebuild them in another place. =)
Well, I mean, what's the point of having the wormhole distinction, then? I like the idea that some are artificial gates - they have been pried open and stabilized at great cost (jump gates) while others are free-roaming and unpredictable, as you said, with no structure attached (wormholes).
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#5
JoshParnell wrote:Well, I mean, what's the point of having the wormhole distinction, then? I like the idea that some are artificial gates - they have been pried open and stabilized at great cost (jump gates) while others are free-roaming and unpredictable, as you said, with no structure attached (wormholes).
How about both?

Wormholes are temporary events and pretty rare.
You have to move quickly if you want to catch and stabilise one. If you are a little late, you end up with a mostly built gate structure... that promptly collapses into the wormhole when it goes poof.

If you make it, the gate is stabilised for... the duration. Years? Months? Hours? Until it collapses anyway.

A jumpdrive creates a very short-lived wormhole between two points. It stays open for a few minutes. Long enough for your ships to pass but never enough to be "permanently" stabilised.
The destination is a little random so once you open the wormhole, you better take it. If you spend a lot of time on scouting, you might lose it and a follow-up gate might be a few thousand km off... not to mention the creation time.

Same basic system for all of them... with a few twists.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#6
JoshParnell wrote:I could get on-board with the idea of the warp lane animation (which isn't implemented yet, obviously) ending with some kind of "boom"
Make it so!

The planets are looking rather magnificent already on the sunny side, seems a shame to put in all that effort just to have 50% of the surface be hidden so I'm glad to read that you agree. Keep up the great work. :clap:
Experiencing a significant gravitas shortfall
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#7
JoshParnell wrote: 2) Take my word, from experience, that not stopping nearly instantly is a death sentence. Don't care how far your safety margin, it is a death sentence. I could get on-board with the idea of the warp lane animation (which isn't implemented yet, obviously) ending with some kind of "boom," indicating that a massive reverse force has just halted you
Id like a system where acceleration, deceleration are built in. Kind of like on/off-ramps for highways.

Say the cruising speed of a warp lane is 10 times normal cruising, and each gate you pass increase speed by one cruising speed, so you start slowing down around 10 or so gates before the end. Distance of gates could also become shorter/longer to reflect this, so the travel time between two gates is always the same.


Another thing that would be nice to have is that the ship is locked in forward facing direction and "dragged" to the center of the lane, perhaps still allowing you to use mouse to move camera around and watch the surroundings, but not turn the ship.
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#8
I had a question/suggestion for the jump gate...like everyone else :crazy:

As seen in the video, it would be easy to go in cirlces. Would we be able to get a "Portal" like effect, where you can look into the jump gate and see a little bit of where you would end up if you went through? I guess you could to a sign saying, "This way to Arkax system". But I can't really see a sign floating out in space in Limit Theory :shock:

But honestly, I know Josh said that the jump gate we saw on the video is not the final design, and I have not been disapointed with any of his designs so far.
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#9
Oomgosh wrote:I had a question/suggestion for the jump gate...like everyone else :crazy:

As seen in the video, it would be easy to go in cirlces. Would we be able to get a "Portal" like effect, where you can look into the jump gate and see a little bit of where you would end up if you went through? I guess you could to a sign saying, "This way to Arkax system". But I can't really see a sign floating out in space in Limit Theory :shock:

But honestly, I know Josh said that the jump gate we saw on the video is not the final design, and I have not been disapointed with any of his designs so far.
There will most definitely be ways of telling. Not sure that it will be a portal effect, as that imposes a serious technical challenge...but it will definitely get easier. Jump holes had only been implemented for two or three days when the video was filmed :P Very rough!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#10
JoshParnell wrote:
Oomgosh wrote:I had a question/suggestion for the jump gate...like everyone else :crazy:

As seen in the video, it would be easy to go in cirlces. Would we be able to get a "Portal" like effect, where you can look into the jump gate and see a little bit of where you would end up if you went through? I guess you could to a sign saying, "This way to Arkax system". But I can't really see a sign floating out in space in Limit Theory :shock:

But honestly, I know Josh said that the jump gate we saw on the video is not the final design, and I have not been disapointed with any of his designs so far.
There will most definitely be ways of telling. Not sure that it will be a portal effect, as that imposes a serious technical challenge...but it will definitely get easier. Jump holes had only been implemented for two or three days when the video was filmed :P Very rough!
I expect much from it though! :lol:

~Sly
IVE BEEN OUT OF MY MIND A LONG TIME
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#11
JoshParnell wrote:There will most definitely be ways of telling. Not sure that it will be a portal effect, as that imposes a serious technical challenge...but it will definitely get easier. Jump holes had only been implemented for two or three days when the video was filmed :P Very rough!
Why not just use a simple HUD marker? Have some sort of reticle hovering over the wormhole/jump hole stating, "<Jump Hole/Wormhole> To Arkax" or somestuff like that. This reticle shows up only when you actively target it.
In Josh we trust.
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Re: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#12
TanC wrote:
JoshParnell wrote:There will most definitely be ways of telling. Not sure that it will be a portal effect, as that imposes a serious technical challenge...but it will definitely get easier. Jump holes had only been implemented for two or three days when the video was filmed :P Very rough!
Why not just use a simple HUD marker? Have some sort of reticle hovering over the wormhole/jump hole stating, "<Jump Hole/Wormhole> To Arkax" or somestuff like that. This reticle shows up only when you actively target it.
I like the HUD marker. Either that, or make it similar to docking. "Ctrl-D to travel to Arkax", etc.
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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: Look and Feel: Planets, Warp Lanes, Jump Gates

#14
Ixos wrote:
JoshParnell wrote: 2) Take my word, from experience, that not stopping nearly instantly is a death sentence. Don't care how far your safety margin, it is a death sentence. I could get on-board with the idea of the warp lane animation (which isn't implemented yet, obviously) ending with some kind of "boom," indicating that a massive reverse force has just halted you
Id like a system where acceleration, deceleration are built in. Kind of like on/off-ramps for highways.

Say the cruising speed of a warp lane is 10 times normal cruising, and each gate you pass increase speed by one cruising speed, so you start slowing down around 10 or so gates before the end. Distance of gates could also become shorter/longer to reflect this, so the travel time between two gates is always the same.


Another thing that would be nice to have is that the ship is locked in forward facing direction and "dragged" to the center of the lane, perhaps still allowing you to use mouse to move camera around and watch the surroundings, but not turn the ship.
I think the critical part is where the ship comes to a stillstand after exiting the last gate.

Reminds me of the occasion when I came out of a gate in X3 and didn't move immediately, because I wanted to check my universe-wide inventory and make some adjustments. After one or two minutes I was overrun by a freighter that came out of the gate behind me. BOOM. Game over.
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Trade Lanes/Acceleration Lanes: Indicators

#15
For directional indicators on trade lanes in Freelancer, there were red and blue lights. Blue for the entry, red for the exit. Now, because these lights were small, indistinguishable to some color blind folk, and often bugged out after the trade lane was damaged, they were almost entirely ineffectual.
So instead for Limit Theory's lanes, it might be a better plan to have a light and symbol system, perhaps a lit sign depicting a simple green circle on the outgoing lane and a simple red X for the incoming lane, so as to make an easily recognizable traffic pattern for people who are colorblind or just a little bit more visible for anyone.

Such symbols could be substituted for more Limit Theory-esque ideograms, akin to the HUD indicators, but they ought to be as different from each other as possible for reasons stated above.

Edit: Made a bit of a goof in not using the search function, merged my post with this one.
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