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Gates

#1
There seem to be a few problems with blockages in the acceleration gates. Maybe run pulses of energy down the line of gates, and use this as an excuse to simply move any blockages (stray asteroids, debris from battles or crashes, pilots who don't look where they're going, etc.) out of the way. This would also provide a visual representation of the direction of a set of gates.
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Re: Gates

#3
Sorry, should have been more specific. This effect happens on objects that are between the gates or behind them, but not traveling with them. This means that entering the first gate is easy, but you can't hang around between them or right at the exit. Entering midway might be possible by moving parallel to the field before you enter it.
Last edited by jfo on Wed May 01, 2013 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gates

#4
Right now you have to get between the gates (while not yet traveling with them) in order to approach them and "enter" the highway.
If you cannot do that...


One solution would be a new way to "enter the highway".
  • You approach a gate pair.
  • Before (or when?) you touch the actual lane, your ship is placed under automatic control,
    aligned to the direction of travel (so big ships no longer try to fly "sideways" and crash into the gates),
    and sucked into the highway.
  • The direction of travel depends on which direction you approach a gate from.
  • Collisions with traffic can be avoided if the "entering" happens under automatic control. You could not really see approaching traffic at the accelerated speed.
  • Not sure how to solve having to cross "through" the wrong lane if you approach the gate from the far side.
This way the game could differentiate between ships that "properly" entered the lane and objects that do not belong there.
Then the gates could "push stuff out of the way", including everything that is not a ship. =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Gates

#7
aspman wrote:Slightly off topic but would it be possible to have the gate colours green and red to indicate which way they go, depending on which side you are.
Possibly, it'd make more sense for the colorblind to just have the X's over the gate a little different so one suggests in and one suggest out. Just flip it when you view it from the other side.
woops, my bad, everything & anything actually means specific and conformed
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Re: Gates

#9
It may just be me but I find the number of gates to be a bit much, i'm curious as to whether anyone else is of like mind. I would think it would be interesting to toy with the idea of having a jump "field" instead that supercharges your engines. Similar to how Mass Effect does long range travel. It would also make a bit of sense if on larger ships this device that creates the "field" is built in allowing you to jump from anywhere. Just a thought. :D
The only limit is the one you set.
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Re: Gates

#11
Skyfligher wrote:It may just be me but I find the number of gates to be a bit much, i'm curious as to whether anyone else is of like mind. I would think it would be interesting to toy with the idea of having a jump "field" instead that supercharges your engines. Similar to how Mass Effect does long range travel.
I really like the atmosphere acceleration lanes provide. Like highways/railway-infrastructure but in space :) Especially scenic if they curl/bend them-self around moons, planets, anomalies and bigger asteroids.

And in freelancer it also had the cool ambush mechanic of pirates disrupting the gate to bring travelers out of warp midway and pick them off for cargo. The police/Authorities mostly was able to guard/patroll the nodes so pirates could easily keep of the grid and conduct raids towards the acceleration lanes.

I also love how the pirates moved through uncharted wormholes and had their own network of secret bases and wormhole connections "off grid".
Skyfligher wrote:It would also make a bit of sense if on larger ships this device that creates the "field" is built in allowing you to jump from anywhere. Just a thought. :D
Yes that is a given, Capital sized ships that don't fit through the lanes need their own method of reasonably fast travel, perhaps some kind of inside system warp roughly 1/2 speed of acceleration lanes?
Uomoz wrote:What about automated turrets that shoot down incoming asteroids?
I don't think the asteroids will actually be moving much more then perhaps rotating slightly in the same place. Keeping track of so many moving objects in a high amount of systems sounds like an impossible task to program.
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Re: Gates

#13
Ixos wrote:
Uomoz wrote:What about automated turrets that shoot down incoming asteroids?
I don't think the asteroids will actually be moving much more then perhaps rotating slightly in the same place. Keeping track of so many moving objects in a high amount of systems sounds like an impossible task to program.
That's actually irrelevant. Only the current system you're in is being actually simulated. As soon as you jump to another system, all the game has to do is check if there's any asteroids currently near the lane and deal with them accordingly at that time. It then means it's irrelevant to simulate the whole galaxy all at once, since they can be dealt with when you step in to each system at that time.
Any system you're not in is simply abstracted to the important actions (asteroids would be deemed unimportant, since on an abstract level, you can assume they'd never get in the way, if turrets - or whatever method you wish - would be removing them from the lanes were you in the system)

When it comes to video games, simulating every single details when a player can't see them is simply wasteful (it's the same concept for occlusion culling, or frustum culling when it comes to graphics, you only draw what the player can actually see, since there's no reason to draw things they can't see, and therefore speed up the game engine.)

Take this example:
Say there's a battle going on in the next system over. The player can't see the battle going on, but maybe he's getting signals on his comm that there's a battle going on. You don't need to simulate the whole battle at that point, since you're just wasting resources. All you really have to do is keep tabs on the forces on each side of the battle, and run simple statistical chances of damage occurring, which is really quick math, and thus an easy abstraction, instead of calculating the path of each shot, spaceship, AI, etc.
If the player then decides to jump to the system where the battle is happening, just take whatever your statistical results were, disseminate the ships accordingly for the two factions (including damaged/destroyed ships randomly assigned according to the stats), and you can now simulate the full battle from that point. The player would be none the wiser, as all they would see is a battle that is underway with casualties as expected from whatever point they came in to.

If you expand the example to a full game, and assume multiple battles going on in multiple systems, you can imagine how much work you'd be asking of the game to simulate full ship interactions in dozens of systems at once. It's just not feasible. However, with abstraction, you can run simple statistical math for each system, and whichever the player decides to jump to, he'll just see what you might expect for the fight at whatever point the one he came in is.
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Re: Gates

#14
FireryRage wrote: That's actually irrelevant. Only the current system you're in is being actually simulated. As soon as you jump to another system, all the game has to do is check if there's any asteroids currently near the lane and deal with them accordingly at that time. It then means it's irrelevant to simulate the whole galaxy all at once, since they can be dealt with when you step in to each system at that time.
Any system you're not in is simply abstracted to the important actions (asteroids would be deemed unimportant, since on an abstract level, you can assume they'd never get in the way, if turrets - or whatever method you wish - would be removing them from the lanes were you in the system)
If asteroids are deemed unimportant to simulate as you claim, that should also mean if you order any of your AI ships to do asteroid mining in other systems then your current, nothing will happen.

Anyways it's irrelevant since asteroids blocking acceleration lanes was a bug that as far as I understand has been fixed in LTP.

And even if asteroid movement would be localized to only your current systems I can envision systems with many many thousands of asteroids. And trade-lane networks with thousands of gates that needs thousands of turrets in just a single large system. I think Josh would prefer to spend game resources on other things.

The reasonable solution IMO is that no asteroid will move large distances at all so their location can be stored as a coordinate, and the only movement that happens is smaller rotation for the asteroids within players field of view for immersion reasons.
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Re: Gates

#15
Ixos wrote: If asteroids are deemed unimportant to simulate as you claim, that should also mean if you order any of your AI ships to do asteroid mining in other systems then your current, nothing will happen.

Anyways it's irrelevant since asteroids blocking acceleration lanes was a bug that as far as I understand has been fixed in LTP.

And even if asteroid movement would be localized to only your current systems I can envision systems with many many thousands of asteroids. And trade-lane networks with thousands of gates that needs thousands of turrets in just a single large system. I think Josh would prefer to spend game resources on other things.
Asteroid mining can also be abstracted out, so that wouldn't be too much of an issue, since you can expect AI mining to follow a normal distribution around average mining that would occur. Pretty much anything that doesn't require detail-by-detail occurrence can be abstracted out.

Although I do realize too many asteroids in a system might prove to be a bottleneck if using the turret method, and preventing them moving might be a better option, so I will concede as much. Simply prevent them from spawning within a certain area of gates during procedural generation and don't have them actually move, and you'd be set :P
I would imagine players wouldn't really notice that planets aren't actually orbiting, when you're busy whizzing around getting things done. So having all celestial bodies stay at their location (albeit rotating) could be a simple way of doing it.

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