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Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » Mothership concept
Mothership concept
SpaceEngineerDate: Thursday, 19.04.2012, 09:21 | Message # 46
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Science fantasy... Free exploration mode does not need a spaceship, doesn't it?




 
werdnaforeverDate: Thursday, 19.04.2012, 13:57 | Message # 47
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A number of versions down, maybe it could through an addon or something.
 
BruceDate: Wednesday, 09.05.2012, 00:44 | Message # 48
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This is all very very good.

Can we have "explore mode" and "game mode"?

I'm sure we will have such a feature, I just need confirmation.
 
AerospacefagDate: Wednesday, 09.05.2012, 10:58 | Message # 49
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Bruce, however, they will take place in different versions of the Universe. Procedural generation truly has no limits.
 
EndymionDate: Thursday, 10.05.2012, 09:38 | Message # 50
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I was lurking the russian version and i've got some questions regarding your shuttle concept (the Normandy look-alike):

How does it take off from a planet with no runway? I didn't see any nozzles that would allow vertical start.
You described very powerful energy generator. I assume every ship has some version of it installed, or at least "quantum capacitor" batteries. Correct me if i'm wrong, but with that amount of energy, thermal rocket or ion engines would be strong enough for shuttle deceleration and take off - hydrogen particles are ejected at higher velocity. No need for ramjet. Besides, ramjet would only work in the atmosphere similar to ours. Also why all that concern about preserving hydrogen? Shuttle hydrogen demand is a "drop in the bucket", compared to The Mothership.

Last question - what parts do you need at the moment? I'm definitely not a pro but i could model some. What's the optimal polycount? 50k tris?
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Thursday, 10.05.2012, 12:15 | Message # 51
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Ramjet, because we want to use atmospheric air as an infinite working substance - flying in aircraft mode will be unlimited.

Hydrogen - because it is most efficient for thermal engines.

Polycount - up to 1 million tris (this is not a joke smile )

You can model your own concept of the shuttle or mothership. More ships gives freedom of choice for players. Also, refueling space stations and hydrogen collector boats are needed. Rovers for driving on the surface. Repair robots, orbital probes and communication satellites. Buildings on the surface of planets, and interiors of spaceships can be modeled using NetRadiant (http://spaceengine.org/forum/14-169-1).

*





 
EndymionDate: Wednesday, 16.05.2012, 17:44 | Message # 52
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Alright, here's what i've got, a rough rover concept. It's around 60k tris, but it can be greatly reduced.
It features different modules, kind of "plug and play" devices. Top slot (currently occupied by a turret) can be used for mounting a radar array or advanced satellite dish. Side slots can mount other motion systems than wheels - tank treads for high gravity planets or turbines for oceania ones. It has panoramic glass, perfect for stargazing, but not particularly safe, i can rebuild it to look more "blocky". Also there's a sliding plank underneath the door for exiting, i forgot to rotate it.
If it's good enough, i'll proceed with optimization, details and proper texturing.
Awaiting your comment.


 
werdnaforeverDate: Wednesday, 16.05.2012, 17:48 | Message # 53
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Quote (Endymion)
Alright, here's what i've got, a rough rover concept. It's around 60k tris, but it can be greatly reduced.
It features different modules, kind of "plug and play" devices. Top slot (currently occupied by a turret) can be used for mounting a radar array or advanced satellite dish. Side slots can mount other motion systems than wheels - tank treads for high gravity planets or turbines for oceania ones. It has panoramic glass, perfect for stargazing, but not particularly safe, i can rebuild it to look more "blocky". Also there's a sliding plank underneath the door for exiting, i forgot to rotate it.
If it's good enough, i'll proceed with optimization, details and proper texturing.
Awaiting your comment.


Wow. That's impressive.
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Wednesday, 16.05.2012, 20:38 | Message # 54
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Cool concept. But the turret should be replaced with some parapolic antennae (radar/communication). Glass window should be replaced with cameras (I don't think animated astronauts will be added soon... so empty cabin will look strange...). Some small jet engines like in Mass Effect's "MACO" is a good tool, for low-gravity planets and moons, where clutching of wheels with ground is bad.

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HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 16.05.2012, 21:02 | Message # 55
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Some small jet engines like in Mass Effect's "MACO" is good tool, for low-gravity planets and moons, where clutch of weels with ground is bad.

Slightly off topic, I once modified Mass Effect to have lunar gravity and I tried to drive the Maco on the Luna mission. Due to the extreme power of the Maco's drive system, it was nearly impossible biggrin You could also actually use the thrusters to proceed upward into the sky at an accelerating rate, and never come down.





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architeuthisDate: Monday, 28.05.2012, 22:01 | Message # 56
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Quote (Neon)
4) The energy source is from an "energy vacuum transducer" or "zero point energy generator" or something similar. I.e. it constantly generates energy and does not required any fuel. It can be in the form of a separate "reactor" or combined with engines for more efficiency. There are also huge energy batteries (quantum condensers?) located close to the hyper-drive (see below).

5) The external part of the hull is covered by heat radiators for engines, reactor and habitation/cargo modules. Radiators for engines, reactor and habitation module are different, because they work with different temperatures.


If you can get unlimited free energy from a zero-point generator, I think it wouldn't be necessary to have separate radiators for the engine and life support. You could use as much energy as you want to change the temperature of the life-support heat to be radiated away, perhaps via a refrigerator. Though I think a separate radiator for the generator would still be necessary. Perhaps this would save mass for the starship.
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Tuesday, 29.05.2012, 00:22 | Message # 57
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Life support system radiators are so small compared to overall ship, so it is not necessary to combine them with something.

*





 
altfutureDate: Friday, 22.06.2012, 09:55 | Message # 58
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Hello guys, I'm new here smile I'm a game artist, and I exchanged an email with SpaceEngineer regarding possible making of some models for Space Engine. I happened to work on Infinity: The Quest For Earth and Miner Wars 2081 in the past. Space is my passion! smile

Well, I saw pretty much all ships on this and Russian forum but I am really in love with the SHW-2 mothership concept, that's what really attracted me. Generally, I love the whole "no hull" approach. If it's needed I may help with SHW-2, or elsewhere, or I could start on my own design (probably very similar to SHW-2). I am not really knowledgeable about details of realistic spacecraft design, so there may be some things that I will miss, but I hope you guys will help me steer it in realistic direction.

I saw this list of main components in one of SpaceEngineer's posts in Russian, and that is quite useful to start with the ship concept:

- engine acceleration / braking
- tanks with hydrogen
- the reactor
- heaters
- residential / commercial unit
- an observatory
- a frontal shield

If there is any more components or extra notes about them, it would be great to share.

Now, onto some questions that arise in my mind:

I'm curious about the general expected quality. For example, my real motivation is to create a model not in the fashion like most simulators do - they usually care about technical accuracy for "geeks" but entirely disregard things that make model's graphical appearance cool. On the contrary I want to attempt to make an awesome-looking ship, in line with some AAA games if I can, as good as the rest of the game looks (I am speaking here about the technical quality, not the visual design). This would require some things that I'm not sure if they are supported for ships in the engine: shadows, alpha textures, specular and normal textures, ambient occlusion (probably best would be if it's baked on the second UV channel, but the ship will need to be non-modular and without animations), material properties for specularity, possibly reflections etc.

And in this regard, I'm curious how is the same quality level going to be maintained between models made by different people? From personal experience (and frankly I've been involved with crowdsourcing on space games a lot), the only way to make sure all quality is on a professional level is recreation of all assets by internal people (which isn't that hard once there are tools and assets for it). But that requires dedication, which needs money, etc. So, what do you plan?

About the art style, what adds most to sense of realism (and what most simulators don't have) is some amount of imperfection. A bit of stains, burns, scratches and disjoints here and there, rarely ripped plates or railings, company labels, maybe some cables, rust, the impression of hollowness and very subtle assymetry - these things can really add a lot of immersion and believability of objects. They can turn the dullest of ships cool. What's your view on this?

And finally, some strictly technical questions: How many textures and of what size/format can we use for one entire mothership? You mentioned that we can go up to a million triangles, but how much is really optimal for a mothership? Some goal number would be good to follow so that eventually all ships are pretty much coherent with each other. Do we need LOD models? Are there any animated parts? Is there anything special to know?

That's all I can rememeber for now, but I think I will surely have more questions later smile


Edited by altfuture - Friday, 22.06.2012, 10:04
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Friday, 22.06.2012, 11:51 | Message # 59
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Hi altfuture. About technical details: Try to not use many textures, because one texture of dimensions 2048*2048 takes 20 Mb of video memory. Good idea is collect few tens textures and share them between all models. What textures are needed: color, bump/normal map (bump will be usable for relief mapping in future), specular/material id map. Engine doesn't support ambient occlusion, shadows, reflection etc. for now - this is my plan in the future. The model itself should be split for several meshes, one mesh per texture/material (this is probably done automatically by all editors). To implement LOD system, it is good idea to split ship into several modules, with independent LOD fo each of them. Modular conception may work in two ways: universal "game" modules, from which the player may build various ships in the ship editor (for example, standard fuel tank SVL-500, standard fusion engine Tkm-790-f, etc), and just "graphics" modules, which is not accesable in the editor, but can be shared between several ship models (for example, hangar door, radar antenna, piece of shield). Make full detail geometry for higher LODs, up to 100-200k triangles per module, and use some tricks for lower LODs, for example replace 20k polys carrying farm model with simple box with transparent alpha texture.

*





 
altfutureDate: Friday, 22.06.2012, 13:26 | Message # 60
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Good idea is to collect a few tens textures and share them between all models.

Cool, I will create small tileable textures and they will be reusable for anything (they will be e.g. plates, girders, grates, radiator, etc). They will be in the range 64-512 pixels and probably there'll be some bigger ones for big flat areas. Can textures be rectangle (1:16, 1:4, etc)?

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
ambient occlusion, shadows, reflection etc. - this is my plan in the future.

For ambient occlusion, are you thinking of implementing something like SSAO, or we will go with baked textures? Baked are great for flying in a small ship (or EVA) through occluded areas. With baked it could work if all modules (each having its own baked AO texture) were independent "stacks" on the cigar shape, that can be rearranged and shuffled like train cars, with the main shield being always on front end. It wouldn't work so well for stations though, unless stations would be made from stacked modules as well.

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
universal "game" modules, [...] (for example, standard fuel tank SVL-500, standard fusion engine Tkm-790-f, etc) [...] up to 100-200k triangles per module

The number sounds rather impressive. Just to make sure about sizes of modules, for reference, what would be ideal triangle count for a hydrogen sphere tank that is 200m in diameter? Is one tank considered a single module, or it is the entire cluster with all twelve tanks?
 
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