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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Auto-pilot speed and other controls
Auto-pilot speed and other controls
RobbieDate: Tuesday, 16.08.2011, 12:54 | Message # 1
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I've been playing with the auto-pilot speeds, where I select an object then press the [g] key to auto-fly to it. The 'FastGotoTime' variable (default 3) controls the fast travel time and the 'LongGotoTime' (default 25) the long travel time. At the default settings the transition from start to finish is quite smooth.

I adjust those two variables a lot, somewhere to half their default values, as the travel times are better for my video recordings. However, the problem with halving those values is that the camera seems to be stopping too quickly at the object. What would be useful is if there was a way to have a slow down travel time variable when nearing an object. Is this something that can be done?

Also, I use the [Esc] key often to kill the auto-pilot when approaching an object. So if a 'slow-down' variable could be added it would have to work with that key too.

Also, the drop-down menu should be removed from the [Esc] key, as it's already assigned to the [F1] key.





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SpaceEngineerDate: Wednesday, 17.08.2011, 08:08 | Message # 2
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This is hard. SpaceEngine uses next formula for autopilot:

Code

if (t < 0.5)
{
        x = 1.0-cos(pi*t);
        x = 0.5*x*x*x;
}
else
{
        x = 1.0-cos(pi*(1.0-t));
        x = 1.0-0.5*x*x*x;
}
newPos = AutoMoveStart + (AutoMoveStop - AutoMoveStart) * x;


Here t is the time parameter, it increases lineary from 0.0 to 1.0 during the time that configured with LongGotoTime / FastGotoTime parameters, and x is the position interpolation parameter, it increases from 0.0 to 1.0 with some dependency of time. The formula x = 0.5 * (1.0 - cos(pi*t))^3 gives smooth acceleration, second formula gives smooth deceleration. But if you fly between the planets of different stars, far away from each other, planets seems to pop very quickly. This is because planets are very, very small compared to interstellar distances.

The way is to modify this interpolation formula to add some addidtional parameters. For example, for interstellar travels it is better to use power of 5 instead of 3. This power can be calculated using travelling distance and target radius.

Another way is think about hyperflight physics for game spaceship. It must include the "hyperspeed" dependency of the local gravitation fields, for example. Near a planet, the speed of the ship reduces, but far away from stars it increases. Playing with formulas will make good the aesthetic behaviour of autopilot.

PS: I plan to remove main menu from F1 key on the contrary smile Esc toggles main menu, like it does in most games.

*





 
RobbieDate: Wednesday, 17.08.2011, 10:02 | Message # 3
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Okay, so I gather from your explanation: We can't have a 'slow down' travel time. One can only hope to have these things added:) I was hoping something like this would add a more graceful travel experience in my next video. smile

I should mention my reason about the [Esp] key: When I use the [G] key to auto-pilot to an object, I'll hit the escape key to manually stop before auto-pilot can auto-stop me, but sometime I misjudge my timing on the stop, which sometimes coincides with the auto-stop which inadvertently brings down the drop menu. It's a silly mistake I make while recording, and coz I don’t want the drop menu in my video, I end up having to re-record it. It may be a good idea then then to put the manual stop on another key. but it would make more sense to keep it on the escape key.





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SpaceEngineerDate: Wednesday, 17.08.2011, 13:59 | Message # 4
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This is a dilemma. From one side the 'Esc' key is the 'cancel' button, so it's good for the auto-pilot brake function. But then from the other side, in many games the 'Esc' key brings up the main menu. In some games the menu is accessed by F10 key - is this a good solution? The 'F1' key is also often the 'help' key, and I prefer to reserve that for the inbuilt help menu or for the star browser (similar to the planet browser accessed by 'F2').

I also want to implement video recording without the HUD being rendered into screen-shots, the main menu will not rendered there too. But if you want to record video with the HUD displayed (as used in SE video manual, showing planet info etc), then you must use 'Esc' key carefully.

I also needs some hotkey to enable/disable the HUD rendering for video, and some kind of mode indicator for that. Any suggestions?

*





 
RobbieDate: Monday, 22.08.2011, 08:55 | Message # 5
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You could keep the drop menu on F1, and add the 'help' section to it, then that way we could keep [Esc] key assigned to manual stop.

Does everything have to be on hot-keys though? Why not just have your less frequently used commands and other such stuff added to sub-menus on the current drop-down menu and switch stuff on and off via check boxes within new dialogue boxes, then just keep appending the F1 menu with more sub-menus and have the hot-keys on the dialogue boxes. A rough example here:

File.........Navigation.........Time.........Settings........Help [F12].........menu-6..........menu-7
.....................................................................................................................Dialogue box [Ctrl F2]
.....................................................................................................................Dialogue box [Ctrl F3]
.
EDIT: Do you have keys currently in use that don't need to have commands actually assigned to them? These commands could be just accessed from dialogue boxes from the main menu instead. That will free-up more keys for more important tasks.

For the HUD in 'disabled' or invisibility mode, maybe a simple text label at top of screen that reads 'HUD in ghost mode' would suffice smile Or you could even have the HUD slightly transparent or in a different colour to indicate which mode it is in.





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SpaceEngineerDate: Monday, 22.08.2011, 10:06 | Message # 6
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Quote (Robbie)
EDIT: Do you have keys currently in use that don't need to have commands actually assigned to them? These commands could be just accessed from dialogue boxes from the main menu instead. That will free-up more keys for more important tasks.


I thought about removing the star/galaxy/planet toggling from keyboard (Y, U, I, O, P), because I actually use the F4 menu to toggle the objects rendering. There are many other keys that control rendering too, that do not need to be binded to those keys. Those key bindings came from a time then SpaceEngine had no GUI, and I needed it to control rendering in real-time for debugging purposes.

*





 
gpaw5765Date: Tuesday, 23.08.2011, 20:59 | Message # 7
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Perhaps a way to make acceleration/deceleration feel more natural would be to divide it into 3 different phases, something like this:

Sublight: 0 - c (take at least 5 seconds)
Interstellar: c - 1000 ly/s (take at least 5 seconds)
Intergallactic: 1000 ly/s - 10 Mps/s (take at least 5 seconds)

That would prevent planets and stars to appear too suddenly.





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RobbieDate: Friday, 30.12.2011, 11:16 | Message # 8
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*bump*

Sorry to resurrect this old thread again, but I was wondering if you had any new ideas on how to improve the slowdown speed to celestial objects when using the autopilot [G] key. Maybe something similar in idea to what gpaw5765 was suggesting here above.





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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Auto-pilot speed and other controls
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