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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » I suggest a goal shift (Change your objective)
I suggest a goal shift
andor734Date: Tuesday, 11.06.2013, 14:40 | Message # 1
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I've had a chance to look through Space Engine. I am very, very, very impressed.

A little about my interest in this project: I am a writer, predominantly science fiction. I have tried many times over the years to develop a software package that will allow me to create not only realistic solar systems in which my stories can take place, but also populate the skies of these alien worlds with unique constellations. I have found a number of packages, such as Astrosynthesis. But I find them lacking what Space Engine has, and find Space Engine lacking what they have. I really want to be able to explore my invented worlds, like Space Engine allows, and take images of, say, a gas giant rising above the horizon of it's habitable moon.

Therefore, I would like to suggest to SpaceEngineer, a change in his objective.

You have said that your aim is to create a game out of this - I assume a space simulator/RTS game? You also hope to commercialise it at some point as well. That's all well and good, but there is, as you are aware, a similar project currently on wheels. It is an MMO RTS called Infinity. Like yours, it looks extremely promising. However, they appear to be further ahead than you are on the road to commercialisation and construction of a game. Much of their work embeds a wide array of the features you intend to implement. This doesn't mean you can't commercialise, nor does it mean you shouldn't try. But it does mean you have a competitor, with a team of developers.

I think, from how I've analysed your work, Space Engine is more suited to a content creation tool, rather than an actual game. As has been suggested multiple times, you can isolate much of the procedural generation, editing, and rendering in a library, which can then be applied to manifold projects, including a game. There are many people who would love this tool for creation of worlds that can be imported into their own games, and people like me who want to use it for their constructed worlds in writing projects. So, if you were instead to make your objective with Space Engine to create a content creation tool (with the ability to export created star systems – or even galaxies) you could reach a much wider consumer market than if you simply made an RTS.

Additionally, even though this request has been made ad nausium, open-sourcing your project would be extremely beneficial. Speaking from experience, when a developer works solely on his/her own to implement such a huge list of desired features, it is only a matter of time before the project is permanently thrown into limbo. Releasing your code under a LGPL license would allow many other evidently enthusiastic contributors (myself included) to assist with the additional features you wish to implement. You could even pick only a few developers/volunteers to work in collaboration with (I volunteer).

If Space Engine were to be geared as a content creation tool, rather than just a game, I would be much more inclined to pay money for it – lots of money. I have tried for a long time to develop a tool like this, and now that I have found one that is only lacking in some of the features I desire, I would like to ensure that it does not fall into limbo.

Thank you so much, Space Engineer, for all your hard work.
 
DisasterpieceDate: Tuesday, 11.06.2013, 20:06 | Message # 2
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I may be wrong, but I believe his plan is to license the engine in the future.




I play teh spase engien
 
werdnaforeverDate: Tuesday, 11.06.2013, 20:34 | Message # 3
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I was under the impression myself that SpaceEngine would be less of a game and more of a simulation along the lines of Microsoft Flight Simulator X, or X-Plane 10. These are simulators people use for entertainment, a.k.a. a game. Since everything is meant to be as realistic as possible, including the planned spaceship simulations, there won't be anything comical or "gamelike" about this. I certainly don't see any reason why it couldn't be both.

Right now, SE is a graphics engine, and there are plenty of things that can be done with it. Multiple directions can be taken. You could have a planetarium program, simulator program, creation program, and even a shoot-em-up space game program all alongside each other.
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Tuesday, 11.06.2013, 21:43 | Message # 4
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Quote (andor734)
But I find them lacking what Space Engine has, and find Space Engine lacking what they have.

What exactly SE lacking in?

Quote (andor734)
But it does mean you have a competitor, with a team of developers.

Infinity is not a competitor to me, because SE will be a space flight and exploration simulation game (at first place), and Infinity is a trade/war arcade game at first place.

Quote (andor734)
I think, from how I've analysed your work, Space Engine is more suited to a content creation tool, rather than an actual game.

SE already can be used as content creation tool. It can export skyboxes, planetary textures, solar system scripts, and simply screenshots.

And why "rather than"? What prevents do both? If you noticed, there is an item in the main menu called "Planetarium". This is because there will be two other items - "Single player game" and "Online game".

Quote (andor734)
Speaking from experience, when a developer works solely on his/her own to implement such a huge list of desired features, it is only a matter of time before the project is permanently thrown into limbo.

This statement is unfounded. There are a lot of successful indie projects: Minecraft, Universe Sandbox, Orbiter, Angry Birds. Even Facebook was initailly a small project of a small group of students.

Quote (andor734)
Additionally, even though this request has been made ad nausium, open-sourcing your project would be extremely beneficial.

A lot of people want to have SE source code. But this is not what I want to do. I not just want to be rewarded for my work, I want to devote all my time to the development of SE. This is why I want to commercialize the engine. It would not fall into limbo in this case.





 
neutronium76Date: Tuesday, 11.06.2013, 22:41 | Message # 5
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Quote (andor734)
However, they appear to be further ahead than you are on the road to commercialisation and construction of a game


I don't think this is true. Can you download and play a demo of infinity now? Is there a planetarium mode of it? There are only some videos released every now and then. True, it does look very professional. But it lacks the size and magnitude of SE: SE simulates the whole universe. Infinity only simulates the Milky Way. Which is more than enough for its purpose. But more is always better wink . And that is the thing that is unique to SE: It's an accurate and realistic represantation of the current state of our universe! Let Space Engineer finish the engine. Let him bring it to ver.1 . And then there will be a multtude of options: Make an RPG mode, a space combat sim mode, a Space strategy mode, a simulation mode or a combination of the above! The possibilities are endless smile





PC1:Core i7 970@3.34GHz, 6 cores/12 threads, 12GB DDR3 RAM@1.34GHz, 2x(SLI) GTX-580 GPUs 3GB VRAM(GDDR5)@1GHz, OS:Win7x64SP1
PC2:Core2Quad X9770@3.2GHz, 2 cores/4 threads 4GB DDR2 RAM@1GHz, GTX-285 GPU 1GB VRAM(DDR3)@1.24GHz, OS:WinVistax64SP2


Edited by neutronium76 - Tuesday, 11.06.2013, 22:46
 
andor734Date: Wednesday, 12.06.2013, 06:02 | Message # 6
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Quote
There are a lot of successful indie projects: Minecraft, Universe Sandbox, Orbiter, Angry Birds. Even Facebook was initailly a small project of a small group of students.


First off, when Minecraft was first released, it didn't have nearly the number of features nor the robustness of the current version. Same goes for Universe Sandbox, Orbiter, and especially Angry Birds. And when facebook started, it was a very simple interface compared to the monster that it has become. Plus, you've listed only five cases. Go here for a comprehensive list of ambitious projects that have been in-development, Alpha, Beta, or Early Release for nearly a decade!

Quote
A lot of people want to have SE source code. But this is not what I want to do. I not just want to be rewarded for my work, I want to devote all my time to the development of SE. This is why I want to commercialize the engine. It would not fall into limbo in this case.


You won't make enough money from something like this to be able to give up your day job and work full time. The only way something like that happens is if you invent some new search algorithm, or revolutionary new data mining technique, and sell it to Google or something. Or invent some kind of new device, patent it, and then build a company to sell the product - even that's not something that can be achieved on one's own. I'm sorry, but it just won't happen. The best way these kinds of projects reach the robust and complete feature list you want is through the same way these have succeeded:


Quote
Let Space Engineer finish the engine. Let him bring it to ver.1


My concern is that he won't finish it. The project's he's listed were the lucky ones that set achievable goals. Quite frankly, when I saw the list of objectives he's set, I saw immediately that it's only a matter of time before it goes onto the backburner.

I want to see this project complete, because I want it for my own purposes. I'd happily pay money for it. But the best way to ensure it's completion is to have more than one developer working to complete the list of desired features. At the rate it's going, my fear is that it will end up perpetually in-development, put on hiatus until Space Engineer comes back to it one day, can't remember the train of thought he had that led to its current state, and if he's determined enough, start all over again, with completely changed technologies he'd have to learn.

That is the pattern I have gone through in my own work, and it's the pattern I've seen on dozens upon dozens of promising projects.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 12.06.2013, 07:42 | Message # 7
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Quote (andor734)
Plus, you've listed only five cases. Go here for a comprehensive list of ambitious projects that have been in-development, Alpha, Beta, or Early Release for nearly a decade!

Unnecessary; if one makes an absolute claim, only one exception must be presented to discredit the claim. He presented five.

Quote (andor734)
You won't make enough money from something like this to be able to give up your day job and work full time.

We'll see, but I don't think you can justifiably assert that. How much time have you spent learning about this program and its development? How much time have you spent in this community? I've been using SE for two years, and have been on this forum for most of that time, and I can assure you that Vladimir Romanyuk stands out from other developers, and that he deserves the benefit of the doubt here, nothing less. I personally will do everything I can to help him succeed, and I am confident that he can at least achieve his goal of making the SE game. Beyond that, time will tell, but I have high hopes for the future.

Quote (andor734)
I'd happily pay money for it.

That's great! We hope to begin the funding campaign in the relatively near future and would be grateful for your support. One of the goals is to raise enough money to be able to port SE to other operating systems and develop an SDK for other developers to build their own games from SE, in addition to finishing the Planetarium development and making the already-mentioned exploration game.

Quote (andor734)
That is the pattern I have gone through in my own work, and it's the pattern I've seen on dozens upon dozens of promising projects.

There is no doubt that this happens quite often, but it would be unwise to assume that it is inevitable in all cases. As with most things, there are exceptions. SE has been in consistent development for quite some time and has not slowed down its pace; if anything, the pace of development is accelerating.

I agree that having other developers help in the project could be greatly beneficial, but I don't know how that would be accomplished under the scope of Vladimir's vision, and I agree with him that open sourcing is not an option.





All forum users, please read this!
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SalvoDate: Wednesday, 12.06.2013, 10:28 | Message # 8
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
This is why I want to commercialize the engine. It would not fall into limbo in this case.


Really? I thought you would commercialize only the SDK biggrin
No problems for me, but you won't sell for 200$ like all those complicated simulators, right? wacko





The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

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(still don't know why everyone is doing this...)
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 12.06.2013, 11:25 | Message # 9
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Quote (Salvo)
Really? I thought you would commercialize only the SDK

That's partly what he meant...

The Planetarium is free. All other products, including SDK, will be paid.





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werdnaforeverDate: Wednesday, 12.06.2013, 14:50 | Message # 10
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
develop an SDK for other developers to build their own games from SE

This will really expand the possibilities with SE; allowing other devs to work without actually messing with the engine. This is the case with Orbiter... things like Orbitersound and terrain generation were made possible by this sort of thing.

Quote (Salvo)
No problems for me, but you won't sell for 200$ like all those complicated simulators, right?

I really hope I don't have to pay this for the normal package.

X-Plane is well known and recognized as a very advanced simulator. It's 70 dollars for the normal desktop software package. You can unlock some more advanced features in the program (for professional use) by paying hundreds more for different types of USB keys. For the mobile apps, they split it into a dozen different apps- it's a total ripoff.

There's also Google Earth. The normal version is free, but the professional version is several hundred dollars per year, and companies buy it for showing maps on news shows and all sorts of other things.

I think a free, basic planetarium alongside a paid home version around 70 or 80 dollars makes sense (I still think this version should be called "Unisim"). As for the SDK, I'm not really sure. Maybe it could be 80 or 90, but making it free would allow for any dev to work on the program for free (provided they bought it) and would let SE become more popular. Then, I can imagine a professional version would exist for several hundred dollars at least- the kind a company would buy for visualizations.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 12.06.2013, 15:12 | Message # 11
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Quote (werdnaforever)
I think a free, basic planetarium alongside a paid home version around 70 or 80 dollars makes sense (I still think this version should be called "Unisim").

Where are you coming up with these numbers from? What would someone be paying 70+ dollars for? The Planetarium is and will always be free, and no plans exist for a paid "premium" version, though I think that would be a good thing to make. But even then I don't a premium version of the planetarium being more than $10-20. And I doubt the SE game will be more than $20-40. I can't imagine him charging anything like $70+ for any SE product besides licensing for the engine if other devs use it for their games.





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werdnaforeverDate: Wednesday, 12.06.2013, 17:55 | Message # 12
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Where are you coming up with these numbers from? What would someone be paying 70+ dollars for? The Planetarium is and will always be free, and no plans exist for a paid "premium" version, though I think that would be a good thing to make. But even then I don't a premium version of the planetarium being more than $10-20. And I doubt the SE game will be more than $20-40. I can't imagine him charging anything like $70+ for any SE product besides licensing for the engine if other devs use it for their games.

Lots of AAA Games tend to be 50-60 dollars when released. When FSX was released, if i remember correctly it was around 60. Xplane 10 was 80. Granted, SE isn't a AAA big budget game, but its not far off IMO.

I'd rather pay 20 than 80, of course.
 
EnkiDate: Thursday, 11.07.2013, 23:02 | Message # 13
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
What exactly SE lacking in?


It is a little premature for him to call SE lacking when it hasn't even gone v1.0 yet.
What he is talking about is features in Astrosynthesis such as political affiliations, load different starmaps, and trade routes.

I understand where he's going. I'm a scifi writer too. He's just not doing a good job of getting there, figuratively speaking.

The ability to load different starmaps may also be useful in case someone is a Halo fan, Star Wars fan, Star Trek fan, and working on two scifis. Then again, I'm only working on one scifi and I don't care to have a fanmade scifi map on my computer, but what I may want to differentiate is between my scifi and reality.

It looks to me like the other two features are already on your todolist, although I couldn't find the multiple maps feature. I don't think any specific map should be confined to a small section of the universe though; that would take away from what SE is. Perhaps it could be a tag added to the catalogue file so you can switch between certain sets of systems in the view menu via a radio button, or choose not to include the fictional systems at all(although I could just imagine the mess in the catalogue folder if the user's organization skills are like mine wink ).

That's my two cents worth. Thanks for creating such an awesome simulator. smile





"If you arrive at a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong." - Ayn Rand
"It may be that our purpose on Earth is not to find God, but to create him." - Arthur C. Clarke


Edited by Enki - Thursday, 11.07.2013, 23:03
 
andor734Date: Monday, 15.07.2013, 11:00 | Message # 14
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Quote (Enki)
I understand where he's going. I'm a scifi writer too. He's just not doing a good job of getting there, figuratively speaking.

My major concern is that SpaceEngineer has set such a massive todo list for himself, he could very well lose interest before it's completed. Next thing, this site atrophies for a few years until he gets interested again, but by then technology would have changed, and he'd have to start all over again. I've seen it happen too many times with too many promising projects, simply because the developer is insistent on doing everything himself.

Maybe we can meet half-way: integrate the python or lua interpreter into the engine, so that others can write plug-ins that can implement the functionality they want.
 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » I suggest a goal shift (Change your objective)
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