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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Adding plant and planetary effects in Space Engine
Adding plant and planetary effects in Space Engine
DiakonovDate: Sunday, 28.08.2016, 17:34 | Message # 1
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I found a program called Doctor Who Universe 2.0, and it has interesting features, similar to Space Engine, and even more. The terrain is not flat like Celestia, but tridimensional, and also has sprites of procedurated rocks, trees, grass, crystals, underwater algae and even buildings on Earth. Things that lack in Space Engine. The idea is to implement these things to Space Engine. It don't need to be 3D, it can simply be 2D sprites. That would make planets with life a bit more interesting. It also has some 3d models of ships around some worlds. It can be old, but it's very similar to Space Engine and 3D models of some nebulae. It also has earthquakes (Io, etc), storms and snow falling from the sky effect (in Titan, Uranus, etc). Also it has 4 procedural universes to explore: N-space, E-Space, Etheral-Verse and Anti-Verse. You go from one to another through wormholes. Each one with a different background color. Seems to be a very complete simulator in itself.

Here's the link to download the program: https://sourceforge.net/project....%20v1.0

Here are some of the features:













































Space Engine would be better if it had some of the DCU features...

It would be nice if these procedurated objects only load when very near the surface of a planet or moon to not overload RAM. If it Works well in DWU, certainly it will work even better in Space Engine!

Not only these things, but sound effects would be really nice.

Now, imagine a mixture of DWU and Space Engine... cool cool cool cool cool


Edited by Diakonov - Sunday, 28.08.2016, 17:44
 
ShadowRaikouDate: Tuesday, 30.08.2016, 06:34 | Message # 2
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This looks amazing.
 
Destructor1701Date: Tuesday, 30.08.2016, 12:36 | Message # 3
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Yeah, holy crap, what a well-kept secret!

I was a snob about Doctor Who back then, so I probably would have ignored this at the time. I'm going to try it out - hopefully it runs on modern systems!

As to these features' feasibility in Space Engine, I think I know Space Engineer's personality and standards well enough to say that he wouldn't be completely satisfied with a sprites'n'billboards approach... but it could certainly form a vital part of creating convincing vegetation. It would still be a lot of work to code a system to sensibly and believably generate a sufficiently varied panoply of life throughout the universe - the examples in this program appear to be hand-designed, though I will investigate further.

The city layouts are similarly rather embryonic for SE's needs. It could easily be implemented to this standard now in SE, but I think again that Vladimir will want to debut any Space Engine city generator at a far higher level of complexity and variety. Not only in terms of building style, architecture and city layout, but in terms of location and logistical design: Does this civilisation use roads, or are they flight-capable creatures who stack their cities vertically? Do they like to be near rivers and shores, or do they prefer active volcanoes, floating cloud fortresses or biophillic habitats in dense jungle?





 
DiakonovDate: Tuesday, 30.08.2016, 14:30 | Message # 4
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Well, to develop a more complex system of sprites, models, effects and sounds, we need to start developing using the simple first to the next version of Space Engine, then in future versions, even more complex approaches. If the creator of Space Engine don't try the simple first, he will never develop what would satisfy him more. Space Engine don't have any single sprite texture of vegetation to start with. So having it will be used to make a more advanced step in this process in future versions.
 
Destructor1701Date: Tuesday, 30.08.2016, 17:28 | Message # 5
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That's true, but sprites are extremely simple. Space Engineer could implement them tomorrow if he wanted to. He probably will use them in some way during the initial stages of internal development of planetary flora, but I just doubt such simple plant life would make it into a public release. He'd want it to be more impressive, more boundary-pushing before releasing it for public testing.

What wouldn't surprise me, sprite-wise, is to see a procedural stem/trunk growing algorithm creating the structure of plants dotted around the environment, with sprites or geometry membranes for the foliage - sprites/membranes with procedurally generated selectively-transparent (ie, the parts that aren't leaves are transparent) leaf textures.

The stem and texture generation system would make their plants taking into account the local gravity, atmospheric density and chemistry, type of sunlight, and presence or absence of fauna (which I don't expect to actually see, à la No Man's Sky, for a long time).

EDIT:

I've tried DWU 2.1. It's reasonably impressive for the time, but I can see why it didn't gain any traction in its day.
The control scheme is dire.

A and Z move you forwards and backwards and the arrow keys turn you (but the input is taken using text-input functions, meaning it acts like a text editor when you hold down the key - an initial move, and then stepped movement after a pause : "Left... LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT!!!"
The FOV is very narrow so it's easy to get lost just turning around - there are keys to increase and decrease FOV, but that leads to graphical artefacts, and the UI gives you very little feedback on your movement or orientation.

What's worse is that the manual is incomplete - it lists a section on controls in the TOC, but it's not there. I had to fumble around with the keyboard to figure it out.

That all conspires to make it very hard to appreciate the actual universe.

Do you have any tips on how to get around more naturally?







Edited by Destructor1701 - Tuesday, 30.08.2016, 17:37
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Tuesday, 30.08.2016, 17:55 | Message # 6
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Even NMS uses flat 2D sprites for grass and some flowers.




Intel Core i7-5820K 4.2GHz 6-Core Processor
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC 6GB
 
ShadowRaikouDate: Wednesday, 31.08.2016, 04:00 | Message # 7
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Quote DoctorOfSpace ()
Even NMS uses flat 2D sprites for grass and some flowers.


Exactly. Flat 2D sprites for such minor things is a proven concept that works and looks good.

Also, rock scatter like KSP could also look good?

 
SalvoDate: Wednesday, 31.08.2016, 06:26 | Message # 8
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Quote ShadowRaikou ()
rock scatter like KSP could also look good?

What I don't like about it in KSP is that they tend to appear too late, so you can look at them appearing. But I think it might work on SE as well.





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

CPU: Intel Core i7 4770 GPU: ASUS Radeon R9 270 RAM: 8 GBs

(still don't know why everyone is doing this...)
 
ShadowRaikouDate: Wednesday, 31.08.2016, 10:39 | Message # 9
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On a side note, if this program has "accurate" data, how awesome would a SE Doctor Who addon be?
 
gamadhDate: Saturday, 01.10.2016, 19:36 | Message # 10
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procedural sprites of plants and rocks? is
 
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