how much of a planet can you explore?

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how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby Tamer » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:04 pm

I think this issue needs to be discussed. if a player can explore an entire planet, then space becomes a small part of the game, dwarfed by exploration on land. how do we determine where to draw the line?
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby ConnorY71 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:17 pm

It looks like it's going to be entire planets. Maybe there should be some kind of an allure to frequently return to space from the surface of a planet, such as space-traders.
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby Tamer » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:33 pm

if planets are too big, then you might get lost on the surface. there at least should be a way of finding your ship again, like a compass that points towards it.
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby Chance » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:08 am

Maybe we could have the equivalent of a tri-corder and include the compass on it.
Chess is a sport. A violent sport. - Marcel Duchamp.
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby ConnorY71 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:43 am

Tamer wrote:if planets are too big, then you might get lost on the surface. there at least should be a way of finding your ship again, like a compass that points towards it.

It's been mentioned before (not sure what the final plan is, though) that there would be as little heads-up-display as possible. Thus getting lost and not being able to find your ship could be a real possibility, unless you have a GPS or ship tracker or something. This would force the player to be well equipped and prepared before exploring, like explorers in real life. Plus it would take someone a very long time to travel across a planet the size of earth even in a vehicle (oceans break up the surface into smaller pieces, too), so losing your ship would be hard to begin with.
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby Nadrieril » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:42 pm

I don't know if the size of the planets has already been discussed, but they (and the rest of the universe too) could be much smaller than what we have in the solar system. With planets to scale (like earth-sized), either resources would be geographically scarse or the amount of resources per planet would be way too high. And you would never meet anyone. Even with a total surface equivalent to that of a (real-life) country, there would be more than enough place for everyone.
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby Chance » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:15 pm

You also have to think about the fact that making an earth sized planet with any amount of detail would a little drastic considering that this is a space game and, maybe a little hard on hardware, taking into account the the computers that the players may be using. To make it workable many things will have to be scaled down a lot the distances and sizes in real space are huge Things like planets will be scaled down The only the question is how much.
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby croxis » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:35 pm

Doing a full detailed planet with even modest hardware is possible via level of detail procedural methods, this is a solved problem. It really comes down to a few gameplay balance questions.
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby Nadrieril » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:41 pm

It still would take a lot of server memory or CPU, which is not good if we want people to be able to host small servers. Even with procedural generation, once you've modified parts of the planet, you have to store something in memory. But performance aside, it is indeed a gameplay question.
I agree with Chance, a lot of things would have to be denser than normal to make the universe interesting. To know how much, I think we need to tackle many questions about resources (what type, how much will be available, what a player needs to survive, how to harvest them, etc.) first...
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Re: how much of a planet can you explore?

Postby ConnorY71 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:07 pm

Nadrieril wrote:Even with procedural generation, once you've modified parts of the planet, you have to store something in memory.

As far as I know, once you generate a part of a planet, even just by visiting it, you have to store something in memory.
As for the scale of planets and the solar system on a whole, a "world editor" might come in handy. By default I think the solar system should be real-life scale, but if you want something smaller being able to scale the size of a system would be ideal.
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