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September 19, 2019, 03:59:35 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsZSPACE - First person galactic exploration and interior decorating
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Author Topic: ZSPACE - First person galactic exploration and interior decorating  (Read 15147 times)
NovaSilisko
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« Reply #200 on: August 08, 2019, 06:42:35 PM »

What system requirements are you targetting?

Mmmm that's tough to say right now. I have been trying to make it as scalable as I can get away with. Broadly speaking, I'd have to say medium-high spec?

Renderer-wise I'm trying to target DX11/12 and Vulkan features (although Unity's Vulkan compiler seems very fickle)... but ideally, it should run on hardware going back a few years easily, as long as it supports the relatively modern render features I'm using. I need to try and run it on some of the old hardware I've got laying around, like my GTX 760. That's I guess my personal minimum spec target - make it run reasonably well on my old computer.

For those sweet-looking bump-mapped planets, can you give a bit of info on exactly what's happening? Two spheres, one for ground one for atmosphere?

Soooort of, the planet surface is one mesh textured with colors and normals, while the atmosphere is rendered as a post-process effect. I specifically went the post-process route because otherwise I would have had to shoehorn the atmosphere shader into several other shaders (one for the atmosphere rim/sky, one for the planet surface, etc...) to get it to apply in all the correct places. It's nice having it all centralized.
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« Reply #201 on: August 08, 2019, 11:50:59 PM »

What system requirements are you targetting?

Mmmm that's tough to say right now. I have been trying to make it as scalable as I can get away with. Broadly speaking, I'd have to say medium-high spec?

Renderer-wise I'm trying to target DX11/12 and Vulkan features (although Unity's Vulkan compiler seems very fickle)... but ideally, it should run on hardware going back a few years easily, as long as it supports the relatively modern render features I'm using. I need to try and run it on some of the old hardware I've got laying around, like my GTX 760. That's I guess my personal minimum spec target - make it run reasonably well on my old computer.

For those sweet-looking bump-mapped planets, can you give a bit of info on exactly what's happening? Two spheres, one for ground one for atmosphere?

Soooort of, the planet surface is one mesh textured with colors and normals, while the atmosphere is rendered as a post-process effect. I specifically went the post-process route because otherwise I would have had to shoehorn the atmosphere shader into several other shaders (one for the atmosphere rim/sky, one for the planet surface, etc...) to get it to apply in all the correct places. It's nice having it all centralized.

How does it work as a post-processing effect? I've done similar stuff before previously, but I used two or more meshses; terrain, atmosphere, and sometimes a clouds sphere. I did this a while ago, but I'm not sure how I would go about it as a post-processing effect.

Just curious really.
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #202 on: August 09, 2019, 03:16:43 PM »

How does it work as a post-processing effect? I've done similar stuff before previously, but I used two or more meshses; terrain, atmosphere, and sometimes a clouds sphere. I did this a while ago, but I'm not sure how I would go about it as a post-processing effect.

Just curious really.

It's perhaps a bit contrived - all of the math for it is performed assuming it's spherical, and positioned at 0, 0, 0, and instead the camera projection data is transformed into an equivalent reference frame before rendering. It was a bit of trial and error, but the end result is that I can arbitrarily scale and position atmospheres that don't necessarily have any object they're attached to.

For the rendering itself, each atmosphere is done as a separate pass of the post-process shader. The shader itself is raymarched, and uses the depth buffer to interrupt the raycast, which is how terrain displacement affects it.

I might be missing something else you're asking, though. What specifically did you want to know?

Unrelated:



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« Reply #203 on: August 09, 2019, 10:28:19 PM »

I might be missing something else you're asking, though. What specifically did you want to know?

I think I understand now, thanks.
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #204 on: August 12, 2019, 07:23:04 AM »

Subbing to this!
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morgothpsilos
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« Reply #205 on: August 15, 2019, 05:44:05 AM »

Exploring space at your leisure? Decorate your ship to your heart's content? Shut up and take my Credits!  Grin

Yet another project that tickles my Trekkie heart the right way Kiss ... on my watch-list!  Blink O7
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« Reply #206 on: August 20, 2019, 07:47:05 AM »

Woke up before my alarm this morning, and my mind somehow wondered to this game.  This is what I came up with...  Evidently a big part of the characters MO is interior decorating.  What if his motivation for galactic exploration is to leave behind arranged furniture relics strewn across the galaxy for future generations to encounter and be inspired by?  The interior decorating would then need to allow for exterior.  Not all planetary environments would be suitable (uneven terrain and wind?).  Perhaps there would then be a way to *Zaap* stonify the arrangement for permanence, then take a polaroid and pin it on some sort of ship corkboard for posterity.
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #207 on: August 20, 2019, 03:17:11 PM »

Woke up before my alarm this morning, and my mind somehow wondered to this game.  This is what I came up with...  Evidently a big part of the characters MO is interior decorating.  What if his motivation for galactic exploration is to leave behind arranged furniture relics strewn across the galaxy for future generations to encounter and be inspired by?  The interior decorating would then need to allow for exterior.  Not all planetary environments would be suitable (uneven terrain and wind?).  Perhaps there would then be a way to *Zaap* stonify the arrangement for permanence, then take a polaroid and pin it on some sort of ship corkboard for posterity.

I don't really want to formalize any particular goal for the player, but if you want to make leaving furniture cairns across the galaxy into your personal mission, there's absolutely nothing stopping you.
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #208 on: August 21, 2019, 10:52:51 AM »

After lots of procrastination, I've been working on equippable items. The systems are the easy part, but I'm having a hard time working out how they ought to be interacted with.

Right now, your control scheme in the interior is fairly simple - left click to interact with objects, and right click to toggle mouselook and free your cursor. Equippable objects throw a wrench in this, though.

First you have to click on it to pick it up like a normal prop, then you press F to equip it. After that, you can press left mouse or middle mouse to activate its primary or secondary functions (because right mouse is taken by the mouselook toggle, and I would like the player to be able to still be able to free the mouse even when holding an item). Then you can press F again to un-equip it, returning it to your grasp like any other prop.

And... I dunno. It works, but it starts to feel over-complicated. I'd also like to have a way to holster an item and have it ready rather than having to drop it every time if you want to pick up a prop, which starts looking like another hotkey, and so on...
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #209 on: August 21, 2019, 11:09:25 AM »

It's a bit hard to visualize the problem you are describing. What would be an equippable item? something like a wrench? And interacting with objects would be like operating a control panel on a wall? If that's what you mean you can follow some previously used strategies. Most games have a non mouse button to interact with things, like E. Lots of FPS use E to open doors and push buttons etc, because it's right next to WASD. Then both mouse buttons are dedicated to equippable items.

I guess you have to try some alternatives and see which is the most convenient. In a game where you spend most of the time swinging a sword and every now and then opening a door, it makes sense to have E for door and mouse for sword, for example, but if using equippable items are much rarer than interacting with things then maybe it needs to be the other way around.

Another strategy would be making interacting with things an equippable itself, like... your hands. Equip your hands to push button. Sounds weird, but the idea is that there might be a way to centralize it all into a single system. Probably something better than my illustrative example.
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #210 on: August 21, 2019, 11:43:03 AM »

Yeah, sorry, I should detail a bit more. Let's rewind and talk about how all the interior interactions work at this point.

There's a few specific types of interaction that you can do -

- Interactables, the most basic thing. A button on the wall that turns on or off the light, for instance.
- Carryables, a prop that you can grab, manipulate, place, etc.
- Pushables, a larger prop that's too big to hold, so you have to push or drag it around
- Equippables, things that you specifically wield to use in a certain way, such as a camera, a scanning tool, a repair device, etc.

When manipulating a carryable object, ordinarily it will just stay hovering in front of you in a fixed position, think like object carrying in half-life 2. With mouselook off, the object follows your cursor, and you can use W/S, A/D and Q/E to rotate it in 3 axes to position it how you like. This specifically maps to the exact same axis arrangement that the spacecraft controls have for pitch, yaw, and roll, and so far feels pretty intuitive. That part I'm happy with. Of course, that does remove the convenient E key.

Pushable objects are grabbed from a certain point, and then you can move around to push or pull the object along with you. This was something of a pain in the ass to get working, but it feels quite nice now.

And lastly, equippable objects are a subset of carryable objects. They're interacted with in all the same ways - you can pick them up, rotate them, put them on your shelf all the same, but when holding it, if you press F (or whatever I decide on), it becomes equipped properly, which changes how your character operates somewhat. Since your hands are full, you can't pick things up or push things anymore, although you can still interact with buttons and such.

I'll say, it sounds more complicated when written out than it feels to actually use. I'm warming up to the way equippables work, although I'm still unsure of a few things. Adding some sort of holster button would be nice, although perhaps I could roll it into an existing key. The interact button (when not highlighting an interactable object) activates the primary item function, and middle mouse activates the secondary function if present (since right mouse is currently the mouse look button)

Obviously all the mentioned controls are rebindable, and I've made sure to separate them so you can have separate prop rotation controls from movement controls and ship rotation controls, etc. I don't want to streamline it too much because I like having the customizability, but obviously I don't want to overwhelm the player either...
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 11:53:38 AM by NovaSilisko » Logged

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« Reply #211 on: August 21, 2019, 02:51:54 PM »

You had me at visually simulating atmospheres. Love that one picture of the moon changing color behind the atmosphere of the earth!
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #212 on: August 21, 2019, 04:33:42 PM »

You had me at visually simulating atmospheres. Love that one picture of the moon changing color behind the atmosphere of the earth!

Thank you - I'm still trying to get it cooperating a bit more, though... There's some weirdness going on with some math that is out of my league, which results in this odd banding effect, and I think too high of visual density when you're down in the atmosphere:

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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #213 on: August 24, 2019, 10:21:04 AM »

Been getting distracted from interior-related stuff to once again start getting way too into making some space features...

Today: rings!

Populating tens of thousands of moving rocks is tough, but it's getting there.



166 FPS is pretty quick, but I can do better...

Edit:

And a lil more, slowly working toward making it properly fade into a distant mesh. It's not great, but maybe it will be eventually...





« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 09:45:04 PM by NovaSilisko » Logged

NovaSilisko
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« Reply #214 on: August 30, 2019, 04:35:53 PM »

Still toying with things. Today I made a new star shader!



I don't have a direct A to B comparison of the old stars and new ones, but this one is just objectively better in general. It's based off of actual stellar magnitude calculations; that's the most important part. Stars will look about as bright as they would in real life, and if I were to feed it data to match our sky, it wouldn't look too far off.

It's purely mathematically based, too, not using a star sprite like before, which makes it a lot more customizable than the old one.



Somehow doing the interior stuff transformed into overhauling a number of systems in the game, of which the stars are only one. So far I've done some major revisions to the astrodynamics system, am getting ready to restart the system generator, may possibly finally implement binary stars soon, and presently am redoing the star distribution and rendering from scratch...
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #215 on: August 30, 2019, 04:44:08 PM »

That's really cool! I've played too many space games where the stars are really disappointing to look at. Like, you can see the pixels of the texture. Are you planning on having exposure levels or anything like that?
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #216 on: August 30, 2019, 04:45:34 PM »

That's really cool! I've played too many space games where the stars are really disappointing to look at. Like, you can see the pixels of the texture. Are you planning on having exposure levels or anything like that?

I've been avoiding deciding on that for as long as I can, to be honest. Adding in HDR is a massive can of worms and a lot of work, but at the same time if it's pulled off properly it can look amazing, especially in the context of a space game where you're dealing with such massive differences between light and dark. I guess we'll have to see.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #217 on: August 30, 2019, 04:51:34 PM »

That's really cool! I've played too many space games where the stars are really disappointing to look at. Like, you can see the pixels of the texture. Are you planning on having exposure levels or anything like that?

I've been avoiding deciding on that for as long as I can, to be honest. Adding in HDR is a massive can of worms and a lot of work, but at the same time if it's pulled off properly it can look amazing, especially in the context of a space game where you're dealing with such massive differences between light and dark. I guess we'll have to see.

That's what I was thinking too. Then again, sometimes reality can be less interesting. People always get disappointed when they see pictures of the surface of the moon and can't see the stars.
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NovaSilisko
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« Reply #218 on: August 30, 2019, 04:59:06 PM »

That's really cool! I've played too many space games where the stars are really disappointing to look at. Like, you can see the pixels of the texture. Are you planning on having exposure levels or anything like that?

I've been avoiding deciding on that for as long as I can, to be honest. Adding in HDR is a massive can of worms and a lot of work, but at the same time if it's pulled off properly it can look amazing, especially in the context of a space game where you're dealing with such massive differences between light and dark. I guess we'll have to see.

That's what I was thinking too. Then again, sometimes reality can be less interesting. People always get disappointed when they see pictures of the surface of the moon and can't see the stars.

It's a funny thing, there - without any atmosphere, you actually can make out stars with your eyes in midday if you don't have anything else in view, you just have to let your eyes adjust. I think the apollo astronauts reported as much? (which the conspiracy theorists always try to use as some sort of gotcha, since the cameras don't)

I believe there's even some overexposed lunar surface pictures that let you see stars too, which is neat.
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« Reply #219 on: September 01, 2019, 10:22:48 PM »

I always wondered if one could "compress" the dynamic range of the eye down to what displays can handle, so that the player gets the actual image she would expect from her eyes. Or maybe everyone already tried that, and there's a good reason why nobody ships games with it.
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