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Joined: Aug 04, 2003 Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:15 pm Post subject:
If you want larger stars to generate more supplies, you could always place fake invisible stars inside them or something... Wouldn't help much for artificially creates stars though That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet! Back to top
Hmm, fake invisible stars, eh? Sounds interesting. How would you do that exactly?
More stars, and one Artificial 'planet'... Here we see White & Yellow-White stars which are larger than our sun... And the first of the 'Giant' stars... You'll notice that 3 of the stars have distorted shapes, that's because they are spinning so fast they are deforming due to centrifugal force... What effects such spinning stars would have on their systems is an interesting question... Ideas, anyone?
Iain M. Banks' Culture novels (which, to me, seem rather odd & difficult to follow) include what are called "Orbitals" - ring-shaped structures, which are far smaller than Ringworlds, but also far larger than Halo artifacts... Halo was inspired by Banks' Culture Orbitals... (And, no doubt, Orbitals were inspired by Niven's Ringworld.) Orbitals vary in size and may have 20 to 120 times the surface area of Earth, with a population of many billions... Although I'm using the SE5 ringworld graphic, Orbitals are supposed to have a 'hub' in the center of the ring that houses the AI "Mind" that controls the Orbital... Back to top
No model as in no model file assigned to it? Or as in it has a model file, but the model has no geometry? I haven't actually gotten far enough to look at the system/quadrant data files... I'm still trying to organize the textures for my new planets... Back to top
Huh, well that's cool. I never would have guessed. I would have figured not pointing it at a model would lead to error messages and such...
Giant stars & Supergiant stars, and the two largest types of Artificial 'planets'... Exactly where the dividing line between Giants & Supergiants is, I don't know... Larry Niven's Ringworld encircles a sun-like star at about 1 AU... With a width of 1.6 million km, it has a surface area of some 3 million Earths... With Earth-like conditions, it could support a population in the quadrillions... The Sphereworld shown here is scaled to match the one in the ST:TNG episode "Relics"... It is stated to have a surface area equal to "250 million M-class worlds." Assuming Earth-like conditions, this could allow it to support a population of more than one quintillion... Which begs the question of how high a population can reasonably be included in the game...? Also of interest is whether or not Ringworlds & Sphereworlds should be "Constructed = True", or should they be random artifacts of older races which can be fought over...? Back to top
Well, constructed = true is awkward since true requires it to be built using the creation function and prevents it from spawning at random. Conversely setting it to false prevents the size from being spawned as a player-made construct.
You could probably fake it by making two sizes that are functionally identical, just with slightly different names.
What's the difference between giant, super-giant, and hyper-giant? I think it's largely arbitrary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supergiant It's one of those where they pick a size, and say anything larger is one thing, and anything smaller is another... I think. I'm not actually sure what the dividing line is exactly. Back to top
Yep, it's time for the BIG ones... And before anyone asks, the reason why UY Scuti isn't listed, is because years ago when I first gathered info for scale charts, NML Cygni was listed as the largest... And, in fact, with a margin of error of +/- 192 Solar radii, UY Scuti might be smaller than either of these hypergiants. Oh, and though there wasn't room for it, the original theatrical version of ST:TMP had the V'Ger energy cloud at 12.3 billion km. Even if we found a model, I don't imagine we'd want it displayed at that scale in the game!
This final chart shows two of the largest Supergiant stars and two examples of the largest stars of all; Hypergiants. With the 2 largest Artificial 'planets' for comparison, this shows how fantastically huge these stars are... But, as large as they are, they still fall far short of the size of an entire solar system... This opens the question of whether system maps in the game should be enlarged or not...? And also how large or small should the models of stars and planets be in system view...? Back to top
I always think of the display as a HUD. Thus it's basically not meant to be to scale. But... that means I'd happily downscale some stars. the big red ones in game are basically hypergiants. It really makes more sense to me if sun-sized stars were ONE hex, and smaller stars simply had smaller models, for the really tiny "stars" maybe not even have a blocked hex radius? Back to top
Sounds reasonable. By the by, I've been reconsidering the atmosphere of Irregular planets... I'm thinking that the process of 'terraforming' an Irregular could be really destructive... To change its composition, you'd basically have to tear it apart and put it back together... That could explain it changing shape... And only a few of the models would look right with textures other than those for asteroids/comets. Back to top
Also, to give greater variety...and due to the fact I'm already breaking compatibility with stock/other mods by having custom planet types...I'm currently planning on having lots of custom atmosphere types... As I mentioned some time back, there are problems with keeping things...thematically correct. Cardassians breathe oxygen, but also like the heat - and Cardassia is a desert world... There's every chance they'll spawn on an oxygen planet with an ice world texture... And, to take an example, humans can survive on desert planets or ice planets, but neither would support a large population... So, I'm looking at it this way - there should be "Oxygen Ice" atmospheres, "Oxygen Desert" atmospheres, "Oxygen Terran" atmospheres, etc., etc... Back to top
Joined: Aug 04, 2003 Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:32 pm Post subject:
Ooh, and it will also have the side effect of making non-native planets always domed (since presumably gas giants don't exactly have "desert" or "ice" terrain)... That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet! Back to top
I was already planning on gas giants being limited to Hydrogen atmospheres...and I planned on their domed figures being a bit higher than others... So, what do y'all think would be a good domed percentage? 10% of Max.? 20? 25? 50? 75? And/or should atmosphere modification plants be cheaper? If an Earth-like planet can comfortably support 5 billion pop. indefinitely, how many could a desert or ice world support? Back to top
Another question... Does anyone have a preference on poly count for planets & stars? How smooth do you like the curve on your worlds?
These are the models for planets that I have to work with... I've tried making my own, but the textures never look right on them...
1: 528 polys, this model is customized for certain textures, so most don't look right on it...
2: 1,740 polys, a stock SE5 model...
3: 760 polys, another stock model...
4: 960 polys, a third stock model... All stock models are 'upside-down'...but that's easily fixed.
5: 1,380 polys, this model is 'backwards'...
6: 224 polys, everything works, but it's not very curvy...
7: 288 polys, backwards as well, but it is also meant for specific textures...
8: 320 polys, I like the way this one has a jagged seam, which allows me to see if the texture wraps smoothly... It looks fairly round, given how low poly it is...
9: 528 polys, also backwards...
10: 960 polys, no problems...
It's worth pointing out that backwards or even upside-down doesn't matter one way or the other for most textures, but for others, it will be very noticeable... I'm not totally sure how much poly count matters for performance, but I'm leaning towards using the 320 poly model... Another thing I'm thinking of doing is having a transparent cloud layer on top of the actual planet itself... Thoughts/Opinions? Back to top
Well, it's good to remember that models need to be low enough poly count that you can display at least two dozen without noticeable lag. It's very unusual to have the game only draw one object. A solar system often has more than a dozen objects, and they all get drawn at once along with whatever ships are in system.
So maybe test your stuff by making a custom system that puts 30 or so of the model in the system all at once? Back to top
Given that the stock game uses the 760 poly model for all planets & stars (except ringed planets, which use a 960 poly sphere), I've opted for the 320 poly model... Seeing as I'm going to double that on some of them... What bothers me more is the textures... Stock planet & star textures are 256x256... Most of the textures I've gathered are much larger... On the one hand, I worry that shrinking them will ruin the quality... On the other hand, I'm already doubling the textures by adding a cloud layer to most planets... Then again, on the gripping hand; if they aren't pretty to look at, then what's the point...? Hmm... Back to top
Does anybody know whether resolution or file size is more important when it comes to textures? I know SE5 can use BMP or JPG... But a 256x256 stock BMP is nearly 200 kb, while a 512x256 JPG is under 150 kb... I just wondered if it's better to stick with a lower resolution, or if the smaller file size would make larger textures viable without hindering performance...? Back to top
Joined: Aug 04, 2003 Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:23 pm Post subject:
Higher resolution will obviously look better, but I don't think the smaller file size of JPEG will improve performance any, since the textures will have to be decompressed in video memory. That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet! Back to top
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