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Severing voxels from a construct

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Based on this video that shows players walking on a flying platform, if you look closely you can see that Core Unit is not directly connected to the construct, it is hovering just below it. This indicates that having disconnected parts of a construct does not influence the behavior of the construct. When forces are applied to the construct as a whole, and disconnected parts will still move with the whole.

 

Bearing in mind that this is a pre-alpha build, it seems that this is something that should be changed soon, and I would hope that the dev’s are planning on it. Allowing the different parts of a construct to be completely disconnected from the core unit, and other parts of the ship for that matter, will lead to some strange designs and exploits, not to mention being unrealistic. In a game like space engineers when building the disconnected piece would go floating off, but since severing pieces in DU doesn’t create a new construct this won’t happen. This can be avoided during construction by making it so that when you delete a segment that connects a part of the ship to the core unit, the now disconnected section is also deleted.

 

This also has implications for combat and destruction, where it seems that severing parts of a construct would be a pretty common occurrence. Personally, I’m okay with there being, severed parts moving along with a construct after it has been damaged. Ideally however, this debris would float off / or despawn after being detached from the ship. This would require them to be considered a separate construct, but they would lack a core unit. Hard to know whether that it is feasible though. Thoughts on this topic?

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Yeah I believe in the DU Explorers interview with JC he confirmed this, because having it split into multiple constructs (like Space Engineers) would be too computationally expensive for an MMO. Not sure what it will look like in final game, if voxels can be destroyed and disappear, or if they just become damaged and not disappear.

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No idea how they plan to do it, but I prefer whatever that will allow us to play without lags. Some tasks can be very consuming and I seek many things, but absolute realism isnt one of them. I mean, it would be nice, but not when it would render the game unplayable.

 

Also instead of focusing on cutting ship in half, you will more focus on destroying specific parts which is easier to handle for devs than being 100% realistic with all the floating debris. No matter how damaged, ship will still be one object moving at once. And if you severely damage it, it will be big piece of floating debris:-) Its ok.

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maybe it's just the actual hitbox of the element, that is not ready

 

Could be, but I think I've seen other instances of this in their videos.

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Yeah I believe in the DU Explorers interview with JC he confirmed this, because having it split into multiple constructs (like Space Engineers) would be too computationally expensive for an MMO. Not sure what it will look like in final game, if voxels can be destroyed and disappear, or if they just become damaged and not disappear.

The way we will likely see this implemented, is in the construction process, each of the elements of a construct will have to be connected. On the other hand, if a part of a construct is damaged "severing" it from the rest of the construct, we will see one of two outcomes.

 

1. The "severed" section is still effectively connected to the rest of the construct, and moves with it despite the voxels holding it on being destroyed. This is probably the most likely outcome, and even though it will be visually jarring for the elements at the end of my wings to continue functioning despite having lost a slice of that wing, it will allow players to construct ships that don't look like cubes or cylinders without fear of losing key components to minor damage. There is a break in immersion, but it can be explained away by having shields maintain structural integrity.

 

2. The "severed" section vanishes as part of the damage. Repairs will be a matter of restoring a construct to its "complete" form, so rounding-up damage like severed parts could work by simply considering anything no longer attached to the core unit destroyed. I don't think this is the likely solution since it'll require more work server-side, since the game will have to check for disconnected parts every time damage is applied, and for rapid fire weapons (like a scatter lazer or gatling gun), that will be a lot of checks. This kind of mechanic would heavily influence ship design, we might just see a whole lot of cube-of-doom ships like in Space Engineers.

 

3. Another possibility when CVC drops is having the damage allocation not fully destroy any voxels, only distort and damage them unless the elements attached are also destroyed.

  • For example, lets say I've got an arm on the underside of my ship where my landing gear and Gatling gun are attached. If the arm receives damage, the voxels in that area would get bent-up and twisted (to show that they are damaged, and would-be destroyed) but they don't vanish entirely because the gatling and landing gear are still intact. Then when the arm is hit again, the system re-assigns those hits further down the arm (adjacent to the destroyed voxels), damaging the gatling gun and landing gear. When the gatling gun and landing gear are both destroyed, the whole arm vanishes, as there is no longer any healthy voxels or intact elements left.

This idea of re-assigning hits to intact areas instead of severing sections would maintain immersion.

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Not a bad idea, although I doubt we would see something to that level of detail at the launch of the game.

 

But anything is possible!

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So when talking to JC, as some of you heard, this fact is completely set in stone pretty much, as it's both a performance sacrifice and gameplay enhancement. We know for a fact that there will be hull repairs and so on, but the fact is that voxels are connected to their core no matter if they are physically attached to it. Popular examples of this include Starmade, a game where you build a core, construct voxels around it and some more. The principle of voxels not having to have direct attachment is the same, and it works out fine.

 

It's something that while I can not say on with sure knowledge, I am very certain that this voxel system won't change or have different attributes to affect it.

 

However, with the knowledge that there will be connections between systems, you don't have to worry about people building disconnected engines. 

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Based on this video that shows players walking on a flying platform, if you look closely you can see that Core Unit is not directly connected to the construct, it is hovering just below it. This indicates that having disconnected parts of a construct does not influence the behavior of the construct. When forces are applied to the construct as a whole, and disconnected parts will still move with the whole.

Whoa how can i miss that cool videos, i think i already watched all Dual Universe-related videos on Youtube  :rolleyes:

Well anyways, was the Core Unit supposed to be a thing that hold up the entire construct ?

I found that strange if it located below the construct and hovering below it  :wacko:

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I am not exactly sure what purpose the core-unit would serve other then creating the construct. Maybe i have missed som information about this, but would it not be possible to make it invisible (like a on/off toggle) so it at least would look better? 

 

Regarding your idea of splitting a construct in to two constructs, i am thinks it is a good idea but it like some else mentioned it would be to power consuming in a MMORPG. At least i think i heard that somewhere. 

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There has been some talk about the combat mechanics I mentioned at the end, and I agree with the points made. My main point was actually that ships should not have disconnected parts initially. This could be achieved by modifying the construction tools slightly. I presume that the current system allows you to, for example, add a wing to your spacecraft, attach an engine element to the end of the wing, and then delete the wing without destroying the attached engine. It shouldn't be too hard to implement a modification to the delete tool that deletes the entire disconnected section along with the wing. The entire portion that was about to be deleted would be highlighted with red before deleting in order to avoid mistakes. The section that is not deleted would be the one with a connection to the core unit.

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There has been some talk about the combat mechanics I mentioned at the end, and I agree with the points made. My main point was actually that ships should not have disconnected parts initially. This could be achieved by modifying the construction tools slightly. I presume that the current system allows you to, for example, add a wing to your spacecraft, attach an engine element to the end of the wing, and then delete the wing without destroying the attached engine. It shouldn't be too hard to implement a modification to the delete tool that deletes the entire disconnected section along with the wing. The entire portion that was about to be deleted would be highlighted with red before deleting in order to avoid mistakes. The section that is not deleted would be the one with a connection to the core unit.

This type of system would be ideal. We will probably see something like this at some point, but it might not make it into the Alpha for example.

 

On the flip side, it might be OK to have disconnected parts of a construct part of the same grid. It really depends on what kind of Sci-Fi we are expecting here. Having "floating" parts is acceptable for high-scifi, since a theoretical SOMETHING is holding everything in place. As long as it was consistent, it would give builders some neat tools to work with. I'd use it if it were an option, though I'd prefer it not be since it could affect ship and station construction in an odd way.

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