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Voxel Tools: Pre-Alpha Game Design

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Hi Kiklix and Lady_Astrum !

 

You made some very valid points there.

Indeed, "Voxelmancy" is a word that could interpreted negatively, or at least seen as intimidating, discouraging.

As we try to promote an easier way to promote voxel manipulation, well, it makes sense to find another word defining it.

 

Thanks a lot for your feedback!  "voxelmorph" and "voxelmorphing" have been noted.

We will discuss about it in the team :)

 

Best Regards,

Nyzaltar.

Sorry for late reply, did not see your post till now. 

 

I hope I did not come across as argumentative or being adamant about superimposing my opinion on the topic. I have been told by someone close to me that my posting often comes across as stern, forceful, harsh, rigid. I believe honesty is the best policy and my approach to any given topic is generally to impress the observed and documented facts surrounding the topic that I have witnessed. I have to make sure all my bases are covered with the work I do, this mindset often finds its way into my everyday routine....I guess I like to make sure all the options are on the table to help ensure clear and concise decisions can be made. I often ramble on as well....

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I like Voxelmorph a lot.

 

 some kind of voodoo.  

 

People shouldn't have to go out of the game to learn how to build if possible.   So maybe some kind of system that allowed players to create in game building tutorials might be the answer.  What if you could record a hologram of your character performing a few building steps then add instructions to it and save it in game somehow. 

 

That might be too complicated to make happen but it would be cool :D   

 

 

VooDoo, that is a perfect word to describe how I felt about it as well. The namesake feels mystical, magical, but not necessarily technical (and the connotations that go with magical, mystical, or voodoo seemed to embody the art of "voxelmancy")

 

I agree that people should not have to use any outlet outside of the game to find all this stuff. Had all the voxelmancy been under a single website umbrella like Wowhead is to wow, then it would not be so bad. When the sources of the tutorials span 6-10 social media outlets it becomes intimidating, which is a turn off to new players and even some veterans. I don't want to see people turned off in Dual. 

 

 

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I think Atmospheric captures what I mean. That voxelmancy refers to what was originally unintended. All of the clever things we can do now with voxels in the other game was an accident. Even the dev's had no idea these various new tricks could be used to manipulate voxels. That is good in a way because everyone can see what is possible but for usability for the average player the tools themselves are more user friendly.

 

That said, for all we know we may discover unintended voxels techniques in DU as well. Voxels seem to have a mind of their own, not the big unchangeable ones like Mine craft obviously, but smaller more manipulatable ones like Space Engineers, Landmark and perhaps many others. It could just be the nature of the beast that voxels are unpredictable in unforeseen ways.

 

I know I've personally made things I like by taking advantage of the unpredictability and experimenting in different ways.

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Or instead of voxel-anything maybe the term should be a little more generic and less exotic and intimidating like fabrication or manufacturing. If you mean just the smaller aspects of voxel manipulation then just call it detailed fabrication or detailed manufacturing.

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Sorry for late reply, did not see your post till now. 

 

I hope I did not come across as argumentative or being adamant about superimposing my opinion on the topic. I have been told by someone close to me that my posting often comes across as stern, forceful, harsh, rigid. I believe honesty is the best policy and my approach to any given topic is generally to impress the observed and documented facts surrounding the topic that I have witnessed. I have to make sure all my bases are covered with the work I do, this mindset often finds its way into my everyday routine....I guess I like to make sure all the options are on the table to help ensure clear and concise decisions can be made. I often ramble on as well....

 

Do not change the way you give your feedback.

 

We want honesty above all, even if the feedback seems harsh, as long as the tone is respectful for all involved people (and so far your feedback has always been totally ok regarding this). Some studios want to see only cheers, praises and positive feedback. We don't: we want to see all the feedback, the good and the bad. While having only the positive part usually has a positive effect on the dev team morale, it has also a very bad effect: The communication between players and devs become biased, some players who can raise legitimate concerns remain silent and this can lead the development in a wrong direction while it could have been avoided with honest, transparent communication going both ways (Devs to Players and Players to Devs).

 

We can't promise we will always agree with your position (and if we don't, we will explain why), but we will always want to have the complete feedback, not just the part who make us happy. It's only with honest discussions that we can improve.

 

So in short,

Never hesitate to speak what's on your mind, as long as it's in a respectful way.

And that goes for any community member :)

 

Best Regards,

Nyzaltar.

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Do not change the way you give your feedback.

 

We want honesty above all, even if the feedback seems harsh, as long as the tone is respectful for all involved people (and so far your feedback has always been totally ok regarding this). Some studios want to see only cheers, praises and positive feedback. We don't: we want to see all the feedback, the good and the bad. While having only the positive part usually has a positive effect on the dev team morale, it has also a very bad effect: The communication between players and devs become biased, some players who can raise legitimate concerns remain silent and this can lead the development in a wrong direction while it could have been avoided with honest, transparent communication going both ways (Devs to Players and Players to Devs).

 

We can't promise we will always agree with your position (and if we don't, we will explain why), but we will always want to have the complete feedback, not just the part who make us happy. It's only with honest discussions that we can improve.

 

So in short,

Never hesitate to speak what's on your mind, as long as it's in a respectful way.

And that goes for any community member :)

 

Best Regards,

Nyzaltar.

 

 

Thank you very much! I believe as well that giving nothing but praise can cause complacency in an artist, designer or developer. It's one thing to give praise when we are on the right track, but without a solid critique (feedback), we may not learn how to correct our weaknesses into strengths.   :D

 

 

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Hello Nyzaltar and community,

 

erm.. in my opinion.. many games out of the Sandbox corner with building tools have an extremly big voxalized grid .. and that restricts your imagination a lot.

 

Will it be possible to build ingame with finer (e.g. smaller voxel grid) tools?

 

Greetings

 

The Spacemonkey

 

 

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Hello Nyzaltar and community, erm.. in my opinion.. many games out of the Sandbox corner with building tools have an extremly big voxalized grid .. and that restricts your imagination a lot. Will it be possible to build ingame with finer (e.g. smaller voxel grid) tools? Greetings The Spacemonkey

 Luckily, early in the thread they stated man-made voxels are planned to be around 25cm. Comparing that to the average sized person's height is about 7-8 voxels. At that size you can create quite a bit of detail.

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as i am new here i don't expect to have my opinions placed highly by the devs, or my fellow forum posters.

 

voxelmorph sounds much more Sci-fi than fantacy compared to voxelmancy.

 

i also like the more generic terms suggested by  Squishimus 

"more generic and less exotic and intimidating like fabrication or manufacturing"...ect

 

i do like the discussion taking place around "voxel boards" though i have very little experience in this realm (limited to that cube style game about mining...)

and i am not sure that even roughly qualifies. i might check out some of the other games to get a better feel of what is being discussed.

 

one thought that quickly occurred to me was that at least for building some things some sort of "space dock gantry" might be kind of fun and in that case might lessen the anti-imersion effect. picturing a scenes from star trek (and a few other) movies where the ship was seen to be built in a giant "cage". again this does not work for every type of build. and considerations would have to be made for size, and perhaps artistic protrusions that may not fit in a particular "cage".

 

perhaps a handful of size and shape choices for something like this? there are probably plenty of similar concepts that would work for other build types as well that are just no occurring to me at the moment or i do not like them myself so not wanting to share.... what the heck, it may spark a good idea in someone else. in many construction projects for buildings the actual structure is surrounded by scaffolding while the project is under way. one positive note on something like this is that it can be set up or configgured in many different ways depending on need.

 

this may be a nightmare to program but there may be something better to come out of the discussion.

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Hi Obstinance and welcome on our forum! :)

 

Don't worry, we also value greatly opinions from players new to the genre:

To have fresh eyes on the topic give us some precious information.

If what is explained seems to obscure to new comers, then we have to work more on it in order to make it easier to understand ;)

So yes, your opinion is very important too for the devs!

 

To describe shortly the current gameplay:

 

The first brick of a construct is represented by a Core Unit.

The Core Unit, according to its type, defines the size of a Building Zone (what you call "the cage"), and is placed in its center.

We have also a 3D holographic grid displayed around the Building Zone to make it easier for builders to see where are its limits, and how many voxels they are from the said limits. For technical reasons and many specific situations, we can't allow a Builder to extend a construct outside of its Building Zone. If the builder needs more space to create artistic protrusions, he must anticipate the size of the necessary Building Zone, protrusions included when deploying the Core Unit type. If the Builder has underestimated the size and is really advanced in the building process, there "might" be a way to work around in the future, by copy/pasting the main part of the construct to a bigger Building Zone, but I can confirm it yet, as the Select/Copy/Paste Tool is still under development, so it's hard to tell right now which will be its final specs.

 

I hope this answers to your questions on the topic.

If not, or if you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask :)

 

Best Regards,

Nyzaltar.

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Ok, so I have seen videos on voxel farm of the voxels being placed and rotated off grid.  Is this something we will be able to do in DU? Or will it be more like landmark where the facings/placements are locked to a XYZ directional grid..

 

Hope I am explaining this correctly.

 

Also will your voxels have gravity effects on planets and such, If I break a line of voxels at one end, will the voxel at the other unsupported end, drop and fall to the surface, possible rolling downhill??

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Ok, so I have seen videos on voxel farm of the voxels being placed and rotated off grid.  Is this something we will be able to do in DU? Or will it be more like landmark where the facings/placements are locked to a XYZ directional grid..

Hope I am explaining this correctly.

 

 

Hi Daddio!

 

While at some point we pondered the possibility to use Voxelfarm, we didn't in the end.

We are now using our own voxel engine. About your question, I'm not sure what you mean by "rotating off grid". In a building zone, you will be able to rotate any Element before putting it on some voxel shape. At the moment, the rotation is made with the mouse wheel, so it's not a fixed 90 degree turn. But we are talking about Elements here, not voxels. Rotating a group of voxels isn't possible at the moment, but it should be implemented when the Voxel Elements will be introduced ingame. At the moment, the Voxel team is busy polishing planetary procedural generation for... something coming soon :D

 

Also will your voxels have gravity effects on planets and such, If I break a line of voxels at one end, will the voxel at the other unsupported end, drop and fall to the surface, possible rolling downhill??

 

The answer is: unfortunately, no. And it won't change any time soon. If you dig under some voxels, they will stay at their place.

This is something possible to handle and simulate in small areas... but not yet possible to handle in a single-shard universe, where the planets are not instanced but really in the same sandbox. The necessary computer power is just too much if you do that with, let's say... a mountain? Maybe someday when the technology will have evolved enough?

 

Best regards,

Nyzaltar.

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Hi Kiklix,

 

Sorry for the late reply.

Yes, this is something the team has already considered.

Right now, for development time constraint reasons, you place voxels by using a first person cross hair, pretty much because, by default, the game will be in First Person view. We understand having Third Person view and being able to use the mouse pointer to build voxel constructions are far more user-friendly on a building aspect. We want to implement that in game, but it's very unlikely we will have that in the Alpha version of the game.

 

I will keep the community informed on the subject as things evolve on this matter.

 

Best regards,

Nyzaltar

 

 

Just an update. You know I have been playing minecraft lately, so I have been building in first person. I think I almost prefer it vs the 3rd person view of landmark. The third person view has its perks, but I also love being forced into first person in MC and being able to navigate small builds. It's amazing how much larger a build gets when you are in first person.

 

Anyhow, I do not feel that first person building is going to stifle my creativity like I originally felt it might. I am actually excited about seeing builds from 1st person view...they simply take on a much grander scale. :D

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It's true that First Person have some strong advantages: in this view, we feel it's a lot more easy to build in closed space (like when the character is digging a tunnel, or enlarge an underground facility). It might feel also more immersive in some cases (giving a more accurate sense ot the size of things). On the contrary the third person view seems a bit more practical to build easily and quickly in vast open spaces (being able to have an overview from afar is a good thing too). At the moment, there is no update about when Third Person view might be implemented in the game

 

Best regards,

Nyzaltar.

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Hi.

I have a quick question about the building process. I play a lot of Space Engineers and in the creative mode where you can free build there is symmetry mode where you can create plains on the grid to mimic what you're doing on one side of the grid on the other side. Is there going to be something like that in game or at least in the, what did you call it, Simulation Mode of the game?

 

Thanks

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I've just read the whole of this thread and I have lots of questions but only one that i want to ask for the time being.

 

Will there be a restoration element?.. You've mentioned a restoration tool that can undo manipulation but will this extend to outside the building process.

 

So if you have a ship that's been damaged in a fight or you've crashed or something you can go out with your nano'former' ? (not sure what it's called now) and fix 'on point' the damage that's been caused if you have the materials, outside of the standard building process in 'cages' ?..

 

Then if that's what is possible would this extend to a element you can attach to constructs?. This way you could have a repair ship, or repair bay.. somewhere you have restoration elements attached that automatically fix your ships when you fly close to them.. Kind of like how the welder works on space engineers, but for voxels ?

 

That would be a good thing to have, you could even set up a repair station and charge people for a repair after battles or journeys from planet to planet through hostile areas...

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I've been in lurking mode for some days, and indeed I'm interested in this one. As some others in this thread I'm a Landmark builder and appreciate how precise things can become in voxel manipulation terms in there. I know terms as "voxelmancy" or advanced tools can be intimidating to new builders, but all building games have a learning curve, that is something no newbie can avoid imo.

 

I like a lot the aim for realism this game has, and can't wait to see what we'll be able to build with this new engine.

I've read it'll be mainly first person, but a third person toggle even for building would be very nice. For me that view helps to see the overall scene easily. First person makes me focus on a smallest part of the scene, which is nice, but having the two available would be more than perfect.

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Voxelmancy was the term used inside another game. Here in Dual we call it "voxelmorph". :P

 

Seriously though, I would like to lose the term voxelmancy and not carry it over to this game. 

 

Voxelmorph sounds more sc fi....voxelmorpher, voxelmorphing  :D

Negative Ghostrider.  I shall now be known as (drumroll) The Voxelmancer!  :angry: 

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I have found that the players are going to use whatever term they wish over time  :)  Heck, that is how the term "voxelmancy" came up with to begin with :)  I'm not sure that us deciding at this point is going to have any impact on what people decide to call it down the road.  They would probably just pick another term to be contrary given human nature  LOL.  As a Babylon 5 fan, I would be happy with something simple like -- TechnoMage    (I just don't want to have to shave my head).

 

Voxel Boards--anything you can do so we do not need to have voxel boards would be awesome.  In the other voxel based game I had a claim that was nothing but all my voxel board templates.  It was huge, it was ugly, it was necessary, I hated it.  I ended up building all my workshops underground or inside mountains so people would not see the various bits of flotsum.

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It's true that First Person have some strong advantages: in this view, we feel it's a lot more easy to build in closed space (like when the character is digging a tunnel, or enlarge an underground facility). It might feel also more immersive in some cases (giving a more accurate sense ot the size of things). On the contrary the third person view seems a bit more practical to build easily and quickly in vast open spaces (being able to have an overview from afar is a good thing too). At the moment, there is no update about when Third Person view might be implemented in the game

 

Best regards,

Nyzaltar.

I think this is a really important matter so I'd like to give my opinion as an avid sandbox (and voxel-based games) player, hopefully it helps. For me giving the possibility to build "Landmark style" is not a good choice:

1)You need to enter a mode where your mouse moves your pointer instead of your camera (clunky, confusing)

2)Since you can't move your camera, you often doesn't even use your wasd to move your character (to avoid losing vision), and if you do it, it feels cluncky, since you still can't move your camera

3)To make this mode viable, you will probably be able to place blocks from a good range, and this will not give a player the feeling he's really building, it would feel a lot more like a 3d modeling software than a game

 

Regarding the building with your crosshair:

1)You need to directly place blocks, you need to move, jump to reach any spots and you always have the chance to see your creation from a different perspective.

2)You need to climb on to the top of your ship, you'll need to create ladders, scaffolding and stuff like that. It would feel more realistic. You're directly moving, placing blocks, removing them, shaping your creation. Not being able to place every single block with a crosshair view, is actually, imho, a good thing, because it make the game feels realistic, you'll need to find a solution by yourself to reach that spot and add depth to the game. 

 

In any case I'll be happy wathever you do, I can deal with that ;)

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Thrasrion mentioned symmetry - that's something I'm interested in finding out about myself.  

 

Also, there will presumably be different sizes for ships, buildings and space stations.  Will there be an option to select the larger voxel size for certain constructs (1m vs 0.25m)?

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Also, there will presumably be different sizes for ships, buildings and space stations.  Will there be an option to select the larger voxel size for certain constructs (1m vs 0.25m)?

 

This has been confirmed

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Hi.

I have a quick question about the building process. I play a lot of Space Engineers and in the creative mode where you can free build there is symmetry mode where you can create plains on the grid to mimic what you're doing on one side of the grid on the other side. Is there going to be something like that in game or at least in the, what did you call it, Simulation Mode of the game?

 

Thanks

 

I too would like to see SE-esque creative mode building in the VR mode. Where you can have planes of symmetry, fast traversal like SE's spectator mode, copy and paste. Line or plane building/deleting.

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Offset and rotation tools:

 

When designing using custom parts like turrets, power connectors, cockpits and engines will we have the ability to change the offset to ensure alignment with other parts, or rotate the part so that we have a consistent attachment point with other parts?

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