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Please get rid of Voxelmancy


Cheith
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So i was thinking, what if it was possible to alter the shape of voxels with LUA?  I don't know anything about LUA, so i'm just guessing here.  But could that be a thing?

 

If we could design a voxel, with an in-game LUA program, and then select an actual voxel, and hit a button to apply the shape, that would be good enough for me.

 

Although i guess that would open up a whole Pandora's box of fun, depending on how much freedom NQ wanted to give us.

 

Being able to program voxels, or animate them to some level would be pretty cool though.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Atmosph3rik said:

Being able to program voxels, or animate them to some level would be pretty cool though.

 

That would raise the load on the servers and the clients by a order of magnitude. 

 

Currently voxels are static, and pre cached and we already have the issues we have on markets. 

 

Now imagine all those ships, sitting in the market, sending a new "design" every 20ms.

 

Also, imagine some big org changing a portion of a planets surface based on lua, for all those ppl near the planet to have to render it in real time. 

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3 hours ago, Atmosph3rik said:

So i was thinking, what if it was possible to alter the shape of voxels with LUA?  I don't know anything about LUA, so i'm just guessing here.  But could that be a thing?

 

If we could design a voxel, with an in-game LUA program, and then select an actual voxel, and hit a button to apply the shape, that would be good enough for me.

 

Although i guess that would open up a whole Pandora's box of fun, depending on how much freedom NQ wanted to give us.

 

Being able to program voxels, or animate them to some level would be pretty cool though.

 

 

 

I don't think it's feasible because, as soon as you leave build mode, the voxels are merged and optimised to reduce the netlist: You can see how the shape changes subtly (or sometimes not so subtly) when you press B...  i.e. the engine joins discrete, adjacent voxels with contiguous edges into a single object to reduce server data. This can reduce thousands of voxels in a wall into a single flat rectangle, for example.

So I can't see how that would be LUAable, TBH.

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Sheet metals in real-life are cut in the machine to specific surface (length x width) according to the blueprint and sheet metals come in standard thicknesses. The thickness is something you cannot alter as that is already standardized! When you are bending these metals to specific radius and point, you use the k-chart to calculate the sight-line (the bending point). The k-chart takes into account the thickness of the sheet. When you buy these sheets, they only come in standard thicknesses and when you use that chart for bending, the chart is based on standard thicknesses. 

 

The only thing alterable here is the 2D surface (length x width) of the sheet in which you use the manual shear cutting machine (for aluminum). The thickness of the sheet is based on standard thicknesses.

 

In Starbase, I want to see 2D surface cutting of these sheets (by simply moving the 2D vertices) that already have standard thicknesses and then rivet these sheets to the skeletal structure (the beams), and for f*ck's sake, these beams better be standardized! Bending is complex and I don't want to see that mechanic in the game. You gonna limit the game! So there you go! You are working with 2D (not 3D) in terms of sheets! Very very simple, an idiot can do it! 

 

In Dual Universe--which is based on voxels--you are not dealing with sheets, you are dealing with a metal bar that you put in the jig and the 3D cutting machine will 3D trim it.

 

Starbase is more simpler and more limited at the level that it's just good enough, but this game is just too extensive and unintuitively difficult because of the lack of productive tools to edit these dynamic vertices. I wanna see Starbase limited to sheets. In this game, you are working with a steel bar that you have to 3D shape!

 

In Dual Universe, you got a lot more possibilities than Starbase such as these metal poles people hold onto in the train. This is impossible in Starbase!

woman-holding-onto-metal-bar-in-new-york

 

You got to make a choice and based on my experience building in Dual Universe where you have to keep a voxel library, I'll take the limited game! I'll take it! 

 

In Starbase, there are actually mechanical mechanics that you have to factor when you are designing. In that game, you are designing based on function. What function does a metal pole serve in that game? Nothing but obstruct space! So you will not add that to the design because there is no practicality! 

In Dual Universe where you lack mechanical mechanics, you are designing based on aesthetics. If they make the building editor more limited, you get less aesthetical possibilities. You will get an easier and more intuitive game though! Look at Minecraft though: that game is way more popular than this game! Let's say we get those people to try this game: I can see it, they are gonna give up on how hard this game is!

 

Either you limit the game or you offer intuitive and productive tools! I hate to voxelmance to tell you the truth!

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7 hours ago, Cheith said:

I feel like I am back in Landmark and I don't want to be there again.

You don't wanna be there because it's daunting to build right there! I'm the designer type. Have you built in this game? The building fundamentals is extensive but it is very hard. So for me, this game failed on the building aspect because it's too hard for me to participate in the extensiveness this game offers. And then the game failed also on the economic aspect. So you can see, the game lost it's appeal to me!

 

6 hours ago, Atmosph3rik said:

Being able to program voxels, or animate them to some level would be pretty cool though.

 

Another extensiveness but will that make the game playable to people? I'm worried about the playability! 

 

This game is too hard! The flight mechanics in this game is tied to Lua. My construct works like sh*t and therefore I have to deal with Lua. Where is the real-life reference to that? There is no real-life reference! So even if I'm in the aviation industry (and I am), I cannot get this construct to work! Flight mechanics is based on physics in real-life while flight mechanics is tied to Lua in this game! How am I gonna understand that? You see, I cannot fathom these things! And now you wanna tie it to voxels? 

 

I cannot understand and learn the Lua in this game! It is too hard! And aren't you modding with Lua in this game? So that means you have to understand the backend! This game failed to simplify and explain that! You are forced to learn it on your own and interpret those codes! Just so you can learn the backend to mod this game! 

 

You actually have to be a software developer with experience to deal with Lua in this game! I'm not overreacting, that's what it is! The YOLOL in Starbase is something that I can understand, handle, and apply my creativity to, even though I am not a professional programmer at all!

 

This game is very extensive but it is a very difficult game!

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22 minutes ago, Bobbie said:

Or maybe you're not wrong and scripting in DU is shit for everyone. Oh wait where have I heard that before.

 

Its not... 

The only non standard thing DU added is the "filters" 

The rest is very intuitive if you have any programing background. 

 

Its 1000 times harder to understand how to rotate the direction vector to make the ship turn, than it is to open a door or make a picture on a screen with Lua. But this happens because it involves heavy mathematics. Its not a problem of lua. 

 

But you are still required to know how to program to code in Lua...

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I'm not a professional programmer but I know how to program with Lua! I know because I took courses for both Javascript and Lua! Things in this game that involve the flight mechanics is very hard to understand! You gonna know the backend, right? How do you learn that? Yes, you gonna interpret the source codes on your own! Programming in this game that is related to flight mechanics are for professional experienced programmers!

 

Lua in this game is not easy! It is not! It is actually for the pros!

 

The problem of the OP and myself is the difficulty of building. Programming the voxels with Lua is gonna make this easier, and perhaps productive? Building in this game is daunting! Very daunting that you don't wanna make this your building game!

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My sugestion is very simple to implement and solves all your voxel problems:

 

Make copy & paste of voxels to be a text format(yml, json or xml) in windows paste memory. 

 

That way you could:

Copy your in-game voxels and paste them on a notepad file. 

With that file you could:

save for later use

store it in git

share it with friends

Open in a community made 3d editor.

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4 hours ago, Eternal said:

I'm not a professional programmer but I know how to program with Lua! I know because I took courses for both Javascript and Lua! Things in this game that involve the flight mechanics is very hard to understand!

To program flight mechanics requires a knowledge of kinetics (physics) and that requires knowledge of vector analysis (and both require math skills like trigonometry).  To program 3D graphics requires knowlege of linear algebra and so on.  Knowing a programming language (Lua) gives you a tool to use what you know (math, physics etc.) to accomplish a goal using a computer. Or it allows you to take someone elses directions to accomplish their goal using a computer.
The only alternative to enabling players to use their  skills/talents to accomplish something, is to limit what everyone is able to do to what anyone is able to do - boring.

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15 hours ago, Cheith said:

Can we please, pretty please, just be able to pull/push vertex points? This is all voxelmancy really does but in a painful and round about way and it is just plain annoying.

 

I feel like I am back in Landmark and I don't want to be there again.

Absolutely please. Voxelmancy is like when coming home, throwing my keys in the letter box, climbing up to the roof, enter through the chimney down into the cellar. then go up to my flat, realize I left my keys in the letterbox, kick down the front door, rip out the letterbox, get my keys and then realize I m in the wrong house.

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4 hours ago, joaocordeiro said:

My sugestion is very simple to implement and solves all your voxel problems:

 

Make copy & paste of voxels to be a text format(yml, json or xml) in windows paste memory. 

 

That way you could:

Copy your in-game voxels and paste them on a notepad file. 

With that file you could:

save for later use

store it in git

share it with friends

Open in a community made 3d editor.

 

 

Yeah this sounds perfect.

 

It solves the biggest issue for voxelmancers, which is the need to actually store every single vector, physically in the game, if we want access to it.  Which takes up space, and causes lag.

 

So @NQ can we have this please?  

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1 hour ago, XKentX said:

Why you want to remove 95% of the game content ?

I don't - I just want to remove the ridiculous and laborious art of creating blocks to manipulate other blocks instead of providing a tool that would tweak the vertices as needed. Weirdly this might even open up the building of nicer things to more people.

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You do realise that some of the best builders on the game, such as One Thousand Stars, only build using basic shapes?  You can make incredible ships with the basic tools without having to use any tricks.  You can also purchase / get plenty of voxel libraries which are very easy to use.  If you dont like Voxelmancy, dont do it, you dont have to.

Really like the JSON / text storage idea though, very clever solution.

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2 hours ago, Kobayashi said:

You do realise that some of the best builders on the game, such as One Thousand Stars, only build using basic shapes?  You can make incredible ships with the basic tools without having to use any tricks.

I get your meaning, but imagine what could/would be built if vertex manipulation wasn't hidden behind a wall of frustration. The quality of sculptures for example would go through the roof. And building smaller ships without the 'boxy' look would be much simpler.

 

The name voxelmancy kinda says it all since it is taking the simple and easy to understand task of moving a vertex (within the boundaries of what is possible with voxels), and turning it into something so complex that people start to associate it with magic.

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5 hours ago, Kobayashi said:

You do realise that some of the best builders on the game, such as One Thousand Stars, only build using basic shapes?  You can make incredible ships with the basic tools without having to use any tricks.  You can also purchase / get plenty of voxel libraries which are very easy to use.  If you dont like Voxelmancy, dont do it, you dont have to.

Really like the JSON / text storage idea though, very clever solution.

 

I think you are missing the point - Voxelmancy is a daft thing - it takes something that should be straight forward for a player and makes it a pain in the ass. Even with libraries it is still a pain in the ass. There is just no reason why it has to be a thing.

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Every voxel has 8 corners and voxelmancy is just the act of moving those.

This is done by placing different shapes next to the voxel in question as the corners of neighbouring voxels overlap, one forces the position of another (either way possible)

What I would love is just a precision mode for the individual corners. Mark one of the 8 corners, and move it around, within the already existing parameters using up/down etc keys. 

No additional server strain, not bigger filesize, no downsides, just precision and no need to dance around to just get the shape you want directly.

What players call a "reactor" is nothing but voxels with their corners already "pre-moved" for you,

I just want to move them directly.

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3 hours ago, Gottchar said:

What players call a "reactor" is nothing but voxels with their corners already "pre-moved" for you,

I just want to move them directly.


This and this...

Also, voxel reactor is just a stupid, over-thought name for what is essentially a mould.  We don't call them Jelly reactors or lollipop reactors, ffs...
OK. mini rant over.

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40 minutes ago, Bobbie said:

NQ's bullshit excuse for not implementing it yet has always been that it's so difficult to get the user interface right.

This for sure. Let's see what I can come up with right here now on the fly.

 

Like the E and R button is used in build mode, lets pick a new button for vertex edit mode. Let's use TAB (but could be any button) since this is commonly used for select tasks in 3D software.

 

So in build mode point at (raycast) the voxel you want to modify and then press TAB. This will lock onto the raycasted voxel and activate vertex edit mode for it. With vertex edit mode activated a wireframe of the selected voxel is overlayed so that you can also see the backside of the voxel geometry, and the vertex that was closest to your mouse position when pressing TAB is now highlighted. This highlighted vertex can now be moved around using the arrow keys. To select another vertex for movement use TAB and Shift+TAB to toggle back and forth between available vertices. And finally to leave vertex edit mode when done, press ALT+TAB / ESC whatever.

 

So that's pretty much it. And with more then 5 minutes thought into this, I bet NQ would be able to come up with something even better and more intuitive. Er.. wait.. no. Better tell NQ exactly how to do this, since their idea of interface design is more about making sure it is completely different then anything else then being simple and intuitive.

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