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DevBlog: Builder gameplay, Voxel Tools & Elements

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Juicy :)

 

Do you know if there will there be any system for player designed/modified weaponry (ala from the depths)- or player-built turrets? It always irks me when voxel games have weapons - especially large weapons - that are simply animated models. The ability to design my own barbettes, or optimal weapon layout; or to have something as dynamic as having a traverse rotor jam, would be pretty cool.

 

Weapons, cannon, thrusters, cockpits ect are all under the classification of 'elements'. So far we know that elements are not going to be player designed and purely created by the dev team. However we do not know to the extent of scripting or customization that we will be able to do to the elements, we might be able to script different parts of the element to make them behave completely different, we might be able to turn a rapid fire turrent into a single shot rail gun.

 

We just don't know yet, but for the most part we know that elements are Dev design for now, maybe this might change in the future with more people wanting customization.

 

nora,

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If your using a Voxel Engine take a look at what the did in Everquest landmark that game using a voxel engine. we(players) were let loose in the alpha version of the game to help develop the game. it turned out Great, we did things the developers did not know the engine could do. they also gave the player the same tools more or less that they were using to develope the game. Let the Player in as early as possible to help build and Develop this game so Both sides are happy with the Release version. You will be glad you did.

 

thank you

Damian Firecater

Everquest Landmark builder.

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Regarding the "Arkification" I strongly suggest this not be the path for protecting PvE/Builder players. As soon as there is the ability for a player to make a region, space, or even their individual avatar immune to PVP you immediately open the system to abuse.

 

Imagine being unable to defend your home because an attacking side has managed to acquire an ark token and plopped it down nearby allowing them immunity to reinforce and resupply their attacks on you.

 

Either the Ruins (Controlled locations for immunity) or "SimSpace" (Does not interact with the rest of the world) would be much better solutions to allow safe havens for those wishing to avoid PVP.

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Uhm, quick question. Will we be able to build ANYWHERE? Even in the vacuum of space in the middle of a battle? Cause I can see people pulling Will. E. Coyote stunts if building in vacuum is enabled.

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Along with an advance Character Builder when the near final character system is designed, I would welcome an advance Construction Builder to allow people that want to practice prior to the game release. Of course, this is what the alpha and beta would be used for. 

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On the Issue of 'safe building zone ideas'.  One method that worked well was UO's building model. On going into edit mode on your plot of land, other players were unable to enter that space or see or interact with the player or the construct.  From inside the zone you could see the world as normal around you, other players etc and you had options to Save your design and Commit.  Until you've hit the commit button it appears and behaves as an un-edited space.

 

The option to save designs without commiting is nice for the practice.

 

Ofc I have no idea how this sort of construction 'bubble'  could work with this technology but it's an idea.

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On the Issue of 'safe building zone ideas'.  One method that worked well was UO's building model. On going into edit mode on your plot of land, other players were unable to enter that space or see or interact with the player or the construct.  From inside the zone you could see the world as normal around you, other players etc and you had options to Save your design and Commit.  Until you've hit the commit button it appears and behaves as an un-edited space.

 

The option to save designs without commiting is nice for the practice.

 

Ofc I have no idea how this sort of construction 'bubble'  could work with this technology but it's an idea.

They do intend for a "Virtual Reality" form of building without being interrupted. Then you save the building ass a blueprint and build it in the game world.

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On the Issue of 'safe building zone ideas'.  One method that worked well was UO's building model. On going into edit mode on your plot of land, other players were unable to enter that space or see or interact with the player or the construct.  From inside the zone you could see the world as normal around you, other players etc and you had options to Save your design and Commit.  Until you've hit the commit button it appears and behaves as an un-edited space.

 

The option to save designs without commiting is nice for the practice.

 

Ofc I have no idea how this sort of construction 'bubble'  could work with this technology but it's an idea.

 

As Twerk said above me, but here is the quote for reference...

 

Virtual Simulator: enabling player to enter a virtual world (call it “inception syndrome”!). While in that virtual space, the player would be able to design any construct, in a completely peaceful setting. This would help builders to design their construct and create their blueprints safely, without being interrupted by any PvP action. For ships, it will also be possible to test their flight mode, without risking a crash or wasting resources!

 

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Yeh, thats the same thing. So much has already been thought of and gone over lol.  Really need to play the game and find out for sure what is and isn't there already. Hate thinking of duplicate ideas.

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Yeh, thats the same thing. So much has already been thought of and gone over lol.  Really need to play the game and find out for sure what is and isn't there already. Hate thinking of duplicate ideas.

Cybrex has set up a nice compilation thread on all the questions the devs answered. You can check it out, it's on his signature.

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Builders air. I'm an advocate of adding different kinds of "air" to a voxel game to simplify the code: Breathable, toxic, vacuum, smoke, lit, etc.  

Infini miner and minecraft created a lot of work by having one air and then having to use entities or particle effects etc to  do what a second air block could record.  
One is an air voxel for builders. Add this to edges you don't want smoothed and you retain the sharp edge when smoothing a larger build. The air smooths like a solid but protects the adjacent surface. The Builders air "deletes itself", is air automatically when the structure or template is finalised. If you edit the structure later its back because while it's no collide and invisible its still in the build. It should allow a mix of sharp and smooth components. Normally If you want such a mixed structure it is a very fiddly and repetitive process; sharpen, smooth, re sharpen some bits.  

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@SpaceMonkeyCongh:

 

You will be able to create as detailed of an object as the voxels allow. In DU, I believe a voxel is around 25 cubic cm so you could make a pretty good amount of detail with just the base blocks. Of course there's always voxel tools that allow for further manipulation and detailing, so in essence, yes, fine detail is achievable. Certainly detail would be better than that of Minecraft. How you would go about "voxelmorphing" these objects is still in development to my knowledge. As you have noted, 360-degree modeling and manipulation is a potential method of building, but I think Nyzaltar would be better suited to answering in that respect.

 

~Astrophil

Items smaller than 25 cm could be made if the voxel creation can be shrunk by a factor of five after mapping a mesh over the voxels. this could create a lot of player made furniture, artefacts, plants. This is not I suspect an alpha or beta thing. There is also the question of tracking lots of placeable items, furniture, etc. The more you have the more data that needs to be shared via the server. 

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Items smaller than 25 cm could be made if the voxel creation can be shrunk by a factor of five after mapping a mesh over the voxels. this could create a lot of player made furniture, artefacts, plants. This is not I suspect an alpha or beta thing. There is also the question of tracking lots of placeable items, furniture, etc. The more you have the more data that needs to be shared via the server. 

The server hardware keeps placement of objects in proximity to each cluster they are located. You actually see a "darwing" of the object in the distance. Procedural generation goes both ways. When you alter something on a planet, the aglorithm adapts to those changes and that's how the changes are stored. The server is simply coordinating movements and positions when a construct moves and runs calculations of damage and all the changes that are applied on the algorithm itself. It's not a matter of tracking at this point, it's a matter of ambient occlusion and how the devs managed the code ignoring things off of your FoV.

 

The actual voxel size of 25cm is the the smallest division on the voxel engine, although, a smoothening tool could reduce the VIRTAUAL volume of the voxel to smaller sizes, able to create thin layers of glass this way, by getting a 10x10 glass voxel square and smoothening out to create a thin layer of glas. It would still have the hitbox of a 25cm voxel but it would look way thinner, so, ther's also that, that people may build so many elaborte smooth objects, that they may cause unwanted framerate drops by creating a construct that seems "less" than it actually is, but I don't know much on Voxel engines, so I could be 100% wrong (or according to some people, 10% wrong :V ) .

 

Hope I helped out.

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ok i think the game must get 2 ,,ways,, of ships also PVE and PVP based ship designs.

 

pvp based ships or kits, can get special abilities for the pvp aspect of the game. pve is another gameplay because on pvp you play a littlebit more,,defensive,, then pve.

 

the question is what can the devs make for the balancing? the answer is a littlebit difficult to get. the armor will be the first one, but armor plates are a completely own point of interest. the next first will be the skill-system. 

 

many players like more pve hows pvp. this guys will mostly be in the secure sectors and solar-systems to make the missions and quests as co-op or everything. 

so we need endly special ,,bonusses,, for the pvp gamers and special ,,bonusses,, for the pve players. this can be skill abilities or things what they can build into the own ship to push a littlebit the likely ,,gametype,, for own. ;)

This will be the challenge. In order to mine enough resources for the game to be viable you will need to be able to go out into the big bad world and get back to the safe zone with your ore. Getting owned on the way home is why minecraft anarchy servers look dead with everyone hiding under ground. Not everyone can afford to hire an escort cruiser; though that is part of the end game logic of the games organisations. 

  1. Camouflageable or stealth mining ships. Slower with less combat capacity but hard to see and easy to hide when landed. 
  2. Including the basic world textures as textures for voxels in buildings and craft so you can pretend to be a lump on the terrain. No one here but us asteroids. 
  3. Ensuring that a hidden craft can't simply be tab locked on at random by spamming tab in an area. IE. Planetside 2 times out such spamming, q key.  Those name tags need to toggled on and off at the owners end at least as they leave the safe zones.  
  4. Mock lootable inventories are also a possibility. IE the looting player gets generated loot (just as the miner gets ores from his ore seam ) but not the contents of your ship. They can hold you up and loot you without actually stealing your stuff or significantly damaging your ship. However is that really PvP or even really PvE? 
  5. Valuable debris (the s is silent in that word) Shooting a  PvE  ship blows off fake bits that are lootable, valuable and needs to be chased. The ship is damaged but not destroyed. It may go "stealth" for a while so it can get away. This may bust immersion. Subs in WW2 used the fake debris trick to play dead. It worked often. 
  6. Decoys. All ships are just meshes in a server why not pop a decoy on a low load server section? Now the hunter has two identical targets to chase. Both seem to take damage. Some decoys may be even able to fire back. Which do you chase?
  7. Giving mining vehicles the ability Warp or jump at a lower altitude in a gravity well than combat craft so they are not ambushed in orbit easily. This would need some interesting lore. 
  8. The miners may need remote transfer systems; like an ender chest. If you break the thing you loose access to the contents but you don't destroy the owners access to the contents. I would restrict the range of this but at least Continental or perhaps planetary. This may bust immersion.

I'm sorry I can't write the software for these features, a dyslexic programmer is a bad idea, but once in game I could make some nice decoy craft. 

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This will be the challenge. In order to mine enough resources for the game to be viable you will need to be able to go out into the big bad world and get back to the safe zone with your ore. Getting owned on the way home is why minecraft anarchy servers look dead with everyone hiding under ground. Not everyone can afford to hire an escort cruiser; though that is part of the end game logic of the games organisations. 

  1. Camouflageable or stealth mining ships. Slower with less combat capacity but hard to see and easy to hide when landed. 
  2. Including the basic world textures as textures for voxels in buildings and craft so you can pretend to be a lump on the terrain. No one here but us asteroids. 
  3. Ensuring that a hidden craft can't simply be tab locked on at random by spamming tab in an area. IE. Planetside 2 times out such spamming, q key.  Those name tags need to toggled on and off at the owners end at least as they leave the safe zones.  
  4. Mock lootable inventories are also a possibility. IE the looting player gets generated loot (just as the miner gets ores from his ore seam ) but not the contents of your ship. They can hold you up and loot you without actually stealing your stuff or significantly damaging your ship. However is that really PvP or even really PvE? 
  5. Valuable debris (the s is silent in that word) Shooting a  PvE  ship blows off fake bits that are lootable, valuable and needs to be chased. The ship is damaged but not destroyed. It may go "stealth" for a while so it can get away. This may bust immersion. Subs in WW2 used the fake debris trick to play dead. It worked often. 
  6. Decoys. All ships are just meshes in a server why not pop a decoy on a low load server section? Now the hunter has two identical targets to chase. Both seem to take damage. Some decoys may be even able to fire back. Which do you chase?
  7. Giving mining vehicles the ability Warp or jump at a lower altitude in a gravity well than combat craft so they are not ambushed in orbit easily. This would need some interesting lore. 
  8. The miners may need remote transfer systems; like an ender chest. If you break the thing you loose access to the contents but you don't destroy the owners access to the contents. I would restrict the range of this but at least Continental or perhaps planetary. This may bust immersion.

I'm sorry I can't write the software for these features, a dyslexic programmer is a bad idea, but once in game I could make some nice decoy craft. 

"Nicely put."

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You mean the ideas or the dyslexic programmer bit. lol.

"Well, I am a programmer and so is a large fraction of the people that have joined the Aether. Being dyslexic in programming is something we have all come across. It brings up funny memories of when we just started out in our respective journeys. But, I meant the ideas!"

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Two ways to do PvE in a PVP world would be to add two different fire control systems (or ID friend or foe systems) and two types of gates.

 

Ships fitting the PvE fire control can fit better shields, stealth, etc. Their weapons can't fire unless someone has target lock or has hit them. 

Ships with the PVP fire control can fit bigger better weapons but not the max 'shields' and max cargo. 

 

 A PvP gate would be standard with PvE gates being a little more expensive. A PvE organisation deploys the latter. Ships with PvP can jump to these systems but there Fire control locks off until they jump out. Ships built in the system have the same restriction. It gives you one exclusive PvE system with the option of more as needed. A battle fleet can jump though the system to another but not attack other players ships or be ambushed in system. Essentially it creates one system wide safe zone but at a cost to the organising players. 

One possible exploit could be a fire control activating if your ship takes non battle damage, i.e. collision damage. That needs to be anticipated. 

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Two ways to do PvE in a PVP world would be to add two different fire control systems (or ID friend or foe systems) and two types of gates.

 

Ships fitting the PvE fire control can fit better shields, stealth, etc. Their weapons can't fire unless someone has target lock or has hit them. 

Ships with the PVP fire control can fit bigger better weapons but not the max 'shields' and max cargo. 

 

 A PvP gate would be standard with PvE gates being a little more expensive. A PvE organisation deploys the latter. Ships with PvP can jump to these systems but there Fire control locks off until they jump out. Ships built in the system have the same restriction. It gives you one exclusive PvE system with the option of more as needed. A battle fleet can jump though the system to another but not attack other players ships or be ambushed in system. Essentially it creates one system wide safe zone but at a cost to the organising players. 

 

One possible exploit could be a fire control activating if your ship takes non battle damage, i.e. collision damage. That needs to be anticipated. 

This is not WoW, there are no instances. What you are suggesting are instances in an MMO that its selling points are no instances. This is also why DUAL needs its subscription model. It's not the average Korean crap that's fully instanced. 

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Builders air. I'm an advocate of adding different kinds of "air" to a voxel game to simplify the code: Breathable, toxic, vacuum, smoke, lit, etc.  

 

I like this idea, although not the starter planets. But once we start to explore, one gets to decide after all this travel whether to start settling a planet with a corrosive atmosphere and be forced to wear hazmat suits or whether to move on. Or, what if it had a corrosive atmosphere, but with atmo-scrubbers to provide breathable air, building underground or underwater would allow a suit-free area. 

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This will be the challenge. In order to mine enough resources for the game to be viable you will need to be able to go out into the big bad world and get back to the safe zone with your ore. Getting owned on the way home is why minecraft anarchy servers look dead with everyone hiding under ground. Not everyone can afford to hire an escort cruiser; though that is part of the end game logic of the games organisations. 

  1. Camouflageable or stealth mining ships. Slower with less combat capacity but hard to see and easy to hide when landed. 
  2. Including the basic world textures as textures for voxels in buildings and craft so you can pretend to be a lump on the terrain. No one here but us asteroids. 
  3. Ensuring that a hidden craft can't simply be tab locked on at random by spamming tab in an area. IE. Planetside 2 times out such spamming, q key.  Those name tags need to toggled on and off at the owners end at least as they leave the safe zones.  
  4. Mock lootable inventories are also a possibility. IE the looting player gets generated loot (just as the miner gets ores from his ore seam ) but not the contents of your ship. They can hold you up and loot you without actually stealing your stuff or significantly damaging your ship. However is that really PvP or even really PvE? 
  5. Valuable debris (the s is silent in that word) Shooting a  PvE  ship blows off fake bits that are lootable, valuable and needs to be chased. The ship is damaged but not destroyed. It may go "stealth" for a while so it can get away. This may bust immersion. Subs in WW2 used the fake debris trick to play dead. It worked often. 
  6. Decoys. All ships are just meshes in a server why not pop a decoy on a low load server section? Now the hunter has two identical targets to chase. Both seem to take damage. Some decoys may be even able to fire back. Which do you chase?
  7. Giving mining vehicles the ability Warp or jump at a lower altitude in a gravity well than combat craft so they are not ambushed in orbit easily. This would need some interesting lore. 
  8. The miners may need remote transfer systems; like an ender chest. If you break the thing you loose access to the contents but you don't destroy the owners access to the contents. I would restrict the range of this but at least Continental or perhaps planetary. This may bust immersion.

I'm sorry I can't write the software for these features, a dyslexic programmer is a bad idea, but once in game I could make some nice decoy craft. 

 

Really good ideas here. I like it.

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Everything I have heard about this game has got me all giddy about the whole notion of an MMO with deep building gameplay but I have not seen anything that seems to stop the question I have, being...

 

In relation to voxel sculpting will we have a ruler or snapping to vectors from an existing voxel shape?

I believe that not having the ability to know the length of a face or edge could create some significant hurdles when building which you don't have in other games which tend to prefer predefined 'blocks' that have a set size which allows for the ability to use these blocks as a unit of measurement, like elements. This would be fine as is but you are also allowing the ability to use voxels as a main component of ship and base building. consider this, if want to create a face which is a certain length I would likely have to place an some form of element down to use as a base unit which I would have to scale up to allow me to duplicate this length on another area. Rather cumbersome if I need to place them all only to have them removed almost right after? and in effects limits the ability of the voxel hand to a certain extent

 

having some sort of counter(length,width,height) placed at your cursor when using voxel hand to define an volume could do wonders and or the ablity to read the length of voxel edges and faces

 

thank you to anyone who could put my concerns to rest :)

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Everything I have heard about this game has got me all giddy about the whole notion of an MMO with deep building gameplay but I have not seen anything that seems to stop the question I have, being...

 

In relation to voxel sculpting will we have a ruler or snapping to vectors from an existing voxel shape?

I believe that not having the ability to know the length of a face or edge could create some significant hurdles when building which you don't have in other games which tend to prefer predefined 'blocks' that have a set size which allows for the ability to use these blocks as a unit of measurement, like elements. This would be fine as is but you are also allowing the ability to use voxels as a main component of ship and base building. consider this, if want to create a face which is a certain length I would likely have to place an some form of element down to use as a base unit which I would have to scale up to allow me to duplicate this length on another area. Rather cumbersome if I need to place them all only to have them removed almost right after? and in effects limits the ability of the voxel hand to a certain extent

 

having some sort of counter(length,width,height placed at your curse when using voxel hand to define an volume could do wonders and or the ablity to read the length of voxel edges and faces

 

thank you to anyone who could put my concerns to rest :)

Let's just hope they do it nromally, instead of Landmark's "game features", as the Landmark devs called bugs in the voxel engine. :P

 

Yeah,I hope that NQ implements the ability for pro-as-heck builders to make mosaics, let alone statues.

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