⏩Game Update v1.7 Feedback Survey!⏪

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Taelyn, Dec 23, 2021.

  1. Lichtbold

    Lichtbold Lieutenant

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    I'm afraid this won't happen with EGS. Eleon have completely oursourced content creation to their players. I once regarded this .ecf modding as a strength of EGS, but this is no longer the case. I now regard it as an excuse for Eleon to completely neglect content creation. It seems like they regard themselves more as the creators of a scriptable gaming system instead of a coherent game or gaming experience. That's why we have a handful of planet types streched across a huge, boring universe with forever repeating patterns. And why the only challenge of Pois it not to get shot in the back.
     
    #41
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  2. imlarry425

    imlarry425 Captain

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    No worries and not offended. I pretty much talk the way I write and sorry if it's denser than a fruit cake. I don't mean to lard my world up with jargon but if you're talking about specialized stuff using the associated lingua franca makes it more concise.

    Language is a living thing and people jam words together in new ways, often employing metaphor, to create new perspectives or just to rehash old ones without loaded pejorative baggage. Best author I know on the topic is Chris Alexander in his book "Pattern Language" from the mid-60. He's an architect by trade but his underlying way of looking at the world (a loose network of stuff that supports and is supported by other stuff) is pretty much how software works too.

    In the case of Scrum, a bunch of folks who worked in product development area formalized the basic language used in the mid '90s (Schwaber and Sutherland) based on the introduction of concepts first covered in the mid 80's (Takeuchi and Nonaka) and it's meant to describe a process framework where development teams can create their own best practices within the context of the problems they are working on. In computer "dog years" its ancient history.

    A scrum "sprint" is typically a two- or three-week period and the short calendar precludes the over-planning of the 80's "waterfall" project methodology; if you only have two weeks to get something done then you're forced to decompose work into simpler solutions. Keeping customers happy is more of a "what have you done for me lately" sort of thing vs. the "you should see that in Q2 of 2022 as long as nothing unexpected happens and what you wanted it to do in Q3 of 2020 is still what you need."

    The downside is that the rhythm of such a calendar can start to feel like somebody at the front of the boat beating a drum while shouting "stroke!" 8^) The upside is individual people taking a two-week vacation is often a lot easier to plan around.
     
    #42
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  3. imlarry425

    imlarry425 Captain

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    No problem, you should have that by Q4 of 2023 as long as nothing unexpected happens and what you wanted it to do in Q4 of 2021 is still what you need. ;)
     
    #43
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  4. Garaman

    Garaman Commander

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    The new deco was kind of hard to rate. On the one hand it looked great. On the other we really didn't have anything to play with, it's basically an interactive screenshot.
     
    #44
  5. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    To make a more complete description of what Empyrion is, I would add that it is also a scenario building tool (this covers large) , a creative testing and building environment, and of course a "work in (constant) progress". There are already many customization options available from the game menu that any player can tick on or off, and this is the result of players wanting one thing and its contrary regarding balance : instead of imposing the (unrealistic) "one balance for all" solution, Eleon gave the handles to lambda players this way. Not talking about .ecf modding here.

    There is some "placeholder" adjusment done, but the history of these adjustments is one of constant back-and-forth of buffs/ nerfs and tiny tweaks, and it didn't succeed at quenching player's thirst for "better balance" and lots of items in the release notes were just that : minor tweaks. But these still required some time and (especially) "testing in context" and to cut on this unproductive "work" segment they simply decided to give modding OK to the players. At the time this was done everyone (almost) was happy, and many players shared tricks and files on the forum (I still do to this day).

    So short answer : the point is not about "being easy" but about having to do / undo it constantly.

    Apart from POIs (and not all : some are/ were made "in house") all other content is made by Eleon. The advantage of having members of the community to contribute this way is that it broadens the "styles" palette even though some base rules apply to all, and also the "quantity" factor.

    I wish they still could find a way to generate some "procedural POIs" in some way, but this needs lots of brain juice on the planning table. Could alleviate the feel of lack of variety, but like all procedural stuff we would eventually see the "common patterns" popping up at some point.

    Planet "creation" (from randomized shuffling of a few templates) and .ecf modding are 2 different things. Planets have nothing to do with .ecf modding to be more clear. So content creation via .ecf modding is just re-hash of existing content with different values and swapped models here and there. For custom models players have to use more than just .ecf tweaking. And no .ecf modding goes into vanilla game : that work is all done by Eleon. So "outsourcing content creation" here does not apply to this.

    But for planet creation I have to point out that before Eleon changed terrain generation format (Alpha 8?) players could "hand draw" terrains, and at some point there were player-made scenarios boasting about their 200 handmade and unique planets (just an example).

    Here I disagree that "content creation outsourced to players" would not be beneficial to the game, quite the contrary : if one player can design one planet per day then at the end of 1 year we can have 365 unique planets, not generated from the same limited set of templated and pre-defined "bumps" and "crevices" etc. There would still be some aspects with lack of variety, but that hand crafting of terrains + custom models for terrain deco (just a dream) by a vast pool of players can't be matched by any "procedural" system, and other games that are trying hard at procedural are also there to prove this. Main downside is the game's size : hand made terrains require huge bitmaps. Still some innovation/ work to be done to solve this I think, IMO.

    .
     
    #45
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
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  6. Escarli

    Escarli Captain

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    1 planet per day, you're kidding?
     
    #46
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  7. Lichtbold

    Lichtbold Lieutenant

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    The IDE I use at work (Delphi) is advertised as RAD tool, RAD = Rapid Application Development. Obviously we'd need a RPD = Rapid Planet Development tool to achieve that ambitous goal :)
     
    #47
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  8. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Yes. Eee... I mean "yes" for 1 per day, but "no" for kidding. :)

    My example is 1 player. Make it 5, 10 or 25, 1 planet per week. That was the idea. And we don't have to "draw" because this is the hardest possible way to "design" a 3d terrain : visualizing "altitudes" and relief from a flat black-and-white picture.

    There are (quite easy) tricks to "sculpt" terrains at any resolution in 3d software and then make a heightmap from it. Even some existing relief can be made into 3d model, modified, then made back into heightmap. Players who like to design terrains would get up to speed with sets of "stamps" just like what is used in the game, like a "toolset".
     
    #48
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
  9. imlarry425

    imlarry425 Captain

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    Not if you use crowd sourcing; we already do it with ship designs and to a lesser extent bases. If the editors around different aspects of the game extended better ease-of-use and the engine folded them in at creation time you could incorporate lots of user created content beyond a scenario.

    Some things that jump to mind include all configurable settings for planets and solar system. Variant eco systems (the sentient alien honey tree hate you, but thankfully mushrooms improve your health in the same radical way they do in Mario64) and so on.

    While a purist might say "how can I compare the game I'm playing with the one those guys are talking about if we don't have the same experience?", doesn't that sort of beg the question of why you would want to if experiencing what they are talking about just meant subscribing to a couple things in the workshop and editing a text file?
     
    #49
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  10. Escarli

    Escarli Captain

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    Knowing how long it took for me to make the plateau planet even if the tools were made virtually idiot proof it's still going to take some time to get the right look, make sure the terrain deco/npc spawns are how you want them to be.

    I have not done the amount of planets Needleship and Ravien has I freely admit that and have never asked them how long it takes for them to make a planet, but a day per planet seems very unlikely.

    Ships and even poi's can take a lot of time to do to get right. The POI I've almost finished has taken me probably a couple of months now, that's not even mentioning something else I'm working on.
     
    #50
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  11. imlarry425

    imlarry425 Captain

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    I appreciate the effort things take and didn't intend to minimize it. Just saying one/day isn't an unreasonable expectation with a true appeal to crowd sourced content. If it takes a reasonable person a couple months to generate something worth sharing and they only do it a few times a year then x1/day is a population of fewer than a couple hundred people so inclined at any given time. Things wouldn't need to be idiot proof, just easy to use, iterative, and engaging in its own right.
     
    #51
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  12. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    If you used the Playfield Editor alone with the usual random placement of biomes/ POIs / stamps etc. then yes, we have to test by starting the game, tweaking the yamls here and there, start the game again, etc. That is the case for random planets based on the actual templates we have. Usually I have to shave quite a lot of content from these templates just to get started with what I have in mind. But I also used Blender to make huge stamps so I already had precise coordinates and knowledge of the "looks" of the terrain.

    My idea was more based on fixed playfields, where we have way more control on everything. Much less prone to random f*ckup also, so less testing just for topology/ deco. It is also possible to make far more interesting planets with fixed playfields using custom stamps of even the default ones, but for this to expand Eleon has to allow us to incorporate custom stamps in our scenarios.

    And note this : when we had fixed playfields (before Alpha 8?) some players didn't like seeing the same starter planet over and over again, although they were quite nice. And of course these were players like all old timers here who follow the updates and try to keep pace, and have restarted a new game countless times, so they were fed up but lost the "first plays" perspective where it's not such a big deal. Games were also "shorter" at that time, with not much of scenario/ story and "no end game content" where players were getting pretty fast. Move forward to where we are now : because of many instances of the escape pod putting the player in trouble at game start, we now have virtually the same situation as we had prior to "all random playfields" : escape pod always falls in a predefined area, that looks very similar from one start to another, with just a bit of furniture and critters changing spot. Back to square one...

    So the idea of having lots of player-made fixed playfields is to populate the vast galaxy with more unique planets, the objective is not to try to get other templates to be randomized. My first planet took me a while, but after a few I knew tricks I didn't know before, and developed a more efficient workflow. I'm only guessing some players will get real good at this, like the past showed us in previous Alpha versions.

    And the main problem remains : how to keep the terrain maps as small as possible. This is the biggest chunk of data in our savegames, and the reason why the savegames grow to large size the longer we play. For a class 5 planet this can go up to 60+ mb.

    .
     
    #52
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
  13. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    It depends on how different the planet is compared to existing ones and whether you need to make custom POIs for it as well.

    Making a variation of an existing planet, such as a new type of desert planet that has different terrain, colors, etc but the same POIs is a lot faster than coming up with a brand new planet type that needs it's own POIs and radically different terrain generation (like say a dead planet).

    Adding custom POIs and missions takes more time than making the planet itself sometimes, but at least POIs can be made by multiple people in the game itself unlike planets which requires file editing and knowledge of the different configuration parameters and how to properly use them.

    A planet editor, EPD, does exist but is out of date. Even still, making planets is not simple and it can't be simple due to the sheer number of parameters that are required and how they all interact. Even getting a mission POI to spawn correctly can be a challenge for someone new to making planets as it's not as simple as just adding the group name to the playfield file.

    But yes, if someone was actually paid to sit there for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, they could probably release at least one good, well crafted custom planet a week (not counting custom POIs or missions), or several variations of existing planet types.
     
    #53
  14. tony hug

    tony hug Commander

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    To be honest at the momemt i don't think its different planet-types they need to work on
    More Adding New Extra Unique Alien Species (intelligent type)
    Definitely some big dangerous Water Life
    Floating animal life ... etc
    And more Animal models

    -- The Biome Animals etc could be 'Themed' by Faction sector (ie more insectoids in Kriel space)

    Trying to build a scenario i found the selection for a new Species very limited
    The Galaxy is huge now - but the Number of species has not expanded

    And there are far too many Humans there - really doesn't fit the storyline
    (your looking for a lost human fleet - but galaxy filed with humans and colonists -- its more like a 100 years stuck in warp)
     
    #54
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  15. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    They wouldn't have to anyway : players can do that. They just need to make terrain editing more flexible and user-friendly.

    That may take a while : models, animations, scripting...

    But they could surely expand the existing "catalog" by adding different colors to existing models - either their clothes or skin - to makes "sub groups" of existing NPC/ critter types. Maybe even add some props to cover existing parts, which is easier than making new animated models.

    They could also add more "deco fauna" like the stuff we see in the "special effects" section of playfields. Players can not interact with these, but they add a lot to the ambiance and liveliness. Birds, swarms of insects, butterflies, pools of fishes, etc.

    .
     
    #55
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  16. tony hug

    tony hug Commander

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    well i suppose Babylon 5 created entire species through use of Radical Haircuts and uniforms..
    but new species are one of those things 'modders' can't do
     
    #56
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  17. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    Yeah the only thing we can do is add custom models for static crew blocks. Can't add custom models for NPCs.
     
    #57
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  18. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Eleon could probably "fake" completely new species (easier for humanoids) by just adding a "head prop" bigger than the original head to cover it completely, like we can do with the player's head with head props. This way they don't have to do/ retarget any of the animations, they just have to duplicate scripts/ AI stuff with new species name/ characteristics.
     
    #58
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  19. Mark74

    Mark74 Ensign

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    Ok i try many other game, and i have not a single problem of lag, freeze and stuttering....Dayz, Black Desert, Ark, Elite Odissey and many other, and no one is unplayable like this after this patch, and remember for all this games is moooooore advanced in graphics like Empyrion.
    The game freeze for many second for HD loading near structure player or npc, is become unplayable, every walk freeze, every turn around with visual is a freeze, every damned second is a freeze....i play this game every patch, this 1.7 for me become UNPLAYABLE.
    Please fix, and don't bother with question what pc i have, i told what play, and the games like BDO, Dayz and Ark is MOOOOOORE better in graphics like Empyrion, this is not a fault of my pc, but a fault of this patch.
     
    #59
  20. Germanicus

    Germanicus Rear Admiral

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    Try 7D2D if want to compare Lag Spikes...
     
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