Scale when flying from planets to moons

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Snaky, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. Snaky

    Snaky Ensign

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    Hi all,

    Is there a way to make the scale more realistic ?

    When travelling from my planet to the nearest moon, its about 10 km away... Can you imagine our real moon in 10 km from earth ? Actually its 380 000 km...

    Other scales seems not bad ( UA and AL ) but km in space is really bizarre.

    If anyone as a tip for that
    Thanks a lot ! :)
     
    #1
  2. krazzykid2006

    krazzykid2006 Rear Admiral

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    One thing to also remember is the speeds we are traveling.

    In real life the space station travels about 7850 m/s just to maintain orbit.
    We can only travel about 100 m/s in the game on average.....

    Plus, it's a game and isn't intended to be to scale and a replica of real life.

    Do I wish that the displayed speeds and distances were more realistic?
    Absolutely, but there are reasons on why it is the way it is.
     
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  3. krazzykid2006

    krazzykid2006 Rear Admiral

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    Or look at it this way,
    On NASA's New Horizons Pluto mission the Atlas V rocket accelerated it to a speed of about 16,260 m/s.
    It still took around 8.5 hours to go from the earth to the moon.

    8.5 hours even though it was traveling around 162 times as fast as we can go in the game. 162 times as fast.
    We can't use realistic distances in the game.

    Likewise, if they just changed the displayed speed and distance to "trick" us into thinking we were traveling that fast, it wouldn't be believable due to how slowly we would pass small close objects.

    Same end result. We can't use realistic distances and speeds unless the entire scale of the game is actually like real life (which it isn't even close).
     
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  4. Alhira_K

    Alhira_K Captain

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    I hope nobody tells the OP that a size class 3 planet has a 16 km circumference.
     
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  5. Grimwar

    Grimwar Ensign

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    To bypass my own OCD on this I just pretend Space kilometers are an entirely different unit of measurement than terrestrial Kilometers.
     
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  6. japp_02

    japp_02 Commander

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    You will have to play this game with the idea that the planets, the measure units etc. are much bigger than what they actually are. There is no sense in travelling for days/monthes/years real-time to another body and hitting the time acceleration key to achieve it within minutes or seconds, this could be implemented but there is no sense for it, in the game there is nothing to do in space but arriving at destination (to another body, other POI, or to mine an asteroid), or evading or attacking enemies for which space doesn't need to be real-sized.
    I know some players for whom the 1-2 minutes to arrive at the next moon is already too much.

    Another explanation is: For all these games there is a skybox limit dictated by the game engine and computer performance, the devs don't have the choice to make the planets or space as big as they want - and for any gameplay purpose they don't have to.

    In short, this game doesn't need real physics except when it comes to gravity and FPS combat.
     
    #6
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  7. Khazul

    Khazul Rear Admiral

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    Kind of pointless with hard transitions between space and planet and current limited ultra slow speeds in space - this pretty much kills immersion anyway (I like that in SE planet and space is continuous with long gravity range and a thick atmosphere on some planets etc), so really it aint worth worrying about :)

    Leave as is as I cannot see anything to be gained by making the scaling more real - there are much more interesting ways to add some realism around planets, like in SE for eg.
     
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  8. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Here's an interesting read concerning max size of a "level" in Unity. This dates back a few years but the principles are still applicable :

    http://davenewson.com/posts/2013/unity-coordinates-and-scales.html

    This shows a bit what Eleon may be facing when dealing with the huge playfields sizes we have in game. In space it may not be so much trouble, but on planets we do have 64 km x 32 km terrains, so to have millimeter precision (physics concerns) at these scales, or even centimeter precision, is still stretching the physics capabilities of the game engine a bit.

    --------------------------------------------

    It could be possible to have better scaling of planets and space playfields by using skyboxes to show eveything when in space. I suggested long time ago to have an "atmospheric playfield" that would serve as transition zone between space and planets, to make loading the different playfields less noticeable since they would contain fewer objects, and this would have allowed a better scaling up (nicer illusion) of big objects like planets and moons when in the space playfield.

    For example, instead of having a sharp jump from one texture for the planet surface viewed from space to the actual, "real" terrain after the playfield transition, there could have been an intermediary layer of many KM displaying the "space" playfield in a skybox, and also the planet ground in a skybox, but with bigger texture and scale.

    So players in space would always be in a transition between 2 or more other playfields, and there would never be 2 space bodies (planets + moons) in one playfield.

    The main problem with speed is space would be combat, because even at the low speeds we have it can be difficult to lock on an agile target capable of strafing / braking and going full reverse in a second. Not saying players or the game could not be adapted, but that would be a very different game meta in space. Accelerations could still be slow to allow this, and ships could pick up reasonable speed with time to travel greater distances, but when in combat, the maneuvering and constant speed changes would prevent ships from being at top speed in a second.

    But the way the game is setup now, it is a very "cartoony" interpretation of space, and there are too many objects in each playfield. Things could have been done differently but that's the way it was made from the start, and changing that may not be easy. Cramming so many objects in a tight playfield had the consequence that players are always expecting lots of things within small distances, and would probably not accept easily a more "realistic" distribution of objects in space, even if it makes the game run much smoother and scales are still a lot smaller than in real life.
     
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  9. Khazul

    Khazul Rear Admiral

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    I used to play freelancer multiplayer a long time ago that had a fast cruise mode. You also had cruise disruptor missiles that were fast and could track and catch a target in cruise mode (unlike other missiles that were too slow) to bring them out so you could engage them in normal combat.
     
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