Ye Olde Planet Thread

    Valiant70

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    Everyone knows today's planets are full of problems when they're very big at all. Personally, I find them rather disappointing, although I still consider the dodecahedron a great idea. It was definitely on the right track. The problem is, to make the planets very big at all requires a large amount of data storage and puts a load on clients. The biggest planet I've seen was between 400 and 500 radius. The weird thing is, ships sitting next to that planet still make the planet feel small. It got me to thinking about planets... and I actually came up with an idea to make them big without blowing things completely apart.

    There are multiple parts to this: 1) Different loading mechanics 2) improved saving mechanics 3) Modified rendering. I understand this is difficult to implement and would require large changes to the game engine, but it's something to chew on. If Schine ever wants to have good quality planets, this is one way to do it.

    Loading Mechanics.
    Current loading mechanics use the same algorithm as stations, ships, etc. That's simple and uniform, but it's not a permanent solution because it requires planets to be small.

    When you're far above the planet, you don't need to see the surface. It's just a waste of graphics memory and rendering power. Don't load the surface. When you begin descending into the atmosphere, the game will check the closest segment and the server will start loading it, but not all of it. If you load all of a segment into memory, it will limit the size of segments. Take a page from Minecraft's book and only load nearby chunks into client and server. This should also allow planet segments to be very deep.

    Weapons fire entering the atmosphere? Loading blocks for every shot would overload CPUs in no time, so display a little fire or explosion effect on the surface texture, then queue up the shots. When the CPU has enough time, load the part of the ground to be hit and register hits in an area. Doing it instantly isn't necessary when the blocks aren't loaded.

    Saving
    Whoa dude! That's a lot of data. To keep server databases from breaking 1TB in the first week, only save parts of a planet that are modified. And by modified I mean the player added a block. Who wants to save a big hole in the ground? Let's just say planets have a sentient or vaguely conscious life force that repairs stuff unless humans exercise their dominion by building there... or something. Come on! This is science fantasy already with all these funny named rocks.

    There should also be a server tool that allows owners to check for and delete planet chunks that do not contain non-natural block types. Someone could place a few rocks or something and save several chunks that aren't needed. If database size becomes a concern, these could be found and deleted. Got a big flowerbed or grove of trees? Consider adding decorative lighting or bury hull blocks around for insurance.

    Rendering
    So, looking at the core from orbit turns out to be really ugly, and we've quit loading the whole segment and made segments so large that even the beefiest computers couldn't render the whole thing anyway...

    So now get rid of the core texture for the time being. Replace it with a dynamic texture that resembles the surface. To create the texture, take a top down view of all the saved chunks, pick a random block from each chunk to be a pixel, and fill in the rest by testing what sorts of blocks might generate there. Not the best, but it's fast and cities would still show up.

    Now how about we dig down through a segment and see what happens? Hey, it's hot down here. Why not just render a lava block texture tiled across the bottom of the segment? If it's easy to confuse with actual lava, change it to a darker color. This would feel more natural and in sync with the universe. We don't need this funny shimmery stuff.

    End Result
    It's now practical to have planets kilometers wide. We still have seams, but I'll think it over and post an endnote if I can actually wrap my noodle around a good way to do away with that.

    Afterthought that took over the thread: Seamless Planet Surface

    EDIT: I had some good ideas, but it turns out that (as far as I can tell) all flat maps that map to spheres have one or more of the following traits:
    1. Doesn't act like a sphere. Square maps act like a torus. My parallelogram map idea acts... weird.
    2. Bent blocks, because the angles at the edges of segments don't add up to 360 degrees
    3. Double vision. The angle addition problem is repaired, but multiple copies of the same thing at different angles end up getting loaded in different directions when you approach certain parts of the map.
    So the only logical solution is using a polyhedron, like our current dodecahedron planets. The problem is obviously the seams that you can't really build across. I'm trying to think of ways to further improve these edges now.
     
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    So, what happens when I try to build an orbital elevator?
    Also for the image you may just want to have the image be one pixel per block.
     
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    Honestly, all things considered I think I actually liked the disk worlds better anyway.
     
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    Perhaps you're newer than my better judgement tells me you are, but I would recommend you first read this very old thread by Schema himself on why planets are the way they are (FYI that thread is older than the implementation of dodecahedron planets, which is why it does not mention them)

    This works either with the planets as dodecahedrons or with some drastic recode that makes planets seamless.
    There is no feasible way to make planets seamless. Check the link I provided at the beginning of this post and you will see why.

    Weapons fire entering the atmosphere? Nothing happens. Shots are assumed to burn up or diffuse. Blowing up planets is practically impossible anyway, according to physics. I know you can fire lasers from orbit IRL, but sometimes you have to put gameplay before realism. To damage the planet, send a bomber into the atmosphere.
    I can't even think to begin of how much is wrong with this. You're trying to compare the mechanics of the real world to a minecraft spaceship building game. The level of realism you are calling for here is absurd and only negatively affects gameplay. Orbital bombardments, by your account, should not be a thing, even though they've been a fun part of this game for years. You're wanting to remove some critical features of gameplay and planet interaction from StarMade just for the sake of "realism" and "better performance". That is an unacceptable compromise and it will never happen.

    Loading planets is not that difficult a thing to do. I get perhaps you might be stuck with a toaster computer (I presume that's what motivated you to make this thread) but that doesn't mean everyone else should be forced to play the game to the same performance expectations as what you're wanting here. Lower your raylightcalc values and segment rendering numbers and you will be just fine with planets. If it's still too laggy you just need to get a better computer, and stop playing on servers with such large planets.
     
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    Also keep in mind that an image of a planet's surface not only has to have its colors but also lighting information.

    but that doesn't mean everyone else should be forced to play the game to the same performance expectations as what you're wanting here.
    Well even right now there's a difference between people who have good and bad computers with regards to planets. If the size a derpcomputer can handle goes up, that means the size of planets everyone can handle goes up.

    Anyway, the cat has stated that intereactions between planets and space will be super important. So the idea about weapons being ignored will get dropped even if the other ideas are implemented.
     
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    Well even right now there's a difference between people who have good and bad computers with regards to planets. If the size a derpcomputer can handle goes up, that means the size of planets everyone can handle goes up.
    You're missing the point. Planets can work perfectly fine for people of ALL different computer strengths. You simply change the amount of segments you can render at once, as well as the speed at which the chunks are processed by the graphics card and rendered (ray light calc)

    Anyway, the cat has stated that intereactions between planets and space will be super important. So the idea about weapons being ignored will get dropped even if the other ideas are implemented.
    The other ideas cannot be implemented anyway unless planet-space interaction is removed. The ideas presented in this thread simply do not work well enough to be worthy of implementation.
     

    Valiant70

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    There is no feasible way to make planets seamless.
    I have an idea that would work but look horrible from orbit. I'm not going to bother writing it up though because you'll just troll me and I'll wind up getting irritated and I don't see Schema actually implementing it. The best thing is to load dodecahedrons in a more efficient way.

    Orbital bombardments, by your account, should not be a thing, even though they've been a fun part of this game for years. You're wanting to remove some critical features of gameplay and planet interaction from StarMade just for the sake of "realism" and "better performance".
    Making them work with muilti-kilometer radius planets would require loading chunks as weapons fire comes in. That's doable, but CPU intensive.

    Loading planets is not that difficult a thing to do. I get perhaps you might be stuck with a toaster computer (I presume that's what motivated you to make this thread) but that doesn't mean everyone else should be forced to play the game to the same performance expectations as what you're wanting here. Lower your raylightcalc values and segment rendering numbers and you will be just fine with planets. If it's still too laggy you just need to get a better computer, and stop playing on servers with such large planets.
    I have a terribad computer but I don't lag around planets. I just keep my render distance down. The problem is the server-side load of a 5km wide planet, which is what I am seeking a solution for.
     
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    I still think that there is no reason natural terrain even needs to be blocks until they are picked up. I like the atmosphere protecting the planet idea too. Bigger planets would really make for much better immersion.
     
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    I have an idea that would work but look horrible from orbit. I'm not going to bother writing it up though because you'll just troll me and I'll wind up getting irritated and I don't see Schema actually implementing it. The best thing is to load dodecahedrons in a more efficient way.
    So instead of understanding what i'm saying you're just going to dismiss it as trolling. Okay. If you want to stay ignorant that's your choice. I'm trying to inform you of why your suggestion does not work well in application.

    If your idea will "look horrible from orbit" then it won't work. You're making a contradiction there. Did you read the thread I linked you to? It addresses this very problem. Schema has stood very firm on the matter of planet-space interaction. He's not implementing your suggestion because it doesn't work, which is the point I am trying to get across to you here.

    No one should even be using 5-kilometer long planets. There is absolutely no reason to. You're desiring an extreme solution to cover a highly hypothetical and absurd scenario: a sector-sized planet.
     

    Valiant70

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    So instead of understanding what i'm saying you're just going to dismiss it as trolling. Okay. If you want to stay ignorant that's your choice. I'm trying to inform you of why your suggestion does not work well in application.

    If your idea will "look horrible from orbit" then it won't work. You're making a contradiction there. Did you read the thread I linked you to? It addresses this very problem. Schema has stood very firm on the matter of planet-space interaction. He's not implementing your suggestion because it doesn't work, which is the point I am trying to get across to you here.

    No one should even be using 5-kilometer long planets. There is absolutely no reason to. You're desiring an extreme solution to cover a highly hypothetical and absurd scenario: a sector-sized planet.
    I understand everything you have said and have read that thread before, many times. The entire purpose of this thread was to try to find a solution to overcome the limitations of the game engine. If you're suggesting that no one wants sector-wide planets, you'd be incorrect. Lots of people would enjoy it if it were possible and players have voiced this opinion regularly in discussions of planets before.

    Loading planets is not that difficult a thing to do. I get perhaps you might be stuck with a toaster computer (I presume that's what motivated you to make this thread) but that doesn't mean everyone else should be forced to play the game to the same performance expectations as what you're wanting here
    Nope. I'm looking for ways to transcend what even the beefiest computers can do with the current game.

    So if you're so insistent that this won't work, do you have any better ideas?
     
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    The entire purpose of this thread was to try to find a solution to overcome the limitations of the game engine.
    There is no solution. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Unless you have as much knowledge about this engine as Schema does you will not succeed.

    If you're suggesting that no one wants sector-wide planets, you'd be incorrect. Lots of people would enjoy it if it were possible
    Perhaps not "no one", but probably a very small minority at the most. Most people probably DON'T want it because they know it doesn't work. You want what is not feasibly possible. But I do admit that if it WAS possible, it would be interesting. But the data and processing limitations on our modern-day computers and the nature of what you're asking for is something too stressful for the game to bear.

    players have voiced this opinion regularly in discussions of planets before.
    *Citation needed. Also you need to define the term of "lots of people".

    I'm looking for ways to transcend what even the beefiest computers can do with the current game.
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Are you actually meaning that you want a feature implemented to this game that no computer can reasonably handle? Or are you saying you want this game to be more optimized so it has a better capability of handling this on the same hardware? Because I can tell you right now that no amount of optimizations could ever make something like a sector-sized planet function comfortably and efficiently on StarMade.

    So if you're so insistent that this won't work, do you have any better ideas?
    I don't, and here's why. It's because I've learned to be fairly content with how StarMade planets are. They're large enough as they are. You can say you want to see 5-kilometer-wide planets, but that's purely based on your own personal desire, and your mere desire is not a good enough reason for implementing such such a performance-costly mechanic. The drawbacks vastly outweigh the benefits on this.

    What if I were to say to the devs, "I want you to implement a sublight super-speed drive that can make my ship fly at 5,000 kilometers per hour, with accurate in-game physics and collision of any objects in the way. We have to have this because I want it."? They wouldn't do it, because there is no good reason to. The game wouldn't allow it, because it causes immense physics tunneling. It doesn't add anything significantly new or interesting to gameplay either, it's just you flying your ship faster. It's the same thing with 5-kilometer-long planets. They're just big versions of our current planets. Round planets WOULD be an interesting mechanic, but they are impossible if you want to maintain a high level of space-to-surface interaction. And Schema wants a high level of interaction in the game. Thus round planets are something he does not want to pursue, and for good reason.

    If planets that large were able to work just fine, i'd be all for it. But they don't. So i'm against implementing them.

    We'll just have to see what the devs do. If they find some sort of solution that allows StarMade to do this easily, then I would definitely support pursuing this.
     
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    Valiant70

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Are you actually meaning that you want a feature implemented to this game that no computer can reasonably handle? Or are you saying you want this game to be more optimized so it has a better capability of handling this on the same hardware? Because I can tell you right now that no amount of optimizations could ever make something like a sector-sized planet function comfortably and efficiently on StarMade.
    I'm trying to think of ways the game can operate planets differently, that allow parts of a larger whole planet to be simulated without killing the computers we have. You're right that no optimization could make these planets work for that. In fact, they often don't work as they are. They will need to change mechanics wise rather or not their size changes.

    What if I were to say to the devs, "I want you to implement a sublight super-speed drive that can make my ship fly at 5,000 kilometers per hour, with accurate in-game physics and collision of any objects in the way. We have to have this because I want it."? They wouldn't do it, because there is no good reason to. The game wouldn't allow it, because it causes immense physics tunneling. It doesn't add anything significantly new or interesting to gameplay either, it's just you flying your ship faster. It's the same thing with 5-kilometer-long planets. They're just big versions of our current planets. Round planets WOULD be an interesting mechanic, but they are impossible if you want to maintain a high level of space-to-surface interaction. And Schema wants a high level of interaction in the game. Thus round planets are something he does not want to pursue, and for good reason.
    I'd say add a second layer of simulation using over-large bubble colliders around objects and load only those colliders and rough images of objects unless the ship is moving under 500 m/s. It doesn't exactly give you accurate physics, and it's weird, but sometimes thinking out of the box does work. In this case it wouldn't be very interesting even if it did work. This is a poor analogy because flying faster is far less significant than a large planet. A large planet adds something that we do not have: a vast landscape to explore and build cities in. Flying faster just gets you places faster and makes the universe feel smaller.

    The point is, sometimes thinking out of the box leads to unexpected ends. This suggestion may not work, but I wouldn't rule out something like this ever happening.
    [DOUBLEPOST=1431222215,1431222095][/DOUBLEPOST]
    If planets that large were able to work just fine, i'd be all for it. But they don't. So i'm against implementing them.

    We'll just have to see what the devs do. If they find some sort of solution that allows StarMade to do this easily, then I would definitely support pursuing this.
    A solution like that is what I'm looking for and is the reason I created this thread.
     
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    I'm trying to think of ways the game can operate planets differently, that allow parts of a larger whole planet to be simulated without killing the computers we have.
    And I'm trying to explain that it's impossible. Why is this so hard to understand?

    This is a poor analogy because flying faster is far less significant than a large planet. A large planet adds something that we do not have: a vast landscape to explore and build cities in. Flying faster just gets you places faster and makes the universe feel smaller.
    The analogy works because a large planet is just a larger version of the planets we have now. Faster ships are faster. Bigger planets are larger. It's a mere changing of the quantities, but to an extreme level to where the game cannot support such desired speeds and sizes. And are you seriously implying the planets we have now aren't already vast and big enough to build cities in and explore? They are plenty big for building large cities. The landscapes are relatively large. If you want a minecraft-scale continent on a planet then you're just out of luck, and you're playing the wrong game, if that's what you're looking for. I would instead suggest you check out Seeds of Andromeda. They have huge planets at the sacrifice of little direct orbit-to-planet interaction.
     
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    Valiant70

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    The thread has been sufficiently derailed that no discussion of what I was trying to do will occur.
     
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    :eek: What are you talking about? Everything discussed here has been entirely on-topic.

    I commend your enthusiasm on wanting this feature and I agree it would be interesting if possible, but it's not, so we should focus on the doable things instead. Perhaps you could make a suggestion thread on something else you had in mind, perhaps something that's a little more practical? I for one am hoping for some improvements to the rail system, mostly regarding the carrying on of system blocks between the turret base and the turret barrels.
     
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    And I'm trying to explain that it's impossible. Why is this so hard to understand?
    Disagree 125%. It's very possible, if not just a little difficult. The key is to break your ideas of what the planet should look like. Instead of being a tiny lego house planet barely the size of a small man made cruise liner, it would be amazing if they were slightly more realistic and we're possibly up to 20-30 km in diameter. We'd need fewer planets and could do planetary battles like no other. It's very possible and the engine is capable of doing this seemlessly. It would just take months and months of programming and debugging.
     

    Valiant70

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    Disagree 125%. It's very possible, if not just a little difficult. The key is to break your ideas of what the planet should look like. Instead of being a tiny lego house planet barely the size of a small man made cruise liner, it would be amazing if they were slightly more realistic and we're possibly up to 20-30 km in diameter. We'd need fewer planets and could do planetary battles like no other. It's very possible and the engine is capable of doing this seemlessly. It would just take months and months of programming and debugging.
    The question is, how?
     
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    Disagree 125%. It's very possible, if not just a little difficult. The key is to break your ideas of what the planet should look like. Instead of being a tiny lego house planet barely the size of a small man made cruise liner, it would be amazing if they were slightly more realistic and we're possibly up to 20-30 km in diameter. We'd need fewer planets and could do planetary battles like no other. It's very possible and the engine is capable of doing this seemlessly. It would just take months and months of programming and debugging.
    You don't know what you're talking about. Yes, the engine is technically capable of generating regular segmented planets that are this large. Rendering them and interacting with them, however, is something completely different. It would also require sectors to be enlarged to gargantuan sizes, as you can't have entities possessing multiple sectors without screwing up the game really bad.

    The planets we have right now are very large already. Changing the amount of planets in the universe won't make a difference if you make them that big; they'll still be a huge performance drain that no amount of optimizations can fix. On another front, there is simply no way to feasibly render the amount of blocks necessary for a planet that large to be worthwhile. You'll still only be able to see as much of that multi-kilometer planet as you are currently able to see a normal planet. Ever noticed how despite the hardware improvements over the years, you can still see only the same maximum amount of land on a minecraft world as you were first able to? All you'd get is just a small visible part of that huge planet surface, with a far greater visible amount of exposed planet core everywhere on your view. No computer could ever handle what you are wanting.

    How exactly do you propose "massive planetary battles" would happen anyway? It couldn't be actual land battles. If you have two separate factions battling for control of a planet, all it takes to wipe out every unit on the ground is to just take a decent-sized spaceship from up in space and obliterate it. Actual planet-to-orbit battles would be no different from how they are on current planets anyway; you'd still have X amount of players having to build X amount of things, and there's plenty of space on current planets to build a death-star equivalent of a planetary defense system.
    [DOUBLEPOST=1431231604,1431231061][/DOUBLEPOST]
    The question is, how?
    You'll notice he didn't explain "how" because there isn't a "how" when it comes to round planets AND retaining the level of space-to-ground interaction the game has. It's possible in THEORY to make a segmented planet that large, but it's very impractical in application.

    There will never be round planets on this game. Schema already ruled so over a year ago and no amount of suggestion threads or poorly botched explanations of how it can work will change anything.
     
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    Valiant70

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    You don't know what you're talking about. Yes, the engine is technically capable of generating regular segmented planets that are this large. Rendering them and interacting with them, however, is something completely different. It would also require sectors to be enlarged to gargantuan sizes, as you can't have entities possessing multiple sectors without screwing up the game really bad.

    The planets we have right now are very large already. Changing the amount of planets in the universe won't make a difference if you make them that big; they'll still be a huge performance drain that no amount of optimizations can fix. On another front, there is simply no way to feasibly render the amount of blocks necessary for a planet that large to be worthwhile. You'll still only be able to see as much of that multi-kilometer planet as you are currently able to see a normal planet. Ever noticed how despite the hardware improvements over the years, you can still see only the same maximum amount of land on a minecraft world as you were first able to? All you'd get is just a small visible part of that huge planet surface, with a far greater visible amount of exposed planet core everywhere on your view. No computer could ever handle what you are wanting.

    How exactly do you propose "massive planetary battles" would happen anyway? It couldn't be actual land battles. If you have two separate factions battling for control of a planet, all it takes to wipe out every unit on the ground is to just take a decent-sized spaceship from up in space and obliterate it. Actual planet-to-orbit battles would be no different from how they are on current planets anyway; you'd still have X amount of players having to build X amount of things, and there's plenty of space on current planets to build a death-star equivalent of a planetary defense system.
    [DOUBLEPOST=1431231604,1431231061][/DOUBLEPOST]
    You'll notice he didn't explain "how" because there isn't a "how" when it comes to round planets AND retaining the level of space-to-ground interaction the game has. It's possible in THEORY to make a segmented planet that large, but it's very impractical in application.

    There will never be round planets on this game. Schema already ruled so over a year ago and no amount of suggestion threads or poorly botched explanations of how it can work will change anything.
    Then why don't you just ignore us and let us create "poorly botched explanations" if we want to? Why does it pain you so much to let us have a discussion. You have made your point repeatedly to the point of being pointless and spammy. Please stop.