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 Planetary Scales

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Tenebrarum
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PostSubject: Planetary Scales   Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:31 pm

Right, so, I'm trying to work out a couple of kinks in regards to Society Stage and the development of nations, and I've hit a bit of an issue.

Thanks to roadkillguy, we now have a ballpark guesstimate that an "Earth sized planet" should be roughly two times the size of a Spore homeworld.

Now, unlike other games, I haven't been able to find much of any information on the actual size of a Spore world. I tried to work it out myself, but an accursed mental roadblock has been repeatedly punching me in the face whenever I try to do so. If one of you could help me out with this, I'd be very grateful.

Beyond that, I'd greatly appreciate some ballpark guesses for the sizes of biomes too. This is something we'll need to play around with, lest they get so small you can see the entire thing while at ground level, or so large that a third of your planet ends up being the same Belgium biome. (Although sometimes these would happen... :S)

Once we can predict these sizes, than it should be significantly easier for me to give you guys some better info on how far apart nations will need to spawn and how fast they should be able to grow.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:12 am

This can Help: http://forum.spore.com/jforum/posts/list/46894.page
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:39 am

Wow those forums are dead now.

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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:09 pm

ido66667 wrote:
This can Help: http://forum.spore.com/jforum/posts/list/46894.page

What I learn from this is...

Spore has either very big creatures or very small planets. Probably small planets. Bad luck for Forest Gump the giant runner. Anyone fancy making a meter stick and measuring a Spore planet then?
Other than that, there's not much we can do. Except ask EA/Maxis. They've probably forgotten what Spore is, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:35 pm

Thanks idostringofnumbers. According to that thread, the average spore home-world should be two miles in diameter.

Now, if we could manage to squeeze out ten or more square miles of surface area, we should be in a comfortable position for the society stages. Of course, the bigger the better though.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:36 am

Tenebrarum wrote:
Thanks idostringofnumbers. According to that thread, the average spore home-world should be two miles in diameter.

Now, if we could manage to squeeze out ten or more square miles of surface area, we should be in a comfortable position for the society stages. Of course, the bigger the better though.

Ideally, it should be big enough that you don't notice the curvature of the planet until late in the modern era, or else you'd wonder why your aliens need to study the curvature of their planet when it is plainly visible. In Spore it is visible in the tribal stage; when they should believe they are on a pretty much flat world, they will probably already be going on morning walks round the planet.

In short, the size of the planet should at least be big enough that you won't find stunt-cars in colliding with aeroplanes because the ramp was a bit too high. If it had vehicles that could go any faster than 20 mph, that would probably be the case in Spore. And in case your wondering, stunt-cars don't collide with planes very often in real life.

That wasn't really much shorter, but oh well.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:15 pm

The Uteen wrote:
Ideally, it should be big enough that you don't notice the curvature of the planet until late in the modern era, or else you'd wonder why your aliens need to study the curvature of their planet when it is plainly visible. In Spore it is visible in the tribal stage; when they should believe they are on a pretty much flat world, they will probably already be going on morning walks round the planet.

In short, the size of the planet should at least be big enough that you won't find stunt-cars in colliding with aeroplanes because the ramp was a bit too high. If it had vehicles that could go any faster than 20 mph, that would probably be the case in Spore. And in case your wondering, stunt-cars don't collide with planes very often in real life.

That wasn't really much shorter, but oh well.

I was thinking we want to be able to have borders that are large enough to contain more than one city, without shrinking the cities to four buildings large.

Quick note on that though, even on Earth the curvature is plainly visible. We've known about it for as long as we've had written language, really. So long as you have an open space big enough to see the horizon unobstructed, (In most cases we used the sea) you can figure it out. The Greeks actually compensated for it in some of their architecture. That's why the Acropolis looks almost weirdly square.

Back on topic, I want to see how big I can make nations and towns. Their easy enough to shrink, but the more we do so, the more we sacrifice weight to the setting.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:16 pm

Why not just make them Earth size?

If the file size is the problem, we could always have a slider at the start for how big the planets are... Then we won't find ourselves too out-of-date when the average computer has about 10 terabytes of storage. And it means people with tons of storage space won't be kept from using it by the averages.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:02 pm

The Uteen wrote:
Why not just make them Earth size?

If the file size is the problem, we could always have a slider at the start for how big the planets are... Then we won't find ourselves too out-of-date when the average computer has about 10 terabytes of storage. And it means people with tons of storage space won't be kept from using it by the averages.
We can really make them any size, it just comes down to the resolution of the polygons on the surface. Once we know the maximum resolution for those, we can know how large we can make planets safely.

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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:03 pm

There's no real limit... we could just simply shape the major points or reference and then when we get down to the spot, the terrain details could be made on the fly ( and discarded when you leavefor unexplored/far away/other planets)?
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:02 pm

So I ran some numbers, and it turns out that a planet with a 4 mile diameter (Twice the size of Spore) will give us 50 square miles of surface area.

That's a fair amount, but unfortunately water reduces that significantly. In Thrive, Earth would have only 15 square miles of landmass.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:53 pm

Tenebrarum wrote:
So I ran some numbers, and it turns out that a planet with a 4 mile diameter (Twice the size of Spore) will give us 50 square miles of surface area.

That's a fair amount, but unfortunately water reduces that significantly. In Thrive, Earth would have only 15 square miles of landmass.
Like I said, the real question is how many polygons we can make a planet out of.

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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:33 am

~sciocont wrote:
Tenebrarum wrote:
So I ran some numbers, and it turns out that a planet with a 4 mile diameter (Twice the size of Spore) will give us 50 square miles of surface area.

That's a fair amount, but unfortunately water reduces that significantly. In Thrive, Earth would have only 15 square miles of landmass.
Like I said, the real question is how many polygons we can make a planet out of.
I think it depends how much hard disk we can afford to use; as we make the planets bigger, we can make the space between the planets proportionally bigger, giving us more time to load the details as the player approaches, so I don't think that's too much of a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:15 pm

Not really, Uteen. The problem is not the speed of loading the details, it's holding the details in the memory.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:27 pm

Commander Keen wrote:
Not really, Uteen. The problem is not the speed of loading the details, it's holding the details in the memory.
There's that too... LOD slider? Lots of games have them.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:17 pm

That only applies for creature and prop models. You can't meddle with the terrain much because it has to keep it's shape.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:50 pm

Commander Keen wrote:
That only applies for creature and prop models. You can't meddle with the terrain much because it has to keep it's shape.
In addition, we're talking about just plain old scale too. In a perfect world, we'll be able to go from controlling interplanetary logistics to arranging flowers on your desk back on the homeworld with a press of a button. Now being able to do that isn't the issue, the issue is being able to spend an hour arranging flowers, and have those flowers stay where you put them. Think about the worlds in any of the big-name Bethesda games, (Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim, etc.) even with such a big world, that corpse you left will stay there, exactly where you put it, for all eternity. That takes up more memory than it has any right to, so we have to find a solution.

The one we're kicking around here is smaller planets. This is a necessity anyways, as no one has the memory to fit over a hundred accurately scaled planets on their compy. However, we can shrink the worlds to something more manageable.

At the same time, we could reduce their number. Playing on only a few worlds would let them be bigger, but may or may not want to make late-game players want to kill themselves.

We could also do what Spore does and have all games take place in the same Galaxy, making their actions constant, although then we have the awkward question of alternating time scales (playing for "millions of years" in Aware stage and just hours in Space would be odd. Especially if you visit a race of yours in Space stage, then continue it and get it to the same technological level, all of which would happen within a few years by your first race's standards.) and how your own race would act, as even the best AI cannot hope to accurately mimic this kind of human behavior.

As Bashi would say, we'll likely need to combine many of these solutions, rather than use one exclusively.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:16 pm

I'm all for a one-galaxy game.

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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:11 am

~sciocont wrote:
I'm all for a one-galaxy game.
QFT, one galaxy is fine.

I doubt they’d finish exploring the galaxy before they get the ability to make new solar systems. Then they can just make more as they want them anyway. Sort of kills off the exploration theme, but by post-ascension the theme has become creation anyway. I expect the theme will change as the game progresses, there will be many before space-travel’s theme of exploration too. Notably evolution.

Tenebrarum wrote:
The one we're kicking around here is smaller planets. Kicking around smaller planets? They must be smaller. This is a necessity anyways, as no one has the memory to fit over a hundred accurately scaled planets on their compy. However, we can shrink the worlds to something more manageable. Which may make earlier-game players want to kill themselves. Spore could probably have been a bit better with bigger planets, even if it is at expense of a smaller galaxy. I never explored the whole galaxy, but I was very annoyed at the planets. There will be a balance of planet size and galaxy size, but I think we need to wait until we can actually test out how it feels before we can judge how to get it.

At the same time, we could reduce their number. Playing on only a few worlds would let them be bigger, but may or may not want to make late-game players want to kill themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:54 pm

The Uteen wrote:
~sciocont wrote:
I'm all for a one-galaxy game.
QFT, one galaxy is fine.

I doubt they’d finish exploring the galaxy before they get the ability to make new solar systems. Then they can just make more as they want them anyway. Sort of kills off the exploration theme, but by post-ascension the theme has become creation anyway. I expect the theme will change as the game progresses, there will be many before space-travel’s theme of exploration too. Notably evolution.

Tenebrarum wrote:
The one we're kicking around here is smaller planets. Kicking around smaller planets? They must be smaller. This is a necessity anyways, as no one has the memory to fit over a hundred accurately scaled planets on their compy. However, we can shrink the worlds to something more manageable. Which may make earlier-game players want to kill themselves. Spore could probably have been a bit better with bigger planets, even if it is at expense of a smaller galaxy. I never explored the whole galaxy, but I was very annoyed at the planets. There will be a balance of planet size and galaxy size, but I think we need to wait until we can actually test out how it feels before we can judge how to get it.

At the same time, we could reduce their number. Playing on only a few worlds would let them be bigger, but may or may not want to make late-game players want to kill themselves.
ok but dont make them too small like spore.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:11 pm

bill2505 wrote:
The Uteen wrote:
~sciocont wrote:
I'm all for a one-galaxy game.
QFT, one galaxy is fine.

I doubt they’d finish exploring the galaxy before they get the ability to make new solar systems. Then they can just make more as they want them anyway. Sort of kills off the exploration theme, but by post-ascension the theme has become creation anyway. I expect the theme will change as the game progresses, there will be many before space-travel’s theme of exploration too. Notably evolution.

Tenebrarum wrote:
The one we're kicking around here is smaller planets. Kicking around smaller planets? They must be smaller. This is a necessity anyways, as no one has the memory to fit over a hundred accurately scaled planets on their compy. However, we can shrink the worlds to something more manageable. Which may make earlier-game players want to kill themselves. Spore could probably have been a bit better with bigger planets, even if it is at expense of a smaller galaxy. I never explored the whole galaxy, but I was very annoyed at the planets. There will be a balance of planet size and galaxy size, but I think we need to wait until we can actually test out how it feels before we can judge how to get it.

At the same time, we could reduce their number. Playing on only a few worlds would let them be bigger, but may or may not want to make late-game players want to kill themselves.
ok but dont make them too small like spore.
Oh, forget it. Forums fail to communicate how I said that... They must be smaller for the previous to be true.

[/jokefail]

No, I would prefer them to be much bigger than Spore's planets.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:46 pm

I don't think you guys are understanding what the SIZE of a planet really means.

It's all relative.

Say you had a planet with 0 resolution. What would it be? A cube. We can make this cube as big as we friggin' want. It can be bigger than the sun, it can be smaller than a fist. It really just depends on how big everything else is relative to it. Just because the cube is big, doesn't mean it will render slow, or that the game will somehow go slow. It's just big.

If we made the highest resolution (I.E. what the ground looks like when you're right above it) one square per meter, now we have a conversion factor. Size of the planet now plays a role in how detailed the terrain is. More detail = more hard drive space. I demonstrated this and more math in the other planetary size thread.

How many celestial bodies do you plan on exploring?
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:45 am

roadkillguy wrote:
I don't think you guys are understanding what the SIZE of a planet really means.

It's all relative.

Say you had a planet with 0 resolution. What would it be? A cube. We can make this cube as big as we friggin' want. It can be bigger than the sun, it can be smaller than a fist. It really just depends on how big everything else is relative to it. Just because the cube is big, doesn't mean it will render slow, or that the game will somehow go slow. It's just big.

If we made the highest resolution (I.E. what the ground looks like when you're right above it) one square per meter, now we have a conversion factor. Size of the planet now plays a role in how detailed the terrain is. More detail = more hard drive space. I demonstrated this and more math in the other planetary size thread.

How many celestial bodies do you plan on exploring?

I was under the impression we were talking about size as in the depth of the detail, so if it was big the creatures could be very small compared to the planet, but there would still be enough detail for the textures not to look like an arrangement of large fields, and vice-versa. Now I’m just confused. Sorry.

And in answer to the question… As long as the total number of bodies is around the same as in Spore, I’ll never be able to visit them all. Really, I’d prefer the planets didn’t take about 5 seconds to completely explore than having a galaxy any bigger than Spore’s. Sorry for talking about Spore so much, but other than that I don’t really have any reference. Reality’s no good, Earth is way to much smaller than the galaxy for that to be worth playing.
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:47 pm

The Uteen wrote:
roadkillguy wrote:
I don't think you guys are understanding what the SIZE of a planet really means.

It's all relative.

Say you had a planet with 0 resolution. What would it be? A cube. We can make this cube as big as we friggin' want. It can be bigger than the sun, it can be smaller than a fist. It really just depends on how big everything else is relative to it. Just because the cube is big, doesn't mean it will render slow, or that the game will somehow go slow. It's just big.

If we made the highest resolution (I.E. what the ground looks like when you're right above it) one square per meter, now we have a conversion factor. Size of the planet now plays a role in how detailed the terrain is. More detail = more hard drive space. I demonstrated this and more math in the other planetary size thread.

How many celestial bodies do you plan on exploring?

I was under the impression we were talking about size as in the depth of the detail, so if it was big the creatures could be very small compared to the planet, but there would still be enough detail for the textures not to look like an arrangement of large fields, and vice-versa. Now I’m just confused. Sorry.

And in answer to the question… As long as the total number of bodies is around the same as in Spore, I’ll never be able to visit them all. Really, I’d prefer the planets didn’t take about 5 seconds to completely explore than having a galaxy any bigger than Spore’s. Sorry for talking about Spore so much, but other than that I don’t really have any reference. Reality’s no good, Earth is way to much smaller than the galaxy for that to be worth playing.
i agree .what a clever one would prefer
milions of planets but with a size that you need 10 minutes to expore them or 1000 planets(just an example) but very big that will take you the least one hour just to explore them(maybe more)
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PostSubject: Re: Planetary Scales   Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:08 pm

roadkillguy wrote:
I don't think you guys are understanding what the SIZE of a planet really means.

It's all relative.

Say you had a planet with 0 resolution. What would it be? A cube. We can make this cube as big as we friggin' want. It can be bigger than the sun, it can be smaller than a fist. It really just depends on how big everything else is relative to it. Just because the cube is big, doesn't mean it will render slow, or that the game will somehow go slow. It's just big.

If we made the highest resolution (I.E. what the ground looks like when you're right above it) one square per meter, now we have a conversion factor. Size of the planet now plays a role in how detailed the terrain is. More detail = more hard drive space. I demonstrated this and more math in the other planetary size thread.

How many celestial bodies do you plan on exploring?

That's actually my point.

The way our gameplay is laid out forces us to give planets enough detail that organisms can be directly controlled for extended periods. For an example, I'd say about as much detail (or a little less) as was used in the original Mount and Blade. For your sake, don't worry about that. That's the ultimate, final quality I'm shooting for, not a current request. If that's impossible, please tell me.

What I'm trying to work out is how much room I'm to be given to make my Nations and SCs.
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