Split: Landing on planets in Oolite

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OSH
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Split: Landing on planets in Oolite

Post by OSH »

As conspired Pioneer agent :D I would to say, Pioneer has something, what Oolite doesn't (yet I hope,or I'm wrong?) have: landing on planets. Not simply landing like in space station, but possibility to see all planet surface. Will be this available?
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Re: Progress

Post by Pleb »

OSH wrote:As conspired Pioneer agent :D I would to say, Pioneer has something, what Oolite doesn't (yet I hope,or I'm wrong?) have: landing on planets. Not simply landing like in space station, but possibility to see all planet surface. Will be this available?
The thing is though, you couldn't land on planets in Elite. That was in Frontier and this is Oolite not FrOontier... :lol:

(Can you imagine? Newtonian physics in Oolite? :x )

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Re: Progress

Post by OSH »

Newtonian physics - oh no! But landing on planets - why not? I know, this is (will be) hard, and Oolite is an ELITE clone, but I think, when Oolite gain such possibility will be better than Pioneer (more playable for sure).
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Re: Progress

Post by cim »

The Planetfall OXP is about as close as you're likely to get.

Actual planetary landings would require two things.
1) Bigger planets. Perhaps not "life size" but probably at least 10x bigger than they currently are, which would have serious implications for the rest of the game. At the moment you "crash" into the planet when there's still very visible curvature on the horizon, which would mean that any surface installations you could visit would be considerably bigger than a mountain. 10x bigger would make them about the size of a medium moon - Charon, or Mimas - which might still feel a little small for getting up close to in terms of actual surface, but is probably just about manageable for landing purposes.

(I've just tested with Mimas in FE2, and that sort of scale is probably just about workable for this, but anything much smaller wouldn't)

2) A completely different method for texturing and modelling planets. At the moment the planet texture for a high-quality OXP like Povray (or the default generated texture) has a resolution where the pixels on the surface are bigger than your spaceship. The model, meanwhile, even at the 20,000 triangle high detail setting, has very noticeable corners on the horizon (but is completely flat below you). Both of these problems get much worse at 10x the size, and neither can practically be solved by throwing more detailed models and bigger textures at them - a smart approach with a dynamic model and texture is required, which is difficult at best and more so to make it work at all without shaders.

I have no idea where to even start with that, though it would be really good even for just looking at the planets from orbit if that happens to be someone's specialist area.

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Re: Progress

Post by streb2001 »

The planets are mostly horrible places anyway so why would anyone want to land on them? "Scourged by deadly food blenders" would be too difficult to model in 3D and keep the frame rate sensible.

:wink:

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Re: Progress

Post by OSH »

I presented my thoughts about it only. I still consider Oolite for one of the best space-sims ever and enthusiasm to creating new OXPs is simply amazing. :)
A4000 060/50, 16 MB RAM, A1200 E/BOX Tower, Apollo 1240/25 MHz 34 MB RAM, HDD 40 GB; LiteOn 52x32x52, A1200 E1230/40 18 MB RAM, CD-32+SX-1 10 MB RAM, A500, CDTV, A600, C-64, C-64+1541-II, C-64G, C-16
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Re: Progress

Post by Pleb »

OSH wrote:I presented my thoughts about it only. I still consider Oolite for one of the best space-sims ever and enthusiasm to creating new OXPs is simply amazing. :)
I think it's a nice idea but I personally think it would require a lot of work and as cm said the planets would have to be completely redesigned.

cim - just out of curiosity, how big in relation to the size of the planets now? Like 100x the size?

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Re: Progress

Post by Wildeblood »

The way to do it with current Oolite is to create a separate model of some surface terrain over there somewhere, then teleport the player ship from the vicinity of the planet to the vicinity of the surface terrain model when the altitude falls below a certain level. It's possible to do by OXP, but not practical.

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Re: Split: Landing on planets in Oolite

Post by another_commander »

Landing on planets discussion split from Progress to own topic.

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Re: Progress

Post by Pleb »

Wildeblood wrote:The way to do it with current Oolite is to create a separate model of some surface terrain over there somewhere, then teleport the player ship from the vicinity of the planet to the vicinity of the surface terrain model when the altitude falls below a certain level. It's possible to do by OXP, but not practical.
A problem here might be draw distance. From what I can remember once an object or planet is made too large it doesn't display right. Unfortunately I'm on my way to work so I can't test this but if someone would like to prove me wrong... :wink:

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Re: Split: Landing on planets in Oolite

Post by cim »

The far clip plane is at 10^8 metres, so any object further away than that will either be invisible or drawn oddly (this distance is raised to 10^10 metres in 1.81 to stop some long-range problems with sun display)

Most object types - planets, stars, and a few others excepted - won't be drawn at a distance about 2.5*10^6 metres, as it's assumed they'll be far too small to see at that range. This is approximately equivalent to a check that no non-special object is larger than 2500 metres in radius: a few OXP objects - torus stations, generation ships - go above this and might disappear from sight when they're still a few pixels across; one OXP object - planetary ring - goes way above this and mysteriously disappears long before it "should".

I don't think either check would cause problems for faked planetary terrain - 2500km is enough, allowing for curvature, to render a planet at 1:1 scale so long as you don't let people get too high up - but those limits should all be raisable with virtually no performance impact in normal play.

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