Geoff the Medio wrote:
Why do you have background big-nebula-like-texture extending well out into intergalactic space? This distorts the gameplay-shape of the galaxy significantly.
Let's not confuse things. The nebulae have nothing to do with the cloudy things and the pixel stars(let's just call them dust from now on) which shape the galaxy.
I meant the cloudy things, which it appears you've used current nebula textures to create... hence "nebula-like-texture"
You meant the big faint non-gameplay-nebulae, which - as I've said - has nothing to do with shaping the galaxy.
I mean the stuff outside the cyan circle and enclosed in magenta in the attached.
I agree that it looks better and is easier to use if the nebula textures stick a lot closer to where the gameplay stars are.
It's just an artistic choice. It's just some overlap, some variance.
I don't want the nebulae to be perfectly circular or circular cropped. I might have gone a bit overboard with this, but it's pretty dark and hard to see anyway and has no gameplay value either. It's quite important when discussing about those things is to have the screen properly calibrated. A fairly easy way to do this - at least in terms of brightness/contrast/gamma is using a picture like this:
Could you please make sure that both rows of 1-8 are recognizable and that all nine tonal steps are evenly changing in brightness? The first 1(first row) and the last 8(second row) have to be equaly easy been seen.
The issue is that you want "dust" that looks like stars. Dust does not look like discrete bright points of light on a black background... that looks like stars, and looks like the background starfield. Dust, or generic galaxy-filling interstellar gas, could be smooth or blotchy like the stuff in the second attachment, extracted from eleazar's mockup. It could also look like the cloudy things.
It could also include some particles, or some kind of matter to avoid the too clean and cloudy looking mockup labeled "just gaseous substance". See how in the next mockup labeled "gaseous slightly toned down + toned down pixel stars", the "dust" nicely breaks up this too soft looking clouds? We can't go from fairly large sized stars to nothing IMO, there should be a step in between, hence the particles...
Then why does it look like stars?
It just some pixels. They are mid grey in this mockup and will probably be even darker in-game. They really could be anything. If I would want them to be stars(gameplay stars) they would be shown like those.
But if that texture was at 100% at max zoom in, then it would probably have to be very high res to cover enough space.
Showing them at 100% when zoomed in is my intention. I don't see why they have to be high resolution though. They are gonna placed just like the gaseous, cloudy things, probably even in the same textures. I discarded the idea of using a single image for all pixel stars/clouds to shape the galaxy previously in the other thread. This thread is all about placing tiny sprites by code, as visualized on one of my first mockups here.
In regards to your mock-ups, after looking at them for a while, i think you have too many layers. Your "gaseous substance" [...] is visually about the same thing as your large nebulae with these differences:
1) "gaseous substance" follows the shape of the galaxy
2) "gaseous substance" is a uniform dull grey.
Just to be clear:
- It was my intention to do those gaseous, cloudy, galaxy shape following things using sprites from the beginning. Please see my mockup labeled "just gaseous substance:". Right above it I'm talking about 300 instances and I was assuming to use the same technique es shown in the mockup labeled "To visualize this, here is another mockup"
- There is one large faint nebula that colors those gaseous clouds. This is much easier than coloring by code and adds more variety as well.
- A layer based system is a beautiful thing.
Your "gaseous substance"(which is more or less the same idea i was trying to get at with my mock-up of "blue blobs")
I previously wrote:
Notice, those squares are supposed to be randomly flipped and rotated sprites include about 10-30 tiny stars(merly dots) each. We might also introduce some faint gaseous substance, especially for the sprites used in the center of the galaxy.
So yeah, it's the same and it always was.
1) excessively over-zoomed textures, and
2) galaxy boundary trespass.
1)The large faint background nebula is without any definition. Bluring introduced by zooming is not really visible because everything is made of large single colored areas or falloffs anyway. See this old screenshot
, when nebulae have been bigger than they are now. This is about how it should look when zoomed in. In addition there will be some more detailed cloud shapes, introduced by the sprites.
It's just an artistic choice. It's just some overlap, some variance. I don't want the nebulae to be perfectly circular or circular cropped.
Every further discussion about pixel stars/dust/particles/whatever is useless, because we are running in circles and I won't invest any further time in it until we have some code to play with.
Ultimately, I just would like to have some textures placed like in one of my previous mockups shown. What we put into those textures(clouds/pixels) can be fiddled with later.