galaxy map information modes/overlays

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tzlaine
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#106 Post by tzlaine » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:32 pm

Well, if all we want to do is cover the stuff inside the system ring (the star texture and the info ring(s)) and starlanes, I think that's pretty easy to accomplish with a shader. The texture-based approach would be a real pain. It would look fine most of the time, but making it look right all of the time would be a lot of work.

EDIT: Using a texture that is a solid color, or a more continuous image than a checkerboard or alternating lines, would make the texture-based approach a bit easier to get right.
EDIT: It would also be possible to make an old-tv-style snowy-interference pattern with a shader that would look really nice. The texture-based approach can't do anything dynamic, of course.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#107 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:03 pm

tzlaine wrote:Well, if all we want to do is cover the stuff inside the system ring (the star texture and the info ring(s)) and starlanes, I think that's pretty easy to accomplish with a shader. The texture-based approach would be a real pain.
Is there something obvious I'm missing with the stencil and wrapped texture on a sufficiently large quad method? When could that fail? There are no texture coordinate issues with the edges of the circle.
It would also be possible to make an old-tv-style snowy-interference pattern with a shader that would look really nice. The texture-based approach can't do anything dynamic, of course.
Snowy patterns are fine, but I don't think we should be doing anything time varying that large on the map. It could be rather distracting...

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tzlaine
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#108 Post by tzlaine » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:20 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
tzlaine wrote:Well, if all we want to do is cover the stuff inside the system ring (the star texture and the info ring(s)) and starlanes, I think that's pretty easy to accomplish with a shader. The texture-based approach would be a real pain.
Is there something obvious I'm missing with the stencil and wrapped texture on a sufficiently large quad method? When could that fail? There are no texture coordinate issues with the edges of the circle.
The issue is that if your original texture has lines 8 pixels thick, when you apply it to the system ring, the 8 pixels will turn into something more or less than 8 pixels unless the area you cover with the texture is exactly the height of the original texture. So, to keep the interference lines looking the same at all zoom levels, you need to change the texture coordinates. Calculating the exact texture coordinates you need is nontrivial, since GL doesn't guarantee pixel perfection. The net result would probably be that the lines you paint will usually be 8 pixels, but will sometimes be crisp and sometimes fuzzy, or sometimes 7 or 9 pixels.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#109 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:01 pm

tzlaine wrote:The issue is that if your original texture has lines 8 pixels thick, when you apply it to the system ring, the 8 pixels will turn into something more or less than 8 pixels unless the area you cover with the texture is exactly the height of the original texture.
If we can't specify a quad 8x6 thick with texture coordinates going from 0.0 to 6.0 and be sure to get perfect tiling 48 pixels thick, then we could render 6 columns of 8 pixel thick quads that are each the exact size of the texture.

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eleazar
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#110 Post by eleazar » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:41 pm

* I don't think we'll want to do anything animated.

* A "snowy" noise texture works for close zooms but doesn't work well at lower zoom levels. It has an indistinct, "muddy" effect that most of the solid color effects i tried had.
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eleazar
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#111 Post by eleazar » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:16 am

BTW the Image should also be used when the player mouses over a system he hasn't explored yet, because he can't pull up the sidebar when he hasn't found out what is there.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#112 Post by eleazar » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:40 pm

Also some of the things discussed in this thread have a direct application outside of the galaxy map.

* For instance the Bold/Italic/Underline type that indicates Capitol/Homeworld/Shipyard should also be used in the sidebar for the planets, and other places planet/system names are listed.

* Fog of war can be applied over the sidebar planets to help reinforce that the system is currently unobserved.
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#113 Post by gurkesaft » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:50 am

I like the idea of smoothly dropping-off the map's alpha the further you get from a fleet or planet containing a ships or satellites with long-range sensors. Since alpha can be at most 1, the blobs would merge into each other nicely showing your fog of war.

The algorithm would be straightforward: at each pixel, roll through the list of sensors and take the alpha value as the strongest sensor's signal (which is a smooth function of sensor distance; I can recommend a few function if interested).

Sensor technology advances would then simply amount to changing the characteristic radius of the sensor.

Once in place, a second step could be to have a grayscale-rendered version of the map with all the last-known information and a colorful version rendered with up-to-date info blended together, with up-to-date info strongest near sensors and out-of-date info strongest away from sensors.

Just a thought. I hope this wasn't buried in the thread already. I did read through most of it. I'm also a coder and was thinking about looking at freeorion's code :)

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Jack

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eleazar
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#114 Post by eleazar » Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:48 am

gurkesaft wrote:I like the idea of smoothly dropping-off the map's alpha the further you get from a fleet or planet containing a ships or satellites with long-range sensors.
Sounds good in theory until you ask yourself questions like, "how do you travel to stars beyond scanner range, if there is nothing visible to click on?"
gurkesaft wrote:Once in place, a second step could be to have a grayscale-rendered version of the map with all the last-known information
A lot of information is contained in color, especially the empire colors which show who owns what. Obscuring all color info would be unnecessarily annoying.


I've been over similar ideas a couple times with mock-ups, and found it unworkable for these and other reasons. Of course i could have missed something. If you think this can really work you'll need to make mockups to show that the idea has potential.

gurkesaft wrote:I'm also a coder and was thinking about looking at freeorion's code
Welcome!
We can always use more coders.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#115 Post by gurkesaft » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:34 pm

Oof those are good points.

I can see two solutions to not seeing where you're going. One option is to use the alpha mask to draw everything BUT the stars and paths (i.e. fleets star info etc...), then draw the stars and (optionally) paths on top (maybe use a weaker alpha mask to dim the ones out of range with a 20% floor) and keep them selectable. Star types and distances can be mapped out with just telescopes after all.

Alternatively, instead of clicking stars to travel, we could click the path (which would still be visible in the total-blackout scenario).

You're absolutely right about grayscale.

Maybe I'll make a mockup if I find some time... :)

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eleazar
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#116 Post by eleazar » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:58 am

gurkesaft wrote:I can see two solutions to not seeing where you're going. One option is to use the alpha mask to draw everything BUT the stars and paths (i.e. fleets star info etc...)
Yeah, but stars and lanes are the only really solid, consistent thing on the map. The background stars and gas are too dim and/or irregular to be much use in gauging where your range of vision actually ends, where it is at 50% etc.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#117 Post by gurkesaft » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:34 pm

hmm. Could alpha-blend to a medium gray or a lighter background color for regions you can't see.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#118 Post by pd » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:25 pm

Give it a try, create a mockup.

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eleazar
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#119 Post by eleazar » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:47 pm

gurkesaft wrote:hmm. Could alpha-blend to a medium gray or a lighter background color for regions you can't see.
Theoretically.

There's the potential ugliness issue, and issued of contrast.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: General GUI re-stylization

#120 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:29 pm

eleazar wrote:I'm thinking:
  • Bold for capitol(s)
    Underline for shipyard(s), and
    Italic for homeworlds
Done, on sidepanel and map.

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