Planetary Appearance

Development of artwork, requests, suggestions, samples, or if you have artwork to offer. Primarily for the artists.
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eleazar
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Planetary Appearance

#1 Post by eleazar » Thu May 15, 2008 4:32 am

For ease of posting, i thought it would be better to discuss way to improve and help distinguish the different planet types in the graphics forum so we can upload images more easily.

As a baseline here is what we currently have in trunk as of today. Assembled in photoshop without any of the atmospheric effects.
current-EP-wheel.jpg
current-EP-wheel.jpg (86.96 KiB) Viewed 2399 times
Inferno I much prefer the distinctiveness of the style show in pd's ogre screenshot with the prominent molten lava rifts.

Toxic and Swamp as mentioned previously are rather similar in appearance.

Ocean I'd like to get rid of this type for some of the conceptual reasons Tortanick mentioned, i.e. Earth, is an ocean planet., but more importantly for this forum, for the reason that it's visually too similar to the Pacific side of a Terran planet, and not very distinct from the current bluish tundra planets.

Radiated i like the blotchy pattern of the radiated planet closest to the center. I don't know what those rounded shapes are, but they are visually distinctive, and thus should be used more extensively.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Planetary Appearance

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu May 15, 2008 5:20 am

eleazar wrote:Ocean [...] it's visually too similar to the Pacific side of a Terran planet, and not very distinct from the current bluish tundra planets.
You could get rid of most or all of the clouds on Ocean textures, and add a few different shades of blue in continent-like shapes.

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pd
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Re: Planetary Appearance

#3 Post by pd » Thu May 15, 2008 5:32 pm

Ocean: I've used a more purple atmosphere to further distinguish it from terran planets, this could be taken further. I'll remove(most of the) clouds in my next update.

Toxic and Swamp: How about pushing toxic more towards a brown color range, as I did in my first planets. Also toxic could get green or yellow clouds for example. Compare those:
Image Image

Inferno: Thanks, I've reworked the previous texture quite a lot. It just didn't feel hot as it was. The white clouds look pretty weird and will be replaced with black ones hopefully.

Radiated: Yes, those patterns are quite distinct and should be explored. Do you think we could add a thin atmosphere?

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Re: Planetary Appearance

#4 Post by shrinkshooter » Fri May 16, 2008 12:24 am

A brownish planet looks like a desert planet. Even if we don't have a desert category, I guarantee that the appearance of the first planet seen above will elicit this response from would-be gamers, especially if they've played other 4x space games.
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eleazar
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Re: Planetary Appearance

#5 Post by eleazar » Fri May 16, 2008 1:28 am

Color is important, and as much as possible i'd like each type to have a distinctive color scheme.

However, IMHO, a big part of the formula for making a planet type distinctly recognizable is not so much color, but the "texture" of the planet. I.E. the distinctive lava chasms of an inferno world, or the craters of a barren world.

See how even when illuminated by a strongly yellow light source, the different types are still reasonably distinguishable: Though i think the examples below could work even better.
texture.jpg
texture.jpg (93.1 KiB) Viewed 2307 times
An important part of the "texture" can be the clouds. For instance it would be hard to mistake a planet with the prominent zebra-striped pattern of Venus' clouds for a Terran world.

I made these with a different idea in mind, and some of them are silly, but using different types of the clouds here: could help distinguish the planet types.

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Tortanick
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Re: Planetary Appearance

#6 Post by Tortanick » Fri May 16, 2008 5:37 am

Where exactly will you get a strong yellow light? I'm pretty sure sunlight is always white regardless of the colour of the star.

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pd
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Re: Planetary Appearance

#7 Post by pd » Fri May 16, 2008 6:24 am

shrinkshooter wrote:A brownish planet looks like a desert planet. Even if we don't have a desert category, I guarantee that the appearance of the first planet seen above will elicit this response from would-be gamers, especially if they've played other 4x space games.
Actually we have a desert environmental category. It currently looks like this:
Image
and is quite different from the brown toxic planet above.

I agree with eleazar that texture and patterns play an important part, but color is still the most important part, because patterns aren't visible from the distance, color is.

It's pretty safe to say, that we will have different colored stars, that illuminate the planets in a different way, realism aside. This provides a bigger variety and is a major factor in setting a certain mood.

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Re: Planetary Appearance

#8 Post by M4lV » Fri May 16, 2008 3:07 pm

Tortanick wrote:Where exactly will you get a strong yellow light? I'm pretty sure sunlight is always white regardless of the colour of the star.
not if elements are predominant in the outer area surrounding that star (like a gas nebula for example) which filters out certain wavelengths by using it for jumping between quantum energy levels or breaking the light apart the old-fashioned way like a prisma and reflecting let's say the red parts (wavelengths) so the resulting penetrating light is of blue color. It's all possible.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Planetary Appearance

#9 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri May 16, 2008 3:53 pm

Tortanick wrote:Where exactly will you get a strong yellow light? I'm pretty sure sunlight is always white regardless of the colour of the star.
Pretty sure based on what? The colour of a star is the colour (peak intensity, roughly) of the light it emits.

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Re: Planetary Appearance

#10 Post by M4lV » Fri May 16, 2008 4:34 pm

not always, it's also dependant on the perceiving race's eyes and how they "interprete" the mix of wavelengths reaching them: http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/19 ... .As.r.html

That way stars are never green for us humans but certainly for other races that don't redefine it as yellow-white.

Short recapture of the term "white light": It means "balanced" light, i.e. all wavelengths are equally distributed in the light's spectrum.

Now we humans have due to the fact that our sun has a peak radiation at green light adapted to that green light and perceive "whiteness" not only as equally distributed (that we do too) but also as slightly pro-green distributed when light intensity is high enough. Then another part of our vision steps in and tells us it's white.

So to make use of that information is quite simple: Each race's homeworld has a distinctive "black body temperature radiation maximum peak wavelength" hence color which that race will perceive as white so a race with a red star will perceive our "yellow-white sun" as green while it sees her sun as white so at their galaxy map, our sun should be drawn in green color while their red one is drawn yellow-white.

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Re: Planetary Appearance

#11 Post by tzlaine » Fri May 16, 2008 6:19 pm

M4lV wrote:not always, it's also dependant on the perceiving race's eyes and how they "interprete" the mix of wavelengths reaching them: http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/19 ... .As.r.html
[snip]
We're making a game, not a simulation. Realism arguments are unwelcome on these forums.

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Re: Planetary Appearance

#12 Post by M4lV » Fri May 16, 2008 6:47 pm

you snipped the best parts out. I made a conclusion that combines both realism and simulation improvement.

not quite nice to not read people's posts completely. That's unwelcomed with me.

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eleazar
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Re: Planetary Appearance

#13 Post by eleazar » Fri May 16, 2008 7:27 pm

M4lV wrote:you snipped the best parts out. I made a conclusion that combines both realism and simulation improvement.

not quite nice to not read people's posts completely. That's unwelcomed with me.
Just because he didn't quote the whole post doesn't mean he didn't read it.

You are welcome to contribute, but you must understand what we are trying to accomplish. We are trying to make a game, realism is not important, we are not trying to make an galaxy simulator. An idea must enhance the gameplay for it to be considered useful.

Your idea about changing the perceived color of stars for each species, may be realistic, but it makes the game more complicated and potentially confusing without making it more fun.

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Re: Planetary Appearance

#14 Post by M4lV » Fri May 16, 2008 8:57 pm

I do understand the part about making a game completely. But what the heck with the rest? Is it not wanted to try to explain game features that one wants by giving a short background to it where my idea was coming from in the first place? After all it only adds up to the discussion. I think it's worst when you shut down such a discussion by effectively telling people that only unrealistic ideas are wanted because that's the logical conclusion of what he said except he didn't read in full and did not catch that implementing that idea does not violate the "realism must always come after gameplay and simulation purposes when it takes too much effort to implement"-principle every game coder knows about. Btw. me too. So there's no need to lecture me here. He should have known that by reading what little I wrote so far.

I'm really a bit upset here, sorry for all this but it was not my idea to talk about all this tonight...

P.S.: It might not deter other users when implementing my idea, in fact it could even stir additional interest in it (more distinction, a learning effect with the interested gamer when he looks up the explanation in the game's encyclopedia). For me it would be a rather cool thing to have and it would make more fun (for me!) and I hate it when I'm glibly put into the corner of gamers that are not interesting to the devs cause they demand too much or anything. It's a small thing where I'd think: wow, they really thought about everything!

To sum it up, I fail to see the point why I should not explain my posts with a small dose of realism when it doesn't hurt anything else on the game's development part and I'm very careful that it doesn't before I post. I should have gotten the benefit of a doubt here.

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Re: Planetary Appearance

#15 Post by shrinkshooter » Sat May 17, 2008 5:25 am

For what it's worth, I agree with you. This occurrence is quite surprising to me, and lowers my respect for certain aspects of these forums a bit. I mean look at the brainstorming forums, and how many ideas people pop off the tops of their heads. Some are good, some are bad, and the bad ones we simply tell the creator that we can't use them. We don't resort to censorship.

M4IV, it is posted somewhere around here that this project and these forums are not a democracy, so pretty much the mods/admins can do whatever they want. That's completely fine with me because I understand that they are respectable, upstanding people. But this is just stupid. Censorship is totally unnecessary in this instance. If you want the argument to stop, it's best to kindly tell the person to do so, or to get back on track, or claim that "well you have good points, but we're going to ignore this, so thank you but sorry." There are a whole bunch of ways to tactfully end a discussion of something on these forums that you (admins or mods) don't wish to continue. For reasons beyond me, you chose one of the worst ways (the worst deleting his post entirely). Why do something like this? Keep the thread shorter? We have threads that stretch on for dozens of pages. To make the discussion stop? I already discussed other ways of doing this.

tzlaine and eleazar may very well tell me "shut up. you're right, this is not a democracy, and what we did is best for this thread. Besides, this is only a small thing, why are you making it such a big deal?" Just because he offered ideas you KNOW you're not going to use is no excuse for deleting his argument, no matter how "inane" you might think it is. And this pretty much is a big deal. No, I'm not worried that FO is going to become the next fascist government or something. But censoring people is just as bad for a mod or admin to do as it is for a newbie to start spamming the forums with crap. M4IV didn't swear, didn't spam, nothing. It was just an argument.

I realize that my difference of opinion, and especially my "calling out" of the mods/admins, may put me on people's bad sides. Maybe more than I already have, if that is the case. But I'm fine with that, because at least I'm taking a stand for something I think it right. Hopefully no one censors me.
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