Changing Stars

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eleazar
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Re: Binary Stars

#16 Post by eleazar » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:How hard would it be to add more star colors?
Not extremely difficult, but a bit of work due to all the different places the current set of values is used and some where all the possibilities are listed out...

But why are more star types needed? Just to have a few different colours of star icon on the map doesn't seem worth the effort or attention.
A little background:

Currently we have an awkward fusion of:
* semi-realistic simulation in galaxy generation, star types and distribution,
* science-fantasy gameplay-driven planet types.

I don't see much-- if any-- gameplay value in the simulating different galaxy ages, making toxic planets more common in the first slot, or setting up subtle tweaks in the probability of white stars to have Desert planets.
This kind of stuff sends the wrong message about what kind of game we're making-- leads newbs to think that Solar Masses, Gravity, Time Dilation and Insolation, etc. should be part of the game mechanics.

In theory certain color stars could be more likely to have certain type planets, but there's no fair, user-friendly way of mapping 9 planet types onto 5 or 6 star types.

So i'm considering 2 related changes:
A) Aesthetics: Making more unrealistic variation in star appearances (green & purple stars, etc.)
B) Gameplay: Giving each planet type a unique star color where it is most likely to appear.

I haven't yet found out if I can make nine different, (plus neutrons, which remain rare and special) easily distinguished star colors yet, so, i don't know if "B" is possible.
"A" is possible with the current system, though perhaps a little awkward, but "B" would need new types that the effects recognise.

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Re: Binary Stars

#17 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:30 pm

eleazar wrote:I haven't yet found out if I can make nine different, (plus neutrons, which remain rare and special) easily distinguished star colors yet, so, i don't know if "B" is possible.
I would also prefer to make Black Holes rare and special, which means an additional 4 star types would be required. Additionally, it may not be easy to make a purple star that's adequately distinct from Neutron Stars, which pretty much leaves you with Green and Brown.

Another option may be to include Black Holes and Neutron Stars, but have the EP with which they are associated be a cheap pick that allows the race to have more other advantages, though that's a bit further from the simplicity and ease of balance which I assume you're envisioning.
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eleazar
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Re: Binary Stars

#18 Post by eleazar » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:49 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:I haven't yet found out if I can make nine different, (plus neutrons, which remain rare and special) easily distinguished star colors yet, so, i don't know if "B" is possible.
I would also prefer to make Black Holes rare and special, which means an additional 4 star types would be required.
Yeah, black hole have a stronger claim to being rare and special than neutrons. I didn't mention them because they aren't stars.

Finding colors isn't the problem, i'd do something like:
Terran, yellow
Ocean, white
Swamp, green
Toxic, cyan
Inferno, blue
Radiated, purple
Barren, magenta
Tundra, red
Desert, orange,
Neutron, dull brown/grey

I'm just not sure you could tell all the colors apart at small size when they are made all shiny and glowy

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eleazar
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Re: Changing Stars

#19 Post by eleazar » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:08 pm

OK, these aren't finished star graphics, but i'm now convinced that it is possible. 10 star colors can be distinguished.

Part of what makes it work is that stars of similar color are rather different sizes, so you have 2 clues as to the star's identity.
Neutron is the grey one in the middle.
10 star colors.jpg
10 star colors.jpg (36.68 KiB) Viewed 1779 times
EDIT3: Better distinguishable tiny stars.

EDIT:
So i'm officially proposing that cyan, magenta, green, & purple be added to the roster of star colors, so that each EP can have a unique star color where it is most likely to occur. "Cyan" and & "magenta" are the most technically precise names, but may be somewhat unfamiliar, if so i can suggest alternate names. "Magenta" especially has only 19 million google hits, to "Cyan"s ~100 million, or "Blue"s ~600 million.

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Re: Changing Stars

#20 Post by em3 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:33 pm

I really like the word magenta (and am familiar with it), but I guess it is somewhat less known than, say, violet or purple.
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Re: Changing Stars

#21 Post by Zireael » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:00 am

Like eleazar's idea. In its entirety.

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Changing Stars

#22 Post by Bigjoe5 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:13 pm

It does seem like a logical step to take for balancing gameplay.
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eleazar
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Re: Changing Stars

#23 Post by eleazar » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:06 am

Let's call the purple ones "violet", since that term is less likely to be applied to the magenta color, and it sounds a bit more scientific, as it's used in "ultra-violet"

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Re: Changing Stars

#24 Post by em3 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:01 pm

Did I mention I'm partially color blind? :mrgreen:
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Sloth
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Re: Changing Stars

#25 Post by Sloth » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:12 pm

I'm in favor of this change. Thumb's up.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Binary Stars

#26 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:22 am

eleazar wrote:A) Aesthetics: Making more unrealistic variation in star appearances (green & purple stars, etc.)
Star appearance variation doesn't really require game mechanics modification, does it?
B) Gameplay: Giving each planet type a unique star color where it is most likely to appear.
This seems like a weak reason for this degree of change...

If there are to be new star types, why not multiple sizes of a particular colour (Red Giant, Red Dwarf, White Giant, White Dwarf) and have some others with size labels (Blue Giant, Brown Dwarf), and then fill out the rest with medium-sized or other star types: Protostar, Yellow, Orange, Neutron, Black Hole (and No Star).

If you want star size to actually mean something, semi-randomly assigning sizes to colours seems like it will be obviously arbitrary and somewhat confusing to players. Having at least a few cases of same-colour but different-size being distinct adds some variety for species / things that prefer a particular size or colour (but don't care about the other).

Or at least just have Blue stars be large (giants) and replace the magenta with a brown small (dwarf) star.
eleazar wrote:"violet" ... sounds a bit more scientific, as it's used in "ultra-violet"
"ultra-violet" refers to "beyond violet", as in the colour "violet", much like how "infra-red" refers to "below red".

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eleazar
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Re: Binary Stars

#27 Post by eleazar » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:04 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:A) Aesthetics: Making more unrealistic variation in star appearances (green & purple stars, etc.)
Star appearance variation doesn't really require game mechanics modification, does it?
No. Just some code changes so the correct tiny_star, big star and halo get matched.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:B) Gameplay: Giving each planet type a unique star color where it is most likely to appear.
This seems like a weak reason for this degree of change...
At least i've given gameplay-related reasons. And throwing out a lot of pointless shallow simulation in the galaxy and building things to be gameplay-oriented instead seems worthwhile to me.

I'm not saying you should drop everything and do this now! I'm saying this is where the game should go, and since galaxy generation is broken (does not produce stars/planets/sizes according to the probabilities in universe_table.txt), some/much of this will have to be recoded anyway. So lets do it better.
Geoff the Medio wrote:If there are to be new star types, why not multiple sizes of a particular colour (Red Giant, Red Dwarf, White Giant, White Dwarf) and have some others with size labels (Blue Giant, Brown Dwarf), and then fill out the rest with medium-sized or other star types: Protostar, Yellow, Orange, Neutron, Black Hole (and No Star).
More to the point: "why?"

If these types are supposed to be a replacement for the 9+ types needed to associate a star with each EP, then it should hardly need to be said, that it will be more difficult to distinguish between stars of the same color but different size, than stars of different size and different color. In my testing this is especially true when zoomed out.

EDIT: Not that i'm diametrically opposed to the idea, but additional complexity needs more justification than "why not".
Geoff the Medio wrote:If you want star size to actually mean something, semi-randomly assigning sizes to colours seems like it will be obviously arbitrary and somewhat confusing to players. Having at least a few cases of same-colour but different-size being distinct adds some variety for species / things that prefer a particular size or colour (but don't care about the other).
An arbitrary, but very simple rule is bound to cause less confusion that a more complicated rule(s). If you are worried about confusing the player, what you've just proposed is not the way to go.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:"violet" ... sounds a bit more scientific, as it's used in "ultra-violet"
"ultra-violet" refers to "beyond violet", as in the colour "violet", much like how "infra-red" refers to "below red".
I know. As a geeky artist, the science of color is one of my interests. That doesn't change my point.

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Re: Binary Stars

#28 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:39 am

eleazar wrote:No. Just some code changes so the correct tiny_star, big star and halo get matched.
Could you elaborate on / specify what changes are desired about how those are displayed, or point me to where you already have done so?

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eleazar
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Re: Binary Stars

#29 Post by eleazar » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:10 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:No. Just some code changes so the correct tiny_star, big star and halo get matched.
Could you elaborate on / specify what changes are desired about how those are displayed, or point me to where you already have done so?
If we wanted to add purple stars to the game, i could simply make "blue02.png" and "tiny_blue02.png" purple. But the engine won't necessarily use both of these for the same star. Stars may flip from blue to purple or visa versa when you zoom in and out.

The halo graphics seem to try to match the number of the tiny_star-- but my sample is small.

I'm annoyed i hadn't noticed it earlier, but the side panel stars don't necessarily match the map stars either.


I'd prefer to have more star types, so there can be game mechanic tie ins. But if you want to simply enable more visual variation of stars, then the game should try to use tiny_blue27.png, blue27.png, halo_blue27.png, and the blue27.png for the side panel all for the same star. Since in many cases it isn't necessary to duplicate every single image, the fallback option (if it can't find one of the foo27.pngs) should not be random.

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