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Author Topic: Where did SC1 steal its spinning starmap and animation window from?  (Read 3914 times)
Valaggar
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Re: Where did SC1 steal its spinning starmap and animation window from?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2007, 03:48:15 pm »

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Plus, after all, the 3D starmap in SC1 was pretty much just eye-candy - SC1 maps were basically pathways made of stars on the surface of a cylinder - the exact same map could've been reproduced on a 2D surface, wrapping around on the X axis (like in Civilization). And even if the stars weren't arranged strictly on the surface of a cylinder, SC1 maps were just topologic, not geometric, maps - the exact same pathways could've been reproduced in 2D, it's not like you were allowed to linger in interstellar space.
Are you sure about that? it seems to me there were paths through the middle of the space. I remember a discussion on the PONAF boards where we tried to disassemble how the maps were made and in the end just had to throw our hands up in surrender. I'd be kinda disapointed to discover what you say is true.
You mean that some "eddies" (those places where ships can be moved to) were not occupied by stars? It might have been a bug. After all, the editor utility included all types of stars, but not empty "eddies". And anyway, that doesn't change that the maps were topologic - you can't stop in an infinite number of places.

OK, I know, finding your way on the 3D starmap is a large part of the appeal for you. I've never encountered a situation where you couldn't find your way by focusing your eyes on an infinitely distant point ahead of you and visualizing the pathways, but then again, I haven't played SC1 as extensively as you. And I don't like games where part of the difficulty is derived from the game failing to show things clearly to the player - i.e. you actually have all the data needed on-screen, but because human eyesight is not perfectly precise, you can't interpret the data perfectly (a similar case would be having a small slider with no numbered gradations to show some vital information which needs to be known precisely).
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 03:51:47 pm by Valaggar the Wackrazy One » Logged
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Re: Where did SC1 steal its spinning starmap and animation window from?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2007, 06:58:44 pm »

Actually, I did find the starmaps easy to navigate. Well, not easy to navigate, but that was the beauty of them. Plotting out paths, painstakingly navigating those paths with your capitol ships, only to discover that the path you had chosen was a dead-end and the dead end you sent your wimps to mine out is now being violently reamed, that's what the game was about.

You seem to be talking exclusively about the Starmaps in SC1, not about the SC3 starmap I asked you about, unless I missed large parts of the game.

My question was wether you found the SC3 starmap as useful and easy as the SC1 maps, seeing as it was a lot bigger and had no tactical parts (you could travel from anywhere to anywhere). And if you didn't think that it was as good as the SC1 maps, how would you have implemented a SC2 map?
Oh h-e-double-hockey-stick no you did not just compare The Abonimation to SC1. When you talk about a spinning starmap that game that stole $30 and returned me nothing doesn't even enter my mind. I refuse to even discuss this matter concerning that.

Now, personally I would not have implimented a SC2 map with a spinning map. Any attempt to do so is folly. You risk losing your audience if they have to navigate 200 stars (or whatever) that way. There's no point. What I would have done is made the planet maps spin and in 3d. Sure, you would have lost the orbits thing, but who cares. Keep it small. Of course, to do that... well it wouldn't have worked. You can't resolve SC1's full game and SC2. However, if I ever do make my SC-clone.... (Wrings hands menically)

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...SC1 maps were basically pathways made of stars on the surface of a cylinder.... And even if the stars weren't arranged strictly on the surface of a cylinder, SC1 maps were just topologic....
Are you sure about that? it seems to me there were paths through the middle of the space. I remember a discussion on the PONAF boards where we tried to disassemble how the maps were made and in the end just had to throw our hands up in surrender. I'd be kinda disapointed to discover what you say is true.
...the editor utility included all types of stars, but not empty "eddies". And anyway, that doesn't change that the maps were topologic - you can't stop in an infinite number of places.
Okay, lemme explain. I don't think that the maps were wrapped on the surface of a cylendar, that's all. Yes, they could be represented topologically, and if you want that you can play the C64 version. (Don't. Just don't.) But the map generating alogrythm seemed to me more complex than just laying out a map and wrapping it around an axis. Personally I'd love to know exactly how it was done.
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Re: Where did SC1 steal its spinning starmap and animation window from?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2007, 04:25:16 pm »

Overlord for the NES (by Virgin) looks really nice for a NES game btw. I can't figure out what to do though.

If I were to code a cheap rotating 3D starmap I would just make a Sin and Cos lookup table, then put the stars at Angle, Height and Radius in a cylinder.

PlotX = Sin[StarAngle+Rotation] * StarRadius
PlotY = -Cos[StarAngle+Rotation] * StarRadius
// compress Y to give impression of slanted perspective
PlotY = PlotY / 2
PlotY = PlotY + StarHeight

PlotStar (PlotX, PlotY)

I might need to do Z culling on that though, and the perspective lacks FoV and probably is a bit false. I recently rebooted my palette optimizer project, and used this kind of plotting for the HSV colors (without culling).
http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/junk/palette_messing.png

Distance and vectors between points can easily be calculated by using a 3D pythagora.

But yeah, IMO, 3D very often takes more than it brings to the table in terms of readability of gameplay.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 04:27:44 pm by Arne » Logged
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