Split: Re-scaling experiment

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Smivs » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:34 pm

<Removes tongue from cheek>
OK, I'm obviously not seriously suggesting that everything except Oolite is wrong. What I am saying though is that I have no problem at all with the size of Oolite ships, even with 1.8m humans/pilots. These ships are huge. The have to be so they can accomodate all the tech (energy banks, fuel tanks, military grade lasers etc) that they have. Consider that an energy bank alone is probably on the scale of a small nuclear reactor and you'll start seeing where I'm coming from.
Also, many can carry enormous quanities of cargo, and that's without touching on how thick the Duralium hull needs to be to counter cosmic radiation.
So to me these sizes are not outrageous at all, rather fully justifiable, and far more realistic than many SciFi ships which are as powerful as a city, yet are little bigger than trucks!
None of which helps those wishing to import other ships into the Ooniverse. Unfortunately it seems that 'Oolite-scale' is as embedded into the game as it is weird! The truth is it works and messing with it could affect things in all sorts of ways. None of which has stopped many of our members producing some excellent imports, from Fireball XL5 to a Firefly, and a whole lot more.
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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Zireael » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:36 pm

Unfortunately it seems that 'Oolite-scale' is as embedded into the game as it is weird!
Exactly why I propose changing the units to Oolites - ends the 'hey, it doesn't scale to meters/human size' debate. It's a game, period.

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Cody » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:38 pm

Zireael wrote:Exactly why I propose changing the units to Oolites...
No... period.

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Zireael » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:43 pm

Cody wrote:
Zireael wrote:Exactly why I propose changing the units to Oolites...
No... period.
Why? What is there to be gained by having this very selfsame argument every few months?

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Smivs » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:05 pm

Zireael wrote:
Cody wrote:
Zireael wrote:Exactly why I propose changing the units to Oolites...
No... period.
Why?
For the very simple reason that it would be useless. I re-skin ships amongst other things, and one thing I am keen to do is make them look sensibly proportioned. So if I'm skinning say a Cobby three, I know it is 65m long, and can therefore ensure that things like portholes and hatches are 'in scale'. Metres I understand, because I know what a metre is and I roughly know the size of most things in metres - I am 2m tall for instance. Oonits or whatever are meaningless without a fixed reference point, and so far there isn't one. So why not just use the one everybody knows, the metre?
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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Zireael » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:14 pm

So why not just use the one everybody knows, the metre?
Because the metre in Oolite isn't a metre in RL? Because so many things don't match the RL definition of a metre?

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Paradox » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:30 pm

Captain Tylor wrote:If you change the scale from meters to feet the planets and ships all change whether thats larger or smaller by the same amount. Therefore the scale issues will remain the same.
If you change the everything to feet and then make the planets and stations 3 times larger then the scale issue will be much more realistic however all stations will need docking bays reduced in size.

Alan
Nope, Scale means that 1 unit X = 1 unit Y. The way things are now, 1 unit in any modeling program = 1 meter, but as soon as you import that into Oolite, it is only equal to 1/3 of a meter, but only if your talking about the ships. That is what is messed up.

We do not need to change the word "meters" to "feet" as that will still leave the scale of the ship 3x to large... That still means that if I make a ship 65 "feet" in Wings3D, then import to Oolite, it will still be 2/3rds too small...

Your suggestion would "look" right inside Oolite, but it doesn't help when importing a "to scale" model into it.

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Redspear » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:32 pm

OK, maybe with a little more explanation of my plan will help to clear some things up and ease some concerns (hopefully :) )
Diziet Sma wrote: Heh.. "week"?

I'd expect this project to require quite a few "weeks".. perhaps even 2-3 months worth.. :wink:
Well, I meant before I really start but yes you're probably right :wink:
Paradox wrote:
Redspear wrote:It sure will need testing (are you reading Paradox? :wink: ) so once (if :| ) I've got something going I'll explain how to set it up (you'll need to build from source) and I'll eagerly await feedback :D
You bet! However, "build from source" I would really rather avoid for multiple reasons, but let me guess, you're not running windows?
Redspear wrote:If it comes to number four (please don't let it come to number four :( :lol: ) then I'll probably put together (or ask Paradox to do it :P ) a little oxp of the original oolite ships (no subentities or big downloads) that will feature the reduced scale ships. That would make it easier for others to help with testing...
Really sorry, but again, I think #4 is going to be the best fix... However, I think I can handle re-scaling some of the core ships. How about the extremes, the Anaconda, the Cobra MK3, and the Adder? That should get us started...?
Actually, I am running windows :) and thanks to another_commander's post in the PC area of the board, I was able to build from source.
I don't know what the 'multiple reasons' are but I could post some screen caps if that would help???

Re #4, there is a way that some of that could be tested without a source build. Just make those ships smaller and go a-scoopin'/fightin and everything else. That will be without the alterations to laser ranges and speeds though but testing might still be useful...

IF ship-shrinking doesn't work as we'd like (and I do intend to test it... or at least to get others to :P ) then are you aware that you can create your ship models to the 'correct' scale and then tranform them using the model utilities ins JensAyton's thread at the top of the expansion pack board?

I could put a mini-shipset out for testing as an oxp and you could give it a test drive 8)
Smivs wrote:
Paradox wrote:...I tried to model a ship "to scale" and that made it incompatible with Oolites scale. The very heart of the problem is that someone changed feet into meters, and made all the ships ~3 times larger than they were supposed to be. Let's please fix the problem once and for all...
The nub of your arguement seems to be that the Oolite ships are the 'wrong' size. They are not. They are the size they are! They are the size they are for many reasons, some 'in-game' and some real world reasons. If there is a 'problem' (and I truly don't see a problem here) it is that ships from other universes are smaller overall, and hence look silly-small when moved directly into Oolite.
Well, it's certainly hard to argue with the sentence that I've underlined :wink:
Maybe an explanation of where this is coming from in relation to my experience might help...

When I first played Oolite, I knew that planets were very small relative to the ships but it didn't spoil the fun, they were still huge compared to my ship. I knew that the coriolis station would struggle to fit in all that it was supposed to accommodate acording to 'The Dark Wheel' story but again, it was still big, so what's my problem?

There were several, quite strong, 'immersion-breakers' for me that slowly began to emerge...
  • #1 Approaching the planet.
    Marveling at how much better the planet's looked than in elite, I decided to get closer. Of course the texture blurred heavilly and the surface was featureless but (to my mind) those things were absent, not really wrong. What quickly became apparent however was that the curvature of the planet was such that it would be extremely obvious even if you were standing on the surface. That struck me as 'wrong'.

    #2 Encountering a derelict
    I grew up on spectrum elite which didn't have many ships; the biggest freighter was the python. So when I fould a derelict anaconda in oolite I was almost childishly excited :D I approached this beast of a ship with its crew and 750TC cargo hold, me in my 1 man, second-hand adder with just a 2TC hold, and I pulled up along side it... Doesn't look very big, maybe I should swith to external view... Oh... I was distictly underwhelmed...

    #3 Sun-skimming
    OK, so now I'm approaching a star. Here goes... How close do you need to get to sun-skim? Even if it's a long way, the suns really are tiny in Oolite and going sun-skimming is a powerful reminder of that.

    #4 Headed for the station
    Should I really be able to see ships before they show up on my scanner? I can even identify some of the larger ones...
Now you may note that not all of these instances relate to the feet to metres issue but they did all affected my game experience.

It is, of course, also down to one's perception as to how each scenariois interpreted. For example, I've come to think of the planet's surface as it's atmosphere, so if I crash, it is into the outer atmosphere, not into the surface. By changing my thinking, the game as it stands can seem less 'problematic'. However, some suspensions of disbelief are more difficult to maintain than others.
Smivs wrote:Unfortunately it seems that 'Oolite-scale' is as embedded into the game as it is weird! The truth is it works and messing with it could affect things in all sorts of ways. None of which has stopped many of our members producing some excellent imports, from Fireball XL5 to a Firefly, and a whole lot more.
Agreed. This thread is about finding out what those mysterious 'things' and their effects are because we seem to have addressed the obvious ones...

As has been said before, to really try to make things realistic is an awful lot of work and would almost certainly be less playable. What I would like to do is to minimise the effect of instances like those listed above.
For me personally: If, IF, I could make the planet 3 times larger and make the ships 3 times smaller (some of them), then I think that my game would feel a lot better.

Other alterations will be required (some of which have been discussed already) but we have an idea now that might just work. If it does then that would make some people happy, if it doesn't then we should have a clearer idea of what the problems were.
Zireael wrote:And in the main branch, we should just call the units Oolites, therefore removing any reference to metres.

BTW I'd gladly playtest the re-scaled version.
In my version of this I'm considering removing any game references to distance in real-world units...

Thanks. This is likely to produce the sort of game that looks fine in some situations but not others.
You're help is appreciated :D

Apologies for another long post from me.
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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Paradox » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:39 pm

Zireael wrote:I say you do one of the following in your experiment:
1) change meters to feet OR
2) scale meters down by /3
Doesn't work.. just changing the name does not change the relationship between a unit in any modeling program and a unit in Oolite.
Zireael wrote:And in the main branch, we should just call the units Oolites, therefore removing any reference to metres.

BTW I'd gladly playtest the re-scaled version.
I like "oonits" better myself :lol: , however, to build "to scale",you still need a common frame of reference. 1 "oonit" needs to equal 1 real something, be it a foot, meter, "height of an average human", or 1.5 billion titanium atoms laid end to end. You cannot have a scale without a common reference. Oolite says meters, but it actually uses 3 times that.

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by cim » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:51 pm

Zireael wrote:
So why not just use the one everybody knows, the metre?
Because the metre in Oolite isn't a metre in RL? Because so many things don't match the RL definition of a metre?
As previously mentioned, the general Oolite unit varies between "a metre" (or "a foot", if you prefer) and "one hundred kilometres" depending on whether it's being used to measure ships or distances between stellar objects. If you add enough Anacondas end-to-end then in the smallest systems you only need about 2500 to go from the planet's surface to the star's surface. This either places the star at a distance from the planet of "about low earth orbit" (which bit of low earth orbit depending on whether you're using a 170' or 170m Anaconda), or makes the Anaconda "about the size of Neptune". There's very little to be done about this other than "don't draw attention to it by placing 2,500 Anacondas end-to-end".

Incidentally, the Elite ships weren't to a consistent scale either: the sizes of the ships are given in feet in the manual, while the station is stated to be 1km across. The relative size of the ships and station in Elite is the same as in Oolite, though. So either the manual is incorrect about station sizes or incorrect about ship sizes. (Or both, of course)
Redspear wrote:Should I really be able to see ships before they show up on my scanner? I can even identify some of the larger ones...
This one is a consequence of better hardware - the pixels are perhaps 1/40th the size of the ones on the BBC, so you can see ships ~7 times further away. I did some experimenting a while back with ways to counteract it, which I might go back to some day.

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Redspear » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:07 pm

cim wrote:If you add enough Anacondas end-to-end then in the smallest systems you only need about 2500 to go from the planet's surface to the star's surface. This either places the star at a distance from the planet of "about low earth orbit" (which bit of low earth orbit depending on whether you're using a 170' or 170m Anaconda), or makes the Anaconda "about the size of Neptune". There's very little to be done about this other than "don't draw attention to it by placing 2,500 Anacondas end-to-end".
:lol:
cim wrote:
Redspear wrote:Should I really be able to see ships before they show up on my scanner? I can even identify some of the larger ones...
This one is a consequence of better hardware - the pixels are perhaps 1/40th the size of the ones on the BBC, so you can see ships ~7 times further away. I did some experimenting a while back with ways to counteract it, which I might go back to some day.
Yeah, it used to be just some little square firing at me on the ol' speccy until I could get closer to it.
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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Paradox » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:08 pm

Smivs wrote:<Removes tongue from cheek>
OK, I'm obviously not seriously suggesting that everything except Oolite is wrong. What I am saying though is that I have no problem at all with the size of Oolite ships, even with 1.8m humans/pilots. These ships are huge. The have to be so they can accomodate all the tech (energy banks, fuel tanks, military grade lasers etc) that they have. Consider that an energy bank alone is probably on the scale of a small nuclear reactor and you'll start seeing where I'm coming from.
Also, many can carry enormous quanities of cargo, and that's without touching on how thick the Duralium hull needs to be to counter cosmic radiation.
So to me these sizes are not outrageous at all, rather fully justifiable, and far more realistic than many SciFi ships which are as powerful as a city, yet are little bigger than trucks!
But Smivs, if you are a hard core Elite Fan... why are you not upset that the Cobra MK3 is not 19.812 meters long as it was originally created? Obviously the Creators(cue celestial music) felt that 65 feet was what was needed...? And yes, other universes use different technology and different "rules" to justify their ships size v.s. capabilities, and many of them will not "make sense" in the Oolite universe. But that shouldn't change the issue of scale. If I built a Millennium Falcon from StarWars to the scale of 1 unit =1 meter and a Millennium Falcon is 34.37 meters, then I should be able to import that directly into Oolite and be done... Not have to make it 103.11 meters because that scales everything inside the ship as well, and Han is not 5.4 meters tall... The fact that I have to change it means something is broke, and that something is Oolite.
Smivs wrote:None of which helps those wishing to import other ships into the Ooniverse. Unfortunately it seems that 'Oolite-scale' is as embedded into the game as it is weird! The truth is it works and messing with it could affect things in all sorts of ways. None of which has stopped many of our members producing some excellent imports, from Fireball XL5 to a Firefly, and a whole lot more.
You're right, and like I said, I do not expect to actually see this ever resolved successfully. I am rooting for Redspear, he is a better man than I for even considering it. My fingers are crossed, but I think it will be a real !#%& to get everything fixed. But does that mean we shouldn't even try?

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Paradox » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:10 pm

Zireael wrote:
Cody wrote:
Zireael wrote:Exactly why I propose changing the units to Oolites...
No... period.
Why? What is there to be gained by having this very selfsame argument every few months?
It really isn't necessary to change it, but you are right about the same old questions/arguments repeated over and over until the scale is fixed correctly...

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Cody » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:13 pm

Paradox wrote:... something is broke, and that something is Oolite.
Really? It don't seem broken to me. Jeez!

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Re: Split: Re-scaling experiment

Post by Tricky » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:15 pm

There is a way to solve this… fork the source on Github and make the modifications you want.

Seriously, what is the real problem here?

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