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Suggestion Depth Perception and Texturing on planets.

Discussion in 'Forum Suggestions and Bugs' started by Cirtex, Jun 20, 2019.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Cirtex Trainee Engineer

    Depth Perception. Sense of scale. it's all very very... broken, at least in SE. How often do you ever take a step back and just realize "dear lord this ship that i previously thought to be really small is actually freaking HUGE!"

    even small little buggies are massive! small grid crates are THE SIZE OF THE PLAYERS HEAD IF NOT BIGGER.

    there's a few main things that cause this issue: third person perspective, The way Texture scaling works on planets and asteroids, and the lack of modern day items we have to compare to. I'll now go over them one by one.

    Third person perspective: you can zoom out WAY too far with your camera when in 3rd person. this leads to you disconnecting yourself from your character, and never getting a proper sense of scale. as your character constantly changes "Size" from your perspective. it can be really really small, or it can fill the entire screen. I can only really see one proper change to this and that's to incorporate a more natural over the shoulder camera. while keeping most of the already existing controls. only with a Return to origin after you release the Alt key.

    Texture Scaling: this is one that's bugged me for quite some time. here's what i want you to do. go into SE. get on a planet, go to a desert area. (or just land on mars) put your face into some sand. and slowly rise up. you'll notice a significant circle close around you with a change in texture with a very obvious seam. here's what i assume the devs did. there are several "bubbles" around the character that allow you to see new sets of textures as you pass through them. THE PROBLEM IS THAT IT'S THE SAME TEXTURE EACH TIME. there is no change to the level of detail. so as you get closer and closer to the surface. you'll THINK you're inches away but then sudden the texture bubble fade to the next and you get confused and this happens several times. (yes i know you have a dial that shows you your height but that is a poor workaround for something that shouldn't even like. be an issue in the first place. I believe it's this issue combined with the 3rd person issue (where things can seem smaller than they really are) that causes a common problem. let's step back a bit and go to the old planetary lander. you know the ones. the big blue babies with the two massive engines on the side. those things. let's say you come down but you don't like the LZ. so you move a little ways and you find a lake or a ore pocket or a beautiful cliff edge. so to maneuver yourself to land next to it. only to find that when you land and get out. your actually a solid distance from that spot! or how bout those mountains in the distance. look pretty close right? just a short rover trip over right? WRONG THEY ARE SEVERAL KILOMETERS AWAY. this also comes into the fact that the're not enough small rough detail on the hills. the often come down to a kind of folding blanket into the world. from a distance, this can make them seem much smaller than they actually are.

    A fix for this would be to make different textures for each bubble. at a distance. you could see what looks like a massive black rock, but no it disappears as you get closer. which also kinda kills immersion. when in reality all you need is an orange ish texture with minimal detail. maybe some light sprays of other colors here and there.

    and save the texture that's currently there for when people are REALLY close, like, within 10 meters kinda close. but then don't change that texture much or even at all!

    Size comparison: everything in SE. and everything that exists within SE, comes from the time period of SE. (2255 i think?) and so because of this there isn't ANYTHING that we can see from our time. no ruins no structure. nothing! this combined with the texture issue as previously discussed. that give you a lack of a sense of scale for anything and everything. you only have things that require a IRL reference for reference. so MASSIVE SHIPS simply aren't truly impressive unless they are UNTHINKABLY HUGE. it's bad enough to the point where we quite literally have to grade a creation based upon how badly it lags up the server or game.

    maybe make some ruins of old buildings using inaccessable props or something similar. port some stuff over from Medevil engineers. give us some things to compare to. would be really helpful!

    I'd like this to be discussed a bit further! so please tell me what you all think!

    if some of these things can be addressed then i think the world of space engineers would seem a lot more smaller. but at the same time be a lot more grand.
  2. mleise Trainee Engineer

    I think, we all need 3D headsets to get a good sense of scale. I agree with you on the texture issue, i.e. reusing the same texture scaled up when moving away, though the gray mountain texture in particular does look different at a distance. Also the smoothness of terrain is a correct observation. On the other side this LOD system is probably great for texture memory and performance. I've seen Uru use the same texture trick in caves, but since you were mostly in 3rd person with things to interact with around you and weren't able to fly around, it never made you lose sense of scale. From the messages ingame we can guess that the game is set in 2077 IIRC, but in any case there would be traces of civilization on earth only, not on the other 5 larger bodies or space. And even earth is only meant to be "earth-like". Also many players on PvP servers hide in deep tunnels or space, where they wouldn't see those objects. I think you are a little bit biased towards playing on earth surface from ME, but that's ok.
    I just checked the sand texture, and it gets reused only once below 10m or so, but that makes the difference in scale between walking/driving and flying at 100m I guess.
  3. Malware Master Engineer

    @Cirtex Curious, where did you get 2255 from? It's somewhere between 2077 and 2100, no later, given the very limited lore we're given. Of course, it's really up to you as the player, but that's the intended range.

    Anyway, all the planets in SE are really alien, it's not Earth, it's just an earth-like. Likewise it's not Mars. Way, way too many factors point to this and just one stupidly bad choice (wolves) truly point the other way. Thus there's no ruins.

    Other than this, I agree completely and whole-heartedly about the problem of scale. People build cars larger than trucks, and complain when they flip... :p
  4. mleise Trainee Engineer

    Actually the grass, shrubs and trees totally look like some of the stuff in my backyard on earth, too. ;)
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