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Medieval Engineers: Developer Diaries - Episode 4

Discussion in 'Change Log' started by Drui, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. Drui Keen Update Guy KeenSWH Developer

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    The 4th episode in our new series of behind-the-scenes footage and developer diaries has been released! This week we're bringing you a short video where we will give you a peek into how we are designing the planets for Medieval Engineers. We're going to talk about the scale and resolution, as well as some of the design decisions we've made.
    Finally, this week we're also starting a little experimental, episodic video where we will showcase new features we are currently working on. It's the first installment in a short story about a few guys trying to make a living on a planet. We hope you'll like it!

     
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  2. Ed Frost

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    WOOH :D

    ediy:
    please dont delete my firstpost like someone did last week :(
     
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  3. KevusBorus

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    The planet in the last scene looked really good!
    But will there be more variation in the vegetation? Seeing only one kind of tree and bush on an entire planet may seem a bit odd... and I hope there will be different landscapes on the planet, too, just like in SE. Mountains, planes and maybe a few lakes or even rivers. Would love to see that :tu:

    Another question: Planet size slider in the world creation menu? Or are they fixed?
     
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  4. Paul Bambury

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    Mention of a gold mine on the little hill at 3:05. That sort of confirming that mine-able resources are in?
     
  5. Scorpion00021

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    Mine-able resources, expanded farming, crafting, smithing, and a larger sandbox are the things I am currently waiting for before getting into this game. Exotic materials (gems, rare ore...) and water are features I'm hoping we'll see someday and I think will add interest to the game.
     
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  6. Stori3D Past Productions

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    Free-angled construction! Yes!
     
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  7. Thermonuklear

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    Volumetric metal casting ftw!
     
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  8. CanOmer

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    What is it?
     
  9. OmEgA_StOrM

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    I still don't understand what the advantages are of having round planets instead of just a flat world?
     
  10. MichaelC

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    more easily shared code base with space engineers
     
  11. Frostik

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    A flat world would be infinite. You won´t have much detail because an algorithm can never replace an actual artist. So if an artist has to design an infinite world, how long would it take to finish this world?
    Btw a sphere seems more realistic
     
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  12. Dan2D3D69 Moderator

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    Really promising, looks very nice mmmm :tu:
     
  13. CanOmer

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    1. Sides and corners of the map would be easiest defendable locations for castles.
    2. Map would have unrealistic boundaries where you have to stop and turn your direction unrealistically.
    3. Spherical world makes every location could be equally distant to every locations. But in flat square map, center location would be the only one.
     
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  14. Thermonuklear

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    Niche!


    It would also serve as base for small-scale testing of volumetric liquids... Until @Commander Rotal attempts casting a 1:1scale brass replica of the Tapping :x
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
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  15. Geneticus

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    Water, water, nowhere, and not a drop to drink :p
     
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  16. CanOmer

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    I am asking if it is related to dev. video?
    Or, is it your suggestion?
     
  17. Geneticus

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    Why is Hugh Jackman playing with that nice set of bellows?
     
  18. Thermonuklear

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    @CanOmer Just daydreaming, I think someone else already suggested something similar a whiiiiiiile back.
    @Geneticus They sure do look alike, but those bellows aren't nice at all! Personally I find it difficult to keep in rhythm, my left arm always starts lagging after a while.
     
  19. Ed Frost

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    wait.... You do blacksmithing? Or just casting on old fashioned epic way....
     
  20. Hakon102

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    Interesting... but do you want design the whole Planet :stare: ?
     
  21. Ed Frost

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    of course

    edit: All they do is making heightmaps.... The game should decide what biome is where what tree is where etc.
     
  22. Merandix

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    It doesn't need to be infinite. You won't have much detail... meh... depends on your terrain generator. What I've seen in the video, isn't that far of of what I can expect from other games that DO procedural generation. The main point is, our own world wasn't designed, it follows a number of rules (some things are impossible). Those rules can be defined, and even in a simplified fashion, then CAN make a good, natural looking world.

    A sphere IS more realistic, problem is spheres have way too much surface area compared to how large they are. Do you want to have a realistically sized planet? Then you'll have WAY too much area to play with, and WAY too much terrain to design. Another problem is that the engine is continuously calculating a CRAPLOAD of completely useless things. Gravity vectors for example... They have to be calculated continuously, for everything, 60 times per second.

    Major problem is that with smaller planets, to make it look somewhat right, you have to downscale terrain features as well... mountains are absolutely MINIATURE in the showcased world. And making them bigger will only detract from the planet, because then the mountain would be too big compared to the horizon's curve.

    In my opinion there literally is NO reason for Medieval Engineers to have planets apart from sharing code with Space Engineers. And that's a shame. This is its own game. It always plays on a single planet you will never (be able to) leave. It deserves a good solution to world-generation (or worldbuilding). I don't really feel this is that solution. Don't get me wrong, the work they are doing on their direction surely looks good, but not as good as it could have been would they design a solution for ME from the ground up, as opposed to keep ME and SE as similar as possible. That's hurting both games.

    The planet shown seems like something like 20 km in diameter, but lets be conservative and say 15 km.
    15 km planet is 706 sq km surface area. And a 47 km circumference (5 to 10 hours of walking).
    20 km planet is 1256 sq km surface area and a 62,8 km circumference (6,5 to 13 hours of walking).

    Both compare to a square map 26,5 km long and wide, and 35,4 km long and wide... Both maps are larger than necessary. If I have a world the size of my minecraft world, it would be 14 by 14 km... or a puny 7,9 km diameter sphere. That is beyond the lower limit of where a round planet can look good. 15 and 20 km are actually already pushing that lower limit. Note, that minecraft map was at least 30% water.

    The planet shown needs miniscule mountains to make it look right. So we're basically sacrificing terrain height for roundness, even 500 m tall mountains would be pushing it. Mountains in game seem to be a maximum of around 50-100 metres currently.
    1. That's assuming a map would -have- corners and sides, a self-wrapping map wouldn't have these, and offer the same advantages as a spherical map, without the disadvantages of horrible scaling math (round planets surface area grows too quickly compared to the diameter of the planet, they're making a miniscule planet that is already bigger than most people are going to need, while still suffering from all the problems that arise from having the planet diameter too small (like a super curving horizon, and mountains having to be tiny to not look bad) and the need to calculate a bunch of things that simply aren't needed for Medieval Engineers. Being able to zoom out into space? It looks neat, but it's NEVER going to be used in ME. Since we're planet bound. There's a huge chance the game will waste system resources on things we won't use.
    2. Wrapping maps or infinite maps don't have this disadvantage.
    3. Wrapping flat maps also have this advantage.

    Note, I might be a bit verbose on this, but the math for smaller planets is just unfavourable in my opinion. It's highly debatable if this actually still matters, since they're already working on it. But I still don't really think its fair on both games to keep similarity that high, when that similarity only hurts one or both games. Both ME and SE are different games.

    Still, cheers for the very informative video's guys!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
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  23. Ed Frost

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    i understand your pain. Im fine with everything that improves to game. Larger playarea is something im happy with. But if it causes unnessecary(still dont know how to write that) resource consumption from the pc, then id say hold on a sec.... Is that the only way? Well there are better ways to do this for this game, but id actually think that having the curved horizon could be something people would like. While having tiny mountains make me sad somehow.... Cant explain it any better srry...
     
  24. entspeak

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    I see the point about detail - like the density of the forest and such, but that planet looked really small. At some point it does actually become better to just use a flat or semi curved plane (an arc of a planet) to avoid too great a curvature of the earth. It wouldn't be good to have it look so close to the cover of "La Petit Prince." ;)

    I was hoping for something more the size of the moon in SE, at the very least. More room to hide, to build, and to survive in multiplayer. Players would have to go out and explore to find other castles and towns - explore different biomes.
     
  25. Merandix

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    Spherical planet pro's:
    - curved horizon
    - direct code conversion from SE (shorter waiting period for larger maps to be implemented).
    - 'more realistic' (though I have issues with planetoid sized objects being perfectly spherical, they're just a bit too small to be considered realistic).

    Spherical planet cons:
    - horizon is likely to get too curved from the planet being too small.
    - likely more surface area than is practical or necessary due to how the math of surface area works.
    - We're dealing with a sphere. That means that the number pi is guaranteed to be in the code at least occasionally. Pi isn't the nicest number to work with. (but I may be overestimating this).
    - gravity vectors need to be calculated as opposed to them just being defined as down.
    - What is at the centre of our little planet? I mean... a 10 km tunnel isn't THAT far fetched.
    - Mountains will either look out of place when properly large, or will be kept small (below 500 m, likely smaller) to keep the planet looking somewhat 'in proportion'.
    - Every advantage that planets have in Space Engineers is pretty much gone because we're planetbound. We can't leave the surface.

    Flat world pro's:
    - Easier physics calculations (presumably)
    - No mathematical limits to mountain sizes
    - Flat square maps scale far easier (no horizon curvature to keep in mind when making the map bigger or smaller)
    - Smaller minimum size maps.
    - Same maximum size maps.
    - Procedural generation is VERY likely to be far easier to implement if this will ever be taken into consideration.
    - The used code for planets isn't THAT efficient. Starting from scratch could find some efficiency-gains.

    Flat world cons
    - Easiest implementation has corners and edges (but this can be prevented by making a map wrap around itself).
    - No curved horizon (though trickery could still fake this)
    - No shared code with Space Engineers (it will take (quite a bit) longer to develop, due to starting from scratch).
    - Draw distance has an artificial limit, rather than a physical one (though the artificial limit may come before the physical one (horizon) in case of planets as well, I don't really know).

    In case of detail... it's still going to be rather coarse. 700-1200 square kilometres is a LOT of ground to cover when hand-drawing something.
     
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  26. zeronio

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    The planet in the teaser looked quiet big not as small as i thought :tu:
    I have a question: If you are able to dig into the ground (e.g. for mining), I hope that some materials or digging in terrain in general, will not be as fast as in SE.
    What would be the reason to build large walls and gates if the enemy can just dig a tunnel around or beneath in the same time?
     
  27. entspeak

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    I agree about the sphere being too small and creating a strange and unauthentic horizon. I think that, in this way, Medieval Engineers should diverge from Space Engineers. I think infinite maps are problematic and unnecessary, but simply having a larger world with borders would be fine.

    Build it on a curved plane (like one of the tiles in SE that is then curved over a sphere.) Having the world end is very much in keeping with medieval belief, so this wouldn't be odd or not in keeping with medieval times. You could even have horrible sounds that begin to play when someone gets near the end of the world - to add to the mystique. Make it an island with water (ice) going to the outside border. Make it big enough to have different biomes and for multiplayer to be enjoyable. Having a larger surface area is fine - especially in multiplayer, where you are going to want to hide your encampment when you start. Dump the unnecessary SE code so that the game can calculate what it needs specifically for ME. Collapse the world size to just outside the atmosphere - we don't need to zoom out and see the planet. Eventually add horses that can be ridden or made to draw a cart. This last would obviously be a later addition.

    As far as travel time is concerned, hours to cross the map is fine, especially when you consider multiplayer. In multiplayer, you wouldn't spend hours before you crossed into someone else's territory.

    Also, pre-making areas to build castles may be good for an easy-start, but for survival or other game modes, you lose the engineering element. Shaping the earth to fit a castle is an engineering problem to be solved.

    Also, it is possible to procedurally generate the forests, yes? Just as it works in space engineers? I don't think that should be tossed. It makes modding worlds so much easier.

    This game has so much potential! I'm excited to see what develops. My suggestion is to play to the strong points of the fact that this is medieval times to get around the perceived weaknesses of not having an entire sphere.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  28. CanOmer

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    1. It is not an issue to me. The opposite, it is a good thing that shows you you are on a planet, not on a flat map.
    2. Reduce diameter
    3. Even real planets are not perfect sphere, why do we expect perfect sphere in the game?
    4. In Space Engineers there are many variable natural gravity fields in different planets/moons at different altitudes. Also there are many gravity generators in ships. Compare them with the only gravity in Medieval Engineer's planet: ME's gravity is far more simple.
    5. 10km tunnel? I have to dig 30 minutes to open few meters of tunnel.
    6. Since our top speed is only ~10m/s mountains don't need to be huge. ME require smaller mountains compared to SE.
    7. Spheric planets are my one of the most wanted map features in games. I bought Planetary Annihilation because of that even if I don't like the game itself very much.
     
  29. Frostik

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  30. Merandix

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    1 not being an issue to you clears a lot of problems obviously, but many people do mind heavily curved horizons. Reducing diameter is not very well possible in a scenario where one dislikes a heavily curved horizon, but obviously, as you pointed out, not everyone has problems with that. :D 3 game planets are... I doubt maths get easier when describing an ellipsoid. Real planets curve out a bit at the 'belly' due to centrifugal forces. But otherwise one of the IAU criteria for planets is them being close to a perfect sphere because of reaching a hydrostatic equilibrium. Potato shaped objects don't count as planets ;)
    4. A gravity vector also includes the direction of gravity, obviously you just set it at 1G. But the direction varies from metre to metre.
    5. Me too, but some people do amazing stuff. And a journey to the centre of the earth is certainly a situation that WILL occur. :p
    6. Our top speed is more like 10 km/h (10 m/s is reserved for guys like Usain Bolt, and even he keeps that up for about 100 metres). I heavily disagree with the fact that 'mountains don't need to be huge'. Otherwise its just a hill or a rock. And I don't mind taking a while to reach somewhere, I'd much rather be impressed by a landscape and take quite a while to cross certain features than walking through a heavily miniaturised landscape. That heavy miniaturisation is what ticks me off. And I much rather have that, than a curved horizon (most of the time, there won't be a free view of the horizon anyway).
    7. Very much your pet peeve apparently. I think we're going to agree to disagree, because you obviously must have planets. :D Meaning that you're in luck, and I'm not as far as things are now :D I actually hate over-miniaturised planets.