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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #1 
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let's start with that. This is what asteroids look like at ten times normal size. Note the size of the beam arcs on the Helm to the left. That's at Zoom level 2.

Untitled.png 

With all the posts about increasing the size of the sector in Artemis, I thought I would experiment with reducing the scaling on the ships. The creators of the BSG mod tried this, but found that the exhaust trail, which remained the same size, overwhelmed the ship graphic. I was able to fix the exhaust trail for both player and enemy ships, and reduce the size of the image used for smoke when a ship takes damage. Plus, I found the graphic used for the beam weapons, which is actually named "glowEngineSmooth". 

These four files make up the mod. Each mod also includes an artemis.ini and vesselData.xml file. This is a mod, not a mission script, but I am posting it in this forum anyway. The zip file can be extracted right into the dat directory, and it will add two folders, plus a mission. To install the mod, backup your stock files, (I'd copy them into another directory, check the mod directories for the files needed) rename the _a or _b files in the directory, and then drag and drop all of the files into the dat directory. (Except artemis.ini, which goes in the top level Artemis directory)

Tenth Scale Mod - When installed, this mod will make all of the ships ten times smaller, effectively making the sector map 1 million by 1 million units. Enemies are very small and hard to see in this mod, and monsters are ten times bigger. (And faster, in the B version, making them very dangerous) Base stations are actually only 1/5 size, making them bigger in contrast.

There are actually two versions of the artemis.ini and vesselData.xml files, suffixed with "_a" and "_b". These have two different purposes and I wanted to demonstrate them both.

A:

This version reduces the speed of all ships by 1/10, matching their size. Beam ranges are reduced by 1/4, but since the ship scale is 1/10, that means effectively range is increase by 2.5 times. (So 1000 m to 2500 m) Missile range is unchanged, as is the visibility on Helm and Weapons. Both are effectively 50,000 units now instead of 5000. Missiles also move much faster than ships, even at Warp. (Missiles and drones move at about Warp 5) Enemies will be in missile range long before they are in beam range.

Arvonian fighters move at Warp 1. This is so they can actually reach the player ship before they have to turn around and return to the carrier. This is still half the speed defined in the stock Artemis.

Efficiency of the player ships has also been doubled, as ships will have to travel much further. Sensor range has also been reduced, but not to 1/10. (only about 3/5) I definitely recommend turning off Unlimited Sensors, so the sector seems larger. The pace of the game is greatly increased, and energy conservation will be very important even with the greater efficiency.

The area a Nuke or Mine covers is increased 10 times in this mod, so it can be very dangerous and difficult to escape from. This should be kept in mind. You should also be cautious about mines; while they are physically smaller, I believe their radius of activation remains unchanged.

B:

This version doesn't reduce speed or weapon range. This doesn't really change anything about the pace of the game, but it does make the ships smaller. It will be easier to outrun Nukes, Mines, Drones or Monsters. Arvonian fighters move at their normal speed.

Quarter Scale Mod - This mod makes all ships 1/4 size. The effective size is 400,000 by 400,000. This is a more effective compromise between gameplay and scale, as it doesn't take a great deal of energy to cross the sector.

As before, I have both _a and _b versions of the artemis.ini and vesselData.xml files. Both versions reduce both size and speed of ships by 1/4. Bases are only 1/2 size. There is no change to efficiency, so crews should be careful to conserve energy, but usage should not be as bad as 1/10. (The A version)

A:

This version cuts beam range in half, but since the ship scale is 1/4, that means range is effectively doubled, to 2000 units. Missile range is effectively 20,000 units, as is Helm and Weapons visibility. That means missile range is ten times beam range. (it's 20 times in the A version of 1/10 scale) As above, I recommend not using Unlimited Sensors. The next range down is 25k, which would be half the stock range, and gets smaller from there.

Arvonian Fighters move at half speed, not quarter speed. As with the Tenth Scale mod above, this is so they can actually reach the player ship before they have to turn back. Note they have to travel four times the distance, so even half speed is a compromise.

B:

In addition to cutting beam range to 1/4 (making beams the stock range of 1000 units) this version also cuts missile range in half. Both player torpedoes and drones are reduced to an effective range of 10,000 units, not 20,000. Helm and Weapons visibility range is still unchanged. This means the ring that indicates the range of missiles doesn't indicate the maximum range any more, so Weapons should be cautious about firing torps so they don't "fizzle out" before they hit the target. Torps are slower than the A version, as well, travelling at Warp 1. (Which is still faster than stock)

The main reason I don't make this the primary version of the mod is the discrepancy between the visual ring and the range of missiles. The difference between missile and beam range is still 10 (as beam range is smaller than A) but it is closer to the stock game, expanded to a 400,000 unit sector. Once you're comfortable with the missile range, I would try it. I should note that in all versions, the area a Nuke covers is not changed (4 times stock) so you must be careful not to get caught in your own blast.

One Hundred Times Warp Mission

I wrote this mission specifically for the 1/10 mod. There is no way to change the ratio between Warp and Impulse in game, but in a mission I was able to change the ratio by clever use of the topSpeed value. This mission, which is based on my Solo Siege Mode mission, increases Warp speed to 100 times Impulse speed. This means on the 1/10 mod, (A version) Warp speed is as fast as Warp in the normal scale, and in the 1/4 mod, Warp is 2.5 times faster. This mission will even work in the regular game, although Warp becomes so fast it takes only seconds to cross the map.

The mission will work with up to two player ships, named "Artemis" and "Intrepid". It will work with all types of player ships, even the Scout and Dreadnought. (It may not work with custom ships, unless they have the same speed as a stock ship) There is a great deal of inertia with Warp at this speed, you will notice it takes longer to get up to speed and takes longer to stop as in the stock game.

This mission should be very similar to the way Elite Dangerous was described, with an intersystem travel mode that is much higher than dogfighting speeds, used for travel between planets. It may be an interesting way to experiment with this concept in Artemis. 

It should be possible to extract the Mission folder in the zip file right into the dat directory.

Additional Notes

If anyone would like to use the graphics files I'm including with their own mods, they are welcome to. It is also possible to use a completely blank graphic image and not have any Warp trail at all. I note that this looks a little weird, so it may be best to have some kind of indication that the engines are working.

The 1/4 mod should be usable by the BSG mod, if they would like to try it out. The creators of that mod may wish to use the 1/4 scale graphics on the regular mod, and the 1/10 scale graphics on the Strike variation. Alternately, they may find that the 1/4 scale graphic works great for both, or the 1/10 scale graphic could be used for both, with the bigger ships just having a lot of smaller scale exhaust trails.

The mods include modified meshes for drones, wrecks, anomalies, and mines, so they will be the appropriate size. Again, these may be reused for other mods. They should work with the standard textures. (Although they will probably look funny) I did not try to resize any of the monster models, as that would be for 2.2 only, and would take some time.

Tell me what you think, and let me know if you find any bugs.

 
Attached Files
zip SectorSizeMod.zip (319.12 KB, 26 views)

MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #2 
Cool! I always assumed the graphic labelled engine-whatever was for the engines, but since I disabled the particles for the TNG Mod I never looked into it further. I've been using 1/4 scale for a while and liked it - partially since there's no cloud of engine particles eating the ships [tongue]

More experimentation is now clearly necessary...

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Arrew

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Reply with quote  #3 
Man Ryleyra you make the best stuff. 

This is exactly what I was looking for a couple of months ago. Would have been so cool!

Do you mean that Jump Drive is more efficient due to the change in size in the A one?

Do you have a blank image to make the warp trail go away? 
janx

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Reply with quote  #4 
Nice work!

This is the kind of experimentation and thinking I hoped to find when I started the other thread.

There's certainly a balance to be had between realism and fun, and your test mods should help better find that sweet spot.


Arrew

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Reply with quote  #5 
Well a super awesome idea but using warp just took too long to get anywhere and I ran out of energy before I even reached my first enemy.

Jump on the other hand was infinity more effective. But perhaps too good. Although it was good seeing my favourite mode of transport getting so much love. 

The biggest issue at this scale was the enemy moved so slowly and the space was so big they they were no real threat. Perhaps making everyone faster to compensate?


Best of all the enemy explosions are sooooooo much cooler at this scale. That is totally how they should be! Really worth checking it guys.


Question; Did you double the energy efficiency of player ships?
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBell
Cool! I always assumed the graphic labelled engine-whatever was for the engines, but since I disabled the particles for the TNG Mod I never looked into it further. I've been using 1/4 scale for a while and liked it - partially since there's no cloud of engine particles eating the ships [tongue] More experimentation is now clearly necessary...


Well, at ten times scale it was more obvious that beam fire was just as bad about obscuring the ships as engine trail, so I had to find that as well. Actually, the big problem was the "smoke", as in addition to being used to indicate damage, it also was used for "fire" when the ship was hit or when it fired beams. So there was this huge flare of red light when you fired.

You're welcome to use my quarter scale graphics when I finish creating them. I'm not sure what graphic would be right for Star Trek engines, though. Maybe a mostly translucent "beam" graphic, so the ship leaves a straight blue trail, like in Star Trek Online? As I said, I think a ship moving around without any trail at all looks sort of eerie, although that would be consistent with TOS.

I'll also mention, although I suspect this won't be a problem with quarter scale, that the engine graphic has a sort of "reflection" below and to the right of the main glow. I thought this might be in my graphic, but I cleaned it up as much as I could and the reflection still appears. I think this is part of the game and not in the graphic, so I can't do anything about it. You'll probably also notice that the warp trail is badly blurred at this resolution. This is also something I can't do anything about, the visible part of the graphic is just a few pixels wide.

This mod really isn't perfect, and this is about as small as the scale can get. Any smaller and the game starts to break down. (You can't shoot drones before they hit you, things are too small to see, etc.) I actually tested a 1/100 scale and you couldn't even zoom in close enough to the player ship to make it visible. The game didn't crash, though, which is a nice thing.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
The biggest issue at this scale was the enemy moved so slowly and the space was so big they were no real threat. Perhaps making everyone faster to compensate?


Well, that's kind of the idea with the ten times scale. This sector is bigger than the War Server. You shouldn't expect to be able to traverse it without running out of fuel. I expect that the speed and energy issues will be MUCH less on a quarter scale.

That said, you should have enough energy to get across the screen. I did not double efficiency, although that's a good idea, I should try it. But I made all the energy usage edits in artemis.ini. I would suggest using an Engineering preset to maximize Warp efficiency while travelling great distances, and keep your speed to Warp 2 or 3 instead of Warp 4.

Of course, you also have Homing Torps to use as batteries. I was thinking that Warp users would use a strategy like Jump in the regular game, use Homings to recharge in order to get back to base. I never tested Jump, so it may be overpowered comparatively, but I felt it would be useless if you used up your energy making five full range jumps before you even reached the enemy.

This mod may work better with a well designed mission. The random missions group bases together, which means all you have to do is wait for the ships to come to you. If you had bases on both sides of the sector and had to defend BOTH, then there you be more of a threat and it wouldn't seem so easy. (You'd also be able to refuel, but I assumed you wouldn't have that option and edited the energy use accordingly)

We're talking about the A version of the mod, though. The B version uses standard speeds, so it should play exactly as the stock game. You can also increase enemy speed on the Configuration screen, that would make them faster while still maintaining the 1 million square sector.

Arrew

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Reply with quote  #8 
I will try out B and let you know how I get on.

I was thinking of trying a 1/5 but your ship explosion look so epic at this scale.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yeah, I'm thinking 1/4 or 1/6 will be the sweet spot. 1/10 is more of a hardcore challenge.

Drones are also a little ridiculous. "OMG, it's the giant X of death! Run!" [biggrin]

Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #10 
I can see this being cool if you have multiple ships. You'd have to consider where to deploy the in a system in order to protect key areas and resources.

The key will be in designing a mission script for it. For the map layout, you'd have to consider how far apart to deploy bases. There could be a 'front line' of DS bases deployed so that ships can patrol from one to the next and refuel at each. I can then see clusters of bases deployed behind the front line. These would be the assets you'd effectively be defending.

Although missions would last potentially hours, it would be interesting to see enemy ships gradually make their way in system towards their target, and your ships trying to move on a course to intercept or beat them to their target. It would also give that real feel of knowing that, despite making way as fast as possible, you just won't make it in time. Real strategies could develop and desparate last stands as you try to hold off the attack long enough for other player ships to arrive.

I could adapt my sandbox and include some of the GM keys (like supply ships) and the FCS in there if you want a mission script to package this with.

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janx

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Reply with quote  #11 
let's pretend we're going for verisimilitude (Realism's more laid back sibling)...

based on the scaling you setup, does a planet fit (perhaps fudged on size)?

Can you set the Impulse speeds/efficiency so it is "just right" for taking quite awhile to get across the entire map, or to another planet, but doesn't drain the tank completely?

Can you then setup Warp, so it goes much much faster/more efficiently?  Warp should be the key to getting to another planet on the map.

Can you then give Warp to the enemy ships?  This is something I think EmptyEpsilon gets right, in that enemy ships/player ships are all the same thing internally so that's possible.

In my imagination:

I'd use Warp to get from Earth to Jupiter Station (in orbit around Jupiter)

Then I'd use Impulse for flying around shooting bad guys.

The core verisimilitude problem was that you couldn't plop a planet on the map because it was total BS based on the sizes of everything.


ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier Wise
I can see this being cool if you have multiple ships. You'd have to consider where to deploy the in a system in order to protect key areas and resources.


Exactly what I was thinking. One ship is sort of stretched thin, but two ships could divide up the area.

Quote:
I could adapt my sandbox and include some of the GM keys (like supply ships) and the FCS in there if you want a mission script to package this with.


That would be greatly appreciated, thanks. I'm actually trying to think of a way to eliminate the need to change the energy efficiency of the player ships. The FCS would be a way to do that, although it would only work in a script.

Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Can you set the Impulse speeds/efficiency so it is "just right" for taking quite awhile to get across the entire map, or to another planet, but doesn't drain the tank completely?

Can you then setup Warp, so it goes much much faster/more efficiently? Warp should be the key to getting to another planet on the map.


I like the idea that you can cross the whole map without having to stop and refuel somewhere. As ryleyra pointed out, though the FCS and carefully placed stations would eliminate the need to find the balance with energy efficiency,it would only work in a scripted game, specifically written for the mod. However, Janx's suggestion would mean that there is a solution in all game modes. It would be more difficult to achieve (I can see lots of trial and error to finding the sweet spot) and change the way it was played in terms of responding to enemies and deployment of forces. Therefore, both possible solutions have benefits and drawbacks.

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by janx
based on the scaling you setup, does a planet fit (perhaps fudged on size)?


Fudged, yes. If "true" scale, well, a 1000 km square is still smaller than the Earth. [smile]

One HUGE advantage of this is that everything appears ten times further away than stock. So if you define a planet, it CAN appear small at a distance and then grow until it fills your screen. If won't just "blink" into view when you got close. It can be even bigger if you use "tricks" like in the TSN Sandbox.

Quote:
Can you set the Impulse speeds/efficiency so it is "just right" for taking quite awhile to get across the entire map, or to another planet, but doesn't drain the tank completely?


See the discussion above. Artemis is balanced for a 100,000 unit sector, so a 1,000,000 unit sector drains the tank. If you increase the speed you don't have a 1,000,000 unit sector any more, you have a 500,000 unit sector.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, and I think a 400,000 unit sector will be perfect.

I'll note that while you can say, "Well, it's still a 1,000,000,000 unit sector, Impulse/Warp is just twice as fast", yes, but it won't FEEL any faster. It will feel exactly like a 500,000 units sector. Since that's what it is. The point is that it takes 27.7 minutes to get to the other side of the map, rather than 2.77 minutes.

Quote:
Can you then setup Warp, so it goes much much faster/more efficiently?  Warp should be the key to getting to another planet on the map.


The ratio of Warp to Impulse is, unfortunately, locked. Since most enemy ships don't have Warp, this is probably a good thing, as they'd be no threat at all if they couldn't get to another planet. You can kind of see that at this scale, as you have PLENTY of time to set up a counterplan before the enemy gets to your bases.

Quote:
Can you then give Warp to the enemy ships?  This is something I think EmptyEpsilon gets right, in that enemy ships/player ships are all the same thing internally so that's possible.


I don't know if it is possible to give Elite abilities to all of the ships. I'll have to experiment with that. What I'd like to do is have the ships advance for a while, and then "jump", as if they have jump drives. Or put gates in the sector that they can jump between. But that would take a script.

Quote:

The core verisimilitude problem was that you couldn't plop a planet on the map because it was total BS based on the sizes of everything.


That is the core problem. Remember, Earth is 13 times the size of THIS sector. If you assume the ships are all scaled to 13 times their normal size, (where 100 units = 100m) then Earth would fill a 1,000,000 by 1,000,000 sector. [biggrin]

You probably want to have planets at real size, and ships scaled to about 1:5000, at a minimum. I don't think you'd want them in the same scale, just the same comparatively.

Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #15 
I gave your mod (version A) a test and it looks interesting with the changes in scale. It feels like the sectors are bigger because transit time is significantly longer. One thing to note, I picked up a monster to see if I could still escape from it. With this mod... it is impossible. If you meet a monster, you are as good as dead unless you can find an enemy very near by. Even with warp engines boosted to maximum, you don't have enough speed to escape from it.

I was also wondering if the blast radius of various weapons was changed, as well as the deployment distance of mines. I ask because, on launching an EMP and nuke at a Skaraan, I seemed to blow out the whole back of my ship. I think if the blast radius were to remain the same, there would have to be a rethink about how you engage enemies as a) you can't quickly escape the blast if you fire and are too close and b) the blast is massive, relative to the ship and the scale.

I can see how this mod adds that edge of realism to the game. It builds in that feel of immense areas of space and the time it takes to transit them. You know your target, can see it way before you are to engage, but just have to sit there waiting tensely as the distance closes slowly knowing that combat will be quick and brutal once you arrive.

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