Space Nerds In Space

Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby charlie » 21 Dec 2015, 01:05

smcameron {l Wrote}:Been playing around trying to make rocky cratered planets today...

Image

That is pretty god damn awesome.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby andrewj » 21 Dec 2015, 02:23

The craters look like they are splattered onto a texture, without any height map or normal map affecting the lighting.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 21 Dec 2015, 02:30

That is because there is no height map or normal map affecting the lighting. The texture colors are generated (baked in) from a height map, and the craters are splatted into the height map prior to generating the colors.

My program does generate corresponding height maps and normal maps, but my engine doesn't know how to use them. Feel free to send me a patch.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby andrewj » 22 Dec 2015, 01:52

Ahh I see, your approach sounds fine, I just think with a better lighting system it could go from looking good to looking amazing.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Julius » 22 Dec 2015, 04:30

Not sure if at that scale, shadows (unless at extreme dusk/dawn angles) would be really visible?
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 22 Dec 2015, 06:04

Julius {l Wrote}:Not sure if at that scale, shadows (unless at extreme dusk/dawn angles) would be really visible?

Certainly using a normal map in the lighting calculations won't get you the kind of long shadows you see if you look up images of "lunar terminator", like this image from NASA:

Image

which, that would be cool, but to do that I think I'd need to do shadow mapping, and... I so far haven't even managed to do normal mapping, so this seems unlikely.

I think the normal mapping would definitely help to make things look more "3D", but it would probably be easy to kind of "over do" the effect and unwittingly produce a caricature of what it really should look like.

Just looking at the normal maps I currently generate, I'm pretty sure I am already "over doing" it a bit (but since I am not actually *using* the normal maps yet...no big deal.) You can kind of get an idea what the lighting effects of the normal maps would be just by looking at the normal maps used as if they were color textures:

Image.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Vandar » 22 Dec 2015, 16:00

When I had been working on the planets for Solarex, they had some hundreds of thousands of triangles already. Still a triangle spans some dozens of miles, so only the biggest craters could have real heights.

At times I think a space flight simulation must have planets in several detail levels, or able to add details on the fly when the player gets closer to a planet.

The point when my concept failed was the low orbit, from when the surface should become a real surface and not just an spherical image, because descending further you'll soon fly over plains, and in between mountains. It's not possible to keep the whole planet in memory on that level of detail, so there must be a transition from sphere to sphere segment (and if the player flies onward, a concept to attach new sphere segments seamlesslyy to the one already generated). This was beyond my skills.

SNIS still has superior planets compared to mine, and the craters make them even better. Good work there!
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby andrewj » 25 Dec 2015, 13:42

I can see on the normal map image what feels missing to me: it is basically because there is just a rim, the whole middle of the crator (inside the rim) seems completely flat.

I would expect the inside of the crater to be more like the shape of a wok.

If that is a caricature and totally unrealistic, for me that doesn't matter if the results looks good.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 25 Dec 2015, 19:21

The craters are certainly still a work in progress. That being said, about the flat interiors of the craters I will say a few things.

1) It seems to be in line with photos of lunar craters, esp. the large ones: http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterl/Moon/Cra ... nines.html I expect this is because the larger impacts essentially liquefy at the point of impact, and so level out (but I am no lunar geologist, so that may not be correct.)

2) What you think "looks good" may be largely down to what you're expecting to see. I've spent quite a lot of time lately looking at lunar craters, so that flat interiors of the craters don't seem too out of place to me, at least in the case of the larger craters.

3) The craters actually do slam a bowl shaped depression into the height map. However, the height map is of limited precision (1 bytte in the current implementation) and if the terrain is already close to zero (likely) then it can and often does "bottom out" ate zero, producing the flatness that you noticed. Fixing that is probably a matter of tuning the algorithm a bit to get a height map that's not naturally so close to zero.

The main complaints I have so far with the craters are:

1) the height map perturbations are tloo large scale compared to the terrain generation height map perturbations, resulting in clipping and or overflow at 0 and at 255.

2) Not nearly enough small craters.

3) The colors are determined by altitude and by position in a 3d noise field to offset into a color map. Sometimes this works well, giving the "rays" a contrasting color, but sometimes it doesn't work well. It might be neat if the craters actually did some kind of "color displacement". Then again what I've got now might be good enough, esp. if I can get the normal maps working.

4) Probably should only have "rays" on the larger craters, not on every crater.

So yeah, I am not totally happy with the craters, but neither am I totally unhappy with them.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Vandar » 25 Dec 2015, 23:18

smcameron {l Wrote}:So yeah, I am not totally happy with the craters, but neither am I totally unhappy with them.


They are definitely quite good as they are.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 29 Dec 2015, 23:42

My first attempt at getting normal mapping to work -- I have never been quite so shocked to see something appear to work immediately as with this code right here. I was bracing myself for about a month worth of debugging hell -- instead I get this! Woohoo!

(I suspect there are artifacts near the edges of each face of the cube map, but they are surprisingly subtle if they are there.)


youtu.be/bBCXbUjAuxk

Edit: and on playing around with it some more, it definitely has some problems, so my month worth of debugging likely still lies ahead.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 16 Jan 2016, 21:58

Ok, I think I have got normal mapping working (I still need to make it work with the shader that does the ring shadows, but I don't think that will be too hard.) The way the craters influence the normal maps needs some work, but the other terrain features look great.

Image
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 16 Jan 2016, 23:19

And now it's working in the ring-shadowing shader:

Image
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 17 Jan 2016, 02:08

Found a bug in the code which produces my normal map images that was giving me a little trouble. Now it all seems to be working pretty well.

Image
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Arthur » 17 Jan 2016, 12:21

That's no moon, it's... oh actually it looks like a moon. Good work, this looks better and better. :)
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 20 Jan 2016, 08:09

Now that I've got normal mapping for the planets working, I've got some new assets in the space-nerds-in-space-assets repository, the Karado star system.
https://github.com/smcameron/space-nerd ... larsystems

A few pics:

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 27 Jan 2016, 05:30

Been a while since I made an update video. This one shows progress on the multi-server and warp gate system that I first mentioned back in August of last year. I am still working on it, and while I have made a lot of progress, it's a pretty big job and I've got about 30 uncommitted patches in my current stack, and still a ways to go. But it does now reload per-solarsystem textures on transiting between solarsystems and that is (mostly) working now, which means that you can quite easily *tell* when you travelled from one solarsystem to another since the planets and skybox, etc. now look different. It is still (and perhaps will always be) a requirement that the client have the necessary textures resident locally, but that is a detail. And the video shows off a bit of the fruits of the most recent adventures in normal mapping that have monopolized this thread for the last month or so. Without further ado:


youtu.be/Qq7ID2zn75I
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 04 Apr 2016, 01:24

Been messing around with natural language processing kinds of things...


youtu.be/Uge43ACAtos
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby charlie » 04 Apr 2016, 11:32

Your project is seriously cool. Your updates never cease to impress me. Thank you and long may it continue.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 10 Apr 2016, 03:33

Figured out how to make pocketsphinx use a custom vocabulary which improves its accuracy considerably. Also wrote some code to convert spelled out numbers like "two hundred thirty eight" to "238" which enables a lot of things.


youtu.be/3EZNzcF4_4g
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Julius » 10 Apr 2016, 13:13

Any plans to make a VR (Google Cardbord etc.) enabled bridge that also allows networked play?
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 10 Apr 2016, 16:16

Julius {l Wrote}:Any plans to make a VR (Google Cardbord etc.) enabled bridge that also allows networked play?


Not really, no. To do that, the game would become a first person shooter, essentially, and I'd need an interior model of the space ship that you could wander around, etc. This seems like a huge amount of work, and all the UI's I've done so far would have to be... rendered to textures and pasted into virtual monitors inside the bridge interiror, or something along those lines (and probably redesigned and simplified to enable operating them via VR), and it would just be a radical overhaul of the game that even if I wanted to do, I'm not sure I'd want to bite off such a large piece of work. And all that is ignoring any porting issues of taking a C program and getting it running on Android, which I really don't know too much about. If I were to try to go for a VR route, I think I'd stick to dedicated systems built specifically for it, like the Rift (which was at one time going to support linux but I think they may have dropped that feature -- haven't been paying attention.) I think turning the game into a a VR FPS kind of takes away a bit from the collaborative in-person experience of the game, which probably isn't a good thing, since that is the main differentiating thing about the game.

One could argue that having a voice activated computer that can do everything on the ship might also take away from that experience -- what are the players needed for if the captain can just say, "computer do this, do that", and the thing drives itself?) But, such a computer is star trek canon, and kind of ridiculously cool that it's actually possible to attempt to create such a thing, and not even very difficult, so... it gets a pass. And well, the computer cannot fire or aim the guns, and while it's a neat novelty, it doesn't actually work so well that it's super convenient, and it can be ignored easily if it detracts from the multiplayer in-person experience.

There is a non-free game called "Pulsar: Lost Colony" that you can look up which is a multi-player bridge sim that is done as a first person shooter style where you wander around a virtual bridge that has virtual terminals for stations, etc, and I know at one time they were talking about supporting occulus rift, and even had some prototype going, but I do not know if that is still on their full feature list. It wouldn't surprise me if they cut it or put it on the back burner just due to lack of people able to take advantage of it and uncertainty about the hardware or for other reasons (eg. performance requirements). Here's a video of their prototype:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3KqLGOVYPg
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Julius » 11 Apr 2016, 12:28

I don't really think you need a full walkable 3D bridge, as you basically never move from the chair/station. What can be done very easily with the Cardboard SDK is a stereoscopic 360° rendered picture/looping video in which you can freely look around and interact with predefined points.

The jmonkey3D engine also has a more or less ready made support for Cardboard/Occulus etc. if that fits the bill better.

While I agree that this game shines with in-person multiplayer, simple VR support would be probably the next best thing for playing it over the internet and communicating with your friends via voice chat.

P.S.: To my own surprise the Google Cardboard works actually much better than expected (if you have the right phone/headset combination).
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 17 Apr 2016, 18:25

More minor improvements in the voice recognition -- not sure it's apparent what differences there are from the last video posted. I figured out a little more about how pocketsphinx works, and now it understands more commands, and more different ways of doing the same command, but it is incremental progress, really.


youtu.be/tfcme7maygw
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Imerion » 18 Apr 2016, 12:14

You're actually adding voice recognition to this? That is so cool! I already thought this game was a dream coming true, but it's even more so now! :D
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