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Nanook
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PostPosted: Fri, 30. Mar 18, 23:23    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Skeeter wrote:
Oh I agree hand crafted exploration would be great....


I wouldn't. Handcrafted missions are one shot deals, exploration-wise. Once you've discoverd it in your first playthrough, you always know where it's at. Or someone else posts it on the forum/internet and everybody knows where it's at. That ruins the whole concept of exploration. Look at the difference between TC and AP regarding abandoned ships. In TC, they were 'handcrafted', i.e., fixed. Everybody knew where they were, because of the above. In AP, they were randomised in both location and type of ship. It actually made exploration meaningful. We do need clues, though, for help in finding them, because as was pointed out "space is BIG". Wink


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adeine





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PostPosted: Sat, 31. Mar 18, 03:23    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I think a neat addition might be if you extend systems indefinitely via procedural generation. Space is enormous, so give us the chance to fly in any one direction for a looooong time.

Each system/area could have its own parameters for what is generated past the "designed" boundaries - it doesn't have to be terribly interesting (which is fine, since it is supposed to be unoccupied space!) but it would be neat if you could go on mining runs or find the odd wreck, or run into something very dangerous off the beaten path.

Kind of like UFJD sectors grafted on to the side of existing sectors, indefinitely.

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monster.zero





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PostPosted: Sat, 31. Mar 18, 16:27    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

"I think a neat addition might be if you extend systems indefinitely via procedural generation."

Exactly.

We have terrabyte hard drives...fill them up with asteroid/derelict/loot folders!

It's a single player game. Don't have to consider multi-player problems. I'll buy an extra HD to expand the gameplay.



Scatter these trillion objects through out the system. asteroids, salvage debris, derelicts, loot, gas mining...etc.

Have scanners able to locate hundreds of objects in a sweep....it would still take the rest of your life to hunt down a trillion objects. They would be so spread out that you wouldn't have to draw all the objects on the screen at once....maybe a cluster of 500 objects at the most. computers could handle drawing that amount of objects.

Tag and mark a good/great locations on a zoom-able orrery map.

Getting back and forth would be the problem...but I'm willing to leave my computer running overnight or even while i'm at work! to make it back to a spacestation(or just build my own at a really nice asteroid spot).


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CBJ
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PostPosted: Sat, 31. Mar 18, 16:38    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Some of you seem to be forgetting that a key feature of the game is that the whole universe goes on existing, with ships flying around doing what they do and stations manufacturing things the whole time you're playing. We are very careful to minimise the performance impact of far-away objects when you are not nearby, but they still have an overhead and they can't just sit idly on your hard disk. There are therefore limits to how big the game universe can be, and more importantly how much it can contain, regardless of how the map is generated or designed.

Procedural generation is not a magic solution to this; all it does is provide a way of randomising things, albeit in a semi-predictable manner. As has already been stated, we have chosen not to do this with the map itself, because we want to exercise control over the design of the structure of game universe. We are, however, generating some of the content of that space in a manner that would probably be considered "procedural" in the sense that people are using the term.

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Fleabum





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PostPosted: Sat, 31. Mar 18, 19:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I see why Egosoft decided not to implement procedual generation for the X (series) game universe, but it would be nice in the future for Egosoft to consider a X based game that was procedually generated.

or

maybe put enough support in the game engine that people with the resources could mod the game to be larger/procedual to starting sectors/races/stations ect.

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Flea

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Karvat





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PostPosted: Sun, 1. Apr 18, 00:26    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

A randomly generated map is my dream in this game, it would add more unpredictability and replayability to an already infinite video game; but even without, I'm sure you will do an incredible job and when it will be released this will be the game in which I will spend most of my time, as previously happened with the other x games

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Kane Hart



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PostPosted: Sun, 1. Apr 18, 01:09    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Could it be modded in or is the sectors in a sense like backed in as you can't just have it generate more random sectors once in the game world? Because you can create sectors via modding right now? Even something very basic like EVE-Online style empty 0.0 sectors with maybe few random pirate bases but mostly just empty. Allow the AI to grow into them slowly overtime would be a lot of fun Smile

Modded of course I don't want to strain the devs Smile

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Karvat





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PostPosted: Sun, 1. Apr 18, 15:20    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

However, if I had been in your place I would have given the player the possibility to set parameters according to which at the beginning of a game a random universe would have been generated, in X3 the only available universe was that of X, and I think that many have wished to have more choice, so in X4 this could happen, and if the problem is how much memory is occupied by a constantly moving universe, this could always be limited by setting a limit to these parameters

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gbjbaanb



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PostPosted: Sun, 1. Apr 18, 18:07    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I can;t help thinking that there has to be a better way to create randomised sectors without either full procedural creation or hand-crafted.

The first step would be to procedurally generate far away, less important sectors. That straight away gives a good set of randomisation that will increase long-term playability.

then to help the start sectors, at least take all the bits that are hand-crafted in now, and randomise them. So if you have 4 food factories and 10 agricultural stations, keep that count, but randomise where they start. That will make it look random without being truly random and without affecting the game parameters for the economy.

I think that would be sufficient for most people.

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Kane Hart



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PostPosted: Sun, 1. Apr 18, 19:51    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

They are random generating with of course (directions) of all the sectors stations now. I don't know if they still choose their spots, etc but from my understanding the NPC AI pretty much pregens a random generated start. I have a feeling stations and such might be told where to be place though but who knows?

That being said if that underlining tech exists I can't see it being too hard to generate 100 empty sectors and have a script define some parameters.

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adeine





Joined: 31 Aug 2017



PostPosted: Mon, 2. Apr 18, 01:31    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

CBJ wrote:
Some of you seem to be forgetting that a key feature of the game is that the whole universe goes on existing, with ships flying around doing what they do and stations manufacturing things the whole time you're playing. We are very careful to minimise the performance impact of far-away objects when you are not nearby, but they still have an overhead and they can't just sit idly on your hard disk. There are therefore limits to how big the game universe can be, and more importantly how much it can contain, regardless of how the map is generated or designed.

Procedural generation is not a magic solution to this; all it does is provide a way of randomising things, albeit in a semi-predictable manner. As has already been stated, we have chosen not to do this with the map itself, because we want to exercise control over the design of the structure of game universe. We are, however, generating some of the content of that space in a manner that would probably be considered "procedural" in the sense that people are using the term.


While not a solution (in my suggestion/example, anyway) it does make things easier in that UFJD-style sectors can be generated 'on demand', only if and when the player chooses to fly there, so there is initially zero overhead. And since they're unpopulated/deep space kind of locations, there won't be a lot of active assets or NPC traffic going on to keep track of once you leave. So the significant impact on the simulation would largely be limited to those the player currently has ships or bases in, or has encountered enemy forces in and chosen to leave.

It's still plausible that this might bog things down to a game-breaking point if the player expands the size of the universe by generating a ton of them and filling them up with assets (or there's a way to draw NPC traffic there by building stations, etc.) but I think that's the same situation as the old X3 complexes that could kill entire sectors or the game save entirely by growing out of hand.

At any rate, this is very much a 'would be nice to have someday' feature, I'd rather X4 released in a more complete and bug-free state before even thinking about implementing anything like this. Wink

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Fleabum





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PostPosted: Mon, 2. Apr 18, 14:48    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

adeine wrote:
While not a solution (in my suggestion/example, anyway) it does make things easier in that UFJD-style sectors can be generated 'on demand', only if and when the player chooses to fly there, so there is initially zero overhead. And since they're unpopulated/deep space kind of locations, there won't be a lot of active assets or NPC traffic going on to keep track of once you leave. So the significant impact on the simulation would largely be limited to those the player currently has ships or bases in, or has encountered enemy forces in and chosen to leave.

It's still plausible that this might bog things down to a game-breaking point if the player expands the size of the universe by generating a ton of them and filling them up with assets (or there's a way to draw NPC traffic there by building stations, etc.) but I think that's the same situation as the old X3 complexes that could kill entire sectors or the game save entirely by growing out of hand.

At any rate, this is very much a 'would be nice to have someday' feature, I'd rather X4 released in a more complete and bug-free state before even thinking about implementing anything like this. Wink


I think this would be a fantastic idea. Think along the lines of one shot randomly instanced dungeons in the likes of World of Warcraft. You could have an item in the normal universe, loot drop from battles, craftable or purchasable from shady traders (damaged hyperdrive or such), when used will jump you to an instanced, randomly generated unknown sector with packs of enemy ships, stations, or just massive asteroid fields. Soon as you and all your resources leave the 'instance' the instance closes it gets deleted and never reappears. Saves on the overhead of persistent sectors.

This would add a great replay-ability, randomness and fun. And once the code was added to the main engine, imagine the mod possibilities you could do with this... custom missions to retrieve items from an unknown sector, make contact with aliens to acquire new technology, ability to find ancient ships from previous X versions.... oh the fun we could have with this.

Regards
Flea

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Honved





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PostPosted: Mon, 2. Apr 18, 16:34    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Of course, there is a middle ground between random and hand-placed. One can set several hundred coordinate points (like 2-3 in each sector), and then randomly place a few dozen or so items at some of those points. It's possible then to further restrict the choices, so certain items will not show up in particular parts of the universe, or only show up in one faction's territory, etc. It won't be time-efficient to visit every last possible coordinate in hopes of finding something (95% would be empty, so if you find something in one game, there's only a 5% chance that something will be there in the next, and you'll have no idea what you'll, if anything), but the locations could be kept sensible, rather than 15-20 minutes of travel time with a fast ship in a random direction from anyplace you might have a rational reason to be, or directly in the way of a gate. The game doesn't need to track the empty points after initialization, only the items that are actually placed.

Procedural generation works best when you can tightly restrain its choices, otherwise you learn the true meaning of "randomness" when it does things that are clearly mindless.

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Ulfengaard





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PostPosted: Sun, 22. Apr 18, 08:21    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I've looked through the thread, and I don't see any mention of a more advanced method of 'scanning down' interesting locations. This was something I enjoyed doing in EVE, as it felt like there was some amount of skill involved. I started to get a 'feel' for the scanner, and I got faster and faster at scanning as I went along. Better scanners made that process faster, as well.

For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, the system basically required you to launch several probes. Each one would emit a scanning 'bubble', and you would use the 'bubbles' of several probes to triangulate the location of an interesting location (if there was one) in three-dimensional space, using the intersections of the bubbles.

I never got anyone else's impression of the system, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a method of exploration. The anticipation which would build as I kept trying to get a fix on the location of interest was really good.

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Honved





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PostPosted: Mon, 23. Apr 18, 18:26    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

To clarify my previous post, one can have a large but finite number of hand-selected coordinate locations, and have a much smaller list of some predefined and some random items. At campaign initialization, each of the items on that list will be placed randomly at one of the coordinate locations.

If you have 500 locations and only 50 items, there's only a 10% chance that a location you found in a previous play will have something there this time, and even if it does, the odds of it having the SAME item as last time are trivially small. Exploration pays, even if you've played 20 campaigns, because there are bound to be at least a few locations you missed.

If everything is hand-placed, then you know where it is in your next campaign, and it becomes a spoiler. If everything is random, then you're going to have items in awkward spots (some long-lost piece of technology sitting right in the primary lane of traffic for the last few years, and nobody noticed), or stuff in really remote places you wouldn't want to suffer through to reach.

On a related note, having a few persistent sectors of "unexplored" space, like UFJD sectors if you leave a jump beacon behind (with only a very limited number available to the player), or repair a failed and long-forgotten gate, would be a welcome addition. A little bit of random supplemental material to expand the game can't hurt, and won't get stale because it's different in every campaign.

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