Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

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Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

Postby Prolapser » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:51 pm

This message is more for Jam than players, but I encourage anyone to check out Space Engine. It is a free space exploration simulation software which makes space super beautiful.

Album of Space Engine Snapshots

There are lots of space games now, and more are coming. One detrimental concern I have with ATSG is beauty and presentation. ATSG is visually ugly compared to the current state-of-the-art. I normally focus my fun on functionality, and that is why I still play ATSG. Graphics is not that important to me, but I have to admit, the space game competition is presenting some beautiful stuff. Gamers see that too, and I believe one major factor in not retaining players is that ATSG graphics are still in the 20th century.

Space Engine takes beauty to an extreme. I would love to see this level of detail in ATSG, but that is probably impractical on a web engine. Even small improvements to planets, nebulas, and the stars in the night sky could give more eye-candy appeal.

Space Engine uses a great font which adapts nicely in different colors, clearly relaying information. The ATSG font needs to change into an appealing, modern, and easily readable text face which sizes properly to the web browser and PC client. I recently remembered where I saw the ATSG font, and it's over 30 years old and came from the Vic 20 / PET / Commodore era.

The ships are being overhauled, which is good. Once the overall graphics improve in the game, you can promote the improvement and hopefully draw in more Steam Greenlight support.
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Re: Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

Postby ForumBot » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:02 pm

Prolapser wrote:This message is more for Jam than players, but I encourage anyone to check out Space Engine. It is a free space exploration simulation software which makes space super beautiful.

Album of Space Engine Snapshots

There are lots of space games now, and more are coming. One detrimental concern I have with ATSG is beauty and presentation. ATSG is visually ugly compared to the current state-of-the-art. I normally focus my fun on functionality, and that is why I still play ATSG. Graphics is not that important to me, but I have to admit, the space game competition is presenting some beautiful stuff. Gamers see that too, and I believe one major factor in not retaining players is that ATSG graphics are still in the 20th century.

Space Engine takes beauty to an extreme. I would love to see this level of detail in ATSG, but that is probably impractical on a web engine. Even small improvements to planets, nebulas, and the stars in the night sky could give more eye-candy appeal.

Space Engine uses a great font which adapts nicely in different colors, clearly relaying information. The ATSG font needs to change into an appealing, modern, and easily readable text face which sizes properly to the web browser and PC client. I recently remembered where I saw the ATSG font, and it's over 30 years old and came from the Vic 20 / PET / Commodore era.

The ships are being overhauled, which is good. Once the overall graphics improve in the game, you can promote the improvement and hopefully draw in more Steam Greenlight support.


I love space engine, but I can't use it because it's too hard on my computer.
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Re: Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

Postby jam » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:14 am

I'm in near total agreement really.

One of Sciriez's tasks will be to look at the overall presentation of the game (he's already begun) as well as the ships and give me instructions on how to fix it.

I need him to do that because when I look at (for example) those space engine screen shots, I can tell they look better than the average A-TSG screenshot, but I can't say why or think of any way to improve ours. I have a total lack of ability in that area and what's what we pay artists for :D

I am totall confident that over time we can get A-TSG looking as good as anything out there. For lower performance systems we can turn pretty stuff on or off as we need to (we already do this a lot).

As for web compatibility, this is primarily a PC game and that's the target market. The web player will always work, but it's already behind the PC client in performance especially with the new colonies. That's a fact of life with web players, they just can't compare to a standalone executable, at least not yet.
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Re: Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

Postby Sinstrite » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:06 am

To add on, I very much agree with everything said by everyone. I notice myself sliding to other games at times, much for admiring the artwork beside polished textures and models. I've tried to do what I can to help spread the word of the game, to sell it 'honestly' to potential players. My main contributions are videos I make. I found that instead of becoming bored with the lack of what we would call beautiful or amazing eye candy, and going to different, more visually appealing games--it's very fun and rewarding to think about being part of a team that helps a potential game of the decade really get off the ground.

Eventually we will get the game greenlit, and I trust Jam will hire some amazing guys who share the same vision that we have, and will sculpt the game into an unbelievable jewl. Imagine your favorite type of gameplay in A-TSG right now, and imagine the experience with the visual appeal we dream of. It's totally possible, and I want that day to come, so I try and help spread the word.

I'd love to see others doing their own thing that they enjoy, just like Werit's Ascent Adventure (if they have the time and desire, of course).

If you guys have YT channels, I'd love to organize some ideas for making videos together, really show how fun interaction with other players is. I also read Werit's work, sometimes he explains something and I was clueless about it, it's fun to know there's potential to learn from blogs and such written by other players having the same experience as you, even if you think you're further ahead.

I guess I'll stop blabbering and as a final note, enjoy the trailer to No Man's Sky. I'm really excited to see where their ideas go, and I also hope it inspires new ideas as far as what's possible for this game. Same for Flagship, if something like this was in the game for PVE, I'd lose my mind - in a good way.
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Re: Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

Postby Johneaux » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:48 am

jam wrote:I'm in near total agreement really.

One of Sciriez's tasks will be to look at the overall presentation of the game (he's already begun) as well as the ships and give me instructions on how to fix it.

I need him to do that because when I look at (for example) those space engine screen shots, I can tell they look better than the average A-TSG screenshot, but I can't say why or think of any way to improve ours. I have a total lack of ability in that area and what's what we pay artists for :D

I am totall confident that over time we can get A-TSG looking as good as anything out there. For lower performance systems we can turn pretty stuff on or off as we need to (we already do this a lot).

As for web compatibility, this is primarily a PC game and that's the target market. The web player will always work, but it's already behind the PC client in performance especially with the new colonies. That's a fact of life with web players, they just can't compare to a standalone executable, at least not yet.


It would be kewl if clicking autopilot brought up something like this

systemmap.jpg
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Re: Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

Postby Prolapser » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:57 pm

Sinstrite wrote:
If you guys have YT channels, I'd love to organize some ideas for making videos together, really show how fun interaction with other players is.

I guess I'll stop blabbering and as a final note, enjoy the trailer to No Man's Sky. I'm really excited to see where their ideas go, and I also hope it inspires new ideas as far as what's possible for this game. Same for Flagship, if something like this was in the game for PVE, I'd lose my mind - in a good way.


I am not a video maker, but I could learn if I knew which tools work the best. Since I do lots of planet exploring, I could accumulate my planet landings which could be used as footage in other videos. Unfortunately, there are only about a dozen planet types, and even on a high quality setting, look boring. When planets begin looking appealing, then I can give you the footage I collect for your videos.

When I saw No Man's Sky last week, I was in awe. It's a space exploration game I would definitely play, but I am leery that computationally, it's not going to happen. We are slowly creeping up to the exabyte computing evolution, so there may be hope.
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Re: Space Engine - Potential Benchmark to Reach for ATSG

Postby Sinstrite » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:21 pm

I only use three programs to make videos, Fraps to record, Audacity to edit the audio, and Windows Movie Maker on PC. I'm sure Macs or what ever other systems have their free versions of video editors as well. If you have a mic already, the only thing to worry about is Fraps. I paid for the full version, but have shared my login with Truchungfu in the past, and am willing to do so with others so they can have a free Fraps download.

I'm worried for the same exact reasons, something that we face right now which I think will be a critical stopping point is information compression and storage, and with procedural generation on such a huge scale I'm not sure how a computer let alone a multiplayer server would handle it. As you said though, we still haven't hit the edge of what Moore's Law is yet, so we don't really know what breakthroughs will be made this month, this year, or next.

This game is exceptional in that most other games have a developer group who handles most decisions behind closed doors, and offers kickstarters or some type of incentive to play early by paying. Jams design and player interaction is very good right now in how players are introduced to the game, and the game has made a name for itself through the community and search engines almost totally, which I think in the long run is going to help it develop a hell of a backbone.

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