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Posts posted by PDCWolf

  1. 12 minutes ago, Delay said:

    You got it the wrong way around. Stars in KSP aren't unintuitive because they don't show up in the Apollo pictures. They don't show up in the Apollo pictures because that is unintuitive, because that is something we are not used to seeing.

    Except you try to look at the sky and turn on a light and suddenly there's less stars.


    I'm more or less actively involved in debunking that conspiracy theory, so I'd know what, how (and if) they think.

    Fine, "Replacing the star-filled skybox with a black one in the presence of any bright object". I can understand how under non-superficial interpretation, this statement can seem ambiguous.

    Insisting on trying to be snarky, I see.


    Most of the time stars would not be visible, unless you are located in the shadow of a planet or moon. Even in interplanetary space, the spacecraft would reflect too much light to make stars visible. Thus, we're not really talking about "stars unless object" and more about "no stars unless shadow".

    In that case, why bother with a skybox at all? It requires long exposure times, even in LEO.

    It's been like 15 posts and you're still trying to misrepresent the idea to have an argument at all. You'd have stars during night time, during the dark side when orbiting a planet (if you're not looking at anything else that's bright enough), when an eclipse happens, when your own craft or another passes in front of the sun, when in interstellar space, when looking from inside a capsule in the shade, etc. Plus I never locked the method to dirty skybox tricks, and they could do it in other ways, not sure why you keep bringing up skybox tricks when that's just one possible method.

  2. 5 minutes ago, Delay said:

    How did you just gloss over my question?

    Plus, you make it sound like I'm against improving these systems purely because they are visual. I welcome every improvement in both gameplay and visuals, just to make that clear. However, unlike replacing a particle system with a mesh-based one (which, among other things, has performance benefits), removing stars is not an improvement, just a simple change that doesn't add or subtract anything.

    I differentiated graphics from mechanics when the "bad game design" was brought up, as the video used for exemplifying talked about mechanical bad game design. 

    You're now saying that increasing the realism of the visual systems and bringing them up to gaming industry standard doesn't add or substract anything. It adds realism, substracts unintuitive behavior (remember how the stars not being in the Apollo pictures were a big part of the conspiracy theory?). On top of that, you still keep referring to it as "removing stars", when that's clearly not how it works, and you definitely know that, having played with DOE. Stars will be there, you'll see them come and go exactly as you do in real life when lighting conditions change.

  3. 9 hours ago, Delay said:

    So visuals being left up to the community is the same as implementing new rocket parts, planets and gameplay features? You yourself distinguished between VFX and gameplay before, why the sudden equivalence?

    KSP 2 is in the unique position of being the successor to a game that already did leave these decisions up to the individual to decide and customize. Following this idea is not bad.

    Except they've now learned from what the community did, and we have stock implementations of effects that mods had to bring to the table: RealPlume, Scatterer, Clouds, PlanetShine, Engine Light, etc. 

  4. 18 minutes ago, Delay said:

    The date of the image Cassini took is known. From that you can calculate where Saturn was in its orbit. Based on the position of Saturn's rings relative to the planet you can estimate where Cassini was. Based on that you can reconstruct the sky at the time.

    That goes way beyond simple stargazing and recognition of constellations, and is exactly what it took to reconstruct the position of Cassini in Celestia.


    Exactly! It does not affect gameplay in any way, shape or form. So why do you, or anyone by extension, care so much that the developers should decide for everyone?
    Either make it a highly customizable option or leave it to the modders. There is no correct side here. You can make a case for realism, you can make a case for artistic license, or both or none.

    If this was an actual argument, and people didn't care about products evolving to include new features, anything but a flat procedural surface and christmas rockets would be a mod and we'd still be at 0.1.

  5. 1 minute ago, sturmhauke said:

    So you do contend that the night sky from Saturn orbit looks substantially different than the night sky from Earth orbit. (Let's ignore the sky from here on the Earth's surface, since there are significant atmospheric effects.)

    The problem is that except for objects in our own Solar System, that's just not true. The average distance from Earth to Saturn is approximately 1.28 x 109 km (8.5 AU). The distance from Earth to Proxima Centauri is 4.02 x 1013 km (4.25 ly), which is about 31,400 times further away.

    Point taken, yet we still we ended up needing the help of an orrery software and overblown exposure to correctly identify stars. Whilst you're right that there's negligible change in the shape of the constellations, if I handed you an image with 17 random dots, taken from an unknown position, in an unknown point in time, with unknown field of view data, I'd really find it fantastic and laughable again that you'd come pointing out stars and constellations with such certainty as it was done. The picture, with all that missing data taken into account, and with what very little data it presents., represents an alien sky, both in dictionary definition and concept.

  6. 26 minutes ago, kedrednael said:

    No they don't I think? Do you have an example?

    Games on planets can cheat the lighting easier. It's harder in space because then you can actually have the dim and bright objects in view at the same time.

    If you limit yourself to the space genre, then yeah, but also most games in the space genre definitely do not qualify as modern. Elite came out 8 years ago, with Horizons & Odyssey barely making the graphics better. Space Engine is the one that definitely tries the hardest save for some very big oversights, but at least gives you the option to fix it, even then Space Engine originally came out almost 12 years ago, though it is continually being evolved.



  7. 3 minutes ago, Delay said:

    You can quote all you want, dismissing it as an excuse is not an argument.
    Fact is that the general public has an idea of what space travel looks like. KSP already broke many of these expectations, leading to severe frustration in players who don't necessarily know a lot about space travel. I can imagine this ended some people's interest in the game as being "too hard" (I know we don't have these problems, but that does not imply the complement is empty!).

    Fact is that the general public loved KSP to the point the devs decided to evolve the product and support it for 10 years, selling it to one of the biggest gaming companies.  It's also one top rated games on Steam, and has been for a while, which is reflected as well on it's metacritic score and global critical acclaim from almost all gaming sources and networks. Let's not diminish KSP's accolades just to have a point, not to mention again how this is not a gameplay mechanic, but rather a visual effect, which is also present on almost all modern games nowadays, even across genres, in the form of eye adaptation.


    The goal should be to strike a balance between meeting expectations and teaching real-world physics. And again: I'm supporting the middle-ground options of either allowing full control of every visual aspect or have mods do this in case people like to.

    I don't want to repeat myself too much, but I play with DOE by choice, because I want realism over artistic license. But said artistic license is absolutely fine to have and I would accept, play and love the game just as much without it.

    Just because I like bloom and slight overexposure doesn't mean you do either. Doesn't mean I should get to decide how your planets look. Or your skybox. Or your rockets. Or your anything.

    I don't mind it being an option and I've said this before, but yet again, we don't know if they've arrived to where they are right now following artistic vision or being ignorant of the principle, heck, it's been 10 years and we still don't know this of the original KSP either.

    What you like is completely up to you, and I don't disagree with your tastes, I disagree with some of the arguments you're using.

    7 minutes ago, kedrednael said:

    It is definitely easier to just fade the skybox texture in and out like KSP DOE does. It is really hard to give all objects an accurate luminosity and adjust exposure correctly, making some objects over or completely under exposed.

    Once the lighting issue is settled, what'd be hard is adjusting exposure, indeed, yet almost every modern game having some form of "eye adaptation" kinda tip the scales against how hard it could possibly be.

  8. 2 hours ago, Delay said:

    the (space interested, but not obsessed) audience that KSP 2 attempts to reach

    "The excuse offered is always the vulgarity of the vast majority of the public. I insist that this is absolutely false. The public is infinitely superior to the rubbish that is fed to them daily." -TDTC

    If it was about what the og devs thought the general public wanted and could handle, KSP would still be a game about throwing green men up and seeing how far up can you go. Let's not fall so low in the search for an argument. 

    3 hours ago, kedrednael said:


    Some amazing shots, they really highlight the problem and the solution, though the KSP1 skybox doesn't help at all with constricted FOV shots. There's also some details here and there that could be nitpicked like engine light or ship interior lights not affecting the view, but that's so small it'll be a waste, specially since the point is already proven.


    If sunlit objects/ the sun keep the same exposure, while only the skybox dims, then that is really distracting and useless. The skybox should dim to prevent the actual sunlit objects/ the sun from being overexposed.

    This is a programmatically implemented limitation, and I believe it is easier to not implement it than to bother doing what KSP seems to do. If it was a single static light, obviously light levels as distance increases would change accordingly, yet KSP's anthropocentric planetarium implements its very own light source/solution  that seems to almost always be at the same distance to the player.


  9. 1 hour ago, t_v said:

    But this is not true for everyone. Many of the opposing people are not arguing that the sky shouldn't be black, but instead that it is not good for visuals. Before you argue (or avoid this argument as you have done for the last few posts on the matter, once again you know what I mean, don't make me enumerate all the posts), consider that this is a purely subjective stance. I may want the sky to be black, someone else might want the sky to have stars. There really is no ultimate argument to defeat an opinion, because it is an opinion and not a fact. So, how about instead of arguing whether the sky should dim for realism, which has been proven multiple times already by you and others in this thread, try either (a) closing this discussion with a request for a sky dimming option or (b) debating over whether a black sky looks better rather than whether it would exist or not. 

    I understand subjectivity, but subjectivity is also something that can be discussed. We're having a great artistic look in movies discussion with @Jack Mcslay, where he's found examples of movies showing stars, and I've found examples of movies not showing stars on bright scenes. The discussion might turn into arguments when generalizations and false equivalences such as "that's bad game design" or "artistic vs realistic" are thrown around. Notice how I have not responded to folks like @Bej Kerman that simply mention they just don't like it, or find it disorienting, because that's indeed their personal taste and experience.

    Opinions are not facts, indeed, but they might be presented in a way that makes them seem to be, or used to push arguments about things that can actually be discussed.

    I don't mind the whole thing being an option, either, and you can clearly see (since you've seem to read all my posts here) that I didn't discuss that matter either.

  10. 11 minutes ago, Superfluous J said:

    So just to be 100% clear, when you wrote that the sky around Saturn is alien, you meant that it was not around Earth and instead was around Saturn? Because that is 100% true but also 100% irrelevant to anything discussed in the thread so far.

    And you did NOT mean that it looked different than Earth's Sky? Because that would be significant if it was true, but is false.

    I meant that it seemed fantastic and laughable to me, that someone would be quickly able to recognize a couple stars on a place that is not Earth, from a single, almost reference-less picture. It was relevant as a response to the user's post in that moment, since he was using his magic stargazer powers ("i saw this and that and that other constellation over there!") to justify being able to see, which he clearly wasn't since not a single one of his calls was right.

    You're looking at a reference-less sky from a place that is not even on your same world, no human has ever seen that sky directly, nor is a single human accustomed to search for stars there, nor do we know the FOV of the camera to justify how much sky is actually visible, or any other useful data. Whilst literally not being Earth makes it fit the extraterrestrial sky definition, what I just described makes it fit the idea that the picture shows an enough different sky (from what we see every day) that trying to play stargazer is, again, laughable and fantastic.

  11. 44 minutes ago, Delay said:

    You want to argue with definitions now? A sign of desperation in my book.

    Anyways, let's play your game. You described the sky as "alien", not as "extraterrestrial". Here are all definitions of "alien" offered by Wiktionary:

    Notice any similarities? Because I don't.

    Bro, I'm not the one that joined a thread to make a tangential post about a sub-topic, also, somehow you didn't realize extraterrestrial and alien are synonyms, pretty big oversight:


  12. 3 hours ago, Lisias said:

    And that's what I did. I switched the skybox to one with way more resolution and tested the thing on my oldest MacCrap, that have only 384MB of VRAM (no to mention a crappy Intel HD3000 as GPU). You can't ask for a better rig for easily test performance, sir, every extra MB can make the textures being fetched from the CPU's RAM, plummeting the performance.

    And some other interesting effects. :)

    I think it's disingenuous to test on a system that's below the minimum specs of KSP1 specially when we're talking about KSP2 here. There's almost 10 years of evolution for the minimum spec the game could require. Also, it's not like we even know their performance target, we don't have anything for that outside of guesswork.


    Read the rules again. I'm allowed to hack KSP, as long I stay away from private thingies and do not reverse engineer the thing. And I didn't did any of them.

    And I'm not the one claiming how the GalaxyCubeControl works. I'm just telling you how I think it works based on my Clean Room tests made on weaker machines, where such behaviours are way easily spotted and measured.

    Of course, I may be wrong about your claiming. Please pinpoint where in the KSP API Docs are the information needed to know exactly how the GalaxyCubeControl works. ;) 

    And I never mentioned to know *exactly* how it works :wink:. However being in the software industry, and a modder, you'd easily be able to at least blackbox the thing.

  13. 13 minutes ago, Lisias said:

    Sorry, dude, you fail to understand how these things work.

    RGB manipulation on the skybox involves duplicating a base image and applying changes on it, pixel by pixel, for every frame. So you need to have both images on the VRAM (and so the GPU can do the job, at expenses of duplicating the skybox footprint in memory), or you have the base image on CPU's memory, makes it apply the change, and then 'upload' the result into the VRAM, so the GPU can apply it - and this transition is way more expensive than having the GPU using the VRAM exclusively, even nowadays using PCIEx16 buses.

    I suggest you read the code yourself - it uses something already existent on the codebase, the GalaxyCubeControl, and unless you are engaged in Non Forum Compliant activities (see item 9), you don't have grounds to do such affirmation.

    I also suggest you follow an ongoing (besides slow as hell) discussion about how to enhance the feature on DOE.

    You can both know the size of the skybox images (this is pretty much publicly accesible lmao) AND infer what GalaxyCubeControl does (specially thanks to the API docs & many other modders using it) without violating item 9.

    Now, you're suggesting DOE uses hacky code, and you'd know since you maintain it, yet use that same allegedly hacky code to argue that you'd require double the resources just to dim the skybox. Since we'd be dealing with a stock implementation, going as deep as shaders themselves rather than duplication and operation, we could do away with that argument easily. You can't have both sides.

  14. 31 minutes ago, OHara said:

    Well, KSP1 has the mechanism for reduced solar-panel production with distance from the sun, so I would not be surprised if a modder considered it for relative brightness of sunlit planetary surfaces.

    The smaller scale of KSP reduces the distance needed to see a significant change in sunlit brightness, but the effect is still there.   KSP has a dimmer sun so that the 10×-closer Kerbin gets about the same illumination as does Earth, and KSP's Jool gets 25× less output from solar panels, similar to the situation at Jupiter.

    Are there other mods that address this topic, besides distant-object enhancement, that you mentioned above?

    Output from solar panels is programmatically changed with a mathematical formula, not by relative brightness, apples to oranges. Brightness doesn't seem to decrease, or increase, with distance, as suggested by this being a requested feature:

    23 minutes ago, Lisias said:

    The error of the whole discussion is assuming this is easy to implement. We don't have the slightest clue about how the current development process are behaving, if they didn't already reached some "do not exceed threshold". As the GPU's VRAM - remember, we will face some 2 years of terrible shortage of electronics, including GPU - there're people buying prebuilt computers just to grab the GPU and then selling the rest on ebay. Most new systems will use APUs for graphics, as it appears.

    Given the current status quo, one possible (new and recent) non functional requirement for the project is to do not exceed 2GB of RAM for the minimum viable product to be shipped, POINT (it's what I would do at least), and so some things would need to be prioritised .

    Most people do not realise it, but you need images specially tailored for doing the job as you are requesting, and these images use more VRAM than "normal" ones. Exactly what's a premium nowadays - there're people buying GTX 1030 (a crap with 2GB VRAM) three times the price I bought my RX460 with 4GB VRAM 2 years ago around here.

    On the other hand, there's also the cheap and dirty solutions that changes the skybox using the CPU (saving the GPU from the task), but by then, you start to bottleneck the CPU, using some juice that could be used to enhance the FPS.

    And, all of this, assuming they didn't already implemented the whole stunt, rendering us splitting hairs . :)


    The code DOE uses for it's basic implementation is freely available to be performance tested by whoever whishes to challenge the claim in actual measurable terms, both in performance and implementation time: https://github.com/TheDarkBadger/DistantObject/blob/master/Source-Code/DarkenSky.c

    The images are not specially tailored, as there's no "images".  The skybox is actuated on based on simple RGB manipulation.

  15. 2 minutes ago, OHara said:

    KSP1 has the feature of dimming the skybox when the sun is near the centre of the window.  (Balancing brightness for what is in the centre of the view, rather than the entire view, is a nice idea.) KSP1's designers chose to only slightly dim the skybox.

    KSP1 dims the skybox the same amount whether we are looking at the sun from inside Moho's orbit, or outside Eeloo's.   Distant Object Enhancement, also, dims the skybox the same amount whether we have Moho's lit surface, or Eeloo's, in view.   (@PDCWolf do any 'other visual mods that make things right' account for distance to the Sun? )

    I suspect KSP2 will consider distance to the sun, because we have at least two suns, and sometimes one will be 'the sun' sometimes the other.   

    I'd say, based on the pale blue dot image (below) that even when further away than Pluto, the sun still overpowers most stuff. I'll also base myself on the balanced image of Pluto (also below), that when that far away from the sun, this phenomena still applies. However, no, I don't think they consider it, BUT considering the solar system in KSP1 is magnitudes smaller than our own, I'd think there shouldn't be much of a difference.

    Full Pale Blue Dot composite: https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00450 (Sun still overpowers all, explained in text)

    Pluto from the front: https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20291 

    Pluto from the back, even the haze overpowers stars: (and the exposure is blown up, look at that banding on the atmosphere): https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20727 

  16. 3 minutes ago, Lisias said:

    it's not unanimous.

    Elite Dangerous and No Man's Sky don't do that, and they are incredibly successful games nevertheless. 

      Reveal hidden contents

    Search for the scenes on space 

    There's nothing wrong on having the feature,  but there's nothing wrong on not having it neither.

    In the end, it will be a business decision - adding the feature will depend if the project is on tracks and have space for adding one more feature without risking starting a Feature Creep Syndrome (or a  Second System Effect.)


    I don't think anyone along the entire thread has treated the feature as make or break, but rather a very obvious, easy to implement, missed opportunity when going for realism. Neither has the claim for the feature been unanimous, otherwise there'd be no pages of discussion.

  17. 21 hours ago, Jack Mcslay said:

    What other argument? The only argument is that you desperately want the game visuals to be far more dull just for a minuscule increase in realism that was complained by virtually nobody in over 10 years of KSP

    The Expanse disagrees with you






    First Man:






    What other argument? The only argument is that you desperately want the game visuals to be far more dull just for a minuscule increase in realism that was complained by virtually nobody in over 10 years of KSP

    Yeah, that's why DOE has so little downloads, and so do almost all other visual mods that make things right. :rolleyes:

    As for evidence and argumentation on why respecting this in KSP2 is the right way to go, it's all over the thread, and provided not only by me. 

  18. 3 minutes ago, SOXBLOX said:

    @PDCWolf, we already cleared this up. Your wording in your first posts made it sound like you thought no stars were visible if you stand on the day side of a planet. I pointed out that you can see them again if you cover the sun with your hand and your eyes dark-adapt. You agreed. There is no argument anymore.

    Which is nothing related to what you were talking about in your last post, where you jumped to a conclusion based on a misidentified source (enhanced image), I wanted to clear that up.

    Plus, to be clear, you have to shield yourself from all light that might reach your eyes, not just the sun, which I did point out back then too.

  19. 14 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

    Very interesting. Thank you for pointing that out. Funny, I assumed they would have to be bright stars to show in those conditions. Seems like this confirms that, with the right settings, much fainter stars than even I thought possible are visible.

    Better leave fainter stars in the skybox, then.

    That's quite the jump.

    This is Saturn's dark side with some refracted light (like it happens to our moon during eclipses), and that's an enhanced image, I must remind you that THIS is the real image (as per this source https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA08329 ) Here they show the original image in which you can't see stars, then along they show the enhanced version (the one @OHara uses for his post) where you can see some stars.



  20. 51 minutes ago, Jack Mcslay said:

    Now you're grasping at straws. The requirements for the art design follows the same thought process as the game design.  Games that do a good job with their art design become recognized for their visuals, while games that focus on realistic visuals will eventually end up looking dated. This is why Mortal Kombat 1-3 aged poorly but not Street Fighter II.

    Only grasping at straws if you ignore every other bit of argument in the entire thread. Not to mention your gross overgeneralization of where realistic vs artistic (which is also a very intellectually dishonest fallacy to compare) end up. As for the MK/SF comparison, all the games you named are dead and look dated. 


    Now imagine if they implemented it. Those shots with nearby celestial bodies would look very dull and look more like a budget 60's movie. This is art fundamentals, good art is one such that impresses the viewer, not one that goes for visual accuracy.

    Funny you'd say that when modern day space epics have gone for a realistic look because that's exactly what sets them apart from simple hollywood flicks. 








    Then why does the game allow painting your ship any color other than silver or white?

    Because we've had spaceships and rockets in a lot of colors. And we have the capability of painting them on any color, it's just cheaper to not paint them, or useful to paint them in reflective colors, or to easily visualize rotation.


    Space Shuttle external tank - Wikipedia









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