Pecan

PCGamer: NMS vs KSP

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Yeah, the terrain scatters are an improvement (at least on Kerbin) but it's just... rocks everywhere else. And having no collisions doesn't help things. Moreover, there's not much to distinguish any particular place from any other particular place on most of the bodies. Stuff to do needs to be denser, so that if you park a rover on something you can get that Skyrim feel of always seeing the next "thing-to-do" from your current "thing-to-do".

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I think nms has a lot of exploration involved. But maybe the allure is that you'll visit a planet, and the odds say that no other human is likely to ever visit it. That means you'll be the only one to go there, at least for some time. I can understand the allure.

KSP is definitely about the journey, though.

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13 hours ago, AlexisBV said:

That being said, I do think worlds in KSP need more content - even if it's just more varied scatter, and certainly more terrain noise, with an uneven distribution, meaning noisy in some places, smooth in others, just like real terrain.

Agree, having more diverse worlds would open great possibilities for a more meaningful science, awesome contracts...

 

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Its also very nice that KSP runs on a wide range of CPU and graphics platforms. NMS not so much.  Procedural elements might be a nice addition but nothing critical to add at the moment.

I'll keep my Kerbals for now...  running just fine on their OSX operating system and their little intel graphics chipset.

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Does anybody else keep seeing this thread and initially think of Minecraft? :P

If you do you probably have written a Minecraft mod or two :D

Spoiler

Minecraft's namespace is net.minecraft.server, or NMS.  Code that accesses it directly, rather than through one of the fan made API's is called NMS code.

 

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Its worth noting, No Mans Sky planets are *tiny*

http://imgur.com/gallery/0fffW

3.3 mile diameter? are you kidding me? Even if its a 10 km diameter, that's tiny... I wonder what they do to avoid the visible curvature (lumpy terrain can help obscure it, but I wonder if they locally warp/flatten the terrain to make it seem bigger

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6 minutes ago, KerikBalm said:

Its worth noting, No Mans Sky planets are *tiny*

http://imgur.com/gallery/0fffW

3.3 mile diameter? are you kidding me? Even if its a 10 km diameter, that's tiny... I wonder what they do to avoid the visible curvature (lumpy terrain can help obscure it, but I wonder if they locally warp/flatten the terrain to make it seem bigger

I don't know what they do, but it works. I suspect they are flattening out the terrain and I also suspect that planets are differently rendered in space, in the air, and on the ground. I have been flying toward something that looks like it's just over the horizon, seen it'll take a minute or two to get there, hopped into space so I could use the faster engines, looked back down at the planet, and was surprised that the thing I was going for was actually further around the planet than it had first appeared.

Unless you do that kind of thing, though, it's really very seamless and you don't notice it at all. When you're on the surface, the planet sure looks big, and in a video game walking more than 30 seconds anywhere is going to get old quick.

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Wow, I never really paid much attention to the pre-release press for this game (that's a sure way to be disappointed), but it seems like a lot of stuff they talked about was cut. And some of it seems like it would have made it resemble KSP's universe a bit more.

This reddit thread has a huge list of things that were left out or were different from what was shown or discussed. But one of the interesting components is that planets and solar systems were supposed to be based on real physics; planets orbiting stars, stations orbiting planets, planet characteristics based on how close it is to the star, etc... That apparently isn't the case. 

From The Atlantic article (just a few months old) that discusses some of this:

“The physics of every other game—it’s faked,” the chief architect Sean Murray explained. “When you’re on a planet, you’re surrounded by a skybox—a cube that someone has painted stars or clouds onto. If there is a day to night cycle, it happens because they are slowly transitioning between a series of different boxes.” The skybox is also a barrier beyond which the player can never pass. The stars are merely points of light. In No Man’s Sky however, every star is a place that you can go. The universe is infinite. The edges extend out into a lifeless abyss that you can plunge into forever.

“With us,” Murray continued, “when you're on a planet, you can see as far as the curvature of that planet. If you walked for years, you could walk all the way around it, arriving back exactly where you started. Our day to night cycle is happening because the planet is rotating on its axis as it spins around the sun. There is real physics to that. We have people that will fly down from a space station onto a planet and when they fly back up, the station isn't there anymore; the planet has rotated. People have filed that as a bug.”

It sounds like there could have been a much more interesting game here, maybe something that could have benefited from a more low-key, maybe early-access release.

 

Also, this seems to me like it validates Harvester's long-term position on the value of procedural planets. There doesn't seem to be any of that shared sense of achievement like you have with KSP, just, "look at the planet that I found" and then onto the next one.

Edited by DMagic

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47 minutes ago, DMagic said:

But one of the interesting components is that planets and solar systems were supposed to be based on real physics; planets orbiting stars, stations orbiting planets, planet characteristics based on how close it is to the star, etc... That apparently isn't the case. 

That's one of my least favorite things in the game. It's probably #3 on the list after inventory management and the lack of useful (or any in most cases) maps.

Actually going back to the small planets thing, I wonder if that's why there's no map. I know from playing Empyrion Galactic Survival, having tiny planet spread out and giving the player a map of it in a sphere creates quite a bit of dissonance.

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7 hours ago, Wallygator said:

I'll keep my Kerbals for now...  running just fine on their OSX operating system and their little intel graphics chipset.

I feel your pain, brother; My MacBook Air can't even display shadows, but it doesn't really matter.

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On ‎12‎-‎8‎-‎2016 at 1:15 AM, Van Disaster said:

Perhaps KSP space also needs more hazards, at the moment it's all rather homogenous.

No thank you, I am quite capable of creating all the hazards I can handle and then some myself.

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On 11.08.2016 at 11:50 PM, Scotius said:

On the other hand, i would love to have procedurally generated planets in KSP. And life beyond Kerbin - at least on Laythe (and maybe Duna). Plus exploration options when i would stumble across something new (that would give me some Science points). Maybe one day... :)

I would prefer there was no life on Laythe as you discover it.

Instead, you should be able to *seed* it with life. Return twenty years later to a green island.

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On 8/17/2016 at 1:35 AM, 5thHorseman said:

I don't know what they do, but it works. I suspect they are flattening out the terrain and I also suspect that planets are differently rendered in space, in the air, and on the ground. I have been flying toward something that looks like it's just over the horizon, seen it'll take a minute or two to get there, hopped into space so I could use the faster engines, looked back down at the planet, and was surprised that the thing I was going for was actually further around the planet than it had first appeared.

Unless you do that kind of thing, though, it's really very seamless and you don't notice it at all. When you're on the surface, the planet sure looks big, and in a video game walking more than 30 seconds anywhere is going to get old quick.

Well, I remember seeing some pre-release videos of the transition from space to the planet surface, and something funny was definitely going on, but even back then I had the perception that the planets were tiny.

Also, I've noticed that the view distance never seems to be very high. I don't see pictures of spralling vistas... but rather everything beyond a certain distance seems obscured by fog or haze...

example:

Spoiler

No-Mans-Sky-Fighter-Cockpit.jpg

which would really help maintain the flat/size illusion. If you could only see 200 meters in any direction, Minmus would seem very flat too.

Edited by KerikBalm

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On 15.08.2016 at 10:49 PM, Bill Phil said:

I think nms has a lot of exploration involved. But maybe the allure is that you'll visit a planet, and the odds say that no other human is likely to ever visit it. That means you'll be the only one to go there, at least for some time. I can understand the allure.

 

On 16.08.2016 at 11:20 AM, Kermanzooming said:

Agree, having more diverse worlds would open great possibilities for a more meaningful science, awesome contracts...

 

It seems to me this is actually the most important complaint against NMS, outside it being way too easy.

Qunityllions of planets, all the same. They screwed up the procedural generation functions, made them generate everything in roughly the same distribution. There are no areas of scarcity or abundance.

It's the same problem as with Oblivion dungeon loot. Why would you go searching dungeons far out in the wilderness, if they contain the same randomly spawned loot matching your level, and the same leveled enemies as dungeons right outside the city. Here the planets were supposed to get progressively more interesting as you progress towards the center of the galaxy. Instead, they are just the same - there is no progression of any kind.

Imagine Kerbal Space Program if every single planet, including Kerbin, was just a recolor of the Mun, Also, to collect more science you'd have to move the craft by ten meters and repeat the measurements.

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I'm glad I haven't bought NMS and have instead jumped in the KSP bandwagon since 2014. In it's core, KSP has everything right, focusing it's gameplay on the difficulty of spaceflight, but presents it in a very fun way. If the devs (one day, we can all dream) try to at least design more features into the planets (doesn't necessarily have to be procedurally generated, but honestly, I don't care what they do, as I trust they'll create something magical), then KSP will become the ultimate space exploration game, bar none. It's core game philosophy is already extremely fun, rewarding, and frankly, genius.

Edited by Insanitic

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I spend some time with No Mans Sky, there are some good things but mostly bad things.

Gravity; Same, yesterday i landed on a planet then saw some small moon next to it, very near directly jumped to it and it has same gravity. It's really annoying to me.

Spaceship controls; It's like you dont even have control over ship, very annoying.

Game performance; this game feels like made by one person that sucked at graphic department, Looks bad, but even worse thing is it looks bad at high end PCs. It looks like 2 megapixel photo + 10 instagram filter on it.

Good thing is i quite like seeing some nice landscapes, there is a bit varience in it.

At the end, To be honest this game doesnt look like it has 18 quantrillion planets in it, it's just generating 2+ planet every time you move, just that.

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It seems that many reviewers has fallen for the "there's Trillions Of Planets Out There!" all a wee bit different. (And you gotta catch 'em all :wink: ).

Aka procedurally generated.

To which for the older (and grumpier) audience responds "Elite had that in -84" ...

Geriatric cynicism aside it is a very nifty idea, but not easy to build a good game from.

I for one find it much more fun to grind by trail and error to optimise my launcher/lander/station/whatever than to explore yet another almost identical planet.

ps.
And no, I don't go for 'you gotta catch 'em all', I prefer catching very few, but very efficiently :wink:
ds.

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On 15/08/2016 at 4:49 PM, Bill Phil said:

I think nms has a lot of exploration involved. (...)

KSP is definitely about the journey, though.

Exploring the planet on which you just arrived in KSP is *also* part of the journey, in my mind. That's why I find the lack of features on KSP's planets at bit disappointing.

I do love though how when I'm coming in to land on a flat in Minmus, and choose to land near a mountain so I can EVA over to it, I then realize how far I actually am from it. The massive scale of all of it certainly helps with immersion and the awesome-factor. I also read somewhere that when the astronauts went to the moon, it was very difficult to judge distance.. I guess I understand that feeling (even if not quite for the same reasons)!

Edited by AlexisBV

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6 hours ago, Curveball Anders said:

It seems that many reviewers has fallen for the "there's Trillions Of Planets Out There!" all a wee bit different. (And you gotta catch 'em all :wink: ).

Aka procedurally generated.

To which for the older (and grumpier) audience responds "Elite had that in -84" ...

Geriatric cynicism aside it is a very nifty idea, but not easy to build a good game from.

I for one find it much more fun to grind by trail and error to optimise my launcher/lander/station/whatever than to explore yet another almost identical planet.

ps.
And no, I don't go for 'you gotta catch 'em all', I prefer catching very few, but very efficiently :wink:
ds.

This, procedural generated content works well enough for the background stuff, speedtree is a program who generates trees in many games and is to an large degree procedural. 
Now this is not done realtime at least not for the major branches and tree shape. Oblivion used an program to generate vegetation, this was backed into the world and then modified. 

For major gameplay elements it don't work so well. at least not then the variation is too low like it looks like its in no man sky. 
 

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1 minute ago, magnemoe said:

Oblivion used an program to generate vegetation, this was backed into the world and then modified.

CCP used it for creating the EvE galaxy, and then tweaked it for gameplay.

The idea of using it for interactive gameplay is still a good idea, but turning a good idea into a good game is tricky.

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13 minutes ago, Curveball Anders said:

CCP used it for creating the EvE galaxy, and then tweaked it for gameplay.

The idea of using it for interactive gameplay is still a good idea, but turning a good idea into a good game is tricky.

Key world is tuned, they used it for generating the background, then worked on that, this works nice. 

 

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Procedural generation CAN be done right, and generate good gameplay elements. It just needs to be done right, which is pretty hard.

One game that definitely does it right, is Minecraft. Not only is the terrain varied and interesting, there are biomes so rare it takes weeks of exploration to find them (and get rewarded with unique items not found elsewhere), there are rules of generation that create areas of scarcity and abundance (No horses for days of travel, then you arrive upon a meadow where over a hundred of them graze), remixing of pre-cooked elements creates surprising results (crevice open to sea bottom, flooding an underground mine it joins with, and allowing water into a huge lake of lava. Or a nexus of caverns, with so many of them criss-crossing it's actually an enormous underground chamber with many 'floating islets' where some ground was left after a cavern mising.) And of course things/places that are very hard to reach and explore (Nether fortresses), and things so scarce and hard to find they are almost a legend (Jungle temples).

Add to that meaningful construction system, ability to affect the gameplay through your permanent creations, a balanced, challenging gameplay where you choose your own adventure and playstyle, and a variety of things to do (which happen to be traits of both Minecraft and KSP) and you're getting a pretty great game.

NMS's fault is not that it's based on procedural creation. It's fault is that it's based on BOTCHED procedural creation.

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I do think a few more procedural elements would be nice - especially for Kerbin, which apparently is a nearly lifeless planet with a space program. Cities, plants, and animals might be nice for Kerbin. Cliffs and caves might be nice for all planets. Procedural generation can also be nice for filling in the detail gaps when large scale items (like planets) are hand crafted, and thus has a limited resolution.

I wouldn't go as far as NMS did, though. I do think that future planets and future systems should probably be hand crafted. KSP ships can't really go that fast anyways, so I don't see the point of trying to simulate an entire galaxy.

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I would like the procedural generated surface details mun have on other bodies. 
You could filter on biomes. Makes sense that newer major craters and Minmus flats has fewer than normal craters.
 

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Well, here's another "size estimate" that produce a much bigger size estimate:

http://www.polygon.com/2016/9/4/12791314/how-big-is-a-no-mans-sky-planet-really-watch-someone-walk-halfway

They come up with an estimate much bigger for the article... the article says the estimate is 74 miles in diameter (the earlier estimate I posted was 3.3... and yes they never use km :( ).

...

But the math seems bad.... 11 hours 5 minutes to walk roughly to the antipodal point. They estimate a walking speed of 3.1 mph. Lets be generous and say 4 mph and 12 hours

That's 48 miles walked... if thats halfway around the planet, it can't be 74 miles in diameter. Their estimate of 74 miles is the estimate for *circumference* (11:8333 hours *3.1 mph * 2 = 73.36666)

Well, lets go with that one actually. 2*pi*r = 74. pi*r = 37  : r = 11.78 miles.  = 19km

For comparison, Gilly is 19km in radius, Pol is 44km in radius, Minmus is 60km, and Bop is 65 km.

Thus *Minmus* has almost exactly 10x the surface area of one of these NMS planets.

Filling celestial bodies in KSP with the same level of surface detail as in NMS would be much more demanding, because KSPs small moons (with the exception of Gilly) are an order of magntidue bigger (when considering surface area)

FWIW, terrain scatters are a form of procedural generation.

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