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Dynamic terrain deformation?


KerikBalm
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There's probably been a thread about this before, but I would love to see the ability to dynamically alter the height map 

I previously thought this impossible, similar to how it had been impossible in another game I play (Arma 3). Yet last month, nearly a decade after Arma 3 released(2013), they released an update that allowed for dynamic terrain deformation. This game uses a version of the Real Virtuality engine that has been in use (with updates) since their first title in 1999. Somehow, what was regarded as impossible was quietly dropped into an otherwise seemingly minor update.

Supposedly they have developed an entirely new engine for their latest title in the series, but it surely brings a lot of stuff from their old engine - speculation is that whatever they were doing for the new engine actually could be applied to the old one

This situation re: taking apart an old engine and re-building the next iteration from the ground up reminds me of what they are doing with KSP 2

In Arma 3, one of the first uses has been to make airstrips suitable for planes landing where there was none before - something that would also be a great ability in KSP2, particularly with the colony mechanics.

So, any chance of deformable terrain in KSP2?

 

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12 hours ago, MechBFP said:

Almost 100% guaranteed to be a no. Dealing with the LOD maps alone for different altitudes on the scale of KSP on dynamically altered geometry would be unpleasant to say the least. 

11 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

Arma 3 doesn't have terrain maps that span planets.

WHile it is true that the scale is quite different, its not as different as it appears at first.

Most heighmaps for planets (stock and mod) are in the form of 1024x2048 or 2048x4096 black&white images. 

Arma 3 most commonly uses a 4096x4096 grid size (with cell size varying from 3.75 meters to 7.5 meters, for (15.36x15.36 km or 30.72x30.72 km maps). In terms of the base heightmap unit size, they are actually quite comparable, but you don't find terrain vertices every few meters in KSP.

However, KSP does have a noise overlay, which I think can make procedural detail on a scale much lower than the grid size.

Here's a heightmap I applied to a mod planet with no noise overlay:

8wqyBkD.png

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XrkB1fi.png

Here the grid is quite obvious

but applying some noise overlay can mask that...

no not that much:

RWeVLPo.png

that looks better, plus the visual mods help I think:

Ur634jx.png

So, I don't know.

On the one hand, changing the base heightmap makes more sense when its every few meters. Changing it on KSP reshapes huge tiles of ground, maybe less useful. 

The smaller scale details, being likely procedurally generated, seem harder to change, maybe one can change the parameters for a tile? to make an area less bumpy and more suitable for landing (or less collidable scatter?)

9 hours ago, NoMrBond said:

Seems like a safe bet that airstrips would be covered under the whole 'can build new bases' thing considering what's been show of establishing new VABS/locations already

Here's an example of a runway I "built" on a mod planet, by changing the heightmap:

Rkj3quG.png

This was before applying a noise overlay, I wonder if I could specifically remove the noise around the airstrip...

Building ground based colonies seems like it would be hard to make a suitable runway. Even the one at KSC is rather small, and if you want a longer runway because you are operating spaceplanes on a body with a thin atmosphere (thus higher landing speeds, much larger turn radiius, etc), it seems like suitable runways would be hard to make out of objects, and would be better done by reshaping terrain

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Indeed, this isn't meant to be a KSP vs Arma comparison, I just got excited by a game using an interation of a very old engine doing what had been said for decades to not be possible on the engine.

It made me rethink my position on KSP.

It would be rather nice to be able to flatten ground for bases and where craft will land, rather than raising structures up on variable length struts

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Interesting take. I think since they said no early on its unlikely for launch, but I'd certainly love to play around with it for colony building. I don't expect we'll especially need it because of the road/runway parts, but from an aesthetic standpoint it would be nice. It also begs questions like can you dig caves? What happens to scatter when you mess with the surface? Can you destroy boulders? Or move them around to 'landscape' your site? Is it like fill that you must move around but can't create or destroy? Can you build and then bury modules to simulate hobbit-hole style architectures? I think as an expansion that included submarine and floating colonies this could be really fun. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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I don't expect fluid physics for example. Any bodies of water on the planets will probably be a sphere with surface at certain sea level and nothing more. So any digging beyond some point and you'd reach water out of nowhere. Don't think that's gonna happen.

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38 minutes ago, The Aziz said:

I don't expect fluid physics for example. Any bodies of water on the planets will probably be a sphere with surface at certain sea level and nothing more. So any digging beyond some point and you'd reach water out of nowhere. Don't think that's gonna happen.

I know that's how things were done years ago (like around the time of Battlefield 1942 modding).  Is that technique still used today?

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That's how planets in KSP1 are made (if you clip through the terrain you can see the... sea, everywhere underneath), and based on this, I assume it's a similar manner in KSP2. It's easy just to put a sphere in a sphere.

Though, if I were to see flowing rivers and waterfalls, I'd be very pleasantly surprised. But in some cases dynamic water in games can be very taxing on the CPU even in simple games, and there's already a lot going on there with other physics calculations.

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4 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Interesting take. I think since they said no early on

I think they said no to "teraforming", which could be something like being able to change duna to have oceans and a thicker atmosphere

this is just "landscaping"

4 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

It also begs questions like can you dig caves?

Almost certainly not.

4 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

I think as an expansion that included submarine and floating colonies this could be really fun. 

I am counting on this in the launch. I can already do all that in unmodded KSP1 (granted, the "colony" just mines and produces ore/fuel)

3 hours ago, The Aziz said:

I don't expect fluid physics for example. Any bodies of water on the planets will probably be a sphere with surface at certain sea level and nothing more. So any digging beyond some point and you'd reach water out of nowhere.

It would be nice if we could get some sort of oblate spheroid instead of a sphere, to allow for simple modelling of tides

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1 hour ago, KerikBalm said:

I think they said no to "teraforming", which could be something like being able to change duna to have oceans and a thicker atmosphere

I thought the context was a bit tighter than that, but I could be wrong. Anyway its been a few years since Nate has commented on it so I guess its possible. My guess is it requires a whole suite of interface tools and potential conflicts without a strict gameplay benefit? Besides aesthetics? 

What about regolith-based concrete kinds of objects you could place with the normal editor to produce plinths, terraces, and foundations?  
 

1 hour ago, KerikBalm said:

I am counting on this in the launch. I can already do all that in unmodded KSP1 (granted, the "colony" just mines and produces ore/fuel)

I feel like to do this properly you need a whole bunch of parts that properly handle buoyancy, ballast, and liquid propulsion. I'd love to play around with that but Im not personally expecting it at launch.  

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8 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

feel like to do this properly you need a whole bunch of parts that properly handle buoyancy, ballast, and liquid propulsion. I'd love to play around with that but Im not personally expecting it at launch.  

Yea, it's not ideal in kep 1 using a bunch of ore tanks and jet engines or breaking ground rotors+ lifting surfaces for propellers (generally more if a hassle than jets, but what else can you do on Eve or a mod world like Tekto)

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On 10/7/2022 at 11:29 PM, Pthigrivi said:

I feel like to do this properly you need a whole bunch of parts that properly handle buoyancy, ballast, and liquid propulsion. I'd love to play around with that but Im not personally expecting it at launch.  

Well the game will have docks at launch so I don't think its too far to expect some of these features to be tackled

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