Author Topic: Power Structures  (Read 801 times)

Offline White Claw

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Power Structures
« on: August 14, 2017, 08:31:27 PM »
A couple Tokamak designs...
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 09:13:39 PM by White Claw »

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 02:29:49 AM »
Definitely prefer the second of the two. There seems to be too much red though -- wonder if changing the upper ring of red lights to say, white or purple would help with that.
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Offline Hooman

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 06:06:02 AM »
Wow, I like those. The second one does look really cool.

Though I'm a bit apprehensive about the tube placement. Would you really want tubes leading right into a tokamak? Makes me think it could be a "feature" if the agridomes are a bit short on food.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 11:13:49 AM »
Well, you'd need to have a way to connect it with the rest of the colony and provide a safe way for the workers to enter.

Also, strictly speaking, a fusion reactor would be inherently safe. Much more so than a fission reactor. Should you end up with a containment breach you don't have a massive explosion -- just a big fizzle and a very fast quenching of the reaction. Would lead to radioactivity leaking into the structure and possibly the immediate surrounding environment. But unlike in OP1, you don't have a huge disaster on your hands, just the loss of the structure. Haven't decided if it's something that would require demolishing the structure and rebuilding or if it could be repaired. Me thinks a repair cycle would work for it (perhaps longer than the two turns of other structures).
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Offline White Claw

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 11:43:07 AM »
As a point of note, the original OP1 Tokamak also had tubes. Again, not that we're anchored to what existed in the past.


Offline White Claw

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 11:44:34 AM »
No changes, but here is the Tokamak without the terrain tile.

Offline Sirbomber

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 05:34:40 PM »
It does look a little too, for lack of a better word, sinister with all the dark and red.  Do you have the underground component drawn out yet?
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Offline White Claw

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2017, 07:34:57 PM »
I agree, it's too much red. I really enjoy the way it's coming along, but it's not quite in the style as the other buildings. I am a big curious to see how it looks in game with the other buildings though.

I don't have the underground portion done yet (nor started). I've not begun work on any of the UG facilities.

Offline Goof

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 09:35:48 AM »
Technically speaking, if the goal is to terraform the planet the design should not leak radiations on the surface of the planet.
As you would have to clean that pollution too when the terra formation will began.
Having the thermo-reaction unshielded to the outside of the structure would not be the best idea.
Even if I admit that the glowing would be nice, but deadly to practically anybody and damages the structures and robots working aside the reactor.

Offline Hooman

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 12:00:31 PM »
Quote
Would lead to radioactivity leaking into the structure and possibly the immediate surrounding environment

Such as the tubes! Which link to the rest of the colony.

I think the sinister glowing is indeed what bothers me about it. It looks like the tubes lead right into a deadly beam of radiation and plasma.

Which isn't to say I don't like it. Sinister is good. Rather than change the model, why not just throw some dark humor into the game about the sinister design?


Looking at the original, the lack of glowing seems to suggest the tubes lead into a superstructure which surrounds the actual reaction chamber. It looks somehow safer.

Offline Goof

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2017, 12:50:49 PM »
In the original game, the reactor core (Tokamak) was the underground part of the structure.
So the upper structure doesn't contain the fusion.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2017, 04:20:00 PM »
The original game made a lot of assumptions that were wrong. First and foremost, they went with a Tokamak design. This design doesn't work and it never will which is why in OPHD it's called a Fusion Reactor instead. Bruce Balfour really just went all in on fancy jargon and it's annoying now looking back at it 23 years after the fact (and 23 years from now my assumptions will likely look just as ridiculous).

Fusion reactors are inherently safe. The worst disaster that could happen with a fusion reactor is a containment breach leading to an immediate and thorough 'quench' of the reaction. Basically a big poof and a radioactive cloud that dilutes so fast that by the time it gets into the atmosphere its toxicity is far, far less than the radioactivity you'd be getting from the host star.

As a side note, because of the way fusion reactors work, there is no need for a containment vessel; The reactor design in Outpost was flawed. A structure on a the surface is enough. Adding an underground structure doesn't do anything except add an extra structure in terms of gameplay mechanics and it's thoroughly unrealistic because the colonists are smart enough to know that fusion reactors don't make mushroom clouds. Come to think of it, neither do fission reactors but that's a whole different story.



To address some 'disasters' that might occur with a fusion reactor (I suppose this really doesn't belong in this thread but meh), the biggest problem you're likely to encounter is a containment magnet quench. Loud bang, lots of sparks, reactor stops being useful and you're down a few turns while new components are fitted onto the reactor and possibly new coils built.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 04:27:31 PM by leeor_net »
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Offline White Claw

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2017, 02:44:32 PM »
Some tweaks, and toned down the red quite a bit.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2017, 03:16:21 PM »
Looking good. Seems it's a subtle difference but I have a feeling this will fit better.
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Offline White Claw

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2017, 09:46:08 PM »
Not excited about this one yet, but thought I would put it up as a work in progress to get some feedback.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 10:12:24 PM by White Claw »

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2017, 10:21:39 PM »
Middle one works the best me thinks.
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2017, 11:09:06 PM »
I like the single dish. It looks a lot cleaner than trying to put four on a single tile.

Looking good!

-Brett

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2017, 11:16:09 PM »
You may have a point. It would certainly be easier to see in-game. And when I think about it... if you have a solar power plant on earth, the newest ones almost look like a giant dish. They're made up of many mirrors that adjust with the angle of the sun but in this game it's a satellite in geosynchronous orbit beaming microwaves into a surface collector... so a large collection dish would probably make a lot more sense.



In-game it's definitely more distinct as the single dish.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 11:18:58 PM by leeor_net »
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Offline havkyp

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2017, 04:21:19 AM »
Not excited about this one yet, but thought I would put it up as a work in progress to get some feedback.

Sorry to be nitpick-y: I love the big single dish version, but can it be made cleaner-looking by removing the four dark lines inside the dish?

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2017, 12:29:41 PM »
Might look a little plain that way though.
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2017, 06:23:27 PM »
White Claw and Leeor,

You may have already thought about this, but something to consider is color grouping for different aspects of the game. For example in Outpost 2 they use 3 different colors for background terrain (grayish mud/dirt, orangeish/yellow sand, and the blacking dark rock). Eden structures are all white/light gray and Plymouth structures are all brownish. The structures stand out nicely from the surrounding terrain, except maybe Eden against the gray mud. They use 7 different colors to indicate player type which are all very vivid versions of the color that stick out from the background building and terrain colors.

I really enjoy the visuals in a game that has a thought out color pallete that allows different elements of the game to mesh and pop out well together. This might be a little counter to what we see in real life though, so maybe more of a preference thing.

In the pic Leeor posted, the bluish color of the tubes and buildings tends to blend in with the bluish terrain. The colony might pop a little nicer with more distinct color choices.

But, all that being said everything is looking great the way it is. With the graphics currently being added, I would be quite happy playing the game and enjoying the visuals.

Also, it is good to design the colors to work well for people with varying levels of color blindness. The hard part about this is people range in just having a little trouble to seeing green and red apart to only seeing in grayscale. I think someone mentioned having a little trouble seeing two colors apart in a different thread so they would actually be a great choice to look at the artwork regularly to make sure it makes sense.

One thing that can help in something like a GUI that uses color coordination is to also place a symbol in each color to add a second way to distinguish outside of color (not that OutpostHD needs this).

Even further off topic, it is a really good idea to enable multiple input devices and make the key bindings reconfigurable. This way people that have different disabilities and needs in regards to range of motion can reconfigure the game as needed. Maybe a mouse works better than a keyboard for some or even a gamepad. Perhaps they need keys on the keyboard mapped differently than is appropriate for what is considered normal typing. For a turn based game, this probably isn't as big a deal as in a real time game, but still a great feature.

Anyways, sorry if I digressed really far, just something on my mind and maybe better to think about now before the artwork gets too far. Although you all may have already covered it all.

Unfortunately, developing robust key bindings and proper graphics take a lot of time at the expense of other features that a small team of volunteers don't really have available to finish the project, so there is a balance I suppose.

-Brett

Offline White Claw

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2017, 05:40:17 PM »
I think multiple key bindings, etc...might be a bit off topic for the power structure graphics. However, point taken.

As for the color palette, I agree in general. Funny enough, my slight bit of attempt at adding color to the CHAP was met with "the blue up top is too much." This thread is also a good example, where the Tokamak above has "too much red." And the solar receiver array is nearly all shades of gray with the couple of dark lines on the dish, but even that bit of breakup met with a request about its removal.

It's a tough balance to match up, between having a consistent theme while making things stand out and have distinction. I'm also not the best at coming up with novel ideas as such, so that's added to my challenge. Don't get me wrong, I very much value the feedback. I'm just not sure I have the skills to make everything clean with high definition and varied color, while not making things overly busy and hard to actually discern. That's also why I've been asking for feedback, but it is not always congruent.

I would also say that even moving toward a color scheme similar to Plymouth would have it's challenges, since that color might blend in with the Mars-ish terrain in the same way as this gray-white color scheme meshes into the Moon-like terrain. These graphics are small, and that means details are big. It's hard to even have much variety in a given material, since the subtle changes due to lighting are hardly visible.

Also, Leeor is the one who has color difficulty. So he's getting the chance to look at the graphics quite often.

Hopefully I don't sound too much like I'm whining. I am struggling a bit on color schemes in general and it's something I've been trying to figure out. I'm just not quite there yet.

Offline Hooman

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2017, 11:03:24 PM »
Quote
As for the color palette, I agree in general. Funny enough, my slight bit of attempt at adding color to the CHAP was met with "the blue up top is too much." This thread is also a good example, where the Tokamak above has "too much red." And the solar receiver array is nearly all shades of gray with the couple of dark lines on the dish, but even that bit of breakup met with a request about its removal.

Heh, you can't please everyone. I wouldn't worry about it. The stuff you're doing is amazing.

I rather like the new tokamak image. This discussion also got me thinking, perhaps save the really red version for the case of a tokamak nearing it's serviceable end of life. ;)

I also like the one big dish variant of the solar array. It looks nice, and also seems to make sense for the reasons stated above. Players can always built lots of them for a real array.  :D

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2017, 01:03:58 PM »
It's why I'm considering renaming it to just a simple Solar Receiver. Ultimately when you think about how it actually works you really only need the one dish per satellite.

As for color -- that's the hardest part in developing visuals. It's what makes skilled artists so good at what they do. Take, for example, DawnBringer's palettes. These are meant almost exclusively for low-color pixel art but the point is that the color mix itself is extremely well selected and with good use of those colors provides an excellent balance of hue, vibrance, saturation and contrast.

And now that I'm thinking about it, that's our problem right there -- contrast. There is a lack of contrast between the terrain tiles and the structures. I don't know that we necessarily need to recolor the structures vs. simply increasing their contrast and tweaking the coloration of the terrain tiles.



To address the keybindings question, view this post.
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Offline Goof

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Re: Power Structures
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 02:32:38 PM »
The Solar array was designed to work with the solar satellites.
In fact, if I remember well what I read, there was planed to work two Solar array per satellites.