A proposal for fake orbital (With diagrams) Allows intuitive queuing of movement orders

Discussion in 'Backers Lounge (Read-only)' started by RealTimeShepherd, August 30, 2013.

  1. RealTimeShepherd

    RealTimeShepherd Member

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    I’ve now improved this proposal thanks to helpful feedback from googlefrog. It is now a single click interface, in exactly the same way that you would give movement orders to any other unit. These improvements now also allow the queuing up of movement orders (and attack orders if applicable)

    I also want to say that this thread is not about the merits or otherwise of any orbital system, there are plenty of other threads about that. I would only like to discuss the feasibility of the implementation and control of this proposal.

    Basically comments from Neutrino made me realise that for this to work, it has to use the existing movement protocols otherwise it becomes ridiculous. So this idea in a nutshell is to have a unit with a fixed forward speed that can't be changed, and a reasonably slow turning ability.

    Read through first before you judge...

    So, the launch from the launch tower initially goes in the direction of the factory waypoint, there is a short launch sequence and then the satellite is deployed. It now has a fixed forward speed that cannot be altered:

    [​IMG]

    Note, as the vehicles movement is always relative to the surface, it will always pass over the same piece of land every time it goes around the planet. This is unlike real orbits which would fly over a different path every time round as the planet rotates. This proposed system should mean that you can avoid enemy bases if you desire.

    OK, so we now have a vehicle above the atmosphere, but its movement is calculated in relation to the surface, just like any other unit. The situation is as below. In order to calculate how to change the direction of the unit relative to a movement order, the terrain is divided into quadrants below it.

    [​IMG]

    A single click in any of these quadrants will make the unit start to turn in the direction indicated. If you were to click behind the satellite, the turn would be in the opposite direction so as to bring the rear part of the orbit closer to the desired location. The turning circle of the unit must be equal to or larger than the circumference of the planet itself to prevent a circling exploit (where the unit can return to the same spot without circumnavigating the globe). For the sake of argument, I’ve made the turning circle match the circumference.

    [​IMG]

    If there is an enemy base, or other piece of land that you would like the satellite to fly over, you can place a movement order there with a single click, just as you would with a regular unit. If the movement order is far enough in front of the unit, then it can utilise its turning circle and move to intercept the order as you would expect.

    [​IMG]

    Note: as soon as the unit passes over the movement order, it will be considered to be complete and vanish. The unit however will continue moving and will now pass directly over that spot on each orbit until given another command

    Lets suppose that you haven't left enough time for the unit to turn and it can’t turn fast enough to reach the movement order. Because of the quadrant method shown above, as soon as the unit is level with the movement order, the order then passes into the rear quadrant and the turn is immediately reversed to allow the next orbit to pass over the target

    [​IMG]

    Using this method, you should be able to see how this allows the normal and intuitive queuing of movement orders. See the diagram below.

    [​IMG]

    Suppose that the satellite is in position 1, and you queue up orders A, B and C. As soon you give command A, the satellite will begin to turn to the left, as it draws level with command A it will switch its turn and by position 2 it is in line to intercept command A after one orbit.
    As soon as command A is reached it is considered to be achieved and the unit will immediately begin turning towards command B. This is the same scenario though, it will have to draw level and turn right in order to intercept B one orbit later.
    After this second orbit, it hits command B and immediately switches to command C. In this example, C is within the turning capabilities and can be reached without having to execute another orbit.
    So, to summarise, I am not arguing for the inclusion of orbits in this thread. I just want to get down a system that could work that might act as a basis for future discussion.

    I am hoping that this system, using unit motion that is relative to the planet surface, just like other units, and utilising clicks on the ground, just like other units would make it simple to implement and simple to understand. These wouldn't be real orbits, but they would look quite a lot like them. If you launch a few, you could end up with this!:


    Last edited: August 31, 2013
  2. arbitraryranger

    arbitraryranger Member

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    this is more or less what I had in mind as well - great write up and diagrams
  3. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    Me like, You can stop at the third diagram for absolute virgin level easyness. who couldn't understand how to use it? someone who loses on sims?
  4. RealTimeShepherd

    RealTimeShepherd Member

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    Cheers guys :)

    It's nice to get some positive feedback after all the work I put in. I'm going to be offline for the best part of a day, but I will try to respond to any comments/questions tomorrow afternoon...
  5. zodiusinfuser

    zodiusinfuser Member

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    This is a nice proposal. I would say that the click and hold goes against the current systems though. Also, if its going to take a while for the satellite to turn will you have to hold the button down for all that time? What about if you need to attend to other units?
  6. stonewood1612

    stonewood1612 Well-Known Member

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    Out of all proposals I've seen, and I haven't read them all, I like this one. It's simple, easy, looks real and must be doable.
  7. GoogleFrog

    GoogleFrog Active Member

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    I think the turning circle on your satellites needs to be much larger than your diagram implies. The issue is basically the same as one I posted just earlier.
    Here is my post in the Compromising on Orbital Mechanics thread as it is also relevant to this system. The example is not relevant but the principal is easy to apply here.

    I'm sorry but I also have a problem with your UI. Clicking and holding isn't a control method conducive to order queuing and macro oriented gameplay in general. When designing the command mechanics everything needs to decided in terms of "what does the unit do when command X is at the start of it's queue?". You can also get away with using "what does the unit do when the command is newly at the start of it's queue" but that's about it. When you answer these questions you have a general system capable of dealing with 'realtime' commands as well as any queue.
    Raevn likes this.
  8. glinkot

    glinkot Active Member

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    Yep this is kind of what I had in mind too.
  9. jackonorm

    jackonorm New Member

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    I like this idea. It seems easy to understand, easily doable, and looks enough like an actual orbit to be believable to all but the most devoted spaceflight fanatics
  10. Saber2243

    Saber2243 New Member

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  11. ltdeadkittens2009

    ltdeadkittens2009 New Member

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    I agree this is an awesome idea. But it doesn't follow current game mechanics. It would be awesome if it could be implemented, but I think we are too far into the development to change the orbital mechanics.

    Still a great idea though.
  12. hanspeterschnitzel

    hanspeterschnitzel Active Member

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    This looks great. It looks very easy, authentic (Not realistic, but at least it feels right!) and user-friendly. And it lets you dodge the enemie's bases except they are all over the planet. xD We might need a geo-sync position feature though? There are some satelites you do rather want to have stop at a place on the planet.
  13. GoogleFrog

    GoogleFrog Active Member

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    If you are able to stop in place over any spot on the planet then why have this system at all? As in the move command usually means "go here and stop (given there are no more commands queue)". If you're unable to stop then I am happy with a modified meaning for the move command. But if your units are able to stop then the move command should mean "go here and stop". Stopping is what people want their units to do by default. We have patrol commands for unit movement in a path.

    Now, I do want some sort of 'real' orbits system. But a system which looks like 'real' orbits while actually being a hovering satellites system with a poor UI (which when used naively makes the units look like they are orbiting) is not a 'real' orbits system. The underlying mechanics of the system have to enforce 'real' orbits, not just what is convenient to create with the UI.
  14. RealTimeShepherd

    RealTimeShepherd Member

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    Hi googlefrog. I agree with both of your points, I should have realised before, I will change the diagrams to replace the click and hold with a single click movement order. This also allows the queuing up of movement commands!

    Additionally you are right about the turning circle. It must be larger than the circumference of the planet most probably to prevent circling.

    Will try to update the diagrams today. Many thanks for the feedback!
  15. BulletMagnet

    BulletMagnet Post Master General

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    What part of fixed constant speed that cannot be altered leaves any option for stopping?
  16. RealTimeShepherd

    RealTimeShepherd Member

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    Hans, like googlefrog says. This system relies on a fixed forward speed. Stopping is specifically ruled out...
    BulletMagnet likes this.
  17. RealTimeShepherd

    RealTimeShepherd Member

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    Agreed, I'm going to change this to a single click interface...
  18. kryovow

    kryovow Well-Known Member

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    this could work quite well and would be worth a try. And I really have to agree, that "orbiting orbital units" would add a lot more to immersion into the game than "hovering orbital units"
  19. GoogleFrog

    GoogleFrog Active Member

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    Circling around a point is effectively stopping. If the circle is smaller than the radius of the planet then players will want to be able to tell their satellites to hold in these circles.
  20. RealTimeShepherd

    RealTimeShepherd Member

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    I've updated the OP to include a turning circle that is no smaller than the circumference of the planet. Hopefully should address these concerns

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