[Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Moderator: Pandora Moderators

Should the planet look more alien?

Yes, I want more crazy colors and alien looks.
23
62%
No, a terrestrial planet should look pretty much like Earth and I appreciate the familarity.
14
38%
 
Total votes: 37

void
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[Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by void » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:22 pm

On some pages on the web people brought up that our planet looks too much like Earth, so we're considering a larger terrain overhaul in that regard. What do you guys think?
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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by whaleberg » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:32 pm

Looking different would be good. What would be REALLY good is if it started out looking different, covered in inhospitable alien stuff, and then through a games worth of terraforming it began to look more like earth. I.E. Alpha Centauri....

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by SephiRok » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:14 pm

That's funny because right now the mentaility was exactly the opposite: okay we have a beautiful hospitable, yet alien, planet and humanity comes and ruins it all.
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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by larchy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:22 pm

whaleberg wrote:Looking different would be good. What would be REALLY good is if it started out looking different, covered in inhospitable alien stuff, and then through a games worth of terraforming it began to look more like earth. I.E. Alpha Centauri....
^^ this


Of course there's nothing preventing humanity destroying their lovely terraformed paradise...

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by SephiRok » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:33 pm

You are humanity. :-)
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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by whaleberg » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:51 am

SephiRok wrote:That's funny because right now the mentaility was exactly the opposite: okay we have a beautiful hospitable, yet alien, planet and humanity comes and ruins it all.
In that case it shouldn't start me in a barren tundra occasionally infested by the zerg... If there was a bountiful ecosystem full of frolicking animals that is slowly eaten away to barren land as my cities harvest it, then I might feel that way.

Actually, if that is what you're looking for then you should go for it. Give me the option to try and exist peacefully with nature and enjoy its bounty, or to strip mine it for a quick benefit.
Maybe the base lands could be have some sort of native life on them naturally, lets call it "Xenofungus" and it could have certain production bonuses and also have penalties. As an option you could harvest it, or it could be destroyed by pollution, which ends up with bare land. Later, technology lets you recapture some of those bonuses by forming and replanting earth species on it, or eventually you could get tech to restore it to its natural state. For this and other good ideas, see Sid Meyers Alpha Centauri....

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:07 pm

Having a way to harvest pristine tiles with high tech gives a nice game mechanic. It would be a balance of development with trying to maintain these pristine tiles, while also developing your economy. We'd have some mid-high technologies start to unlock their productivity. By the mid game maybe they are on a par with developed tiles but by the endgame they could be more productive than farms. Or maybe they are not more productive but they are non polluting and improve your relationship with the alien life forms. Having some sort of relationship between the aliens and each faction would be good so if you don't hurt them or the planet they leave you alone. It might make the green faction more interesting to play.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by azpops » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:56 pm

From someone who is color-blind. Adding more crazy colors does nothing for me. If anything, it makes the game harder because I can't see all the crazy colors. If you go this route, please include some graphics that differentiate between hexes, not just colors. When I am looking at the map, the hex graphics are what I use to tell me what the hex is. I also like that if you hover over the hex with the mouse it tells me what's in the hex.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by Eleazzaar » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:51 am

I think the general plant life is too earth-like. So much so that the vividly-colored alien stuff looks out of place, like it doesn't belong on that world.

On the other hand i think SMAC went too far with the crazy colors-- IIRC some of the terrains were hard to tell apart and identify, because they pushed most everything to red.

IMHO you want a pallet where the important things stand out, but don't look out of place. Where things are identifiable, but not mundane. There are a lot of muted natural-looking colors you could use for vegetation without turning to crazy vivid purples or reds.


I do like the idea that cultivated hexes would look more earth like than the rest of the map.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by azpops » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:02 pm

Again for the color blind. Alpha Centuari had a small file you could download that would change the color scheme for color blind people. I downloaded it and I was able to see the game much better. Don't know what was in it or how it worked, but it made my game play easier. Might want to look into something like it.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by adamsolo » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:24 pm

SephiRok wrote:That's funny because right now the mentaility was exactly the opposite: okay we have a beautiful hospitable, yet alien, planet and humanity comes and ruins it all.
Makes sense, and I see what you're after. But the challenge is to make it still look beautiful and hospitable but not so much Earth-like, no? I'm ok with it being Earth-like, like in the sense of Terran, a planet with water oceans and continents with organic matter, hills, lakes and that sort of thing. But, maybe you need a few more alien-look than what you have now?

I think it's the trees. The color palette also plays a factor (the greens look too Earth-grassy). Hills are all of the same height. Tundra tiles look like Earth snow-tundra tiles.

I'm not saying everything is wrong, far from that. You probably just need a few more sprinkles of alien-look, or in other words, less Earth-like look. Earth-like planet type yes, but Earth-like flora and landscape look probably not.

\Edit: But, if being Earth-like, with very familiar landscapes (like an Earth twin) is the all idea behind your story, then I guess that's what you'll have to go with. But, you see, the expectations (the cliché) when playing a sci-fi game on a different planet is to see really strange stuff.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by Soheil » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:30 pm

Thanx for all the feedback regarding the alien environment! It has helped me greatly when redesigning the world. I have tried to find a good middle ground between a overall alien looking and earth-like aesthetic for the planet. I have redone all the different environments and added new alien vegetation to the flora to make the forests look a bit less earth like. Overall the planet now has a more vibrant color pallet to make it more visually interesting and diverse and hopefully to make the "alien stuff" fit in a bit more like you pointed out Eleazzaar. The graphical update should be included in the next release that's coming pretty soon and i cant wait to hear what you guys think of the new visuals.
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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by whaleberg » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:24 am

Sounds exciting Soheil! Can't wait to see it.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by whaleberg » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:22 pm

Just wanted to say that I think you've really improved the look of the terrain. Much more alien, while still being completely readable.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by adamsolo » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:24 am

Yes, my first impressions of the new look is that it looks good. Good job Soheil! Perfectly comfortable look but definitely more sci-fi-ish.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by Dragoon. » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:57 am

SephiRok wrote:That's funny because right now the mentaility was exactly the opposite: okay we have a beautiful hospitable, yet alien, planet and humanity comes and ruins it all.
Yeah, I love that. Let's screw the planet. :lol:
Actually in Alpha Centrauri I developed a routine when playing certain factions. Just for role playing. As Gaians I would plant forest everywhere, avoiding any other terraforming except for roads and mag tubes. As fungus-child spread fungus, As Morganites I would never plant forest and only do terraforming for the strip mining look.

It would be nice if the Environmentalist had there own look for terraformed titles.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by deghost » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:57 am

SInce i believe i came after the overhaul, there go my thoughts:

Looks of the planet, along with the tile type dispersion can be as one the the difficulty settings.

Being more earth like as easier level, and more alienated a diverse making it harder to colonise.
The more earth like the planet is, the more standard approach you choose, farms, mines, not so much terraforming if any. Food and ore are easily accessible right away.
The more alien the world is, the more choices you have - e.g. should i build a farm over here, or wait for appropriate technology to be able to harvest and process food from "alien banana" tile. More alien forest chopped down, the more pissed off "bugs" will be, spawning nests close to your territory. And so on.

Worlds could also range from hospitable - e.g. earth like, to barely habitable e.g. mars-like, where extensive terraforming and life support systems are required to even begin food production, but ore mining on the other hand is a no problem stuff.

Just thoughts anyway. :)

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by Blackwind » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:37 pm

how about have multiple settings for it like completely alien, very alien, some what alien, a little alien, and Tera like and random. something along those line so you can use what you already worked on as well and give people a more different feel each time they play provided that they don't choose the same one. this should also affect how active the xenos(alien) are.

P.S. it would be nice if the random could choose the same one the next time used tho.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by Blackwind » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:05 pm

deghost wrote: Worlds could also range from hospitable - e.g. earth like, to barely habitable e.g. mars-like, where extensive terraforming and life support systems are required to even begin food production, but ore mining on the other hand is a no problem stuff.
thats a really good idea tho they may have to do it as part of an expantion depending of time and budget.

some extra ideas on it you could have to use pressure domes on some types of worlds and that they need to change the atmosphere composition with terraforming installations(which the aliens will try to destroy) to survive without the need of breathers this of-course this would take a long time and enough of them to do it and could even be an event they they will become obsolete.

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Re: [Poll] More Alien-Looking World?

Post by Soheil » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:55 pm

when it comes to mixing the old textures with the new ones im a little skeptic because i want to make sure all textures mesh well color and design wise and i would rather just add more variation to the terrain we have now to make sure nothing looks out of place. we still have a lot of optimization to do when it comes to the amount of texture memory we use, once thats done well see how much extra room is freed up for more environments. Ill try to cram as much in there as i can before release while still keeping the game running well on low end machines. Its a balancing act but i think we can find a good middle ground that makes everyone happy. Thanx for the feedback guys its always good to hear your opinions so we can keep the game headed in the right direction!
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