. /../What would a very modern.../ 12
written by Momotombo on Oct 09, 2009 05:24
Let's say a very experienced or commercial developer was making a very, very modern Noctis for computer. Graphics would be as recent as possible, and an amazing computer was required to be able to play on high settings.

Not only would there be a ton of eye candy, but how much variation do you think you'd see? Different colored skies and vegetation, caves and rock formations, different types of clouds, and maybe even procedural wildlife. Hell, you know those plain thin atmosphere planets? They'd probably be made interesting somehow.

Imagine if you could see meteors as they landed and left craters, or if you could really watch the sun move across the sky on some planets with short days. Imagine procedurally generated forests in high def, with strange colored tree trunks and weird shapes for the leaves.

What if you could follow a river through a forest until you reached a lake where a convergence of wildlife took place? What if you could climb a mountain only to find a cave leading inside, where it's hollow inside, or maybe instead there's a series of branching tunnels?

Well, I kinda doubt any of this could be programmed. It'd be so complicated to recreate nature in such a way, but I can see it happening to some extent.

Anyone have any ideas?
written by 4616599 on Oct 09, 2009 06:59
Oh, I'm sure everyone here has fantasised of somehow gaining some ultra-programming skills and making some advanced version of Noctis.
I'm thinking this 'advanced, very modern version' of noctis has more variables. Say, for parts of a Felisian world, first, it will generate a random atmosphere, with random amounts of water vapour, methane, other gases, etc. Based on this it would create, also with many possibilities, a global weather system(now, I'm really assuming this fictional programmer has ultra-advanced skills, since just the weather system alone would require prgramming of hot fronts, wind patterns, atmospheric phenomena, end would be tied to even more processes such as ocean currents and the planet's orbit. A lot of under-the-hood stuff, as you can see). From this weather system phenomena like sun-dogs, hurricanes, heavy fog(since we're talking in fictional, unrealistic terms, throw in a 'phenomena generator' too! Glowing orbs falling from the sky, anyone?). AND the phenomena would also be tied to and affected by many other processes! And the whole system would affect the structure of lifeforms on the planet, and drive even more things, like ocean surface currents. And I'm not even getting started on geological things and other objects yet! AND these would just be under-the-hood stuff!

Here's an example of a day in the fictional NIVEEE* program.
(*Noctis IV Exponentially Expanded edition, or Noctis IV Extended Extremes Edition)


At about 123 triad sinister today, got the vimana engine booted up. Connected my 2 reserve tanks and set of on a 12,000 ly jump into the unknown. Nearing my target, a cluster of S00 stars(sighted using the extreme amplificator from 2000 LY away), I set the stardrifter on a slower vimana cruise in. Got on the roof as a reddish-bluish emission nebula appeared on the viewscreen. Fenian Deep Sweep sensors detected several multi-lightyear long streams of gas from some of the nebula's stars. Switching to semi-manual control, I allowed the drifter to vimana glide on an opportune path into the nebula. Passing the stars in question, I took several pretty pictures, including some long-exposures in infrared and x-ray frequencies. Took several long range sensor sweeps of the stars, making a note on the GOES alert screen to take a visit later. Passing through the nebula and into the S00 cluster, I selected y target; an S00 with 5 planets, 2 minor bodies and 376 minor objects. First target was the thick-at in orbit near the star.
The star seemed rather large and active from that perspective, and several huge orangery prominences with a multitude of protruding spicules could be seen upon closer inspection with the instant return vimana-entry telescope. Nasty. I remember taking the SD on manual control through a huge monster of a corona around a 200000 degree S01. Thrilling, but something I won't be re-attempting anytime soon.
Anyway, I launched the cupola, targeting a region at the edges of some intense storm activity. Now, I arose amidst heavy purple fog with a creepy red tint occasionally displaying. Reminded me of some of those interrogation chambers used by the Felysian Inquisition. There was a brief break from all that as the cupola exited a bank of clouds into a clearer layer of air. Wait, were those translucent floating blobs in the distance? Hoping to find something more familiar, I glanced downwards...into a heavily churning cloud bank. Swirls of glowing crimson whipped around in it. Instinctively I grabbed my tail and started gnawing on its fur as the cupola, hit by a sudden burst of wind, plunged in. It seemed like a violent SD washing facility, as orange-red ripples lit up all around as soon as the cupola impacted the cloud bank. I nervously set an atmospheric scan...those were very light chunks of some brimstone compund flung into the atmosphere, molten. The cupola started shaking more violently, activiating the vimana shield in multiple places. A light show of sorts then began displaying outside, as the cloud churned and glowed and flung the flaming light sulfur dust around. Very unnerving for the average explorer, I must say. The cupola jerked again as it exited the cloud bank. And I saw why the cloud bank had ended...superheated winds lashing around between the cloud bases and the metallic ground. The cupola landed and bounced on the ground several times, sending up green and orange sparks. I stayed in cupola and tried to probe the ground. Out shot half-molten rock. I instinctively meowed and darted backwards; the supercharged wind then showered me with more heated metallic rock. Fumaroles of some sort seemed to be all around me now, spewing out some foggy shimmering red substance which I didn't want to investigate. I hurried back to the cupola as the wind touched down yet more molten stuff. And needless to say retreated to the stardrifter, with the cupola struck by some sort of lightning 5 times on the way up. Once back in the SD I turned down the desire for further landings, sent a CAST report and set a course to the nearest felisian, with the cupola still leaking ash into the SD's interior. Parsis, I haven't seen something like that ever since the day I accidentally landed on a brown dwarf.
Once at felisian I selected a sector 12,34 near some coastal mountains(I labelled a prominent mountain 'Far From the Simmerpot' later). As the cupola headed past a bank of white cloud, a splendid vista came into view. There was a butte the Buffer Compromiser identified as 200m in height facing the sea, flanked by several meadows and a reddish mountain range laced with occasional upthrusts of green-yellow high meadows near the sector edge. Much of the coast had a light blue fog above it. Further at sea the fog was denser, but had the calming feel certainly not shared by those molten clouds earlier. I settled on what was probably a beach Interesting crystalline pebbles were noted. A slight breeze drifted past, rippling the fog. I got out the mobile vimana pulser, and set of on a short survey of the coast. No animal life was apparent. Plant life consisted of some interesting glittering curved vine with translucent fanned leaves.Cutting a sample to display in the SD's bio-isolation chamber, I headed for the meadows. Every now and then one of those crystalline bouders would show through the ground. Spectrometer could not identify them. Eventually I headed back for the cupola, taking a shot of it silhouetted against the morning sea fog. My next landing took me deeper into the mountains. I landed on a polar plain. The sky here had a deeper tinge. Iridescent clouds were hugging much of the mountains, and a storm was visible to the east. The ground was heavily mottled, with massive silvery deposits and the occasional white patch. After a photographic survey of the area which also revealed the presence of a tiny hopper and some ring-shaped creature with plenty of tendrils, I rested on the mountain lip, treating myself to the vista of the yellowish sun above speckled upper-atmosphere iridescence and clouds; took about 7 shots. And there was this sudden upwelling of mist from the valley mouth, prompting me to return to the SD.
Back in the SD, I had a quick check on the birds in the storage chamber, followed by a command to lower orbit. Presently I'm just 70 km above the Felisian's surface. Visual inspection reveals a large amethyst patch surrounded by several glowing rings on an offshore island. A site I really should visit after a quick cat-nap.


Well, my creative juices are affected by my tiredness today, but I did try to conjure up something decent in that. Didn't type all that I wanted to type, but it should give a general idea, I hope.
i do my own stun-- avatars
written by Albeyamakiir on Oct 09, 2009 12:40
If a big commercial company made Noctis... actually they wouldn't, but if they did, they'd make a storyline or goals, or something that gives them more control over the experience.

See, they'd want to make a tutorial, for starters. Then they'd either want to make a situation in which a tutorial could take place or control what the player saw in the tutorial. Then, they'd do things like make a system for finding other SDs, have a chat system, have "community building" things, etc. The game would become very noisy. Then they'd make missions, because every developer knows that players won't stay unless there's always something new to do. Players should also be able to leave more of a mark than just notes. Cities? Terraforming? The possibilities! Then comes character customizations, because if you meet other players, you don't want to look the same. And microtransactions! What game nowadays is complete without them!

Oh, yeah. It'll look pretty too.

Personally, I think I'm fine with Alex making it.

Edit: Not trying to shoot down your idea, just that this was my first thought.
written by Batmanifestdestiny on Oct 09, 2009 23:52
Well, Noctis already is being made by a professional.
i do my own stun-- avatars
written by Albeyamakiir on Oct 10, 2009 06:07
Err... 'professional' means he's getting paid...
written by 4616599 on Oct 10, 2009 11:45
Since we're moving on to 'what if Noctis were made by an ambitious large commercial company', well, such a version would need plenty of explosions. It would probably take the form of a multiplayer online RTS of some sort, where you colonise planets and systems, build stuff on and around them, and send fleets to raid other players' systems or intercept incoming fleets.
It'd be something huge. Picture building turrets on one world just as a huge fleet swoops down and lands troops all around that sector and various others. Meanwhile, you have a large armada assembled unoticed at another nearby system, and you respond by swarming the back of the attacking fleet with various small corvettes while launching a counterattack on an outlying enemy system. Just then, another player unexpectedly vimanas into the confusion with a massive fleet holding a fationic cannon, and begins blowing up lightly shielded planets. This would be strategy on a grand scale, involving mining/harvesting/processing resources from quartz world and felisian fields, micromanaging maneuvers in small fleet or land engagements, invading multiple sectors of multiple planets, attacking and blowing ships out of vimana drive in massive long-range interstellar fleet battles, setting up stations, planetary shields, fortified outposts, huge base complexes spanning an entire sector. All taking place amidst, say, a 150 by 150 light-year space at the centre of Feltyrion.There'd be a NoctisMapper style 3D starmap showing all your owned systems in green, maybe, or you could chose a specific multi-member faction to play for e.g. the Vericalyan Union. The game would only end until all members of all other factions have surrendered/ had their key worlds and fleets destroyed by the winner, so each session would take a while, even days or months.
that's not the kind of future I imagine for Noctis, of course. All-out war does not belong in Feltyrion.
written by Momotombo on Oct 11, 2009 23:27
I'm not asking what if a company creates Noctis in such a way though, I'm asking what if a commercial company kept Noctis free, made it modern and amazing, and kept the original idea without adding MMO aspects. Possibly light multiplayer for up to maybe 12 people to explore in the same stardrifter, I can imagine that being nice if you choose to try it.

I heard that on some planets (in the real universe), the air is so dense that you can swim in it. Imagine if wildlife was made to adapt to this in Noctis, so you'd see actual flying fish, or maybe wandering airweed.

Imagine if they expanded Noctis just a little bit. Say you want to play Survival mode, so they throw you alone (or possibly with a friend) on a felysian planet where you need to find food, make shelter, and avoid dangerous animals or natural phenomena.

Speaking of weather, the properties of different planets could create all kinds of weather. Electrical storms on some, or massive flooding on others. What if earthquakes or meteor showers were the norm? How would animals adapt?

And on thin atmosphere planets, imagine going into caves and finding strange crystal formations or finding that the cave mazes in for miles, or maybe there's an entrance in another part of the planet that leads out the side of a mountain.

Of course it'd never happen, but it's just cool to think about.
i do my own stun-- avatars
written by Albeyamakiir on Oct 12, 2009 00:29
Never say never

Actually, this sounds really cool, as though a more scientifically accurate Spore system was integrated into Noctis, a more dynamic weather system was added, along with the new (as yet unreleased) Dwarf Fortress underground cavern system and other good terrain and feature formation systems.
written by Lornex on Oct 14, 2009 23:44
Anything's possible, remember that.

The big problem with a large company making a game like noctis is that they are almost guaranteed to change it into a completely (or somewhat) different game. That's where independent developers come in... as long as we don't do the same.
written by Noahtheduke on Nov 13, 2009 05:31
A bit of a necro, but I thought I'd mention Infinity Universe: http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/index.php

The purposes of Noctis and IU are vastly different, and I don't know that comparing them is necessarily the right way of going about it, but they're both space exploration-based, procedurally-generated games that feature walking on planets!

Super fun stuff, I think.

written by Raptorjedi on Nov 13, 2009 05:49
Except you can't leave the spaceship in Infinity (unless that has changed recently) and Infinity doesn't have aliens because the creators think they are cliche. I think they're boring. (If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of the game. I'll probably try it anyway and maybe have my mind changed, but who knows>)
written by Noahtheduke on Nov 13, 2009 15:24
Different strokes, etc, really. I've been following IU for about a year, and I've know about Noctis for about 19 hours. That said, I've played one of these games 5 hours longer than the other. :-P

Also, I misspoke earlier about IU. You can drive a vehicle on the surface, but not walk around.

*shrugs* Either way you go, Noctis is sweet, and I'm glad someone pointed me to it. Nothing like procedurally generated content.

*runs off to play more Nethack*

lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Feb 11, 2010 06:24
Albeyamakiir said:
Then comes character customizations, because if you meet other players, you don't want to look the same.
Huh... actually, that *is* something I'd like to have in.
written by Ixsetf on Feb 11, 2010 18:34
Has anyone thought of my Idea (which I am planning on putting in my game(likely never to be finished)) combining procedurally generated universes with procedurally generated cities making a space empire game catching the crowd that gets bored with stuff if they cant see the progress made
i do my own stun-- avatars
written by Albeyamakiir on Feb 12, 2010 01:57
That's called Master of Orion 3.
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