Zooming out to 100,000 feet

By on November 4, 2015 5:29:54 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1478

Zoomed out to the edge of the lower atmosphere (about 100,000 feet in the air)

Realistically, the game just isn't meant to be played this far zoomed out.  And this isn't even covering the full map and isn't the largest map we even support.

We will be doing a lot more to make the strategic situation map provide more information for players to make good strategic decisions.  

 

60 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 3:39:57 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Just watch 2 Top players play this FAForever with the most epic caster Gyle  and take your  thoughts about ashes,its the best exemple how its so easy use only zoom to make your decisions on a map ,there is no need complicate watch how many times they use the mini map   (0 times) .

 

And to over the icons ideas i like PA game not bad now ,but this is the best exemple with + 7.000 units with icons that i really hate the view,so for who  want icons watch how ugly the game can be.

 

 

 

 

FA  

 

PA  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 5:40:37 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

make sure it stays colorful when zoomed out. Sup Com 2 did a "change of aethetics" when zoomed out It was just a desaturation with a useless grid and it looked godawful.

 

 

basically nothing should change from zoomed in when zoomed out ((except obviously the overlay, whatever it is made to be))(I don't really see why there would be a change) 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 6:38:04 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting TAG_Utter,

Just watch 2 Top players play this FAForever with the most epic caster Gyle  and take your  thoughts about ashes,its the best exemple how its so easy use only zoom to make your decisions on a map ,there is no need complicate watch how many times they use the mini map   (0 times) .

 

And to over the icons ideas i like PA game not bad now ,but this is the best exemple with + 7.000 units with icons that i really hate the view,so for who  want icons watch how ugly the game can be.

 

 

Actually, as a Gyle subscriber, I can tell you that's what we want to avoid.  I know that it appeals to a some (many) players but playing the game that abstractly is not what we are looking to do in this game.

I like watching the battles from time to time but it's that abstract gameplay we would like to avoid.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 6:44:19 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

That FAF video above is of the commentator. Unless I am missing something it bears no relation to how the players are actually playing/using the zoom function.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 6:52:01 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Ticktoc,

That FAF video above is of the commentator. Unless I am missing something it bears no relation to how the players are actually playing/using the zoom function.

That is true. But you can also do a let's play video search and see it's similar.  People tend to play FAF abstractly - it plays well that way.  There's nothing wrong with wanting a game that plays that way.  It's just not the game we want to make.

Which is a different discussion than zooming out of course. What we want to avoid is the call to having zooming out turn into "now that we've got it zoomed out, can you put icons on the map?" path.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 7:03:13 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Which is a different discussion than zooming out of course. What we want to avoid is the call to having zooming out turn into "now that we've got it zoomed out, can you put icons on the map?" path.

True. I guess you'll just have to make those heat maps so damn good no one can complain about them

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 7:45:21 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

What we want to avoid is the call to having zooming out turn into "now that we've got it zoomed out, can you put icons on the map?" path.

We won't really know until we get our hands on the heat maps. What is the ETA on that?

If the heat maps don't cut it, then we don't get the high zoom out. If we don't get the high zoom out, we don't need the heat maps. Chicken and egg.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 5, 2015 7:56:34 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Ticktoc,


Quoting Frogboy,

Which is a different discussion than zooming out of course. What we want to avoid is the call to having zooming out turn into "now that we've got it zoomed out, can you put icons on the map?" path.



True. I guess you'll just have to make those heat maps so damn good no one can complain about them

They'll complain no matter what.  It's a mutually exclusive feature really.  There is a legitimate case to have a game where you play it mostly with the full world map and occasionally zoom in to give specific adjustments to a particular army.

I think such a game could be very fun btw.  Imagine a World War II game where you play the game zoomed out to a map of Europe where you see the locations of Armies.  You zoom in and those armies are then broken up into divisions. Keep zooming in and those divisions are broken up into battalians and then companies and then squads and then individuals all in a single seamless zoom.

Many people would absolutely want that game. Heck, I want that game.  The problem scope.  You can't really do all of that well on the budget we have to make the game.  

When we get into these discussions, I think there is often a misunderstanding that we somehow think feature X is a "Bad idea" or just doesn't "conform to our vision".  It's more a matter of picking which parts of gameplay we can focus on withing the budget we have to make the game.  We could do the strategic map game OR we can make the <20,000 foot game look spectacular.  But we can't do both. We have to pick.

And even when you pick, you have to do it well enough so that you don't turn off huge swaths of the market.  There are people who simply won't play games that are too zoomed in.  I didn't play Age of Empires III because of how closely zoomed in it was.  

On the other hand, if you play the game zoomed out too far, the game starts to appeal to the same demographic that plays military board games (which includes me) but that is a very small market. I couldn't get my friends to play Supreme Commander because they found the game too weird looking and too grognardy.  They liked Total Annihilation.  

So there's no perfect decision here.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 12:03:43 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

It isn't meant to be played this zoomed out. Okay, I get it. But why?

I find the design decision to make a large strategic RTS game played on large maps without this ability questionable. Was it too hard technically?

The problem is that no one can effectively manage units across the scale of the map effectively. This ends up being a failed UX. Part of that has been voiced elsewhere in this thread. If I have to click and drag twenty times to send a unit (precisely) where I want it to go, it is broken.

The situational awareness is also lacking without this ability. I know there is a mini map. But honestly I feel it ruins the flow of the game and is less playable and elegant a solution.

Unfortunately I understand software development and it is likely too late.

What you guys have built in most regards is really impressive at this point. It could have been legendary...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 1:18:40 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Sorry guys i just got back here, I thank everyone for looking at my examples.

I understand you Frogboy about not having the time and budget to work on both ideas (strategic map and 20,000 foot game that look spectacular)

I am sure everyone will love to have both, but its Stardock/Oxide decision to choose what is the best option right now. but i do hope to get 100,000 feet enabled zoom to play with in future Updates after V1 game, like you said its whole new layer of information that need to be done using 100,000 feet zoom, it will be lovely to have it done.

About the Empire tree, I am working on a small example on how to show the players all the units info without having to scroll down a lot for it. i will put it in here in a few hours.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 2:31:33 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

God idea if You can zoom out to this view (Even if you cant select/move units at this zoom level). The whole idea with zoom out (in my opinion) is to easy navigate between areas. Also good idea to make this optional in settings.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 4:54:51 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

When we get into these discussions, I think there is often a misunderstanding that we somehow think feature X is a "Bad idea" or just doesn't "conform to our vision".  It's more a matter of picking which parts of gameplay we can focus on withing the budget we have to make the game.  We could do the strategic map game OR we can make the
And even when you pick, you have to do it well enough so that you don't turn off huge swaths of the market.  There are people who simply won't play games that are too zoomed in.  I didn't play Age of Empires III because of how closely zoomed in it was.  

I think if you ever wrote an article about how a game is budgeted or how developers try (very hit and miss ) to work out potential future player base or how devs objectively determine what features might make or break a game then it would be very interesting and educational to a lot of us. 

I would be very interested in the budgeting side as how do you know how much it will cost to develop a game like this when you have to do plenty of R&D etc. which are really unknown quantities. It must come down to a lot of experience I would imagine from doing similar things before. Doesn't seem like a very neat solution though

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 10:55:03 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Ticktoc,

I think if you ever wrote an article about how a game is budgeted or how developers ........

I would really love to see this too

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 12:47:16 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


Quoting Ticktoc,

I was going to wait for clarification before saying anything but what the hell...

Please let us zoom out at least as far as in your picture. It still looks very playable to me. Forget about icons but give us the zoom. You wanted feedback from the players, here it is

Are you worried it will make even T3s look small and loose the feeling of scale you want? With huge maps that is going to happen anyway I'm afraid.



I'm more worried that doing so will open up a different can of worms.

For instance, while you might be cool with just being able to zoom out, what about the people who will insist on there being informational overlays? Or what about the people whose machines will slow to a crawl because it hasn't been optimized enough? Or the people who will want the units to move even faster?

What I'd probably be inclined to do, at least for now, is make it settable in the settings.ini and see what expert players like you guys think without having to deal with the blow back from the guys who already think the game is too slow.

 

Although I do like to zoom out to get a strategic level view in Sup Com, I usually use zoom for a far more pedestrian reason: navigating the map.  I start at one battle, quickly zoom out, and zoom in to the other location I want to look out.  I'm constantly doing this, and I can't imagine playing the game without this ability.  It's so hard to go back to RTSs that don't offer this.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 1:59:19 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting JSDreyer,

Although I do like to zoom out to get a strategic level view in Sup Com, I usually use zoom for a far more pedestrian reason: navigating the map.  I start at one battle, quickly zoom out, and zoom in to the other location I want to look out.  I'm constantly doing this, and I can't imagine playing the game without this ability.  It's so hard to go back to RTSs that don't offer this.

 

I agree, I see zoom primarily as a navigation tool as well. It's especially important for ashes given the huge size of some of the maps. I find existing navigation options, such as double clicking on a control groups #, to be kind of disorienting when you are fighting numerous battles throughout the map.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 2:52:19 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Me to agree with above. Strategic zoom is important for navigating between areas. Not so much for giving orders when zoomed out fully.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 3:05:55 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

What I'd probably be inclined to do, at least for now, is make it settable in the settings.ini and see what expert players like you guys think without having to deal with the blow back from the guys who already think the game is too slow.

1000x this at the very least for folks with the hardware to run it.

Quoting Frogboy,

Many people would absolutely want that game. Heck, I want that game.  The problem scope.  You can't really do all of that well on the budget we have to make the game.

Kickstarter-funded side project!

I personally think the zoomed out view is killer.  You must feel like a demi-god of your own personal little world when you play around with this stuff.  

Talk about introducing a sense of realism if you round the edges a bit to drive home that you are battling it out across an entire planet or portions of a planet.

I also love ASADDF's mock-ups.  

This may be a dumb idea, but why can't you cheat a little and use a fixed image at the 100,000 ft. zoom out view as the basis for the strategic layer on each map?  You could:  

  • Have a zoom out effect or something when you hit the space bar that appears to zip you up to a fixed 100,000 ft. image of the planet.
  • Have the colors on the map presented in ASADDF's mock-up update in real time with flash points, etc. like you already plan; but not render the movement of individual units around the map in real time or w/e causes the optimization issues.
  • Use the stationary or whatever icons you already plan to use for resources, etc. on the strat map (I'm NOT advocating the whole control by icon view -- just w/e you guys already have planned).   
  • When the player clicks on an area on the strat map, insert zoom effect (or w/e is actually possible), and take em' down to that point on the map and back into the real time battle.

I feel like you'd add realism to the experience by making people feel like they are looking at an actual planet vs. a 2D swath of land or readout, you'd make the strategic map really eye-catching, etc.

Just my two cents.  Keep rockin' this game guys.  Exciting stuff.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 3:18:46 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I will give up this topic i already try make my point i give up ,i just will keep play with full zoom until i cant mix the files no more

 

To who is msg me to tell how, sry but you guys have to understand and put here the feedback wy you want or they dont understand.

And for who understand software development now its too late for this like young already say.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 4:28:24 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting JSDreyer,

 It's so hard to go back to RTSs that don't offer this.
it is. sooooo much. it's just too goddamn superior.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 4:37:09 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Things from Zoom games and reading all the posts:

 

I get ashes want to re-invent the wheel- that's ok- but for that it must be one of a kind.

Zoom works out great if it doesn't impact performance.

 

Until the wheel is re-invented- could take years- give an option like a simple tick- "Zoom enabled", "Zoom disabled" that way you would avoid flame wars from both parties until heat signatures or even a different approach is re-designed.

 

If you give it like an option- more people would be satisfied and people from both parties would be more involved to figure out the right way. Some will say Zoom dsnt work, some will say heat wont work- so give it an option.

 

Also my idea would be layer warfare. You zoom to a new layer- to a new UI where it is optimized for 1000 units, then 10k, 20k etc. Each Ui layer would have its implementation and you can easily add whatever approach you want. Make it fun to be blunt.

 

The tech is already here, would save V-ram, c-pu cycles and it all can be made fun. So want to re-invent wheel- think outside the box! Or in this case- get rid of the box and you have your 3ed option.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 4:53:03 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Rasch Young,

It isn't meant to be played this zoomed out. Okay, I get it. But why?

I find the design decision to make a large strategic RTS game played on large maps without this ability questionable. Was it too hard technically?

We aren't looking to make this:

 

There is a market for these kinds of games. But that's not the game we're looking to make.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 4:53:49 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting snierke,

Me to agree with above. Strategic zoom is important for navigating between areas. Not so much for giving orders when zoomed out fully.

If you hit the space bar you can do that right now.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 5:01:00 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

We aren't looking to make this:

holy leap in assumptions batman!

neither do we

http://forums.ashesofthesingularity.com/473013/page/2/#3600006

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 5:40:45 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


Quoting snierke,

Me to agree with above. Strategic zoom is important for navigating between areas. Not so much for giving orders when zoomed out fully.



If you hit the space bar you can do that right now.

 

I hear your arguments against strategic zoom. And I disagree. But ofcourse I fully respect your choice. I guess its hard to go back to non strategic zoom games when you have tasted strategic zoom. Its like beeing forced to play a table game with your head forced to be never more then 20 cm away from the board. 


Anyway I love the game. Keep up the good work.


S.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 6, 2015 6:44:43 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

If you hit the space bar you can do that right now.

 

Speaking as someone who has studied perceptual psychology, there is a huge perceptual difference between moving via the strategic (space bar) map, and moving via zoom. Zoom emulates how we visually perceive movement in our optic array. For instance, global expansion (i.e. everything getting bigger) specifies forward movement of the individual, and vice versa with global contraction. The graduated expansion as one zooms in and out implicitly provides an understanding of one's relative location to other points on the map that is not as effectively communicated with a static strategic map.

I completely understand that you don't want to game to be played at a high zoom level, and that you don't want to create abstract unit icons (beyond a heat map); however, I feel that zoom is still a necessity from a usability perspective for navigating the expansive areas that we have in this game.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000985   Page Render Time: