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Citizencon 2017: Procedural Cities & other highlights

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  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    So is this city full of npcs with groundbreaking AI, creating procedurally generated missions and all?
    Or is it just some ground mapping like in Flight Simulator?
    I don't think it is on Arccorp.

    The reasoning for this is very logical, you have a realistically scaled planet that is fully urbanized. It is impossible to ever add NPCs and shops and so on to such that wouldn't be based on endless repetition, there is no benefit on even attempting to do so.

    But when you look at Hustorn that's a different story, there's a city but it's in a localized area, so they can allow for free roam and generate more stuff and content through it, the proper crafted landing zone of Hurston btw is the big tower building they have shown.
  • ResidevResidev Member UncommonPosts: 27
    edited October 2017
    So is this city full of npcs with groundbreaking AI, creating procedurally generated missions and all?
    Or is it just some ground mapping like in Flight Simulator?
    It's far from ground mapping - it's procedurally genetrated town. Apparently the demo shows a planet "around the size of earth" fully covered with buildings.

    It also shows a tool they use to generate these towns.
    As well as a method they use to generate interiors - where they define a basic layout of the structure in flowgraph and engine generates the interior with given layout, but with randomized structure.

    =======

    Is it groundbreaking? No.

    They can generate the visual parts of the towns and their interiors.

    Which is nice - very nice.

    It looks great, especially with the LOD in place which allows the town to be scaled so that you can actually view the whole planet 

    It also makes me grind my teeth when I think about the size that the game will be - I mean on your hard-drive.

    =======

    At the end of the day - it's a tool for developers. They mention themselves how after the generation it requires huge amounts of work and polish to actually fill the generated spaces with meaningful content.

    Yes, NPC's get generated and - particle effects - for whatever reason they deemed it important to express that separately.
    But these are simply objects with different properties. It gives atmoshpere, not content.
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited October 2017
    Residev said:
    It also makes me grind my teeth when I think about the size that the game will be - I mean on your hard-drive.
    This is one of the things they also address is in the panels where they talked about environments.

    They re-use a lot of assets in many different conditions that the algorithm will work with when generating, preventing the need of too many unique assets. It's about creating that unique feeling per area re-using as most as possible of what was already created for other areas (say Arccorp required the creation of 2GB of assets being that the first landing zone).

    Though the biggest benefit to this is that they're not going crazy like 4K+ all things, that being what FF XV is doing and they already talk one install size close to 200GB. O.o
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,232
    MaxBacon said:
    Residev said:
    It also makes me grind my teeth when I think about the size that the game will be - I mean on your hard-drive.
    This is one of the things they also address is in the panels where they talked about environments.

    They re-use a lot of assets in many different conditions that the algorithm will work with when generating, preventing the need of too many unique assets. It's about creating that unique feeling per area re-using as most as possible of what was already created for other areas (say Arccorp required the creation of 2GB of assets being that the first landing zone).

    Though the biggest benefit to this is that they're not going crazy like 4K+ all things, that being what FF XV is doing and they already talk one install size close to 200GB. O.o
    As i understand it ... you do not need extreme amounts of storage space at all. If you use the same seed, it always creates the same set-up via procedural generation. You do not have to save it once it has been created. You only need to remember the seed value. The storage space is needed for asset libraries. Those can be planet specific. And if I fly via Quantum drive from ArcCorp to Hurston, that is plenty of time in flight to inload the asset library for Hurston (without the need to have it stored locally all the time).

    I think the REAL BENEFIT of this not-too-complex tool is the ability of players to create their own content once CIG gives those tools into the hand of the players. I am always amazed by the creativity of modders once they get their hands on tools, up to and including complete game conversions (e.g. for Skyrim). 

    Once players create content (with some vetting by the game company), the lifetime of a game can be over a decade.


    Have fun
    Gdemami
  • ResidevResidev Member UncommonPosts: 27
    MaxBacon said:
    Residev said:
    It also makes me grind my teeth when I think about the size that the game will be - I mean on your hard-drive.
    This is one of the things they also address is in the panels where they talked about environments.

    They re-use a lot of assets in many different conditions that the algorithm will work with when generating, preventing the need of too many unique assets. It's about creating that unique feeling per area re-using as most as possible of what was already created for other areas (say Arccorp required the creation of 2GB of assets being that the first landing zone).

    Though the biggest benefit to this is that they're not going crazy like 4K+ all things, that being what FF XV is doing and they already talk one install size close to 200GB. O.o
    Obviously they strive for high-quality modelling.

    Frankly, I didn't watch trough all of the demo. I skipped a lot of boring parts. I didn't hear what they said about the filesize exactly, but.

    It's obvious they are reusing a lot of assets.  In fact I couldn't really differentiate what they were talking about when they showcased the districts and such. Everything looked the same to me. But again - I'm not really interested in details myself.

    ===

    But my question in this regard would be - is it really worth it? Covering a planet with a single city that in the end is basically a fancy texture?

    With no content it's pretty much a background to the city hub and when you're entering the planet.

    ===

    Besides that, when it comes to LOD's - especially in this scale and detail - it would mean you need to save all the assets with various levels of detail. That's what LOD stands for. Each and every decrease in level of detail goes smaller by the filesize - but again, with this view-distance, scale and details you need a lot of levels.

    And you need the different levels to fade properly - which in return means caching the models in memory - you'd constantly need to swap them around, and around when moving around - especially at fast speeds.
    This is very intense when it comes to resources.

    ===

    In fact - I think they do a great job with their camera angles and generally moving around slowly. Yes - they, in my eyes, play it off nicely as in "they want you to take it all in" - but it's actually quite funny how slow and theatrical they move their camera angles at times.

    Also I found it weird that they didn't show the planet, while they left it. At least I didn't see it. My guess is that they are having troubles with smooth transition, when viewing the planets - something you don't really want to showcase.
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited October 2017
    Erillion said:
    As i understand it ... you do not need extreme amounts of storage space at all. If you use the same seed, it always creates the same set-up via procedural generation. You do not have to save it once it has been created. You only need to remember the seed value. The storage space is needed for asset libraries. Those can be planet specific. And if I fly via Quantum drive from ArcCorp to Hurston, that is plenty of time in flight to inload the asset library for Hurston (without the need to have it stored locally all the time).

    I think the REAL BENEFIT of this not-too-complex tool is the ability of players to create their own content once CIG gives those tools into the hand of the players. I am always amazed by the creativity of modders once they get their hands on tools, up to and including complete game conversions (e.g. for Skyrim). 

    Once players create content (with some vetting by the game company), the lifetime of a game can be over a decade.


    Have fun
    What I mean is, sets of assets and materials are created and re-used through the game.

    The procedural nature, when it comes to, say scatter 6 or 7 rock assets for a moon in many different ways and conditions, from less than 10 proper assets you got a lot of variation so it keeps it light on number of assets to achieve the end result.

    As for actual crafted assets, you can notice that the assets created for Arccorp are being re-used in Hurston and other places, it's made so every area still has its unique vibe and atmosphere but there's a lot variation of existing assets to achieve it, instead of just creation of new ones.

    As for modding, I wouldn't know, I don't think this will ever hit the actual online SC game (logically so) and greatly depends on what happens beyond release on the subject of private servers.
    Gdemami
  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Member RarePosts: 3,476
    In my opion CIG has too many irons in the fire and need to pull some of them out and get this game out the door. Having said this it looks like they need more money and time to do so. My suggestion is to have a subscription based monthly fee as well as an Item shops. They then could focus on expansions for future updates to be released in the future. Make the monthly fee around $25 to $30 dollars a month. This amount should be enough to insure new content.
    " Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Those Who  Would Threaten It "
                                            MAGA
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,232
    >>>> But my question in this regard would be - is it really worth it? Covering a planet with a single city that in the end is basically a fancy texture?  >>>

    I think you missed part of the presentation. It is much more than a fancy texture.

    These are not just boxes with a house skin pasted on it. If needed it creates the interiors for those houses too. With shops. With rooms. With furniture and decorative items. With NPCs. And the NPCs can get various AI scripts.

    Of course, at the beginning the variety will be limited. But once the players can generate content for it, i think this variety will explode into a cosmos of possibilities.


    Have fun
    Gdemami
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,232
    >>>> As for modding, I wouldn't know, I don't think this will ever hit the actual online SC game (logically so) >>>>

    Why do you think that ?

    If everyone can create assets and CIG decides which of them are implemented into the game (to avoid the "flying penis art" of certain groups of people), you suddenly have 10000 additional devs working for free, eager to provide content.

    And we know that these volunteers/modders  often use this opportunity to showcase their skills and land a REAL paying job in the video game industry.


    Have fun
    Gdemami
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    edited October 2017
    Residev said:
    But my question in this regard would be - is it really worth it? Covering a planet with a single city that in the end is basically a fancy texture?

    With no content it's pretty much a background to the city hub and when you're entering the planet.
    Arccorp is a special case, because on design this as a fully urbanized planet, not just a planet with a city here and there, so when the game follows the seamless space > planet pitch, it must have a believable scale and scope, even if you don't specifically go there.

    But if you saw the demo then you saw Hurston, then you start making sense of this tech, you still see a city but you see free roam, driving around, areas through the zone with NPCs, interiors, etc... That yes gives this tech more than just the visual scale that is its main purpose in Arccorp.

    Residev said:
    Besides that, when it comes to LOD's - especially in this scale and detail - it would mean you need to save all the assets with various levels of detail. That's what LOD stands for. Each and every decrease in level of detail goes smaller by the filesize - but again, with this view-distance, scale and details you need a lot of levels.

    And you need the different levels to fade properly - which in return means caching the models in memory - you'd constantly need to swap them around, and around when moving around - especially at fast speeds.
    This is very intense when it comes to resources.
    Yes from what It's said they have/are on tools that do automatically create the LOD's for a single texture, this is used for everything to the big scale of a planet to the smaller scale of a ship, but in file size wouldn't be aware how much they actually cost.

    Your second part is very tied to the streaming tech that is setup of the game world, that's why the performance on this would be so tied to be using SSDs, I think that speed will be what influences how much pop-in you see.


    Residev said:
    Also I found it weird that they didn't show the planet, while they left it. At least I didn't see it. My guess is that they are having troubles with smooth transition, when viewing the planets - something you don't really want to showcase.
    That ties to LODs again, to start streaming stuff out and start pushing the resolution down as you're further away may be the transition they don't have a good visual quality on yet.

    Though in him doing the second Quantum Jump to Hurston it smoothly loaded in that higher quality as it approached.
    Gdemami
  • RhimeRhime Member UncommonPosts: 275
    Elsabolts said:
    In my opion CIG has too many irons in the fire and need to pull some of them out and get this game out the door. Having said this it looks like they need more money and time to do so. My suggestion is to have a subscription based monthly fee as well as an Item shops. They then could focus on expansions for future updates to be released in the future. Make the monthly fee around $25 to $30 dollars a month. This amount should be enough to insure new content.

    LOL..you work for EA? "Get this game out the door" Yea, right.
    Odeezee
  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Member RarePosts: 3,476
    Rhime said:
    Elsabolts said:
    In my opion CIG has too many irons in the fire and need to pull some of them out and get this game out the door. Having said this it looks like they need more money and time to do so. My suggestion is to have a subscription based monthly fee as well as an Item shops. They then could focus on expansions for future updates to be released in the future. Make the monthly fee around $25 to $30 dollars a month. This amount should be enough to insure new content.

    LOL..you work for EA? "Get this game out the door" Yea, right.

    No retired and have money to spend on games I like. Solution seems simple to me.
    " Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Those Who  Would Threaten It "
                                            MAGA
  • kikoodutroa8kikoodutroa8 Member RarePosts: 560
    Erillion said:
    >>>> But my question in this regard would be - is it really worth it? Covering a planet with a single city that in the end is basically a fancy texture?  >>>

    I think you missed part of the presentation. It is much more than a fancy texture.

    These are not just boxes with a house skin pasted on it. If needed it creates the interiors for those houses too. With shops. With rooms. With furniture and decorative items. With NPCs. And the NPCs can get various AI scripts.

    Of course, at the beginning the variety will be limited. But once the players can generate content for it, i think this variety will explode into a cosmos of possibilities.


    Have fun
    Erillion, please....

  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,232
    Erillion, please....

     
    Yes ?  


    Have fun

  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,232
    edited October 2017
    https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/citcon-featured-content/16216-CitizenCon-2947-Recap

    All Citizen Convention 2017 panels and presentations.

    My favorite part: 
    Procedural City Generator, Keynote presentation, Time Stamp 33:25 ff and 36:50 ff


    Have fun
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,232
    edited October 2017

    Residev said:
    Also I found it weird that they didn't show the planet, while they left it. At least I didn't see it. My guess is that they are having troubles with smooth transition, when viewing the planets - something you don't really want to showcase.
    Keynote presentation

    Time Stamp: 23:40 ff   or    26:20 ff   or   27:05 ff  


    You may also find interesting :

    The Art and Tech of Stanton

    "How the sausage gets made", Time Stamp 40:15 ff

    Like the City Generator, but this tool is on a planetary scale.

    They zoom in and out several times from planetary base to full planet and back.



    Have fun



    PS:

    Transition can also be seen at the "Opening Address" Time Stamp 2:20-3:31

    and Keynote presentation  Time Stamp: 41:35 ff  for the planet Hurston


  • ShodanasShodanas Member RarePosts: 1,933
    MaxBacon said:
    Look at the faces of everyone there. Bored and waiting for news on 3.0 which never came. Everyone was stunned when he invited everyone on stage and said good-bye.
    hmm... "face analysis argument".

    Anyway, about 3.0:
    - Gamescom was already about 3.0, no idea why have another showcase of 3.0 at Citcon.
    - The 3.0 planetary slice was playable in one of the booths this Citcon.
    - As everyone knows 3.0 is still in ETF and still isn't ready for PTU, the production report weekly reports on what's ongoing in that front.

    The only true expectation was they announcing the PTU during Citcon, but the report/burndown was already pretty clear about its status it was not going to happen, what the multiple Evocati members in that audience know in first hand.

    I'm not sure what "everyone waiting for news on 3.0" is, expect the "I want it all and I want it now!", the news and clear updates on its status are there, so it's a matter of being informed.
    No point debating with him so save your arguments.
    Gdemami
  • VutarVutar Member UncommonPosts: 920
    Erillion said:
    Even if there is repetition in there:

    I recently visited China. Quite abit of flying over the country at 11 km height. It is amazing how repetitive these Chinese megacities look like from a plane. Same look, same colours, same shapes.

    We may view ourselves as unique and individuals. We may view our cities as unique and special. But from high up you do not see individuals at all and most city layouts are following standard patterns, most buildings have similar looks if situated in the same area. So that repetitveness is actually closer to reality than what we imagine.


    Have fun

    I live in S. Korea. Every city is the same. Apartments, shops, food places, schools, cars, etc are the same. It does not matter which city you go to you will see the exact same buildings. It is depressing. To top it off most people wear black/white/grey and most cars are black/white/grey. This is the dullest country I stayed in to date. 
  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,232
    Vutar said:

    I live in S. Korea. Every city is the same. Apartments, shops, food places, schools, cars, etc are the same. It does not matter which city you go to you will see the exact same buildings. It is depressing. To top it off most people wear black/white/grey and most cars are black/white/grey. This is the dullest country I stayed in to date. 

    I do not envy you. Maybe another reason for the high suicide rate in SK ? (No. 1 world)


    In Europe you see more variety. Even from a plane high up. But especially on the ground.

    From China - having an even older culture - i expected something similar. I was mistaken.

    In the USA their planned rectangular-block-by-block cities are very similar by design.

    All downtown shopping districts worldwide have the same worldwide shop chains - Africa, Asia, Europe, Americas .... everywhere.


    To me that procedural generation of cities is closer to reality than i would like.



    Have fun

  • RhimeRhime Member UncommonPosts: 275
    Elsabolts said:
    Rhime said:
    Elsabolts said:
    In my opion CIG has too many irons in the fire and need to pull some of them out and get this game out the door. Having said this it looks like they need more money and time to do so. My suggestion is to have a subscription based monthly fee as well as an Item shops. They then could focus on expansions for future updates to be released in the future. Make the monthly fee around $25 to $30 dollars a month. This amount should be enough to insure new content.

    LOL..you work for EA? "Get this game out the door" Yea, right.

    No retired and have money to spend on games I like. Solution seems simple to me.


    Spending retirement money does not mean that SC needs to be shoved out the door half-baked. It deserves proper finishing because I think we all know that if it's sent out to the rabid "fans" or players who claim to have a right to play it unfinished, that the internet would explode in anger, you'd all be banned and we'd have to listen to it...
    Odeezee
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 7,275
    Erillion said:
    To me that procedural generation of cities is closer to reality than i would like.
    Sadly yeah, it's a cultural thing, properly, a loss of culture, that's why places as Europe are so different but the new places and heavily urbanized areas are a very symmetrical in a copy/paste city layout type.

    In terms of SC here and this tech I would believe they could use biomes, having poles, having oceans and so, or perhaps a desert/wasteland here and there, to mix the main planet biome with sub-biomes, those details would flesh out this large urbanized areas.

    I think it's fauna and flora that will require quite the effort to get something more complex, as a Jungle, to be created at a good quality.
    Gdemami
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,967
    Claiming, buying, and selling land.  What comes next, castles and titles?  I don't know what to say about this idea.
    Odeezee

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • blorpykinsblorpykins Member RarePosts: 466
    Pioneer and outstations were overhyped, though the idea of colonization and community building is something worth watching for.
    Odeezee
  • TalulaRoseTalulaRose Member RarePosts: 1,247
    In conclusion of the con.

    Nothing shown will be available anytime soon. It was all fluff. They had to download the tech demo at the last minute and the tech demo was patched.

    How long did they have to prepare for the con to have to patch the tech demo at the last minute. They couldn't get a tech demo ready for the con and they had months to prepare the fluff video.
    Odeezee
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,967

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

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