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Issues and notes and stuff as I play
#1
Hi,

I more or less just started playing with High Frontier. Is it weird to consider it not a game in a sense? I look at is as more of a design software, that illustrates concepts and possibilities. Hence my perspective will likely not focus on the game aspect, but rather other aspects.

Keep in mind, they’ll be things that jump out to me because they don’t behave in a way like I expect them to. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, just, y’know, outside expectations. Like… In an old game seeing a flag flying on a castle, but the flag is stiff as a board. It’s minor, but jumps out because it’s not what you expect from a flag.
Incidentally, I’ll be using the Mac version.

So, without further ado, issues that I found weird or notable while fiddling with the ‘game’.
  • Torus:
    • finances (2-10 spokes doesn’t affect cost; Hub radius doesn’t affect cost)
    • Spoke Radius > Minor Radius is possible (and swallows hub incidentally)
    • As I understand it, the spokes should widen as they approach the hub (1)
    • It’d be interesting to see hub’s height not tied to Minor Radius. ‘Smaller or taller’ hubs would be nice to have.
    • Air mass isn’t affected by number and radius of spokes
    • Air mass isn’t affected by Hub Radius
    • Hub Radius > Major Radius is… what is going on here?
    • Why can’t I plaster the outside of my Torus with Solar panels?
    • Lit solar panels produce as much power as shadowed panels. This should be addressed.
    • Copy-Paste structures? Not possible :/
  • Cylinder
    • Okay, why is the stock structure more expensive than the plan allows? It costs something like 22B, whereas the Build Mode markets it as 1.6 Billion.
    • What are these pillars that are build for $100 when I shift-left-click place a lamp post? And why do they extend into infinity?
    • Well, It’d be nice to have a the ability to place multiple structures in a row, like lamp posts, without always going through the menu for every iteration.
    • I can build buildings hovering in the endcaps. I assume that isn’t intentional.
  • Other stuff
    • The management menu is strange. Or rather, the camera is. I kind of want to have the cylinder’s surface rolled out and place my structures that way.
    • Is there a way to detach connected modules from each other? If so, it’s not communicated well. Ah, I found out. Still, not that well communicated. And a bit… arbitrary when a module is disconnected and when the whole structure is moved.
    • Moving the camera position by right-clicking while holding the Option key is hella slow. It’s far easier to move the whole station.
(1) Due to stress of centrifugal force on spoke. Spokes have mass. The longer the spoke, the more mass is pulling the closer to the hub. To have equal stress per cross sectional area, you have to widen the spokes as you get closer to the hub. 
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#2
Thank you for the feedback!  Those are some good points, particularly about hub/spoke volume not being counted in air mass and cost.  We'll look into all of those suggestions, but I'm only going to respond to a few of them here:

(04-05-2017, 04:12 AM)Permeable Ceiling Wrote: What are these pillars that are build for $100 when I shift-left-click place a lamp post? And why do they extend into infinity?

Wow!  That's a bug.  Those are the construction 3D printers that are only supposed to appear for buildings, not for lamp posts.  This appears to be an unexpected interaction between the shift-click feature (to place multiple of the same item) and the recently-added construction effect, which slipped right past our QA process.  Thank you for pointing this out!  (Bug filed here.)

Quote:Well, It’d be nice to have a the ability to place multiple structures in a row, like lamp posts, without always going through the menu for every iteration.

Yes, that's what shift-click is for, and it worked fine until this recent bug.  We'll get it fixed for 0.27 (if not earlier).

Quote:Is there a way to detach connected modules from each other? If so, it’s not communicated well. Ah, I found out. Still, not that well communicated. And a bit… arbitrary when a module is disconnected and when the whole structure is moved.

We spent quite a bit of time working on that for 0.26, and I'm pretty happy with it now.  Basically if you drag a part in any direction "away" from another part, it detaches from that other part.  But if you initially drag not away from the other part, then they stick together (and after you've started this conjoined drag, you can then move the group any way you like).

We're now able to disconnect parts or move them as a group without even thinking about it, all very efficiently... but I'd love to hear what you think after you've used it a bit more.

Quote:Moving the camera position by right-clicking while holding the Option key is hella slow. It’s far easier to move the whole station.

It can be, depending on how far you're zoomed in/out.  We'll look into it.

As for the tapered spokes:

Quote:(1) Due to stress of centrifugal force on spoke. Spokes have mass. The longer the spoke, the more mass is pulling the closer to the hub. To have equal stress per cross sectional area, you have to widen the spokes as you get closer to the hub.

That's an interesting thought, but I'm not sure I'm buying it.  The spokes are tension structures; cables would do the job just as well, except that we want them pressurized, radiation-shielded, and supporting things like elevators inside.  And none of those things vary with distance from the hub.

But I'm going to think about it some more!

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#3
Thanks for the quick reply!

(04-05-2017, 07:35 AM)JoeStrout Wrote: As for the tapered spokes:
Quote:(1) Due to stress of centrifugal force on spoke. Spokes have mass. The longer the spoke, the more mass is pulling the closer to the hub. To have equal stress per cross sectional area, you have to widen the spokes as you get closer to the hub.

That's an interesting thought, but I'm not sure I'm buying it.  The spokes are tension structures; cables would do the job just as well, except that we want them pressurized, radiation-shielded, and supporting things like elevators inside.  And none of those things vary with distance from the hub.

But I'm going to think about it some more!
Let me expand on that then.
Let’s assume a meter of spoke masses 100 tons with elevators, shielding, everything really. Going in from outside, the lest stressed parts, at 3rpm and 100 radius the final meter is pulling with a force of 1,000,000 N at its more axis parts. The 2nd meter inward pulls with a little less force, since it’s closer, the radius is smaller, you know the drill; but still has the same mass, i.e. it exerts 990,000 N. But the 1st meter of the spoke is attached, so its connection to the third meter is actually stressed with 1,990,000 N. Still easy peasy for the connections to deal with, but a few iterations down the line, at 50m inside, the force is 36 MN. At 90 meter, ten from the middle of the torus and as good a point as any to connect to a hub, the spoke is pulling with a force of 50 MN.

You’re right, steel can pull that off, but up to what length, or rather to what force?
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#4
Further things:
  • There’s no legend for overlays, what colour means what. I can guess, but…
  • For Park & Rec buildings you only see prices when buying them. (At least planetarium)
  • Inside view camera is weird. As in, it’s kind of stuck in isometric? Zooming out I quickly leave the confines of the colony and soon after the colony disappears in a white void.
  • How can I have more residents than housing?
  • What are the differences between the different paths?
  • Do I even need food? There’s no statistic for consumption per person or something like that.
  • The double click path laying is odd. I’d expected to finish laying by right click.
  • There’s no penalty or even message for overdrawing on funds.
  • Judging by the overlay the highest value plot of land I have is a playground. It’s also the only plot of land with value.
  • Is there a possibility to fast forward until I have funds again? Or at least accelerate time further?
  • I get complaints about internet speeds and such. I assume a bigger or additional antenna would help. I’ve no idea how to add one to the existing and built station.
  • Police drone just flew through my Tall Ag Tower.
  • Net annual ≠ (sum of income) - (sum of expenses); also, the information popup of net annual income is probably intended to be a snapshot? Because I actually expected it to change, just like the summarised field in the statistics window does. The annual income seems to be generally in high flux, especially when switching from inside to outside view.
  • An atmospheric haze, or pseudo-haze, would be nice in outside view.
  • There seems to be a general discrepancy between outside and inside. I just had 0.000 CO2. Squawker complains about brown leaves. Inside view, 0.040. And I have an atom regulator, so even then it shouldn’t have been a problem.
  • The Zones. It’d help if you coloured the buttons accordingly, so it’s clear which zone is which colour. And the distinction between low, middle, and high density is… suboptimal.
  • There a big discrepancy in statistics between inside and outside view. Inside I have 1000 jobs. outside 1700. Inside I have 30M annual income. Outside less than 20M, and so on. I presume that’s intentional and respective of the habitat in particular and the station in general?
  • The opportunities/projects thinjamajig is… I don’t know what it does, really. I buy stuff with exp, but I don’t build it, right? It’s like a tech tree progression?
  • In the Design parts, I’ve built a station. When I’ve not selected anything, the analysis window/mass tab shows me 2.76B in cost for HEO. When I select the hab the cost change to 42.9B. I only have, like, 1.7B base grant, I can’t overspend that by a factor of over thirty. I am confused.
  • Also in the Design parts, changing the shielding and atmosphere of a part to 0.00 lowers the cost to 0$, regardless of building material.
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#5
You're doing an amazing job of probing the corners of the simulation!  Great stuff.  The game should be discoverable without watching the how-to videos, so yeah, some of your questions indicate things that need to be made more obvious.  And some things are cosmetic issues that just haven't made it to the top of the list yet, like police cars flying through buildings (yep, they do that).

A few answers, in no particular order...
  • You can have a few more residents than housing because they are living in company quarters now shown, shacking up with friends/relatives, etc.  Otherwise, it'd be impossible to build the first house, because there would be no one to build it (er, to control the giant 3D printers that build it).
  • Different path types are cosmetic at this point.  But we expect them to affect traffic someday.
  • If you don't grow enough food, you will import it (which costs $).  If you grow more food than you need, you'll export it (which generates $, though not as much as importing costs if I recall correctly).
  • No, there is no fast-forward of time yet.
  • You can't add to an existing colony; you can only build a new one.  However, slow internet speeds aren't enough to keep residents from moving in.
  • Net income seems to add up to me:
    [Image: JXqHgLd.png]
    ...total income $31.6 M, total expense $19.9 M, net $11.7 M.  If yours doesn't add up, maybe you can post a screen shot? (Oh yeah, and yes, it's a snapshot, because it's a modal dialog rather than a floating palette.)
  • Stats in the outside view are always for the whole colony, while inside, most of them reflect just the habitat part you're in; I don't know if this accounts for the differences you're seeing or not (but we'll look into it).
  • In Design mode, the analysis tab shows details for the current selected part, or the whole colony if no selection; but the latter should never be less than the former, so you've found another weird case there.
Again, thanks for all the feedback!  We've been working for weeks on a new physics model which was to be the focus of 0.27... but now I wonder if maybe we should push that off to 0.28, and instead base 0.27 around going through your feedback and improving as many of those things as we can!

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#6
Photo 
Screenshots! I have a few.
Exhibit A:
[Image: c6Nv72s.jpg]
14,700,000+
01,800,000+
00,146,000+
29,400,000+
00,017,885-
29,500,000-
01,530,000-
——————
14,998,115

Exhibit B:
[Image: 1f1fSce.jpg]

14,600,000+
01,800,000+
00,073,000+
29,300,000+
00,017,885-
09,340,000-
01,350,000-
——————
35,065,115

Exhibit C:
[Image: TIX3GpQ.jpg]
This one’s particularly interesting, since it only makes sense if the payroll is 9.5 million, not 95. It’s something I noticed, it may be part of the font, but sometimes the dot is either not rendered or swallowed up by the font. This kind of error also appeared in the econ tab, so it appears to be a deeper issue than merely in this particular overlay.
PS: As another example, just now my funds increased from 56M to 5.20M.

As for the modal dialogue palette thingy, I was just curious about this information not constantly updating, while the CO2 does. *shrugs*
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#7
Yeah, you're right, the first two are a bit off, but the third one is wildly off, unless the payroll were actually $9.5 M. Looks very much like a number-formatting or string-rendering issue. We'll get to the bottom of it!

Thanks again,
- Joe

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#8
(04-05-2017, 04:12 AM)Permeable Ceiling Wrote: Cylinder:
Okay, why is the stock structure more expensive than the plan allows? It costs something like 22B, whereas the Build Mode markets it as 1.6 Billion.

Can you elaborate on this? I'm looking at the Stock LEO (cylindrical) design, and it shows as $1.6B in design mode, as well as when building for LEO.

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#9
(04-05-2017, 01:27 PM)Permeable Ceiling Wrote: Inside view camera is weird. As in, it’s kind of stuck in isometric? Zooming out I quickly leave the confines of the colony and soon after the colony disappears in a white void.

What sort of geometry is this?  We're having trouble reproducing the problem here, but it's a big parameter space to explore.  The white void you describe is the intended background if you zoom so far out that your colony doesn't fill the screen, but I haven't found a way to make the colony actually disappear this way.  Any details will be appreciated.

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#10
Isometric is used in Diablo 1 & 2, Civilisation 2-4, and so forth. In other words, you look at the world at an angle and a certain minimum distance. I hadn’t yet figured out how to change that angle yet (I think the original configuration called for bracket keys of end and home keys to adjust it). In HF you can adjust the angle between 90° (directly down) and some lesser angle. Initially the camera is set at an angle that reminded me of isometric, because my field of view wasn’t a square but rhombic with the wider base in the distance.

Anyway, camera. Like you said, it’s a big parameter space to explore, and I think it’d be easier to move naturally if the respective keys were closer together, but that I can change on my end. However, the default keys were, for me at least, a bit weird, since they’re all somewhat apart. I use mouse and keyboard, and not in US configuration, which removes the brackets from immediate access (need to use shift to enter that ‘letter’). But I’d have expected the camera keys to be in close proximity to each other. Something like, Q&E rotate left & right and 2&3 tilt the camera up and down. Just my two cents.
Also, it would be nice to have the option to view my station from street level, so to speak. Maybe move around the camera point.

While playing with other space stations, there were two other issues I noted.

Water isn’t shared between barbells. That really threw me, as I fully expected that to be the case. I understand the difficulty in sharing firefighter and cops, but water and air should be exchangeable between the two. Since I don’t expect air to be shared either, I suspect I need to have a water and an air unit in each section.

I forgot the other issue, but thought of another. The difference in cost allotment. When I select my hab section, the cost displayed is something like 10B, which is far in excess of the supposed grant of 1.4B or something. But when I have nothing selected, the default cost is 1.3B.

Incidentally, something like a counter running down/up for the station you’re building would be nice. Ideally either adjustable by myself, or with presets. Something in the vein of LEO: 1.4B; HEO 5B; etc., so I immediately know that I’m within budget, or by how much I need to shrink my habitat, which is always the most expensive part.

I suspect a calculation for a shared whatsitcalledtumbleratio for connected habitats is in the works? Since I was building a station with two counter-rotating cylinder habitats connected by a docking port (and bearings) and the tumble ratio forced me to make the habitats rather narrow, even though the shared tumble ratio should’ve been much higher.
Incidentally, the adjustably of the endcaps doesn’t take into account an overlap of endcaps, e.g. you have a 10m wide cylinder with a radius of 50, and the fully inverted endcaps overlap spatially.

Huh. Kind of more issues than two.

Smaller things:
  • Kind of too few people milling about. I’ve got a population of 400 and a work force of 1000 or something and see mere 10 strolling about. Why not have a few seated at the two Donut shops that for some reason opened up next to each other?
  • Have the connections to adjacent modules visible when you’re inside a hab, if applicable. In cylinders that’d be most likely at the axis, the bearings connecting to docking ports.
  • Exiting the game sometimes changes the resolution to the initial 640x640 or whatever it was. (Sometimes means always on one computer, never on the other. Difference between the two are desktop/laptop, native resolution, windowed/fullscreen.
PS: The disappearance of the hab: Tilt the camera away from the hab and zoom out. Your PoV quickly leaves the hab, and as the PoV moves out the hab disappears at the bottom.
PPS: In the forum, subscribing to threads does nothing if there’s no option to view subscribed threads.
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