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hazeron with good graphics
#1
imagine hazeron with good graphics :O

hazeron + good graphics = best game ever
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#2
I think the graphics are fine. Improvements can still be made in some areas, but those will be getting some love someday I am sure.

I don't see "over the top trip-A" graphics being a good thing for Hazeron.
Shores of Hazeron Wiki Moderator
hazeron.com/wiki/ User: Deantwo
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#3
I was thinking about this recently while trying No Man' Sky. Fancy lighting and effects aside (which we neither need nor want), Hazeron stands up pretty well, though, as Dean says, there is scope for serious improvement in certain areas. Our great advantage is that every beautiful scene is the result of meaningful and dynamic interactions between its elements. In this landscape, one of my favourites, the composition is due to a well-made simulation of orbital mechanics, atmospheric density, stellar spectral class, and so on. The beauty is "earned".

[Image: GWi0xCH.png]

 I find the fact that every planet has a bewildering number of landscapes which actually vary based on elevation, latitude, biome, and temperature preferable to the somewhat "gimmicky" (though genuinely beautiful), static feel of No Man's Sky, where one gets the sense that the beauty is contrived from someone's very artificial manipulation of colour palettes, skyboxes and terrain generation, to arrive at a premeditated result.

Now, some suggested improvements:

  • Stylization. Hazeron's overriding problem is the uncanny valley. Glabrians are the most obvious example of unintentional creepiness, but lots of things count. We don't need more graphical fidelity: we need to embrace the low-fi style as an artistic choice in itself, not a limitation. Take trees for another example. The trunk colours are dark and grungy: they're supposed to look "realistic". If instead they were solid pastel colours or had geometric pattern, for example, the low resolution wouldn't matter. Nor would it be any more demanding on the hardware.
[Image: Proteus-7-Autumn.png]

These trees are from "Proteus". They are probably even simpler than Hazeron's, but they're easier on the eye, because they don't aim at any kind of realism. Hazeron does, and it sometimes falls down because of it.
  • Rocks and terrain. The terrain is very smooth; excessively so. I took a look at No Man's Sky's landscapes, again. The textures repeat almost as often as Hazeron's. The actual mesh generation is not much more detailed. The main difference is that the visual line of the composition is broken by lots of boulders, cliffs and sharp edges. Hazeron's planets sometimes feel very "generated", like a height map, simply because there's nothing to redirect the eye or break the flow of the smooth, repetitive hills. Just throwing in some polygonal boulders and sharp cliffs here and there would make a big difference. Other "solid" visual elements like fungal growths, crystal clusters, coral and barnacles, tree stumps would help to break up the composition in interesting ways. Caves would be fun too, but not really a graphical thing.
  • Fade-out plants. When flying, or in overhead view, the rendered foliage around you has a very obvious circular cut-off. It's jarring. I'd suggest that, instead of a hard border, plant density should decrease semi-randomly after a certain point, and that vegetation should be rendered in a very basic, infrequent way to a significantly larger distance than it is now (if the player chooses). It's good to see at a glance if a distant mountain has any trees at all. At that distance, you could render an aggregated "copse" sprite for, say, every 50 trees, with a limit of 1 sprite per square km. Or something like that. Graphics are, ultimately, a symbol, and it's irritating in any game when they fail to symbolize something that's actually there, or when they symbolize something that isn't there. It doesn't matter, by comparison, how much that symbol looks like the real thing.
  • Foam Where the sea meets the land, the way the water just stops feels a little spare. Just adding a margin of white, without any particle effects or wave motion needed, would make a big difference. The water feels sadly insubstantial at the moment.
  • Rivers Rivers are a romantic's best friend. They make a landscape. Right now, we have some long, thin, bits of sea, which is not the same thing. Upland lakes and mountain streams would take sightseeing to a new level, for not much cost. The infrastructure for water above sea level also prepares the way for lots of uses in building and spacecraft models.
  • Seasons! My personal obsession. Haxus' too, I hope, as a keen kitchen gardener!
  • Obstruction. It's very immersion breaking when you walk through a tree. It makes me sad every time it happens, since it jolts me out of my explorer's fantasy. So as not to kill the servers with pathing problems, I'd recommend trees (not bushes) and boulders should obstruct avatars (in a fairly approximate way), but not the AI. Trees are concealment not cover, in any case, so the fact projectiles pass through is no problem.
  • Ambient occlusion Not necessarily anything scary or GPU intensive. If you fly near a bright star, you find the walls of your spaceship get totally washed out. In a cubic room, you can't tell where the corners are. A bit of pre-baked shade where faces meet at an acute angle might make all the difference. You could even choose which edges get the effect in the designer, to reduce the load and prevent it appearing where it isn't wanted. In blender, for instance, it's a very lightweight, static effect meant to help with modelling itself, rather than rendering - and it's very useful.
  • Stars. They're sprites, and it's fairly unpleasant for the brain when you are trying to manouevre near them. Is it hugely difficult to make them spheres instead? They can revert to sprites when you're not in close orbit.
On the whole, though, the fact that Hazeron manages to generate scenes worthy of an emotional reaction, purely on the strength of its simulation (rather than set-piece design), is commendable. I would say Hazeron + balancing + fewer bugs + OK graphics = best game ever, already. "Good" graphics are just overkill at that point! If every other game on my PC disappeared permanently, I'd be mildly put out. If Hazeron went, all the others wouldn't even start to make up for it. That time it actually happened....shudder.

If this is going to be a useful graphics suggestion thread, rather than, erm, another "make Hazeron better" thread, perhaps it should go in the Arena of Ideas?
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#4
(08-14-2018, 02:21 PM)Vectorus Wrote: -snip-
  • Stylization. Hazeron's overriding problem is the uncanny valley. Glabrians are the most obvious example of unintentional creepiness, but lots of things count. We don't need more graphical fidelity: we need to embrace the low-fi style as an artistic choice in itself, not a limitation. Take trees for another example. The trunk colours are dark and grungy: they're supposed to look "realistic". If instead they were solid pastel colours or had geometric pattern, for example, the low resolution wouldn't matter. Nor would it be any more demanding on the hardware.
-snip

You've excellently articulated a point which many of us have been thinking and talking about for years. The biggest problem with Hazeron's graphics is that Haxus has always striven to make them realistic, which is very difficult for solo developers to achieve. The reason so many indie games released today have low resolution, cleanly pixellated, simple graphics is more of a time saving decision than an artistic one, and oftentimes does result in a better looking game.
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#5
Vectorus is at it again. Now we just have to convince Haxus lol.
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#6
(08-14-2018, 02:21 PM)Vectorus Wrote: On the whole, though, the fact that Hazeron manages to generate scenes worthy of an emotional reaction, purely on the strength of its simulation (rather than set-piece design), is commendable. I would say Hazeron + balancing + fewer bugs + OK graphics = best game ever, already. "Good" graphics are just overkill at that point! If every other game on my PC disappeared permanently, I'd be mildly put out. If Hazeron went, all the others wouldn't even start to make up for it. That time it actually happened....shudder.


this
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#7
God damnit Vectorus, why are you so damn correct all the time, I mean seriously.

Generally, yeah:
Low-fi graphics done well are better than superduper graphics done poorly.

One thing I would like to see that would improve a lot of things is an in-game anti-aliasing feature. It smooths edges for relatively little performance cost. I've forced it with NVIDIA overrides, but people without NVIDIA cards are out of luck. Plus nobody likes having to open up an exterior program to make their game look better.

I like how a joke thread that Slaxx made has evolved into a serious discussion.
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#8
The question is now what kind of graphics style would look best with Hazeron? It have to be something that wouldn't look to out of place with 3D modes. Probably at least for plantlife and such done how it's done now with a library of shapes and stuff that could allow for procedural generation of plants in some way.

Also what would the effect of changing the style have of existing textures on ships? Because if a new visual style is indeed adopted that is more stylized and less realistic the realistic textures on ships may start to look out of place.

Though perhaps changing all the high detailed / realistic textures on ships to more stylized ones would be a good thing... would make creating a ship that looks nice easier since we would have to worry less about making all those textures look perfect.
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#9
Quote:that could allow for procedural generation of plants

All plants, including their textures, are procedurally generated in SoH. They always have been.

Tree trunks use one of a palette of bark textures so they don't vary much.
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#10
(08-23-2018, 10:50 PM)Haxus Wrote:
Quote:that could allow for procedural generation of plants

All plants, including their textures, are procedurally generated in SoH. They always have been.

Tree trunks use one of a palette of bark textures so they don't vary much.

I never said that you didn't use procedural generation in plants in the current system...

In fact I said that any new graphics system would have to allow for procedural generation like the current system.   Sorry if my wording was a bit off I reread what I typed and it does get a tiny bit clunky at that sentence.
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