Proposed Seatruck Changes

JaitniumJaitnium Join Date: 2019-07-29 Member: 253986Members Posts: 9 Fully active user
Disclaimer:
I'm making this post to discuss the Seatruck. I love the idea of the Seatruck which is why I'm making this post in hopes that it'll get some attention so the Seatruck can be the most amazing vehicle it can be. I understand the game is still very early in development which is why I'm voicing my feedback to help make some improvements. Everything doesn’t have to be taken verbatim.

If you don’t care about my reasoning, skip to the end for a quick summary.

If the Seatruck is going to be the end-all vehicle in the game, I suggest some changes to improve it. It's important that we consider the other existing vehicles in Subnautica to understand the Seatruck's place in the game. We want each vehicle to have its own strengths, even if they aren't all included in the game, since most of the people playing Below Zero have played the original and will naturally draw comparisons between the two. The Seatruck's strength is clearly it's modularity in that it's a hybrid of the Seamoth and the Cyclops. That being said, it lacks too much in both regards.

The topics are as follows:
1) The Seatruck is incredibly slow at all module stages.
2) How the Seatruck Storage modules are a problem.
3) With more modules, the Seatruck becomes tedious to go from end to end.
4) With more modules, the Seatruck becomes very vulnerable.
5) Some other slight improvements.
6) Summary

1) Seatruck speed issue
The Seatruck cabin by itself is supposed to be a fast submarine "comparable" to the Seamoth, yet it moves 4m/s slower than the Seamoth, and without being able to have any storage modules on it, that makes it a HUGE speed penalty. Additionally, without modules the Seatruck is only .12m/s faster than the Cyclops' standard speed (not to mention the Cyclops can hold hundreds of items!). Since the Seatruck is really long and doesn’t bend, you won't be able to fit it into spaces even the Cyclops could traverse without detaching modules, so I wouldn’t expect the Seatruck’s speed of all things to be compromised. I’m not sure if this is just an oversight, or if Below Zero’s area is going to be smaller than the first game so the Seatruck’s speed has been adjusted accordingly. Either way, my solutions:

Solution 1:
-Increase the cabin speed from 9.12m/s to 12m/s. This way the Seatruck is much more comparable to the Seamoth. The Seamoth isn't outright overshadowed either since it still has storage modules on it without compromising any speed.
-Decrease the speed/acceleration penalty from having additional modules. Currently if the player has 4 modules, they're moving at 3m/s (5m/s with Horsepower upgrade). This is an insane penalty considering how many modules there currently are, and the Cyclops' slowest speed is 7m/s (again it can hold hundreds of items). It would be more fair if the Seatruck's speed was something like 9.5m/s while having 10 modules.

Solution 2:
New Module: "Engine Module"
-Is crafted using 2 power cells to increase the energy cap of the Seatruck (useful since Fabricator drains energy so quickly).
-Has thrusters protruding off of it to increase the Seatruck's speed, acceleration, and maneuverability.
-If the cabin is detached, the Engine Module continues to power the modules it’s connected to.

2) Seatruck storage issue
The Seatruck is unique to the Cyclops in that you have to attach Storage modules onto it if you want more space, rather than just building a Locker. Unlike many of the other modules, you're likely going to have duplicate Storage modules. The issue is how little space each storage module gives. I understand you can just attach more Storage modules, but considering how much room is inside each Storage module, the cost of the module, and the speed penalty per module, I'd expect way more space. Currently each Seatruck storage module can hold 52 items vs a locker which can store 48 items! The Cyclops can hold hundreds (if not a thousand) of items without losing speed. In order for the Seatruck to have inventory space comparable to the Cyclops, it’d need 20 Storage modules and at that point I might as well build a base considering how slow the Seatruck is moving, not to mention how vulnerable the sub is with that many modules.

Solution:
Storage module improvements:
-Increase storage capacity from 52 items, to 150 items. The two large lockers on one side of the module can each store 48 items, while the 3 lockers on the opposite wall can split the other 54 item space.

3) Traversing the Seatruck issue:
On a somewhat related note, one of the other issues of the Seatruck stems from its design. I love the Seatruck, but when you have 10+ modules on it, it becomes a chore to walk down that long corridor. The Cyclops’ never had a traversal issue because it’s design allows for lots of things to be compactly built. Given how nearly all (if not all) duplicate modules are going to be Storage modules, I propose a new module.

Solution (Part 1): New "Control Module"
-This module would have a screen that would allow the user to see every stored item in the Seatruck.
-Allows the user to withdraw any item from the screen directly into their inventory.
-Has a small “deposit” box that will deposit any items placed into it into any available Seatruck's storage.

This new module would allow the user to add more Storage modules to their Seatruck, without the hassle of running up and down the length of their vehicle to find a particular item/space to deposit items. Since there are 6 modules implemented (7 with the Control Module), and since there will likely only be duplicate Storage Modules, the user will only ever have to traverse 6 modules which effectively fixes the long-corridor-traversal issue.

Solution (Part 2):
-Allow the player to be able to teleport between the teleport modules so they can traverse through the Seatruck easier. With part one’s solution, the player will easily have access to the contents of their storage modules and can just stick their storage modules to the end of the Seatruck. The issue becomes that the player needs to traverse to the very end of the truck to access the prawn suit. Being able to teleport between Teleport modules gives the player the option to teleport from either end of the Seatruck easily.

4) Seatruck’s vulnerability:
I can’t pinpoint the exact amount, but when you start having 10-20 modules on your Seatruck, it’s nearly impossible to defend. Which modules are being attacked? How can I keep it defended? Unlike the three vehicles in the first game, I can’t escape. There is the perimeter defense upgrade but it needs to be timed properly.
Solution Part 1: Allow the perimeter defense upgrade to be upgraded in the Modification Station so that it automatically goes off to deter predators at the cost of energy.
Solution Part 2: Implement a self-repair upgrade so the Seatruck modules repair themselves. This eases the burden of having a larger truck.

5) Other changes:
Issue: The Seatruck is designed so it can be improved to rival the Cyclops. The Cyclops has many upgrades and can have up to 6 at any time, while the modular Seatruck is capped at 4 from the start.
Solution: To fit the theme of improving and modularity, add 1-2 upgrade slots to the "Engine Module" that I suggested above. This way the player doesn't get the full functionality of the Seatruck until later in the game.

Issue: Entering and exiting the Seatruck can be a bit tedious after being so used to the Seamoth.
Solution: Clicking "Enter Seatruck" will have the player enter and stand inside of the cabin, while holding click to "Enter Seatruck" immediately puts the user into the driver's seat. Similarly, have holding "E" eject the player from the cabin while tapping "E" gets out of the driver's seat.

Issue: The “Detach Modules” switch in the Seatruck cabin could be improved so the player doesn’t have to get out of their seat, flip the switch, and then reseat themselves in an emergency situation (which is how it was described in its showcase).
Solution: Have a hotkey to detach the Seatruck cabin from its modules. This would allow for a quick way for the player to go off and explore with the cabin or escape from predators. Additionally, allow the player to preset a "detach point". When the cabin's switch is flipped or the hotkey is pressed, all modules after the detach point will get instantly detached so the player can quickly explore with only the most important modules.

In conclusion:
-Increase default Seatruck cabin's speed OR add an Engine module.
-Triple the Storage Module's space.
-Add a Control Module to limit the user's need to traverse the entire length of their Seatruck.
-Allow the player to teleport between Teleport Modules
-Add an improved Perimeter defense upgrade and Self-repair upgrade
-Allow the player to quick-enter and quick-leave the Seatruck cabin.
-Implement a hotkey to quickly detach modules from the Seatruck cabin.
-Have a "detach point” so the player can quickly break up their Seatruck.
TheLunarArmySSukeMartine

Comments

  • TheLunarArmyTheLunarArmy South-Africa Join Date: 2019-03-01 Member: 251422Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    • I like the idea of the engine module, could even simplify it further and say it adds +2 mod slots even, but you can only have 1 engine module attached at any time. Alternatively have the engine effeciency module increase the seatruck speed if it has modules attached up to a point, i.e. without upgrade: 0 module: 100% speed, 1 module: 80%, 2 modules: 60% etc.... with upgrade 0-3 modules: 100%, 4 modules: 80%, 5 modules: 60% etc.
    • Yes for more size, but I dont think it should be free. I think this can be improved by have 1 starting locker that gives the current number of slots and then have 2 "unfinished" slot spaced that you can upgrade to have lockers there using something like 1 plasteel and 2 diamonds or something that adds another +52 slots each. You still get the bare minimum when u make the module and the option to expand more without making more modules.
    • I'd rather have the storage module upgrades I mentioned ↑ than the control module, remove the need for more storage modules instead of a whole new module to manage better.
    • Yes to better to defense grid, no to self repair, repairing your sub in the midst of an attack is part of the game. Auto repair removes all the tension
    • Having an instant eject button hotkey would be nice yes, but it should be different "stand up for piloting" key we currently have.
    • Quick release modules might be another gameplay balance thing, hmmm not sure.
    • I think leaving your sea truck to specifically manage modules is also a gameplay balance thing, so... yeah unsure here too.
  • JaitniumJaitnium Join Date: 2019-07-29 Member: 253986Members Posts: 9 Fully active user
    • I like the idea of the engine module, could even simplify it further and say it adds +2 mod slots even, but you can only have 1 engine module attached at any time. Alternatively have the engine effeciency module increase the seatruck speed if it has modules attached up to a point, i.e. without upgrade: 0 module: 100% speed, 1 module: 80%, 2 modules: 60% etc.... with upgrade 0-3 modules: 100%, 4 modules: 80%, 5 modules: 60% etc.
    I agree with this. My thinking was that only one engine module would be allowed at any given time.
    • Yes for more size, but I dont think it should be free. I think this can be improved by have 1 starting locker that gives the current number of slots and then have 2 "unfinished" slot spaced that you can upgrade to have lockers there using something like 1 plasteel and 2 diamonds or something that adds another +52 slots each. You still get the bare minimum when u make the module and the option to expand more without making more modules.

    Glad you agree with me on the storage issue. I would be okay with this change as long as it was a bit cheaper, or if the Storage module was inexpensive and it costed a little extra to upgrade it to its full capacity.
    • I'd rather have the storage module upgrades I mentioned ↑ than the control module, remove the need for more storage modules instead of a whole new module to manage better.

    Well the idea would be to have both. I see it as a mid-to-late game module when you have a lot of storage modules. Even if the storage module gets increased to 150 slots, you'd still need around 10 of them to match the storage capacity of the Cyclops. Unlike the Cyclops which nicely compacts lockers, the Seatruck has a long line of modules that need to be traversed which can be tedious.

    • Yes to better to defense grid, no to self repair, repairing your sub in the midst of an attack is part of the game. Auto repair removes all the tension

    Glad you agree with the defense grid. The repair wouldn't make you immune to threats though. Lets say the modules have 300 health each, well the self-repair would heal 3 health/second of of combat. Unlike the Seamoth where you just pop out and repair it, or the Cyclops which tells you the exact spots that needs healing, the Seatruck can be really long and you'd need to individually check every module. Also because of the Seatruck's design, when you have a lot of modules, your turning ends up smashing your modules into things way outside of your vision all the time. This upgrade would make it so you don't have to get out and repair your modules every 5 seconds.


    Thanks for the post!
    SSuke
  • SSukeSSuke USA Join Date: 2019-07-30 Member: 254013Members Posts: 5 Fully active user
    Responses to your points:

    1) The Seatruck is incredibly slow at all module stages.
    - Agreed. Increase the max speed to match the Seamoth's speed

    2) How the Seatruck Storage modules are a problem.
    - Agreed. At least double the storage.

    3) With more modules, the Seatruck becomes tedious to go from end to end.
    - True, but disagree on solution. Fix the other issues first, and this problem will be mostly irrelevant.

    4) With more modules, the Seatruck becomes very vulnerable.
    - Agreed. Module health should be shared. Repairing any component of the seatruck should repair all of it.

    5) Some other slight improvements.
    - Agreed on both points: increase to 5-6 upgrades modules. Allow for differences between tap and long-press for exiting vehicle and exiting seat.
    JaitniumVoluspa
  • JaitniumJaitnium Join Date: 2019-07-29 Member: 253986Members Posts: 9 Fully active user
    edited July 30
    SSuke wrote: »
    Responses to your points:

    1) The Seatruck is incredibly slow at all module stages.
    - Agreed. Increase the max speed to match the Seamoth's speed

    2) How the Seatruck Storage modules are a problem.
    - Agreed. At least double the storage.

    3) With more modules, the Seatruck becomes tedious to go from end to end.
    - True, but disagree on solution. Fix the other issues first, and this problem will be mostly irrelevant.

    4) With more modules, the Seatruck becomes very vulnerable.
    - Agreed. Module health should be shared. Repairing any component of the seatruck should repair all of it.

    5) Some other slight improvements.
    - Agreed on both points: increase to 5-6 upgrades modules. Allow for differences between tap and long-press for exiting vehicle and exiting seat.

    Thank you for the comment! I like the idea of the Seatruck's health being shared. There wouldn't be a need to have a repair upgrade and upgrading your vehicle's health would be in the theme of modularity.
  • darrindarrin Frankfurt; Germany Join Date: 2019-02-15 Member: 250965Members Posts: 51 Advanced user
    For me, the SeaTruck symbolizes a decline, not an improvement.

    First of all that's because it has a fundamental design flaw: You can extend the SeaTruck in one direction only. And that means, most of the space is wasted for the gangway. Not only that, stearing a long, rigid craft becomes unrealistic and tedious.

    To make a full 360° turn with a Cyclops f.e. take approx. 30sec. To do the same with the SeaTruck less than 3sec. That means that the compartments literally fly through water. And there's still the unresolved issue when you tilt the SeaTruck.

    So even if the SeaTruck would be 30% faster and the storage capacity would go up, it wouldn't solve the issue for me. I would need way more than that.

    So here is my list:

    The player can look around freely while steering the truck
    I.e. movement and visual orientation are decoupled. E.g. like you steer the Cyclops. The SeaTruck will never be a SeaMoth, so don't even try. If you want to leave and enter a SeaTruck, you first have to reach the hatch, watch the climbing animation and press a button again to sit down. So you don't want to do this all too often.

    Make the tractor unit a wider and longer
    It should match or slightly exceed the width of the largest module (even without the turbines) and the length should match the current version plus an attached docking module. The turbines should then have the same size as the ones on the Cyclops.

    The main goal is to make the tractor unit a 'ready to go' craft.

    The additional space should be used to give the player an initial storage, a better all-around view (by widening the front window and altering the angle) and maybe even a floor hatch.

    The 'disconnect modules' switch should be replaced by a display similar to a 'vehicle upgrade console' that allows the player to manage the truck. The upgrade modules should be available from inside the truck.

    If done correctly, the SeaTruck would still fit into a moonpool (although I don't really think it's necessary that this option exists, especially since it disconnects all the modules).

    No specialized modules
    Instead, there should be only a single module but many different wall, floor and ceiling upgrades. The goal is to make the modules more similar to 'I compartments'. Wall upgrades could include solar panels, windows, reinforcements, spotlights, cameras, a radio, a medkit station, cell rechargers, additional turbines and especially: Additional hatches!!!

    Wall upgrades could even be split a bit further to enable separate 'upper' and 'lower' upgrades or two horizontal parts. That means, it would be possible to place a fabricator next to a juke box, place a bed below a upper storage, next to a window or even two foldable beds above each other.

    The goal is also to minimize the needed space by making the compartments more compact. F.e. I doubt I ever need two wall aquariums with space for 2x 8 fishes.

    Make the storage available from both the inside and the outside
    This compensates for the downsides of entering/exiting the SeaTruck or walking through it.

    Greatly reduce the tilting capabilities of the SeaTruck.
    An angle >30° upwards or downwards shouldn't be possible. The SeaTruck should be your mobile base, not a highly maneuverable cave exploring craft.

    Make the PRAWN suit accessible from the inside
    A no-brainer. The PRAWN should be in it's folded state when docked and could even be docked in a 90° angle (to make the top hatch connected to the SeaTruck 'door'. Alternatively, the PRAWN could be redesigned to give it an entry point on the backside). (see https://youtube.com/watch?v=y8haJruLz7o)
    SSuke
  • RossumRossum Join Date: 2019-07-12 Member: 253707Members Posts: 7 Fully active user
    I'll admit, when I first heard about the sea truck, I thought that the line of modules would bend. Like a row of train cars or those articulated busses that bend in the middle.

    But instead, the sea truck seems to just extend in a long rigid line.

    Would it be possible to make it flex, or even... say... have a button that detaches all the modules but has them follow behind the sea truck cabin in a single file? So, if you have to navigate through a tight area you can just detach the modules, navigate the area as they follow behind, and then reassemble the sea truck on the other side?
  • ChudovishChudovish Ru Join Date: 2016-07-01 Member: 219418Members Posts: 34 Advanced user
    Bending not an option cause make it harder to move backward.
    Flexibility is an extended complexity here.
    For all wo need to attach 10+ modules - ask devs to add SeaTrain. Still it's a truck, not a train.

    That I wish to know is coherence between Moonpool an Seatruck. Like I saw "head" can be mounted in the Moonpool. What about all modules? Maybe need smth like gateway-with-manipulators as an upgrade to Moonpool that capture rear part of Seatruck and attach it to Moonpool - just like pipe, when "head" is still captured old-fashion-way?
    Scrap english
    darrin
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 531 Advanced user
    Bending can work if you steer from the last compartment.
    So, instead of free 3d movement just steer it like a car. No moving sideways or up/down unless also moving forward or backwards.

    In my opinion the moonpool was designed for the first game (and still didn't pair with the cyclops) and does not work well with the seatruck. Maybe have it dock externally, like it was proposed for the cyclops.
    JaitniumSSuke
  • JaitniumJaitnium Join Date: 2019-07-29 Member: 253986Members Posts: 9 Fully active user
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    Bending can work if you steer from the last compartment.
    So, instead of free 3d movement just steer it like a car. No moving sideways or up/down unless also moving forward or backwards.

    In my opinion the moonpool was designed for the first game (and still didn't pair with the cyclops) and does not work well with the seatruck. Maybe have it dock externally, like it was proposed for the cyclops.

    I thought so too! I think you should be able to back up the Seatruck into a "docking port" on your base. That way you can just walk around from your base right into your Seatruck.
  • RossumRossum Join Date: 2019-07-12 Member: 253707Members Posts: 7 Fully active user
    Jaitnium wrote: »
    I thought so too! I think you should be able to back up the Seatruck into a "docking port" on your base. That way you can just walk around from your base right into your Seatruck.

    Have a storage module near the end of your seatruck, so that when you dock at a base you've got easy access to all your items and storage units during your stay. Then, if you move to another base, you can just move that whole storage module with you.
    Jaitnium
  • darrindarrin Frankfurt; Germany Join Date: 2019-02-15 Member: 250965Members Posts: 51 Advanced user
    edited August 18
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    Bending can work if you steer from the last compartment.
    So, instead of free 3d movement just steer it like a car. No moving sideways or up/down unless also moving forward or backwards.
    Still wouldn't work. First of all, you'd still have a huge issue connecting the modules both visually as well as 'physically' (i.e. without glitching through the floor). Steering it from the last compartment would require a new concept with a much better field of view hence a connected Prawn Suit. And you still wouldn't be able to position the modules the way you want and might get stuck. I.e. it would be a development nightmare.

    Like I said before: I would accept this to be a semi-failure and deal with it. The easiest way to do so is to accept it as a mobile base you don't want to use for exploration and to keep it a truck not a train => most trucks only have a single, rather large multipurpose trailer.

    And that's how I came up with my list of changes.

    First: The devs should limit the tilting angle. This means the SeaTruck would be inferior to a SeaMoth, but the issue of moving around inside a tilted truck is solved in a very cost efficient way.

    Second: The devs should vastly limit the turning speed (at least as soon as modules are attached). That way, it becomes very obvious that you shouldn't steer the SeaTruck into narrow places.

    Third: The devs should abandon the idea of predesigned modules. That way, they can reduce the size of the truck without limiting the player too much in what they can take along.

    If the devs don't want to allow free placement of items, they should make use of predefined 'hooks' (see wall upgrades or SeaMoth modules). Devs can take inspiration from the StarWars MMO housing feature (see Manaan underwater stronghold). There, the player is limited to predefined hooks as well. The cool thing though is that you can change larger hooks into several smaller ones. This way, the devs can limit visual issues (like placing wall lockers into thin air) while keeping the 'illusion' of a fully customizable interior.

    Fourth: The devs should increase the starting capabilities of the tractor. It's the main entry point and there should be a clear difference between the SeaTruck and the SeaMoth (other than separating 'entering' from 'sitting down').

    Decoupling the steering direction from the view would be one such feature. Accessing the upgrades from the inside, another. And to add a console to allow the player to adjust some other aspects (like the interior lighting) along with some initial storage overview (or even fast travel / teleport feature), a closing feature.
    Post edited by darrin on
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 531 Advanced user
    darrin wrote: »
    Still wouldn't work. First of all, you'd still have a huge issue connecting the modules both visually as well as 'physically' (i.e. without glitching through the floor). Steering it from the last compartment would require a new concept with a much better field of view hence a connected Prawn Suit. And you still wouldn't be able to position the modules the way you want and might get stuck. I.e. it would be a development nightmare.

    I fail to see it that way. I do not know why it would glitch through the floor, if it moves like a train then each compartment would follow its predecessor and, ultimately, the seatruck main module. Compartments wouldn't clip through anything that the truck itself didn't (unless the floor is moving).
    By coupling forward movement to the vehicle turning one can easily enforce wide turning circles, a lot like what you suggested.
    And there's no new concept required for last compartment steering, all it takes is recycling the external cameras concept from the cyclops. Disable reverse steering and only turn it on by manually switching to the rear camera.

    Actually your suggestions hold great synergy with mine.

  • darrindarrin Frankfurt; Germany Join Date: 2019-02-15 Member: 250965Members Posts: 51 Advanced user
    edited August 19
    I fail to see it that way. I do not know why it would glitch through the floor, if it moves like a train then each compartment would follow its predecessor and, ultimately, the seatruck main module. Compartments wouldn't clip through anything that the truck itself didn't (unless the floor is moving).

    The reason is that the connecting gangway would have to bend in a three dimensional way.

    Let's simplify it a bit and assume two rigid cylinders. The proper way to connect these two parts would be to imagine a line running through the center of the cylinders. And at a fix distance outside the cylinder, these two lines would be connected. This point of intersection would always stay the same to ensure the 'average' distance between these two cylinders stays the same.

    The difficulty is then to design a flexible gangway that would connect the closest sides of these two tin cans. Each side of the gangway would have a completely different shape. And although modern graphic cards are really good at "connecting the dots", there are still floating point issues to calculate that the character can't see through the edges and that a character is standing on solid ground.

    It's a bit similar to the issue of drawing an obligue line on a monitor consisting of a fix grid of pixels. You're forced to interpolate the position of the line between two pixels.

    Another good example of this issue are staircases in games. Both the front and the top of the step might be simple rectangles. The difficulty however is to make sure that indifferent of the angle of view, the interpolation of the pixels won't allow the user to see through the edges of the staircase.

    And a similar issue exists when you calculate if something is 'solid'. In case of stair cases, games typically add a flat, invisible layer that is placed on top (or in the middle) of the stairs. That means the player actually walks across this glass pane rather than across the actual steps.

    But even these invisible layers must be connected somehow and that might still cause players to fall through. This can be seen with the countless documented issues of the Prawn Suit glitching through the sea bed in Subnautica. It's not a fool prove task. And it's then also a matter on how to spend / waste the performance at hand.

    For a similar reason, schools of fish are glitching through the walls of your base, and that's why the Ghost Leviathan only had a 'physical' head, letting the body constantly glitch through cave walls (and the Sea Emperor didn't even had a physical body at all).

    So if I were a designer, I'd rather return to the Seamoth than trying to get a bendable SeaTruck to work.
    By coupling forward movement to the vehicle turning one can easily enforce wide turning circles, a lot like what you suggested.
    Sure that get's close to what I have in mind. But it's something different if you also try to apply the 'bendable' truck concept. At which point would the parts start to bend in the other direction? How to you avoid an S-shaped bending of modules when moving back and forth?
    And there's no new concept required for last compartment steering, all it takes is recycling the external cameras concept from the cyclops. Disable reverse steering and only turn it on by manually switching to the rear camera.
    Sure, you can reintroduce external cameras. But this always means a loss of immersion.
    And keep in mind where the cameras were positioned on the Cyclops (the center bottom, center top and at the stern of the craft) and that these cameras offered a 360° view (only limited in the upward/downward angle).

    So where would you position them on a bendable SeaTruck? Calculate which module is in the middle? Do you plan to introduce an extra tower on this module to make sure the camera will then provide a good overview over all modules? How do you prevent that bendable modules will block your line of sight?

    You see: That's what I meant with "a whole new concept".
    Post edited by darrin on
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 531 Advanced user
    @darrin thanks for the through response.
    Let's simplify it a bit and assume two rigid cylinders. The proper way to connect these two parts would be to imagine a line running through the center of the cylinders. And at a fix distance outside the cylinder, these two lines would be connected. This point of intersection would always stay the same to ensure the 'average' distance between these two cylinders stays the same.

    The difficulty is then to design a flexible gangway that would connect the closest sides of these two tin cans. Each side of the gangway would have a completely different shape. And although modern graphic cards are really good at "connecting the dots", there are still floating point issues to calculate that the character can't see through the edges and that a character is standing on solid ground.
    I would simplify with rectangles, but ok let's roll with cylinders. Instead of a line, I would connect both cylinders with a sphere, of radius slightly bigger then the cylinders. This would ensure the distance between the center of the cylinders to the center of the sphere remained the same.
    One can move the cylinder over the center of the sphere, allowing this construct to bend a little. No changing shapes required. It is even possible to fit another cylinder inside the sphere, which would connect the interior of the two cylinders.
    But even these invisible layers must be connected somehow and that might still cause players to fall through. This can be seen with the countless documented issues of the Prawn Suit glitching through the sea bed in Subnautica. It's not a fool prove task. And it's then also a matter on how to spend / waste the performance at hand.
    Yeah, that is very bad. I don't remember a 3d game glitching so bad through walls since the original Tomb Raider over 20 years ago.
    Subnautica is a great, very buggy, game. It suffers from major performance issues.
    If it wasn't such an incredible game it might have been remembered for those flaws we turn a blind eye to.
    Sure that get's close to what I have in mind. But it's something different if you also try to apply the 'bendable' truck concept. At which point would the parts start to bend in the other direction? How to you avoid an S-shaped bending of modules when moving back and forth?
    Regarding the bendable truck concept.
    For low bending angles actual S shapes are unlikely, unless it's a veeery long truck.
    Bending on other directions shouldn't be such a bother as long the train follows as strictly as possible the leading wagon, the seatruck when going forward and the last compartment when reversing.

    Sure, you can reintroduce external cameras. But this always means a loss of immersion.
    And keep in mind where the cameras were positioned on the Cyclops (the center bottom, center top and at the stern of the craft) and that these cameras offered a 360° view (only limited in the upward/downward angle).

    So where would you position them on a bendable SeaTruck? Calculate which module is in the middle? Do you plan to introduce an extra tower on this module to make sure the camera will then provide a good overview over all modules? How do you prevent that bendable modules will block your line of sight?
    Now, regarding the new concept with a much better field of view for cameras that we were discussing earlier.
    They don't need to be the exact same cameras as on the cyclops. Just a fixed rear view camera, from the center of the rear module. When reversing the player would turn on the reverse and the camera would change to the rear view. It isn't practical, but reversing such a thing isn't supposed to be.


    Lastly,
    So if I were a designer, I'd rather return to the Seamoth than trying to get a bendable SeaTruck to work.
    Totally agree. I would go back to the seamoth/cyclops either way. A bendable seatruck is too much trouble and rigid seatruck is a bad idea. A modular truck that doesn't bend is bad design, everything about it suggests it should do so, from its name to the way it looks and how its modules conjoint.

    The seatruck is an attempt at making things different, and every new thing brings a truckload of work. This work pays off though, if one pulls it off.

    Every time I think of an example in moving scenery interacting with the character Shadow of the Colossus comes to mind. Loved that game. Climbing, jumping and running over moving monsters, some of which who did bend, was amazing.
    I don't remember it glitching back in the ps2, it certainly did (as all games do), but was rare enough to not happen to me in the hundreds of hours I invested in it.
  • darrindarrin Frankfurt; Germany Join Date: 2019-02-15 Member: 250965Members Posts: 51 Advanced user
    edited August 23
    @Maalteromm, please excuse if I won't use quotes (due to the large images).

    First of all, the intersection point I've talked about would be the center of your sphere. Indifferent of the approach though, two openings would be needed to connect two modules... and that's the problematic part.

    And just to make it clear: I'm not totally against the SeaTruck design.
    But I would focus on a completely different aspect => design your own caravan.

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    There are some lovely examples of how to transform limited space into a cosy living room.

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    But in order to achieve this, Below Zero would have to introduce a single, fully customizable module that uses the given space very efficiently. In other words, way better than this:

    wuj3i9dk2jd9.jpg

    If you take a closer look though, you can already see the potential. The grey segments on the wall could represent 'customizing hooks', i.e. predefined positions to customize the module. The difference between the left and the right side of the image would then represent different layouts to choose from.

    To the left - a large central section (for a window, aquarium, wall planter or monitor) and two thin sections at each side (for jukebox speakers, plant shelves, lockers or fire extinguishers)

    And to the right - three more or less identical sections (for fabricators, wall lockers, radios, med stations, vending machines or the wall-mounted emergency seats from Subnautica 1).

    The bench on the lower left side could be one of the options for a lower wall or floor customization. These can be placed at each side... or even as overhead lockers. A player could choose from a single large storage, two smaller storages, a half-storage-half-bench design... or some fancy stuff (additional plant shelves, a desk, or a bench that would also be a foldable bed... just folded differently).

    I'd even love to see a customizable floor and ceiling. Maybe an aquarium ceiling. a top-mounted weather/satelite station, additional solar panels or camera drones. Maybe a glass floor, a floor-hatch or some grav-based resource collectors.
    (Well, why not even some grav-pads or an air cushion extension for above-ground movement?).

    The point is, the more things can be added to a single compartment, the fewer compartments will be necessary... and that will decrease the current issues significantly.




  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 531 Advanced user
    I like the caravan idea, and agree that fewer compartments is better.
    The modular compartments idea is very good, it would be nice to see it properly implemented.
  • SirenSiren Denmark Join Date: 2019-10-06 Member: 254949Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    My issue with the Seatruck is the sound. Just because it is named 'truck' doesn't mean it should sound like one. Considering the great many hours that will be spent piloting it, it should not be such an industrial and annoying sound. I wish it sounded more like the Seamoth or similar.
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