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Docking/Undocking Animation

First post
Author
Demyen
Araata-Teiva Kamloss
#121 - 2013-05-02 18:51:24 UTC
Immersion, immersion, immersion, immersion.

Start by thinking about how docking and undocking would work if EVE were real. The technology, the processes, the communication, what's automated and what's not, how collisions are avoided, *everything.* Then distill that down to something that works for an online game, but keeps the soul of the "real thing." Heck, talk to the IP guys or ISD Mercury.

EVE is real. CCP's job is just giving us a window into New Eden, one sliver at a time.
Kytayn
Kronos TEchnologies
#122 - 2013-05-02 19:45:51 UTC
Demyen wrote:
Immersion, immersion, immersion, immersion.

Start by thinking about how docking and undocking would work if EVE were real. The technology, the processes, the communication, what's automated and what's not, how collisions are avoided, *everything.* Then distill that down to something that works for an online game, but keeps the soul of the "real thing." Heck, talk to the IP guys or ISD Mercury.

EVE is real. CCP's job is just giving us a window into New Eden, one sliver at a time.

Bingo. I was thinking about what is supposed to be happening on undock...

Your pod interface comes up and begins to provide ship data to you. As you undock you have only the station feed, but as you exit into space, your camera parasite drones deploy and begin feeding visual data. Your overview loads as well as any info panels needed to reflect your current status.

What would that look like?

Click undock...

Station interior or docking ring view begins to overlay with module status indicators coming on-line (ship begins to move toward station exit).

As the ship moves toward the exit, shield / armor / hull display initializes.

As the ship enters space camera drone initialization messages scroll briefly and the perspective shifts quickly to the standard camera drone view as the scanner takes a pass on local space.

You've undocked, it still takes only a few seconds, but it's really the undock process visualized for you.

Somewhere on the screen you still get the Abort button.

Be careful in Pulsar systems, you might get Pod Flu.

(Bio for YouTube reading)

Mire Stoude
Virtual Nomads
Domain Research and Mining Inst.
#123 - 2013-05-02 20:12:00 UTC
Hit the button once and you dock/undock w/ the animation. If you hit it twice in a row you do a fast dock/undock.
Callic Veratar
#124 - 2013-05-02 20:15:24 UTC
No matter how this is done, I think it will require one fixed length animation and one dynamic one.

For undocking, I'm imagining something similar to how acceleration gates currently work:

1) A quick 1-2s for the ship to move out of the private hangar into the undock tunnel. The ship would need to move fairly quickly, possibly assisted by the station.
2) Dynamic launcher that accelerates you up to undock speed and keeps you in a blurry tunnel until loading has finished and spits you out into loaded space. If this is done right, we could even have the undock point be 10-20km from the station to stop docking games.

The animations in the channel might need to be modified slightly to show ships moving in slowly and out rapidly (using models according to other players docking/undocking would be a bonus).


I have no idea how to work docking as we can land anywhere on a station and get pulled in the dock point, meaning either models or warp points will need to be modified for an animation to make sense.

1) Dynamic drift into the station, once the station UI is loaded, swap to:
2) The ship is pulled off into a private hangar.

The second bit happens after the UI is up, so there's no waiting.


This may be a significantly bigger discussion, but giving a player the option of what docking ramp to warp to on a station might be a really neat option. In addition, allowing you to select a different ramp to undock on. Combined with throwing you away from the station on undock would change the station games. It makes undocking players harder to catch (who knows which side they'll fly out and how far they'll go) but also makes undocking much less safe (as you could be flung out into a bubble).
Elder Ozzian
Perkone
Caldari State
#125 - 2013-05-02 20:34:00 UTC
End with the station games! Give us a 2 min docking / undocking cinematic that you cannot skip. That makes me (as a wormhole dweller) happy - you don't want to hide anymore!

I disagree!

Totalrx
NA No Assholes
#126 - 2013-05-02 21:06:20 UTC
Skeln Thargensen wrote:
blue danube plz


Ah, the days of the wire frame space station slowly rotating.

God I loved Elite (C64 version for me)
KuroVolt
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#127 - 2013-05-03 04:32:49 UTC
I agree that we have been spoiled by instadocking/undocking.

I wouldnt mind if it took a but longer for a nice animation, would make everything feel real.


And seeing as everyone would get this animation anyway, nobody can complain that they are disadvantaged by it.

BoBwins Law: As a discussion/war between two large nullsec entities grows longer, the probability of one comparing the other to BoB aproaches near certainty.

Flamespar
WarRavens
#128 - 2013-05-03 05:32:56 UTC
Can we expect to eventually get an animation that transitions between the CQ and hanger/ CQ and undock

Even just having the avatar walk down the stairs towards an opening pod and then fading to black could be good.
Proddy Scun
Doomheim
#129 - 2013-05-09 00:24:02 UTC  |  Edited by: Proddy Scun
Demyen wrote:
Immersion, immersion, immersion, immersion.
Start by thinking about how docking and undocking would work if EVE were real. The technology, the processes, the communication, what's automated and what's not, how collisions are avoided, *everything.* Then distill that down to something that works for an online game, but keeps the soul of the "real thing." Heck, talk to the IP guys or ISD Mercury.

EVE is real. CCP's job is just giving us a window into New Eden, one sliver at a time.



Except CCP vision for EVE is pretty primitive compared to TODAY. There should be no break in exterior visibility. The difference between wireless connection to station exterior cameras and scans (gee yeah station has system scans) and change over to ship's camera drones should be transparent. The old loss of visibility due to disconnect of hardwires and clearing atmosphere belongs to late 1960s-early 1970s space programs.

And while guns, engines and shields may not go HOT inside station - their computers and interfaces should be full up and simply locked in docked mode. If station does not trust you not to somehow override...easy solution: launch tube is also bore sight of big gauss gun (also useful for discouraging hostile boardings) where you become the bullet . lowest (normal) setting you experience mild acceleration and on high (emergency eject) your hull starts crushing and contents become jelly under 5000G's.

Cold launches of dead ships which then check if they can power up or have system failures from last module install...costly economics.

Sad Cold launches are simply CCP serving that crowd that loves helpless targets. Squeakest wheel concept. Big petition from other side and CCP will reverse itself. Except of course whiney angry pirate types are noisier and more vocal than 10 times their weight in moderate ordinary players.

Shocked Thus EVE tends to be a game driven by extreme philosophies of what fun fair and realistic is. Note CCP prefers it that way because vocal EQUALS viral advertising. That is why CCP avoids bland surveys which reflect actual player population preferences. Long live the radicals in CSM and forums.
Faulker Gath'nor
The Gold Angels
Sixth Empire
#130 - 2013-05-09 01:46:57 UTC
Perhaps make it an option if you have the Captains Quarters activated.
As that represents perhaps a "different playstyle", it could be a good addition.

Or just an "Express Undock" button, down there with the already existent "Undock"... whats one more button at this point?
Kuang Jao
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#131 - 2013-05-09 02:38:42 UTC
I actually find this to be a bit of a conundrum. The majority of players here enjoy Eve because of it's level of realism (relative to other games, with their hearthstones and death mechanics, etc.). The idea that I can dock my ship in a massive station, move my pod from one ship to another (which "magically" appears, btw), then undock the new ship and be back in space all in a matter of seconds is quite preposterous. Yet, remove the ability to do this and the Eve faithful will complain.

The only course is to make it optional then. However, dev hours would be committed to something that would, most likely, be watched once by most players and then disabled forever. Bit of a waste.

It seems to me that including an undocking animation at the launch of the game, back in 2003, would have been the only way to pull this off without upsetting players. And to me, with all the other "unrealism" going on regarding docking mechanics, a short clip of a ship floating down a hallway would be unnecessary fluff.
Adunh Slavy
#132 - 2013-05-09 03:11:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Adunh Slavy
Docking and undocking has become pretty quick compared to days gone by. Not sure how much time there is for a scene of much impact or immersion. Same with the new jump gates, looks pretty but system change times are pretty darn quick these days.

However, just sitting around the hangar could be much more interesting. I'd like to see people walking around loading and unloading cargo, fueling ships, the sparkle and flash of some welding being done by some guy in an Anti-Grav suit. I'd like to see other ships on neighboring pads, perhaps the ships that have been docked by actual players. Would like to look down the "hall" and see the ships that are docking and undocking, not that I would know who they are of course or interact with them in anyway, just add some traffic and life to the scene.

These stations are huge, and lots and lots of people live on them,, and we never see them.

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.  - William Pitt

Tsunamicom
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#133 - 2013-05-09 05:01:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Tsunamicom
For those who want to see more cowbell at stations:
I think the Docking and Undocking animation should actually be lengthened (Able to turn off in Game Options, but set as Default) to include the recharging of shields and capacitor by in-station arrays WHILE you are passing through the corridors to your spot inside the station, as well as other interesting animations and sprites along the way. Maybe even have 4 tractor beams lock onto your ship from outside the station when you select to dock (when 'waiting') and pull you inside and through each corridor. Once you arrive at your spot in the station, you would then be able to modify or repair your ship like before. At this point there would be even more animations like crew floating around and so forth. When you repair or refit, the crew or bots come to your ship and let you actually see the work being done (this would be especially cool to see with Strategic Cruisers and Capital Ships. You could revamp the station Item Hangar to also include a place to see the modules you're installing be view-able within your hangar around a fast-moving rotating rack, being pulled off the rack by the bots, and placed on your ship (and vice versus). Naturally, this would increase the time it takes to do ANYTHING inside the station, but I'd imagine it would be the eye-candy that would be worth the few seconds extra it might take for many players. Let's put those modelers to work!

Although for those who really don't want to deal with docking and undocking all the time:
Perhaps add something that will allow us to accept and/or complete missions with Agents from within the same Region. Maybe even make a Social skill that would increase the range you can do this, or base it on Standing. If the mission requires an item, then the player would need to come to the Agent's station to get it or drop it off of course, and any mission reward would be left at the station for the player to go get at their convenience. This would reduce the need to actually be transitioning in and out of the station, and I would assume would also be slightly server-load friendly since you don't have players loading in and out of the stations all the time (not that I'm claiming I know anything about how the server mechanics work). It would keep players out in space longer, which would mean more opportunities for profit or loss (PVP). As much as we like our Agents, we don't need to handshake on every deal. We can just text them or something.

Picks up the Comm with the Agent:
"Hey yeah, I killed the princess like you asked. What? Yeah she's really dead. Well you didn't ask me to get her DNA before I took her out. What do you mean I have to show up at your station?! I just TOLD you the same thing I'm going to tell you when I get there. Okay fine. I'm on my way."
Adela Talvanen
School of Applied Knowledge
Caldari State
#134 - 2013-05-09 11:42:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Adela Talvanen
KuroVolt wrote:
This is the one Im really looking forward to.

But all of a sudden it hit me: While I would love to see my ship fly towards the exit of its hangar and towards the main docking/undocking bay of the station, such an animation would take alot more time than a loading bar so it would probably not be very well recieved by the more *get down to bussiness* players.

Would you mind taking a few seconds longer to dock/undock in the name of immersion?
And if not: What animation could CCP possibly add that only takes about the same time the current undock does and still feels realistic?



A little tick box in the settings window would suffice. You don't want to see the animation tick the box to switc it off, you want the immersion, leave the box un ticked.

Solved.

I would like the animation, I'd also like to see traffic of other players going in either direction in the docking bay tunnel entrance, so the station doesn't feel like a ghost town. AND I'd like to see the pod shuttle carry my avatar to my ship.
Muad 'dib
Digital Ghosts
#135 - 2013-05-09 12:29:42 UTC
Uzbeg Khan wrote:
Docking/jump graphics and station interiors are very important aspects of the game.


windows?!

CCP like to avoid windows, last time they messed with windows they deleted the boot.ini

Cosmic signature detected. . . . http://i.imgur.com/Z7NfIS6.jpg I got 99 likes, and this post aint one.

Niddengolliah
Limit Everyone Nowhere Kingdom
#136 - 2013-05-09 12:59:44 UTC  |  Edited by: Niddengolliah
This is the current iteration of undocking in SiSi:
YouTube link

To be honest it looks pretty good, would like to see the ship start moving towards the exit while the lights start blinking (some sirens would be nice too Big smile ).

EDIT: Nevermind, turns out you can abort by clicking undock again!
Adela Talvanen
School of Applied Knowledge
Caldari State
#137 - 2013-05-09 13:16:30 UTC
Mr Kronos wrote:
I know *no-one* (cough), uses the CQ, but the exit and entering pod sequences?


I do. Roll
Ylariana
School of Applied Knowledge
Caldari State
#138 - 2013-05-09 13:39:09 UTC
Personally, I think that anything that extends the time taken to transition from one game environ to another (station to space, system to system) is wasted effort. Once you have seen the animation 1,2,5,50 times it stops being immersion and becomes something to ignore while you wait to do what you play the game to do.
The new Gate Jump sequence is a good example, Its pretty, my jaw dropped when i saw it the first time, but if it makes the system change take longer I dont see any use in adding it. Call it a Transitional Animation or John Smith for all I care, its just a disguise for a loading bar.

Same Length of Time for Transition or dont add it in without a Disable Animation option.
KuroVolt
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#139 - 2013-05-09 14:10:25 UTC
Ylariana wrote:
Personally, I think that anything that extends the time taken to transition from one game environ to another (station to space, system to system) is wasted effort. Once you have seen the animation 1,2,5,50 times it stops being immersion and becomes something to ignore while you wait to do what you play the game to do.
The new Gate Jump sequence is a good example, Its pretty, my jaw dropped when i saw it the first time, but if it makes the system change take longer I dont see any use in adding it. Call it a Transitional Animation or John Smith for all I care, its just a disguise for a loading bar.

Same Length of Time for Transition or dont add it in without a Disable Animation option.


The gate jump animation does one other thing you forget to mention:

The lack of seeing a loading bar makes it feel less like you just joined another instance and more like its one fluid world.

BoBwins Law: As a discussion/war between two large nullsec entities grows longer, the probability of one comparing the other to BoB aproaches near certainty.

Ruskarn Andedare
Lion Investments
#140 - 2013-05-09 14:42:56 UTC
I think the crucial thing is that everyone's undock takes exactly the same time regardless of their hardware, connection speed or whether or not they have the animations activated.

Though I do like the ideas of :
1. an 'emergency undock' which is quicker but can do random damage to a ship.
2. a Station Navigation skill that reduces dock/undock time by 10% a level.