"Hidden" planets?

On the radar

Spent way to long looking through the rest of the boards on this one, so I'll just ask it straight out.
I'm wondering if there is a way to hide planets on the radar. I'd been planning to create my universe similar to the Acheron plugin, with different landing sites on the same planet using invisible rleDs. However, given that there is always going to be a small circle on the radar indicative of the landing site which will be outside of the planetary body on the radar, I'm thinking of scrapping this.

Is there a way for these to not show up? Either on the radar at all, or actually inside the planet?

Otherwise I suppose it isn't that big of a deal, just not what I'd wanted. I've included a screenshot of the radar to further explain what the problem is.
Attached File Acheron_radar.jpg (13.23K)
Number of downloads: 4 The little yellow circles are actually on top of the planet, but they show up outside of the planet on the radar.

This may be totally random, but how about a stationary cloaked ship that you have a special scanner for (perhaps a "sensor" that the gövt gives you so you can find their hidden base, or in the case of ports you should always be able to land at, the sensor is part of some standard "ship systems" outfit all ships normally have), and you scan the "ship" which appears on the targeting computer as a port. You hail, and get a mission that teleports you to a hidden system with an enlarged version of the planet, the "secret base" now being the only landable port. On landing, the mission completes, and triggers another hidden mission that returns you to the original system on takeoff, the auto-aborts...

Never tried it. In fact, I just thought it up. Maybe it will work.

This post has been edited by Geek : 01 February 2010 - 06:58 AM

That's pretty clever, Geek, it might work. It could also be a little tricky, but I think it could work.

candrew, as far as I know, there is no way to make spobs invisible on radar. You might as well try out Geek's idea. As for the circles on radar not appearing in the right spot, this one makes very little sense, but it is my observation. It seems the dot on the radar for any spob or ship represents the upper-leftmost of the graphic for the spob or ship, not the center of the spob or ship itself. I don't know why it's done that way, but that seems to be how it's done.

@Geek: On a totally different track than I was thinking, but what you thought of was amazing and I'm going to try and incorporate it into a mission somewhere at sometime for it. I can already foresee stumbling onto some secret base and being whisked away.

As for the question, I might just dump the idea for now until I get everything else lined up in the galaxy. The plan I was intending to enact was to use multiple starports per planet in an effort to reduce the number of systems the player would travel to. Plus, this way a player could really feel the differences and the little details that would make up each individual planet. Think of the city you live in now and how the neighborhoods are so different from one another... now scale that to the whole planet... they were way too homogeneous in EVN for me.

Well, keep in mind, candrew, that the player rarely saw more than the Spaceport when landing, so most things would seem the same from that point of view.

Sorry for jumping in with the late reply. The trick, from what I know, is that you have to give each hidden spob exactly the same sprite and coordinates. The player selects different landing sites by cycling through with the number keys. Otherwise, yes, the different spobs will show up funky on the radar. To have a "hidden" landing site that only shows up at certain times, or after a player sets a certain bit, you'll need to create multiple systs with the same coordinates, set to appear on different bit checks. It's the same as how Nova handles the Sol and Glimmer systems.

Here it is in more technical terms. You create systems A and B. System A and B have the same map coordinates. For the sake of argument, we'll just say they're both 0,0. System A has the appear bit set to !b1, and system B is set to appear on b1. When you set, say, bit 1, system A disappears, and system B with the "secret base" appears. In system A, there is one spob. We'll call it "Bob," just for the fun of it. In system B, there are two spobs, with the same sprite and coordinates. Bob is set to number key 1, and "Bob's secret base," is set to number key two. When the mission ends, you can either unset b1, which would take away the secret base, or you can continue to allow the player access to the secret base.

Regarding the hidden landing site on a planet, that would work but it would look like there's just one planet with different names. The way candrew wants to do it, and the way it was done in Acheron, make it so each city actually has a different location on the planet. This way, the player must actually fly to a different part of the planet to get to another port. Plus, the multiple dots on the radar could be explained as the radar picking up on the energy readings of the different ports.

In short, I prefer the way it was done in Acheron.

I've never tried it with Nova, but in Override it was very simple; you could pull it off by putting a second (smaller) planet in the same area, at a lower nav. I.e. planet is nav#1, secret base is #2. That's how it worked in the Frozen Heart. You could try with numbers higher or lower, and try alternatively putting the planet in the 1-4 with the base in the 5-16s, and vice versa.

EDIT: But wait, there's more! Old topics on Cool Nova Hacks, on how to hide inhabited planets:
http://www.ambrosiasw.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=93523

Good luck!

This post has been edited by n64mon : 10 February 2010 - 10:23 PM

Unless you have a HUGE spob sprite, I don't think that's really all that practical to have the player actually maneuver the ship to different locations onscreen.

On the hiding spobs in terms of giving it an uninhabited system, I will really have to remember that.

This post has been edited by krugeruwsp : 11 February 2010 - 05:39 PM

Actually, the graphics for planets in Acheron were pretty big and the graphics for the spaceports were small enough you did need to move around a bit most of the time. Haven't you played it?

Thanks to all for keeping this goin' while I've been "away." As some of you may know, DC got hit with a pretty bad snowstorm. Last week I lost power (and heat) so I've spent the last week at a friends place unable to get back home.

But, now a week later, I'm back in business.

@Kruger: At the moment I'm planning to use planets that are around 300-400 pixels in diameter each, with moons and space stations anywhere between 50 and 200 pixels in diameter. I figure that at this point everyone runs EVN on a higher resolution setting than it originally came out as - we might as well use the extra screenspace.
Also, there are a number of timed events in the story that I'm working on where certain systems do undergo the exact changes you were talking about by toggling visibilities.

@n64mon: I guess I wasn't super clear in my first question. The original question wasn't in regard to have hidden spaceports (or cities) that are secrets, in fact the alluded to spaceports are suppose to be the primary landing sites in the system which a player can select with the function keys. Rather, I was wondering if there was any way to "hide" the radar blip of the spaceport-spob . The intent was to be able to access different cities on the same planet, to attempt to provide a more (incoming Palm-to-Face) "real" environment.

Ideally I wouldn't need to "hide" the spaceports on the radar screen. Not only would the individual cities not show up at all on the radar, but the player would be so involved in the story that you know where the different cities are on each planet. The end goal is to create a universe that is so vast that the player is actually completely unaware of some of the other storylines that are being acted out elsewhere in the galaxy. My hope is that the player becomes so invested that they are no longer "completing missions" but rather are part of a fluid story.

Sounds awesome, candrew, I can't wait!

QUOTE (darthkev @ Feb 11 2010, 09:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, the graphics for planets in Acheron were pretty big and the graphics for the spaceports were small enough you did need to move around a bit most of the time. Haven't you played it?

Have not, actually. I've been so preoccupied with the Firefly TC that I haven't had much time to play with much else. It's on my list of to-do's, along with CTC. Unfortunately, being a full time teacher sucks up most of my play time.

@ candrew
I'm thinking that if you wanted to create a more seamless story (or more realistic one,) you'd want to go with the same-sprite-same-coordinates-select-by-number solution. Even at 300-400 pixels large, you probably won't get far enough away from each landing sprite to get to the point where Nova won't let you land because you're too far away unless you're completely on the other side of the sprite or your landing spob sprites were the size of the Auroran listening posts. If that were the case, you'd have exactly the same issue as you have now.

If you're going for a more fluid style of play, I would personally find that frustrating to have to piddle around trying to get to exactly the right spot on the screen to get to the spaceport I'm looking for, even if the graphic were 1500x1500 and the ports were spread out over several hundred pixels. I like the idea of a huge graphic, as it would make things look a bit more realistic, but I do think it would be somewhat frustrating.

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