Idea to make orbiter more rewarding

Urwumpe

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The fact is, however, that some people - me for example - want to Play. So if there is an upgrade - new Orbiter version released - all players should say "Wow! We now have a better Orbiter to play with. Lets roll !!".
But in the situation, when half of the Orbiter functionality is embedded inside various addons which can be updated after half a year or so... or can be never updated as well, players say "Aha... new Orbiter has been released - now we have to wait and be patient...:blink:"

Yes, absolutely. You want to consume. You get something for free and essentially think you deserved it by divine providence or for being simply a great guy.

But the reality is: Orbiter itself is developed by a single person. This person is not paid for it. He does it for fun, fame, or simply because nobody stops him.

Every new feature put into the core of Orbiter means this single person has to devote time into it. Limited time.

We are used to wait a few years for a new version of Orbiter, but that doesn't matter for most of us. We have add-ons, that arrive often, work well. Or we develop them. For fun, fame or because we like to be a nuisance.

The add-ons enhance the core functions of Orbiter. That is also something that works well. Other people add a part of their life-time to make Orbiter better.

This way, the add-ons help making Orbiter much better than the single main developer himself alone could. And much more interesting.

The big issue I see as developer: We have lost our middle-ware. We used to have some frameworks to make developing more complex add-ons easier. They are missing now. Much worse, we lack framework developers, people who have a) the time and b) the skills to do that. Either they are too old and too busy having a real life. Or too young and unexperienced.

I remember when we had frameworks, that allowed writing a new launch vehicle with only a few lines of own code. Now most of the code won't work, but it is still there.
 

Face

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Someone can even say: "Why to publish a new Orbiter version at all? It changes nothing... If you are bored off the current version you can always download a beta".

Such a situation is a good way to kill the interest to death...

The fact that Orbiter survived for so long with the current work-mode - combined with the fact that you are a newbie here - is not a good foundation to take your arguments for anything other but polemics.

Also, you've mentioned multiplayer in your first 10 posts or so :facepalm: .

My suggestion would be to take your time and enjoy Orbiter as it is. I guess it will stick around longer than your interest might last ;) .

---------- Post added at 21:35 ---------- Previous post was at 21:19 ----------

The big issue I see as developer: We have lost our middle-ware. We used to have some frameworks to make developing more complex add-ons easier. They are missing now. Much worse, we lack framework developers, people who have a) the time and b) the skills to do that. Either they are too old and too busy having a real life. Or too young and unexperienced.

I remember when we had frameworks, that allowed writing a new launch vehicle with only a few lines of own code. Now most of the code won't work, but it is still there.

You have some experience in open-source development, and you are not too old or too busy (don't say you are, I see your post-count :lol: ). Why not start some open-source middle-ware project?

But wait! You did, right? What was it? CVS (Common vessel somesuch)? What happened?

Also, what about Multistage2015 and Spacecraft4? Is that not middle-warey enough? Well, OK, SC4 is still not fully compatible and only vinka knows when SC5 is out, but hey, it's something.
 

Urwumpe

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You have some experience in open-source development, and you are not too old or too busy (don't say you are, I see your post-count :lol: ). Why not start some open-source middle-ware project?

:lol: Post count says little about the time I spend for Orbiter, but you are right. I just have different priorities right now, I try to find a good template for CMake to be used for Orbiter add-ons. :lol: Much more basic than a framework maybe. But interesting.

But you are damn right there, I wouldn't mention frameworks and the pain with them, if I wouldn't be coding a framework. :lol: Actually its the third or fourth attempt to find a good design, but I terribly fail.

Also, there is already libUltra, which is pretty good as base for a framework, but a bit too SSU centric maybe.

But wait! You did, right? What was it? CVS (Common vessel somesuch)? What happened?

CVEL ... it was Davers and DH219/Hendos brain child, I did some early add-ons based on it. garyw was also around the OrbiterIRC gang back then. Was the time when I did my first orbiter add-ons.
 

boogabooga

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For all intents and purposes, what is being suggested here-the gamification of Orbiter- has, to a large extent, been done already. It's called Kerbal Space Program. It already does most of what you guys are suggesting. It has been doing all that sort of planet-scanning fake "science" stuff for years. And it's great at it.

It's also occupied an entire team of full-time professionals for 5 years.

You all are welcome to develop whatever you want for Orbiter, but I am skeptical that you will come up with something better than KSP in the end.

Orbiter has a different niche as a realistic spaceflight simulation, and I am quite happy to have it this way.
 

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Orbiter has a different niche as a realistic spaceflight simulation, and I am quite happy to have it this way.

Me too. No it's not "gamification". It's adding "gaming elements" (just for giving a name to it) for immersion. This is going the wrong way. I started this topic not for the game vs sim argument.

Like birdmanmike said;
And I've been simulating on all three for some good years . . . 'nuff said? There's more than enough "games" to play, after all . . .

We can do a pissing contest on who is the most hardcore simmer, and I can bet everybody who "plays" orbiter for years would "play" all kinds of flightsims or other high fidelity sims. But this word "gaming" is distancing everybody from the discussion and this word was not introduced by me.

A lot of add-ons that are not considered realistic are still popular and keep another part of the orbiter community engaged for example. You can warp, fly in battlecruisers etc.

In DCS, one of the best combat flight sims, there is a roleplaying element. And campains, and points scoring, a journal, mission fail, mission succes, something that tracks your achievements. Is this then considered a game?
I don't think so. The instruments on the A-10 can ALL be used, set, pointed, be shot. Imagine this on your satellite. With less destructive results. :lol:

My point is think of this as a goal: A fully representative realistic satellite with correct procedures and manoeuvres. This idea of me are the first steps to get to this level of fidelity.
 

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face said:
The fact that Orbiter survived for so long with the current work-mode - combined with the fact that you are a newbie here - is not a good foundation to take your arguments for anything other but polemics.

I may be a newbie on the forum, but I played Orbiter in the year 2005 and I follow its development since then. My interest is not uninterrupted but I'm returning to it from time to time.

face said:
Also, you've mentioned multiplayer in your first 10 posts or so .p
Oh, crap! And mentioning a multiplayer on this forum is a heresy! Sorry, but if so - it is your problem, not mine.

face said:
I guess it will stick around longer than your interest might last .
My interest of space simulations lasts since the year 1994 and it made me a programmer in fact, so I think it will last for a couple of years more ;)


Urwumpe said:
Yes, absolutely. You want to consume. You get something for free and essentially think you deserved it by divine providence or for being simply a great guy.

I don't know who is more nasty: the player who actually "want to consume" (as a majority of players usually do) or the developer who think that if he have graciously moved the bottom once and published couple of addons, the whole world has nothing to do but to adore him from this moment.

Urwumpe said:
Every new feature put into the core of Orbiter means this single person has to devote time into it. Limited time.

The planetary ground level maps are also a "new feature". Is it easier to develop a feature from scratch or to incorporate the features developed by others?

Urwumpe said:
Or we develop them. For fun, fame or because we like to be a nuisance.
Aha. Good to know. Because if I am doing my programming I'm doing it for fun, for business, or to help the others. Just... small difference.
 

Urwumpe

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Aha. Good to know. Because if I am doing my programming I'm doing it for fun, for business, or to help the others. Just... small difference.

Fine. Then help us. Or help yourself. :lol:

(And don't worry, I am evil. I was born that way. :cool:)
 

jedidia

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Oh, crap! And mentioning a multiplayer on this forum is a heresy! Sorry, but if so - it is your problem, not mine.

There's... reasons... :shifty:

You're making the exact same mistake a lot of people with your ideas have made. You start fighting over a justification for your ideas instead of starting to implement them.
 

Urwumpe

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You're making the exact same mistake a lot of people with your ideas have made. You start fighting over a justification for your ideas instead of starting to implement them.

Exactly. If you think your idea is the best invention since sliced bread, you should be the first to implement it and work hardest to get it done. :rolleyes:
 

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Me too. No it's not "gamification". It's adding "gaming elements" (just for giving a name to it) for immersion. This is going the wrong way. I started this topic not for the game vs sim argument.

Good idea...let's go back to the original topic.

So basicly to make satelites/probes more "immersive", we need a mix of:
-TDRS addon, which seems to be simulating some kind of "hypothetical line of sight-logic".
So this logic takes care about vessel-orientation vs. ground/satelite-receiver and distance.

-Some part of the MT4-vessel logic, which takes care about data-transmission time vs. vessel-attitude(line of sight to reciever).
Also distance should influence data-transmission data.

-MBR_ITS solar-array logic(use-selectable in case of i.e. nuclear-driven systems):
To determine power available at solar-cells to "power" the data-transmitter and to speed-up data-transmission.

For the beginning, it might be enough to transmit some data we allready have...i.e. some data from the bodies' CFGs.

This could be extended later with i.e. additional CFGs with more (wiki-like) information in it (i.e. just a free-form txt-file...to keep it simple)

The received data could be then displayed in a remote MFD (i.e.running on a ground-ops data recieving "vessel").

To summarize, this addons might be helpfull for this idea:

[ame="http://orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=6231"]Space Network Plugin[/ame]
[ame="http://orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=6019"]ELIS - MT4[/ame]
[ame="http://orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=5958"]ITS solar panels modules[/ame]
[ame="http://orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=3269"]Notes MFD[/ame]
 

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Me too. No it's not "gamification". It's adding "gaming elements" (just for giving a name to it) for immersion.

Adding "gaming elements" to something most would consider not-a-game is pretty much the definition of gamification. It doesn't matter why you're adding them. That's not a bad thing by any stretch, but it is definitely gamification.

I'm not going to stick my oar in on whether this is a good idea or not, but I will give you this bit of cautionary advice usually given to first time games developers:
Come up with an estimate for how long you think it is going to take. Double it and add 1/3. That will give you a reasonable estimate for how long it is actually likely to take.
 

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I would call this idea more as "aproach-simulation to improve immersion".
He menioned it....you need to be i.e. at XX km altitude to "probe" for i.e. atmsophere-data.
So a difficult mission, using something semi-realsitic like i.e. the Chapman-Probes, could be even extended to more on-orbital ops after reaching the target.
This would increase the workload to plan a successfully mission and would increase the learning-curve in my opinion.
So for me, this sounds like a good idea and most of the needed code is allready there.
It "just" needs to be combined into a generic MFD.
 

Face

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So for me, this sounds like a good idea and most of the needed code is allready there.
It "just" needs to be combined into a generic MFD.

If so, "just" do it, as the Nike would say. Put up some POC, see how big the interest really is, how many people still support your work, then plan ahead.
 

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I also always wanted to do more in Orbiter than just fly vehicles. After all it is such a great sandbox, the whole Solar system is for you to do what you want. Now it's even more so after the addition of terrain.

With the addons system it can be turned to almost any game with realistic travel between planets and places (I especially like the realism of Orbiter, never was interested enough in fictional space games).

A few years ago I tried to realize the project that would also serve to make the simulation a little more immersive, but it was very different from the idea of planet scanning suggested by Longjap. It was about adding economics and production to Orbiter - thread. Two main points is that you travel between places with the purpose of transporting goods and that you don't have everything for free, ultimately making missions more rewarding. I think about reviving this project now and then. It's just an example of what can be done in Orbiter, possibilities are countless and I welcome all of them.
 

Urwumpe

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You know why I put the word "JUST" in quotes ?

Because your plan right now looks like that:


  1. One Vision
  2. A kind of magic happens here
  3. BREAKTHRU! PROFIT! MFD!
:lol:

Now, I don't know what you are going to do, but I would start thinking about reducing the magic to zero and use some more natural numbers for the list. Short: Develop a plan.

If you are thinking "Just" is too much work for you alone, hire people or create interfaces for other people to fill your gaps.
 

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I think Face, Urwumpe and others are making the right point. If you want something different, don't start bleating for "someone" to make your magic a reality - DYOR and DIY.

Just don't try and mess up my Orbiter as from Doc Martin and keep the dreams for add-ons which you/we can take or leave.

(Sadly, I'm one of those too old and busy having a life . . . )
 
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fred18

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Without getting to a philosophic point, I would like just to add that I have been thinking a lot about this point, I don't think it's by chance that two out of 4 addons mentioned in an earlier post were developed by myself (the MT4 and the Space Network). That's because I was trying not only to make something nice to see or nice to travel around but also something to "use" inside the simulation, like a telescope or a simulated data transmission etc.
Even in the Multistage I put the complex flight option with the random engine performance and the mission control simulation to have a sort of "playing" within the sim.

Still my thoughts about this can be summarized in two applications that can be fun to have:
1) a sort of web mission control simulator with a multiplayer approach, using the orbconnect module. That is huge to code and extremely hard to make it work also on the human side but still would be quite immersive, as the multiplayer of flight simulator for example. Especially if the vessels are coded to have also unpredictable malfuctioning etc.
2) for the more classical approach: I was thinking about developing a planetary probe for a single mission (like the galileo or the Juno for jupiter, or the Cassini for Saturn) with a series of built in features like the one mentioned, so for example magnetic fields, pictures and all possible science data to be then broadcasted to earth and generating science reports or something like that. If built for a specific planet or planetary system (i.e. saturn and its moons) it shouldn't be too complicated.

for the 2nd point if instead of a specific planet we are talking about a general system that's totally another story...

Just my thoughts.

Cheers :cheers:
 

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I see...this thread seems to be leading to not something very constructive.
Lonjap came up with...at least in my opinion...a good idea to make missions a bit more realistic/rewarding.
Shortly after the word "gaming" came into the picture, the thread converted into a harsh discussion about "gaming" vs. "simulating".

At least in my case:
I am not "dreaming" about an "attention seeking...profit-making MFD", I am just trying to put some ideas together, how it might work comparing to addons we allready have.
In other words...just "thinking loud" while trying to stay on-topic.


2) for the more classical approach: I was thinking about developing a planetary probe for a single mission (like the galileo or the Juno for jupiter, or the Cassini for Saturn) with a series of built in features like the one mentioned, so for example magnetic fields, pictures and all possible science data to be then broadcasted to earth and generating science reports or something like that. If built for a specific planet or planetary system (i.e. saturn and its moons) it shouldn't be too complicated.

This was exact my idea inspired by your great addons.
I have much respect about your skills and your attitude...not running into much philosophic discussions..."just"(...again in qoutes..) doing it and doing it very well. :tiphat:
 
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Face

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Even in the Multistage I put the complex flight option with the random engine performance and the mission control simulation to have a sort of "playing" within the sim.

And here the productive aspects chime in... you've already done work to put up ideas to "gamify" Orbiter. Do you have feedback on how that feature is received in the community already? How many Orbinauts said "hey, that was fun to do there, I'd play more of that"? How many said "well, nice, but there is bug X and Y and Z because of that, please fix"? Did anybody say "I wouldn't play Orbiter if it wasn't for your <feature>"?

It would be interesting to see answers to these questions.

My point is: ideas to gamify Orbiter are a dime a dozen, there is none in here that I haven't read/heard before. Most of them are really hard to implement if you think about them from the technical standpoint, not from the daydreaming one. Many of them might not be worth the time invested, because they only appeal to a small subset of the community. A proof of concept would be a much better foundation for discussion than just "thinking out loud" here, and it might even help to get huge errors in the concept pointed out early. Plus you'd have something to attract contributors with.
 
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