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#1 2013-08-01 12:33:55

Alex Heartnet
Member
Registered: 2013-08-01
Posts: 2

Dislike for the 3D radar ORB

While I definitely like where this project is going, there's already something I strongly dislike about it.  The 3D radar is too difficult to read.  This is an Inherent problem with the radar concept itself rather then anything technical.

In a dogfight, I want to be able to glance at the radar in a split second and immediately know which direction the enemy is at.  It takes a few seconds of looking at the radar ORB to read it properly - time I don't have in a dogfight.  And if I do have time to look at the radar ORB, then enemies are far enough away that I can find their location by targeting.

There's a game called Independence War that uses the exact same radar type.  In that game the radar ORB was more usable because most every ship was an inertia-heavy corvette, so the player can spare a few seconds to look at the radar ORB.  This is not the case here.

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#2 2013-08-01 12:57:02

PrimalAce
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 10

Re: Dislike for the 3D radar ORB

I'm uncertain what the problems were with the wing commander style radar that resulted in the devs combining it with the radar from X-Wing. I feel that the wing commander style gave you exactly the information you needed to rotate your ship properly to face the enemy without lag in comprehension.

Can we get a detailed explanation on how the current radar implementation actually works? I'm not entirely convinced I understand how it works.

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#3 2013-08-01 15:33:54

Jan Simon
Wings Programmer
From: Germany
Registered: 2013-07-14
Posts: 184

Re: Dislike for the 3D radar ORB

The Wings radar definitely takes some getting used to! We feel, however, that it is more intuitive than either the Wing Commander or the X-Wing radar styles. Imagine it like a three-dimensional sphere. The size of each dot represents the distance to the object, and if the dot is colorful and saturated, it's in front of you, if it's more gray and transparent, it's behind you. If you turn a bit, you should be able to get a good feel for what's around you.

I agree that it's very important to be able to judge what's around you as fast as possible, so I'd like to possibly hear from more of you what you think of our radar system. Does it work for you?

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#4 2013-08-01 15:37:38

PrimalAce
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 10

Re: Dislike for the 3D radar ORB

I think differentiating between front and rear targets needs improving. Some possible solution would be to push the contrast between saturated and unsaturated more. Another would be to actually alter the symbol used from a dot to something else perhaps.

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#5 2013-08-01 17:54:56

Alex Heartnet
Member
Registered: 2013-08-01
Posts: 2

Re: Dislike for the 3D radar ORB

PrimalAce wrote:

I'm uncertain what the problems were with the wing commander style radar that resulted in the devs combining it with the radar from X-Wing. I feel that the wing commander style gave you exactly the information you needed to rotate your ship properly to face the enemy without lag in comprehension.

Can we get a detailed explanation on how the current radar implementation actually works? I'm not entirely convinced I understand how it works.

The larger, light blue/red dots are the ships in front of you.  The smaller, dark blue/red dots are the ships behind you.  (naturally the blue dots are friendlies and the red are enemies).  To use the radar effectively, you have to steer using the radar instead of looking at what is in front of you.  This radar system provides precision at the cost of readability - I find it difficult to track multiple enemies at once using this type of radar.  The radar here seems to be an oval-shape instead of being a perfect sphere like in Independence War.

Wing Commander's radar system is the opposite in this regard - it sacrifices precision for readability (at least for me) With this system, it only takes a split second for me to judge the position of -every- ship in the area instead of just one.  Enemies in front of you are in the middle, enemies behind you are along the edge.  There's a small circle in the center of the radar that represents your cone of sight, as well as a large circle near the edge that distinguishes 'what is behind you' from 'what is off the side of you' .  Wing Commander 3 introduced arrows that point in the direction of enemy ships that are no longer in your view.  Freespace improves this further by indicating not only the direction of other ships but the direction of incoming missiles - important information when you have a dozen missiles coming at you all at once! 

Other games sometimes use other radar systems.  TIE-Fighter has both a forward and rear radar (at least from what I can tell from screenshots, never actually played so correct if wrong).  This would work well, except it manages to be very confusing to read because it doesn't have a small circle in the middle like Wing Commander has.  The questionable HUD layout only adds to this.  However, the HUD also shows you the direction that your target is facing, a feature that was adopted by pretty much every space sim since.

TIE-Fighter also has an inflight map that is separate from the cockpit view.  This is brilliant.  It provides a pseudo-RTS view of the battlefield, and stays readable even if there is an entire fleet in the area. It also makes for an excellent navigational aid.  Naturally, if you have this open, you aren't looking at the main cockpit display!  (unless something is done with multiple computer monitors)

Elite gets a simple 2D radar system which shows you what is in front, side, and behind you - basically a real-like radar display, only in space and not perfectly flat.  It also shows what is above and below you by little lines that extend above or below the radar cross-section, because space is indeed 3D.

Jan Simon wrote:

The Wings radar definitely takes some getting used to! We feel, however, that it is more intuitive than either the Wing Commander or the X-Wing radar styles.Jan Simon]I agree that it's very important to be able to judge what's around you as fast as possible, so I'd like to possibly hear from more of you what you think of our radar system. Does it work for you?

I have 'used' the 3D ORB radar ORB for quite some time courtesy of me playing Independent War 2 from start to finish.  And by 'used', I mean 'never looked at the radar ORB at all'.  So no, it doesn't work for me tongue  With the Wing Commander style radar, I can instantly judge what is around me in a split second, unless the radar is cluttered with dozen upon dozens of contacts (looking at you, Freespace 2 modding community).

Might I suggest a toggle option to be able to use the classic Wing Commander radar?

Last edited by Alex Heartnet (2013-08-01 17:59:23)

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#6 2013-08-01 19:51:41

corsair101
Member
Registered: 2013-07-30
Posts: 4

Re: Dislike for the 3D radar ORB

I actually quite like the radar ORB, i found the desaturated dots and general position to be interesting and a little novel. Not to say the other methods don't have their own advantages either, I very much love the old space combat sims (wing commander, x-wing, freespace etc). I feel like having a slightly different radar serves to differentiate WoSN and adds a little flavour in as well, taking us out of our comfort zone and forcing players to relearn a skill and approach it in a fresh way.

Now if a toggle could be added, that'd please everyone obviously. But I see some merit in the ORB setup.

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#7 2013-09-09 14:43:23

Armondikov
Member
Registered: 2013-09-05
Posts: 16

Re: Dislike for the 3D radar ORB

It's still more readable than DRADIS.

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