On Scale and Perspective

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On Scale and Perspective

Postby Samee3 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:24 pm

Both BF1 and BF2 use the same units of measure: Meters. This allows for simpler math when calculating distance and speed.
What I find interesting is how the game handles scale. Things are usually portrayed way out of scale/proportion.

For example, the speed at which units travel is absolutely ridiculous.
In stock BF2, the base soldier class runs at about 7 Meters per Second. That's 25 Kilometers per Hour, or almost 16 Miles per Hour. Sprinting applies a multiplier of 1.5.
So, your generic soldier dude can sprint 37.8 Kilometers per Hour, or about 23.5 Miles per Hour. In full gear. :faint:
I went out with a GPS and got about 3.2m/s for a basic jog, and about 7.5m/s for a controllable sprint.

Acceleration is also atrocious. That same generic soldier accelerates from a standstill to a full run (7m/s) at 70 m/s^2, or in about 0.1 seconds.
Sprinting happens in the similarly short time of 0.35 seconds. You are welcome to grab a stopwatch, and go see how fast you can reach a full sprint. Strap on a weight vest and grab an airsoft gun for some added realism.

Then, we have lasers, or blaster 'bolts'. In stock BF2, a basic rifle propels its 'bolts' at 300m/s, or about 985ft/s. A sniper round travels at 2000m/s, or about 6568ft/s. That is pretty feeble compared to a real 'laser' which travels at 299,792,458m/s, or about 983,571,056ft/s.
A 5.56x45mm NATO round has an average muzzle velocity of about 900m/s, and the 7.62x54 NATO round averages about 800m/s.
The common 9x19mm Parabellum round averages about 375m/s.

Missiles are another matter entirely. Your basic rocket in BF2 flies at 100m/s or about 328ft/s. In space, rockets and torpedoes alike move along at 350m/s, or about 1148ft/s, or just over Mach 1. In the real world, one of the most common Air-to-Air missiles, the AIM-9 Sidewinder, cruises along at over Mach 2.5, or 850m/s. The enormous AIM-54 Phoenix Air-to-Air missile doubles that at Mach 5, or 1701m/s. The popular AT4 launcher has a muzzle velocity of about 400m/s.


Perhaps you are getting the idea by now, but I haven't even covered distance yet. And I mean distance in-game.

When it comes to distance, anything that has to do with space in-game is portrayed terribly. Everything from the size of space maps, to where the orbital strike weapon fires from is WAY under scale.

Let's start with orbital strike. It fires from 600 meters in the sky. That's 1968 feet, 0.6 kilometers, or 0.37 miles.
For scale, Mount Everest towers at 8848 meters, 29029 feet, 5.5 miles, or 8.85 kilometers.
They typical cruising altitude for a passenger jet, like the Boeing 74, is about 10,000 meters.
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird can reach over 25,000 meters.
But even that pales in comparison to the International Space Station, which orbits the Earth at 408,773 meters, 254 miles, 1,341,120 feet, or 409 kilometers.

Then, there is the size of capital ships. An Imperial-Class Star Destroyer is said to be about 1600 meters long, which is just shy of 1 mile.
On the other hand, an MC80 Home One type Star Cruiser is supposed to be about 1200 meters in length, or about 0.75 miles.
The Venator-Class Cruiser comes in at 1137 meters, and the Providence-class Dreadnought is about 2177 meters.

And that is just the capital ships. The frigates are another story entirely.
The CR90 Corvette: 150 meters
The Acclamator-class Heavy Cruiser: 752 meters
The Munificent-class Star Frigate: 825 meters
The Victory-II Class Frigate: supposedly 500 meters


None of the ships mentioned above are displayed to proper scale in-game.

For scale reference, most large ships (carriers and battleships) in the modern world measure in at around 300 meters.


Hidden/Spoiler:
My point in this long, rant-like, essay-like post, is that scale is important. Just because something works well on a small map doesn't mean that it will work equally well on a larger map, and vice-versa.
I know huge maps aren't the most popular among veteran modders, but I think that is mostly due to improper design.
In no way am I saying that most of the mods I've played aren't fun, but rather that they could be made even better with some attention to the less flashy aspects. If you do make a mod with units that move at realistic speeds, lasers that behave like lasers, or properly scaled battlefields, it will take some time to get used to the differences. You could say that it's an acquired taste. But if done properly, I can assure you it is worth it.

Hidden/Spoiler:
I could say a lot more on this matter, but there is a limit to how long posts can be.
Last edited by Samee3 on Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Marth8880 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:47 pm

Samee3 wrote:I could say a lot more on this matter, but there is a limit to how long posts can be.

It appears that scale applies to more than just games, eh? :)


As for the actual subject matter:

While, yes, Battlefront technically portrays these things super unrealistically, it's portrayed this way for the betterment of the game design and player experience. Most players aren't going to want to spend most of the gameplay loop sprinting everywhere (especially with limited sprint!), they'd likely get bored super-fast. Think about it for a moment: does holding Shift+W while occasionally moving the mouse really sound all that exciting? The player isn't really doing anything during that time,

My point in this long, rant-like, essay-like post, is that scale is important, no matter how "realistic" we want out mods to be.

But why is it important and to whom?

I know huge maps aren't the most popular among veteran modders, but I think that is mostly due to improper design.

What are the criteria for "proper design"?

If you do make a mod with units that move at realistic speeds, lasers that behave like lasers, or properly scaled battlefields, it will take some time to get used to the differences. You could say that it's an acquired taste. But if done properly, I can assure you it is worth it.

How did you arrive at this conclusion?

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Samee3 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:35 pm

I will say that most of my ire is directed at space battles, especially the stock ones.

However....

Marth8880 wrote:
My point in this long, rant-like, essay-like post, is that scale is important, no matter how "realistic" we want out mods to be.

But why is it important and to whom?


Perhaps I could have said that better (I was exhausted: long day), but I stand by the belief that scale is important. Unless you are just messing around. But in my experience, those mods don't remain fun for very long. A pistol that shoots nuclear-scale bolts gets old after a while.

Marth8880 wrote:As for the actual subject matter:

While, yes, Battlefront technically portrays these things super unrealistically, it's portrayed this way for the betterment of the game design and player experience. Most players aren't going to want to spend most of the gameplay loop sprinting everywhere (especially with limited sprint!), they'd likely get bored super-fast. Think about it for a moment: does holding Shift+W while occasionally moving the mouse really sound all that exciting? The player isn't really doing anything during that time,

I know huge maps aren't the most popular among veteran modders, but I think that is mostly due to improper design.

What are the criteria for "proper design"?


These are related, so...

The most common argument I read against large maps is, indeed, sprinting everywhere, or rather the desire not to.
But look at how military engagements are in the real world: Soldiers don't run everywhere, they drive.

Therefore, my main criteria for the proper design of a large map is vehicles, both ground-based and flyers. Many of the vehicles in Star Wars are fully capable of carrying passengers, and still crossing great distances at speed. I rarely see such things implemented. Most of the larger maps that I have played either used the stock vehicles, or used mod vehicles that could only carry one or two passengers and move pretty slow. There is a danger of the battlefield looking more like something from Battletanx (great game, btw), but that can be countered with proper anti-vehicle units. Again, I point to real-world engagements.

Additionally, when units accelerate and run at realistic speeds, it becomes feasible to use a sniper rifle at longer ranges. The stock game is terrible for any aspiring snipers.

Marth8880 wrote:
If you do make a mod with units that move at realistic speeds, lasers that behave like lasers, or properly scaled battlefields, it will take some time to get used to the differences. You could say that it's an acquired taste. But if done properly, I can assure you it is worth it.

How did you arrive at this conclusion?


I did it myself. I made a mod that includes just about everything I mentioned. Large map with lots of vehicles, both ground-based and space-based. Vehicles that can act as transports, and then trade blows with the enemy. And, no, you don't end up sprinting everywhere. You do, however, find yourself taking cover a lot.

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Maveritchell » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:46 am

In advance, find your own fun, especially in a game this old that you're making content for.

I think you have some incompletely-formed opinions about why this (kind of) game does what it does, though. The core loop of the game incentivizes entering and finishing combat quickly (i.e. a classic arcade shooter). It doesn't have recharging health or other baked-in tactical benefits to delaying combat (i.e. repositioning, finding cover) and the default units are built like bullet sponges. There's no real disincentive to "failing" (i.e. dying) as a unit. There are secondary mechanics in the game that support this overall experience (like capture/control objectives), but by and large they are generally in service to the core loop (incidentally, the one mode that wasn't - CTF/1Flag - was vastly less popular than Conq or DM modes). Vehicles are sort've a microcosm of the same basic thing - yes, they ablate the specific soldier combat a bit, and yes, they provide rapid transport, but they're generally just there to provide a different axis of interaction (i.e. the Z-axis) for the same basic combat loop. You can see this generally supported by the movement away from vehicle-heavy maps in SWBF1 to smaller, more intimate maps in SWBF2 - the SWBF1 maps are fun to revisit and provide a nice palate cleanser, but the SWBF2 maps represent a (positive) evolution of the game to a more consistent experience.

So yeah, you can make larger maps if you want. You're modding the game, you can reconfigure the basic thrust of the game pretty much as far as your imagination will carry you. The reason so many people beat the drum of "keep your maps small" is because that's what the game was designed around, and unless you know what you're doing and have a very specific design going in, you're probably just going to poorly graft something that belongs in a different game in here. Even best case - you know what you're doing, you've got a solid plan - you're fighting an uphill battle because of the increased level of effort you need to make a round peg fit a square hole.

Edit: One last thing. Especially at this juncture, SWBF2 AI is a core part of the experience. There will always be more AI on the field than human players. The more complex the task, the more the bots' shortcomings become obvious. Build your giant vehicle-based map if you want, but unless you're really cute with scripting the AI to do their objectives, you're going to have a slow, plodding experience for the player.

Edit Edit: For real, last thing. Another big reason we encourage people to be smaller is that the appropriate density of items (props, scenery, what-have-you) is much harder to manage on larger maps. I know I built small maps all the time because it was simply a much more achievable goal to build/model/design the map that way. I can think of maybe one or two really large maps that achieved a really nice prop density (Delinquent's Imperial Base is a good example), but those were by far the exceptions to the rule. No one wants a boring, sparse map.

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Samee3 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:21 pm

Marth8880 wrote:
I know huge maps aren't the most popular among veteran modders, but I think that is mostly due to improper design.

What are the criteria for "proper design"?

Maveritchell wrote:So yeah, you can make larger maps if you want.....

Maveritchell wrote:Build your giant vehicle-based map if you want......

Maveritchell wrote:For real, last thing. Another big reason we encourage people to be smaller is that the appropriate density of items (props, scenery, what-have-you) is much harder to manage on larger maps. I know I built small maps all the time because it was simply a much more achievable goal to build/model/design the map that way. I can think of maybe one or two really large maps that achieved a really nice prop density (Delinquent's Imperial Base is a good example), but those were by far the exceptions to the rule. No one wants a boring, sparse map.

It seems I poked a sleeping bear with one simple observation that larger maps are difficult to design. And indeed, I agree 100% that a huge, open map with nothing to do until you reach the next prop cluster is not a fun map.


That said, if you look closely at my original post, you will notice that most of it is simply me saying(ranting?) that the game does not use proper scale, and providing real-world items and measurements for comparison.

And again:
Samee3 wrote:I will say that most of my ire is directed at space battles, especially the stock ones.

For the most part, ground maps are best if kept small. My current mod is far more enjoyable(to me, anyway) than the stock game, regardless of map size. This is mainly due to the fact that in the stock game:
Maveritchell wrote: The core loop of the game incentivizes entering and finishing combat quickly (i.e. a classic arcade shooter). It doesn't have recharging health or other baked-in tactical benefits to delaying combat (i.e. repositioning, finding cover) and the default units are built like bullet sponges. There's no real disincentive to "failing" (i.e. dying) as a unit.

In fact, I can't even play the stock game now, because the units move too fast.

Hidden/Spoiler:
Perhaps I should edit the original post and hide/remove the last paragraph.

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Maveritchell » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:55 pm

Samee3 wrote:It seems I poked a sleeping bear with one simple observation that larger maps are difficult to design. And indeed, I agree 100% that a huge, open map with nothing to do until you reach the next prop cluster is not a fun map.

That said, if you look closely at my original post, you will notice that most of it is simply me saying(ranting?) that the game does not use proper scale, and providing real-world items and measurements for comparison.


Not your fault, soapboxing is fun and this was an easy opportunity. The topic wheeled where it went because the observation that the game isn't an accurate simulation lends itself towards a certain type of discussion, which Marth framed pretty well above by simplifying the issue to "reality isn't fun/optimal" for this type of game. Scale is also always an issue in fiction, because most of the time (Tolkiens of the world excepted) worlds are built in service of the stories they're used to tell, not the other way around. Star Wars is no different, so that a game based on the property would have the same issues is no surprise (e.g.: https://www.wired.com/2012/05/star-wars-blaster-speed/).

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Marth8880 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:49 pm

Maveritchell wrote:The topic wheeled where it went because the observation that the game isn't an accurate simulation lends itself towards a certain type of discussion

After all, it is very clearly stated in the tutorial that your simulation days are over, trooper - although he does also claim that this is a real battle, so it's hard to say. :P

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Samee3 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:16 pm

Indeed, the game does not lend itself very well to "accurate" simulations, hence the comment I made about having more to say on the matter.
I could write volumes about the inaccuracies of the game, but I decided to keep it relatively short, if only for the sake of my own sanity.

Hidden/Spoiler:
Maveritchell wrote:Not your fault, soapboxing is fun and this was an easy opportunity.

That's encouraging. I don't make a habit of striking nerves, even when it is, after all, just a game. Then again, sometimes, one simply feels the need to rant.
I edited the original post and hid the last paragraph.

Hidden/Spoiler:
Marth8880 wrote:
Maveritchell wrote:The topic wheeled where it went because the observation that the game isn't an accurate simulation lends itself towards a certain type of discussion

After all, it is very clearly stated in the tutorial that your simulation days are over, trooper - although he does also claim that this is a real battle, so it's hard to say. :P

I'm going to assume that is a reference to another game which I have never played. Which isn't saying much, 'cause I don't play many games.
If I had to venture a guess as to which game, I would guess Halo. But, that's just a guess.

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby DylanRocket » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:35 pm

Samee3 wrote:I'm going to assume that is a reference to another game which I have never played. Which isn't saying much, 'cause I don't play many games.
If I had to venture a guess as to which game, I would guess Halo. But, that's just a guess.


That's actually a reference to first few lines of the Geonosis training mission lol

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Re: On Scale and Perspective

Postby Samee3 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:42 pm

DylanRocket wrote:
Samee3 wrote:I'm going to assume that is a reference to another game which I have never played. Which isn't saying much, 'cause I don't play many games.
If I had to venture a guess as to which game, I would guess Halo. But, that's just a guess.


That's actually a reference to first few lines of the Geonosis training mission lol


Oh. Right. Haven't played the campaign in years.
:|

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