Author Topic: Destroyable sections on ships?  (Read 1974 times)

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Offline ChaosUnlimited

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Destroyable sections on ships?
i don't know if this is would just be a mod or something but would it be possible to add in a feature to make it so u can destroy sections of a ship?

so far we can destroy turrets (and normal weapons?) but i havn't seen or been able to target things like a wing on a fighter or even rip its engines off permanatly(freelancer didn't allow this but you could damage them)

i know you can target subsystems but they repair themselves (my nav ones do anyhow) can't remember the ships name but there is one ship that has a what looks like a radar dish on top of it what if you could destroy that and take away (or cripple its targeting making it miss more often. i have been killed a few times by them on hardest difficulty flying with a joystick made from around the same year i think (uses that old gameport converted it with an adapter )

for example when a beam is used instead of it just looking like it wrecked havoc upon a ship with fire and death what if say it actually destroyed just a section of the ship instead?(and not just limited to beam weapons of course)  think freelancer(sorry if some of you dislike this game but i love it and its small but neat destructible parts on a ship) sorry if this is meant for modding and i felt like this question would derail my other thread that i made and wasn't to sure.

obviously if this was an engine feature ships would have to get an update to make use of it if there are any modders/texture/effect poeple left but if was made just an option mybe people would use it i dunno would make for some interesting things though i think
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 09:54:18 pm by ChaosUnlimited »
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
inb4geomod
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Offline Black Wolf

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
This is functionality that already exists within the engine :). A lot of ships have destroyable parts, including the radar dish on top of the Fenris/Leviathan, the AWACS domes on the Setekh and Charybdis, and the spinning "Solar Panel" on the Faustus.  Moreover, whole some subsystems do regen if damaged, not all do, and if they're destroyed, the do impact performance in some cases. And, yes, these two functions can be linked so that the destroyable submodel has the subsystem's functionality.

It's more common in modded ships than retail ones. If you're comfortable adding new ships to the game, this refinery has some cool destroyable submodels, even if I do say so myself. ;)

Unfortunately, while the feature is cool, it can be a lot of work to fully integrate it with a new ship, so it's not as common as it maybe should be.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 10:39:22 pm by Black Wolf »
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Offline ChaosUnlimited

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
ah ok i just thought it wasnt since i havnt reconized it sorry about that

ill take a look after i'm done blue planet campaing its fun and interesting so far ( still whish i had a cockpit though)
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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
Unfortunately, while the feature is cool, it can be a lot of work to fully integrate it with a new ship, so it's not as common as it maybe should be.

Would it be possible to make a toolkit/wizard to assist with this? I'd like to work on it if possible (once I finally get some free time).

 

Offline The E

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
Not really, no. Creating debris models and destroyed subsection models is a task for modellers, there is little we can do in the code to help this.
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Offline ChaosUnlimited

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
Would it be possible to make a toolkit/wizard to assist with this? I'd like to work on it if possible (once I finally get some free time).

i don't think so but if someone made a tutorial of the process that would help immensely (  of both making a ship for this game and doing the destroy-able sections) 

and sadly its true that its barely used i just destroyed the Lucifer in blue planet and so far have not seen a single destroy-able section of ship ( unless you count its main beam weapons since the little tip falls off i think it would be better if the entire or half the arm got destroyed.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 02:09:20 am by ChaosUnlimited »
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
We have plenty of tutorials on how to get 3D files into FSO. If you don't know how to make a 3D file/object, then that's a question for Google. We can certainly help.. but you are truly starting from scratch. You'd be better off downloading Blender and working through their community tutorials first.
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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
Hmm, didn't Diaspora experiment quite extensively with this on Cylon baseships ?

Regarding tutorials, the complete ship building tutorial might be of some interest to you.

 

Offline fightermedic

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
as others have said, this is indeed quite possible already
the most extreme example of a ship using it should be my Aardvark, with >150 destroyable parts:



http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=85236.140

you can take it as an example how to do to this stuff if you want
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Offline Black Wolf

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
Unfortunately, while the feature is cool, it can be a lot of work to fully integrate it with a new ship, so it's not as common as it maybe should be.

Would it be possible to make a toolkit/wizard to assist with this? I'd like to work on it if possible (once I finally get some free time).

As The E has said, there's no way to do this automatically without code changes to introduce a Red Faction style geomod system, and that's not going to happen. The damaged sections have to be modelled, UVed and textured in the same way that any other model is - and they take the same amount of effort. But the basic methods aren't that difficult - just somewhat time consuming.

First, there are two similar but slightly different possibilities being discussed here. The first is the use of destroyed submodels for... add-ons. Bits and pieces that have a separate function to the main hull - things like spinning radar dishes, turrets, tanks, solar panels etc. etc. These are relatively common and really straightforward.

First, you build your model, and you create as many little destroyable doodads as you want. As an example, let's say we're making a rotating sensor dish that we'll call Dish01. You keep these as separate submodels that are connected as children to the basic mesh, i.e. detail0, the highest detail LoD in your scene. In our example, you'd have Dish01 as a child of detail0.

Then, you generate a separate submodel in the same place as the doodad, but showing the damage to the system once it's been destroyed. This can be complete geometry changes or just a simple texture change. You give it the same name as the doodad you want it to replace, but with the suffix "-destroyed". So, our scene at this point should have detail0, and then Dish01 and Dish01-destroyed as children.

Then, once you've modelled the rest of the ship, you convert it to pof. Open up PCS2 and select "Dish01" from the Subobjects list. It should be nested within detail0, and "Dish01-destroyed" should be in the list as well (although not visible in the window - PCS2 automatically hides any submodels with the '-destroyed" suffix so they don't clutter up the window; you can see it by changing its name). Select Dish01, then, in the "Properties" box to the right, you need to add at least the line: "$special=subsystem" (its the first option in the little menu you get by clicking the triangle button on the right). This tells FSO the submodel can be treated like a subsystem, i.e. that it can be destroyed independently of the hull.

Finally, when you generate the table you need to add an entry for the submodel that you've just created. In our case, it would be something like "$Subsystem: Dish01, 2, 0.0". That would make it a submodel with hitpoints equal to 2% of the total ship hitpoints.

Then, you're good to go. Put your ship in-game, shoot Dish01 with an Akheton or whatever, and it will be destroyed, and replaced with your Dish01-destroyed geometry.

This method is pretty straightforward once you've done it a few times, and it's been used on dozens of ships, retail and community made. There are some other things you can do here, like adding live debris to your submodel, but that's less common and not really all that important for what people seem to want in this thread.

The second possibility that people seem to be entertaining is the idea of chunks being ripped out of the hull itself to simulate battle damage, rather than just destroying the added on bits and pieces. This can be done, as fightermedic has proven with his (amazing) Aardvark model, and it even uses essentially the same techiques, but it's much harder to do well for a bunch of reasons which I'll get into in a sec. But if you were keen to do this, there are two basic ways it can be done.

The first is to model the damage directly into your detail0 mesh (again, that's the basic geometry of the highest detail LoD), then cover that modelled damage with a submodel that shows undamaged hull. You wont need a -destroyed submodel for this method, but you will need to follow all of the other steps (tagging it as a subsystem in the pof and table). Additionally, you'll need to add some flags to the subsystem's table entry. For a theoretical submodel called "Plate01", your subsystem table entry will look like this:

$Subsystem: Plate01, 2, 0.0
   $Flags: ( "untargetable" "damage as hull" )

That tells the game not to let the player target the hullplate as a subsystem, and it also tells it to direct the subsystem damage directly into the ships damage. If the player shoots at this part of the hull long enough or a strong enough beam passes over it, it will be destroyed, disappear in an explosion, and reveal the previously modelled damage underneath it. That works as long as the damage is concave, but if you want any geometry that projects out from the hull (like, say, girders bent in an explosion/explosive decompression) you need to go back to using -destroyed submodels.

In this case, you essentially need to cut a hole in your LoD0 mesh (either an actual gap or just an intrusion away from the surface), and then fill that hole with a submodel with the exact same outline as the hole, that mimics where normal hull would go. Then, you model the damaged hull section, again making sure that it has exactly the same outline as the previous submodel (it's probably easiest to generate both submodels from the geometry you cut out to make the hole in the first place). Then, set them up with the components of both the above methods - as a submodel and a destroyed submodel, with the appropriate entires in the pof file and in the table (making sure to remember the subsystem flags).

So, yeah, it can definitely be done. But there are a number of problems with the method. First, when you break up the geometry of your ship, e.g. to put a destroyable submodel hull plate in there, FSO often doesn't get he smoothing or the rendering completely seamless, even if it is seamless in your modelling program. So they can look a little off if they're not designed to look like an actual separate item (like a dish or a tank or whatever). Basically, it's hard to make this subtle and well blended.

Secondly, it's really, really hard to model the inside of a ship and make it look good. If you look at the topic fightermedic links to where he's showing off his Aardvark, one of the first comments he gets is that the ship looks empty inside. The fact is, despite the amazing amount of effort put in, and the fantastic proof of concept that he did there, the interior of a ship is, buy it's nature, much, much more complex than its outer hull, and therefore significantly harder to model within the limits of the FSO engine (and, of course, people's time budgets). If it's not done well (and it's incrediobly hard to do it well) it's going to look fake/empty/whatever.

Finall, remember what I said above:

Quote
If the player shoots at this part of the hull long enough or a strong enough beam passes over it...

That's the core of the problem. If you want to have chunks blowing out of your ship, you need to individually model each and every chunk, and you need to model enough of them that there's a realistic chance of a few of them actually getting destroyed in combat, otherwise, what's the point? For a small ship, like a cruiser or a small station, that might be doable, but the counter there is that small ships tend to die quickly, so they might not have time to make the battle damage visible. Alternatively, you could do it on a big destroyer so it'll look legitimately beat up after a long slugging match, but then you need to do this process dozens and dozes of times across a 2+km hull to give yourself a decent chance of snagging a few submodels. You could model fewer, larger damage spots, but these open up some very weird possibilities, where a vertical beam might open a big horizontal gas, or a tiny plasma bolt might be the final straw that opens up a hole ten or 20 times bigger than itself.

In short, to do this right is a massive, massive amount of effort with no guarantee that anyone will ever really notice it all that much. And that's pretty much why nobody really does the hull damage method. But the separate subsystem destruction, as I;ve said a few times now I guess, is pretty common. If you don't mind me throwing on my pimp hat (again) for a second, consider checking out Frontlines 2334. There's a mission in there where you are tasked with destroying ten navigation blisters on a Vasudan carrier - each one blows up quite nicely and leaves appropriate damage submodels, as do the engines, sensors, turrets and pretty much any piece of geometry that isn't the main hull. The effect is maybe close to what ChaosUnlimited is hoping to see (though not as close as fightermedic's ship, obviously) in a mission that's available to play.
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Offline fightermedic

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
one more thought:
what Black Wolf said is true, it's very hard to make the inside of ships with destroyed hulls look good, but it does look better in motion in game than in the screenshots i have posted in my thread, since the fire/electric effects of the game help to have it look more alive
second, rarely you will see the complete armour being destroyed everywhere, most of the time you just have some gaps in the armour, which also makes it look a lot less "naked"

btw, if a strong beam slashes over the armour of the Aardvark it definitely does look cool to see all the armour being ripped apart, and the beam literally punching a whole into the ship and going out on the other side :shaking: :headz:
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Offline ChaosUnlimited

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
one more thought:
what Black Wolf said is true, it's very hard to make the inside of ships with destroyed hulls look good, but it does look better in motion in game than in the screenshots i have posted in my thread, since the fire/electric effects of the game help to have it look more alive
second, rarely you will see the complete armour being destroyed everywhere, most of the time you just have some gaps in the armour, which also makes it look a lot less "naked"

btw, if a strong beam slashes over the armour of the Aardvark it definitely does look cool to see all the armour being ripped apart, and the beam literally punching a whole into the ship and going out on the other side :shaking: :headz:

your ship pretty much shows what i was thinking exactly it looks awesome

Secondly, it's really, really hard to model the inside of a ship and make it look good. If you look at the topic fightermedic links to where he's showing off his Aardvark, one of the first comments he gets is that the ship looks empty inside. The fact is, despite the amazing amount of effort put in, and the fantastic proof of concept that he did there, the interior of a ship is, buy it's nature, much, much more complex than its outer hull, and therefore significantly harder to model within the limits of the FSO engine (and, of course, people's time budgets). If it's not done well (and it's incrediobly hard to do it well) it's going to look fake/empty/whatever.


what are the limitations of the engine? i know things can't be too memory intensive since game can only currently use 2 gigs of ram ( i checked game will crash for me only way when my ram useage goes to around 3.5 thats with all my other processes running in the background that use ram)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 03:52:04 pm by ChaosUnlimited »
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Offline niffiwan

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
There's a list of some limits here. Apart from that, the biggest performance bottleneck at the moment is probably collision detection. At least one effort have been made to mutlithread this, but the overheads outweighed the benefits.
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Offline ChaosUnlimited

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
alright that helps thanks (thinking about making a cap ship or  a carrier  using google sketch up AND blender)
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Offline Mongoose

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Offline The Dagger

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
alright that helps thanks (thinking about making a cap ship or  a carrier  using google sketch up AND blender)

Just a heads-up: AFAIK converting ships done with sketch up is a pain (lots of double vertices, bad smoothing, etc). You can use blender directly or else you'll have to correct those problems in blender before exporting to dae (and then convert to pof with pcs2). However, feel free to use whatever you're more confortable with. Have a good time modeling!

 

Offline ChaosUnlimited

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
yea i know its a pain but i like being able to actually draw helps me make the basic design better (i also just suck at 3d modeling more of a programmer or atleast i enjoy programming more so far still just doing basic stuff but its all enjoyable)

is it possible to make it so when subsystems are taking damage the main hull isn't?

way i'm thinking of is once armour is destroyed main hull starts taking damage in the destroyed area's making ship battles longer maybe even the larger ship battles.

once i get my remembrance class frigate done (non-canon halo ship apparently thought it was at one point though someone here pointed out it wasn't) i wanna rip apart sections of it in sketchup (again easier to do in this then blender or at least i don't know how in blender.)

the ship model is probally gonna suck but meh i don't see any halo mods for this game (maybe i'm just not looking hard enough)

are MAC cannons a thing?
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Offline Dragon

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Re: Destroyable sections on ships?
is it possible to make it so when subsystems are taking damage the main hull isn't?
Yes, "carry no damage" and "collide submodel" flags are used for making it work like this. The first stops damage to subsystem from carrying over to the ship's health, the second specifies that only shots that actually impact the submodel are to deal damage to the subsystem (otherwise you can damage such a subsystem by hitting the hull near it).