Starfield issues

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posted on August 30th, 2012, 9:39 pm
Hello there,

Dealing with regular A2 here, but a quick question. I've noted that if I make a map much bigger than about 24k each way, then the starfield does not expand to fill the whole map and you end up with large areas of the map devoid of stars. It also stretches towards the edges which somewhat ruins the effect regardless.

Now, for my mod, maps of 24k are still lovely and a lot can be done with them, I just wondered whether anyone had found a solution to this. I know people regularly make maps up to the 50k range for FleetOps. Does FleetOps not use starfields? Did you find a way of making starfields bigger? or do we just suspend disbelief when it comes to larger maps?
posted on August 31st, 2012, 5:44 am
I never learned how to properly tinker with stars, but I'd recommend looking at the Fleet Operations' starfields - they don't appear stretched to my eyes at least :)
posted on September 3rd, 2012, 8:03 pm
Wilco. It seems like, at least in the original A2, that the starfields are on a spherical 3d mesh of fixed size, so of course when you approach or exceed that size, you can see where the edges "curve"

I've managed to remove the awful pixellated starfields from the old converted A1 map backgrounds, leaving just the backgrounds themselves, so we'll see if I can't find and expand the A2 starfield sod file :)
posted on September 4th, 2012, 1:32 pm
Double post, but worth it :)

I did it!

Firstly, not sure how the FleetOps team do their starfields, as the art config isn't any different in that regard to mine, and their ODFs work fine in KA2 also (admittedly the stars look a little big but I think I know why...more on that later)

Basically, the reason maps originally top out at about 25k is that if you look at the starfield settings in the art config, they have a max distance (near, middle and far) of 20000, with a variance of 6000.

So, I did what every modder does when experimenting; slap in some silly numbers and see what happens. Well, after a few trial and error settings I can now make a map up to 60k, which should be more than sufficient, without stretching. The stars are a little faint and distant, unless I use the FleetOps starfield ODFs then they are more normal. I think however they did it, the FleetOps team found a way of making the starfields stretch out further, and also found their stars too small, hence they sized them up (which is why with default settings they look a little big)

Going to do a bit more twiddling and see if I can make them a bit more visible and slighly less clumpy, but other than that. I did it! :)

Reckon 60k is enough to make a decent Solar System map on? I currently have a (slightly rationalised) pair of maps, inner and outer system, but a 60k map should allow me to represent most of Jupiters major moons (Gallilean and Himalian, and a few extras), as well as Saturns, and still have sufficient space that everything isn't all cramped up.

As you might have guessed, I HATE cramped maps :) and my AI is programmed to try and colonise and mine as much as possible, so a big map realistically represents a sprawling empire. Hit and fade attacks on mining bases, far flung research bases, all that lovely 4X feel :)
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