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Axial Tilt.


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#1 hythloday

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 06:19 PM

Apologies if this has been raised before.

The Earth orbits the Sun at a slight angle, rather than "rolling" on its side. Everyone is familiar with this: it's what causes summer nights to be longer than winter nights. (Adjust as appropriate if you live south of the Equator.) As an extreme example, at the North Pole the day is exactly as long as the summer, and even in parts of Scandinavia it's not dark for more than a couple of hours a night in the summer.

Are we going to model this? As I see it the decision is based on:
  • amount of time to program the feature.
    Well, it's a fairly simple calculation, and assuming the earth orbits the sun already then all the code that needs to be written already has been, it's just a case of reusing it.
  • gameplay issues.
    Assuming that you regard fighting during the day as desirable and fighting during the night as undesirable, this makes bases in the Southern Hemisphere slightly better than bases in the Northern Hemisphere at the beginning of the game, which flips over as you approach June (ie midgame in the first two games) and then flip back again as you approach December (usually the end of the game, or even after). If this is undesirable you could just randomize the starting date of the game.
  • feel of the game.
    I think this is either positive or not contributory: people who notice it will think "Wow, that's cool", and people who notice it won't care either way.
I'm not intending to open the floodgates to modelling every aspect of the solar system (like eclipses), I think this is a particular feature that's both desirable and easy.

#2 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 06:27 PM

I'm not sure about easy, but it would be cool. If someone knows how 2 do it easily then I don't have a problem with it, but if it is too much work remember it is just eye candy.

#3 Vaaish

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 07:06 PM

I don't really see how it will even be noticiable enough to warrent time to implement and the the gameplay effect will be marginal at most. This sounds like a nice wishlist item and could possible be explored after 1.0 but right now this is below the bottom of the need to list of features to implement.

#4 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 01:30 AM

Well, the way I see it is that if the programmers have a spare minute where they are waiting 4 something like art work then maybe they could do it but they shouldn't go out of their way since there are a lot of things that they could be doin at the mo. The opportunity could come up one day tho, so don't think we are rubbishing ur idea but there are gameplay issues they could be addressing which are far more important.

#5 red knight

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 09:41 AM

That feature had been talked about in the past, in fact several others like the geoscape is a sphere and others too. We were simplifing cause the geoscape demo is just that a concept (in programming prototype) it will be rewritten for the next milestone... the same with the component framework, it was used to know how everything works toghether. If you want to try it out, just change the course of the light (a fairly simple call in the example) in the objects coordinates for the simulated real ones...

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#6 mamutas

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 10:25 AM

I personally think, that feature is not very noticeable and important enouth to spend our time on it. At least in v1.
However, we should keep it in mind and implemented it later if we ran out of things to do.
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#7 mamutas

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 08:45 AM

I thought a bit about that axial tilt. The tilt itself might not be that noticeable, but the effect it does is. And I am talking about the seasons here. Doesn't it look strange when you landing down on crash site in Siberia in the middle of January and leave and grass are green? No snow? No frozen waters?

And a twist to that would be footprints. Now, try to hide you stupid aliens! :devillaugh:
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#8 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 10:20 AM

Hmm, interesting that could add some variaty to missions I'd like snow missions

#9 Deimos

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 11:27 AM

My take on this is that the geoscape view of the earth is actually from a geostationary satillite so the earth tilt wouldn't be visible. Sort of like MIB LmSat. However it would be cool to have the axial tilt included.

#10 Breunor

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 10:32 AM

I agree that the camera angle is from the equator, and as RK said the lighting angle could be adjusted to better represent the sun's true position. But I agree that it's a "after the rest is done" issue.

#11 Jenny

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 07:11 AM

I think it's something we should consider implementing after the official release, kind of a patch thing.
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#12 stewart

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:15 AM

Moved to laboratory. This is post v1 stuff. Stuffing the geoscape global points through the trigonometry combined withmatrix math required to make this work is clearly made for post v1.
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#13 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 03:31 PM

"Matrix" ? as in Agent Smith? :P

Seriously though, I can see no major reason why we should implement this in the near future (V2+) Will it be that noticable?
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#14 stewart

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:52 PM

Matrix as in Linear Algebra.
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#15 warhamster

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 04:53 PM

That's interesting. I live in the tropics so we don't really feel the effects of longer days and shorter nights and vice versa. We always get around 12 hours light and 12 hours dark, give or take a few minutes. So I guess I never really noticed that 'flaw' in programming in XCOM. You always get 12 hours light, and 12 hours dark, no matter the season or the location.

#16 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 09:36 AM

In the original X-COM, there were no seasons. The sun was always at the equator, and every place always got 12 hours of sunshine each day. That's not true in real life, and modern tech and programming now allows us to show the earth in a game as never before.

For those of you that don't know, the earth doesn't spin straight on end, like a top. It is tilted on it's axis, by 23.45 degrees to be exact. This gives the Earth its seasons, and is the culprit behind daylight savings time. I think it would be neat, if the sunlight on the Geoscape globe matched the light that Earth really experiences.

Also, the color of the Earth itself changes with the seasons. The white caps grow bigger in the winter, and shrink in the summer, for example. Wet and dry seasons can drastically change the look of an area.

Every day, the sun points directly at a different latitude. It almost follows a sine wave path, moving between the Tropic of cancer in the summer, and the Tropic of Capricorn in the winter. Placing the Sun in the right position would be a matter of finding the correct equation to set it's longitudinal path.


On a last note, you wouldn't want to go to an Etherial terror site in Alaska, because you'd have to wait 6 months for the sun to rise! :D
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

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#17 Tuoppi

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:09 PM

This has been discussed before, but the idea is really good. Snow would help in finding that last hiding little bastard...

It also limits mobility quite a bit, even 2 meters of powder snow are not uncommon in some areas. Tanks would be totally useless, and movement speed heavily reduced.

The other issue is clouds and weather. Rain, snow, sunshine and cloud cover will affect at least visibility and accuarcy...

These would really add some variation into missions, even if they had no actual effect on anything. And it would be neat to have them on geoscape. (With option to turn off.)