BlueTemplar wrote:Planetary Annihilation is... not great.
TA has 3D terrain (and AFAIK game engine?), but still displays them as 2D sprites.
That's probably why Spring could grow from a simple TA replay player to a full-blown 3D game engine.
I'm well aware that PA is "not great". I'm just sad to see it went the way of the dodo. It had essentially limitless potential, but it was all squandered between PA's incompetent dev team and being plagued with issues. I'm not really qualified to talk about SupCom and TA much since I've never played them enough to have a valid opinion on them, so I won't open that can of worms.
BlueTemplar wrote:Depends what you call by a "physics engine" - I'd say that having to do collision checks already counts as one !
(This includes trains/tank colliding with player/biters!)
All the area weapons like shotgun, grenade, fire stream, fire, artillery impact - seem to do collision checks.
And Worm "spit" too probably.
I agree on the collision checks thing, to an extent. Really, all a physics engine does is calculate physics. But, on the other hand... if your attacks -- like worm spit -- are not based on physics to begin with since they're instant target attacks, they don't qualify as having "physics" in the traditional sense, especially if there is no actual hitscan or AoE involved. Thus, it's possible to have damage checks occur based on location and blast radius (AoE) effects without
a physics engine, as long as it checks all of the locations first.
At this point, it's basically semantics, at least to me -- I don't know exactly how physics engines work, and I'll admit fully to that. It's all based on mathematical functions. But then again, Factorio is a 2D game. You don't need
a physics engine, for all of the reasons I said before. Physics engines are primarly used in 3D games for particle effects, or easier calculating of gun, explosion, and shrapnel effects in real time and accounting for randomly generated values.
KoblerMan wrote:Now, that being said, I'm also all for dodging AoE "skill shot" attacks from worms.
Then I'm not sure what you're arguing about??
What I'm talking about is "spellcasting" units in RTS games such as Warcraft or StarCraft. If you've never played an RTS with spellcasting units, think about another similar game, such as... dare I say it... League of Legends. *shudders with disgust*
Skill shot and AoE "spells" target an area on the ground, a projectile is fired, and then it lands. In League, if an enemy does this, you typically get a warning with a big "THIS SPELL IS GOING TO LAND HERE" area, and given a few seconds to react. This is exactly what I'm talking about with worm attacks, and it basically already exists in Factorio with the artillery turrets and wagons; except, the biter AI is too "stupid" to actually avoid it, whereas players could (with minimal difficulty, depending on circumstances) avoid a similar AoE attack from worms. I would personally be fine with this, because tons of RTS games (such as StarCraft!) have done this before, to GREAT effect, without needing a physics engine. It would also add another level of gameplay too.
Also, I'm not sure why you are worried about UPS issues in this specific instance - it's not like we are going to have massive worm battles... unless they are indeed planning to make them to attack player bases?!
It's all about system resources being used by Factorio. This is less of a concern in singleplayer, where you're only calculating and rendering one area at a time, such as where your player is currently. In multiplayer, however, hardware quickly turns into a bottleneck if you have one person moving around in a mega-factory while another player is assaulting a huge biter base. So, unless you're playing on a headless server with proper hardware to compensate, you see a substantial drop in performance. This is exactly the kind of thing everybody wants to avoid.