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Thread: 2D radar

  1. #1

    Question 2D radar

    I would like some feedback about my idea and a discussion about the what type of radar/s RS will be using. I have tried to talk about in other space game forums, however there is a strong bias and stubbornness in rearguards to their own personal taste.

    Anyway here it is. It is a very crude showcase, but the idea is there.


    The selected target is 10,000km away, bearing 195 (behind slight left) from an angle of attack +43° (above). To make things even less cluttered, the selected target info can be displayed elsewhere such as the HUD, or another dedicated display that shows even more info such as the type of ship etc. You can also add different ship type (eg. Capital ship, fighters, etc.) to correlate with different radar target shape.

    Or you can toggle on/off to display the angle of degree° for all contacts.

    Target can be at an angle of + or - 90° at 10,000km, never over 90°. Eg, target at 90° then, fly ahead rendering counting down from 90°. Same for all directions.

    You can also add different ship type (eg. Capital ship, fighters, etc.) to correlate with different radar target shape. Also animations and sound for a new pop up target/s.

    If you want everyone to sync up with an artificial horizon, all that is needed is to sync with a command ship or whoever is in charge, better yet, the horizon can be the horizon of the galaxy. Same goes for the bearings, sync to a lead ship who sets the "standards" or 0° can be the direction to the center of the galaxy.

    So what are peoples opinions? The pro's and cons?

  2. #2
    Feedback... hum, let's start with "meh".

    Despite the difficulty of showing echo in a 3D space I think we should keep persevering, I don't have a need for a 2D radar.
    So the current way based upon an arbitrary plane of reference is good enough. that way you can reserve color for friendly/hostile/unknown echo and the number aside for the actual range (which is easier to read than an angle which lack the range)


    If we want to talk about improvement we can try listing what you want to appear. (beside the presence)

    - IFF, Friend, Foe, Unknown (I would use color for that)
    - Type of object, ship/satellite/rock/debris (usually we use icon form)
    - Range, and I would need it proportional to what I see, no mentally calculating it from the angle
    - Plane of reference (galactic is a little too far, just the solar system is enough)
    - Active/Passive state of our radar
    - Active/Passive state of other radar (((echo))) could work
    (optionally) - planet/astronomic object (ideally everything big enough to occlude your vision)
    (optionally) - short term trajectory, or rather relative speed, (we can use arrow for that) so that you know if an object is moving closer or away.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kegereneku View Post
    Feedback... hum, let's start with "meh".

    Despite the difficulty of showing echo in a 3D space I think we should keep persevering, I don't have a need for a 2D radar.
    So the current way based upon an arbitrary plane of reference is good enough. that way you can reserve color for friendly/hostile/unknown echo and the number aside for the actual range (which is easier to read than an angle which lack the range)


    If we want to talk about improvement we can try listing what you want to appear. (beside the presence)

    - IFF, Friend, Foe, Unknown (I would use color for that)
    - Type of object, ship/satellite/rock/debris (usually we use icon form)
    - Range, and I would need it proportional to what I see, no mentally calculating it from the angle
    - Plane of reference (galactic is a little too far, just the solar system is enough)
    - Active/Passive state of our radar
    - Active/Passive state of other radar (((echo))) could work
    (optionally) - planet/astronomic object (ideally everything big enough to occlude your vision)
    (optionally) - short term trajectory, or rather relative speed, (we can use arrow for that) so that you know if an object is moving closer or away.
    I presumed the system is simple as it gets. You see a target, the bearing and distance (from the center) is shown right away. + or - value is the only factor you need to read and mentally calculate, however for most that is not hard, or for me at least. Plus due to artificial horizon, you can position your ship accurately from the HUD for the angle. So all you have to do is turn your ship to the correct bearing and + or - your ship to the angle that was stated on the radar.

    Also, showing 3D awareness on a 2D screen is no different to today's tech and wont be that hard, imagine a ship in space, all that needs done is add negative value to complete a full sphere radar http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P5vQfl4vrl...lustration.JPG . To add a horizon in space, it can be done artificially. However this is off topic and my radar works a bit differently.

    My radar works a bit different in which; distance is relative from the edge to the center of the radar no matter where the contact appeared from (above or below). If a target is somehow perfect 90 degrees (chances of that are very low), the target would dance around the radius of what ever is the closest bearing relative to it's position, however the distance of the target from the center dose not change. But as I said, the chances of a target popup on a perfect 90 degrees and to maintain that perfect 90 degrees is pretty low and hard. Also to add to that effect, changing the horizon quickly changes the values therefore no longer that target will have perfect 90 degree angle. You can choose to have a free floating horizon (moves to what ever position your ship rolls to), or have a set horizon.

    What kind of radar system will Rogue System use btw?

  4. #4
    Showing everything in a 3D sphere and showing everything in a 3D sphere in a greatly optimized, intuitive and practical way are two different things.
    For example your pictures isn't a radar view and either show the most important information or assume that we know everything about the target and that the rest isn't important (like the curvature of the Earth, the minimal altitude at which you can detect, the depth of the war...etc)
    I know you didn't claim it was a working solution, I'm just showing how much data you might need.

    Warship CIC have dozen of operator for each type of detection system (who know their limitation), in our case we (Michael Juliano) are trying to get everything on one panel, and we are fortunate space is mostly void and devoid of relief.


    Right now "Rogue System" (0.2.01) radar look like this :



    Features :
    - The plane of reference is the one of the spaceship (personally I think it should be always parallel to that of the system but that would require to show our own, but it wouldn't be optimal since ship-to-ship combat require to manage your attitude)
    - "Altitude" (ref on the ship plane) is shown using the good old line perpendicular to the plane of reference.
    - You can change the scale to display on the radar, range are in kilometer
    - Any target is shown with its range (R:?) regardless if locked or not.
    - Locked target also display their relative Celerity (C) it's red if it's getting away, green if getting closer.
    - As of now you can only lock one target
    - Beyond scale target appear, sometime with less strength than other.
    - Planet are not displayed (which would be invaluable if you are tracking something while in orbit)

    note : the blue circle on the HUD show a blue square in the direction of [Locked] target if it isn't visible directly.
    The white dot is the player-pointer

    If you activate an OPS D-link (direct-link ?) you get (shared) information like these.

    But of course an enemy wouldn't be as cooperative, so you need a way to display what your ship see.


    Edit : as for the TYPE of detection equipment, I'm guessing it's the obvious package
    - Radar (active/passive)
    - Lidar (active)
    - Infrared (passive) (in the future you can say it's effective-range will only be limited by the speed of light)

    For those interested as to why you won't ever have STEALTH IN SPACE, you have this link. (don't bother arguing it here, that "solution" you found is refuted in the link, yes even that one, or that one)
    http://www.projectrho.com/public_htm...ewardetect.php

  5. #5
    So basically RS is using a type of "3D" "radar" concept?

    Anyway my "radar" idea is just showing only contacts known or unknown. I don't think it is a good idea to have one system supporting and showing everything, as it can get cluttered (high traffic areas such as planets, stations, docking area, trading routs etc.) and become eyesore shifting on trying to find the information you want to see. Was thinking displays will be like the F35, having customization of what and where things will be displayed:



    Showing 3D radar on a 2D screen can have it's confusing moments, so my "radar" concept is to eliminate any perceptual reading that comes from 3D "radars". My radar relies on showing other additional none important information on different display or HUD and only show the most important information, such as the direction (bearings), range (distance from edge of the "radar" to center), and the angle position of a contact relative to your own position in degrees to which you need to pitch up or down. You can always add other info such as relative Celerity (C) to be shown next to a locked target information on the "radar" if that is important.

    My "radar" dose not show planets, or space whiles, just pure ship contacts know or unknown. So in that aspect, what is it really missing? Spot a contact, turn to the correct bearing, angle up or down to the correct degrees value using HUD (http://image.slidesharecdn.com/thef-...?cb=1334650942). I never stated what is the most essential information that needs to be displayed, rather I'm showcasing how contact are spotted and displayed, because I don't think a 2D radar like the image below would be feasible in RS.

  6. #6
    Yes Rogue System use a 3D radar.
    There's no point in limiting yourself to 2D when you can make a more intuitive 3D one. As you say, representing a 3D battle on a 2D plane is more confusing than anything else, you feared crowded radar ? With a 2D display you can't stack ship vertically but with a 3D radar we can and keep them distinct, show how spread apart they are, keep the numbers visible and the vertical line make sure you know they are above or below.

    So I fail to see any improvement in putting everything on a 2D disc and using angle, following your logic you should get rid of the disc, making a table of [Contact n°_ | Range X | bearing Y | Angle Z].
    This is like asking to replace the F-35 radar by a Croupier Table.
    http://www.projectrho.com/public_htm...Croupier_Table

    Your comment about "trading route" is very interesting as there isn't actually such a thing (between planet/moon) and Space is a place so big that you are unlikely to be at range of ship who don't have anything to do with you unless you specifically started the fight along a space station. Only exception to this would be if some sort of FTL-engine force everybody around "gate", "jump point" or just make sure everybody is only around point of interest and never "in travel".
    In any case I doubt space will be "crowded".

    Next, some rambling about the difference between air-fighter needs from a Spacecraft needs.
    The F-35 is a plane and (at long range) don't mind much the third dimension (modern fighter engagement range can start at 200km which is more than 2 times their maximum flight ceiling).
    At shorter range the F-35 Helmet have been created specifically to overcome the limitation of a 2D screen in term of situational awareness during dogfight. While also being the reason they didn't bothered with a 3D display : because they could make a better augmented-reality helmet where the target match the exact direction where the pilot is looking at in a 3D environments. It also save the effort (and abstraction) of showing where the ground is.
    * Beyond-Visual-Range : they only need the range (for their missile) & orientation (forward-facing radar) and this is where the F-35 (3D IR sensor) improved.
    * Visual-Range : the Augmented-reality Helmet allow a pilot to plan instinctively his aerodynamic maneuvers.
    Everything is ruled by Aerodynamic constraint, minimal and maximal flight-level.


    Now, (or rather in our space future)
    A realistic space battle in "Rogue system" would easily start and persist at range beyond the kilometer (to avoid instant kill) and require a full awareness in the 3 dimensions as your direct attitude toward a target is more critical than that of a plane (no aerodynamic constraint). Target coming and staying "90° up and 90° down" so one of them get to shoot at your less protected part (like a direct laser-shot at your thermal radiator) is possible. Unlike Atmospheric craft you also don't have a minimal or maximal altitude (only a planet atmosphere or a maneuver leading to a deorbit matter).
    * Beyond Effective-Range : the enemy can only throw missiles if your orbit match well
    * Effective-range : it's were all the battle happen
    * Closer, you risk being instant-kill
    Everything is ruled by Orbital mechanics.

    http://www.projectrho.com/public_htm...-Orbital_Space

    (revamped) list of things you need together and why.
    - RANGE : Distance between you and an echo.
    - Relative Velocity : It is getting at weapon-range, it is on another orbit, it is matching your speed ?
    - Identification Friend or Foe
    - Type of signal : big difference between an armed-cargo, a battlestar or a weather-satellite.
    - Gravitational source / Astronomical reference : You always move on ballistic orbit, if you burn retrograde you'll deorbit yourself, so you need to know your trajectory and what drive it, you can't (easily) match velocity with a target orbiting in a comply opposite orbit, yet it can hit you then disappear behind the planet.

    The above are the obvious, below is where the context will play the most.
    - Law Restricted zone : What orbits (or area) are you allowed in (think of the MTS denial zone), is there are waiting-orbit for ship waiting to dock ? (btw : that's what an air-fighter radar also show)
    (optional) Risk of impact : Are you going to collide with something while you are fighting ? (equivalent of airplane PULL-UP! even if far less likely)



    On a totally unrelated topic the F-35 is actually a very badly designed waste of money and good technology.

  7. #7
    This is the kind of stuff I want to avoid seeing on a 3D radar http://i.imgur.com/QVDTJdQ.jpg. Also trading routs and high trafic areas are for more localised areas, not open space. If you can not see the issues 3D radars have themselves then I have come to a conclusion that there is bias opinion here. Maybe I forgot to mention it's not about replacing something but adding an idea and options to have?

    Also your argument about "list of things you need", can be added to display with no problems, Gravitational source / Astronomical reference is the only one I think should be shown on another display/section of the display. You talk about altitudes where I don't even mention it because that has nothing to do with my radar design, it is also why my 2D radar works differently as well. Range is from distance from the edge to the center no matter the angle, so you can already see who the priority targets are due to how close they are, where as 3D radars, they could be 20,000km above but show 10m from the center. Also "3D" radars are still projected on 2D screen, that is an issue itself. I see you talking, but not saying anything, the things that you say need listed are not trivial info that is not like you can't add on my radar. You also proceed to talk about F35 combat tactics, yet that has nothing to do with what I said about having customizable displays, you seem to talk about random things that are nothing related except for a few points.

    You also talk about targets staying "90° up and 90° down", and I've already mentioned that is almost impossible for one, dose the radar give you information on the orientation of the ship? Two, how do you know opponent is using the same horizon? Therefore how do you know you are on top or bottom? Three, you can not maintain perfect 90° even if you have all information.

    Let me show you something. The image below is no different of an issue as to having multiple contacts on the same range in 2D radar. Also tell me the range of each contact without the need to read texts (which I left out), you would have to take your time and measure the lines as well as the distance from the center (doing right-angle triangle calculations).


    Edit: this is what it will look like with my radar if my maths is correct (There will be slight inaccuracy due to my part in converting):

    (A = angle of target in degrees)
    Also I would prefer something like this http://i.stack.imgur.com/cd3Vu.png rather then a square grid, however I could not find a clean template of one.

    Again, I should restate this, this is not for a replacement, rather optional addition to existing systems that are already implemented.

    Another question I want to ask you, where do you get your facts about the F35 being a bad design? You do realise all aircraft development went through the same criticism? Eg. People were saying how the F15 is to fail, bad design, flying brick, etc as well, but look at it now. The F-15 was using brand new tech, brand new systems for it's time, and now they are standards for todays aircraft.

  8. #8
    Before blaming others, check if you aren't biased yourself. But let's calm the discussion before we both make it personal.

    First : If that's for an alternate MFD display of sensors and not replace the 3D sensor I don't have anything against it, except the developer wasting his time on it but that's his decision anyway. Someone could certainly mods that for you later if they think it's a good idea, ask the Dev for in-game mods interface.

    I discussed Air-fighter dynamic/tactic because the way it operate explain how their display are made. And this is necessary because you take Aircraft for example despite Spaceship operating with very different rules. You can't use an air-fighter logic, we don't even actually need to think in term of "up" or "down" since you won't "climb" or "dive".
    You insisted on separate custom display but you've yet to tell us what you would move from the 2D or 3D sensor-display to them, for all I know you can have multiple MFD <--> HUD synergy with a 3D display as well, that's why I have nothing to say.

    Now I hope you don't mind but some of your point force me to split up my answer in quote. It make it redundant but most of your point are contextual. I don't mind if you answer them in bulk of course. [/making-stuff-clear]

    # CLUTTERING
    Quote Originally Posted by Hakase View Post
    This is the kind of stuff I want to avoid seeing on a 3D radar http://i.imgur.com/QVDTJdQ.jpg.
    Put aside that I don't endorse that picture (Rogue System current system is more than different enough).
    That pictured situation would be WORSE using your 2D display and I find it worrying that you don't see it yourself. You already have an example with your "square-disk" picture, Take the dot 2 and 4, you can't see from a glance how far away they really are from each other (I'm assuming you know their range through the concentric circle method) or if one is nearly just above you and the other just below, if you wrote the angle it would be a unreadable mess.

    "Localized area" in space are easily the same as huge "open space". I can have 100 ship waiting to dock to a station, if I spread them on a waiting-orbit they can stay hundred of kilometers apart of each other, even if your Docking-Station have 1 ship arrival/departure every 10 minutes you can spread a lot of ship in a 25km sphere or cube. NOT that I expect that many ships anyway.
    I insist that "trading route" is meaningless in space as it represent variable interplanetary trajectory. No problem with "high traffic area" or "trading post".

    # HOW THE DISPLAY WORK
    where as 3D radars, they could be 20,000km above but show 10m from the center
    You are making stuff up.
    Currently on Rogue System Sensor-display (NEW screenshot) http://images.akamai.steamuserconten...38110389D4EC9/
    1) RANGE is currently always displayed, any range further than the selected-scale is shown at the furthest distance possible, including upper border and it's clear enough.
    2) The 3D display precisely show how far above and below signal are (they have red line when below btw)
    3) Your 2D display isn't any better, you are limited to a certain scale of value as well and need the range as well, however yours create a problems that I already explained above.
    note : The reference plane is that of your spaceship


    # DISPLAY LIMITATION
    Also "3D" radars are still projected on 2D screen, that is an issue itself
    Less than a 3D situation forcibly flattened on a 2D-space then projected on a 2D screen.

    I see you talking, but not saying anything, the things that you say need listed are not trivial info that is not like you can't add on my radar
    I consider accurate 3D positioning so trivial (and already being discussed) that it wasn't worth mentioning, yet this the very thing a 2D display fail at. You are wasting space with a [+/- angle] when you could just display the dot at the right position in the first place. Using the place you use for the Angle for more important stuff or simply not cluttering the screen with number.
    If you want me to list features incompatible with 2D : If we need vector, you can't represent a 3D vector on a 2D screen without forcing the user to look at more numbers. a 3D display can show it intuitively.
    Lastly, I told you we might need to see planet/moon/huge station on the radar. Since your 2D reference plane is the one of the spaceship, you can't represent more than a cut view which would give very confusing form.
    At best we can use another MFD entirely to keep track of your position/planet/orbit, avoiding one problem of 2D.

    Beside the list was intended for everybody to suggest and discuss the usefulness of various sort of data, not as "points against you".

    You also talk about targets staying "90° up and 90° down", and I've already mentioned that is almost impossible for one, dose the radar give you information on the orientation of the ship? Two, how do you know opponent is using the same horizon? Therefore how do you know you are on top or bottom? Three, you can not maintain perfect 90° even if you have all information.
    Tell me wether or not you know if those dot are not 1000km above or below
    1) You missed my point with the "+90 and -90". To rephrase it : enemies could come from direction that (in a 2D radar) would generate conflicting reading (in this case, overlaps and make you fail to see which one is "above/below"). Also if a target is moving around the 90° mark (range 3km) it will look like to be wildly circling your 2D 3km ring despite staying roughly only in one direction "above" you, leading to confusion unless you change your own orientation to stop that.
    2) The reference plane you see in my screenshot is the one of your ship in rogue system. If I rotate, all echo move accordingly. Rotate "90° up" ? What was above me is now in front of me...etc...etc
    3) what reference the enemy use is of no importance, "top" and "bottom" as well (outside of simplifying discussion), this is SPACE you must stop thinking in "Air-fighter" term like "horizon" or "on top".
    Aside I did say you might need the main source of gravity displayed because it rule your trajectory, maybe also have to display the System's ECLIPTIC plane.

    # PRACTICAL EXAMPLE
    Let me show you something. The image below is no different of an issue as to having multiple contacts on the same range in 2D radar. Also tell me the range of each contact without the need to read texts (which I left out), you would have to take your time and measure the lines as well as the distance from the center (doing right-angle triangle calculations).
    http://fr.tinypic.com/view.php?pic=zwjk82&s=9
    All but 3 or those dots are closer than 1 kilometers.
    Most are between 1km and 500km, in a plane sightly inclined "above", only one is in another plane ("below") and should have a red-line to my current attitude (see my new screenshot above).
    If I wanted to position myself so my front face most of them I would tilt 70° on the left then rotate 90° up, leaving only two dots clearly to far to bother me (yet).

    Your turn : (new image) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...b.png~original
    Imagining that's the only data you get, tell me which one are in different plane ("above/below"). Consider the black number as kilometer.
    I'm not giving the angles since you don't seem to want to want them yourself. It would obviously "solve the problem" but that's a problem you don't have in 3D.
    Even if I did give you the angles, 3 signals on this pictures would make it hard to read in a way that wouldn't happen in 3D.
    Good luck moving instinctively in 3D with that.

    Another question I want to ask you, where do you get your facts about the F35 being a bad design? You do realise all aircraft development went through the same criticism? Eg. People were saying how the F15 is to fail, bad design, flying brick, etc as well, but look at it now. The F-15 was using brand new tech, brand new systems for it's time, and now they are standards for todays aircraft.
    Oh boy...
    No, No aircraft ever got as much criticism. The F-35 is the most criticized and costly plane ever developed in the entire history of the US. The F15 and the F16 were already good on paper, same for the A10.
    I work in aeronautic, I doubt would have had something against the F-15 just like I believe I would think the F-16 needed its radar (I know their history in details).
    I'll give you some links in PM, I think we should move that discussion away, no point here, let's just say that the pointless VTOL feature crippled the F-35 as a whole.

  9. #9
    I would like to know where I took aircraft as an example besides wanting an customisable display. Or were you referring to my statement where I said aircraft today has 3D situation awareness? If that was the case then you misinterpreted, I said such claims because of the way you said you can only get 3D awareness only with "3D" radar. I never said it was piratical for space and I emphasize with saying my radar works different. I may misinterpreted what you were saying myself, but that was the reason why I said such.

    # CLUTTERING
    No, if you really want, I will take the time and draw you every point of that Elite 3D radar clutter and show on a 2D screen. I actually shouldn't have to, just look at the radars horizon without the vertical lines, if the radar was taking yellow "R" for range (You will understand if you continue to next paragraph).

    # HOW THE DISPLAY WORK
    I guess I might be misunderstanding how that one works as there are two ways of seeing it, so tell me which one it is. One, the range only shows the length of the target position from the center but not the "x" value of true range, or two, dose it actually show you the true range/distance of a target from your ship? eg. http://oi63.tinypic.com/zsuveq.jpg . Dose it take into the account of the Green "R" or Yellow "R"? If it's the green, you are not getting instant info on it's true distance from your ship, therefore you need to do calculations, that was the issue I was showing from this example http://oi64.tinypic.com/zwjk82.jpg transitioning to this http://oi66.tinypic.com/j6oie9.jpg as you can see. If it's the Yellow "R" then I guess it's not a problem. My 2D radar displays Yellow "R" relevant to the targets position from the center and it's bearing.

    Edit: I see the Range is listed in small text next to the target square for the true range, in a multi contact situation, it would take longer to make accurate assessment/evaluate each contacts range. Your eyes would have to bounce up and down reading each number. Where as with my 2D radar, range is relevant to the distance from the edge to the center of the radar, directly from the distance of the target from your ship (Yellow "R"). This is where it comes down to personal preference, do you prefer range over angle? Or angle over range? Different way of viewing the situation, but in my preference, I'd rather see range over angle. It's like saying; Do you prefer having a 3D Globe of the world or a 2D map of the world? Both have it's pros and cons.

    # DISPLAY LIMITATION
    I don't discriminate on that issue, but we both know those are not a problem when using both types. Also I use horizon and or "on top" as a term because I already stated you can lock horizon with artificial means, that means it is a piratical use. Not to mentioned you were the one who mentioned hitting from the top, bottom, sides for the weak points etc.

    #Roundup from everything below that line
    First of all I would like to clear your request with this: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Trib...xkjcb.png.html

    Clearly I'm already at a merge with target 8 for some reason without dealing with it, how that came to be? Maybe that person is really good at being stealthy (We all know there is no stealth in space)?. Anyway lets move on, target 8 is the imminent threat that I need to engage. As you have said in your other statement, "other dots clearly to far to bother me (yet)". You see, the range of a target is my first priority, I would seek out targets are are in range or the most threat, select the desired target and find out it's angle if not displayed already, as well as the HUD should instantly tell you it's orientation. How is that hard? My radar displays the range of the targets regardless of which angle they are positioned. You then workout your trajectory and deal with the situation as planned.

    The dancing target around the axis's? I've already explained the chances of a target right on 90 are almost zero. To add to that, if you have not locked horizon and left it free floating to move alongside your roll axis, the chances are even smaller. If the target is somehow at 90 moving across, at most it will shift from one side to the other and remain there to it's new bearing, only time it will be circling like crazy is if you are in a merge with that one target, even then you can tell if the target has moved to which side of your ship, but mostly you will be relying on your HUD regardless if you are using 2D or 3D radar.

    In reality if you think about it, the 2D radar is the exact same thing as of the 3D, only being locked top view. Instead of showing the vertical lines, text value are displayed, that is if the 3D radar was taking Yellow "R" range. I want to eliminate the need to perceptually read a 3D radar on a 2D surface.

    As for the F35, I do agree there are issues, but I would like to know how accurate you are getting the info, as some blindly follow media which over evaluate the situation. PS. let me know if you got my PM.

  10. #10
    I see the misunderstanding but as your answer to my example nail it you do follow an aircraft logic, or maybe nautical logic but I doubt it's that bad.


    # CLUTTERING
    As I said the Elite:Dangerous design isn't one I would defend, it is not very well made, probably only there because it would have looked odds not to have one in a space-sim.
    For the vertical line they are an integral part of the (current) Rogue System 3D display, I don't understand why you would take them out. Myself I described taking the angle out of your 2D display as being the same : ridiculous.

    With the current 3D-radar (and its lines) I don't need to read then remember every ranges & angle-value or every signal/dot to know where everything really is, my peripheral vision and innate instinctive ability to project myself and situate points in a planar-forest of colored vertical line allow me to know which direction they actually come and their range without recalculating them in my mind.

    No, if you really want, I will take the time and draw you every point of that Elite 3D radar clutter and show on a 2D screen
    I don't neeed because I can imagine the result, you'll have a dozen dots that are roughly at similar range but no easy way of knowing which one are "up" or "down" (as if it didn't matter) unless you try squeezing all their angles (and ranges), and for some reason you'll claim to be satisfied with it.
    Anyway for a true comparison you would have to redraw it using the "Rogue System" 3D screen, with colored vertical-line and range for each, and I frankly wouldn't bother myself.


    # HOW THE DISPLAY WORK
    picture : http://fr.tinypic.com/view.php?pic=zsuveq&s=9
    Yes, as you saw the TRUE range (distance between you and signal, yellow line) is the one written. The grey number only concern your plane, that way you can also easily evaluate the distance between different dots.


    I don't think we can continue much longer on the specific topic of "which display would be faster to read" because I'm can't help but to put into doubt your ability for assessment or in layman's term say "That's bull****" (and be sophisticated as hell about it).

    But to attempt a neutral stance, your suggestion only trade the "hassle" of reading the range by the (IMO worse) hassle of needing to read the angle and represent mentally the position of the target, which I consider just as critical if not more and also not up to personal preference. Man/Machine-interface Designer are paid big buck for knowing what methods truly work better than other.
    Yet sometime it really is up to some individual and I can't claim you won't like it ...because you might be masochist or not know better, you get the idea.

    To give my personal impression,
    The way you put more importance in the immediate range of the target rather than its actual position in space is part of why I think you use "aircraft logic", because what I was saying on it is that for modern fighter you NEVER have Echo coming from 100km straight up (unless you are attacked by alien or you start needing to hunt satellite with Air-space missiles). Relative speed also have yet to go above 5000km/h.
    Furthermore, all planes even come with a natural "horizon" locked everybody globally spreading on the same plane, Flight Level coming already codified, aerodynamic requirement mean no plane can stay above you easily because you are always moving never static. So no wonder you on need the 3rd dimension displayed in what's left of "dogfight".

    In space everything is different, and straight-up contact can happen constantly, speed and vector are also much more important infos, you can have target coming from any direction at speed between 7000 and 11000m/s (orbital speed for Earth). Even (or especially) if we postulate fine-maneuvering (or fight) to start at range of 100km and only with little relative velocity, you still find yourself in a HUGE SPACE where spaceship can maneuver and be anywhere around you.
    And this is a problem because if you face a situation that require constant monitory you don't want to have to read angle and mentally represent the angle in your mind to know whether or not you should do anything. If the position of a few signals require me to move somewhere you need to see it without remembering all the angle.

    I was talking in broad terms because it include CIVILIAN NEEDS as well. If you know the Tenerife airport disaster, imagine an equivalent happening because someone couldn't see the real situation in 3D.
    Remember the part of the tutorial that told us to "not move straight toward the station" ? Myself I want a radar that tell me if any moron made an approach like that, risking to collide with me or burn my ship with MegaWatt thruster. It include space debris and I want that in a format where I don't need to check the angle to know which plan is safe.
    Remember the cliché of planar-shockware in space ? Where all you should have to do to avoid it is go up but hero don't ? That's 2D logic.

    # DISPLAY LIMITATION
    From my point of view the 2D display you describe is inherently inferior for many reasons, some already stated. I get the True Range & the actual position with only one thing to read.
    To make it clear : I will support your wish to be able to use alternate MFD display, but I will not push the only developer on this game waste his time making another one (he is the only one to decide that anyway, and his current 3D-radar comfort why I like this simulator-project).


    # PRACTICAL EXAMPLE
    Just to clarify : I often used military terms but I also include civilian ship situation.
    I found your answer to be evasive, yet spot-on why I felt I needed to explain in length the difference against atmospheric navigation.
    You can't rely on the idea that you'll never be facing numerous target, neither on them all coming from angle friendly with the limitation of your radar, and even less to "have dealt with the rest already" as if you were playing a Arcade Shooter.

    - Looking for the biggest threat
    You use a sensor display to gain situational awareness and take decision that require critical data such as POSITIONS, range, vector, speed ...etc. If (somehow) you already know what is the threat, which direction to move, in which order to deal with them...etc, it mean you don't actually need your 2D-display and should just go on with targeting so -> HUD

    The more I try to understand your logic, the less I think you describe a Sensor-display, but a Rangefinder.
    Your 2D-display only stop suffering as soon as you limit it to one or two target in roughly the same direction, assume the plane don't matter (except it do, if only because your weapon can't face 360°) and the only things you care are your weapon's range.
    To the point where you could effectively cut it and make a separate non-radar HUD that show nothing but range, and weapon range.
    I'd compare that to the crude-display you find in the game "Children of a Dead Earth" ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/476530/ / https://childrenofadeadearth.files.w...caps.png?w=700 ), the game have its quality but that radar show its limitation even in "one vs one".

    - The "90°" problem
    Actually I realize I had seriously lessened the problem. Because of how your 2D radar work and all the rotations you'll need to do, you'll be putting Echos in your own +/-90° sphere yourself as you rotate around, same problem if some Echos happen to stack vertically as you move and rotate.
    To take my picture ( http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Trib...xkjcb.png.html ) if you rotate 90°... up or down ? to see the closest Dot, you'll put 2 dots who were "in front" and the dot "behind" in your vertical axis, the locked target will come back around 0°.
    It's a really bad idea to have to memorize mentally the actual "elevation" of each of your target.

    - Locking the "Horizon"
    First you should be talking of Plane of Reference,
    Next, if you lock what I think you lock it mean that your 2D radar will also have to display and track your current orientation (yes that's hard in 2D).
    If you intend to use your HUD to tell you that, it mean that your are using it as a 3D radar to overcome what your radar should have been doing, but since your HUD can only show what the camera show and not what behind you (no more 360° screen like the Firearc) you'll have to turn the ship around to get an instinctive understanding of the situation.
    Part of why I said we would probably need a reference plane BESIDE the ship is that it help remembering what you started from.

    In reality if you think about it, the 2D radar is the exact same thing as of the 3D, only being locked top view. Instead of showing the vertical lines, text value are displayed, that is if the 3D radar was taking Yellow "R" range.
    That's not reality, that's wishful thinking at best.
    You might as well have said : "the 2D radar is the same thing as a fish. Instead not being a fish, but a display not intuitive in a 3D space".
    Are you taking us for morons ?

    Funny things :
    We could easily do the reverse and emulate your 2D-display...in fake-3D, using the line to represent angle instead so you don't need them written. I don't see any point of doing that but I'm betting it would be still be easier to read than yours.

    I want to eliminate the need to perceptually read a 3D radar on a 2D surface.
    Why ? Because it's too efficient and intuitive ? You should check your definition of "perceptually" and "read" or you'll have a black screen !
    To be fair the only way to eliminate that would be if you downloaded the "Situation" into our brain a la Matrix. If you wanted to lessen the need for perception you would have to make it more intuitive than the current 3D-display.

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