Terrain worlds

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Tortanick
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Terrain worlds

#1 Post by Tortanick » Mon May 12, 2008 9:59 pm

Something's been bugging me (just a little, so its not a big deal or anything :)) and that's Terrain worlds:

Mainly it seems that Terrain worlds are the odd one out, the definition of a Terrain world is basically "earthlike", but when you consider that all of the other planet types are a single environment but Earth has about half of them it Terrain worlds don't really fit with the others.

And secondly there is a percular issue of the boundary between an Terrain world and an Ocean world, basically Earth is always considered to be a Terrain world but its 70% water. It just doesn't make much sense that 30% land means its more suited for land dwellers than it is for ocean dwellers.

Anyway I can think of a few ways to get around this:
1) ignore it, I'm probably the only guy who cares ;)
2) replace Terrain with something else, like plains or forests (anyone know a word that combines the two) and move Earth to an Ocean world*
3) Make a joke out of it. Real life planets tend to be a lot more detailed and varied than 4x planets for obvious reasons. We replace Terrain with plains / forest but leave earth as the only Terrian planet in the game (it counts as plains), and have the ingame manual explicitly say just how odd a planet with so many environments is, and how its the perfect environment for humans despite us being land dwelling and it being mostly water.
4) Earth used to be an ocean world, but humans have transformed it into plains by the time the game starts. Possibly they do this during the story and it carries on into multiplayer.

* Or just remove it if humans arn't in the game. If we have humans that would mean some "evolved in the wrong kind of homeworld" racial trait. So earth is a mostly Oceanic world but humans prefer plains.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Terrain worlds

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon May 12, 2008 10:04 pm

Don't over-think silly scifi conventions...

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Tortanick
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Re: Terrain worlds

#3 Post by Tortanick » Mon May 12, 2008 10:14 pm

but I can't help it :mrgreen:

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eleazar
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Re: Terrain worlds

#4 Post by eleazar » Wed May 14, 2008 4:30 pm

Tortanick wrote:Something's been bugging me
...
basically Earth is always considered to be a Terrain world but its 70% water.
It bugs me too.
Tortanick wrote:but when you consider that all of the other planet types are a single environment but Earth has about half of them it Terrain worlds don't really fit with the others.
You shouldn't assume that. It's just really clumsy to call a planet a: "60% tundra, 25% desert, & 15% ocean world" not to mention more detail than we want to deal with. It doesn't mean a "tundra" world is 100% featureless, unvaried tundra.

It reasonable to assume that most planets have a variety of environments on them, even an inferno planet has different climates or types of molten rock. However, these distinctions are ignored by the game and the planet is presented as the average of all it's parts, climates and environments.


EDIT: BTW its "Terran" not "Terrain"
"Terrain" is land, as in "They hiked over rough terrain to reach the cabin."
Last edited by eleazar on Wed May 14, 2008 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#5 Post by M4lV » Wed May 14, 2008 4:53 pm

Earth is to be considered as class M or Terrain world, at least in Star Trek terms (don't know how "general" and real-life related those definitions are):
[CLASS_M_INFO]
Always located in the ecological region of a star where they are provided enough warmth and energy to develop and sustain carbon-based life. Their surfaces comprises a thin tectonic layer floating on a molten rock mantle and they usually have many active volcanoes. Most importantly, they have plenty of liquid water necessary for life to exist. Their atmospheres contain oxygen and nitrogen with other gas traces. Life forms are almost always present, often flourishing as extensive plant and animal life.

[CLASS_O_INFO]
Similar to Class M worlds but over 80% of their surface is covered in water. Life forms would mainly be aquatic in nature. In the series, Argo (from Star Trek: the Animated Series), and Pacifica from Star Trek: The Next Generation are considered Class O planets.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#6 Post by eleazar » Wed May 14, 2008 5:00 pm

M4lV wrote:Earth is to be considered as class M or Terrain world, at least in Star Trek terms (don't know how "general" and real-life related those definitions are):
It has absolutely nothing to do with real life.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#7 Post by M4lV » Wed May 14, 2008 5:12 pm

But I think it makes sense.

On a side note, what definition are you using for Terran? Or to put it another way, what is the "real-life" definition of terran?

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Re: Terrain worlds

#8 Post by eleazar » Wed May 14, 2008 5:25 pm

M4lV wrote:what is the "real-life" definition of terran?
Literally "Terra" means "Earth",
so "Terran" means "Earth-like" or "pertaining to Earth".

Since Venus or Mars or Titan (depending on how you look at it) are the most similar celestial bodies to Earth that we know of, it's a little premature to have an official definition for "earth-like" worlds.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#9 Post by Kythras » Wed May 14, 2008 5:29 pm

From what I understand, an ocean world is mostly covered by water and only has small islands for land

A Terran world has some sort of good mix of water and land (like, from 20% land 80% water to 80% land 20% water)

and then you have a plains, or arid, or whatever (Which is sadly not on the EP wheel :roll: )

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Re: Terrain worlds

#10 Post by M4lV » Wed May 14, 2008 5:35 pm

This: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extrasolar ... sification might help. The star trek definitions btw. just do such a distinction like you mentioned kythras.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#11 Post by Tortanick » Wed May 14, 2008 7:29 pm

eleazar wrote: You shouldn't assume that. It's just really clumsy to call a planet a: "60% tundra, 25% desert, & 15% ocean world" not to mention more detail than we want to deal with. It doesn't mean a "tundra" world is 100% featureless, unvaried tundra.

It reasonable to assume that most planets have a variety of environments on them, even an inferno planet has different climates or types of molten rock. However, these distinctions are ignored by the game and the planet is presented as the average of all it's parts, climates and environments.
That's what I would have thought, but I looked at the actual graphics and apart from Terran worlds they look pretty much like they're entirely of one environment except at the poles (and sometimes not even then).

Anyway that's sort of beside the point. Even if we do say that the environment type is just the average, or the dominant environment terran, unlike every other class of planet, is still not an environment but rather refers to planets like earth, that when you get down to it, are more ocean worlds than anything else. (especially if we say ocean worlds explicitally arn't 100% featureless ocean)


@M4lV Star Teck never was that scientifically accurate, and their planet classifications at a glance (from this non geologist) look rather suspect. Basically earth is class M, remove both the American continents and its a class O. And given what it says about life forms (remember I never watched Star Trek, I'm just reading your post) that would move it from primarally land based life to primarally ocean based life. Now I know removing a large chunk of land would have a large affect on evolution but it wouldn't be that drastic. Besides isn't the majority of earth's life in the oceans? I tried to Google it but came up blank.
P.S. (why exactly did the federation call earth a class M, rather than a class A? is it M for Mother earth?)
Kythras wrote:A Terran world has some sort of good mix of water and land (like, from 20% land 80% water to 80% land 20% water)
Why is 80% water 20% land Terran? Surely if you think about how this affects the gameplay, what species are more at home on a given planet, a land dwelling race would be less comfortable on that world than an ocean dwelling one.
And that's only considering land/water, what happens if its 80% water 20% desert, would that be a desert world or an ocean world?

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Re: Terrain worlds

#12 Post by Krikkitone » Wed May 14, 2008 8:48 pm

Here's how I would see the planets

I would say pretty much any world with an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere (and no taint that wold cause 90% of the human population to die before the age of 5), liquid water (say 20%+) and more than 5% land would be terran

"Ocean" worlds would also have liquid water at least say 35% possibly no land at all, and the atmosphere might be mostly oxygen nitrogen, but would include stuff that was very hard to breathe (chlorine, sulfur, methane type taints derived from its unique biology and situation, some things in the atmosphere that would make it very uncomfortable)

"Swamp" worlds atmospheres would still have nitrogen is probably still a large atmosphere component, but minimal oxygen, a variety of other compounds would be the dominant form of metabolism. Liquid water would still be present. Without assistance humans would be dead in minutes or seconds.

"Toxic" worlds would probably not have liquid water, and would consits of not only deadly but corrosive (to normal earth manufacturing practices) substances in gasseous and liquid form... LBAWKI (Life, but as we know it) probably good strong greenhouse effects

"Inferno" worlds are incredibly hot... liquid Rock, atmospheres are irrelevant for terrans.. (although toxic life forms might survive here...)... LBAWKI and only as some of the most fringe scific authors have even imagined it.

"Radiated" worlds are also incredibly hot... but here the heat has driven off most of the atmosphere, so there is not much liquid anything

"Barren" worlds have almost no... anything atmosphere/liquid/substantial radiation.. Life here is either self contained or solid state.. generally these worlds ae cold, but some are warm

"Desert" worlds are basically barren worlds with a minimal atmosphere probably nitrogen-carbon dioxide, Mars is a good example, no liquid water, and very little solid water... there is probably some oxygen in the atmosphere. Life may be similar to some forms of life on Terran worlds.

"Tundra" worlds have a strong atmosphere but almost no heat, there is substantial water, but most of it is frozen.. nitrogen oxygen atmosphere, but with substantial amounts of other chemicals generated by global processes that only take place in the polar caps of terran worlds.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#13 Post by pd » Wed May 14, 2008 9:13 pm

Thanks Krikkitone. That makes sense and I'll try to take this into account when working on the planet textures and shaders. I'm glad you said, Radiated planets have a thin atmosphere, because I'd like to have one for them too(the wiki sais, they are barren worlds). If you have visual suggestions, feel free to post in the ogre tech demo thread!

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Re: Terrain worlds

#14 Post by eleazar » Thu May 15, 2008 5:03 am

pd wrote:If you have visual suggestions, feel free to post in the ogre tech demo thread!
It would be more convenient to make them in the graphics forum where images can be uploaded.
I started this tread for that purpose.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#15 Post by Orioes » Thu May 15, 2008 7:16 am

If I may interject as I perceive it the planet types we have are more general notes on the characteristics of the planet than a set of specifications for chemistry and composition. Therefore Terran can be defined as a planet with a substantial atmosphere that has open liquid oceans or lakes as well as substantial above "water" landmasses. Note this doesn't define the composition or percentages involved so planets that are substantially different but not different enough to be classified as separate types (Archaeozoic Earth Neoproterozoic Earth, Carboniferous Earth, Modern Earth, Titan) can be classified as Terran there by saving the time energy and complexity it would take to classify planets by more "scientific" or "accurate" means. Similarly Oceanic planets (for example) can be defined as a planet that has a surface consisting entirely or nearly entirely of liquid (regardless of type) with few if any above surface formations. It is (for the purpose of the game) immaterial whether these oceans are a mile deep or three feet (though if that is the case I see some overlap with swamp planets) or whether they consist of water, sulfuric acid or kerosine. Therefore what may be seen as an unique oversimplification of a groups of biomes into a single type (Terran) is in actuality true of all types to a greater or lesser degree.


Or I could be completely incorrect. Either way if there is to be modification to the system of planets I would suggest adding a "chemistry" characteristic representative of the native (or terraformed) chemistry of the atmosphere, environment and life of the planet (Carbon-Water Silicone-Sulfuric acid etc) as this adds both strategic depth (Assuming I'm Human do I colonize the tundra planet that is C-H2O or the Terran planet that is something else? Or the XYZ Empire has colonized that last C-H2O planet within range of my ships time to go to war) as well as the integration of a more diverse collection of aliens down the road. I suspect this may be too much a modification to implement but its something to contemplate.

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