Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

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grot
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Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by grot » 12 Mar 2015, 03:59

I think the moon bug would be a good starting point for me - most likely just the positioning, not the rendering-side.

Before I start into it, I was wondering if my goal should be to replicate Morrowind, or should I look online to find the most definitively lore-friendly moon presentation? Apparently it changes slightly from game to game. My first thought was "these moons probably are not astronomically correct...

hmm... it would probably be best to simply copy Morrowind, to avoid "my own" interpretation of the lore.

I'll still ask this question though - since I'm curious. Perhaps somebody has a really good point.

I have other questions:
1) from this document:
http://bugs.openmw.org/attachments/down ... /moons.ods
I'm not sure what the 'facing' column refers to. it is set here in the code:
https://github.com/OpenMW/openmw/blob/o ... r.cpp#L408

2) from the same document, I don't know what the 'night' column refers to, and I don't see that value being set in the code.

3) i don't see anything referring to the waning/waxing of the moons. is the determined somewhere else? (I could see it being in the graphics code as, if this night, render this moon.. seems a bit odd though)

Here is a link with some moon texture files, for reference:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=492

grot
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by grot » 12 Mar 2015, 06:10

turned up the speed in Morrowind to videotape the moons going by - pretty surprised - the moons seem to follow the same path every night, but they appear at different times each night, in different orders. in order to 100% replicate the vanilla Morrowind we might need hardcoded definitions for each night of the cycle/month/year - or it might be a random generator. I'll install a clock mod, record it, and possibly upload it to youtube.

are there good morrowind mods for developers? I'm going to get a clock and compass, but an altitude vector would be nice too

edit: also, i should have asked - I looked at ssg - I have windows dual boot, so it goes pretty fast - but I wasn't sure which numbers indicated the position/speed/etc of the moons. If someone could show me where that is then I could collect that data as well.

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nnayo
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by nnayo » 12 Mar 2015, 09:46

personnaly, I'm for moons as much astronomical as possible.
but if they behave like in morrowind, it is a nice first step.

there's already a thread on the moons: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1618&hilit=moons

grot
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by grot » 12 Mar 2015, 21:35

I agree with what Zini says in that other thread. I think the most fundamental point is that there is quite a bit of evidence that the moons aren't celestial bodies at all - apparently some of the lore refers to the moons as other planes of existence. And trying to apply astronomy to planes of existence doesn't make much sense. If Bethesda had wanted to make them astronomically accurate, they easily could have. And if they are planes of existence, changing their behavior could make the moons incompatible with future Elder Scrolls games.

That said it would be nice to leave in the option for a modder to change the moon behavior. I don't like it, personally, just because I rarely notice the moons.

What I will probably do is take down data, try to emulate the vanilla behavior reasonably closely, then put the data online, and if one day somebody wants to refine it more, they can.

I'll try to make it fairly easy to mod, but it probably makes more sense to wait until after 1.0 to try and add something like that.

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heilkitty
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by heilkitty » 13 Mar 2015, 04:09

grot wrote:there is quite a bit of evidence that the moons aren't celestial bodies at all - apparently some of the lore refers to the moons as other planes of existence
I think that's kinda like Morrowind's grasses that are bad for horsies, it shouldn't be taken too seriously.
In Soviet MoЯЯowind, Almalexia kills YOU!!

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nnayo
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by nnayo » 13 Mar 2015, 07:55

grot wrote:there is quite a bit of evidence that the moons aren't celestial bodies at all - apparently some of the lore refers to the moons as other planes of existence.
I see this explanation as The Elder Scroll team not willing, not being able to make the moons behave like astronomical bodies...
So it is not convincing me that much.... :roll:

BlueFootedBooby
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by BlueFootedBooby » 17 Mar 2015, 16:32

nnayo wrote:
grot wrote:there is quite a bit of evidence that the moons aren't celestial bodies at all - apparently some of the lore refers to the moons as other planes of existence.
I see this explanation as The Elder Scroll team not willing, not being able to make the moons behave like astronomical bodies...
So it is not convincing me that much.... :roll:
Friendly reminder that in-game texts state that the world is actually the corpse of a dead god, and that the moons are fragments of this corpse.

Also, "word of god" (ie the devs, as opposed to fallible in-universe writers) say that the Daedric lords have their own planes of existence where for all intents and purposes they dictate the laws of physics. It's implied (though I can't remember if it's ever stated) that Nirn exists in what amounts to a Daedric plane that has lost its lord.

Point is, while that particular dev comment may well be tongue in cheek, it's not reasonable to assume that it's in-universe truth that Nirn, Maris, and Secunda are planetary bodies following IRL orbital mechanics. Beyond that, it's rather arrogant to casually imply laziness on the devs' part.

Chris
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by Chris » 17 Mar 2015, 20:23

In lore, the terms "plane" and "planet" can basically be used interchangeably. That's why when you read certain books, you'll see terms like "plane(t)". You can see (according to lore) both Aedric and Daedric planes as planets from Nirn, and can travel to them the old fashioned way.

It's certainly questionable how much (or not) celestial bodies are supposed to follow physical laws. After all, it was once stated that the moons were supposed to turn transparent at different phases so that you could see through them, yet in all later games they were solid with no explanation for the change... almost like it was an engine bug they fixed. :P Who's to say the way they get lit isn't also a bug? Especially when dealing with statically-lit spites, matching the correct phase with the correct angle from the sun may not be particularly trivial, and as there are more important things to worry about, they could've just said it was good enough. There's sometimes a fine line between 'weasel lore' and intended behavior (not to mention 'word of god' can be just as false as in-game explanations, because the devs can change their minds).

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heilkitty
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by heilkitty » 18 Mar 2015, 04:10

In this particular case no one implied laziness, I think; as for me, I implied deadlines. Anyway, Bethesda've slaughtered nice and cozy jungles of Cyrodiil and presented a lame excuse in Oblivion ingame book, so one can imply anything. This (and over 9000 other similar inconsistencies) are the reason that such bug-features shouldn't necessary be recreated faithfully.
In Soviet MoЯЯowind, Almalexia kills YOU!!

Tolchock
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Re: Moons - replicate Morrowind or lore friendly?

Post by Tolchock » 18 Mar 2015, 15:34

I, too, am in favour of making the path of the moons more astronomically accurate -- as long it is not too tedious. It is much preferable to privilege interesting lore over lame, likely development-constrained depictions. As Chris points out, the moons being Daedric planes in no way contradicts the fact that they can manifest themselves as physical, celestial bodies. Here are some interesting lore-related considerations I can think up, off the top of my head:

*The form Khajiit take is based upon the phase of the lunar cycle, not that any specifics are specified.
*The Khajiit were thrown into turmoil by the disappearance of the moon in the interval between Oblivion and Skyrim. Some irregular, non-new moon disappearance -- as appears happens in Morrowind -- would thus likely be pretty disturbing for them.

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