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Level 4 Laser Color

laser color level 4 gold green

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Poll: Level 4 Laser Color (11 member(s) have cast votes)

What color should the Level 4 Lasers be?

  1. Gold (current) (6 votes [54.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 54.55%

  2. Green (classic) (4 votes [36.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.36%

  3. Other (specify) (1 votes [9.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.09%

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#1
Star Machinist

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Today while playing around in the latest Proving Grounds build, I was switching between Vulcan and Level 4 lasers and thought about how they looked extremely similar (gold tracer rounds versus gold lasers.) I've been playing a bit more of Descent 1 (Rebirth mod is great) and am quite fond of those classic green Level 4 lasers. I kinda wish the Level 4 lasers in Descent: Underground were also green.

 

I mean, think about it. D:U is a prequel. We didn't see gold lasers until Descent 2, and those were Level 5 lasers. It'd just make more sense for the Level 4 lasers in D:U to be green as well (or similar on that side of the color wheel.) It'd also add a little more variation in the current line-up of laser colors. There are lots of "warm" colors when we could use more "cool" colors for our weapons in my opinion.

 

On top of that, the Level 3 lasers are also yellow-gold in appearance. Doesn't seem like much of a difference appearance-wise going from Level 3 to Level 4 aside from the "sparky" trails on the Level 4 gold lasers. I think if they were green, that'd give them a more distinct appearance.

 

What do you think?


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Also unfortunately called: 

- Star Masochist (thanks Wingman)

- Star Misogynist (thanks Plaidhatter)

- Star Machicolation (thanks dunkelza)


#2
DarkwingDiva

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Blue, because reasons.


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#3
Star Machinist

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Blue wouldn't be bad. If I remember correctly, the original D1 Level 3 lasers were blue.

 

In D:U, our laser color progression is red -> orange -> yellow -> gold.

 

In D1, I believe it was orange -> purple -> blue -> green.


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See You Underground

Also unfortunately called: 

- Star Masochist (thanks Wingman)

- Star Misogynist (thanks Plaidhatter)

- Star Machicolation (thanks dunkelza)


#4
defcon_x

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Blue would be pretty rad, actually. It would be neat if different drones had slight laser color differences.

 

But yeah, prequel wise I love the idea of D:U lasers going red > orange > purple > blue

 

And a super laser green tongue.png

 

But actually, lore-wise, the gold level 4 makes sense. The idea is that they didn't have a way of containing that level of energy yet so it gets all bursty and bright. Right?


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#5
Pixley

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There's actually a very specific progression we used when deciding on laser level colors: color temperature and black-body radiance.  Here's a chart:

 

colour-temperature-chart.png

 

That's why we go red->orange->yellow->light yellow.  The energy of the bolts is increasing, which increases the temperature.  Why not go straight for white and blue?  coughFivesAndSixesOnTheTyphooncough

[/dev]
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No longer a dev, but still excited for Descent


#6
Star Machinist

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[dev]

There's actually a very specific progression we used when deciding on laser level colors: color temperature and black-body radiance.  Here's a chart:

 

colour-temperature-chart.png

 

That's why we go red->orange->yellow->light yellow.  The energy of the bolts is increasing, which increases the temperature.  Why not go straight for white and blue?  coughFivesAndSixesOnTheTyphooncough

[/dev]

 

 

I figured this was the case. I suppose if we're going by the color temperature chart, I'd rather see a light blue color for Level 4s...

 

Although, if I'm to understand that coughing, do you mean to suggest we may see Level 5 and Level 6 lasers at some point? Terrifyingly on the wrong end of an enemy Typhoon, no less? biggrin.png


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See You Underground

Also unfortunately called: 

- Star Masochist (thanks Wingman)

- Star Misogynist (thanks Plaidhatter)

- Star Machicolation (thanks dunkelza)


#7
Whiteshark

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I like the colors, it does seem like the bolt was gaining heat. If it's possible in Unreal, it would be super cool to make a heat wave around the bolt I find bending air  to be the most effective way of conveying heat visually. Especially the blue colors will require that, otherwise they'll look too solid.


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Wouldn't it be easier to read if this was on Comic Sans?

 


#8
Star Machinist

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I like the colors, it does seem like the bolt was gaining heat. If it's possible in Unreal, it would be super cool to make a heat wave around the bolt I find bending air  to be the most effective way of conveying heat visually. Especially the blue colors will require that, otherwise they'll look too solid.

 

Slight issue there. Aren't these asteroid mines technically lacking proper atmosphere on their interior open spaces, which is why the hostages/miners require pressurized spacesuits? We're essentially flying around in a vacuum, so seeing heat waves doesn't make much sense in that aspect.

 

Then again, Rule of Cool could override that. I mean when it comes right down to it, we shouldn't even be seeing laser bolts flying around at sub-lightspeed velocities anyway, but where's the fun in that? Are they even actually lasers? Or more like magnetically contained plasma bursts similar to the blasters of Star Wars?

 

Perhaps could pass them off as "radiation waves" like with the Fusion Cannon. The Fusion Cannon could definitely use some more dramatic energy effects.

 

Anyway, I think the current "sparky" effect of the Level 4 lasers works well, even if it makes it look a bit too similar to the Vulcan's tracer rounds in my opinion. A change of color could help alleviate that, though.


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See You Underground

Also unfortunately called: 

- Star Masochist (thanks Wingman)

- Star Misogynist (thanks Plaidhatter)

- Star Machicolation (thanks dunkelza)


#9
Whiteshark

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Bending space, then. : ) 


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Wouldn't it be easier to read if this was on Comic Sans?

 


#10
Star Machinist

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Well it seems more people like the current gold color. Fair enough, haha. Would still like to see a more noticeable difference in color between Level 3's and Level 4's, though. :P


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See You Underground

Also unfortunately called: 

- Star Masochist (thanks Wingman)

- Star Misogynist (thanks Plaidhatter)

- Star Machicolation (thanks dunkelza)


#11
DarkwingDiva

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I didn't even realize there was a level 4 laser at first since they were so similar. It took me a long time to realize there was a difference. 


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#12
Scyphi

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I can certainly understand and support the design choice of making the laser colors confirm to the actual scientific colors of the temperatures involved as it adds a note of forethought and realism to the design.

 

But it's also a game, where the ease to distinguish these differences in laser modes becomes slightly more important. And like DarkwingDiva here, I've been having a hard time telling apart laser levels while playing in-game myself, usually not realizing just what laser level I was actually at until several moments too late, and have been  overall unclear just how many laser levels DU offers presently as a result. It's not an especially big problem yet, because in the flurry of multiplayer gameplay, the details doesn't matter so much as long as you've got weapons to fight back with, and they enable you to do more damage to the opposing player quicker than they can to you.

 

But as we look ahead to singleplayer gameplay in the hopefully not too distant future, it does occur to me that a bit better distinguishing between laser level colors would be helpful. At the moment, they're all a little too close together in terms of color, making it hard to visually tell them apart unless you look closely. DU wisely compensates by having the shape of the actual "bolt" fired vary from laser level to laser level...but I've found that in practice this only goes so far.

 

A part of me would want the laser levels restored to their classic colors then, if only for continuity between games. But since a degree of realism is apparently desired at any rate, I have a suggestion that might help; have the color of the lasers be determined not by the temperature they're burning at, but rather the type of plasma matter used in the laser bolts that are fired in each laser level.

 

Allow me to explain; in the D1 opening briefing, the MD notes to himself some of the weapon specs his Pyro-GX was being equipped with, and notes that it was equipped with argon-based lasers, presumably laser level 1, since that was the default starting laser level of the time. That suggests to me that laser level 1 fires bolts of energy that are in some way fueled by the gas argon. Likewise, the D2 robot briefing for the PIG robot (red guy that fires laser level 6) is noted to fire xenon-based lasers, suggesting laser level 6, unlike level 1, uses xenon as a key element in the bolts fired. All of this likely referencing how real-life lasers will use some of these same gases as part of their function, and there are real life argon-ion and xenon-ion lasers, though not functioning quite like portrayed in Descent, obviously.

 

But these gas when charged into a plasma will give off a glow discharge and produce unique colors--basically it's the same principle of how a neon light works; gas when given an electric charge puts off a specific color, often unique to that element, depending on how pure the sample is. This is what I had always thought was why Descent's laser levels had such diverse colors personally; not because of temperature, but because of what gases they were fueled with manifesting these colors. And since you can actually get a whole wide array of colors, including all of the colors past Descent games used for laser levels, fairly readily, I figure the developers can use this trait to justify different laser colors.

 

But I would recommend reading up on what chemicals produce what colors if you were to do this, more that the original Parallax team did at least. For instance, argon does not put off the red color of laser level 1 but rather a more lilac purple color (actually very akin to laser level 2). But associate the right chemicals with the right laser levels, and you're good to go.

 

Here's a quick example list:

-Red lasers: neon-based

-Purple lasers: argon-based

-Blue lasers: mercury vapor-based

-Green lasers: krypton-based (but apparently green is only produced in certain conditions, otherwise an off-white is more likely)

-Yellow lasers: sodium vapor-based

-Blue-white lasers: xenon-based

 

Further details of the effect I'm talking about, and a list of gases and the colors they can produce.


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#13
Star Machinist

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I can certainly understand and support the design choice of making the laser colors confirm to the actual scientific colors of the temperatures involved as it adds a note of forethought and realism to the design.

 

...

 

But it's also a game, where the ease to distinguish these differences in laser modes becomes slightly more important.

 

...

 

A part of me would want the laser levels restored to their classic colors then, if only for continuity between games. But since a degree of realism is apparently desired at any rate, I have a suggestion that might help; have the color of the lasers be determined not by the temperature they're burning at, but rather the type of plasma matter used in the laser bolts that are fired in each laser level.

 

...

 

But these gas when charged into a plasma will give off a glow discharge and produce unique colors--basically it's the same principle of how a neon light works; gas when given an electric charge puts off a specific color, often unique to that element, depending on how pure the sample is.

 

...

 

Here's a quick example list:

-Red lasers: neon-based

-Purple lasers: argon-based

-Blue lasers: mercury vapor-based

-Green lasers: krypton-based (but apparently green is only produced in certain conditions, otherwise an off-white is more likely)

-Yellow lasers: sodium vapor-based

-Blue-white lasers: xenon-based

 

I agree with all of these points and would also like to see more distinct laser colors based on more than just temperature. It would be beneficial to gameplay as a clear visual reference to what you have and what you're going up against for laser weapons.


  • 0

See You Underground

Also unfortunately called: 

- Star Masochist (thanks Wingman)

- Star Misogynist (thanks Plaidhatter)

- Star Machicolation (thanks dunkelza)






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