Hello. I am a simple Plat Comtech. I pretty much exclusively build FOB.
I do not ever play any of the command roles and I haven’t coded in a long time.
My post here is primarily about cameras and the camera systems.
Combat Technicians get the option to bring sentry guns, a laptop to connect them to, and radio keys for alerts. When I’m sitting in FOB monitoring sentries on the laptop, it would be nice to have just a regular camera I could peek at areas with. A normal camera I could deploy onto a wall or tripod like a sentry, then add it to the sentry network laptop like a sentry. It would be a fun piece of deployable equipment that could feed into a system we already have implemented. It would be vended from the same Comtech locker for general equipment, next to the sentry network laptop and it’s radio keys preferably. Or if you don’t want it vended at start, maybe Comtechs could craft it on groundside?
I would really appreciate being able to monitor an area without having to spend a whole sentry. It could help me do things like monitor groundside doctor, ammo stockpile, whether or not someone closed the door behind them, etc. I think it would also help whenever an engi chooses a tesla coil over a sentry, because then we could still deploy with a camera at least.
I would love to have the sentries and external cams all in one place for FOB. It would be really useful to connect colony security cameras to the laptop too. At least ones that are in a powered area/certain range. We could make it so Comtechs have to manually add all these cameras to the system like a sentry. I would REALLY love to have a camera network easily accessible to anyone in FOB. Maybe there is a way and I’m just ignorant. But it is something FOB could benefit from as a whole
Also, I was listening in on the Discord to people who play CO/SO/XO. There were a lot of complaints about clicking through cameras. I like the UI design personally and my camera experience has been pretty nice, but I have at most like 4 things to look at because they’re all sentries.
I know we have a lot of capability with making something a separate window in SS13. It sounds like we have problems with incentivizing people to do desk work for CIC. Maybe I’m just shooting out my butt with this, but could there be an improved window chart system for helmet cameras? Could just be a UI update or something? Maybe more specialized UI for CIC since it is a whole lot of sitting and staring at screens? I never play command staff so I have literally no clue what it looks like. Anything to help command staff retention is a good thing I think. I’m sure people complain about the POV CIC camera system, and that I’m not the first to mention it.
I also understand that Byond is a nightmare to code. These are all suggestions/thoughts. Hope someone found them interesting at least.
In my personal opinion as a CO; Having more direct view on a battlefield is always a good thing. We could ALWAYS use a better view on the battlefield. Extra stationary cameras would be useful but what would be better is a view like the queen’s eye, but using the camera from the marine’s POV - Similar to TGMC’s Style when viewing a camera from CAS or CIC, where you can move the center of the camera to the edge to see better or etc.
In lore we can have this as; the Camera focusing in/outward or it rotating or turning a bit. Balance wise I think it would have to be a DIRECTIONAL camera, similar cone radius to our current armor lights with maybe a bit bigger to go beyond the light.
I’m confused, what’s the issue with camera UI and clicking? I haven’t heard anyone complain about it before, can you clarify?
The UI for cameras is “ok” in the sense that it’s functional, but let’s suppose I want to check the camera outside the intel room. What camera even is that? How many cameras do I have to go through before I find it? What if I look somewhere else and now I want to look back at the intel room, how long does it take me to find that camera again? How about tracking someone - if I see someone standing at the intel room and they move out of sight of the camera, what camera do I have to switch to to follow them and can I do that within the second it takes for them to move across the field of view of the next camera?
IRL this problem is solved by having 20 different TV screens; now you don’t have to flick through a bunch of cameras, you just shift your eyes over.
But this game has limited screen real estate and a huge fraction of people don’t have second or third monitors to check cameras out.
An alternative solution was done by /tg/station coders probably 6+ years ago now, where using the camera creates a mobile invisible mob and vision is limited to what is within every camera’s view. Anything outside a camera’s view isn’t rendered. Now you just fly around the map like a ghost but you only see what cameras see. (This has also been proposed as a solution to observing marines from CIC)
That works a lot better for understanding in general what you’re looking at, the context of people moving in the area you’re looking at, and following people moving around the area you’re looking at.
The only downside, which can probably be mitigated with some jump-to-area UI, is quickly looking from one side of the ship to the other side of the ship, but in every other way /tg/station’s solution is much more intuitive and much faster to use than what CM has.
We pretty much just got this camera solution not that long ago to begin with, give it some time
As you mentioned someone had project to use camera eyes in the future but it might take some time porting and refactoring before happening (if it does)
Setting Up Cameras Takes some extra effort but you can pretty much set them up as you see fit.