Land on planets!
An OXP which allows the Commander to land on planets and moons (but not gas giants nor suns, even at night), and to trade there.
To achieve this, once your ship is suitably equipped just fly toward the body. Fly down towards the surface. Take care not to go too fast or else you risk burning up in the atmosphere of planets. As you get close, both angle and speed are critical for survival. Don't try and land on the actual surface before you've got landing permission from planetary control (usually just before you would actually land)! Your systems will automatically make all the necessary requests, and once permission is granted then just land on the planet surface. You should be greeted by a nice view of flying in over the planetary terrain.
Planetary take-off is via a launch booster, with control being returned to the Commander once orbital insertion is achieved.
Prior to Thargoid developing this oxp in 2008, an entire body of lore had been generated explaining why planetfall was illegal. You can see traces of it here (see the introduction and the comments under Planetside).
To land, your ship needs to be firstly equipped with heat shields and docking computers. Then at all reputable (and a few not so reputable) tech 9+ systems you can purchase planetary landing capabilities. These consist of some tweaks to your ship, plus all of the relevant permits, permissions and registrations with authorities to allow landing.
Note that planetary landing requires frequent maintenance and can thus end up being rather expensive.
- Planetfall Markets (Norby) Publication of OXP (4th July 2015)
- PlanetFall Market Saver (SMax) BB Thread (12th September 2016)
- Black Monk Monastery - Adds Black Monk Monasteries to the planet surface locations, complete with offerings of loans. The full Black Monks OXP also needs to be installed.
- HoOpy casino - Adds HoOpy casinos to the planet surface locations, complete with gaming opportunities. The HoOpy casino OXP also needs to be installed.
- In-System Taxi can offer fares to and from planet and moon surfaces. This OXP by Spara supercedes Planetfall Taxi, which is now retired. People should use IST instead.
- In-System Cargo Delivery offers delivery missions to bases on the surfaces of the other planets in the system.
- Planetfall Mission - OoHaul - Adds an Oo-Haul distribution centre to the main planet, and a mission to escort a hauler from it out to either the witchpoint or constore. No other OXPs are essential, although for the constore variant mission the YAH/Your Ad Here! OXP needs to be installed. For full flavour the main Oo-Haul OXP should also be installed.
- Feudal States - Ramirez's excellent OXP uses Planetfall to base missions from planets.
- Strangers World: In-System Cargo Delivery requires this for inter-planetary commerce
- Stranger's Russian Roolite version (Planet Land) features a much more complex version of this, with a choice of landing sites, different panoramas, etc.
The Dark Side
The Vanilla game code precluded too much development of this OXP back in 2008.
|The problem I have with the models and specific places to land isn't so much a technical one. It's more one of visual styling and making it look right scale-wise.
I can add entities just above the planet surface and have docking to them if you approach them closely (rather than the docking bay idea), but the issue is especially if the planet is re-textured, you can easily get models sat above what is supposed to be the ocean, or going across planetary features that are on the texture (and so having a seemingly huge location if the scaling of the texture differs). Plus given the planets are in real terms very small, getting things the correct scale will be difficult.
Plus as has been mentioned previously the planets rotate, so to be fully visually correct the entities would also have to orbit around the centre of the planet/moon to stay visually in the same place. All of it would I guess be technically possible (although the last bit quite difficult), and as I said I'm not sure worth the effort compared to the current random method.
Plus the question is when to make the models appear. There would need to be something to aim at (a beacon of some sort probably), but the model itself wouldn't be visible from too high up. But then it would suddenly appear from nowhere at that point and replace the beacon, which can look odd (again especially when it happens in the wrong place visually on the planet texture).
Also it's a delicate balance as to how high up to put the model of the location. Too low and it will crash into the planet and self-destruct (or indeed if it's spawned inside the planet this can make the game crash iirc), but too high and the player could fly beside or even below it, and get a view "underneath" it which looks very strange. And all this of course does not preclude the problems of ships firing at the locations, and things that may be needed to get around that (fast recharge rates, use of anti-scanner devices etc) or react to it (suitable AI etc).
For your specific question, no I don't think it is possible to replace the tunnel animation. Jumping to a model in the middle of nowhere is simple enough (it isn't a witchspace jump per-se, just a change of player location). I really don't like the idea of ships getting shot down though, as I said before such game-ending scenarios are something I like to avoid.
This oxp was never really developed except by Stranger and by Feudal States. Eric Walch did write PlanetFall with Landing Strip (2008, link broken - see List of Lost OXP's). But there could be rather more done in terms of the landing process itself, as well as what one finds when one lands. The markets are just minimally tweaked copies of what is above. But, for example, on anarchies one should be able to buy all sorts of stuff - and possibly die in the process! Depending on where one lands in a multi-government, similar choices should be available. Stranger created different landing sites on the same planet: these could be combined with different markets, etc.
The Planetfall forum topic thread contains a number of ideas for improvement -
- sensible solution to maintenance costs, time to search for landing strip, landing zones shown on HUD (26th Oct 2020 - but see Thargoid's 5th July 2015 comment).
- different sky colours on landing for nighttime and for different planets (30th June 2017)
- With the recent addition of atmospheric hues (and of possible night-lighting) this should be doable
- traffic control and need for 3D terrain (ffutures, 5th July 2015)
Downloadable through the in-game Expansions Manager ... or ...
- PlanetFall_1.51.oxz downloaded 10504 times.
- Planetfall v1.51 can be downloaded from Box.com by clicking on the link.
- Also available is the Russian translation of Planetfall by Catsam, Radcapricorn and Seventh.
- And Stranger created Planet Land (with several hundred landing sites on moons & planets - see Roolite).
- Planetfall forum topic (2008+)
- Thargoid's OXP page.
- Astronaut - do it in a spacesuit!
Gameplay and Balance Indicator
While this OXP adds an extra market, the hassle of landing safely more than makes up for it!
Be careful not to burn yourself up - keep an eye on Cabin Temperature, your speed and your angle of descent!