ship technology

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Zpock
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#16 Post by Zpock »

I wouldn't be so quick to write off sir newton wihtout at least trying it with some tests. I will probably experiment with that myself someday anyway.

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Geoff the Medio
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#17 Post by Geoff the Medio »

People have tried making Newtonian physics space games. They generally suck... accelerating one half way forwards, then half way back so you can slow down enough to stop where you want is weird. Most travel done by humans is done at relatively constant speeds for extended periods, with short start and stop times. Also, Newtonian physics is surprisingly unintuitive, in that most people think in terms of how fast something moves, not what its maximum acceleration is. It's really not suitable for a game, and especially not a multiple ship/unit/fleet pseudo-RTS type battle system.

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#18 Post by marhawkman »

Geoff the Medio wrote:People have tried making Newtonian physics space games. They generally suck... accelerating one half way forwards, then half way back so you can slow down enough to stop where you want is weird. Most travel done by humans is done at relatively constant speeds for extended periods, with short start and stop times. Also, Newtonian physics is surprisingly unintuitive, in that most people think in terms of how fast something moves, not what its maximum acceleration is. It's really not suitable for a game, and especially not a multiple ship/unit/fleet pseudo-RTS type battle system.
This is part of why I'm favoring an indirect way of controlling ships in combat. Tell them what to do and they execute it without you directly controlling them.
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#19 Post by Zpock »

Newtonian physics dosn't mean the ships have to constantly accelerate, some kind of energy/fuel system so that short engine bursts are used would make a lot of sense and be very cool for a space game I think. This is much more inline with real spacecraft today then the slowly accelerate halfway there then deecellerate. Also this would be intuitive as it means ships will go "at relatively constant speeds for extended periods".

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Geoff the Medio
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#20 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Zpock wrote:Newtonian physics dosn't mean the ships have to constantly accelerate
Assuming it's possible to accelerate constantly, it would presumably be necessary to do so in order to get ships where they're going faster than the enemy ships with the same ability...
...some kind of energy/fuel system so that short engine bursts are used would make a lot of sense and be very cool for a space game I think.
So why do you want a Newtonian system at all then? There doesn't seem to be much to it aside from the fact that starting or stopping requires fuel or energy. This could mean you have to keep track of how much fuel you're using in battle, which could be kind of a pain, especially if you run out while moving. It could also mean you can only stop/start after a delay after previously doing so, or can only change velocity in fixed increments, which might make things quite inconvenient if you end up with differing thrust directions and thus fractional move velocities, or multiple thrusts in the same direction essentially being like the original complaint I had.

Aside from being able to say "oh look: Newtonian physics!!!" (ie. realism), what's the benefit over a simpler to use and understand non-physical system where ships just have a speed rating?

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#21 Post by ewh02b »

I really don't think Starlanes and Newtonian physics work together. Or perhaps they do, but the Newtonian-ness gets abstracted out.

As far as the inter-system combat goes, it might be fun to have the incomging fleet have a large amount speed at the start of combat, while the defending fleet is sitting motionless. Also, catapulting ships around the star to increase speed presents some tactical fun.

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#22 Post by ErikAlbert »

No offense but I agree, Newtonian physics is not a good idea.

I dont get how adding it will lead to more fun.
Last edited by ErikAlbert on Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Zpock
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#23 Post by Zpock »

As far as the inter-system combat goes, it might be fun to have the incomging fleet have a large amount speed at the start of combat, while the defending fleet is sitting motionless. Also, catapulting ships around the star to increase speed presents some tactical fun.
Yeah well this is what I was thinking about. If done right and the mechanics for weapons interact nicely with the whole thing there could be some cool meaningful maneuvering.

Yeah it's probably not going to actually happen but a brainstorm is brainstorm, we can still discuss it a bit.

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#24 Post by marhawkman »

Geoff the Medio wrote:Assuming it's possible to accelerate constantly, it would presumably be necessary to do so in order to get ships where they're going faster than the enemy ships with the same ability...
But going where? to stop/start a bombing run on a planet? Otherwise it's just a race to retreat. Which is where initial velocity comes in.
Geoff the Medio wrote:So why do you want a Newtonian system at all then?
Mainly the fact that I've never seen a 4x game other than BotF use something even remotely like it. And BotF had all ships come to a complete stop at the end of each turn.
Geoff the Medio wrote:There doesn't seem to be much to it aside from the fact that starting or stopping requires fuel or energy. This could mean you have to keep track of how much fuel you're using in battle, which could be kind of a pain, especially if you run out while moving.
I'd skip that part. Why? I just don't see how combat maneuvers could drain as much fuel as flying between solar systems.
Geoff the Medio wrote:It could also mean you can only stop/start after a delay after previously doing so, or can only change velocity in fixed increments, which might make things quite inconvenient if you end up with differing thrust directions and thus fractional move velocities, or multiple thrusts in the same direction essentially being like the original complaint I had.
Add braking(basically retro rockets). Braking reduces speed, thus avoiding annoying drift issues.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Aside from being able to say "oh look: Newtonian physics!!!" (ie. realism), what's the benefit over a simpler to use and understand non-physical system where ships just have a speed rating?
coolness factor. It'd be something new. One of the things about various combat systems that I always though sucked was that you have these cool fancy graphics, and the ships move(literally) like chess peices. Bleah. :x Just the basic ideas of having ships drift around when disabled and/or turn to shrapnel when destroyed, would be worth implementing.
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#25 Post by guiguibaah »

Geoff the Medio wrote:People have tried making Newtonian physics space games. They generally suck... accelerating one half way forwards, then half way back so you can slow down enough to stop where you want is weird.

For SHAME! You blaspheme the Gods of Star Control - for that, you shall be devoured by none other than... THE ULTIMATE EVIL!!!!
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#26 Post by Impaler »

Star Conrol only alows you to control 1 ship at a time which resulted in the rather rediculus "lets have 2 fleets destroy each other by a long drawn out series of 1 on 1 duels!". Admitedly their implemtation was very good, the battles were tacticaly interesting and exciting, the simply payed a huge price in bottlenecking the whole game through thouse duels. A 4X game cant stand that kind of bottleneck and a human cant control a more complex battle under newtonian physics (atleast with anything more then trivial acceleration/deacceleration).
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#27 Post by marhawkman »

Impaler wrote:Star Conrol only alows you to control 1 ship at a time which resulted in the rather rediculus "lets have 2 fleets destroy each other by a long drawn out series of 1 on 1 duels!". Admitedly their implemtation was very good, the battles were tacticaly interesting and exciting, the simply payed a huge price in bottlenecking the whole game through thouse duels. A 4X game cant stand that kind of bottleneck and a human cant control a more complex battle under newtonian physics (atleast with anything more then trivial acceleration/deacceleration).
AI fleet control. AI fleet control. Give them vague orders("Run away", "shoot anything that moves", etc...) then watch them carry out your orders.
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utilae
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#28 Post by utilae »

I have no idea what Newtonian Physics is, but here is what I think it is, tell me if I'm wrong:

'Acceleration Only' Movement
===================
In space there is no friction, so if a Ship activates it's thrusters for a short time, it will move and it will continue moving, unless opposite thrust is applied. Natually it may be impossible to stay completely stilled, but advanced computer systems could no doubt determine which thrusters to use and when to use them. This method of movement means a Ship can travel in any direction, as long as it has thrusters on all sides. Having most thrusters on the rear and some on the side for turning would allow a ship to travel like a Plane does in an Earth like atmosphere. This method models acceleration and lacks deceleration, as it assumes no friction and as a result applying opposite thrust will decelerate and then accelerate after that.

Some other movement types:

'Acceleration & Deceleration' Movement
==========================
This type of movement is restricted to thrust on the rear and some on the side for turning. The Ship would travel forward like a plane and would have to turn around in a radius of travel, rather than turning on the spot. This method models acceleration and deceleration, which is why the ship cannot turn on the spot, unless it slowed down quickly enough to turn on the spot.

'No Acceleration & Deceleration' Movement
============================
This type of movement has thrust on the rear and on the sides for turning. The Ship moves forward, but can turn on the spot like a tank. This would work like it did in Moo2. This method would be unrealistic as it does not model acceleration of deceleration, which why the ship could turn on the spot.


I think that the player would be able to control a fleet of ships with any of these movement types like you would in an RTS, eg "tell ship to go here" and the ships would do so by applying the right kind of thrust with their various engines. I would never expect the player to have to decide which engines are gonna fire and when.

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#29 Post by Impaler »

Actualy ships dont have "side thrusters" that alows them to steer like airplanes aka their line of motion curves off in a new direction without a change in speed. Real Space craft use pairs of very small jets of gass perpendicular the the ship which cause it to go into a spin. They may also use internal Gyroscopes to induce rotation. Neither of these systems is going to have any effect on the ships movment vector. Once rotated into the proper angle the ships main Engines can fire and start changing the ships vector. This is adsactly how Star Control worked, spining the ship and accelerating it were totaly seperate actions depending on seperate ship components (Anti-matter Thrusters vs Manuvering Jets if I remember correctly).
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#30 Post by Daveybaby »

Ships have warp drives and gravitic drives and jump drives and infinit improbability drives and bistromathic drives.

Just in case you'd all forgotten, this is a sci-fi game, not a space shuttle simulator. :P :wink:
marhawkman wrote:AI fleet control. AI fleet control. Give them vague orders("Run away", "shoot anything that moves", etc...) then watch them carry out your orders.
Give them orders, then watch the mess unfold. Then try and give meaningful additional orders to that mess.

Ever played a game called 'space war'? It was one of the first ever arcade games. If you've ever played it you'll know exactly why newtonian physics would make the combat unmanageable.
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