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Alliance Space Guard (a 3D spacesim with orbits and ship avionics!)  

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Gaius Konstantine
(@gaius-konstantine)
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July 20, 2020 11:13  
Posted by: @d-c-elington

And so maybe the extortion business would more likely occur at some remote places along the routes between the main inhabited systems. In effect the path used by most ships at one given time can be predicted (it is dictated by the orbital configurations of the celestial bodies along the way), and it would likely be too expensive to have defenses everywhere. Space travel companies could also be the victims for these "safe passage tolls" then.

Forgive me for playing devil's advocate, but would extortion really be more plausible than outright piracy? Here a rather large investment (the miscreant ship), would be risked in a racket where after a time, the authorities would be able to bring the hammer down more effectively as the ship's area of operations would be more narrowly defined than actual piracy.

In essence you need a "menace", yet at the same time it must make sense within the game-world.  While you can certainly take liberties, (it is a game after all), this is an area where a small investment of your time in examining believable menaces could pay disproportionate benefits in the long run.


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D.C.Elington
(@d-c-elington)
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Posts: 202
July 20, 2020 14:29  
Posted by: @gaius-konstantine

Forgive me for playing devil's advocate

Isn't that the point with debating ideas?! 😊 

I do agree that extortion and piracy are very similar. But there's a difference that is greatly amplified by the underlying orbital mechanics: piracy requires to intercept and rendez-vous with the target (or close to) and then physically recover the stolen cargo. That is quite some maneuvering and very difficult with a "non-cooperative" target. On the other hand extortion only supposes a sufficient threat level (that can be set up at large distances) and simple exchanges over the comms.

Also provided the offenders don't have to face top-of-the-line opposition they could use refurbished vessels with low-tech weaponry. That would be enough to scare unarmed passenger ships and would remain quite cheap.

And so this leads to another specific aspect from the game's physics: a typical journey between two systems usually takes more than one month, up to three in the most remote places. So IMO the situation is quite similar to strategic naval warfare in the 16th century: "let's go take down that corsair that was spotted operating in the Caribbeans two months ago...". That would leave plenty of time for safe hit and run tactics. And there's even worse: the routes have "tides" with varying DeltaV requirements to complete them. That is a clever criminal would operate in areas and at times that would make them safe from incoming reinforcements... but that would be forgetting about the extraordinary capabilities of the player's ship of course! 🙂 (especially after some significant upgrading).

Anyway I'm also playing devil's advocate here because generally speaking I'm expecting the ship's weapons to be used only as a last resort. So waves of pirate ships charging at the player's are completely out of the question for sure! 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by D.C.Elington

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Cody
 Cody
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July 20, 2020 16:28  
Posted by: @d-c-elington

So waves of pirate ships charging at the player's are completely out of the question for sure! 

Music to my ears! Talking of music...

Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no-one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools


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Gaius Konstantine
(@gaius-konstantine)
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July 21, 2020 03:07  
Posted by: @d-c-elington

Isn't that the point with debating ideas?!

Yes it is. Yet at the same time I am conscious of the fact that I've only been here a short time, I would hate to offend anyone unintentionally... hence that little disclaimer. 😀 

The additional information you provided in your post clarifies the matter well and does indeed make the "menace" plausible. Nicely done D.C.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Gaius Konstantine

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D.C.Elington
(@d-c-elington)
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July 21, 2020 12:23  

@gaius-konstantine all comments are welcome really. Even if we can agree on the matter eventually, the very question itself indicates a point that needs at least some clarification. And if not that's an issue that needs fixing! 🙂

It's still very early in the game-world building process but that's also when I might make big mistakes if closing too many doors. For instance I was thinking that the NPC ships should be made persistent and provided with a detailed history (ownership, port logs etc). Of course that will make the coding more complicated and I may fail to implement the feature or put it to good use. But on the other hand spawning ships on-demand would really limit the possibilities I think so that's worth a try.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 2 times by D.C.Elington

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Gaius Konstantine
(@gaius-konstantine)
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Posts: 109
July 21, 2020 13:37  
Posted by: @d-c-elington

For instance I was thinking that the NPC ships should be made persistent and provided with a detailed history (ownership, port logs etc)

I would like this. In my opinion it would do wonders for immersion. 


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Cody
 Cody
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July 21, 2020 14:29  
Posted by: @d-c-elington

I was thinking that the NPC ships should be made persistent and provided with a detailed history

Damn, it's that ship again! Who are those guys?

Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no-one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools


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D.C.Elington
(@d-c-elington)
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August 1, 2020 04:56  

Hi all,

Last update on the simulator side before diving into the NPC traffic 🙂

The ship does not know exactly where it is anymore and derives its location from 3 sources:
- Proximity Positioning System: high-precision (3 cm) radio navaid around stations for approach and docking phases,
- Space Positioning System: = GPS! The model includes "dilution of precision" effects i.e. how the relative position of the satellites as seen from the receiver degrades the intrinsic accuracy ~30cm
- X-Ray Pulsar Receivers: a natural GPS system graciously offered by the universe 🙂 (precision around 200 m but after several hours of integration time)

On top of that star trackers provide the orientation information and inertial systems supplement the system by continuously integrating the laws of motion based on laser gyroscopes and accelerometers (nominal drift 35m/h after calibration).

From the gameplay standpoint:
- high-precision flying requires to setup the comms units,
- the ship feels less "on rails" that it used to (in the locations without GPS service),
- there are choices to make when configuring the jump-drive, with a trade-off between the equipment's wear and a risk of jump failure.

This post was modified 1 week ago by D.C.Elington

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Pinback
(@pinback)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7876
August 2, 2020 11:24  

Nice one DC 😎 looks like you going to have to write one big manual when you get finished.


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D.C.Elington
(@d-c-elington)
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August 2, 2020 12:39  
Posted by: @pinback

Nice one DC 😎 looks like you going to have to write one big manual when you get finished.

🤣 I must admit that the "departure checklist" might start to sound a bit like "are you really really sure you want to undock?".
But on the other hand that also makes it nice when finally safely docking back to a station at the end of the mission 🙂

 


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