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Helium Rain

Helium Rain as it says on the website a different kind of space sim being set around just one planet or gas giant in this case and I'm guessing here but probably the gas giants moons as well. Looks to be a third person game so no cockpits and you can build stations also claims to have focus on realism and is a single player game.http://helium-rain.com/


 


Looks to be heading for a Steam release in May although early access may be earlier, some more info can be found on their indiedb site http://www.indiedb.com/games/helium-rain


 



 


Impressive looking game and I for one look forward to finding out more about it.


«13

Comments

  • edited 5:07AM

    crazy! i was up all night typing up thoughts about an idea i suddenly had for a game with a similar basic concept (so it seems from the vid)

    how weird!


  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited December 2015

    Oddly we are starting to see a few games set in a few or single solar system, might be a new trend instead of having a galaxy full of nothing, go smaller and more detail.


     


    Be interesting to see how they do the space around the gas giant as from the vid the planet looks like it's a skybox, so it might be sectors like in an X game rather than a continuous sand box?, and if it is sectors how have they liked them together.


     


    Just found this vid of the guns along with blog entry about it. http://helium-rain.com/devblog/3-realistic-artillery


     



     


    Hopefully they will start putting up some gameplay of the game in the next few weeks.


  • edited December 2015

    Hi guys ! 


     


    So I just found out about this forum, I hope it's okay to reply here. I'm leading the Helium Rain project and I thought I'd let you know more ! 


     


    The game is indeed set up around a single planet with three moons. Like PINBACK said, we see giant multi-system universes as both unrealistic, and too broad to be very interesting, so the plan is to create a few recognizable places and build on that. The environments are very much a work in progress right now, we started with the ships and moved on to economy & trading. 


     


    Some precisions about what's been discussed here : 


     


     - Planets are not in the skybox, they are 3D objects with full texturing and time of day, so you can see different parts of the planet when you visit at different moments.


     - We do have a first-person view, it's really the way the game is meant to be played. We don't have 3D cockpits, we present the camera as installed on the ship's hull so you can see some structures, depending on the ship, but not the interior. 


     - The game is very much a spiritual successor to X on the gameplay side, with a very diferent universe. I loved those games, played X3 for hundred of hours, and X Rebirth was probably the trigger to start making this one (in a vengeful, "fine, I'll do it myself" sort of way).


     - The May date is really for early access. We're a very small team. Our current focus is getting the game on Steam Greenlight in a few weeks.


     


    I'll try to answer any question you have in mind :D


  • edited 5:07AM


     - The game is very much a spiritual successor to X on the gameplay side, with a very diferent universe. I loved those games, played X3 for hundred of hours, and X Rebirth was probably the trigger to start making this one (in a vengeful, "fine, I'll do it myself" sort of way).




     


    My first thought was that it reminds me of X series :) Can't wait for this game to come out :)

  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited 5:07AM


    Hi guys ! 


     


    So I just found out about this forum, I hope it's okay to reply here. I'm leading the Helium Rain project and I thought I'd let you know more ! 




     


    No worries it's what we are here for.


     


    I got a few questions for you.


     


    If  the gas giant is an object in the game then it must be huge and will you be able to fly around it?.


    Can the gas giant be mined.


    Will the planets have any function with in the game ie can they be mined and will they have a gravity well around them?.


    Will the docking at the stations be outside as opposed to any internal docking (thinking of X2 here).


    Any asteroid belt (maybe from a destroyed moon).

  • edited 5:07AM


     


    If  the gas giant is an object in the game then it must be huge and will you be able to fly around it?.




     


    Yes and no, but to answer that I need to explain some choices first.


     


    You can fly your ships inside sectors, which are areas in orbit (typically 10 per planet/moon) where stations are built, asteroids are mined, etc. Think X-series sectors, as far as gameplay go. Sectors are arbitrary spots in orbit, defined by an altitude and phase, and they are usually a point of interest (asteroid group, big station, etc). Some orbits are geostationary so they will always hover the same spot, but most are not, so the same sector is in a different place two hours later, much like in the real world. So you can fly around each planet just by waiting in a sector.


     


    You can't take your ship out for a spin and circle around the planet in manual flight - that is pretty much impossible in the real world anyway, I mean, it would use tremendous amounts of energy. You can fly around sectors, and then change sectors, but the space in-between sectors would just be endless empty void and going from a sector to another would literally take hours. 


     


     




     


    Can the gas giant be mined.


    Any asteroid belt (maybe from a destroyed moon).




     


     Asteroids can be mined, the planet can be mined, both with specialized stations. We're going to have a few asteroid-dense sectors. 


     


     




     


    Will the docking at the stations be outside as opposed to any internal docking (thinking of X2 here).




     


    Almost always outside. Our stations are usually small, light and functional. The biggest ships (at maybe 120m in length) are actually bigger than some stations ! The shipyard stations will probably have some kind of internal docking as well, but we really like the external approach. 

  • edited 5:07AM

    Wow!! This looks amazing! Bookmarked!


     


    So essentially, you can fly between sectors by jumping from sector to sector just like in the X series? Will it be through jump gates or through a jump drive that ships can utilize independently? (Or perhaps both?)

  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited 5:07AM

    I hope they are not going to use that fog of war that plagued the old X games where you had to crawl around the sector to find out what was there or that nebular gas which a lot of the sectors had in them.

  • edited December 2015


    Wow!! This looks amazing! Bookmarked!


     


    So essentially, you can fly between sectors by jumping from sector to sector just like in the X series? Will it be through jump gates or through a jump drive that ships can utilize independently? (Or perhaps both?)




     


    It plays a bit like that, but with a twist : we don't have "jumping", because


     


     - that's a magical trick we get in every science fiction work, and feels unrealistic to us ;


     - we wanted a strategic layer on top of the game, and having all your fleet jump in to defend yourself makes that null and void. 


     


    What we have is a realistic travel model, where moving to sector A from sector B takes hours in the game time. The player moves freely from a ship to another, can manage his fleet and production in the meantime, fly other ships, and he can "fast forward" to the next event (ship arrived to destination, ship production complete, etc). This makes the game much more interesting because you can't project power easily and instantly to save an undefended sector that gets attacked. 


     


    How new sectors will be discovered is still being designed, but will it probably involve building orbital telescopes. 


  • edited December 2015


    It plays a bit like that, but with a twist : we don't have "jumping", because


     


     - that's a magical trick we get in every science fiction work, and feels unrealistic to us ;




     


    It's not unrealistic, simple example of data teleportation in the link below, so I'd say it's plausible in the future to teleport matter in this case to make a teleporter for ships etc.


     


    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/214815-scientists-set-new-record-teleporting-quantum-data-60-miles


     


    Some theories here, but with science developing so fast I think it's very plausible.


     



    Jump Gate Technology


     


    If a starship cannot reach the speed of light through sheer thrust, perhaps the answer lies in bending the laws of time and space so that the distance itself is shorter. A ship could then get around the need to travel at relativistic speeds, leaving behind the problem of increased mass and negating—if not actually reversing— the effects of time dilation. In other words, if one could find a shortcut through the galaxy, it might be possible for spacecraft to travel quickly between star systems, and perhaps even travel backward in time.


    Shortcuts through space and time are called wormholes. Wormholes are created naturally when black holes collapse, though they tend to close so rapidly that a ship attempting to pass through would instead encounter a singularity—a point with infinite density and a radius of zero—and be instantly crushed. But, if the technology were developed to enable a wormhole to remain open, it might become possible for spaceships to enter wormholes, travel for a few million miles, and emerge several light years away—perhaps at the point of a white hole.


    White holes are theoretical objects that spew energy into the universe from unknown sources. One theory suggests that quasistellar objects (also known as quasars) are actually white holes, at the far end of which might be wormholes. Thus, it is theoretically possible to enter a wormhole in one location in the universe, and emerge from a white hole in another. Such a stable conduit could be called a jump gate.


    At the moment, the technology does not exist to stabilize wormholes in order to create jump gates, though in future scientists might have developed the technology to map the exit points of wormholes. With a theoretical advance in astrophysics, humanity might be ready to make the first safe jump.



  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited 5:07AM

    How new sectors will be discovered is still being designed, but will it probably involve building orbital telescopes. 


     


    Nice idea :cool:  so if I understand you, that in the game the player will construct a space telescope in order to find another sector, then send a ship to that sector and when it arrives at the new sector you can then start exploring it.


     


    One other question I have is that will the ship be using any sort of fuel.

  • edited December 2015


    Nice idea :cool:  so if I understand you, that in the game the player will construct a space telescope in order to find another sector, then send a ship to that sector and when it arrives at the new sector you can then start exploring it.


     


    One other question I have is that will the ship be using any sort of fuel.




     


    If it's happening in our solar system, why do one need to discover sectors again with telescopes? Isn't our system fully discovered? :) If it's a different system sector, then sure, telescopes, probes, scout ships etc. are reasonable.


  • edited 5:07AM


    It's not unrealistic, simple example of data teleportation in the link below, so I'd say it's plausible in the future to teleport matter in this case to make a teleporter for ships etc.




     


    Well, I'm not saying it's impossible per se, just unrealistic. One problem is that pretty much any "jump drive" is a weapon of mass destruction in itself. The same way we don't have nuclear-powered cars, I don't believe jump-drive-enabled ships would be a reality. Another issue is that the technology for that seems centuries away, while the ship's designs are pretty low tech and close to what we could build today if we had factories in space. We have actual guns with shells, etc. 


     


     




    Nice idea :cool:  so if I understand you, that in the game the player will construct a space telescope in order to find another sector, then send a ship to that sector and when it arrives at the new sector you can then start exploring it.




     


    Something like that. We're not sure of the specifics just yet. 


     


     




    One other question I have is that will the ship be using any sort of fuel.




     


    Well we do have fuel as a resource you can buy and sell, but we don't have a "fuel usage" mechanism. We didn't want to have the player refuel every now and then. 


     


     




    If it's happening in our solar system, why do one need to discover sectors again with telescopes? Isn't our system fully discovered? :) If it's a different system sector, then sure, telescopes, probes, scout ships etc. are reasonable.




     


    It's not our solar system, even if it an look like it at times. Here's a look at the system from the navigation menu : 


     


    LOF0KOG.jpg


  • edited December 2015


    Well, I'm not saying it's impossible per se, just unrealistic. One problem is that pretty much any "jump drive" is a weapon of mass destruction in itself. The same way we don't have nuclear-powered cars, I don't believe jump-drive-enabled ships would be a reality. Another issue is that the technology for that seems centuries away, while the ship's designs are pretty low tech and close to what we could build today if we had factories in space. We have actual guns with shells, etc.


     


    Well we do have fuel as a resource you can buy and sell, but we don't have a "fuel usage" mechanism. We didn't want to have the player refuel every now and then. 




     


    Ummm, nuclear submarines (USS Nautilus), nuclear aircraft carriers (or supercarriers) (USS Enterprise) are nuclear powered, so spaceships, I'd presume, should be nuclear powered aswell at least. You're not going to have spaceships traffic like cars that's unrealistic, for now at least. Spaceships are a rare build so they should be powered with something exeptional.


     


    So if the game is set in another solar systems, how'd they got there? Non-FTL rocket powered spaceflight would take ages, even centuries to get there. For example closest star Alpha Centauri iirc is 3,4 light years from here so to get there without ftl with the rockets, even nuclear powered ones that'd take a looong of time without any jumpdrives, jumpgates etc.


     


    No fuel system? So on what kind of magic are they powered then? You fly ships that don't require fuel, but have no jumpdrives? Sounds unrealistic to me. They should have some kind of nuclear fusion reactor, to power and propel them. For example supercarries with nuclear engine can sail for 20 years without the need to dock to replenish their nuclear engines (not talking about food, clothes, etc). So the same should apply to spaceships except only using some kind of energy or nuclear power cells, which would require replenishment after some time and depending on the useage (flight, combat, mining etc) they'd deplete slower or faster.


  • edited 5:07AM


    No fuel system? So on what kind of magic are they powered then? You fly ships that don't require fuel, but have no jumpdrives? Sounds unrealistic to me. They should have some kind of nuclear fusion reactor, to power and propel them. For example supercarries with nuclear engine can sail for 20 years without the need to dock to replenish their nuclear engines (not talking about food, clothes, etc). So the same should apply to spaceships except only using some kind of energy or nuclear power cells, which would require replenishment after some time and depending on the useage (flight, combat, mining etc) they'd deplete slower or faster.




     


    Sorry, there was a misunderstanding here : there is no gameplay mechanism attached to fuel, which is what I was talking about. All ships do have nuclear reactors or fuel tanks on the 3D models, they are quite obvious, and they are mentionned in the spacecraft's descriptions. Small ships use cryogenic rocket fuel like we use in today's rockets, largest ships are nuclear-powered. You cna even see a nuclear warning logo on the bottom hull here, where the reactor stands out.


     


    invader.jpg


     


     




    Ummm, nuclear submarines (USS Nautilus), nuclear aircraft carriers (or supercarriers) (USS Enterprise) are nuclear powered, so spaceships, I'd presume, should be nuclear powered aswell at least. You're not going to have spaceships traffic like cars that's unrealistic, for now at least. Spaceships are a rare build so they should be powered with something exeptional.




     


    And our largest spaceships are nuclear-powered indeed. They just don't create black holes to move around - that's just too much for our taste and it doesn't serve the gameplay we have in mind.

  • edited 5:07AM

    Phew, well that covers it. Except, how'd they got there in the first place? Like I said before it would take ages to fly from here to let's say our closest star Alpha Centauri with our current rocket technology.


  • edited December 2015

    Hi, I'm also working on Helium Rain, and I like sciences questions.

     

    The technology available in Helium Rain is difficult to balance because we want space battles. The problem is that if you have the technology to teleport a spaceship to another place or accelerate a ship to near the speed of the light, there is no reason to not use that technology as weapons. Why not warp an antimatter warhead into the enemy base - game over ?

     

    I read a lot a lot of Scifi and I really like the space battles description in the Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space books : the battleships never get closer than few light-minutes, they fire projectiles that can destroy every thing 1 light-second around them and the only chance to survive is to have a random trajectory to destroy the enemy before being hit. It's a really realistic way to fight with advanced technologie but it's boring as gameplay for a game.

     

    To avoid this in Helium Rain, we decided that the technology is the less advanced possible to survive is space, like our technologie in 50 or 100 years. The ships fight with conventional guns and use LH2/LOX as fuel, the stations use solar arrays and reaching another moon takes a few days.

     

    Yes, it take ages to fly to another star but it doesn't mean it's impossible, with few technology additions. In the book Chasm City, Alastair Reynold describe the story of the first fleet sent to 61 cygnus system at 10.3 light years. Each ship carry a "waking crew" of 150 and just over one thousand cryogenically frozen colonists. The first part of the travel consist of accelerating to eight percent of the speed of light in a few months, and brake at the end of a 200 years travel. At the arrival the technology level has not changed because the 5 generation of crew members had the only task to keep the colonists alive. The only missing technologies to achieve that is cryogenic system and live support system. The propulsion could be ion thruster powered with fission (or maybe fusion) nuclear plant.

     

    You can imagine Helium Rain in a similar situation. Colonists from Earth came from earth with "primitive" technology after a very long travel. They just began developing new technologies.

     

    There are 2 major technology we use use in Helium Rain that don't work yet : fusion reactors and space elevators. In both case, the physics behind these concepts is robust but building them is hard. In the case of a warp system, using wormholes, the physics are very unsure. If the wormhole is not only a mathematic abberation (never observed), it will need to create a toric black hole (making it turn very very fast) and control the location of an hypothetical white fountain. 

  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited 5:07AM


    . You cna even see a nuclear warning logo on the bottom hull here, where the reactor stands out.




     


    Any chance of ejecting the reactor as last ditch weapon assuming you can get the ship out of the blast area (also known as the Sheridan maneuver)

  • edited December 2015


     



    Hi, I'm also working on Helium Rain, and I like sciences questions.

     

    The technology available in Helium Rain is difficult to balance because we want space battles. The problem is that if you have the technology to teleport a spaceship to another place or accelerate a ship to near the speed of the light, there is no reason to not use that technology as weapons. Why not warp an antimatter warhead into the enemy base - game over ?

     

    I read a lot a lot of Scifi and I really like the space battles description in the Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space books : the battleships never get closer than few light-minutes, they fire projectiles that can destroy every thing 1 light-second around them and the only chance to survive is to have a random trajectory to destroy the enemy before being hit. It's a really realistic way to fight with advanced technologie but it's boring as gameplay for a game.

     

    To avoid this in Helium Rain, we decided that the technology is the less advanced possible to survive is space, like our technologie in 50 or 100 years. The ships fight with conventional guns and use LH2/LOX as fuel, the stations use solar arrays and reaching another moon takes a few days.

     

    Yes, it take ages to fly to another star but it doesn't mean it's impossible, with few technology additions. In the book Chasm City, Alastair Reynold describe the story of the first fleet sent to 61 cygnus system at 10.3 light years. Each ship carry a "waking crew" of 150 and just over one thousand cryogenically frozen colonists. The first part of the travel consist of accelerating to eight percent of the speed of light in a few months, and brake at the end of a 200 years travel. At the arrival the technology level has not changed because the 5 generation of crew members had the only task to keep the colonists alive. The only missing technologies to achieve that is cryogenic system and live support system. The propulsion could be ion thruster powered with fission (or maybe fusion) nuclear plant.

     

    You can imagine Helium Rain in a similar situation. Colonists from Earth came from earth with "primitive" technology after a very long travel. They just began developing new technologies.

     

    There are 2 major technology we use use in Helium Rain that don't work yet : fusion reactors and space elevators. In both case, the physics behind these concepts is robust but building them is hard. In the case of a warp system, using wormholes, the physics are very unsure. If the wormhole is not only a mathematic abberation (never observed), it will need to create a toric black hole (making it turn very very fast) and control the location of an hypothetical white fountain. 




     


    I could go on and argue, discuss, debate, deny and agree with the things you say but it's up to you developers to do as you please this is not the place nor the time. Anyway, I'm pleased with your answer, which, at least, covers some things unexplained :)


     




    Any chance of ejecting the reactor as last ditch weapon assuming you can get the ship out of the blast area (also known as the Sheridan maneuver)




     


    Sheridan maneuver? Babylon 5 perhaps?


  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited 5:07AM

    Sheridan maneuver? Babylon 5 perhaps?


     


    Exactly and remember "nuke 'em 'til they glow then shoot 'em in the dark". :biggrin:

  • edited December 2015


    Exactly and remember "nuke 'em 'til they glow then shoot 'em in the dark". :biggrin:




     


    Made my day :biggrin:


     


    I've remembered one too:


    - Captain, we're surrounded by the enemies!


    - Nonsense, private! We're in an enemy rich environment!


    :biggrin:


  • edited 5:07AM

    Interesting.


  • edited 5:07AM


    Any chance of ejecting the reactor as last ditch weapon assuming you can get the ship out of the blast area (also known as the Sheridan maneuver)




     


    I'd say it shouldn't be possible, because if the reactor provides energy for propulsion and life support, so ejecting one would be certain death, unless with some auxilary energy bank for life support like in escape life pods. Also a nuclear reactor has to be specifically contained to suppress fision reaction inside like graphite in nuclear plants. So ejecting one and leaving one unattended would mean imminent explosion, so a ship wouldn't be fast enought to evade it meaning - suicide, unless intended :)

  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited 5:07AM


    I'd say it shouldn't be possible, because if the reactor provides energy for propulsion and life support, so ejecting one would be certain death, unless with some auxilary energy bank for life support like in escape life pods. Also a nuclear reactor has to be specifically contained to suppress fision reaction inside like graphite in nuclear plants. So ejecting one and leaving one unattended would mean imminent explosion, so a ship wouldn't be fast enought to evade it meaning - suicide, unless intended :)




     


    Good idea to take to the life boat and then set the ship to explode.

  • edited January 2016
    Helium Rain is now on Steam Greenlight ! Here's our Greenlight trailer, you can see what the game really looks like. It's all in-game content.
     

    cSVQciW.png

    That's the part where we need your help getting the game published ! :D  
    Here's the Greenlight page.
     

    Any chance of ejecting the reactor as last ditch weapon assuming you can get the ship out of the blast area (also known as the Sheridan maneuver)

    Not sure about that ! But well, I'll keep that idea in mind. We're not sure what kind of gameplay we'll add once the game is available.
  • PINBACKPINBACK SSC Moderator
    edited 5:07AM

    Great trailer guys :cool: love the look of the game. :cool:


  • edited 5:07AM

    Looks absolutely gorgeous.  Just upvoted on Greenlight.  I just love that it's set in a jovian system, that's very original.  Can't imagine this not getting on Steam.


  • edited 5:07AM
    Thanks guys !
  • edited 5:07AM

    Also voted!! Best of Luck!!!


  • edited 5:07AM

    Thanks guys ! At this point we're doing great, we've been in the top 100 since yesterday. I hope we succeed ! 


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