Home Forums Space/SciFi Combat and Simulation Game Discussion Alliance Space Guard (a 3D spacesim with orbits and ship avionics!)

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  • #113666
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster

    Nice work.

    Will you be incorporating any planetary defence grid around the planets.




    A lot of scifi games are for sale on Humble Bundle, deals end on 8/19/2019


    #113667
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Hi Pinback thanks for the interesting question. I think the answer is yes because these superstructures are inherently too fragile to be left exposed without protection, even in peace time.

    IMO a constellation of unmanned missile platforms on chosen orbits would provide the best coverage to engage most threats early enough: in space even a dead object may remain dangerous because of its kinetic energy alone, and destroying an active nuclear vessel at close range (< 100 km tbc) is a bad idea.

    However such systems should be considered a last resort, the volume to defend is huge and central worlds will obviously be better protected than remote ones. So mobile forces will be needed and as such one key role of the Space Guard (= the player when on related missions) will be to detect, investigate and possibly intercept potential threats as soon as possible. In essence this should be similar to air defense here on Earth, with constant air traffic monitoring and scrambling of fighters as required.

    #113668
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster

    On the subject of planetary or system defence,the role playing game Traveller come up with what they called a system defence boat.
    Which was a heavily armed and armoured ship with no FTL which would cruise around a solar system doing anti piracy/revenue jobs.

    If you have anything like this type of ship in the game, it could make for a good mission where one is taken over by rebels or pirates .

    #113671
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Yes bad guys taking control over a vessel for various reasons would definitely be a very interesting situation indeed! That’s part of the possibilities to generate hostile ships while remaining consistent with the universe I think.

    That is all ships require a significant infrastructure to operate (massive hydrogen refueling capabilities, rare fusion fuels, maintenance facilities…) so they cannot just popup out of nowhere. I’ll certainly introduce rogue planets and organizations at the edge of the “Alliance Space”. Those will serve as main operating bases for the villains and provide locations to fence the stolen cargo etc… Incidentally the closer from the rim, the further away the player will be from their own base so this should be a good way to set a gradual difficulty.

    Also on these matters the jump mechanic is tuned to be able to reach asteroids groups and moonlets from inside a system. Due to their low mass they allow tactical movement at a fraction of the DeltaV cost needed around planets. Hopefully this should provide opportunities to play interesting hide-and-seek games ๐Ÿ™‚

    #113673
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster

    Ah the Sheridan manoeuvre from Babylon 5 ๐Ÿ™‚

    #113675
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    I’m afraid I don’t remember the move, I’ll have to check my classics again then! ๐Ÿ™‚

    #113677
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster

    It’s from theTV series Babylon5 and concerns Sheridan during the Earth/ Minbari war.
    “During the war Sheridan served as first officer aboard the “Hyperion-Class” warship EAS Lexington. When the ship’s captain was killed in an ambush by the Minbari flagship Black Star, Sheridan took command of the Lexington. With the Lexington crippled and unable to fight, Sheridan mined several nearby asteroids with nuclear weapons and lured the Black Star back towards his ship with a distress signal. He then detonated the nuclear mines, destroying the Black Star and giving Earth its only real victory in the war.”

    #113680
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Oh yes that would definitely work, added to the task list thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    #113771
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Hi SSC,

    Here’s a video about orbital rings as depicted in the game. These provide an advanced (and theoretically feasible!) rocketless planet-to-orbit transportation system.

    https://youtu.be/ihL3AeUlQMo

    I learned about such structures when checking the maths to model space elevators a few weeks ago and instantly decided I had to implement them! ๐Ÿ™‚ IMO what makes orbital rings particularly interesting is how they connect the ground and orbital domains. I mean that in most games and simulators we’re used to limited relative motions in the spaceship’s vicinity. On the contrary with a stationary structure literally hanging in space the huge velocity of orbital objects can be easily visualized.

    From now on I’ll be working on making all those stations truly operational and fit the ship’s avionics with the necessary updates (relative flight management and transitions to and from deep-space legs).

    I’ll come back to space structures at a later stage to add satellites, small outspots (stations) and also asteroid bases. But those will probably be mission related so they’re still a long time away…

    Fly safe ๐Ÿ™‚
    David

    #113774
    sscadminsscadmin
    Keymaster

    Nice update David and great work on your game so far, I can’t even image the math that goes into what your working on ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like the video and your explanations on how it all works nice.

    #113775
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster

    Awesome work David, these orbital rings reminds me of the Earth habitat ring in Hamilton Night’s Dawn trilogy of books.

    #113776
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Thanks for the feedback ๐Ÿ™‚ Also it’s very easy to get lost in one’s own “space bubble” so really please tell me when something is not clear or feels inconsistent.

    @D1 to me in a gamedev context the maths are very often a key tool to help you build whatever feature you have in mind. Also you can immediately apply them and learn from your mistakes as you’re debugging. As far as I’m concerned that’s very different from when I was a student and regularly had to absorb concepts I did not really understand and forgot about past the related exam ๐Ÿ™ So honestly so far the process of learning the necessary new techniques has proved much easier than what I was anticipating.

    @Pinback I read the Night’s Dawn novels too ^^ and actually I tried to implement some of the books’ ideas for the jump mechanics, notably the conservation of the ships’ momentum through jumps. (Also in a hard sci-fi context this alleviates part of the hyperspace-magic-related guilt so all the better ^^). Unless I’m mistaken the novels (mostly the last one for the final quest) also mention the DeltaV between systems due to the relative galactic motions. And this effect is also why IMHO an unrealistically small galaxy is preferable to a real Earth neighborhood, at least in such a game with relatively limited ship capabilities (to rebound on your past question on the matter).

    #113779
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster

    Speaking of the books, the combat wasp was interesting weapon used and IIRC their is detail explanation in first book.

    #113786
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Yes I remember the combats were very nicely depicted! ๐Ÿ™‚
    As I recall the wasps’ technology is likely too powerful for what I’m playing with. However if seen as an evolution of missiles and drones they obviously make perfect sense indeed.
    Anyway IMO the combats need to be fought at very long distances. The ships will come with some low-mass armor to resist natural meteoroids but this will not make them shell-proof by far. They are not very maneuverable either and so with very limited dodging capabilities, not mentioning lasers and other EM weapons that would just never miss. So I’d guess than getting within 100-1000 km of an hostile armed ship would be suicidal, hence the necessity for some ordinance flying on its own distinct orbit to the target, with final propulsion and guidance.

    #113981
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Hi SSC,

    It may sound weird after 5 years of devt but up to a few weeks ago the ship could pass through everything from stations to planets without a scratch. That is even if the flight planner has been taking collisions into account from the start, the physics engine animating the ship itself was not. In effect I had been waiting for the space structures to get a broader picture of what had to be done. Then at that point it appeared as a logical step before working on the docking and approach guidance systems.
    Here’s a short video demonstrating the feature. Nothing fancy, especially compared to what we’re used to from AAA physics engines.

    https://youtu.be/NXfJRPB7Vok

    The fact is in the game’s case this is actually only an auxiliary system since in theory the ship should never collide with anything but docking ports (flight control systems, space flight controllers, rescue ships and ultimately defense platforms should make unwanted impacts very unlikely).
    Yet the feature is obviously mandatory! With that in mind the primary implementation goal was thus to make it as light-weight as possible. On my aging i5 the whole process of integrating the ship’s state with collisions monitoring only takes about 50 ยตs when it matters*, that is it’s essentially “free”.
    * typically when coasting at high time warp with most of the main thread processing power dedicated to the ship’s systems simulator needing to keep up. When collisions do occur it can take up to 200+ ยตs for multiple contact points, but this is still very small, and in such situations the time acceleration is forced at x1 (real time), so with plenty of spare time in the frame anyway.

    Next one should be about docking systems and avionics,
    Fly safe ^^

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