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  • in reply to: Space Nerds In Space #112409
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Those gas giants are beautiful indeed! Thanks @smcameron for linking the reference article by the way.




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    in reply to: Just received clearance for orbital insertion :) #112390
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Thanks D1, with the game thread now started I’ll post updates when I have significant new features to share about ^^

    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    You’re right I skipped the sensors and weapons because they are only at the planning stage right now. Here’s what I have in mind at the moment:

    – ships radiate massive amounts of heat and EM power in general, especially with their reactor running. So unless the line of sight is blocked by a celestial body they will be detected very easily across a stellar system. On the other hand determining an accurate trajectory for contacts will require more time and depend on the distance, angular aspects, sensors performance etc. Another issue will be target classification, probably to be obtained through a “demodulation” process similar to what can be seen in submarine simulation games.
    There will be a dedicated ship station for communications and sensors, and contacts will be reported on the navigation map.

    – I’m thinking of two main categories of weapons: main spinal mounted lasers and “catapults”.

    Due to diffraction the laser should have a limited range of ?? thousands km, and be effective mainly on soft targets. Except for the radiators military ships will be coated with a highly reflexive and reactive foam (also for protection against meteoroids). That is if attacked from one side on a good angle it might be possible to cripple an opponent (damaged radiators => limited reactor power) but whenever facing you its frontal shield(s) should mitigate much of the damage.

    By “catapults” I mean launchers able to propel “shells” at an angle from the ship and with a relative velocity < 1 km/s. Typically these munitions could be missiles coasting passively on their initial trajectory and activating for the kill when close enough to the target. Another type could be drones extending the ship’s sensor coverage or helping to resist some direct jamming.
    Also contrary to ships these “shells” would be much more quiet and thus difficult to detect, especially if launched in advance and out of the opponent’s sight.

    – all in all engagements should occur at a “medium” distance (in thousands of km) with all participants orbiting the same parent body, and in the “hit and run” mode. So the main concern will probably be the DeltaV budget to intercept a target, especially far from the base with a return trip to fly later on. Also there will be orbital tactical considerations: flying on a low orbit will offer more protection (easier to be out of sight) but getting higher in the gravity well should provide much more maneuvering capability, especially around massive giants.
    The visualization will be provided by the ship’s sensors: so no contact, no data. However I may add an “event camera” to cheat/help with the situational awareness!

    Regarding your second question yes the ship will dock to space stations. Then an interface will let the player manage the refueling and other tasks. Heavy maintenance and large equipment upgrades will require to dock to shipyards (possibly just another docking port on a larger station). An important point is that for safety the reactor will have to be shut down around stations, so departures and approaches will be flown with very limited maneuvering thrust and on stored energy energy. Typically the player will navigate on its own up to a parking orbit at a safe distance and then he/she will interact with “space controllers” to get to an approach route to an assigned docking port. The ship’s flight controls will provide the necessary modes of course.

    Here’s what I could answer, you see why I mentioned “2021” about the release date! 😀

    Lots of text without images ^^ so here is a screenshot of the “helm station” I forgot in the initial post, and featuring only flight controls and instruments at the moment. It will be reorganized as new panels are added.

    in reply to: Just received clearance for orbital insertion :) #112383
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Thanks, no problem really!

    in reply to: Just received clearance for orbital insertion :) #112379
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Hi Pinback, I did start one but the post is awaiting moderation. I guess it was automatically detected as spam because of the too many links I added! 😀

    in reply to: Just received clearance for orbital insertion :) #112375
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Hi Pinback,

    Thanks for your feedback, I see your point!

    The main idea behind the made-up galaxy is to somewhat alleviate the pure randomness and lack of structure indeed. It is obviously very unrealistic in density and size but because of its overall spiral shape it really helps differentiate regions.
    All systems are placed on galactic orbits and their respective velocities depend on the enclosed mass: this makes the external ones move much faster and they are consequently more difficult to reach in average (because of the extra DeltaV the ship has to compensate for).
    Also to be honest I’m still discovering the properties resulting from the jump mechanics! Yet I’m expecting to see some kind of “galactic shipping lanes” emerge between main civilization centers, partially following loose elliptic arcs and with actual waypoints regularly changing over time due to the varying local orbital configurations.
    If it is confirmed this would be very nice because then the network of space stations will follow an underlying logic that should clearly appear to the player through day to day navigation. It will also concentrate the action and traffic around specific areas, making nearby ones very remote and dangerous : a valuable effect in an otherwise very empty space.

    I’d have to check my “Starflight Handbook” again ^^ but unless I’m mistaken a local Milky Way neighborhood of 4000 systems would probably be very uniform in comparison, leading to very random locations without much structure I think.

    So I do agree with you that the more grounding the better, although ideally I’d prefer to have as much of the needed work emerge from the game mechanics if possible. I hope this helps answering your objection! Anyway I’ll have more concrete results as I work on the galaxy populating algorithm. What’s for sure is that it will make use of the flight planner.

    Regards,
    David

    in reply to: Just received clearance for orbital insertion :) #112369
    D.C.ElingtonD.C.Elington
    Participant

    Nice, thanks for your welcome 🙂

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