Author Topic: [Answered] Orbital mechanics  (Read 1700 times)

Wadusher

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 234
[Answered] Orbital mechanics
« on: January 12, 2014, 01:13:56 pm »
What are the devs' plans for implementing gravity and orbital mechanics in terms of solar systems in the game? Will it simply be a set of spheres of influence on rails, with only a couple of bodies influencing spacecraft, similar to Kerbal Space Program's engine but randomly generated, or will they be much more sophisticated then that? I've seen implementations of artificial gravity discussed on the forum, but nothing on the scale of a star's gravity.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 01:46:58 pm by Aaron »

Strait Raider

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1335
  • It's "Strait", as in the body of water.
Re: Orbital mechanics
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 01:32:30 pm »
Considering that the gravitational acceleration due to our sun at 1 astronomical unit is about 0.006 m/s2 I don't think you'd even notice the effects on your ship. Even in a modified simulation like KSP you need to jump the time warp up to 100 or 1000x just to let gravity drag you towards Kerbin or the Mun.

Then there's all the issues associated with not breaking the physics simulation with the speeds you are travelling. If we're expecting an ultimate velocity cap of a couple hundred meters per second, orbital velocities would have to be around a hundred meters per second at low altitude. This means your gravitational acceleration would have to be tiny to the point that again, I doubt you'd even notice it.

And unless there's a seamless transition between space and planets (unlikely) or between planetary bodies themselves (also unlikely) there's not much of a reason to have a gravity simulation anyway. You can pick whatever frame of reference you want to use, and for that block of space the gravitational acceleration due to any body would be identical, for all practical purposes, for anything within it.

As far as planetary movement goes you'd have the same result putting planets on rails as attempting any sort of physics simulation, plus you wouldn't be introducing problems into the physics simulation. What happens when your planet is moving 200 m/s and your ultimate speed limit is 300m/s? Your ships can only accelerate to 100 m/s relative to the planet forward in the orbit, but 500 m/s relative to the planet back down the orbit. That's assuming the star is the stationary reference frame. If the planet is the reference frame instead, you'd need a second reference frame that only affects the planet in order to simulate the orbit!

Long story short, I don't think we'll be getting any sort of orbital physics simulation. It's several layers more complexity for something that doesn't really add to the gameplay, nor does it seem to fit the style that BR is going for. If we're not transferring between planetary bodies at standard velocities, it's not even immersion breaking because in the void of space you wouldn't be able to tell.

Aaron

  • BR Developer
  • Creative Director, ZanMgt
  • *****
  • Posts: 2017
  • Available on the IRC from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST)
    • http://www.zanmgt.com
Re: Orbital mechanics
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 04:39:25 pm »
Strait Raider has it spot on, Wadusher.  Although interesting, the affects of planetary bodies are too miniscule to notice between planets, and the intended gameplay of the game does not warrant a full physics recreation.  As always, there's always the possibility of mods to shoot for the moon on it but it would take some dedication to recreate Kerbal-level orbital mechanics.

If planets in solar systems have orbits it'll likely just be a preset circular path.  I say 'if' because UI-wise it might be frustrating for players to locate their destination if it appears in locations they're not used to.  At the very least the orbits would need to be very slow to be a little more forgiving.

Quote
And unless there's a seamless transition between space and planets (unlikely) or between planetary bodies themselves (also unlikely)

- Seamless transitions are possible for a "someday expansion" but represents too few gameplay benefits to warrant the time it'd take to setup.
Stop by the IRC and say Hi! -- Online Dev Chat

Cy83r

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 1254
  • It's Shooowtime!
Re: [Answered] Orbital mechanics
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 02:15:25 am »
Alrights, guys, pack up and go home, we aren't crashing moons today.

Quote
Awww
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

erebamagi

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: [Answered] Orbital mechanics
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 03:37:08 pm »
ah i see that disapoints me a little i was hopeing you would do something alot like this game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRpDn5qPp3s
this game takes procedurely generated to a all new level and rather then you making all the assets then importing them this gmae seems to create everything from scratch.
don't as me how it works but this was what i was thinking of for this game.

Aaron

  • BR Developer
  • Creative Director, ZanMgt
  • *****
  • Posts: 2017
  • Available on the IRC from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST)
    • http://www.zanmgt.com
Re: [Answered] Orbital mechanics
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 03:59:19 pm »
ah i see that disapoints me a little i was hopeing you would do something alot like this game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRpDn5qPp3s
this game takes procedurely generated to a all new level and rather then you making all the assets then importing them this gmae seems to create everything from scratch.
don't as me how it works but this was what i was thinking of for this game.

Pure procedural generation is very cool but not what we have in mind for Blockade Runner.  When it comes to procedural generation, the "procedurally generated galaxy" (i.e. available sectors) is where most of the procedural generation will be for Blockade Runner, along with explorable/mineable areas and some economic & dominion statuses.

No Man's Sky looks pretty interesting though, I'm surprised I hadn't seen it before! ^^
Stop by the IRC and say Hi! -- Online Dev Chat