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Things I've always wondered about space games

 
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Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/4/2011 9:55:46 PM   
GaryChildress

 

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It seems like most space games I've ever played, small space ships are faster than large ones. You have scenes where little star fighters go zooming around big ships shooting at them, too small and fast for the big ship to shoot back at. The larger or more armored the spaceship the slower it is. This seems to jive with ocean going ships, destroyers are typically faster than battleships, and airplanes buzz around ocean going ships etc. but isn't space an entirely different ballgame? In space larger ships should have larger engines and since there is no drag or friction of any kind in space the larger or more powerful an engine something has, the faster it should go. Right? So a little X-wing fighter should putt along at a snails pace compared to big honking star cruiser, with engines 50 times the size of the little X-wing fighter.

Also most space games seem to have an "up" and a "down". Space ships seem to travel with the cockpit or bridge pointing up. So you have those big Imperial star destroyers with an underside and their topside where the captain sits. Shouldn't space ships be more or less symetrical with respect to up, down, right, left, save for the front where the captian sits and the back end where the engines are? Or else should space ships all be oriented the same way with respect to "up" and "down"? I'd think they'd be pointed in all different directions.





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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/4/2011 10:31:05 PM   
Mobius


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It would depend on the science of your SF. In a Newtonian physics world the larger ships would have more structural stress trying to keep up maneuvering with small ships. Also, fuel would be a problem as a lot is required to do maneuvers. So the small ship could go back a number of times to a mother ship to refuel.

I wrote a program once to map the results of a space ship powered by anti-matter. Maneuvering through turns at around .01c it need nearly 90% of its mass to be fuel and had power for about 1500 seconds.

In a science where inertia can be separated from mass like in the science of the Andromeda TV series then large and small ships can maneuver with equal ease. But that science leads to impossible results like perpetual motion.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/4/2011 11:02:29 PM   
bairdlander


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Maybe because space games are science fiction,so reality does not apply.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 12:31:51 AM   
ezzler

 

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And what's all the fuss with all 4x4 space games having a 3d rotating scroll in, scroll out, any way can be up, universe. Why?
I bet Admiral Akbar never had to scroll all the way to the edge of infinity and then back in again because he rotated his map and lost track of where Hoth was.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 2:07:06 AM   
jomni


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In WITP, you have battleships and carrriers that can go really fast. A bit slower than DD's but still fast!
Then you get smaller ships like Light Cruisers and patrol craft that goes at much slower speeds.  It's not about the size.  It all boils down to the amount of power the engines can put out and the amount of fuel it carries to sustain fast speeds.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 2:37:49 AM   
Perturabo


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I wish someone would make a realistic space wargame. Retro-sci-fi to avoid the spotted-killed effect and computers doing everything but diamond-hard.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 11:16:21 AM   
wodin


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I always find the way the ships in games seem to float around like on ice odd especially the 2d space games...I get inertia but in game it still looks bizarre to me...Also the actual combat distances are way to close on many of the games....though how you get a workable game graphically with combat distances of millions of Kilometres I've no idea...

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 2:19:57 PM   
Perturabo


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Probably something like in Harpoon but 3D.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 6:12:59 PM   
Orm


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Hitting a moving target at a distance of million of km seems unrealistic to me. At least if you make a "realistic" space wargame. I suspect effective combat range would be much shorter. This is especially true if the target has some defencive capabilities.

< Message edited by Orm -- 12/5/2011 6:13:47 PM >


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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 7:26:10 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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As Mobius points out, as long as F=MA, (shorthand for Netwonian physics applies) the only difference between modern aircraft or ocean going vessels and spacecraft is the lack of hull friction.

What get's my goat about these types of ideas is how conveintly we forget about gravity and what it means to not have any. Whenever I see a spaceship with people walking around or standing at a console, I cringe.



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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 7:42:11 PM   
martok


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bairdlander

Maybe because space games are science fiction,so reality does not apply.

I think bairdlander hit the nail on the head. I'd say that more than most genres, space games (and especially space strategy games) epitomize the notion of gameplay trumping realism, particularly where combat is concerned.

Thus, smaller spaceships are generally more maneuverable than larger ones. Likewise with them usually not being very "symmetrical", as Gary put it.




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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/5/2011 8:46:46 PM   
Perturabo


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They are soft-science fiction/space opera. Still it would be great to see a hard sci-fi space wargame.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Hitting a moving target at a distance of million of km seems unrealistic to me. At least if you make a "realistic" space wargame. I suspect effective combat range would be much shorter. This is especially true if the target has some defencive capabilities.

Still, it would be on way bigger ranges than in normal space games where combat usually happens on lower distances than RL BVR.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/6/2011 12:54:34 AM   
Gilmer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

I wish someone would make a realistic space wargame. Retro-sci-fi to avoid the spotted-killed effect and computers doing everything but diamond-hard.


And a good economic system that you could be a pirate in. A space pirate... kind of like in Privateer! And I own Privateer. I want a newer game like Privateer.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/6/2011 1:54:20 AM   
jomni


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jeffrey H.
What get's my goat about these types of ideas is how conveintly we forget about gravity and what it means to not have any. Whenever I see a spaceship with people walking around or standing at a console, I cringe.


Why not? They could have their own gravity generating devices. Lol.
Also shouldn't a large ship generate it's own gravity because of it's mass or something?

The Japanese cartoons like Gundam got it right. Though you can walk as normal inside a ship, you can also float and leap long distances like walking on the moon.


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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/6/2011 3:24:30 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jomni


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jeffrey H.
What get's my goat about these types of ideas is how conveintly we forget about gravity and what it means to not have any. Whenever I see a spaceship with people walking around or standing at a console, I cringe.


Why not? They could have their own gravity generating devices. Lol.
Also shouldn't a large ship generate it's own gravity because of it's mass or something?

The Japanese cartoons like Gundam got it right. Though you can walk as normal inside a ship, you can also float and leap long distances like walking on the moon.



If the ship's gravity comes into play, shouldn't a person be just as apt to be able to walk on the ceiling as walk on the "floor". What it you are somewhere in the middle of the ship? Then you have gravity in all directions, wouldn't you?.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/8/2011 2:27:44 AM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

They are soft-science fiction/space opera. Still it would be great to see a hard sci-fi space wargame.


It's a very niche market, unfortunately. Had to wait months for the second edition upgrade for Attack Vector and I think he was only waiting on a hundred pre-orders. Saganami Island (the Honor Harrington one) sold a lot better, and is still pretty 'hard-core' compared to most space combat games - it replicates combat in the books pretty well, for those who are familiar with them.

Pity the AV:T Vassal module never got finished. Sadly, David Weber has thoroughly cr*pped on any possibility of there being a Saganami one, or any PC game mod in general.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/8/2011 3:16:45 PM   
martok


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

They are soft-science fiction/space opera. Still it would be great to see a hard sci-fi space wargame.

Have you tried Aurora? While it's reputed to have a steep learning curve and the battles are turn-based (like the rest of the game), supposedly the combat is about as realistic as it can be (allowing for how future technologies might affect space warfare).



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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/8/2011 3:27:19 PM   
Mobius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress
If the ship's gravity comes into play, shouldn't a person be just as apt to be able to walk on the ceiling as walk on the "floor". What it you are somewhere in the middle of the ship? Then you have gravity in all directions, wouldn't you?.

The gravity of a ship (unless it's the size of a small moon) is so small that there wouldn't be enough to keep a person on a surface. Inside a ship the net gravity would be zero just as it would at the center of the earth. To increase friction to a surface you might have Velcro on your shoe soles and floors.
Another way to have the effect of gravity is to rotate part of the ship like on the Mars mission in the movie 2001.

If your sci-fi science has artificial gravity then you can also have gravity propulsion. But then an entire host of other inventions would follow with this technology which might make your space game seem very strange. Like buildings could be any shape or even floating. People, machines, tanks could float about.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/8/2011 3:41:17 PM   
Neotheone

 

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quote:

What get's my goat about these types of ideas is how conveintly we forget about gravity and what it means to not have any. Whenever I see a spaceship with people walking around or standing at a console, I cringe.



That's really simple to explain. Technology by that time has harnessed the effects of gravity and have made gravity invertors that create gravity throughout the ship using the ships fussion core to control it so it's just like walking on earth or a little bit lighter as to not fatigue its crew.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/8/2011 4:32:05 PM   
Mobius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Neotheone

quote:

What get's my goat about these types of ideas is how conveintly we forget about gravity and what it means to not have any. Whenever I see a spaceship with people walking around or standing at a console, I cringe.



That's really simple to explain. Technology by that time has harnessed the effects of gravity and have made gravity invertors that create gravity throughout the ship using the ships fussion core to control it so it's just like walking on earth or a little bit lighter as to not fatigue its crew.

Gravity would not be containted in the ship but pass out the hull into the universe. It might cause some confusion in the orbits of nearby moons.

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/8/2011 9:32:01 PM   
Neotheone

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mobius


quote:

ORIGINAL: Neotheone

quote:

What get's my goat about these types of ideas is how conveintly we forget about gravity and what it means to not have any. Whenever I see a spaceship with people walking around or standing at a console, I cringe.



That's really simple to explain. Technology by that time has harnessed the effects of gravity and have made gravity invertors that create gravity throughout the ship using the ships fussion core to control it so it's just like walking on earth or a little bit lighter as to not fatigue its crew.

Gravity would not be containted in the ship but pass out the hull into the universe. It might cause some confusion in the orbits of nearby moons.



Sure it would haven't you ever watched Star Trek and them talking about the "Gravity Containment Fields" areabout to blow Captin?

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RE: Things I've always wondered about space games - 12/8/2011 11:31:58 PM   
Mobius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Neotheone


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mobius


quote:

ORIGINAL: Neotheone

quote:

What get's my goat about these types of ideas is how conveintly we forget about gravity and what it means to not have any. Whenever I see a spaceship with people walking around or standing at a console, I cringe.



That's really simple to explain. Technology by that time has harnessed the effects of gravity and have made gravity invertors that create gravity throughout the ship using the ships fussion core to control it so it's just like walking on earth or a little bit lighter as to not fatigue its crew.

Gravity would not be containted in the ship but pass out the hull into the universe. It might cause some confusion in the orbits of nearby moons.



Sure it would haven't you ever watched Star Trek and them talking about the "Gravity Containment Fields" areabout to blow Captin?

I stop listening when they need to change the phases of the tachyon emitter.

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