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Subspace Tech, unification of all forms of travel


in many sci-fi franchises (every one which includes FTL tech? :think:) theres another dimension to the universe which allows the protagonists to travel vast distances in short times.

in video games this hyperspace/subspace is often only used in the lore to justify various effects but doesnt really have influences besides the very limited applications.

after seeing this i had a thought:
what if we could include that extra dimension properly into Limit Theory?

if yes: how?

and i created a few ideas for that "how" ^^

Basic Idea

The basic idea behind my variant of Subspace is that space contracts the "deeper" you go in the 4th dimension.

the further you go towards the center of the circle, the shorter the distance gets between the spokes.

without moving through the 4th dimension (distance from the center) you have to move along the circumfences, which have constant lenghts.

in my concept moving along the circumfences is "expensive" meaning that you need much time to traverse those distances
and moving up and down, parallel to the spokes, is "cheap", you dont need much time to do that.

so the fastest way to get from one point to another point is to go "downwards", closer to the center, move along the circumfence there, and then go "upwards" again.

this principles can then be used for multiple forms of movement

Movement in the 4th Dimension

there are general "4D thrusters" available which can push down an object into the depths of subspace.

unpowered objects out of "normal" matter "float" towards "normal space" again.
because of the same reason which caused the matter to concentrate in that plane in the first place (insert technobabble about 4d density or whatnot)

so one can "dive" downwards at will while expending energy to get/stay down.

(more on that later)

Drive Forms

different forms of movement go to different "depths" of subspace
Image Image normal flight is straight flying along the circumfence of space, through 3D space.

the cruise drive dips in a little bit into subspace, decreasing the distance and increasing your apparent velocity without increasing the actual circumfence velocity.
(this would also create the logcial possibility of a continous interstellar drive, but that will have to wait for LT2 ^^)

warp rails create a "trench" in space which enables you to go deeper into subspace, going faster.

wormholes are deep "pits" or deeply burrowed "tunnels" in subspace,
going deep into subspace where the distances between points have gotten very very short and connect there to another "pit" which ends in another location.
(for all gameplay purposes those pits go down into infinity)
this "digging" could be a good way to announce jump drive arrivals, as the drive has to drill a hole upwards first before the ship can fully utilise the wormhole.
also it could be a way to enforce ships at both ends of the wormhole connection before establishing it.
as the smallest error deep in subspace can result in gigantic errors at the "surface" due to the space compression effect
it would be the only viable way to create wormholes artificially to drill from both ends and connect the pits "down there", where the distance is the smallest, after the drilling.

a new technology could be the "subway" (hehe, logical pun!!)
this is a tunnel similar to a wormhole, but much less deep, in areas that would be reachable by ships with good subspace engines
it would be a fast travel system that would completely submerge you in subspace and would enable you to pass through objects if its a strong variant.
a warp rail on steroids basically.
it would only be visible in normal space in entry/exit areas around the ends, where a wormhole-like effect could be used.

4D Size

all "normal" matter (asteroids, spaceships, planets, stars) have the same lenght in the 4th dimension
Image so a very big and a very small object penetrate to the same "depth".
Image when one dives, his size in normal space reduces until its zero, after which the object isnt in that depth anymore, not even partial.
(this could either be done by straight up sizing ships up and down or by fading in and out)

so its possible to dive through under an object and avoid a collision by moving along the 4th dimension without changing the 3d position/vector

also the emissions of the diving object change, as less of them get emitted in the same "plane" as the other ships are.

this emission change could be used as a short range cloak, as the emissions are "normal matter" and float back to normal space, but take time to do so.

so the radiation still appears in normal space, but only after a distance

This could also have effects on combat
Image so a shield for example could be a closed bubble in 3d space, but only a "circumfence" wall in 4d space.

theres no way around a shield in 3d space, but in the 4th dimension its not closed, so one could go around the shield by diving below the shield and getting up behind it.

shield penetrating weaponry could use this extra degree of freedom, firing "over" or "under" the shield without actually interacting with it.

this weaponry could come in "dive torpedoes" which have their own small subspace engine, going below the shields.

"depth charges" which move or even fire downwards, to attack "submerged" vessels

due to the "less there" effect when diving weapons affecting a ship (the maximum of the ships mass)
that isnt exactly at the same depth as the impact causing the weapon to do less damage, as the ship is not fully at that position.


bases hidden in subspace

old relics

unknown dangers


all the fluff things that happen in star trek :ghost:


"going down" should be accompanied by a couple of distinct effects, showing that the ship isnt in "normal space" anymore but somewhere else.

ships which go down should slowly phase out, according to their depth.
that way you can see at a glance what happens.

also should the world itself slowly "grey out" and be replaced by featureless grey void (or any other variation of emptiness)
as below a certain depth no "normal matter" can interact with your ship anymore, and as such light cant reach you either.
this greying out should happen at depths deeper than a warp rail can push you down, to preserve the nice view ;)

known objects that are in another depth could be displayed by "ghosts" that sit at the position where the object would ideally surface
maybe like the holo interface, eventually with a small arrow or color coding to show the depth difference (above or below you)


irc Logdump when i talked with Cha0zz about it

Code: Select all

+Cornflakes:	bloop
anyone here who wants to hear my newest brainfart?
+Naed:	that depends
does it include explosions?
+Cornflakes:	not really
its a unification of cruise drives, warp rails, jumpgates independent from that jumpdrives a bit of cloaking and exploration
+Cha0zz:	o/
+Zeadar:	sup Cha0zz!
+Cha0zz:	oh hey Zeadar how's it going?
+Zeadar:	not too bad I hope
enjoying the lazyness of the holidays
watching stream like a real no lifer
+Cha0zz:	holiday :(
+Zeadar:	you got none this winter?
+Cha0zz:	I have exams in 2 weeks
+Zeadar:	what kind of cruel school do you go to? :O
+Cha0zz:	University
what do you do?
all hail Sly Mo Di!
did I scare him?
+Cornflakes:	dunno
+Zeadar:	maybe
I went back to twitch
+Cornflakes:	but i had an idea to unify (almost) all travel related stuff!
+Zeadar:	I'm sure you're bursdting to tell Cornflakes
+Cornflakes:	i am
basic technobabble: subspace
in game appearance: an extra dimension in addition to the 3 we already have
and which changes how you move through space
basically you have a subspace "depth" in which you are
and the "deeper" you are, the shorter distances get, but the less information you have about the world around you
+Cha0zz:	wait, depth compared to?
+Cornflakes:	"normal space"
+Cha0zz:	a dimension with an absolute reference frame?
+Cornflakes:	nah
the reference frame is just where "normal" matter happens to be
+Cha0zz:	sounds pretty absolute like you tell it :/
+Cornflakes:	you can also define the 0 level somewhere "above" "normal space"
but what would that change?
so the idea is that space is a "circle" and our world is concentrated around a certain radius
+Cha0zz:	hmm
+Cornflakes:	the lower you get radius wise, the less distance the "spokes" have to another
+Cha0zz:	how about a sphere, and we are the surface
+Cornflakes:	circle is just easier to draw :P
which i will sometime in the next days
+Cha0zz:	ah :P
+Cornflakes:	now further in the text
the deeper you are, the faster you can go
but normal matter tends to "float" to its normal radius
because reason
the same reason why the matter was at that radius in the first place
the deeper you go the more energy you need to stay there
the cruise mode just dips in a tiny little bit
+Cha0zz:	sounds pretty good actually, especialy since if you go deeper, travelling a small distance 'inside' the circle equals a larger distance on the surface.
+Cornflakes:	increasing your velocity marginally
thats the idea
warp rails push you deeper down
+Cha0zz:	not really an increase in velocity but rather a decrease in distance
+Cornflakes:	apparent velocity
+Cha0zz:	yeah
+Cornflakes:	whatever
+Cha0zz:	apparent surface velocity
+Cornflakes:	a wormhole is a really deep pit, which connects to another really deep pit somewhere else
+Cha0zz:	and energy needed to 'keep you down'
+Cornflakes:	mhm
+Cha0zz:	yeah wormholes tunnel trough the sphere
+Cornflakes:	not necessarily through
+Cha0zz:	well, you know what I mean
+Cornflakes:	mhm
+Cha0zz:	tunnel from one point to another
+Cornflakes:	mhm
this could also create a new side to movement in general
dont fly through this capships shields
fly around them
and such funny things
+Cha0zz:	heh?
+Cornflakes:	well, you want to be close to that capships hull, but the shields are in the way in "real space"
+Cha0zz:	oh I see
+Cornflakes:	go "down" and fly under those shields
also the apparent "density" or "size" of an object could change depending on how deep in subspace it is
along a doubly conical distribution
when you go deeper, you are less "there" and more "somewhere else"
cloaking and stuff
also objects have a definite subspace "size"
up to which you can actually see them in subspace
if you are below an objects w axis lenght you cant see it with "normal" 3d sensors anymore
+Cha0zz:	hmm
+Cornflakes:	equate "see" with "interact"
+Cha0zz:	I like it
+Cornflakes:	this would be hell to understand for a normal gamer, though
4d thinking
but think of the possibilities
all that star trek nonsense about things in subspace, actually accessible in a game :ghost:
hide a station "down there" and dont get found :ghost:
+Cha0zz:	I don't know, it's relatively trivial when you present it in lower dimensions by using a sphere or circle as example
+Cornflakes:	with the problem that you dont have surfaces but 3d volumes :/
+Cha0zz:	well
but the 4d reality would relate to a sphere as a sphere would relate to a circle
+Cornflakes:	i see what you mean
+Slymodi_:	people
that I didn't see
I was not scareed
+Cha0zz:	yo my lord
+Slymodi_:	I didn't see
+Cha0zz:	oh I see, Slymodi left but Slymodi_ didn't
+Slymodi_:	yeah
ping timeout
+Cornflakes:	slymodiception
+Slymodi_:	my internet has been on the fritz
my modem is 5 yers old
we are replacing it
+Cha0zz:	:)
cornflakes, your subspace also screams 'superspace' to me
although I have no idea what it could be used for ;.
+Cornflakes:	spatial compression?
space gets bigger out there?
+Slymodi_:	truly
+Cha0zz:	uhu
+Cornflakes:	wonders what happens to the compressed storage space when the energy fails
+Slymodi_:	it's gone
+Cha0zz:	bang bang did the ship
+Slymodi_:	it enters a pocket universe
link dead
+Cha0zz:	nah, it fals back to the origin, being you cargo bay
blowing up your ship :/
+Cornflakes:	mhm
why should it enter a pocket universe sly?
+Cha0zz:	or maybe it just 'lands' nearby your ship
+Cornflakes:	you "hold it up" using energy
and when your energy fails you cant hold it anymore and it falls back to "normal space"
+Cha0zz:	I would go with a probability distribution in normal space, with a maximum at your ship
+Cornflakes:	that would be logical if it came from below
as you have more space you are "near" when you come from below
+Cha0zz:	ow yeah
+Cornflakes:	but when you are "above" you basically get focused at a point
+Cha0zz:	well, no way to avoid it blowing up your ship :/
+Cornflakes:	mhm
+Cha0zz:	or igniting a fusion reaction in it
+Cornflakes:	mebbe a security function?
+Cha0zz:	mini sun :)
+Cornflakes:	using the last energy to move it a bit away from you
+Slymodi_:	would the space expand
+Cha0zz:	yeah something like that
+Slymodi_:	or would all of the matter occupy the same space
+Cornflakes:	well, could be a plausible explanation for exploding ships xD
+Cha0zz:	that's no bug, that's a failing superspace compression mechanism :P
+Cornflakes:	mhm
dont self destuct
just turn off the power :ghost:
+Cha0zz:	it also adds a new option for energy allocation: use energy to increase your storage capacity (if you have a superspace compressor installed)
+Cornflakes:	also: going down into subspace could equate to "submarine warfare"
Last edited by Cornflakes_91 on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

Re: Subspace Tech, unification of all forms of travel

I like it! Not quite real 4d, but that might be for the best. :ghost:
1 remark: it would make more sense if distances got shorter wether you go "up" or "down" from normal space, since that's how equilibrium situations work (if your walking along the bottom of a valley you go up wether you go left or right), so the technobabble for why everything drifts to normal space would make more sense to me. :)
Warning: do not ask about physics unless you really want to know about physics.
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Re: Subspace Tech, unification of all forms of travel

Dinosawer wrote:I like it! Not quite real 4d, but that might be for the best. :ghost:
as close i could get it while making it actually useful :ghost:
Dinosawer wrote: 1 remark: it would make more sense if distances got shorter wether you go "up" or "down" from normal space, since that's how equilibrium situations work (if your walking along the bottom of a valley you go up wether you go left or right),
we could view it as "buyoancy" of matter in a medium that fills up space.

the "deeper" you go, the denser the medium and your "up" lifting force gets
the more energy you need to stay down.

the asymmetric space could also provide fluff for another confirmed "feature" in the game: space compression
in #14 josh said that ships will only be limited by mass, not volume of cargo.

so the "space compression" could actually be a process of "lifting" the cargo up to "less dense space" and store it there


Dinosawer wrote:so the technobabble for why everything drifts to normal space would make more sense to me. :)
i have provided no technobabble for that :P

Re: Subspace Tech, unification of all forms of travel

Dinosawer wrote:Yes you did, the buoyancy thing. :P
I mean, if stuff is automatically lifted "up", why would it suddenly stop halfway (in normal space)?
It's just a property of particles, like mass (and spin and charge, ...)is a property of particles, normal matter has a certain buoyancy that makes it 'float' at a certain place in the 4th dimension. Maybe there are other types of matter with other buoyancy values that make them float at other 'heights' in the 4th dimension.

The equilibrium position for normal matter is thus ruled by its buoyancy value, going away from the equilibrium position (up or down in the 4th dimension) requires energy, so if you would plot energy in function of 'height in the 4th dimension' you would get some kind of parabolic curve with a minimum at the height where normal matter likes to be the most, the height determined by its 'buoyancy'.
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Idiots. Idiots everywhere. ~Dr. Cha0zz

Re: Subspace Tech, unification of all forms of travel


This is genius. I need to pick holes in it: :mrgreen:

Wormholes shouldn't go down to infinity (unless all wormhole entrances are connected and you can reach every entrance from every other entrance), but rather just so low that it takes a tiny amount of time to travel between the two.

I like the idea of needing to "dig" through, but not the idea of digging up being disallowed due to unpredictability. I'd rather either digging up being allowed, or there be some sort of technobabble explanation for why you can't just "float" back up again (e.g. gravity well at the bottom preventing very deep matter from floating up through undug subspace or something like that).

Other than that, this is a wonderful device for explaining away stuff. For example, you can still have a universe with a speed limit like ours, while allowing ships to travel vast distances in a short amount of time, by giving them a shorter path from A to B via "subspace". They're still obeying the speed limit, just taking a different route. :mrgreen:
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Re: Subspace Tech, unification of all forms of travel

DigitalDuck wrote: Wormholes shouldn't go down to infinity (unless all wormhole entrances are connected and you can reach every entrance from every other entrance), but rather just so low that it takes a tiny amount of time to travel between the two.
they arent down to infinity, but for all other gameplay purposes of "going down" they are ;)

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