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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#76
I agree, every way of doing it has many gameplay implications, specially because it's a core mechanic to the entire game. There possibly isn't a "best way" of doing it.

Man made worm holes mean that new passages can be created or destroyed. If the movement through a wormhole is instantaneous, this would allow you to escape a lot of gameplay possibilities.
Likewise, if traveling through a wormhole (or hyperspace dimension) takes time, it opens up room for gameplay between sectors.

Even with only natural worm holes, natural borders would be an illusion. In your example, you could either pay the taxes or use your limited jumpdrive and jump a few times to cross the entire distance otherwise traveled by a wormhole.

For instance, it should be possible to travel to a system not connected by a wormhole with some sort of jump drive. In our own universe the closest system is about 4 light years away. Meaning this jump technology should be able to travel at least that distance. So, if you want to travel to a system 40 light years away, you'd have to jump 10 times. For large shipments this might be cheaper than paying tax and/or the extra cost of escorting your transporters through normal shipping lanes. (Chances of meeting pirates in empty space are practically nil)
Invading forces could do the same. Even jumping 100 times to get the surprise attack would be worth it.

Edit:
After reading some of the older topics, I think this point is moot:
JoshParnell wrote:I think you all have done a good job of scavenging around to find the things I've said, but I'll just restate the big ones so we're all clear :)

1. Star systems are discrete and non-connected. You must find a jump gate or wormhole to get to another system, unless you have a...

2. Jump drives are available for large enough ships. They require a "fairly large" ship and a good bit of cash. They also require fuel for jumping, which is dependent, naturally, on the range of the jump. No surprises there ;)

3. No invisible walls, you can keep going as far as you like outside of the system. At some point floating-point accuracy problems will start causing your ship to jerk around erratically, and the physics will start to degenerate. But you can keep on goin if you want.

4. Flight is somewhere between Newtonian and arcade. You can control how much "drag" you want, but you can't turn it off altogether, because it would break the physics engine to be able to reach an infinite velocity. So the main point of the flight system is that you won't be able to achieve absurd velocities, but you will be able to achieve strafing runs and engine kills and what-have-you. So Newtonian in terms of max velocity, no. Newtonian in terms of maintaining course while rotating, yes.

5. Power management will be an integral part of managing your subsystems!
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#77
Katorone wrote:There possibly isn't a "best way" of doing it.
Perhaps, though, that's because we haven't quite defined what "it" should be.

So far we've been coming up with all sorts of ideas how to implement various types of inter-system travel, but maybe we first need to take a step back and decide what are we connecting and why.

a) what sort of distribution of star systems will there be
b) what sort of natural connectivity should link them, and how can it be used for travel
c) what sort of man-made connectivity should link them, and how can it be used for travel

My own punt would be:
a) I'm pretty easy about this. I'd quite like to see a few astronomical-type features such as clusters, fingers (elongated clusters), maybe even pillars of creation. Distinct regions would be good, separated by natural barriers such as nebulae, dust clouds and empty gaps. Apart from that simple pseudo-random is fine.

b) I would be perfectly happy with NO natural connectivity (such as wormholes), i.e. all travel is based on man-made methods. This means there is no natural preference for routes other then barriers, distance and political boundaries.

c) I suggest ALL travel is based around JD technology. For commercial travel this could mean:
1) JG or equivalent which would behave similarly to buses or railways in space; fixed routes, easy and automatic for the player to use. They would connect neighbouring systems and form networks.
2) Ferries which are like travelling space stations with many on-board services; also automatic to use. They would connect far-apart systems, forming long links.
For private travel, equip a JD to your ship. The typical range would reach the neighbouring systems.

I was trying to think of what benefit natural connectivity would give over man-made, and I can't think of any. Conversely man-made can be created and destroyed as the galaxy develops, giving full flexibility to dynamic evolution and player interaction. If a corporation becomes hostile to a neighbour they may just shut down the travel route between them, forcing travellers to make large detours. A player may discover a resource-rich system and develop it, including connecting it to a transport network and so boosting commerce. If the galaxy has natural barriers such as nebulae, dust regions and gaps, then they will determine the spread of transport routes, not random wormholes. The transport networks will evolve organically with the galaxy.

As the galaxy is generated, there could be major population centres linked by busy JG/ferry routes, with quieter ones branching off to the hinterland. Further into the hinterland would be unconnected systems ripe for exploration. For JGs, it should be possible to buy long distance passage i.e. it passes through many star systems, but you don't have to stop at each one. Just like a train. Ferries would have a different distribution; they would be point-to-point over long distances and could be used to connect major regions which have large gaps or barriers separating them. Just like a ferry ;)

Indeed, it may even be worth rolling JGs and Ferries into one service, offering both local and long-distance routes. You can hop to the next system or voyage to a star dozens of systems away, as long as they're both connected to the same network as your current location. This would speed up and simplify fast travel where it's appropriate, removing the chore of system-hopping through well-travelled core regions, while preserving the remoteness of the wild frontier. Win-win!
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#78
What it comes down to for me are simply two criteria;
  • The strategy aspect of LT isn't compromised - I don't want to be able to (nor do I want my enemies to be able to) simply appear out of warp and destroy what they want, then move on before the other side can even react. If this is implemented in any way, it destroys the 'Real Time' and 'Strategy' parts of the RTS elements in LT. I think regardless of what method is ultimately decided upon, if the RTS aspect of the game is gone, this affects quite a bit in terms of what Josh has promised on the KS and what many others will be looking forward to.
  • Being able to blockade systems/planets - In order to have a military strategy, you need to be able to create a stronghold. If the enemy can just jump in anywhere and be able to 'hit and run' your fleet, that's not good on either side. The equivalent to your standard ground-based RTS would be this; your system in LT is artificially enclosed by use of the rooms that compose the systems. This is the same as terrain in a game like StarCraft of Command and Conquer. The JGs/Wormholes/other anomalies are the way to connect said rooms in LT, like canyons, crevices, etc in StarCraft/C&C. Yes, there are aeriel vehicles, but usually they're countered by the fact that they're (usually) weak armored. They're balanced for the fact that they can move almost anywhere. The equivalent in LT would be what, any inter-system traveling ship (on it's own accord) would be incredibly weak? If the enemy can just come into your base at any time, that poses a big problem on the RTS front. Even if I have an unstoppable force hiding in a system, it doesn't mean they can be everywhere at once.
As long as RTS is one of the focusing points of LT, we need to keep that in mind just as much as every other aspect. Yes, people want to explore, as that is also another focusing point of LT, but we can't sacrifice one in order to gain the other.

This leads me into JabbleWok's recent statement;
JabbleWok wrote:Perhaps, though, that's because we haven't quite defined what "it" should be.
I think this really needs to be defined before we can adjust how to achieve it, especially paying attention to the "why are we connecting it".
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#79
DWMagus wrote:The strategy aspect of LT isn't compromised - I don't want to be able to (nor do I want my enemies to be able to) simply appear out of warp and destroy what they want, then move on before the other side can even react.
I agree. If jumps are limited to the extremities of systems, then that can't happen.
Being able to blockade systems/planets - In order to have a military strategy, you need to be able to create a stronghold. If the enemy can just jump in anywhere and be able to 'hit and run' your fleet, that's not good on either side.
I agree. If jumps are limited to the extremities, then interlopers can only appear there. If a blockade runner escapes a local station, he must run for the extremities in order to jump out. Local defence (stationed in the extremities) should be able to jump out and back in to the other side of the system in order to chase interlopers and runners.

As for overall distribution: I have a vision of a spiral galaxy, where the main concentrations of stars are along arms. The main population centres and transport routes will also be along some of these arms, with branches heading off to the edges of the arms where the population is sparser and most stars are unconnected. Occasional routes pass between arms, connecting very different regions. Some routes travel upwards/downwards from the disc, towards globular clusters. Away from these inhabited areas, there are large extended areas not yet populated or connected. Well, it works for me!
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#80
DWMagus wrote:As long as RTS is one of the focusing points of LT, we need to keep that in mind just as much as every other aspect. Yes, people want to explore, as that is also another focusing point of LT, but we can't sacrifice one in order to gain the other.
It all boils down to the strategical meaning of travel and travel time.
In Mechanics of interstellar travel I tried to point out some possible approaches to that.

With instant point-to-point travel (like in the X games), the entire universe combined has the width of a single system and a lot of strategy is flushed down the drain because something like a "fleet movement" is a genuinely futile exercise.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#81
On the other hand, I thought the travel mechanism in Sins of a solar empire was completely broken. The combination of

1. Very lengthy jumps
2. Trigger-happy factions
3. Engagements depend strongly on numerical superiority

Makes strategy in that game basically boil down to a) turtling or b) throwing everything you have on a single enemy to wipe then out before they wipe you out.

PS Oh, I think they fixed that. Anyways, I don't have the game anymore to try it out.
The game has also fixed the highly-annoying practice of going the opposite direction from where you come, meaning that if you attack a hostile planet that's next door to yours, the enemy will have jumped just then to try and destroy your world.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#82
I only want to express one thing, a mixed comment/question. I was just wondering how a 'star map' would work? since if it's procedurally generated, and technicanlly, now don't harsh at all since there may be more to this than I know, but from what I've heard aren't each universe supposed to be essentially.... i don't know, like endless? so in a sense of a map if each 'universe' in-game would be endless, you could attempt a sort of map that goes so far. So in a sense, one would need to buy several mapping 'papers' at a time so that they could mark as they go, I mean, making a star map of the entire universe seems to far a stretch to me. just looking up in the sky you can't see all the stars that ARE in the universe only what has become visible. sorry, maybe it was the wrong room, but I brought it up since I read it mentioned in the first post where a 3d Star Map was mentioned.

I just noticed how silly it was to state 'marking papers' on a space game.. lol so maybe more like mapping chips that could be logged and plugged in sort of like a super-tech flash drive heh..

I also just thought of another thing to go along with this mapping chip thing. since there might not be a jump gate or however where ever it is one might go. how about a purchaseable technology to deploy your very own gate or something? Thinking of how we can purchase a space station, and I remember I think it was a Kickstarter Goal, but contructable stations as well, so maybe one could set up a gate or something at said location. As for me I know it would be a 50/50 for me I mean station next to a planet is easily attacked but well defended but maybe it could be far out somewhere, still making money and so on but just hidden in a sector that you feel is at least far unkown.
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Re: Is this the right room for a jump gate?

#83
im again reading through old threads :lol:
(Actually this thread is older than my membership in this forum :shock: )

and im finding the idea of a pathable hyperspace pretty interesting, and i had some ideas to combine it with my subspace idea and a bit from the sensor knowledge thread.

So, there is an extra "plane" in the game where all the systems that are anyhow reachable are present as discrete objects, so in "deep subspace" there are no individual planets, asteroids, etc but only the systems themself as objects.

One can get down to deep subspace by utilising a wormhole or an artificial wormhole entry which can be generated using a wormhole module.

deep subspace is more or less freely traversable with a few caveeats.
You cant see over any notable distance and it needs big amounts of energy/fuel to stay "down" or maybe just mobile.

the limited vision range can get you lost in subspace and maybe gets you stranded somewhere without any direct way back.
The vision is limited by the "subspace medium" which maybe has "currents" which move ships without engine power around, for gameplay reasons i'd say towards wormholes or systems.


The energy needs limit your time in subspace,
either to stay in there at all
(when your energy runs out you re-surface in a "deep space" empty system or get drawn to the next system/wormhole and surface there)
or to stay mobile
(when your energy runs out you are adrift and get moved by subspace currents towards a wormhole or system where its able to get out of subspace again)

Wormholes (and by that jumpgates) work around the energy limitation by creating "emptied out" channels through which ships can travel without addidtional energy expense (and possibly very fast with some "warp rail" kind of effect).
jumpgates then need to be built on both ends, to supply the subspace entry/exit points.
A jumpgate without a partner gate would only supply an entry gate, but would not provide any advantages for travel through subspace.
Subspace currents could carry adrift ships towards those channels (insert technobabble here) where they can move again without subspace drive energy needs and get back to normal space.

Maybe freeform movement in subspace needs specialist engines which are taylored to work better in there. :think:

When travelling off wormholes one cannot choose his exit point in a system when theres not already a wormhole entry open at the destination.

Installations could also affect the subspace in a limited area, for example a defender could build "drag inducers" which increase the energy needs of subspace movement.
thus drag inducers make it harder to reach a system using freeform subspace movement, but doesnt affect wormholes and jumpgates.
Sneaking in a jumpgate equipped ship always works, but just flying there without a warning not.

Another installation could be subspace detector stations, telling the defender that something freeform moves through subspace, enabling defensive measures to be enacted.

Also buoys could be placed to enable limited navigation through subspace without wormholes.
(Lore wise those could actually be in normal space and emit signals into subspace)

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