So today, among other things, I got to ride around a planet (through its rings, actually) at 1km / s. It was pretty thrilling
I spoke previously about how warp rails, thanks to their natural implementation as connected line segments, could potentially have some global curvature to them. I decided to test this a bit today, and was quite successful in doing so! These little puppies are going to be more exciting than I anticipated.
The thing about rails is that, compared to the remarkable scales of systems, a rather slight per-node curvature can result in a dramatic global curvature. Placing nodes at 5km / 10km or even 20km, I can produce some pretty drastically-curved paths with minimal local curvature (i.e., without making the lane allocation risky!) As the ultimate test, I tried encircling a planet with a rail network running through the heart of the ring. Wow. That was a cool idea This resulted in a pretty fantastic trip around a massive celestial body. Again, with the rails (and, to a lesser extent, the asteroids within the ring) providing a sense of scale, I was able to understand just how tremendously large this planet actually was. I have a new respect for those double-precision numbers Had I been able to enter / exit the rail at arbitrary points in the ring (still on the todo list), I probably wouldn't be here with a devlog, but would still be immersed in game
So, hopefully the question of 'why would we curve the rails' has been answered. The
The possibilities are only just beginning to unfold here. What started as a half-dream-induced crazy idea is turning into the solution for immersive fast travel that I've always wanted. And it's practical, from a gameplay standpoint! I'm glad I didn't get far with warp tunnels. There was a reason! How could I even think about occluding the lovely universe of LT?! How could it even cross my mind to blot out the shining stars and planets with high-energy retro toilet water!?
Yes folks, I've played space games without fast travel networks, and I can say now more than ever that my mind will not be swayed on this one.
I honestly didn't intend for this devlog to be about rails. I meant for it to be about all the things that I'm wrapping up in order to push out the update video. But you know how it goes. How easily the mind of a man is distracted by such things as riding trains around planets.
PS ~ May the devlog deficit rest in peace. He was a good beast, a strong beast. But he drove angst into our minds one-to-many times. May his legacy live forever in the scrolls, but never be reincarnated in this reality. This we pray in the name of the Great Node in the Sky.
PPS ~ To those concerned about the immersion of 'space polluted by highways' - the rails look absolutely miniscule in comparison to planets and planetary belts (or asteroid fields, for that matter). From a distance you can't even tell that there's a network within the belt. It's even pretty easy to lose sight of the network while staying within the planetary belt. I promise, there's no polution here It's definitely nothing like those big green tunnel-worms in X:R (And I mean that in the most loving way possible. There's still a special place in my heart for that game ).