I am not even going to talk about the technologies that aren't even in the game at all. This game is in development, after all, but with the direction it seems to be going, I have my doubts that this will ever be a game about using plausible 21st century anything to do much (if anything) having to do with what would be a plausible 21st century space scenario.
planetoids can still be habitable, but if true realistic scale is possible, with unlimited speed, i want it... just sayin.
even if it does take hundreds of hours/days.. to travel between planets. id love to see ftl travel between star systems if you keep accelerating. just travel tward that distant star til you get there... (Space Engine) yes.. you CAN go from surface to univese... prety flawlessly considdering the sheer scale of the universe lol
All of this is possible with what they're proposing/what has already been added, so i assume this is the goal,
to explore the inner solar system, from mercury to.. at least jupiter/saturn
First off, I'm massively in favour of planets... but it has to be done right, within the technical and practical limitations of the game. The way I envision it. It's a game, so to keep it manageable, we'll have to be able to wrap our heads around it and also have to be able to fly around it in a reasonable time. The main limitation is the current engine's maximum flying speed, not the amount of data that can be generated! However, since this IS a voxel building game, I think SE must get away with even smaller planets than for example Kerbal Space Program. Pulling one from my hat: let's go by a factor of about 25. At that size, Mars would be around 271 km in diameter and 867 km in circumference... at our current maximum speed, it would take about three hours to complete one orbit.
So, let's take a look at Ceres at this scale (the largest object in the actual asteroid belt). Ceres is also the only known object to have become round under its own gravity in the asteroid belt. Ceres' diameter is 974.6 km. At 1/25th scale, that's just under 39 km in diameter. At that size, its circumference is already 122 km! And you'd be having 1194.5 sq km to play with! Doing one lap around it at max speed would take around 20 minutes. Ceres' escape velocity is 502.1 meters per second (1807 km/h). Putting it at 1-25th (yes, cheating here, I know mass would be decreasing more than just 25 times, as would escape velocity), it would be 20,84 meters per second or about 72 km/h... which is nasty... since if you drive too fast on that 25th scale... you'd attain escape velocity. Marek was talking about 10's to 100's of km in diameter in his blog post.. I don't think he realised that a 100 km diameter planet(oid) would be 314 km in circumference... Since we only move at 105 meters per second (378 km/h) at maximum, that's an orbit of around an hour at max speed (50 minutes at the surface, slightly longer higher up)... but again... if we want actual orbital mechanics... we'd have to go slower than that, or we'd escape. Just the fact that the Havok engine is present in this game, limits us to a few hard rules for the sake of practicality (in my opinion): - No orbital mechanics Our speed is just too limited. This doesn't mean gravity isn't important. It just means we have to ride up and down on thrust alone, like how popular media represents space travel (getting to space isn't so much going up, it's more going fast enough to miss the ground and atmosphere in your fall). It also means that with insufficient thrust, you'll crash if you get too close to the planet. - Planet(oid)s will have to be a maximum of about 50 km in diameter For the sheer sake of keeping it possible to fly around them at our current max speed in a reasonable amount of time. At 50 km maximum size, this will keep the circumference at max 157 km... which at 378 km/h (105 m/s) will take just over 25 minutes to fly around. Which is, in my opinion, pushing it in terms of size. Maybe eventually the game can double or tripple this speed, maybe boosting the maximum (practical) size of planets up a bit too 100 - 150 km or so. - Disproportionately high gravity Asteroids at this scale are virtually without gravity in reality. I think planets will need gravitational field to 'feel' planet-like. This raises a couple of questions: - Atmosphere & ecosystems? Do these mini-planets need to generate with a breathable atmosphere and ecosystems with plants, trees animals and water? Or do we prefer slightly more realistic barren planetoids mostly suitable for mining and wheeled-vehicle driving? - Purpose Planets will have to have some sort of additional purpose. Maybe a resource or something. Though for me, building buildings and having a purpose for wheels is already a good first purpose. What do you guys think about the above?
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