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Cy83r

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Reply with quote  #1 
Tarp blocks would work similar to however rope does in ME with a few exceptions.

The Core Mechanical Aims
1) Tarpaulin connects two or more block faces along any euclidean or non-euclidean plane (i.e. it only connects across two dimensions)
2) [Secondary Critical Feature] Tarpaulin blocks are sealed when considering the effects of pressurization
3) [Primary Critical Feature] Tarpaulin will flex across its connecting dimensions
4) [Secondary Critical Feature] Tarpaulin will combine with incomplete armor blocks and non-airtight blocks to make the closest face of the block airtight and, in the case of incomplete airtight blocks like (most) armor, the tarp will be removed and placed back into the engineer's inventory once the block is complete
((are incomplete armor blocks airtight? it would be strange if they were))
5) Tarpaulin may be stored in "Rollers" that extrude and stow sheets of tarp as the connecting faces increase and decrease distance from each other
6) Kinetic force from impacts or stretching against broken rollers will rip a sheet of tarp
-6b) Tarpaulin should be capable of stretching enough to stop low-velocity impacts with a large surface-to-mass ratio like a clumsy engineer, drifting space debris, or errant ore
7) [Primary Critical Feature] Have a cost of 1 tarpaulin sheet and require zero welding, place-and-forget


Primary uses would be: patching large holes quickly to return pressure to holed compartments in the middle of a dicey situation; building airtight sections that need to flex, such as a docking arm or passages built inside of the twisting tunnels of an asteroid; or cost-effective funnels for light debris salvage as compared to material and energy intensive gravity funnels
Ulfsark

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Reply with quote  #2 
physics nightmare.
AutoMcD

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Reply with quote  #3 
I can't imagine wanting to mess with this instead of just fixing the problem with a welder.
Cy83r

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Reply with quote  #4 
On the end of physics: rip out stretching, treat impacts normally with absurdly low hit points and durability, still needs to be bendy

@AutoMcD: it's also justified by its secondary uses for flexible sections of a design and your suffocating before normal blocks can be welded into place- again, do unfinished airtight blocks remain airtight?
Orange_Slime_

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Reply with quote  #5 
With our current physics, we would have it denting armour by bumping it, ripping and glitching out, low polygonal bends, and it would require a BEAST to run decently.
Maegil

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Reply with quote  #6 
I don't know if it's such a nightmare, Havok was designed from the start to handle cloth.
Orange_Slime_

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Reply with quote  #7 
Really? But if parts of it have to be solid, than it'll probably seize up anyways, we can't have a game that can simulate cloth at that level and have performance
Andeerz

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Reply with quote  #8 
We can't know until we try.  There are many physics intensive games out there that have nicely rendered cloth.  Also, it is not like this needs to be that super duper pretty and high-poly, and this game needs a whole butt-load of optimization.

And there are a lot of uses for such a membrane that are part of proposed real life asteroid mining scenarios.  For one thing, tarp like umbrellas have been proposed as light weight methods of containing (and helping collect) kicked-up dust and chunks of rock and ore during mining operations.  Another use is a way of completely enclosing small enough ice-rich asteroids in an air-tight bag and quite literally cooking the enclosed rock in order to collect the vaporized water and other volatiles.  These are not things possible in the game right now (I hope they will be... though I am not holding out any hope at this rate) but could be with such tarps! 
Cy83r

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Reply with quote  #9 
And again, active cloth-like deformation can be nixed until end-release patches (if at all) simply to give a cheap, quick set-up/quick tear-down, containment material- let's not focus on the cloth-effects, please, they're a very, very small part of the utility provided by this suggestion.

Hell, add small steel tubing to the recipe and call it a 'rigid tarpaulin scaffold'

In regards to flailing cloth blocks damaging surrounding blocks, does it really work that way with all blocks or do harder materials have some sort of minimum damage threshold?

The biggest PRO I can give you guys for 'flexible' blocks in this vein is laying them down inside of asteroid tunnels to pressurize them.
fusurugi

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Reply with quote  #10 
Cloth manipulation is a pain to calculate when there's so much going on as in space engineers.
Especially when super capitals clash.
SenorZorros

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Reply with quote  #11 
why does it even have to interact with anything? the oly interations it should have are stopping stuf flying at ti of being broken by said stuff.
Cy83r

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Reply with quote  #12 
and retaining atmo, really it doesn't have to flex every time it touches something, but it'd be nice if you could lay down a sheet and have it contour around anything in the way so you can 'paint' a corner or protrusion in tarp fairly easy, the unrolling tarp should just make a flat plane unless the rollers are, say, arranged to form a tunnel or three-quarter slide (don't ask me how it works in the fiddly bits, it just does), then it produces a linear tarp with those angles across the whole length until something sharp or hot or way too fast makes an impact and rips/defroms a hole
Wintersend

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Reply with quote  #13 
Say, could something like this also be used as a parachute for atmospheric re-entry? Say you have a drop pod type thing where this is set to a timer and either something pops off or this opens up to provide drag, reducing the speed and force of impact to levels manageable by heavy armor. Maybe even light if you have a big enough parachute. It could also then be used to drop boxes of freight, read small cargo, onto other bases or to the front lines to help supply a forward base.
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