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Alpha Tester
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About Heliomance

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    Silver Founder
  1. All the SI units are essentially arbitrary. The thing is, though, they're arbitrary in such a way that they all interact nicely. One Newton is the force needed to accelerate one kilogram by 1ms-2. One Joule is the energy required to exert a force of one Newton on an object over the space of one metre, and is also the energy dissipated as heat when a current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second. One Pascal is the pressure generated by a force of one Newton exerted over an area of one square metre. If you mess with any of the base values, you mess with every single one of the derived values that interacts with that thing in any way. And as they're all interconnected, you essentially end up having to redefine everything.
  2. That's because we don't actually have any instruments capable of measuring mass directly. We have instruments capable of measuring force, and of measuring acceleration. So the prototype would still mass 1kg, it just wouldn't exert a force of 9.81N on Alioth. This means that shaving the prototype down and redefining the kilogram would cause utter havoc all across the board in derived values. If you redefined the kilogram, then the Newton would no longer be the force required to accelerate 1kg by 1ms-2. Redefining SI units is... not a good idea.
  3. What the physics engine knows: - The ship's velocity at the current moment - The ship's position at the current moment - The force being exerted by each of the ship's thrusters at the current moment - The mass of the ship - Gravity - Potentially air resistance if it exists - How long it's been since the last update tick What the physics engine calculates every tick: - The net force provided by all thrusters at the current moment - (If implemented) The resistive force of air resistance at the current moment, based on the ship's velocity - The net acceleration of the ship this tick, calculated from the force of the thrusters, the mass of the ship, the value of air resistance, and gravity - The position of the ship next tick, from its current position, velocity, acceleration, and time since the last tick - The velocity of the ship next tick, from its current velocity, acceleration, and time since the last tick What the physics engine does not know: - How to fly the ship - The optimal configuration to fire the thrusters in for maximum acceleration - The turning circle of the ship - The ship's top speed (unless there's a hardcoded limit) - The ship's maximum acceleration - Anything that happens more than one tick in the future
  4. I wouldn't have thought they'd have that much of an advantage over beta players tbh. I imagine the beta period will be long enough to build all those skills up from scratch before live happens. Alpha and beta players will have that advantage over non-betas, though.
  5. What tools are going to be available to orgs for enforcing their rules? The idea of this game is emergent gameplay, of building a world and civilisation. Civilisation requires laws, and it requires the ability to enforce those laws. So how is that going to happen? In modern society, the primary means of punishing lawbreakers is incarceration. In a game, that's not really an option - if you lock a character in jail, that's destroying the player's ability to have fun in the game, and will likely just result in them stopping playing - losing a customer. That's bad. So, jail is out. Most forms of punishment available in a game are either trivial (execution doesn't mean much if you just respawn) or equally harmful to the game. But without some way of punishing those who transgress the rules, society doesn't function. How do you enforce law and order in a world without consequences?
  6. Yes, people are absolutely want to know what they're buying before they buy it. I'm not disputing that at all. But a simple list of statistics isn't going to work. The two main suggestions that have come up that are workable are a VR environment to test-fly a ship in before you buy it, and the emergent gameplay of trusted reviewers. Both have pros and cons, as expected. A try-before-you-buy VR environment would give you a very good idea of what you're paying for, whether you like how it handles, and so forth. On the other hand, it means you don't really have a clue what you're getting into before you buy, requires more work for NQ, and doesn't really allow any sort of objective ranking. Trusted reviewers (presumably doing Youtube videos or something) would allow for somewhat more of an actual ratings system, and be able to give you a far better idea of what you're buying in advance, letting you actually plan to buy a specific type of ship. On the down side, they're only realistically going to be able to review mass-produced ships, it's not going to be worth their time to review small runs and unique models. That said, that's realistic, to be honest. I suspect that what we'll see is more along the reviewer lines, as I'd be surprised if we had VR test functionality at launch. That would encourage mass production and a certain amount of standardisation, as in real life. If you want a custom ship, you'd then have to either build it yourself or work closely with a shipbuilder, paying extra money for the privilege of getting exactly what you want. There, your guarantee of quality would be the shipbuilder staking their reputation on your satisfaction - if you're not happy, you spread that fact around, and the shipbuilder doesn't get any more commissions. We might even see an organisation of high-end custom ship builders spring up, the equivalent of Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, and the like, who specialise in one-off custom orders for very rich customers. Owning a Quasar-brand ship (for example) might become a status symbol, a sign of wealth and status. That could be very cool. One way or another, the community will work out a means of making sure that ships can be bought and sold with some understanding of what you're getting. It won't be a simple list of statistics on the market page, though. I suspect it's more likely to be a manufacturer's description which is trusted to be honest, because the manufacturer lives by their reputation. Hell, the game is all about emergent gameplay and player-driven politics. Maybe whatever nation-orgs become dominant will institute an Office of Trading Standards that you can complain to if a seller rips you off, and they can force compensation.
  7. So you have 5 engines. If they're pointing in different directions, adding the total thrust together doesn't tell you anything useful. But there could be perfectly valid reasons to build it like that - well-scripted, it might use different engines in response to different commands to make it more maneuverable. It may not seem like much of a stretch to you, but it's actually not possible. Not just difficult, not possible.
  8. No, I told you that it wouldn't work, I explained exactly why it wouldn't work, and you continued to insist that you wouldn't believe it until someone from NQ weighed in. Posting the video might have been a touch on the mean side, and for that I apologise, but I was getting frustrated at the fact that you seemed to be either ignoring or not understanding what I was saying.There have been plenty of workable ideas posted here, yes, and on the whole the thread has been valuable. but I do know what I'm talking about, you were dismissing what I was saying, and I got irritated and snarky. Anyone can get something wrong, and that's fine. I'm certainly not immune. I don't think less of someone for incomplete knowledge or for making a mistake - different people know different things. When someone continues to insist that they are right and ignores people trying to improve their knowledge, that's when I get sarcastic.
  9. This is your problem. If you don't understand a field, you cannot say whether a given thing will be easy or hard. A simulation is essentially "try it and find out". With the building tools as we currently understand them, there are functionally infinite possible ship designs. A computer is not going to understand how to pilot a user-built ship. It's not even going to understand the concept of "forward". What the computer knows is "This signal means to fire this set of engines. That produces thrust in this direction. Taking into account the weight of the ship, and gravity, that will result in a net acceleration of X in Y direction." If you mount the engines sideways on your ship, pressing forwards will result in your ship going sideways. The computer doesn't know that, before you press the button. It works it out as it goes along. How, then, can it predict the 1-1000 time if it doesn't know in advance which direction your ship is going to move in? You can build your ship in any configuration. Some of them will work, some of them won't. You can then program your ship to respond in any way to particular button presses. If you re-code it so that the normal "forward" button actually fires the weapons, and thrust is achieved by pressing a different button entirely, how is the computer supposed to know how manoeuvrable your ship is? It's not. It can't. This is not a thing that is possible.
  10. Heliomance

    Tech tree

    Fantastic! This is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. That said, not sure how they're going to stop the alpha/beta testers learning the tech tree and just rushing it at go-live.
  11. Heliomance

    Tech tree

    Do we have any idea how the tech tree, research and development is going to work? For ages, I've wanted a game with a hidden tech tree, paralleling real life, where you don't know if something's possible until you make it work, and DU could be the game that actually implements it. Obviously the mystery wouldn't last long, because the possible research would rapidly get documented by the player base, but that initial exploration of what's possible and what's a dead end could be fascinating to be part of.
  12. Yeah, this is the major problem with it. Something like this, while amazing, would have to be in the game from launch to work well, and it simply isn't going to be. Which is a shame, because it would massively increase the value of R&D, which seems like a really good thing.
  13. That would be very cool, and would really help make R&D be an actual thing. Probably quite complicated to implement, though.
  14. But the flight characteristics will all be calculated on-the-fly by the physics engine. I'm fairly sure there's no way that you can make an analytical program to assess how well a certain ship design will handle and give it a numerical rating - the only way to know how a ship handles will be to test-fly it.
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