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UncivillizedFrog

Foundations on FTL drive mechanics, Volume 1

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The most commonly accepted theoretical method for FTL travel is called the Alcubierre Drive, which propose to build an engine that can warp space. This involves creating a 'warp bubble' which consists of an unexpanded region in the center, a squished region in the front and a stretched region in the rear. 

 

To simply slap on a module that make your ship go is not good enough. To make FTL ship design interesting/compelling a designer should have to calibrate the field geometry such that 

 

  •  the ship fits in the bubble
  •  the bubble is streamlined
  •  the engine has sufficient power to maintain the bubble radius

 

Desirable attributes of FTL drive for shipbuilders to balance:

 

  • Startup time - This is the time your ship takes to initiate FTL from cold start
  • Speed - This is the maximum velocity your ship can achieve without overloading your FTL drive
  • Acceleration- How fast your ship can speed up and slow down.Energy usage How much energy it takes to maintain velocity.
  • Structural integrity - The ability of your ship to accelerate in a given direction without flying apart.
  • Power - The amount of your ship dedicated to supporting your FTL system
  • Control systems - A well designed control system will operate your engine efficiently and safely, without exploding
  •  

Interactive FTL capability will add value to ships and increase competition for engineering design and control systems. The FTL design of a vessel would have to be engineered and calibrated by a specialist, and each design would have to be unique. 

 

Equations of warp bubble can be described by the FTL drive component with simple made up math which is loosely based on current ftl research but has nothing to do with reality:

 

The field is composed of an expansion ellipsoid and a contraction ellipsoid

 

Velocity =Vector(D, sqrt(E*C)*FD)

 

where D is the angle between the FTL drive and the point furthest from the warp drive on the contraction ellipsoid.

where FD field divergence is the maximum distance between the two ellipsoids in meters

where E energy is a constant based on the total energy supplied to the drive

where C is the speed of light in a vacuum

 

If I place my ellipsoids farther apart I will travel faster. If I place them closer together I will slow down.

Changing the field geometry such that the field is offset in a direction other than forward would allow your ship to drift, strafe, and warp sideways and pull off all sorts of maneuvers. The offset and the sizes of the ellipsoids comprising the warp field will determine the velocity and direction of travel. To withstand a change in direction the ship must have sufficient cross-sectional strength/weight ratio in the direction of the change in acceleration. 

 

The drive is controlled by the positioning of the ellipses. The first set of inputs, X0,Y0,Z0 control the energy diverted to projecting the bubbles in each direction, determining the size of the bubbles. The second set of inputs , X1,Y1,Z1 controls the position of the forward bubble relative to the drive. Field divergence and velocity is given by the  second set of inputs.

 

 

To turn the drive off, cut the power. If the power level is insufficient to create a bubble which your ship fits inside your ship will not enter warp. 

 

If the field strength is not sufficient to maintain the bubble radius the ship will be crippled by the shearing force.

 

Energy usage will be given by the total volume of the bubble divided by the aspect ratio of the bubble, direction of travel to max radius perpendicular to the direction of travel multiplied by the field divergence.

 

 

Protip: Use the same mechanic except with a single ellipsoid when you implement shield bubbles to save work.

 

 

This will lead to the following situation:

 

    The captain tells the engineer to outrun the other ship

    The engineer is concerned because you run the risk of overheating the engines

    The captain doesn't care and just wants to go faster

    Either the ship explodes or everything works out ok depending on both the engineers competence and the designers competence

 

A staple situation of modern space drama which would only appear in a cutscene in any other game.

 

ftl.png

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... as someone who loves sci-fi i need to say.

 

There's most likely just one way to effectively travel space in a ftl way.

 

Let's talk physics, even if i hate them.

 

1. Imagine Space and Time and Mass Interaction.

2. Now you need to understand that it is probable for different "planes" to exist, where different Mass / Space and Time exist.

3. This plane is already interacting with our plane. Let's Call our Plane the Alpha one and the other one Beta.

4. To get from the Alpha plane to the beta plane, you need only to supply the needed energy to transfer through the difference.

5. Now your in the Beta plane, let's call this simple hyperspace. Here everything has a lower mass, time is accelerated and space is alot more "empty" and stretched.

 

If you travel at an speed of 10km/h in the Alpha plane. You will go 10km in one hour.

If you travel at an speed of 10km/h in the Beta plane. You will go 10km in one hour there too.

But if you switch back to the Apha plane, after traveling 10km in the Beta one. You will drop out 1000km away from your starting point.

Because each point in that accelerated and empty Beta plane is connected with the corresponding point in the Alpha Layer. And duo to the inherent speed of things in it, your ship will be flung along even if you stand as still as you can be.

 

How would this handle going 1000km/h to 10km/h speed again? It doesn't. As the speed in both planes were 10km/h, you just traveled further in the Beta Plane then in the Alpha one.

 

 

I forgot how the theroy is named. But i like this the most. As interactions from that Beta Plane, could explain Dark Energy to an point. And probably there's a Gamma ... and many more planes. Which are faster, emptyer and even better to travel in. But duo the changes in the laws of nature, there could be a plane full of antimater ... one where the speed change is so high, that you would be pulled apart in it, one where all light is gone and the nearest mass of 1kg is distributed around 1000 lightyears at best. The interaction of these planes, make out the following planes laws of nature. To an point, where the "Zero" plane ... would be a standstill image of how the universe looked right at the bigbang.

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15 hours ago, Greenfox said:

... as someone who loves sci-fi i need to say.

 

There's most likely just one way to effectively travel space in a ftl way.

 

Let's talk physics, even if i hate them.

 

1. Imagine Space and Time and Mass Interaction.

2. Now you need to understand that it is probable for different "planes" to exist, where different Mass / Space and Time exist.

3. This plane is already interacting with our plane. Let's Call our Plane the Alpha one and the other one Beta.

4. To get from the Alpha plane to the beta plane, you need only to supply the needed energy to transfer through the difference.

5. Now your in the Beta plane, let's call this simple hyperspace. Here everything has a lower mass, time is accelerated and space is alot more "empty" and stretched.

 

 

 

What you're suggesting goes beyond the bounds of cartesian space into abstract theoretical involving multidimensional spacetime. This seems to me a bit more difficult to implement and also quite a bit more monotonous, and it diverges from the incredible single shard galaxy nq has created which involves distributing computation to specific blocks of cartesian space. I'm not sure that this space can be bent without fundamentally altering the backend.

 

Consider a superluminal pursuit in the "factor seven" plane. The superluminal performance of these vessels on this plane would be no different than the performance at any plane or at sublight. If the pursuing vessel were to jump to the factor eight plane the two ships would not even be in the same spacetime, so would not be able to interact with eachother. 

 

What I am suggesting is a simple, readily computable velocity measurement  based on the performance of the vessel in question and six input signals without having to change the mathematical representation of the universe or doing an actual space-warp.  The big question with implementation isn't whether we can do crazy scifi math but simply whether or not the backend can support superluminal velocity. 

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7 hours ago, UncivillizedFrog said:

 

 

What you're suggesting goes beyond the bounds of cartesian space into abstract theoretical involving multidimensional spacetime. This seems to me a bit more difficult to implement and also quite a bit more monotonous, and it diverges from the incredible single shard galaxy nq has created which involves distributing computation to specific blocks of cartesian space. I'm not sure that this space can be bent without fundamentally altering the backend.

 

Consider a superluminal pursuit in the "factor seven" plane. The superluminal performance of these vessels on this plane would be no different than the performance at any plane or at sublight. If the pursuing vessel were to jump to the factor eight plane the two ships would not even be in the same spacetime, so would not be able to interact with eachother. 

 

What I am suggesting is a simple, readily computable velocity measurement  based on the performance of the vessel in question and six input signals without having to change the mathematical representation of the universe or doing an actual space-warp.  The big question with implementation isn't whether we can do crazy scifi math but simply whether or not the backend can support superluminal velocity. 

That's true :3.

 

But it seems more plausible then the bubble mechanic.

What happens when your bubble collides with anything of mater?

Space isn't really that empty and there could be even suns/ planets/ moon/ etc on yoru direct flight path, the moment you get there.

 

The bubble mechanic was my favorite one, till i realized how difficult it would be to actually fly extremly fast.

And how difficult gravity influence would be towards keeping the bubble stable.

 

That's all solved the moment you can travel at speeds your ship is capable of withoutextrem tech aids ... well minus the probability that the Beta Plane could be in fact be made completly out of antimater already ... which would end in an neat explosion of nothingness. I wish we had the means to test these theorys already :3.

 

1 hour ago, Pantera said:

Warp bubbles?

 

animation_1_large.gif

 

wheeeee bubbles!!!

Dude :3 ... let us nerd out here.

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9 hours ago, Greenfox said:

Dude :3 ... let us nerd out here.

but but ... bubbles!!!

 

Fine. I'll only interrupt again if i find a really funny GIF relevant to the conversation. 

 

Nerd on.

tumblr_nuoqeahlCw1ufe64so1_500.gif

 

 

 

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I would prefer the battlestar galactica FTL jump approach. Technically its a instant jump that can only have a certain distance into "known" space. that maybe with additional modules or training could get bigger, and there is a CD on the jump after arriving what could be a nice strategic addition.

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https://www.dualthegame.com/en/news/2018/02/08/in-game-ama-feb-3rd-2018-transcription/

 

Quote

Tsunami: How exactly do you imagine FTL Engines (Faster than Light) and Stargates? How does it works?
NQ-Sophon: It’s a long topic, we will probably shoot a DevBlog on this. But the key idea is that for both, you’ll need anchor points at destination, that you need to setup first. Then you can travel faster between points of your network.

 

 

Quote

Have FTL grapplers been confirmed? if so, how will they operate?

FTL will be handled in a very basic way at release, but we might add the fact that FTL flight happens in a "parallel" hyper universe in a later stage after the initial release. The idea would be then that FTL travel happens in a hyper space, where you could possibly add bubbles that, when intersected, would take you out of FTL space, back into normal space.

 

 

So rn it's basically handled as:

- set start and end location (however that's done)

- travel at ftl speeds between those points

- you may be intersepted by pirates en route with special interdiction bubbles

 

Considering the nature of DU and other mechanics so far, I actually like that system

 

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1 hour ago, Lethys said:

So rn it's basically handled as:

- set start and end location (however that's done)

- travel at ftl speeds between those points

- you may be intersepted by pirates en route with special interdiction bubbles

 

Considering the nature of DU and other mechanics so far, I actually like that system

 

 

I agree. As for how to set the start/end points, for going between systems, they've said that you will need to send out a probe that will eventually reach the destination (for going between systems).

 

This same principle can be applied to in-system travel as well by just having people go to the end location they want and setting a probe there, linking it to the start location via a gate, probe or whatever else NQ decides.

 

I do wonder though for travel between systems. I would imagine that we would have to build a stargate on both sides. I'm thinking that the probe can be traveled to via an actual stargate, but you may not end up exactly at the location of the probe and will have to travel to it. Once at the destination side with all your equipment you can then build the destination stargate and complete the connection.

 

Note that this is all speculation until we get more info from NQ.

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11 hours ago, Lethys said:

fact that FTL flight happens in a "parallel" hyper universe in a later stage after the initial release.

 

That seems more promising. To me, simple teleportation would not feel immersive enough. From a mechanics standpoint, teleportation gates will force the same monotonous camping gameplay you see in eve. Although I would be worried about this because the only other place I have seen this is in the STO sector map travel... I suppose it would have been better without the ridiculous clunky cartoon overlay and the overall feeling that I am a model-hacked superman (cryptic used the same engine for the space game as they did for the marvel heroes game or whatever it was) and felt too juiced up and looked bad, it didn't feel like space travel at all.. 

 

I feel very strongly that for DU to deliver w/regards to it's single-shardedness it has to include free FTL flight without any gimmicks both for the added immersion and the sheer thrill of flying and walking around on a ship at superluminal velocities. I also feel that interstellar flight should not be easy and designing ships to fly FTL should be an involved process. 

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17 hours ago, Oxyorum said:

 

I agree. As for how to set the start/end points, for going between systems, they've said that you will need to send out a probe that will eventually reach the destination (for going between systems).

 

This same principle can be applied to in-system travel as well by just having people go to the end location they want and setting a probe there, linking it to the start location via a gate, probe or whatever else NQ decides.

 

I do wonder though for travel between systems. I would imagine that we would have to build a stargate on both sides. I'm thinking that the probe can be traveled to via an actual stargate, but you may not end up exactly at the location of the probe and will have to travel to it. Once at the destination side with all your equipment you can then build the destination stargate and complete the connection.

 

Note that this is all speculation until we get more info from NQ.

You talk about stargates. Stargates != ftl drives

 

There will be several levels of scale in your capacity to move around: on the planets first, you can move by walking. You can then craft hovercrafts to move over a few kilometers. You may build then atmospheric ships for heavy duty planetary atmospheric travel. Then, you can start to look at building space faring ships. They will travel at normal speed first, allowing you to reach nearby moons in a few minutes, or other planets in the system in a few days (you can very well enjoy sharing a huge ship with friends, as it travels through space, and you go to whatever in-ship activity you like, for example building or trading). Then, either at release or perhaps in an expansion, we will introduce FTL drives. You will then be able to move between planets in a few minutes, and possibly reach new systems over several days. The final step will be stargates, that will come in an expansion, and that will allow near instant connections between systems. The size of the known/explored universe will then start to grow as players build more and more stargates. Stargates are going to be very expansive and complex to do, so don't expect a large network immediately. We will use this slow growth to introduce more variety in the discovered planets, as we have time/budget to further develop new biomes.
 
 
Perhaps those start/end points use the same method (sending a probe) as stargates, perhaps it's completely different.
Like, you have to travel there once by normal means (space engines) and then you can set your ftl points in some kind of map for example, once you've been there.
Sending probes is iirc only for building stargates rn where you send a probe to a distant star -> wait for it to arrive -> you build the first stargate while that probe is en route -> once probe arrives you can do a one-time jump to the location of that probe -> build a second stargate there -> link them for instant travel inbetween
 

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6 hours ago, Lethys said:

You talk about stargates. Stargates != ftl drives

 

 

Yeah, my bad. I ended up getting mixed up. Also thanks for finding the actual source for the probe stuff.

 

If we are talking about FTL drives specifically:

 

6 hours ago, Lethys said:

Perhaps those start/end points use the same method (sending a probe) as stargates, perhaps it's completely different.

Like, you have to travel there once by normal means (space engines) and then you can set your ftl points in some kind of map for example, once you've been there.
Sending probes is iirc only for building stargates rn where you send a probe to a distant star -> wait for it to arrive -> you build the first stargate while that probe is en route -> once probe arrives you can do a one-time jump to the location of that probe -> build a second stargate there -> link them for instant travel inbetween
  

 

I agree. For FTL travel with drives, perhaps something like a beacon can be placed down in space. This beacon would allow a ship to lock on to it and then initiate FTL travel to that location. People have to physically travel to the beacon location in order to be able to travel to it at FTL speeds later. The data on the beacons can also be shared between players or at the organization level (think corp bookmarks from Eve Online), or even sold on the market. Who knows?

 

I mean, it would be possible to use a probe like for stargates, perhaps as an upgrade to going to the location yourself and setting up the beacon from scratch. This would be useful if the location is say, weeks away by space ship or something like that. You'd send the probe, do a one-time FTL cruise to that location, then build the ftl beacon proper so you can continue to travel there in the future at FTL speeds.

 

 

That seems more promising. To me, simple teleportation would not feel immersive enough. From a mechanics standpoint, teleportation gates will force the same monotonous camping gameplay you see in eve. Although I would be worried about this because the only other place I have seen this is in the STO sector map travel... I suppose it would have been better without the ridiculous clunky cartoon overlay and the overall feeling that I am a model-hacked superman (cryptic used the same engine for the space game as they did for the marvel heroes game or whatever it was) and felt too juiced up and looked bad, it didn't feel like space travel at all.. 

 

I feel very strongly that for DU to deliver w/regards to it's single-shardedness it has to include free FTL flight without any gimmicks both for the added immersion and the sheer thrill of flying and walking around on a ship at superluminal velocities. I also feel that interstellar flight should not be easy and designing ships to fly FTL should be an involved process. 

 

I agree, if we are talking about FTL drives, teleportation would be boring. Let it take some time to get from point A to point B. The only type of FTL travel that is like teleporting should be moving from one system to another via a stargate, since you'd imagine you'll be moving so fast it is akin to teleporting. It would be dope to have it so some materials just don't fare well at superluminal velocities. Players would need to employ things like shields around the ship to protect from the effects of FTL travel or enhanced materials that can take punishment at those speeds.

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there are also other issues with teleportation mechanics like power projection which can be a major factor in the lategame of DU. At first, this might be prevented because of fuel consumption or cost but at a later stage of the game these key factors might be irrelevant.

Teleportation for stargates is okish imho, because you still need to defend those gates AND you have to get your whole fleet through it to get to ONE SPECIFIC point in space - not everywhere you want

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Stargates are fine but I strongly disagree with the notion of pre-set FTL beacons. From an NPE point of view that would force players to be planet-bound unless they spend weeks sending personal probes all over the place. They would not have the opportunity to explore until they have joined an org and even then they would only be able to go where their org has been. This would make the game feel rather isolated from anyone who isn't in your org or living next to you. I think that free flight in FTL is the only real way to maintain the immersion, and if it is successful that it would be absolutely groundbreaking.

 

Pre-determined point-to-point warp is just a regurgitation of the same interstellar travel mechanism we have seen in every space game that has ever even existed basically. Eve, X, EGS, SWG, SWTOR, all of these games have been doing this same thing for twenty years. The thing that makes DU stand out as a promising candidate for this sort of thing is the nature of the engine and the backend itself. It just takes big chunks of the galaxy and makes the computer compute those chunks, no matter where or how large the chunks are provided the chunks can be computed near-realtime. This is extremely innovative technology which should be pushed to its fullest potential. Using this tech to do the same thing any of these other games do seems like a cop-out. I think that there will never truly be a space game until it is possible to freely explore space by flying spaceships around in it at FTL speeds. DU can provide this. 

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7 hours ago, UncivillizedFrog said:

Stargates are fine but I strongly disagree with the notion of pre-set FTL beacons. From an NPE point of view that would force players to be planet-bound unless they spend weeks sending personal probes all over the place. They would not have the opportunity to explore until they have joined an org and even then they would only be able to go where their org has been. This would make the game feel rather isolated from anyone who isn't in your org or living next to you. I think that free flight in FTL is the only real way to maintain the immersion, and if it is successful that it would be absolutely groundbreaking.

nope - you can still go to space with space engines and you're free to go anywhere with those. It just takes longer (hours to days within a system - depending on distance ofc). Once you're able to drop those ftl points then you can go from one planet to another one within minutes

 

7 hours ago, UncivillizedFrog said:

Pre-determined point-to-point warp is just a regurgitation of the same interstellar travel mechanism we have seen in every space game that has ever even existed basically. Eve, X, EGS, SWG, SWTOR, all of these games have been doing this same thing for twenty years. The thing that makes DU stand out as a promising candidate for this sort of thing is the nature of the engine and the backend itself. It just takes big chunks of the galaxy and makes the computer compute those chunks, no matter where or how large the chunks are provided the chunks can be computed near-realtime. This is extremely innovative technology which should be pushed to its fullest potential. Using this tech to do the same thing any of these other games do seems like a cop-out. I think that there will never truly be a space game until it is possible to freely explore space by flying spaceships around in it at FTL speeds. DU can provide this. 

while I agree to some extent, this discussion is useless here as it would break the NDA

 

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I dont only think it can provide it, but also it should.

Whatever the risks are of flying into a moon or whatever the option to freely fly at FTL should be possible, or at least in known space or within radar/lidar/however we name it range.

it would be very strange to have a shroud of unknown space like in C&C or similar games in DU, within sensor range we should be able to fly at FTL, or jump or however it will work.

If not everything will be on regular slowpoke engines, also no problem but then DU will never reach momentum or live upto its potential with the exloration of galaxies farfar away ;)

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