Compromising on Orbital Mechanics

Discussion in 'Backers Lounge (Read-only)' started by mushroomars, August 28, 2013.

  1. GalacticCow

    GalacticCow Active Member

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    There's a fourth group: the biggest of them all, and the one I think uber is allied with: Those who understand orbital mechanics, but realize that orbital mechanics suck if you put them in the game as is, so instead propose a simpler system that is consistant with the rest of the game mechanics and offers more depth in strategy rather than limiting options.[/quote]
  2. YourLocalMadSci

    YourLocalMadSci Well-Known Member

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    A typical type 1 response. :rolleyes:
  3. Devak

    Devak Post Master General

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    Awesome. What does it mean?

    Orbital mechanics are complex. You only need to play Kerbal Space Program to taste the complexity, and even that is simplified. And yes i'm serious: it takes quite a bit of gameplay to get a sense for orbital mechanics in that game.

    Creating orbital mechanics "because it's orbital and should behave like that" is a rubbish argument. It only serves to make the game unnecessarily complex.


    for further reference it might be good to read the "Orbital: 2 directions" thread on the general discussion forum. It has 100% more Neutrino in it.
  4. Schulti

    Schulti Active Member

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    I dont get this point with the poles or orbits around the equator. A few people always come alonge with these two points:

    Do you really dont want to be able that your satellite can be over a base that is on a pole? Or only be able to hold its position on an equator-orbit?
    Dont forget, that you first build your base and then have orbital units. You wont be able to always choose a place for your base where you can get "in range" of those "mechanics".
    i know neutrino said that he thinks a satellite should have an effect on the map regardless of his position. But a think this is wrong. orbital units should be able the be there, where my stuff is.
  5. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    holy s hit man! up to your idea but wow! you should get photoshop or at least paint.net because this really hurts expressing your ideas correctly.
  6. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Actually, the poles can be covered by a non-geostationary orbit. Also doesn't that just add a level of strategy to it all? For example a planet may have the best resources around the equator, but its safer to build a base at the poles to avoid orbital bombardment?
  7. GoogleFrog

    GoogleFrog Active Member

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    I agree with raevn. It is important that the player does not fight against the UI to achieve what they want.
    In the case of physically real obits (the ones that actually deal with momentum and acceleration) their flaw is usually that a satellite will only fire it's engine when explicitly told to do so by the player. It it likely to be the case that the satellites have enough engine power to float anywhere on the planet and are only unable to do so because the UI insists on using orbits.

    This issue is what I just begun to call Mechanic Degeneracy. A game mechanic is degenerate if there exists some really smart unit AI which effectively removes the mechanic from the game purely by giving orders accessible to the player. If a player is significantly worse off by allowing a degenerate mechanic to affect them then they will have to fight the UI to reduce it's effect.

    So, here is the degeneracy in this case. I'll assume we have some general orbit system which allows you to specify an orbit and have the unit calculate how to reach that orbit. The unit switches orbits completely realistically via acceleration and has infinite fuel.
    1. It think it is fairly obvious that there exists an orbit which will cause the unit to start accelerating tangentially to the planet in an effort to reach it.
    2. By (rotational) symmetry there exists an orbit which will cause a unit to accelerate in any direction tangent to the planet.
    3. Plug the method of calculating these orbits into your very smart unit AI. It is now able to cause the unit to accelerate in any direction via the method of specifying new orbits.
    4. The AI now has the power to cause the unit to float or circle in a small area on the planet.
    5. This reduces the fully general orbits system to the 'fake' orbits system which is currently implemented.
    If we had a physically realistic orbits system then in principal an AI can be coded into the player's UI which allows them to control orbital units as if they float in 'fake' orbits.

    I think a more accurate version of raevn's sentence would be this: orbits are working against what a player wants to do within what is allowed by the game mechanics.

    Movement does not work against what a player wants to do within what is allowed by the game mechanics. There is no way to teleport units. As I have posted above, an orbits system would allow many things which are only difficult to do because the UI would fight the player.

    I completely disagree with this statement. In general you will not create interesting gameplay just by copying a real physical system. There is no guarantee that such a system would have depth. Options do not create depth, it is easy for a single option to be far more powerful than all others. The more burden you put on 'emergent gameplay' to provide the interesting mechanics the riskier the system. Most of the time systems are abstracted and designed to capture the core ideas of the real physical system while building the game system at a high enough level to ensure a bit of interesting behaviour.
  8. RealTimeShepherd

    RealTimeShepherd Member

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    Last edited: August 31, 2013
  9. aeonlakes

    aeonlakes New Member

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  10. bradaz85

    bradaz85 Active Member

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    Hasn't Neutrino said that hes axing Orbital all-together? Thought he said he wasn't going to bother with all of it now.
  11. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    I hope he hasn't.

    Still, I'd find it funny. I'd survive, and PA would still be fun. I just can't imagine cross-planet warfare without an orbital layer.
  12. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    Considering how every other unit type works on a point and click system of movement, I really don't mind what we have now, sure it seems a little weird like a higher air level, but considering that you might as well call ships another land level for larger tanks.

    And now we have gone and scared the devs off.

    We need to finalize the 2 tier system of basic generalists and advanced specialists, and if they want orbital nuke launchers then just bloody let them! we can all just iron out the details later for balance and what not.
  13. l3tuce

    l3tuce Active Member

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    If he does I might want my money back.
  14. Bgrmystr2

    Bgrmystr2 Active Member

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    There's going to be orbital in some way, shape, or form somewhere in the game. There has to be, or it'd be impossible to transfer from planet to planet.

    Whether it's going to be what some people wanted or not, it will be there. Uber has an image for the endgame, and that image has to meet their budget and ability. We, as a playerbase, have an unbelievable amount of power to help shape this game. I don't think taking back your support because they won't add one feature that's highly debated is fair, (or mature, imo), but that's your decision.

    I would recommend waiting to see before jumping to conclusions, though. The Uber staff know what they're doing, and have a LOT of experience behind them, not including the experience among all the players helping and debating the changes. I believe we'll see something that most people will be able to accept.
    bradaz85 likes this.
  15. carn1x

    carn1x Active Member

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    Source?

    +1 for high speed / slow turning.

    I personally couldn't care less if orbital is realistic or not. I believe the objective is to have a layer which is purely complementary to the other layers. If there's a way to do that without implementing mind-boggling realism as per the OP suggestion, then that's good enough for me. At the very least, the OP solution is much easier to prototype and get running in the Alpha than going the full orbital route.
  16. GoogleFrog

    GoogleFrog Active Member

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    I don't see why we need any sort of orbital layer for us to be able to move between planets.
  17. carn1x

    carn1x Active Member

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    Agreed, although I'm not against striving to get the orbital layer right. I just hope the concept doesn't bankrupt the project in other areas to serve this particularly bullet point. Orbital is however required to honour the gas giants feature as well though, so there is actually quite a need to have the layer fun in it's own right, which I think many forget.
  18. Bgrmystr2

    Bgrmystr2 Active Member

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    All planets orbiting the sun is an orbital mechanic. Any and all moons orbiting planet is an orbital mechanic. Moving asteroids to smack into a planet using the gravity of the planet you're going to cease life on is orbital.

    Getting from planet to an orbiting moon is part of orbital mechanics. Even if you don't go to an orbital moon, you go to something completely different, it's still an orbital mechanic because of the calculations it requires to get to B from A. Orbital will exist. Perhaps not the exact way anyone in particular wants it, but it will be there. (Though, I'm sure you'll find SOMEONE that wants them to do it in the exact way they implement it)


    This too. Gas giants will need orbital for us to do anything with anyway. They're gas giants. What are you gonna land on? xD
  19. GoogleFrog

    GoogleFrog Active Member

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    The term 'orbital layer' has been well defined by the context provided by multiple threads. When you said
    I assumed you were talking within the context of every orbital layer related discussion in the past few weeks. The discussion was about the composition, roles and movement mechanics of the units that exist in space around each planet. It in no way encompassed the orbits of planets or transportation of units between planets. When you post in a thread it is usually assumed that you're using the same context and terminology as everyone else. It's fine (by me at least) if you want to talk about something broader but make that clear otherwise misunderstandings such as this arise.

    Yes an orbital layer is required for gas giants.
  20. Bgrmystr2

    Bgrmystr2 Active Member

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    Sorry that I don't see any difference between the two. Orbital is orbital to me. You think we're only going to have the ability to go from planet to planet without the ability to orbit around them? Just the same as they're calling asteroids the 'megaunits' of PA. It's not the same in exact context, but it serves the same function fundamentally, and is easily comparable and groupable.

    Unless you mean units specifically dedicated to ONLY orbiting that one planet forever and that's their entire function end all be all, then in that respect I, again, do believe we'll see these units in some way, shape, or form. I don't know if orbital units will actually be limited to the planet they're on though. They'll probably be able to transfer from one planet orbit to another if they're close enough. Like I said, we'll have to wait and see what they do before making conclusions. Right now, it's all words, predictions, and speculations. If Uber doesn't completely know what they're planning to do, then how do we?

    I'm not trying to turn it into a flame war, or anything, so no hard feelings. I just don't think anyone should jump to conclusions until Uber starts really getting into the decisions for this. It feels like we're debating between pie or cake being a better end result when all we have on the table is some sugar and flour. It could end up being any pastry at all, so that seems almost pointless in my opinion. :/

    Edit :
    When I was talking about jumping to conclusions, I was thinking specifically about people talking about the spaceships through space, and the fighters being a step toward that, being good or bad, but then Uber stating they didn't have plans for said spaceships at the time.. so then a lack of specifics after that drove it to a madhouse that.. the end result you see here.

    It's hard to read those kinds of threads turn south when I know everyone just wants the best for the game.
    Last edited: September 9, 2013

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