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Old 02-25-2009, 12:10 PM   #16
DarkWanderer
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Because there are no single player games, right? Considering the low user base we have to deal with here, any Orbiter-based combat sim would have to focus primarily on the single-player experience.
It's interesting to shoot down 10^x sitting ducks in an arcade, but not in a simulator. Or can you write an AI?..

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A full-on super-precise generic collision detection engine is overkill.
A simulation of ISS by a box is a slapdash. A simple (<200 polys) collision mesh attached to a craft will do the job.

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What do you mean by "scientifically grounded?" If you don't allow at least a little bit of wiggle room, the game will end up being boring.
Tht means no deathrays, plasma weapons or voodoo magic. And by models I meant "Chemical laser with X watts impulse power, L nm wavelength and D centimeters aperture".

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There is no stealth in space, if you want to be realistic about it. Some form of sensors other than just the built-in name tagging of vessels would be needed.
Airborne radars have limited range - around 200km for fighter-sized target (aka XR2), while a reentry torch will be even visually, not talking about IR, seen from the geostationary orbit; passive systems are useless if there's a planet behind a target. We should expect no more than around 1,000 km for a spaceborne radar; and that falls to around 20-50km for a stealth-designed vessel (Hyper-Dart).

Note: Present IR EOS fighter systems can see another fighter with engines on military ~100-150km away from rear, because of atmosphere interference. That will be the case for "look-down" situation in a LEO.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:21 PM   #17
T.Neo
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plasma weapons
What is unrealistic about plasma weapons?
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:22 PM   #18
Urwumpe
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Originally Posted by T.Neo View Post
 What is unrealistic about plasma weapons?
The answer to that question is the same as the answer to the question what is plasma?
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:26 PM   #19
DarkWanderer
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What is unrealistic about plasma weapons?
They itself
USA now has tactical lasers, riot microwave weapons and so on, but plasma weapons stil are purely fantastic.

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Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 Well, what about defining a generic damage model for Orbiter?
<...>
Another part of the library then takes a damage profile (for example a kinetic kill vehicle) and and "ray traces" it's damage. If the number of primitives and damage rays is low enough, this can be done in real time. As the damages would not always propagate through the full spacecraft during one time step, we could even do divide and conquer.

Would be no true FEM model of a spacecraft, but somewhere close.
Seems reasonable. Maybe it doesn't even worth to do raytracing, just checking the distances to a primitive (to nearest poly and its vertexes, if it's convex) will be enough.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:28 PM   #20
T.Neo
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 The answer to that question is the same as the answer to the question what is plasma?
Ionized particles?

You mean hot air?

Why exactly? Is it because it is impossible to direct a stream of plasma dense enought to cause any damage?

As for space combat, I think we won't see any "fighter" like craft like in the movies- there isn't really any use for them.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DarkWanderer View Post
 Seems reasonable. Maybe it doesn't even worth to do raytracing, just checking the distances to a primitive (to nearest poly and its vertexes, if it's convex) will be enough.
Well, just distances could result in strange effects in directed energy weapons (AP projectiles, HEAT jets, Lasers), it makes more sense for area effect weapons (which directed energy weapons turn out to be. As secondary effect).

Shrapnel clouds for example are better modeled as cones or spheres.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:03 PM   #22
Usonian
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Originally Posted by T.Neo View Post
 As for space combat, I think we won't see any "fighter" like craft like in the movies- there isn't really any use for them.
Certainly anyone who "plays" with Orbiter must know that anything resembling Battle Star-Trek-Wars-Gallactica dogfighting or capital ship maneuvers and bombardment is out of the question. The only things in space worth fighting over are planetary systems, and within planetary systems the effects of orbital mechanics are fairly overwhelming -- especially so on low planetary orbit. You can't just turn, excellerate and stop any which way you care to. Fire a missile and it will go lower and faster, or higher and slower, but remain pretty much in the "fighter's" original orbital plane. Space "dogfighting" would involve the same sort of limited launch windows and slow, meticulous plane alignments as normal rendezvous and docking maneuvers. And why expend all that extra fuel launching the weight of a pilot, consumables and reentry vehicle?

Orbiter is all about simulating real orbital and interplanetary spaceflight, completely ruled by Newtonian physics. I'm not sure a realistic spaceflight model lends itself to an exciting, multiplayer combat game. Still, realistic explosions and damage would be nice -- peaceful spacecraft blow up all the time.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:10 PM   #23
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 And why expend all that extra fuel launching the weight of a pilot, consumables and reentry vehicle?
'Cause space-fighter riding babes in tight suits are HOT.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #24
T.Neo
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You make a good point.

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peaceful spacecraft blow up all the time.


(I'm sorry, I read that and I just had to.)
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #25
Zatnikitelman
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Actually, would the current Galactica's dogfighting be that far from reality? In the show, the ships launching fighters are already basically 0 rvel already. Now granted over 30km or so you have to take Orbital mechanics into account, but for close-in maneuvering, isn't just turn, burn, and shoot? Hmm, I guess I'll build a lightweight SC3 vessel and test its maneuverability using realistic settings for stuff.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:31 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 Well, what about defining a generic damage model for Orbiter?

Basically, we just search for ways to project energy on a target. This can be kinetic energy and mechanical forces (also shock waves), or radiation (lasers, masers, nuclear mines).

As suggestion for the start: A library which defines solid primitives (cylinders, spheres, hollow cylinders, hollow spheres, etc). Each primitive gets modeled as receiver for the minimal set of damages we could possibly find.

Another part of the library then takes a damage profile (for example a kinetic kill vehicle) and and "ray traces" it's damage. If the number of primitives and damage rays is low enough, this can be done in real time. As the damages would not always propagate through the full spacecraft during one time step, we could even do divide and conquer.

Would be no true FEM model of a spacecraft, but somewhere close.
I think a generic damage model would be more than what's needed. Assuming you intend to limit your game to a certain set of spacecraft, designing those spacecraft to have specific damage models would result in a more realistic experience, IMO. A spacecraft designer knows what a wing is, and can make it look good for when a wing gets blown off. A generic damage model would probably not be able to do the same.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:55 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Ghostrider View Post
 'Cause space-fighter riding babes in tight suits are HOT.
Touche' mon ami! You win... well played. Praise the Lord and pass the hydrazine!

Last edited by Usonian; 02-25-2009 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:15 AM   #28
Andy44
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Originally Posted by Zatnikitelman View Post
 Actually, would the current Galactica's dogfighting be that far from reality? In the show, the ships launching fighters are already basically 0 rvel already. Now granted over 30km or so you have to take Orbital mechanics into account, but for close-in maneuvering, isn't just turn, burn, and shoot? Hmm, I guess I'll build a lightweight SC3 vessel and test its maneuverability using realistic settings for stuff.
Yes, it would be very far from reality. Starting witht he low rel vel you mentioned, the fighters are launched past each other and must waste lots of dv just to turn around.

Then there is the matter of Vipers and Raptors entering atmo, landing, and taking off again to return to starships far far away without having to refuel.

Then there is the matter of humans outflying Cylon Raiders which are pure bio-machines, and should have much higher tolerance for G's, faster processing and should almost never miss.

Then there is the matter of needing manned fighters at all, when unmanned drones would do nicely, and when a vessel the size of Galactica with handwavium artificial gravity and FTL technology should have energy weapons of immense power, making manned fighters pretty silly.

BSG is a great show, I love it, but aside from some nods to real physics to make it feel more realistic, it's still the Star Wars-style fantasy which it was inspired by in the 1970s.

BTW, only 4 episodes left, finally!
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:56 AM   #29
tgep
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We're actually working on solutions to this in the RTF Fleet. By trying to combine realism ( ie physics ) with actual weapons designs.

So far, we have Chainguns, MK-82 SnakeEye Retarded bombs, and two diffrent types of missiles that can be loaded of fighters and on the big ships.

For the missiles, the next step is determining an auto-guidance algorithem that will guide a weapon to the preselected target chosen from what will be the DRADIS.

DRADIS is the key to our plans as it will scan the local area ( just like the sencor MFD ) and enable you to lock on to a target to fire your missile at.

After that, the next step will be determining WHERE the weapon hits and what kind of damage it does.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:17 AM   #30
Eagle
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Lol, with Battlestar's handwavium about anything's possible.

Pretty much the big problem with spacecraft combat is how lethal weapons are and that it tends to follow the 'If you can be seen, you can be shot' rule. And you can see pretty far in space.

Of course reality is never as wonderfully theoretical as theory. AMRAAMs do not have 100% kill rates despite being faster and more maneuverable than any manned plane. Don't expect realistic space combat to be easy or the least forgiving. But people (or aliens ) are inventive enough to find a way.

----------More stuff---------
Andy44, I wouldn't so much call it a waste of delta v just that to go out and back takes four times the delta v as going out. Depending on the drive system the feasibility changes. But hey, sure looks impractical now.

On a side note I've found that you can maneuver really well using only the main, hover and rotational engines. Hover corrects side drift main engines give more speed where you want to go. Set up a croquet course with a bunch of hoops and fly through the circuit as fast as you can in a Battlestar Viper or DeltaGlider variant or ship of your choice. Relative velocity differences between rings makes it much fun.

I'm trying to find an article I read earlier about cooling a spacecraft with a laser instead of radiators. Something where the spacecraft excites a microwave laser with its own infrared heat. The maser beams energy off into space. All I can find is the other kind of laser cooling where a laser is beamed onto an atom to cool it down.

Last edited by Eagle; 02-26-2009 at 04:04 AM.
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