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Children of a Dead Earth

Discussion in 'Space Games' started by vean, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Fusion was "almost here" for as long as I've been interested in science, so probably around 30 years. This game only has tech that the dev could properly model, as in mathematically based on published papers.
     
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  2. Andronovo Novice

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    What's the point of science fiction if you only use modern proven technology? I never said fusion is coming tomorrow but it or something better will definitely be here by the time humanity is making giant space warships and duking it out throughout the solar system.
     
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  3. Norfleet Moderator

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    The warships in this game aren't really that giant...
     
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  4. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    This game isn't science fiction, it's a scientific experiment.
     
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  5. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

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    Personally, I love near future science fiction. Things that use only tech we can build in real-life (or are very near to being able to build). Futuristic stuff is cool, but always feel more fiction than science. And I don't need my sci-fi to be tech porn, I have plenty of manuals for that ;)
    I highly recommend this series https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XDMB49F/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i10 to see a quite nice example of cool near future sci-fi story.
     
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  6. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Because they are not super advanced.

    The game's tech is pretty much what we have now/5' into the future ( + advanced additive manufacturing: basically, you can print yourself a rocket engine out of fucking diamond if you really want to).
    That's one of the things that make it cool - it's rooted in well understood (and thus low-tech) reality, rather than being all pew-pewy.


    The game relies on physical models (admittedly sometimes simplified and occasionally faulty or breakable if you know how) allowing it to calculate the parameters of various modules and ships built out of them.

    How do you calculate that for your fusion engine if you don't even have a specific concept how it should work beyond bare basics?

    And the game began as one guy's physical simulation experiment after he heard lasers vs missiles debate one too many times, so having exact math for stuff is basically it's core assumption.

    Yeah, I too want an Elite, except set in an Expanse-ish verse and without unphysical bullshit (or forced multiplayer), but this is not this game.
    This is however the closest we have to a space combat game not pissing all over realism for stupid reasons, making it a mandatory ride for any Sci-Fi fan.
     
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  7. Andronovo Novice

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    I would rather have slightly sketchy science than only the stuff we have now but hamfisted into a space warfare setting. It will be quite a while before we're running around lobbing bundles of nukes at each other around Neptune. By the time we get there we're bound to have some new shit. And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't uranium kind of scarce compared to hydrogen? We might need to save our uranium for warheads and not use any of it for fuel.

    I like the way The Expanse does space combat, if only that. The engines are just tokamaks spewing propellant out, and the weapons are pretty grounded, mainly just hydrogen torpedoes and rail guns. The only problem I have with it is the lack of external radiators.
     
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  8. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

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    The Expanse takes some liberties with realism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWZqp0QoXcw to see how Roci would melt with the drive it has.

    I get your point Andronovo, even though I disagree. It just seems you're not this games target audience. There are however plenty of people who enjoy it both for the mechanics and the tech level.
     
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  9. Norfleet Moderator

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    So which side is currently winning, anyway?
     
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  10. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    You wouldn't really have a game then, or at least not one with customizable modules. CDE relies on being able to just plug values into equations. It does it for propulsion, it does it for weapons, it does it for power generation and it does it for armor.
    And for stuff like fusion propulsion we don't really have the right equations yet, because we only have a sketchy idea of how it should work. Currently we can't even break even with fusion here on earth (apart from thermonuclear bombs), let alone try to conceive how to make the technology compact and light enough to fit on a ship AND provide enough thrust to be usable on a warship.

    On the upside, you get to have space combat where orbital mechanics matters a lot and the ships actually do have radiators.
    Fusing hydrogen is even more stupidly difficult than fusion in general. Even in Expanse they use lithium in their fusion fuel.

    I actually got quite a few Expanse-ish combat scenes out of CDE. If you build agile, high-thrust ships the main difference is combat endurance - at 1ish G you will expend your propellant in minutes. Building for accelerations vastly exceeding 1G won't be practical, but you can get turnabout times similar to Rocci with similar sized ship. Other than that you don't get super long range railguns (what is the exit velocity of the ones in Expanse?) and missiles but CQB is actually more interesting.
     
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  11. Andronovo Novice

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    Oh you bet your ass I'm COADE's target audience. Which is why I'm criticizing. Why bother criticizing something you don't care about? Usually when I pick at something, it's because I like it and want it to improve. Which is really what I doing here, just picking at it. I'm DEFINITELY going to play it. Probably as soon as this week.

    Not really. Fusing hydrogen and NOT putting more energy into it than you get out is difficult. And that's about to change with ITER. Seriously they're just a few years from breaking even.
     
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  12. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Between bigger lasers than CDE supports being possible, and missile spam quickly choking even mightiest CPUs it's hard to tell actually.

    I would lean towards missiles, but I might be biased (doesn't help that they make for more interesting combat, laserstar zapfest just can't be interesting).
     
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  13. Chaosdwarft Learned Patron

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    Just wanted to say that this thread made me play the game again. Tbh I had bought it at the time cause a friend told me it was KSP with weapons, but it's way more serious. Now I am taking things slowly and reading on how to do actual stuff, and learning some SCIENCE along the way.
     
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  14. Norfleet Moderator

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    Sounds like missiles will win, then, since in real life, the missile spam would choke the defense computers of the defender, but wouldn't affect the missiles, who don't need to process the existence of anything but their target. I bet THAT is something they didn't consider in the Missle vs. Laser debate!
     
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  15. Fr0gic Literate

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    Same.
    This game provides the most realistic handling of space combat that I have ever seen, and the ability to customise nearly every spec of the equipment that your ships use adds a whole new level to the game. Also, the large amount of tactical depth in the game, and the many decisions of what choices to make in each design area make this a perfect game for those who love space, customisation designs, or inclusion of real science in games.
     
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  16. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    It is interesting how, despite the game being most austere in terms of assets and centered almost completely on simulation, you can still end up with designs conveying fair amount of individual style, also visually.
    Show Spoiler
    I've had some of my design described as "Homeworldy".
    :love:
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  17. Blutwurstritter Learned

    Blutwurstritter
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    Can someone describe the gameplay ? From the discriptions so far it sounds like an ODE integrator with a graphical interface.
     
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  18. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    There are several distinct phases and components to the gameplay:
    • Orbital manoeuvring - you set up burns and manipulate numerically calculated n-body trajectories. Quasi-turn based - you can select different length of time step and advance time after you have planned your manoeuvres. You can also zoom in on your or enemy fleet, to preset battle orders, launch drones or missiles, refuel, split fleets, activate/deactivate subsystems, etc. Enemy might try to do the same (in early missions enemies are rather passive, later on they will be more proactive and reactive). Repeat until you have achieved objective or hostile intercept happens.
    • Intercept - you get real time (with pause) 3D view of a battle as it happens. You can give your ships orders, prioritize targets, switch subsystems, launch munitions and decoys even do some manoeuvring, although don't expect much fine control over the latter. Combat modelling is pretty detailed with physics based penetrations (depending on material properties too), ricochets (also internal), spallation, recoil, shifting centre of gravity from tanks being emptied (or bursting), reaction from engines and tanks bursting, G-forces from acceleration or spin possibly killing crews, etc.
    • Ship design - you can design your own ships, missiles, drones, even gun launched payloads using available components. This involves layering and shaping the armour (if you chose to have any) from selected materials, plus adding and positioning individual components.
    • Module design - you can design your own modules using parametrized models and your selection of materials. Modules you create can then be used for ship design. Parametrized models do involve conditions that will stop them from working - for example criticality criteria for nuclear devices (reactors and nukes) or engine chamber not being able to take temperature, pressure or dissipate the heat fast enough.
    Those components are used in:
    • Campaign - initially with premade ships, unlocking ship and then module designer in later missions. Missions involve orbital mechanics, usually with some combat against hostile fleets, but some are just orbital manoeuvring. Later missions allow selecting your own fleet composition during briefing.
    • Sandbox - single skirmish where you select both sides, location and AI presets. Optionally can skip orbital phase.
    Custom campaigns are possible.

    Graphics in module designer is just 3D model of what you are making plus a lot of graphs, selection boxes, data entry boxes and sliders.
    Graphics in ship designer also involves manipulating (drag&drop) modules on the ship model.
    Graphics in orbital mode involve 3D view of celestial bodies plus trajectories and icons for stuff like burns and intercepts.
    Graphics in battle, while fairly austere and obviously programmer graphics, actually does strive for realism.
     
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  19. Blutwurstritter Learned

    Blutwurstritter
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    Sounds interesting, is it then fully deterministic or does it work with probabilities/distributions on some outcomes ?
     
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  20. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Well, it's hard to not have randomness on some level. For example you fire a gun with certain spread (calculated based on mechanical properties of the barrel) - where does the bullet go?

    You can't have full determinism unless you literally simulate everything down to subatomic particles (which the game obviously doesn't), and then it would still only work in a classical universe.
     
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  21. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Though bullets/lasers/missiles/drones are modelled individually, their trajectories tracked, etc. There's no RNG about whether you hit or miss, no dodge chance %, no armour class or other bs like that.
     
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  22. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

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    Isn't space dodge (against projectile weapons and very long range lasers) literally giving a random thrust in a random direction at a random time so that the ship is no more where the attacker predicted?
     
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  23. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Blutwurstritter
    For the feel of it:
    A vid of a guy tackling (rather poorly) one of the early missions (in current version):

    Trailers (old):


    Note that the explosions are NOT ships reaching some "0HP" threshold and blowing up. They are from some explosive module (like flare launcher, conventional cannon ammo or monoprop missile magazine) getting shot through and exploding. You can lay your ship out to survive ammo explosions. Conversely, you can have some very low-key crew or reactor kills as well.
     
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  24. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

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    Delta-V is not unlimited, so you can't do a random walk all the time. You can't do to sudden manoeuvres due to acceleration - 1g is nice and cosy, at 3-4g most people won't be even able to move, 15g and above for any prologed period will paste your crew.

    Most of the engagements in this game are within hundreds of km range, if my memory doesn't defy me, so dodging a laser would quite hard. You can focus fire on specific parts, but this still creates an attack cone.
     
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  25. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Eh, I usually aim for very maneuverable, jinky ships, but they pay for that with limited combat endurance.
    It also constrains their layout somewhat, since you want crew close to center of gravity to not centrifugate them into jelly.
     
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