Author Topic: Jump Drive mechanics  (Read 6368 times)

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Offline Antagonist

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 11:03:34 AM »
Hmm, getting lost in space sounds an interesting mechanic yeah, but I am worried about routine travel, as mentioned.

One thing I would like to mention is my support for Jump Gates, though in Newtonian Aurora it would be more like Hyperspace Mass Drivers.  They don't launch as fast as ships with hyperspace drives, but you do save some fuel through using them.  You still have to build them outside the hyperspace limit however.

They are expensive and have to be built in pairs, but once created they allow even hyperspace drive-less ships to travel between the stars, with a tight known exit for all ships.  To balance with ships with drives, they might be slower, but reliable and efficient for inter-colony trade.  It is however also a liability in combat, since it allows gate camping, as well the fact that if the receiving gate is destroyed all ships in transit will be lost in space.  It might even be possible for an enemy to use them, which would allow enemy ships to travel inbetween your systems without needing to scout and scan them first.

As with current Aurora, you'll still need drives on your scout and military ships, where space is scary, but for transport ships and trade which is boringly routine, you no longer have to worry about it.
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 11:43:03 AM »
Hmmn just thinking that another way of stopping people just using honking big civ jump drives on their military ships would be to stick in a maintenance penalty where you had a civi drive mixed with military components.

Maybe something to do with civ drives not built for the rigours of military use so failure rate goes up significantly and because they are big they consume large amounts of supplies to repair. This would mean a military ship with a commercial jump could become crippled from a lack of maintenance supplies pretty quickly.

Not sure what the list of items are that turn a civ ship into a military ship but expect you would want to include hanger bays on this option and maybe combat drop modules as well.

I like the idea of lost in space as well. Perhaps an extension to my previous suggestion is that when ships land and the error in speed and location is checked - if this is too high the ship bounces back into hyperspace or whatever. The 2x and 4x multiplier on jump errors than start to become a more significant issue.

Finally a question for Steve on on mechanics - I assume ships will continue to check for maintenance failure when in hyperspace. Will you block notifications of the use of supplies whilst they are travelling so you would only know if they had an issue when they come out into real space. Also what happens if your jump ship has a jump drive failure when in hyperspace? - ok if you can fix (a bigger issue per the above) but loss of both the ship and any ship jumping with it if can't repair?

Edit: I'm assuming in this that Steve continues to make the distinction between civ and military ships in terms of civ ships being maintenance free and this will be driven by component types other than engines now. Forgot jump drives have no distinction as with normal engines so back to the drawing board I guess!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 12:21:53 PM by chrislocke2000 »
 

Offline PTTG

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2011, 12:05:31 PM »
Well, there won't actually be a selection- civilian and military drives will all be just "drives". The thing is, we want to be able to have large ships that aren't suitable for combat, and small ships that are. Ideally, we'll be able to have a slider.

Something someone suggested about internal bulkheads gave me an idea, though.

What if you can simply change the hull density/internal bulkheads/structural integrity value of a ship which changes the actual density of the ship, but increases the HTK of all internal items, possibly increasing the maximum acceleration the ship can take.

Civilian vessels would want to be as light as possible for increased engine and hyperdrive efficiency. Military vessels would need a much greater level of reinforcement, to improve maneuverability and survivability. Thus, military vessels and civilian vessels would have much more similar masses.

This may or may not tie in to other balancing elements. If civilians were slower accelerators, and infrequent jumpers, and had big flares, and were made of spun glass origami, then the larger volumes might be balanced, or perhaps everyone will make military-class freighters.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2011, 12:42:33 PM »
Perhaps there could be maximum 'safe' jump distances based on your tech, and beyond that you run the risk of getting Lost In Space or Eaten By Monsters.

You could also pull from WH40k and have hyperspace beacon structures that improve accuracy / safety of journeys between two systems.  Naturally, these beacons would have enormous passive signatures.

Quote
In fact, rather than a new race. A redesigned Invader could be the hyperspace race and that is how they enter our dimension rather than via wormholes. That way, the probable number of Invaders would be based on the amount of hyperspace travel. Once they arrive in our dimension, their mission is to kill everyone and destroy everything. I could still have limits on ship size so more powerful Invaders appears later in the game
Shivans!


I think that is a good mechanic.  You could also give them some unique 'masters of hyperspace' techs. :)

 

 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2011, 03:41:41 PM »
A quick clarification. In standard Aurora there are Military Jump Drives and Civilian Jump Drives. In Newtonian Aurora there is just one type of FTL Drive but there is a multiplier you can use to increase the size of the drive (without affecting cost/crew) which ranges from 1x to 10x. The 'penalty' for larger multipliers was intended to create the same military vs civilian dynamic with a range in-between. The whole point of the Military/Civilian distinction in Standard Aurora was to prevent cheap large jump drives for huge military ships while allowing them for lower cost civilian vessels and I carried that principle into Newtonian Aurora. I also transferred the principle that jump drive cost is based on the square of the hull size, so 2x size = 4x cost (actually Size^1.75 for Newtonian Aurora rather than Size^2).

After reading John's comments, I looked again at my base assumptions. Newtonian Aurora is a very different game where FTL travel is essential and there is no easily available jump gate alternative for very large ships. Which means the small military vs large civilian FTL drive concept is no longer valid and therefore I don't really need the multiplier. I could just allow players to build larger jump drives based on a linear cost increase, regardless of whether the ship is military of civilian. However, civilian ships tend to be much larger than military ships of similar cost because the ratio of cost vs size of the components involved in civilian ships tends to be much lower. This means that jump drives for civilian ships would likely be a much greater proportion of their total cost, which isn't a good thing. Therefore John's second suggestion, which is to lower the cost of jump drives on a per ton basis as they get larger, would work well. Yes, this would allow very large military ships to have a much cheaper jump drive as a proportion of their total cost than in Standard Aurora, but very large military ships are expensive anyway so an Empire would be spending a lot of money to take advantage of this 'cheaper' option.

So lets look at some new numbers for calculating jump drive size and cost. Firstly, lets remove the whole concept of the multiplier. Secondly, the base cost can be calculated using square roots. After some playing around, I am considering:

FTL Drive Cost = (Sqrt(FTL Drive Size) * Sqrt(FTL Speed Multiplier) * Sqrt(FTL Squadron Size)) / 50

A few examples, using generally level 4 tech, which is FTL Drive Efficiency 8, Minimum Drive Size 500 tons, Speed Multiplier 10,000 and Squadron Sizes up to 7. The crew requirement is based on sqrt(Size)

Survey Ship Drive
Max Ship Size: 4,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 500 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 2
Cost: 89    Crew: 22
Materials Required: 17.8x Duranium  71.2x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 890RP

Destroyer Drive
Max Ship Size: 8,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 1,000 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 4
Cost: 126    Crew: 32
Materials Required: 25.2x Duranium  100.8x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 1260RP

The next two examples are the same size drive but with squadron sizes of four and seven respectively

Cruiser Drive
Max Ship Size: 16,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 2,000 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 8
Cost: 179    Crew: 45
Materials Required: 35.8x Duranium  143.2x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 1790RP

Command Cruiser Drive
Max Ship Size: 16,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 7     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 2,600 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 10
Cost: 270    Crew: 51
Materials Required: 54x Duranium  216x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 2700RP

Next is a drive for a colony ship plus the same size drive with the minimum speed multiplier. I think the latter would probably only be worth it for journeys that involved relatively long in-system time and short FTL trips.

Colony Ship Drive
Max Ship Size: 20,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 2,500 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 10
Cost: 200    Crew: 50
Materials Required: 40x Duranium  160x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 2000RP

Slow Colony Ship Drive
Max Ship Size: 20,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 2,500x
Jump Engine Size: 2,500 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 10
Cost: 100    Crew: 50
Materials Required: 20x Duranium  80x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 1000RP

Now progressively larger drives.

Battleship or Freighter Drive
Max Ship Size: 40,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 5,000 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 20
Cost: 283    Crew: 71
Materials Required: 56.6x Duranium  226.4x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 2830RP

Large Freighter Drive
Max Ship Size: 80,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 10,000 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 40
Cost: 400    Crew: 100
Materials Required: 80x Duranium  320x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 4000RP

Huge Freighter Drive
Max Ship Size: 160,000 tons     Max Squadron Size: 4     FTL Speed Multiplier: 10,000x
Jump Engine Size: 20,000 tons     Efficiency: 8    Jump Engine HTK: 80
Cost: 566    Crew: 141
Materials Required: 113.2x Duranium  452.8x Sorium
Development Cost for Project: 5660RP

The above costing system will support the concept that really large freighters and colony ships will be more economical, whereas in Standard Aurora the advantage of building ultra-large commercial ships isn't very great. Commercial ships will generally become more expensive but this is a very different game with longer timescales for the building up of distant colonies so I don't think that is a significant problem.

Steve
 

Offline Mel Vixen

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2011, 04:17:31 PM »
Steve would it be possible to give the civies the ability to do groupjumps? I would like to see small tradegroups once my civies have enough ships. 
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Offline byron

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2011, 04:18:53 PM »
This looks better, although chrislocke raises a good point.  Will civilian ships now need maintainence?  That would be very annoying.
The only thing I can think to add is something that increases scatter, but makes the drive cheaper.
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Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2011, 06:20:45 PM »
@ Steve - IMO you're still running into one of the biggest barriers to creating those big drives, the research cost.  I mean the Sqrt method helps a lot!  But you're still looking at higher research costs to go with the big shipyards and high tooling costs. 

Thought:  A modification that makes a drive self only and reduces the RP cost, but has no effect on the engine otherwise.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 06:22:43 PM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2011, 06:40:41 PM »
Steve would it be possible to give the civies the ability to do groupjumps? I would like to see small tradegroups once my civies have enough ships. 

Possibly. The NPRs can do group jumps so I will look at extending that code to shipping lines. I'll look at their construction strategy as well so they build jump ships when they need them and non-jump ships when they don't. In fact, I may look at shipping lines designing their own ships using recent player technology.

Steve
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2011, 06:42:34 PM »
This looks better, although chrislocke raises a good point.  Will civilian ships now need maintainence?  That would be very annoying.
The only thing I can think to add is something that increases scatter, but makes the drive cheaper.

No, civilian/commercial ships won't need maintenance. No maintenance requirement is pretty much the definition of a commercial ship. Jump drives aren't military systems.

Steve
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2011, 06:43:00 PM »
Possibly. The NPRs can do group jumps so I will look at extending that code to shipping lines. I'll look at their construction strategy as well so they build jump ships when they need them and non-jump ships when they don't. In fact, I may look at shipping lines designing their own ships using recent player technology.

Steve

You should probably limit civilians to what is transferable via tech osmosis. I'm fairly certain the gov't doesn't give the private sector top line tech. ;)
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2011, 06:43:43 PM »
@ Steve - IMO you're still running into one of the biggest barriers to creating those big drives, the research cost.  I mean the Sqrt method helps a lot!  But you're still looking at higher research costs to go with the big shipyards and high tooling costs. 

Thought:  A modification that makes a drive self only and reduces the RP cost, but has no effect on the engine otherwise.

The costs of FTL drives and associated research costs are generally much lower than in Standard Aurora, especially for the larger drives.

Steve
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2011, 06:46:41 PM »
You should probably limit civilians to what is transferable via tech osmosis. I'm fairly certain the gov't doesn't give the private sector top line tech. ;)

I agree. I'll probably use the tech level below what the military has for any key systems such as sensors or engine. I may allow a limited shield capacity as 'civilian' as well. I am likely to have some type of particle impacts in nebula systems and maybe some 'normal' systems so some type of 'particle shield' will be allowed.

Steve
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2011, 04:33:53 AM »
The overall reduced costs look good but as mentioned losses some of the distinction in build approaches between military and commercial ships.

As a possible solution to this perhaps you could keep the revised material costs and size evolution but then have a more progressive increase in RP costs for larger engines. Married to this would be the reverse of the engine size multiplier - ie an RP cost reducer with the level of RP cost reduction impacting jump scatter in unsurveyed systems as I mentioned beforehand.

Basic thinking behind this is that military drives need a lot closer design to work in unsurveyed systems with unpredictable grav systems and hence rapidly increasing RP to deal with these issues as the engine size increases. Civilian ships on the other hand are expected to largely operate in known systems and hence don't need that level of careful design.

This means from a build perspective the more regular use of jump ships is not going to be a significant increase in cost per ship but if you want that huge jump capable war ship you are going to need to make a decent investment in RP whilst civies can churn out less well engineered systems to meet their requirements.
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Jump Drive mechanics
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2011, 05:09:32 AM »
One other thought that just came to mind was in-system jumps. Will these be possible outside of the normal jump limits in a system ie to allow a ship to move to another star that is 30bn k away etc?

If this is the case it could mean that the drive flare penalty etc becomes a realistic one again as defending forces could position fleets outside of the jump boundry ready to make an in-system jump to the drive flare location which by default will also be outside of the jump boundry? With a system of errors in exit location, speed and direction this could lead to some very interesting encounters! It might also be a capability that you select when designing the engine with respective increases in costs / research requirements?
 

 

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