Traveling At the Speed of Light

Talk about anything not related to Transcendence.
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Aeonic
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I was just crunching numbers for the heck of it to see how fast things should REALLY be if this game were realistic. If a Wolfen travels at a max velocity of 0.25c (1/4th the speed of light is pretty fast, right?), and assuming a typical star system in this game reaches out as far as pluto, it would take 40 hours at max speed to travel from one edge of the solar system to the other.

Assuming the outer edge of the solar system only reached out to Mars (we'll just say everything else was too far out to bother with), it would still take you about half an hour to travel from one side of the solar system to the other.

In practice, it only takes the Wolfen about 2 minutes to travel from one end of Eridani to the other. That means its actually traveling 15 times faster than its supposed to, so in reality its going 3.75 times the speed of light. Woohoo!
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Atarlost
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The game's sped up by IIRC a factor of 10 and the star systems are shrunken because of memory constraints.
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Aeonic
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I was looking around the net for ideas on new ship drives, but I'm finding suggested speeds between 0.003c and 0.999c so its a bit hard to fit them into the Transcendence universe. But I guess if you try to be too realistic then you have to wonder how mankind is supposed to master the art of doing 0.25c within the next four to five hundred years anyway.
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Atarlost
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Sometimes gameplay trumps realism.
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Aeonic
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That's always the case. On the other hand, if something seems not right to players, it can damage their suspension of disbelief and ruin the atmosphere that the game is trying to create.
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Atarlost
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We're accustomed to accepting interesting spacedrives.

Now the ladder of damage types is another matter.
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Atarlost wrote:The game's sped up by IIRC a factor of 10 and the star systems are shrunken because of memory constraints.
It's actually a factor of 60 (one second = one minute). It should take the ship app. 36 seconds of game time to travel one AU. Systems are shrunken, but not by too much - one can assume that the game only concerns itself with the inner solar systems.
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The speed is not that big of an issue. What amazes me is the accelerations involved. To go from 0 to .25C in a minute or so requires accelerations hundreds of times greater than that of a bullet being fired from a high-powered rifle. Ships in the Transcendence universe must have some way of eliminating or drastically reducing inertia - humans might be able to handle sustained accelerations of 30Gs or so if they were immersed in a fluid and all the air and gases in their system were replaced with fluids of the same density, but we're talking tens of thousands of Gs.
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Ships in the Transcendence universe must have some way of eliminating or drastically reducing inertia
well, if humans have "recoilless" cheap technology, probably there is some kind of similar technology to eliminate inertia for ship propulsion too. :D
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Aeonic
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Recoilless stuff can be done via magnets I think, and I'm pretty sure they have the technology for that today (heck, they have the technology for fusion reactors today...) I wouldn't say that its cheap, just available, at least in concept.
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Aeonic wrote:Recoilless stuff can be done via magnets I think, and I'm pretty sure they have the technology for that today (heck, they have the technology for fusion reactors today...) I wouldn't say that its cheap, just available, at least in concept.
"Recoilless" weaponry that we have today is not inertialess. It works by the reaction mass being pushed outside of the weapon (think of a rocket launcher with openings at both ends). There is still inertia within the projectile, it's just that the weapon itself is not being pushed against.

Magnetic-driven projectiles are not recoilless in that the projectile is being pulled by the magnets within the weapon. The only way to fire a projectile without there being recoil in the weapon is to have the reaction mass pushing against the air behind the weapon instead of the weapon itself.

A true inertialess drive is physically impossible as we understand physics now. There is some speculation that a greater understanding of the Higgs-Boson particle might allow us to separate inertia from mass, but it's just speculation.
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But since there's one in the game I think we can safely assume the technology has been applied to preventing spaceship crews from turning into chunky salsa.
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Atarlost wrote:But since there's one in the game I think we can safely assume the technology has been applied to preventing spaceship crews from turning into chunky salsa.
Agreed. Since mass does still effect acceleration, it seems like they have the technology to remove a very high percentage of inertia, but not all of it. The alien inertialess drive is able to remove 100% of inertia.
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I recall asking George about artificial gravity and the like once, for a story I was writing. He said humans didn't have anything like that. I'd assume that applies to inertia and the like as well.

So the in game accelerations are just fudging. Gameplay > Reality, in this case. You can try using realistic accelerations if you want to, but it's really, really boring.
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Fossaman wrote:I recall asking George about artificial gravity and the like once, for a story I was writing. He said humans didn't have anything like that. I'd assume that applies to inertia and the like as well.
:D Thanks - that answers some questions I had been meaning to ask him that I got over while I was gone.
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