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Space Gadgets (Weapons)

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Here's the compliment to the other thread about defenses. It was getting long, so I decided to break them up. Space weapons come in four flavors: Guns, lasers, missiles, and traps / mines. Guns The downside of guns is that ammunition is finite and takes up mass. The upside is that the guns are cheap and shells do a great amount of damage to oncoming targets, and the energy cost for use is next to nil.
  • Hailgun - Fires light rounds in a patterned burst that don't do much damage per shot but wear away targets over time. Available only in small and medium versions.
  • Coilgun - Fires superheated shells at a long range. Slow and capable of overheating. Shots impart momentum to target. Power hungry.
  • RazorRail - Railgun that fires specialized flechettes with rapid fire capability without overheating. Ammo is expensive.
  • Slinger - Low damage poor man's rail launcher which flings asteroid debris at a target. Includes built in crusher for digesting captured asteroids.
  • Hazer - Fires superheated, hyperaccelerated powder in a cone which erodes the target. Debris clinging to target continues to erode it over time and has an increased chance of interfering with sensors and emitters. Uses ship's repair nano as ammo. Shields ignore.
Ammunition is standard shells, but guns can be loaded with EMP Sabots (penetrate shields but expensive), Fragmenting (increases accuracy, lowers damage), Armor Piercing, Nanite Slugs (dissolve hull where they hit, giving a chance to lower Durability), and Tracking (arc toward target at a slight angle once it is hit). Lasers Come in a few varieties:
  • Chem - Cheap, low power chemical laser requires both power and noble gases over time (but you can connect gas tanks to the weapon and get gas from planets and gas giants if you either have a skimmer or configure an emitter into a scoop)
  • Particle Beam - Does both energy and force damage, imparts momentum if large enough. Power hungry. Larger version must be connected directly to a fusion reactor.
  • Fusion - Powerful laser but must be connected via conduits directly to a fusion reactor on the ship. Active firing over time increases heat, reducing the ship's stealth abilities. Gun can overheat with extended use in red zone.
  • Plasmacaster - Mix of sabot and fusion shot, a ball of plasma contained by a decaying shield bubble. Power hungry and expensive.
  • Lance - Fast firing, reliable middle of the road laser. Comes in a single color (IR red, UV violet, green, yellow). May be weaker in atmosphere or nebulas.
  • Spectrum Laser - Changes colors to do extra damage to changing defenses like Spectrum Shields, and can stay operational despite nebulas or atmospheric interference.
Missiles Missiles and torps are the slowest weapons, but do the most damage. They come in a variety of premade, named types, but you can cannibalize and synthesize your own. Missiles come in three sizes
  • Rocket - Cheap, small, usually used for defense or light attack.
  • Missile - Mainstay, versatility depends on guidance, booster and warhead
  • Torpedo - Ranges from heavy shuttle to light frigate in size, usually powered by suicidal AI or kamikaze crew. Can be configured like a ship.
They have 8 warhead options:
  • Chem Explosive - Cheap, easy to obtain, reliable
  • Plasmaburst - Expensive, high damage, also does slight EMP
  • Fission - Restricted, very high damage, does EMP and thermal damage and leaves radiation clouds. Easy to build / obtain on black market. Unstable, may explode early when launched or not at all. Not available in rocket form.
  • Fusion - Like Fission but harder to build and more reliable
  • Neutron - Like fusion, but leaves no dirty radiation.
  • Antimatter - 2nd largest damage type, very advanced containment required, extremely expensive.
  • Singularity - Available only as mine or torpedo. Drags ships to a central point, causing collisions and anything small enough to be instantly destroyed. Hulls capital ships without regard to shields or armor. Can be dispelled by a stream of virtual particles. Eventually evaporates.
  • Special - The missile is not really a missile
    • Shield - A shield generator shields brother missiles
    • EECM - The missile will help cut through jamming
    • Cloaking - The missile will cloak brother missiles
    • Dummy - A cheap, fake missile to absorb point defense attacks
    • Holographic - Throws dummy images and confuses visual targeters
    • Turret - Missile doesn't try to hit! Instead it hangs around target firing
There are 6 guidance types
  • Dumbfire - Travels in a straight line where you point it. Impossible to spoof.
  • Lidar - Cheap but easy to spoof.
  • Energy Seeking - Locks on to a source, but if shaken will lock onto any other source. Hard to jam, but easy to spoof near stars, reactors or solar mirrors
  • Mass Lock - Targets a particular mass. Very hard to shake unless target dumps cargo or components, docks with another target or hides close to gravititational bodies
  • Image Recognition - Smartest guidance, uses high speed pattern recognition and image processing. Can only spoof with holograms or cloaking. Expensive.
  • Psionic - Locks onto unique fingerprint of a particular ship. Impossible to evade without psionic cloaks or changing attitude of crew onboard. There are 3 booster types
    • Fueled - Cheap. Limited range. Will eventually runs out of fuel. Chance that missile is recoverable.
    • Reactor - Longest range, expensive, contains small fusion reactor. Not available for rockets.
    • Hyperkenetic - Travels FTL. Extremely expensive, hard to find, used by militaries.
    Finally, there are 6 casing types
    • Standard - Nothing special
    • Stealth - Missile is harder to detect than normal, depending on the tech level
    • Armored - Missile is resistant to counter-attack
    • Jetted - Extra manuevering thrusters make the missile more agile, increasing it's turn rate and evasion
    • Blackjacket - Expensive shield penetrating missile fires an EMP burst just before impact against the shield
    • Phasing - Missile phases in and out of normal space at random times, making it difficult to hit but raising the chance that it misses. Attracts Siegers (space monsters).
    Mounting Options What, more options?!?!?!?!?!!
    • External Hardpoint - All weapon types can be externally mounted on a hardpoint, which allows ships to be reconfigured during supply in combat-- but are more likely to be disabled. Ship must have available hardpoints of the right class (small, medium, large)
    • Hull Cut - Weapon is embedded in a space cut into the hull. Creates a vulnerability in the facing direction of the weapon. Weapons are fixed (allows smaller cut), or wavering (turns up to 15' each way, but needs bigger hole)
    • External Housing - Weapon and ammo is contained in its own housing. Heaviest option, occupies one of the component snap on slots of the ship.
    • Retracting - Improved version of hull cut. More expensive. Hides weapons.
    • Turret - Flexible, but requires a turret slot. Turrets rotate from 90 to 360 degrees
    • Hardpoint Turret - Customizable turret
    • Missile Pod - Holds many missiles which can be all fired at once, but if hit while firing may explode in high damage
    • Tube - Weakens hull but allows for firing as many missiles as there is cargo space. Loader mechanisms take up space inside ship.
    Traps / Mines Mines are essentially missile warheads and casings that are cheaper, lighter but don't move Traps are shield / missile or shield / mine combos.
    • Crunchshield - Traps ship inside shield, then begins countdown to implode, doing more damage the closer it is. Can be destroyed before countdown
    • Fieldcaster - Casts field in an area, causing status like sensor disruption, engine speed reduction, laser range caps, etc.
    • Trapshield - Traps ship in shield but generator is outside. Missile fire detonates inside shield, damaging the target ship. Vessels must carve their way out or have an ally destroy the generator.
    • Dropshield - Allows a fleeing or attacking ship to block oncoming damage. If a mine, creates a wall. If a missile, pilot can fly behind it.
    Alien Variants Alien weapons simply are exotic variants of the above: Lasers that mysteriously curve and do status effects, laser equivalent damage in a single spot, antimatter bullets, psionic warheads, etc. If you can find a mutations on the above, I'll toss it in. My hope is to vary stats more than graphics so that this is more feasible than going the heavy graphics route. EDIT: Few clarifications -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership... [edited by - Wavinator on June 9, 2004 11:10:05 PM]

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    Since I haven''t read your other thread, I have no idea if this is supposed to be for a specific implementation or just as a general exploration of sci-fi space weaponry. However, bearing that in mind, I felt like contributing a few things to your definitions:

    Guns are weapons making use of launched projectiles that rely on their own mass and shape to do damage.

    Beams are weapons relying on specific frequencies or combinations of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. Lasers would be a subset of this, rather than the whole category. Other, more exotic options would be X-Ray beams or Fusion beams.

    Missiles are launched or self-launching projectiles that rely on an explosion upon impact to do damage. They may have self-guiding propulsion and targeting systems.

    Mines (or Traps, if you like) are launched (or released) to a stationary or nearly stationary position, and rely on something coming to them before exploding and causing damage. They may, like missiles, have a targeting system, but only in a limited range such that they guard a specific area.


    Just felt like contributing something. Hope it helps.

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    One more downside to guns that many people forget when imagining space combat: guns have recoil. This is as true in space as it is anywhere else, but in space the only way to deal with it is to fire thrusters in the opposite direction. I only mention this because your description of the coilgun notes that momentum will be imparted to the target. This is true, but that momentum must first be imparted to the shell by the firing ship, and that means massive recoil. Whatever impact force you hope to apply to the target is exactly the same as the recoil force you youself must deal with, only you''ve got to deal with it whether you hit the target or not.
    Of course the same applies to any type of gun, but the recoil becomes particularly significant when hypervelocities are involved.

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    quote:
    Original post by Plasmadog
    One more downside to guns that many people forget when imagining space combat: guns have recoil. This is as true in space as it is anywhere else, but in space the only way to deal with it is to fire thrusters in the opposite direction. I only mention this because your description of the coilgun notes that momentum will be imparted to the target. This is true, but that momentum must first be imparted to the shell by the firing ship, and that means massive recoil.



    Ah, Newton!

    But I thought that magnetic acceleration obviated recoil? Coil and railguns are supposed to magnetically accelerate objects to the target. Apart from some self contained explosive in the shell, that''s the only way I''d see any guns being in use.

    What I''m assuming is that enough of the mass of the shell survives in order to do damage. Technically, it should be near superheated metal AFAIK, but it''s a nice way to vary weapons (I''ll take it as my Larry Niven Baloneyium fudge )

    Hey, maybe low quality guns move you around when you fire?


    --------------------
    Just waiting for the mothership...

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    quote:
    Original post by Wavinator
    But I thought that magnetic acceleration obviated recoil? Coil and railguns are supposed to magnetically accelerate objects to the target. Apart from some self contained explosive in the shell, that''s the only way I''d see any guns being in use.

    Not as far as I know. You push something one way, you get pushed the other way, and that''s true no matter how you accellerate the object.

    Another point would be that projectiles travel sloooowly. Beam weapons would be at lightspeed, but a projectile? You''d need some huuuuge guns to reach 10% of lightspeed, and then you''d have some massive recoil to deal with. Hopefully you''re using some really tiny projectiles then.

    Hell, I haven''t looked at the math, but even accelerating a few particles to that speed in an instant would probably create enough recoil to give the entire ship a bounce...

    Finally, I''d suggest you pick up Alistair Reynold''s Revelation Space, or any of the sequels. (I think Redemption Ark has by far the most space battles, so maybe that would be the best choice)

    Great books, and some nice (and scientific) descriptions of space battles. If you''re flying a ship at a decent fraction of light speed in space, you''re not going to fight at a range of a few kilometers. Most battles in those books take place with the opponents several lightseconds or even light minutes away from each others.

    In other words, you have to be lucky to hit with a slow-moving projectile...

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    Well im not sure how your implementation works but here are some ideas about that pesky self recoil. Have guns with equal recoil in configurations to cancel themselves (not sure if you are putting in backwards shooting or double side shots). Another thing is that your ship can predict and auto-correct the recoil from its own guns opponents can''t do this automatically (although that could be an add-on).

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    Yes even a rail gun would have recoil, but not from the heated gases of a powdered weapons.

    Instead the recoil would result from the bullets inertia trying to remain where it is and the ship and cannons pushing away from it.

    The amount of force would continue as the mass relative to the ship grew. If the bullets mass exceeds the ships mass, then the ship would actually push itself away from the bullet. So the larger the bullet the more the ship would push away from the bullet. However the net income of the force would shoot the bullet away if its mass was much less than the ships.

    Most rail guns shoot extremely small projectiles so they can be accelarated by the relativiy weak magnetic forces, but in the future who knows lol.

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    quote:
    Original post by Tube
    Since I haven''t read your other thread, I have no idea if this is supposed to be for a specific implementation or just as a general exploration of sci-fi space weaponry.


    It is for a specific idea, but your time is appreciated nonetheless.

    quote:

    Beams are weapons relying on specific frequencies or combinations of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. Lasers would be a subset of this, rather than the whole category. Other, more exotic options would be X-Ray beams or Fusion beams.



    You''re right, lasers should be classified under beams. But I have heard of X-Ray lasers and Fusion lasers. One thing I was considering was the X-Ray laser idea via a nuclear explosion and free floating lenses (Scientific American), or X-Ray lasers as a result of Orion Rockets powered by fission explosives (Larry Niven''s Footfall).

    You wouldn''t happen to have a handy website I could check out to get this straight, would you?

    quote:

    Missiles are launched or self-launching projectiles that rely on an explosion upon impact to do damage. They may have self-guiding propulsion and targeting systems.



    Although, there''s no reason why they have to have a warhead.

    quote:

    Mines (or Traps, if you like) are launched (or released) to a stationary or nearly stationary position, and rely on something coming to them before exploding and causing damage. They may, like missiles, have a targeting system, but only in a limited range such that they guard a specific area.



    Yes, I see mines as a more stealthy, cheaper form of missiles that can''t move.

    Traps, on the other hand, I envision as very different, in that their goal isn''t to destroy directly but to delay before something bad happens.


    --------------------
    Just waiting for the mothership...

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    quote:
    Most rail guns shoot extremely small projectiles so they can be accelarated by the relativiy weak magnetic forces, but in the future who knows lol.


    Yeah, basically a gun, any gun, works by trying to push the projectile and gun away from each others. That's true for railguns as well. They just use a different technique to achieve this.

    The only reason it usually works is that 1) The gun tends to be heavier than the projectile, and thus have a lot more inertia, so even though the same amount of energy is applied on both (in opposite directions), the projectile will shoot out, and the gun will only jerk back a bit, and 2) the gun is usually mounted, or held by someone standing on something solid, so it doesnt really move much.

    But on a ship floating freely, there's nothing to stop the recoil, and, well, if you want fast-movign projectiles, you'll get huge recoil. :D

    [edited by - Spoonster on June 10, 2004 2:01:19 AM]

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    quote:
    Original post by Spoonster
    You push something one way, you get pushed the other way, and that''s true no matter how you accellerate the object.



    D''oh, right! I was thinking something very weird here, but this is the same as any other type of propulsion.

    quote:

    Another point would be that projectiles travel sloooowly. Beam weapons would be at lightspeed, but a projectile? You''d need some huuuuge guns to reach 10% of lightspeed, and then you''d have some massive recoil to deal with. Hopefully you''re using some really tiny projectiles then.



    And there''s the energy cost with the acceleration, and the question of whether or not you''re better off energy-wise with a beam. In a gameplay nod to that, guns are short range, and slow, so point defenses alway scores hits. So the tactic would be to overwhelm defenses or fool sensors.

    quote:

    Hell, I haven''t looked at the math, but even accelerating a few particles to that speed in an instant would probably create enough recoil to give the entire ship a bounce...



    Right.

    quote:

    Finally, I''d suggest you pick up Alistair Reynold''s Revelation Space, or any of the sequels. (I think Redemption Ark has by far the most space battles, so maybe that would be the best choice)

    Great books, and some nice (and scientific) descriptions of space battles. If you''re flying a ship at a decent fraction of light speed in space, you''re not going to fight at a range of a few kilometers. Most battles in those books take place with the opponents several lightseconds or even light minutes away from each others.



    You see, that''s the major problem I have with designing this. It''s like the flight sims today which must be faithful to BVR combat because advanced missiles kill before you can even see your target. Real space battles you''d expect to be the same way. But how dramatic is that? Only a very small handful of egghead grognards will even understand this.

    I remember a Dan Simmons book where all the military had hyperkenetic weapons and the main goodguys spent most of their time fleeing. While it''s as realistic as going up against today''s navy with a speedboat, there''s no drama.

    Nevermind the fact that a battle might take months or even years at sublight velocities!

    quote:

    In other words, you have to be lucky to hit with a slow-moving projectile...



    Ah, yes, but under strict Newtonian motion (which I WILL NOT BE INFLICTING ON MY POOR PLAYERS ) the faster moving a target is, the harder time it''ll have changing it''s course. Firing bullets in a pattern in the predicted area could be bad for such a ship.

    The more I get into this the more I develop sympathy for Hollywood.



    --------------------
    Just waiting for the mothership...

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    quote:
    Original post by Spoonster
    The only reason it usually works is that 1) The gun tends to be heavier than the projectile, and thus have a lot more inertia, so even though the same amount of energy is applied on both (in opposite directions), the projectile will shoot out, and the gun will only jerk back a bit, and 2) the gun is usually mounted, or held by someone standing on something solid, so it doesnt really move much.

    But on a ship floating freely, there''s nothing to stop the recoil, and, well, if you want fast-movign projectiles, you''ll get huge recoil. :D



    Haha. Okay, that can-opener sound you hear is me breaking out the Larry Niven Baloneyium.

    Hmmm... let''s see, what have we here? "Planck Space Anchors?" Where''d these come from? Heck, now high velocity coilguns have to behave like Starcraft''s Siege Tanks???

    If we make games true to physics I''m afraid noone but NASA''s best will be able to play them. But I am trying for a bit of versimilitude, so thanks.



    --------------------
    Just waiting for the mothership...

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    quote:
    Original post by Yohumbus
    Well im not sure how your implementation works but here are some ideas about that pesky self recoil. Have guns with equal recoil in configurations to cancel themselves (not sure if you are putting in backwards shooting or double side shots). Another thing is that your ship can predict and auto-correct the recoil from its own guns opponents can''t do this automatically (although that could be an add-on).



    I''m starting to like the idea that you have to deal with a bit of recoil, if it''s nothing more than having your ship move around a bit, with it being worse the more high powered your weapon is.

    Double firing sounds interesting, but I can''t imagine what strains this would place on the firing platform.

    A module that autocorrects would be very easily to implement, though.


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    Just waiting for the mothership...

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    The amount of recoil is proportional with the mass of the projectile and the muzzle velocity. The mass of the platform acts as a "stabilizer"..

    Acceleration = projectile mass * muzzle velocity * rounds per second / platform mass

    Impulse = projectile mass * muzzle velocity / platform mass

    NOTE: This is quasi-math... I haven''t checked the formulas anywhere but it makes sense I may also have used some wrong words, esp. recoil.

    A 1kg projectile fired at 1000m/s from a 100 000 ton ship would probably accelerate the ship with 0.00001 m/s in the opposite direction (impulse really, not acceleration but who''s picky ). So you''d have to fire a lot of shells before you''d notice a difference in speed.
    A railgun could be tricky though - Say it fires 100 projectiles a second. Each projectile weighs 50 grams and the muzzle velocity is 100 000 m/s. This would accelerate the 100 000 ton ship 0,005 m/s/s in the opposite direction. It''s still not much, but you''ll start noticing it after a while. Especially if the ship has a smaller mass. If the ship weighs 50 tons the railgun would accelerate it with 1 m/s/s.

    Anyway : by using thrusters mounted on the opposite side of the ship you can cancel out the acceleration. There may also be a way of using the released gas from the propellant to dampen the recoil. Think Barrett Light .50 (muzzle breaker)
    This is one possible advantage with "normal" cannons over railguns.

    Missiles:
    Advantages
    - Doesn''t cause the ship that launched them to change velocity.
    - Can change direction in mid flight
    Disadvantages
    - More expensive
    - Possibly lower speed (If it goes too fast it will have trouble manouvering)
    - Less easy to reload

    Beam weapons
    Advantages
    - Doens''t cause the ship to change velocity (at least not much)
    - Speed of Light
    - Doesn''t need reloading
    Disadvantages
    - Less "real" in some cases (fusion beam, particle beam)
    - Particle beam should perhaps cause the ship to change velocity (particles have mass)
    - Overheats
    - Drains power from ship
    - Doesn''t look so cool

    You should also consider grenades if you haven''t already. They can be fired like a projectile but contains a charge that can give them more "power" than just the kinetic energy.

    Oh, and PLEASE don''t do the same mistake with the railgun as they did in the movie Eraser.. They used aluminium projectiles and I cringed when I heard it . Furthermore they said they accelerated the projectile to nearly the speed of light which is also ridiculous. Try that in the formula, and consider the change in mass at relativistic velocities

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    how about electro magentically propelled bullets?

    already been done in real life, what makes you think they would be using explosive propelled bullets in the future?

    and magnetically propelled bullets can be fire thousands of times more often then the normal guns

    edit:
    quote:
    Original post by Spoonster
    Not as far as I know. You push something one way, you get pushed the other way, and that's true no matter how you accellerate the object.



    with the magnetically propelled bullets, you could have it not touching the ship so it wouldnt move the ship

    [edited by - johnnyBravo on June 10, 2004 4:07:06 AM]

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    Were is the option to mount weapon systems on missiles?

    A missile is nothing more than a 1 shot delievery device to get a weapon to the target. Sometime the weapon is the KE from the missile itself.

    But I want the option to have missiles take my fancy beam weapons to the energy. So my ships dont have to come in range fo their fancy beam weaponary.

    Configuring the subsystems of a missile would be very handy, you can stuff so much different types of stuff in there.

    Dedicated ECCM & ECM missiles would be fun.

    quote:
    Psionic - Locks onto unique fingerprint of a particular ship. Impossible to evade without psionic cloaks or changing attitude of crew onboard.

    Would this work by finding the mental signature of the crew? So this mean this would fail against automated ships & drones

    Having 5 different version of the same thing, but each successive version getting better & more expensive is all very well and good and I want this type of thing. Nothing worse than getting something early ingame which I like the ablities of but having to discard it because it just doesnt offer enough of those abilities in the higher stages of the game.

    But different types of stuff should have different pros and cons.

    So how about something like this:

    Dumbfire - Travels in a straight line where you point it. Pro: impossible to spoof while underway. Con: very easy to spoof while launching and if successfully spoofed, a big waste of time, also if the target moves out fo the way simlar effect. Use it against targets which cant dodge, aka planets, space stations, life pods etc.

    Lidar - Homes in emitted EM. Relatively useless against shields which absorb energy, and can be fooled by more complex ECM. Limited to lightspeed sensors. More complex version are harder to spoof by including higher quality pattern recognition.

    Energy Seeking - Uses funky scanners to detect energy densities. Easily confused by; high number of similar targets or high energy systems. However, in deap space it is much more reliable. Seeks the target based on a energy densities profile of the target(complexity of the version determines the compexity of the profile). Radical changes in the profile will cause a lock to be lost (aka powering down all active systems very fast, moving behind a massive object and then powering down, etc). Depending on the version depends if it requires LOS on the target to function.

    Mass Seeking - Similar to energy seeking, but with mass! (The difference is subtle). It is much harder to change the mass profile in unexpected ways than it is to change the energy profile of a target.

    Psionic - Locks onto unique mental fingerprint of a particular ship. Various version only works on a given types of life. In general, useless against drone ships or ships crewed by hive minds. A ship with a human sentient AI will be targeted, but a fleet of ships controlled by the same AI will cause the lock to target any shpi in the fleet. Thus allowing the AI to block the lock by sacrificing a shuttle pod.

    Target Recognition - A subset to a given targetting system. Determines how similar the target appears to match the original targetting info.

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    Given that this game of your looks to be done almost all in 3rd person perspective, I would also any ship handling in a similar POV. This allows you do do various visual tricks(auto-scalling for one) to depict the battlefield being much smaller than it really is.

    It really depends on what type of ranges you want defense & offense stuff to have. Determine the limitations you are going to impose, then develop the attributes for the various stuff.

    [edited by - ggs on June 10, 2004 5:48:03 AM]

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    Intresting points
    But do you have to be this scientific just to implement guns?I mean there are loads of other physics and mathematical issues to look after, just voicing my opinion

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    quote:
    Original post by johnnyBravo
    how about electro magentically propelled bullets?

    already been done in real life, what makes you think they would be using explosive propelled bullets in the future?

    and magnetically propelled bullets can be fire thousands of times more often then the normal guns


    A railgun is the gun that uses electromagnetically propelled bullets. They''ll probably be able to fire faster than normal guns, but how much fast I''m not sure.. The fastest-firing explosive propelled gun I know of fires 1 000 000 rounds per minute (I think.. uncertain of the exact number).. Granted it has A LOT of barrels, and it runs out of ammo in much less than a second. I think it''s called Metal Storm.. google it

    The problem is still that the next bullet must be readied before it can be fired. Since you don''t have to eject the casing it will be faster but I''m not sure if it will be thousands of times faster. I used 100 rounds per second in my math example, but 500 could be possible.. (I did the math in my head so I wanted it as simple as possible )

    quote:

    edit:
    quote:
    Original post by Spoonster
    Not as far as I know. You push something one way, you get pushed the other way, and that''s true no matter how you accellerate the object.



    with the magnetically propelled bullets, you could have it not touching the ship so it wouldnt move the ship


    Nope.. sorry - the magnetic field pushes both ways - try it yourself with 2 refridgerator magnets on 2 strings (or a steel nut and 1 magnet) - both move.
    - It doesn''t matter if the bullet is touching the ship or not - the electromagnets must be. (otherwise they''ll move the other way)

    The point is that you have a stationary object aboard the spaceship and you want to get it moving toward the enemy ship at as high a speed as possible. To do that you have to "brace" against something, but in outer space there is nothing to brace against, so you''ll start move in the other direction. Wether you use magnets or explosives doesn''t matter. Explosives might actually have an advantage if you''re able to use the expanding gas to act as a mini-thruster after it''s accellerated the bullet. On the other hand some gas will also get blown out the barrell along with the bullet so it might cancel out the advantage, or even add to the trouble.

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    but because its a magnetic field, there wouldnt be much force acting on the ship i believe because of its size

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    Having realistic physics in a space game just detracts from the fun. Sure railguns etc can cause massive recoil but do players really want to have to deal with that? Sure they''ll be some who find it fun to have extremely realistic physics and have to componsate for recoil but the vast majority just want to see the nice new big gun they just bought with their hard earning credits blow stuff up.

    Wavinator: I haven''t read through all the options you''ve given but it seems pretty comprehensive, with a list of options that big it''ll give people a chance to develop unique combat stratigies etc which is good

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    quote:
    Original post by johnnyBravo
    but because its a magnetic field, there wouldnt be much force acting on the ship i believe because of its size


    The force will be the same.. Magnetic fields doesn''t lower the force.. Perhaps it can be "delayed", but

    The size, or rather the mass of the ship plays a part in calculating how much acceleration/impulse the force causes.
    The heavier the ship the less acceleration does it get because of the recoil. The force however, is the same. See the formula in one of my earlier posts in this thread.

    Monder: It is possible to get too much physics, but I think it''s cool with at least some correct physics in a game. Recoil on weapons is one of those things. It''s also very easy to take it out of the equation. Thrusters mounted on the oposite side of the ship can be controlled by an onboard computer to cancel out all acceleration caused by recoil (in effect the game never adds the acceleration). The "fun" part begins if the computer is somehow disabled, then the player has to manually correct the velocity (He doesn''t have to though).. The acceleration on a 100 000 ton vessel caused by continous fire of a railgun shooting 500g projectiles at 1000 rounds per second is about 0,5m/s2. Noticable, but probably not a big deal (at first anyway)

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    quote:
    Original post by Monder
    Having realistic physics in a space game just detracts from the fun. Sure railguns etc can cause massive recoil but do players really want to have to deal with that? Sure they'll be some who find it fun to have extremely realistic physics and have to componsate for recoil but the vast majority just want to see the nice new big gun they just bought with their hard earning credits blow stuff up.



    Yeah, but my concern was the possibility for the sort of "bad physics" you see in movies like Eraser , which can really break the suspension of disbelief. As Frostburn said, the game does not necessarily have to implement the recoil factor, but if the target goes spinning away into space when hit and yet the firing ship stays motionless, then the reason for that inconsistency should be made clear, i.e. opposing thrusters or something like that.

    By the way Wavinator, you may find this site on space combat interesting.
    Also, there may be another solution to the hypervelocity vs recoil problem. Check out this site, particularly the section called "Momentum transformer".

    [edited by - Plasmadog on June 10, 2004 5:48:42 PM]

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    I don''t quite see what the problem with realism in games is.

    Firstly, and most importantly, no matter how the object is accelerated, there is always an equal and opposite force.

    Some ways to cope with recoil are:


    • The gun detaches from the ship, fires the projectile, and then stays behind. Most probably this would be used for launching hyperfast missiles. Generally, the launcher would be massive enough to be visible on sensors.

    • The ship fires ballast in the opposite direction. This, of course, doesn''t need to be another projectile. If the projectile weighs 1g and the ballast weighs 1kg, then the ballast can be fired with a thousandth of the force of the projectile. Obviously, the ballast would also be visible on sensors.

    • The ship fires ballast into the mouth of a wormhole. If the wormhole loops back on itself, you could gradually slow the ballast down until you could fire again. In this way, there''s no immediate recoil, nothing special shows up on sensors, and you don''t waste ballast.

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    quote:
    Original post by Wavinator
    Guns
    The downside of guns is that ammunition is finite and takes up mass. The upside is that the guns are cheap and shells do a great amount of damage to oncoming targets, and the energy cost for use is next to nil.


    Since you have nanotechnology, a possible add-on would be a device to reform ammunition or other consumable materials on your ship into ammunition.

    A device that (slowly) turns asteroids into ammunition would be a very powerful weapon.
    quote:

    Lasers


    True LASERs are not visible in space. Obviously, poetic license allows them to be visible. However, you use the fact that LASERs shouldn''t be visible to effect the behaviour of the game.

    For example, when firing in nebulae or atmosphere, the LASER light would be scattered, thus automatically reducing the stealthiness of your ship. Obviously, how much your stealth is reduced depends upon how powerful the beam is.
    quote:

    Missiles


    A suggestion for another warhead:

    • Leech - Attaches to hull and drills through, causing continuous damage. Destroyed by EMP, point defences, certain kinds of shields, and other weapons.

    • Parasite - Attaches to hull and drills through to the computer system. Takes control of the victim. Can be configured to self-destruct, or, in more expensive versions, attack its former allies. Destroyed by EMP, point defences, certain kinds of shields, and other weapons.

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    Ok, I usually don''t care much for realism, but I do like a well thought out and complex system.

    I agree that making everything "real" or base it 100% on scientific facts would spoil the fun. Who wants to sit on a ship 5 light minutes away from your opponent, fire a huge gun, wait an hour or so to find out whether you hit?

    But exploring the possibilities some of it offers is always interesting. If it adds to the gameplay, I''m all for realism. If it gets in the way, make something up instead :D

    I didn''t initially think the recoil would be so much of an issue, but it does open some interesting aspects. It gives you a good reason why big guns would have to be slow-firing. With the amount of recoil you''d get, you wouldn''t be able to aim anything (not even other weapons) for the next couple of seconds at least. There, a perfectly good reason to not just blast away like mad, but rather wait for the right moment.

    You could also have big one-shot weapons. if you want a really really huge high-powered railgun, the rails would probably be torn apart when firing. Should give you really good power, but you''d get only that one chance to hit with it

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