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Realistic Space Combat

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No turning on a dime, no reaching "Maximum speed", no lasers that go below the speed of sound.

No sound, for that matter.

But this is not a list of things a game shouldn't have, I'm just telling you not to imagine these things during my description.

The scenario is this:

You are in a one man fighter punted out of a larger carrier vessel through a launch tube, a la X-wing.

Once you are safely clear of the ship, a powerful thermonuclear reaction begins, giving your tiny ship a constant 1 gravity of boost and drawing a huge flaming tail across the sky behind your ship. This goes for 30 minutes before it burns itself out.

There is no way to shut it off, only point it in different directions.

It is your only propulsion, only armament, only asset.

You point it straight behind you and aim for the enemies, quickly gathering a huge amount of relative speed.

When you feel you are close enough, turn the flame around in front of you to start both slowing down and attacking using your engine wash.

So far you are saying "yeah, that might be fun, I guess". But how about this:

The game is contained in a big simulator pod. When you are thrusting straight forward, it tilts you on your back. When you are thrusting upwards, you are straight up. And when you are dropping 'down'wards, the apparatus is of course upside down.

Perfect realism!

P.S. Fight bravely because if you lose there will be no one to pick up your spent craft...

GutPunchLullabies, Apr 21 2006

Space Combat http://www.x-plane.com/SpaceCombat.html
Space Combat is a free spaceship simulator by Austin Meyer, author of X-Plane [JakePatterson, Apr 22 2006]

Battle For Orion's Belt http://www.cellufun...asp?game=OrionsBelt
Does take inertial navigation into account. Oh, and I make it. [theircompetitor, Apr 24 2006]

After Burner http://www.madocowa...2001/IM000586_2.jpg


       Given that we don't actually have space combat right now, how could any game be "realistic" ?!   

       Years ago, I remember trying to play a fantasy role playing game whose main claim to fame was being much more realistic than Dungeons and Dragons. We all got bored to tears taking all night to fight one measly battle, winning the grand total of one gold coin and a bent sword. The next night we went right back to D&D.
DrCurry, Apr 21 2006

       Real space combat can be slowed right down with the use of sand(or for heavier use, gravel) and mirrors. Reflects and diffuses lasers, and really slows everything down to quite boring speeds. If only the Empire had had access to these technologies, we'd still have two perfectly functioning, fully operational Death Stars today.
zen_tom, Apr 21 2006

       Water can be used as an ice crystal tool at low space temperatures. Snowflakes at high speed are no fun.   

       [DrCurry], I've always been amused by the lack of any need to eat, pee, or bathe in game time.
normzone, Apr 21 2006

       normzone: well, maybe you could create a game around that. Just don't bother to tell me if you do.
DrCurry, Apr 21 2006

       //...we'd still have two perfectly functioning, fully operational Death Stars today//   

       But we'd still have all those paychecks going out every month. I think it was really for the best.
Letsbuildafort, Apr 21 2006

       If one had a powerful thermonuclear reaction behind your ship, would it leave a long tail of fire? What would that fire be made of? Pure nuclear phlogiston, I hope.
bungston, Apr 21 2006

       If thrust is constant and coming from the rear of the vessel you would only need to tilt backward (or assume thrust is below and then no tilt needed). Maybe some sideways tilt when you use maneuvering thrusters to reorient. If you had a gimbaled cockpit or variable thrust that would require a lot more complication.   

       I very much like the idea of a realistic spacecraft motion. Could you apply the concept to home game use then, perhaps a simple tilting stool/chair – or, a chest harness with cable pulleys arrangement? On the other hand, I’ve seen some hyperactive gamers tilt themselves as they play in accordance with what’s happening in the game. Maybe just isolate the chemical urge that invokes this reaction (simple adrenaline?) and pump it into the gamer as required for the game action.
Whirligig, Apr 22 2006

       The game engine for Frontier (sequel to Elite) was based on Newtonian mechanics. So much so that you could 'cheat' by turning on your thrusters to accelrate and then turn them off, change the game speed as you travelled a couple AU then use thrusters to decelerate, engage autopilot and violá.   

       There are simulator pods out there already - so where is the novelty in the idea?
Jinbish, Apr 22 2006

       There is at least one "realistic" space combat simulator out there, called, if you can believe it, "Space Combat". My first impression... boring as heck. Whatever floats your boat, though.
JakePatterson, Apr 22 2006

       Jake, fiddle about with your link, I think you might have put the link and title parts in the wrong spaces.
zen_tom, Apr 22 2006

       [zen tom] Doh! I put the url in the description field and the description in the url field. Fixed!
JakePatterson, Apr 22 2006

       I like the overall idea, but I wouldn't try to pivot the thruster. Just use the attitude controls to rotate the whole ship, and invest in replaceable sets of mirrors. I know I wouldn't want to be face-down over a flaming jet, exploding ships and return fire.   

       Otherwise, a big flaming croissant for reminding me of the few video games that were a little like flying a real rocket.
baconbrain, Apr 23 2006

       Interesting idea. Sorry to be a nay-sayer, but unrealistic space combat sounds much more fun.
neuro, Apr 24 2006

       People (and evil multi-nationals) keep bandying about words like 'reality' and 'realistic' in order to flog computer games and TV programs... Weren't these supposed to be about escaping reality (notwithstanding news-type programs and educational items).
Asbestos, Apr 24 2006

       I like the concept (whether it is realistic or not and whatever the flame is made of), it reminds me of an old Archimedes game called lander.   

       The only thing is if you turn round completely at high speed you will be flying into the jet, so what you'd actually have to do it strafe the enemy.   

       Could be a laugh, if I get a few spare hours I'll knock up a 2D demo in Flash.
marklar, Apr 24 2006

       I thought about making the 'flame' a (ridiculously) powerful laser, but that takes away any ability to dodge anything fired from closer than about 1 AU.   

       Instead it is made of whatever reaction mass the ship is using to propel itself forward. Probably to create a huge flaming sword of fire like I am envisioning would require more mass than could be easily carried on a 1-person ship like this, but meh. The thing only has to go for a few minutes. Maybe for added realism it could lose inertia as the game went on.   

       Marklar, the jet will always be going the same speed relative to you when you fire it, so there is no danger of 'flying into it'.   

       However, if you slow down quickly enough in a straight line, I suppose there is a possibility the Jet will hit you, from behind...   

       But it seems like the exhaust should be moving to fast to worry about that.
GutPunchLullabies, Apr 24 2006

       Once you have bought the notion that one man fighters might be of any use in space combat, you can add just about whatever else you want to that package.
bungston, Apr 24 2006

       Frontier was pretty good (I've still got my copy and a machine to play it on) but I think that 'realistic' space combat would probably involve you being wiped out before you even knew you were under attack.

I think Jinbish and I must have lived parallel lives. Or was it that the late 70s and 80s were so limited that everybody was doing exactly the same thing whilst they were waiting for Mrs Thatcher to go away?
DrBob, Apr 24 2006

       The whole point of the simulator pod (and the constant 1 g thrust, and the idea) is that gravity stands in for thrust.   

       The gravity of the (real) earth exactly matches the thrust of the (fictional) engine. This is the realism, not the insanity of trying to personally pilot a missile or vector the thrust when it would be so much easier to rotate the ship and look through a camera in whatever direction you like.
GutPunchLullabies, Apr 25 2006

       [DrB]: Parallel, or time-shifted, or perhaps resources were so limited in the 70s and 80s that more time was actually spent on ideas rather than window dressing crap.
Jinbish, Apr 25 2006

       Yeah, well, they still make doppler-shifted screeches as they fly past in vacuum. Massively lame.
GutPunchLullabies, Dec 11 2006


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