Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

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Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby amberkilloran » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:16 pm

One of the questions on my mind lately has been that of the issues of space travel; I believe we have come to terms with (or are in the process of doing so) with several different aspects of space travel, namely traveling from system to system in a timely manner (FTL/Warp Drives) and communication over a long distance (still being discussed, but mostly near instant communication over a long distance requiring power and using some future technology). The concern I have with radiation (NASA's Space Radiation Element; SRPE) was touched upon within the topic describing character customization, citing as a possibility of radiation resistance in various different space suits.

Anyway, to my point. What I would like to know is how seriously are we going to take radiation a player would experience in space? Is this something we'd rather ignore, or force the player to take countermeasures in their ship design to combat? Should space suits be built to resist this by default? Perhaps more effectively in some better space suits? Should radiation be more potent closer to a star?

A few additional concerns I have include: CO2/O2 recycling (Will players need to restock their O2 supplies? Will they need "CO2 Scrubbers"? Can these systems be damaged? Do we worry about this beyond "Your airlock is open, silly"?), food/water supplies (Should we require players to eat at least once in awhile? Can players attempt to gather these resources on terra planets?), and exploring planets (Are most/all planets going to be terra based? For those that are not, will players need suits to survive on planet? Different types of suit strengths based on conditions? Can they be terraformed?)
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby mrout » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:15 am

We've discussed planets and food/water in other topics, so I won't mention them again here.

In terms of radiation, I think the idea of it subtly flipping bits in your memory is ridiculously awesome, along with the usual radiation burns etc.

In terms of CO2/O2 recycling: absolutely, IMO.
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby croxis » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:54 pm

mrout wrote:We've discussed planets and food/water in other topics, so I won't mention them again here.

In terms of radiation, I think the idea of it subtly flipping bits in your memory is ridiculously awesome, along with the usual radiation burns etc.

In terms of CO2/O2 recycling: absolutely, IMO.


Ditto! (how often does that happen :P)

I do think from a balance and player frusturation perspective that it should be limited/rare in the standard use cases. Ie the standard hull material provides enough protection to shield radiation found in general travel, and only make it problematic (with standard materials) that are obvious to the player, such as flying really close to a star or a Jupiter type gas giant or a black hole arrection disk. There might be something where players have access to alternative materials which provide less radiation protection for a bonus in something else (cost, hit points, etc), or they skimp on environemtnal systems such as if they are designing a short range craft.
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby amberkilloran » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:49 pm

mrout wrote:In terms of radiation, I think the idea of it subtly flipping bits in your memory is ridiculously awesome, along with the usual radiation burns etc.

How do you mean by "flipping bits in your memory"? Altering the state of particular bits so they go from 0 to 1 (and vice versa) in sporadic places?

Off that idea, however, could be a way of introducing a gradual radiation system; players have a short array of numbers split into different segments (initial state is 000-000-000) with radiation having a chance of modifying any of those numbers, with stronger sources of radiation having: increased potency, increased rate of radiation damage, and/or increased chance to successfully radiate the player. Base chance may be a 0.1% chance every 10 seconds to increment one of the numbers. ex. First irradiate might modify as such: 000-001-000; Second: 001-001-000; Third: 002-001-000. Increased potency might increment by 2 or 3 as opposed to 1. Increased chance may bring the chance of radiation up from 0.1% to 2% or 3%. Increased rate of radiation damage may reduce the time between 'ticks' to 5 seconds.

Each segment can be tied to a specific negative effect, and when that segment is above a certain defined minimum, the player would begin to feel the initial effects of that modification (ie. The first segment may trigger mild blindness above 100 and more severe effects as that segment reaches higher plateaus). Of course, this is just an idea and it can be made more difficult and painful to give players several different effects of radiation all at once based on their radiation level, which might just be a better system.

croxis wrote:I do think from a balance and player frusturation perspective that it should be limited/rare in the standard use cases. Ie the standard hull material provides enough protection to shield radiation found in general travel

Maybe, though it may be important to cite that much of the radiation players will run into will come from Galactic Cosmic Rays as opposed to from stars; This cites a calculation from American and German scientists that 95% of radiation astronauts would be exposed to in a round trip to Mars would come from Galactic Cosmic Rays, the total amount being 662 +/- 108 millisieverts (mSv). By comparison, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates Americans are exposed to, on average, 6.2 millisieverts (620 millirems) annually. Sooooo I dunno... I don't think that every part of the ship should easily block out that much radiation.
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby croxis » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:55 pm

I don't like the gameplay implications of, in a general ship for general gamplay, limiting a player to spending most of their time in certain sections of the ship. While that will probably happen anyways as a ship will have a command center where the player spends most of their in ship time, but we are already "punishing" a player if their ship gets damaged and they have to make repairs in field or under fire. Adding health damage to field repairs will reduce the life expectancy of the ship, something we want to try and prolong if we can.

It doesn't mean that there cant be extra radiation shielding in some sections in cases where the ship enters a high radiation zone. Such an addon would give ships a tactical advantage (unless there are no combatents, in which case it should be a mod).
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby mrout » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:53 am

croxis wrote:
mrout wrote:We've discussed planets and food/water in other topics, so I won't mention them again here.

In terms of radiation, I think the idea of it subtly flipping bits in your memory is ridiculously awesome, along with the usual radiation burns etc.

In terms of CO2/O2 recycling: absolutely, IMO.


Ditto! (how often does that happen :P)

I do think from a balance and player frusturation perspective that it should be limited/rare in the standard use cases. Ie the standard hull material provides enough protection to shield radiation found in general travel, and only make it problematic (with standard materials) that are obvious to the player, such as flying really close to a star or a Jupiter type gas giant or a black hole arrection disk. There might be something where players have access to alternative materials which provide less radiation protection for a bonus in something else (cost, hit points, etc), or they skimp on environemtnal systems such as if they are designing a short range craft.


I think you're right, yeah. A single bit of RAM flipped can have massive consequences (if you're unlucky), after all.
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby mrout » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:59 am

amberkilloran wrote:How do you mean by "flipping bits in your memory"? Altering the state of particular bits so they go from 0 to 1 (and vice versa) in sporadic places?


I mean flipping bits in the RAM of your ship computer.

amberkilloran wrote:Off that idea, however, could be a way of introducing a gradual radiation system; players have a short array of numbers split into different segments (initial state is 000-000-000) with radiation having a chance of modifying any of those numbers, with stronger sources of radiation having: increased potency, increased rate of radiation damage, and/or increased chance to successfully radiate the player. Base chance may be a 0.1% chance every 10 seconds to increment one of the numbers. ex. First irradiate might modify as such: 000-001-000; Second: 001-001-000; Third: 002-001-000. Increased potency might increment by 2 or 3 as opposed to 1. Increased chance may bring the chance of radiation up from 0.1% to 2% or 3%. Increased rate of radiation damage may reduce the time between 'ticks' to 5 seconds.

Each segment can be tied to a specific negative effect, and when that segment is above a certain defined minimum, the player would begin to feel the initial effects of that modification (ie. The first segment may trigger mild blindness above 100 and more severe effects as that segment reaches higher plateaus). Of course, this is just an idea and it can be made more difficult and painful to give players several different effects of radiation all at once based on their radiation level, which might just be a better system.


Ah, you're talking about simulating radiation on players. I'm talking about simulating radiation in player ship computers.


croxis wrote:I do think from a balance and player frusturation perspective that it should be limited/rare in the standard use cases. Ie the standard hull material provides enough protection to shield radiation found in general travel

Maybe, though it may be important to cite that much of the radiation players will run into will come from Galactic Cosmic Rays as opposed to from stars; This cites a calculation from American and German scientists that 95% of radiation astronauts would be exposed to in a round trip to Mars would come from Galactic Cosmic Rays, the total amount being 662 +/- 108 millisieverts (mSv). By comparison, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates Americans are exposed to, on average, 6.2 millisieverts (620 millirems) annually. Sooooo I dunno... I don't think that every part of the ship should easily block out that much radiation.[/quote]

No definitely not.
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby amberkilloran » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:22 pm

mrout wrote:I mean flipping bits in the RAM of your ship computer.

Forgive my ignorance, but is that generally possible with stronger radiation forces? Even if it's not, it could produce some interesting implications and at the very least some additional considerations for ship design (core location, for example, would likely need to be heavily shielded to protect against this).

mrout wrote:Ah, you're talking about simulating radiation on players. I'm talking about simulating radiation in player ship computers.

I honestly had not initially considered the idea of flipping bits within a DCPU's RAM, though I really do think that could be an interesting idea, and I think the two could actually work simultaneously (perhaps with some modifications so they do different things based on what they are affecting; ie. player vs machine) without bumping in together. Are you opposing the idea of having radiation affect players, or the current incarnation, or not opposing it currently?

mrout wrote:
amberkilloran wrote:95% of radiation ... Galactic Cosmic Rays, the total amount being 662 +/- 108 millisieverts (mSv). ... Americans are exposed to, on average, 6.2 millisieverts (620 millirems) annually. Sooooo I dunno... I don't think that every part of the ship should easily block out that much radiation.

No definitely not.

No meaning that ships should not, by default, block much of the background radiation simply by virtue of being a ship, correct?

@croxis: There are lots of ways to combat radiation and, depending on how such a system would be implemented, the net effect of the system would mean that more well equipped ships should be able to stay in space longer by virtue of having a better designed ship; skilled players may be able to get by for long periods of time by centralizing much of what they need and heavily shielding that area, provided nothing goes wrong. And even after a player is suffering fairly badly from radiation sickness, they should be able to cure some of those ill effects, perhaps in a medbay on a spacestation? A player will need to restock some resources anyway, so one's radiation level becomes another one of those resources (it affects how long you can stay out in space, where close you can go, what you have to spend on your ship to make it better at exploring the stars).

Likely ways players might be able to combat heavy radiation would be to change to heavier or more specialized armor, introduce specialized modules or components (for example, water tanks to surround a central area, such as your DCPU core or your command center). Yes, the basic ship should offer some small level of protection from radiation, but it should not be something a player can simply forget about and ignore. Space is, pardon my wording on this, fucking filled with radiation.
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby mrout » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:29 am

Forgive my ignorance, but is that generally possible with stronger radiation forces? Even if it's not, it could produce some interesting implications and at the very least some additional considerations for ship design (core location, for example, would likely need to be heavily shielded to protect against this).


Well yeah, maybe? I suppose? Having some basis in reality would obviously be good.

Are you opposing the idea of having radiation affect players, or the current incarnation, or not opposing it currently?


Not at all, I think it's a good idea to have radiation affect players physically.

No meaning that ships should not, by default, block much of the background radiation simply by virtue of being a ship, correct?


No meaning I agreed with "I don't think that every part of the ship should easily block out that much radiation", yeah.
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Re: Hazards of Space Travel and Exploration

Postby ShaneDalton » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:39 am

I think that we should think about this from two perspectives, a reality concept and a game concept. Now, I believe we should try to stick to a high definition of reality. But at the same time, fun is still a constant that I'd like to keep. This opens up an entire other can of worms, since we can basically boil it down to two sets of players, those who just want to shoot things and play space and those who want a gritty hardcore space sim that tests themselves as a person. Each has their own likes and dislikes and as such we need to find a common balance, I am NOT however saying lets streamline everything down and make it simple. No, no, no. I'm saying that we should streamline everything to oblivion. (Pun intended) Just my thoughts on how we should handle these subjects, any other opinions?
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