Rotors, and Pistons - Why they would work in Empyrion, where they failed in Space Engineers.

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by CrazyDeviant, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. CrazyDeviant

    CrazyDeviant Ensign

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    TL;DR: Pistons and Rotors would allow dramatically improved building flexibility, and add potential new gameplay mechanics.

    Hi there!

    I have another idea to throw to the devs; this is something that I believe would really bring the game to a level that is comparable to both Space Engineers, and the upcoming Skywanderers - and that is Rotors, and Pistons. I want to explain why I believe that this could work extremely well for Empyrion, where they failed in dramatic fashion in Space Engineers.

    To begin, I will be very brief to explain why they failed so miserably in Space Engineers: The Havok Physics engine.

    Because of the physics engine, Space Engineers had some brilliant explosions and damage to your creations, and really made it a cinematic masterpiece. However, when they added pistons and rotors, they did not consider how physics would affect those systems; since anything attached to the other rotor/piston was considered a separate entity, those components would be directly affected by physics. And, because it's impossible to reinforce these systems like you would in real life (ie. a massive rotation ring on a battleship turret, or expanding the size of the piston, and placing it inside a sleeve), these objects had no such ability, and no way to build a reinforcement to keep them in place (if you did, they would collide, and break the blocks).

    Therefore, what essentially happened, was that a lot of these objects would sheer off by simply moving the ship, spinning/moving them too quickly, among many other awkward scenarios. Even though they added the 'locking' feature (which essentially disabled physics/rotation/piston/etc on the object), they were never able to completely solve the problem.

    However, unlike Space Engineers, Empyrion does not use traditional physics; there is acceleration, deceleration, and that's about it. Ramming ships will simply cause them to get super glitchy and bounce away. Running into the ground won't really damage your ship. You can dock your ships, and they essentially 'merge' with your mothership.

    In other words, the perfect platform to bring these in.

    Now you ask, "why would I want to bring these blocks into the game?" Well, as a former Space Engineers player, who used to use the heck out of these blocks, let me tell you:

    - You can create rotating midsections, like the classic Babylon 5 Omega Class Destroyer:
    [​IMG]

    - You can make oversized doors using pistons.
    [​IMG]

    - You can create retractable/extendable hull sections, to reveal/hide certain components and/or landing gear.
    [​IMG]

    - You can create working elevators.


    (Though, of course, upon the mere mention of "elevators" in a video game...)
    [​IMG]
    (...Sorry Eleon. And sorry to every sane game developer in existance. :p)

    - Most importantly, and this would require a lot of extra work: Retractable, Manual Turrets.
    [​IMG]

    So, with the image spam out of the way, I wanted to go over the turret idea, because this could be a significant game changer for the game.

    Although we have obtained a number of excellent turreted weapons in the game, for our capital ships, we are severely lacking in axial equipment, as well as battleship/dreadnought/supercapital weaponry. Though the weapons themselves can be addressed at a later date, the idea of adding some of these weapons to a manually controlled turret, is both intriguing, and terrifying to think of.

    For one, you could create a powerful anti-fighter/bomber turret, by adding a large number of guided missile launchers and/or a large number of rapid-fire weaponry. Or, you could create some heavier weaponry, such as Flak-88-styled artillery, used for both anti-capital and anti-fighter duties. Or you could create some kind of massive super-weapon, for the absolutely largest of opponents. Of course, we can design whatever we want, but the point still stands: If we add rotors and pistons to the game, we can design manual turrets, we can equip them with weapons, and, once AI and/or scripting is added to the game, we can have them operate, just like the place-able ones. (More on this on a later post)

    If you like this idea, speak up! If the developers show this post some love, they may consider adding it down the road.:D
     
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  2. krazzykid2006

    krazzykid2006 Rear Admiral

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    They already said in one of the recent live video chats that rotors and pistons WILL be coming to Empyrion one day. ;)

    That's all we know about them though is that they will be coming.
    Like everything else in this game, I expect them to have restrictions on how and when we can use them though. I'm doubting they will be as flexible in their use as they are in SE, but I hope to be proved wrong.
     
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  3. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    I am afraid I need to clear this up a bit, as with the Q&A stream there should have possibly been a bit more explanation. Empyrion will not have R+P as you see in SE, but we might have more animated stuff that actually works. Like folding wings, lifts etc pp.

    The issue with R+P is that this tries to combine two entities that sometimes do not coordinate 100% together. These Coordination issues might be small, but they summ up to a point where things break. Like adding a few kB to your Ram each second might not seem a lot, but after a while your PC will lock up.

    That will also be a problem for Empyrion and has not so much to do with physics engine but with handling the grids/entities.
     
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  4. krazzykid2006

    krazzykid2006 Rear Admiral

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    I had hoped that wouldn't be the case but I do understand the decision behind it.
     
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  5. Vermillion

    Vermillion Rear Admiral

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    Having fleshed out fixed mechanics will probably look and function better in the long run anyway.
    If you look at many SE builds using rotors and pistons, they're not particularly smooth and look weird when they move. They also require a great deal of planning and engineering when used on large scale constructs.
    In most cases, while they end up looking cool or interesting they're impractical 90% of the time (e.g. walking mechs, tracked vehicles, etc...) that could be done better with dedicated vehicle tracks or mechanical legs that you just stick on and you're done. Of course, that wouldn't be "engineering", but empyrion isn't a dedicated engineering game.
     
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  6. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    Yes. Our approach is to embedd functionality in the device so it can be used by any player and without having to go through a lot of wtf moments. We ll then add more variants of it to enhance the building possibilities ;)
     
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  7. CrazyDeviant

    CrazyDeviant Ensign

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    That's reasonable. Though, once everything else is done, it may be worth revisiting that decision at that time. That being said, I definitely understand where you're coming from, as a former Space Engineer.
     
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  8. CrazyDeviant

    CrazyDeviant Ensign

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    Actually, on further thought, you mentioned about animated stuff, and whatnot. What about a 'module' system? For example:

    Base block: Manned Turret
    Module Block(s): Guns/Missiles/Tractor Beam/Combination of the former

    Base block: Retractable Lift
    Module Block(s): Landing Pad, Cargo Lift, Cargo Container, Passenger Room, Manned Turret (see above)

    Using a system like that, you can likely get the functionality you want, without the cost of the aforementioned Rotor/Piston issues.
     
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  9. Jaan Ojaste

    Jaan Ojaste Ensign

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    Folding wings sounds great, because it is needed. But folding wings are pointless without wheels. You can't roll in the hangar on stompers (landing gear).
    Regarding rotors, 1 block clearance. Even in Space Engineers without 1 block clearance things could freak out.

    My main point is. If developers really want, they can do it. Talking about difficulty, it is nothing but excuse. Question is, do you want out sell Space Engineers or not?

    I personally prefer Emyrion because graphic first. Also, few more things why Empyrion is on my top list.
    Moving mechanical parts would give to builders a lot more possibilities create something cool.

    Rotors and pistons are not perfect even in Space Engineers, but they are working, somehow. With totally off physics. And that somehow gives a lot of fun devices to mess around with.

    Provided screenshots, there is nothing over c0mplicated. Very basic foldable solar panels. If you are planning foldable wings, then a lot of more things could be "foldable". That would be rotor, right?

    Travel2.png Recharge.png Travel.png Deploy.png Recharge2.png
     
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  10. SilvRav

    SilvRav Moderator

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    I believe a modular approach would be the best compromise as well

    Have a 90 deg, 180 deg, 270 degree folding modular that one can just add on to. dont bring in weight limits to the module like you have with SE (ie torque and strengh limits) but rather block limits to avoid people exploiting it

    In the end we will have to see what the engine limits are before things break like in SE
     
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  11. Jaan Ojaste

    Jaan Ojaste Ensign

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    Sometimes 45 and 60 degrees also needed. I have reason to believe that 1 degree accuracy is not needed. Perhaps rotor with 5 degree steps?
    And animation would smoothen down choppy movement. Let's say 120 degrees is needed. Starting point is always 0. Player enters in control panel 120 for clockwise or -120 for anti clockwise. And reverse would bring back to starting point, AKA, 0 degrees.
    Also, placement is as normal, with 90 degree steps to any axis.
    Perhaps tiered rotors, so each tier rotors have certain strength?

    Tell the truth, rotors in SE are little over complicated.
     
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  12. CrazyDeviant

    CrazyDeviant Ensign

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    Yuuuuuuuuup... those things were nightmares to work with. I ultimately just stopped using them except when absolutely necessary. I had SO MANY ideas, but was never practical outside of "rule of cool."
     
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  13. CrazyDeviant

    CrazyDeviant Ensign

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    I had a further thought...

    How does the game handle docking?

    Could you handle a rotating/piston entity the same way docking currently works?
     
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  14. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    Kerbal Space Program recently added hinges, pistons, rotors and servos in their Breaking Ground expansion, with intuitive controls just as you describe. The players of that game have designed some incredible things.. see this post for an example of an unfolding rover (with shameless clipping)
     
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  15. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Look at the motorbike's handling... that's all we'll ever have for "wheeled vehicles". Does that look good for more fancy moving blocks ?

    If they can give us just a basic linear-motion elevator I'll be happy.
     
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  16. cmguardia

    cmguardia Commander

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    It is observed that there is no collision between the moving parts and the rest. That is not what Empyrion looks like.

    Se observa que no existe colisión entre las partes moviles y lo demas. Eso no es como se ve Empyrion.
     
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  17. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Docking is currently strictly between two entities, and docking chains are not allowed. I doubt it would work very well to try to extend the current docking system to handle relative entity motion.
     
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  18. idx64

    idx64 Ensign

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    The truth is that EGS could be epic and striking with those mechanics.- d5DuZ8O.gif
     
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  19. Jaan Ojaste

    Jaan Ojaste Ensign

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    WOW... Now that's what I'm calling to engineering. Perhaps I should take a look. Till this game devs figure out what is cool.

    Currently, devs ridiculous obsession with PVP will lead nowhere. It is been happening so many times over and over again and no one is learning from others mistakes.
     
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  20. Arrclyde

    Arrclyde Rear Admiral

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    I am not a fan of "weapons of mass destructions one shot everything". And this works only in a scripted play in SE, since those rotors wobble and break during turns and changing directions, smashing parts against each other causing this fragile materials in SE to dent and getting damaged by every slight touch.

    The only way i see things like this work would be a transforming block that can stretch it self out in one direction without any physics attached to it, just animations. Problems i see is how the game handles everything attached to the other end and animates it. Maybe a animated piston block, or a "invisible force field block" making ships with detached wings possible.

    But i am also ok with moving parts like wings, and lifts. A platform lift with only one lifting mechanic on one corner would be cool. That way, and when it is a square, you can place 4 of them together to have a big lift. ;-)
     
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