// Energy Fuel

Here I ask your opinion and feedback on specific aspect of the game, or feature I am working on.
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tsunamayo
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Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:58 am

This goes hand to hand with the energy system but I think it is a big topic deserving its own thread.
So I want to have fuel sources to produce energy.
There are several reasons to that, but overall it would help me to achieve a gameplay oriented on exploration and survival.
  • It fit very well with a Tier system. The lower the tier the easier to find / craft the fuel will be. The higher the tier the smaller the fuel requirement, allowing more efficient designs (think coal versus antimatter)
  • It force the player to explore a bit every system visited. You might have to mine asteroids a bit, or harvest gas from the upper atmosphere of a gas giant, or harvest solar energy during your trip.
  • For more higher tier fuel source like antimatter you might need massive factory in order to produce the fuel, so it would restrict the use to non self sufficient ship - or force you to establish outpost at several place in the galaxy.
  • It will make the galaxy more lively, you will be able to dock in station and pump fuel in. You will see tanker doing the same, or be able to trade the fuel.
  • block could be compatible with several fuels resulting in a slight difference in energy production.
  • For simplicity I dont want to have fuel linked directly to engine like on modern rocket, but more simply producing X quantity of energy.
  • we could potentially add chemistry (as a long term goal): you mix several gas and make a new one, ect.
  • could have synergy with weapons payload: fission bomb, anti-matter bomb ect.
  • Fuel would have to be stored in specific compartment for gameplay reason (not in basic storage crate). Lets just say they are dangerous to manipulate and store.
As for the various fuel source I had some basic idea, but again I am open to suggestions. I think it could be cool to add a limited number of fuel source but each having very different harvest/crafting path and trade-off.
  • Standard gas combustion.
  • Metallic gas, forged in diamond anvil (actual real science), for a more compact fuel source
  • Fusion or Fission reactor. Fission could goes boom if damaged.
  • Solar sail! Because it look classy af (right Raiben?). Even if in real life it is super weak.
  • Anti-matter. Would require massive power plant to craft.
  • Void Energy! No fuel source, as an end game reactor.
This is still very blurry for me at this point, as I intend to do a fuel less version on the system as a starter - and introduce various fuel source progressively.

GeneralGrievous
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Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:32 am

Coal! As an early fuel source, coal could be found in relative abundance throughout the different planets and worlds of the game. It would be comical, in a way, to see different vehicles be powered by such a thing. However, something that could be fun would be to have coal give players access to different kinds of technologies, that look and, frankly, are quite primitive, but somehow still allows the player to go to space, use jumpdrives, or battle, à la Orkz from 40k. Massive scrap pile-esque vessels who clearely have no place around in the universe it's put in yet still is has quite an appeal, and a meme aspect to it.

TLDR: Coal could be either just an early game ressource, of a meme-ressource that allows players to do fancy, if unpractical, things. But even if they are unpractical, players still have the option, after all, that's what a sandbox is, right?

Hopefully coal will be considered, and honestly, even if it is nothing but a small, almost irrelevant ressource in the game, that's there for hardly any reason at all, that'd be more than enough for me. o7

PTTG
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Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:42 am

First, two general thoughts:
*If the top tier is "doesn't need fuel," then everything else becomes redundant. I'd steer away from having it all, or else it'll be the only thing people play with. Better to have niches for everything.

*Energy production and thrust are really different.

Now some thoughts on engine types. I'm assuming you want to be semi-realistic for this; if I'm wrong feel free to ignore:

Chemical Thrusters (Not actually feasible for fast interplanetary travel, but we can tweak things.)
-- Requires fuel and oxygen
-- Guzzles gas
-- Really cheap to build
-- Accelerates fast
-- Good for missiles and for your first ship

Fission NTR
-- Requires just fuel. This is hydrogen which is heated by the reactor and blasted out the rocket.
-- Needs uranium or other rare stuff to build.
-- Drinks fuel moderately
-- Good for common, basic, or otherwise intermediate ships.

Fusion Torch (Simplified remixing of everything that's generally fusion-y)
-- Requires just fuel. This is hydrogen that gets fused into helium and blasted out the rocket.
-- Doesn't require rare stuff to build, but it's heavy and complicated.
-- Also represents VSIMIR, Ion engines, and probably a few others.
-- Sips fuel
-- Good for most ships that don't need to do something special, and pretty good for self-sufficient ships too.

Metallic Hydrogen (Presumed metastable)
-- Requires Metallic Hydrogen, which super-explodes if messed with too much and is made by compressing fuel in a factory.
-- Moderate fuel use
-- REALLY FAST. Metallic hydrogen isn't as energy-dense as antimatter, but it "burns" faster.
-- The engines are fairly cheap.
-- Good for fighters, great missiles, and ships that are more about speed than sensibility.

Antimatter Engine
-- Requires just antimatter
-- Antimatter containment is super-efficient, but explodes when shot.
-- Really space-efficient fuel, although expensive.
-- Good for advanced ships, especially if they're going really far but don't need to operate on their own.

This would be pretty realistic all in all, while still being way simpler than something like Children of a Dead Earth. It's five types of engine and three and a half kinds of fuel, so it should be pretty easy learn while still having plenty of fun toys to play with.

I'd skip solar sails. They look cool, but they'd be really really hard to simulate in an at all sophisticated way; they're very difficult to pilot sunwards (you can't tack without an ocean to tack against).

As far as Energy production goes, I'll put my thoughts there.

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Sullos
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Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:04 am

Loving all the ideas you have!
I think I will start with - yes to a tiered system. But also not too much of a tiering system for all power sources.
So as a base, I guess coal is generic, but on a galactic scale, I can’t find it making much sense? Coal is the product of millions of years of compression of carbon based life forms if I’m correct?
So depending on your plans for what different planets will be like, depends on the whether you want coal to be your basis for power, or to be something that’s there, but not considered frequent or good in any way.

In an ideal realty I believe using hydrogen generators, (using hydrogen as the fuel source. This could be extracted from particular planets atmospheres or seperated from water on the torus, etc.) Hydrogen generators are realistic and with an abundance of hydrogen in the universe, it makes sense as a basic fuel source that can be gathered from everywhere. And in the even of a hydrogen generator being shot. Boom. It makes sense as far as I can tell.

Moving on, you definitely want solar power. Whether you use the sails already in the game and modify them so they generate power, and do a logarithmic curve as you said in terms of power generation, on how many sails are placed next to each other and such, or you add a new type of solar panel, one type in brick form, for fancy energy efficient designs, and one in a flat block form. Solar power wouldn’t require so much of a fuel source so much as it light require coal/carbon found semi rarely throughout the galaxy to craft.
On top of the fuel source, I believe different stars should provide different amounts of power. Main sequence producing standard amounts, blue giants producing overloading amounts and such. I can’t quite remember all the types of stars and their effects on things. Hopefully you understand the general idea though? :)
Next up I believe you would want nuclear/fission power. Uranium, will be all across the galaxy as planets will be radioactive balls of magma for a while, and it also means adding in the step of finding the uranium in asteroid belts, and planets in the future. On top of that, separating the uranium 238, from the 235 (I think they’re the right numbers?) then after having them processed, there can be multiple uses for the two parts, nuclear missile, fission reactor fuel etc. the fission reactors could come in compact form, but having some form of multi block structure allowing for massive amounts of power generation would make sense. For larger ships, and small stations perhaps?

Next up I like the idea of Fusion power! Fusion power requiring a multi blocked structure again, using electro magnets to contain the plasma created, and then however you want to use the plasma as fuel. It could be for super heating water like a fission reactor, or it could channel the plasma into some form of superconducting plasma generator of sorts, another seperate generator block(?) with the fusion reactor being the creation method of the plasma.
To create the plasma I’m thinking it be logical deauterium Be the fuel source. It is commonly referred to as the method in science fiction, as to how fusion energy is possible. But deauterium would be a very time consuming form of fuel to create requiring machines, time and plenty of power. As well as an amount of H2O.

I’m not 100% sure where you want to go next, but I definitely agree with the end game power source!
I think it should be some form of singularity generator, harnessing and using the forces(technically not a force) of gravity. This would be a serious construct, built only in the largest of installations, capable of powering entire planets without a worry. It would require some sort of black hole in the centre, being stabilised (?) by up to 6 lasers. The lasers would fire bursts of energy into the singularity preventing expansive growth, whilst the gravitational tidal forces are harnessed. Being around this could also suck you into it? (Wacky gravity of sorts) the more lasers firing the better control you have over the singularity. If the lasers stop firing, the singularity gains control and tears the power containment sphere apart. If the lasers fire too much, you could over control the singularity and close it. Meaning you must re open it using another form of high tiered power. So it would be a matter of finding a balance of maximum power generation, and safety.
Of course most of these systems could be basically implemented without requiring many other things. But as a base point of access into the power system, it might work.

In terms of harnessing gasses to create other chemical compounds, whether it be oxygen, H2O, carbon, hydrogen, etc, it could be cool to either find a gas giant with the particular gasses in its atmosphere, or for making almost any kind of gas you need, go to a nebula, harness the gasses there, and using machines, convert the gasses into whatever you need. This would mean much more time and power required, but ultimately mean gas making space stations in the nebulas.

Hope that covers fuels well, and I guess it covers a bit about the energy topic too? But hopefully the suggestions help :)

Rizzo
Corporate Mogul
Posts: 7

Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:23 pm

Per my offering on tiered generators, energy fuel should have a risk/reward type of use to the generator and fuel:

Example
Tier 1: Hydrogen
- Easy to find and harvest in the universe.
- Consumes quickly (requires frequent refueling)
- Explossive when tanks are hit

Tier 2: Plutonium
- Fuel creates a controlled nuclear reaction
- Requires plutonium or other invented rare isotope
- Consumes at a medium rate as a fuel
- Requires protective gear to handle (or penalty to character if exposed)
- Explosive when tanks are hit

Tier 3: Antimatter
- Most fuel efficient
- Requires special equipment or location (wormholes or nebula) to collect
- Consumes slow as a fuel
- Requires protective gear to handle
- Requires part of the energy to be cycled back into a containment field
- Explosive if tanks are hit

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Otter
Explorer
Posts: 12

Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:25 pm

I have no preference in what the fuels are, or how they're gathered/made, you'll likely get a lot of good ideas from others here as well.

My only request would be that you consider the tiers and system from an end-game perspective. Similar to what I cautioned in the energy system thread, end-game players typically have enough money that the cost of things is no longer a barrier. And if there's always a trader that sells top-tier fuel, 'rarity' is no longer a barrier, either.

I like diverse games, especially when they're PVP. Making all items better in some ways but worse in others (beyond price and rarity) adds to the ecosystem of what players consider when building. When top-tier items are better than other-tier items in every way, because price and rarity are no longer barriers, all players build and look the same by end-game. Min/maxing drives the build meta, and build meta reduces creativity in PVP games.

But beyond that caution I like the ideas you have, I look forward to seeing some of them tested. :)
Last edited by Otter on Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Harlekin
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Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:56 pm

Rizzo wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:23 pm
[...]
Tier 2: Plutonium
- Fuel creates a controlled nuclear reaction
- Requires plutonium or other invented rare isotope
- Consumes at a medium rate as a fuel
- Requires protective gear to handle (or penalty to character if exposed)
- Explosive when tanks are hit
[...]
Plutonium oneself is not explosive.
and i strongly would prefer not to use the outdated nuclear power plants (like they are since years) we use now as a base for a sci fi game, but perhaps molten salt reactors? more stable, no possible explosions, more fuel efficient, way less radioactive waste but as all radioactive energy sources you don't want them to leak and contamine the rest of the ship.

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Napther
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Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:25 pm

I, too, believe that if you are USING things like Coal and Gas as a fuel, you must have the associated "power generator" to tie in with it.
IE: Combustion Reactor
---Pros:
Burns any organic matter (Mainly Wood, Coal, Oil/biofuel) - Semi-Abundant, Renewable (Not that it matters with 4billion star systems... /shrug)
Will convert gas to power *(Gas least safe, but efficient fuel)
Very safe (Wont spontaneously detonate) - Fuel/reactor may catch fire, but never explodes
Very cheap, tier 1 type reactor

---Cons:
Bulky when needing larger amounts of energy than simple craft (IE, ground vehicles)
Fuel is space-inefficient/Doesnt provide much power
Requires mining/ resource gathering from Planets/gas giants, rarely from Asteroids

etc.
Ideally the "Void" generator you are suggesting is better off being branded the "Creative Mode Generator". Inaccessible to normal play, BUT allows servers to configure it to be whatever they want later down the line.

Also, the most likely to be implimented for Power is Fusion-based starting off. Mine asteroids for H20 gives us mechanics we can actually test right now, than, "Where do we get our coal from", etc.
Grumpy builder of the orange-hulled KDI Faction/NPCs [not yet built in SW...] Image

Xxxsquidlover101xxX
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Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:50 pm

I think there should be a different scale, this one is similar to irl

-steamengines:EARLY GAME should need coal wich isnt available in all planets except a few rares and spawning planets hard to créate also really safe

-Chemical thrusters:able to get out of your planet and make some space station, fast but doesnt have hyperdrive for interplanetary travel, powered with hydrogen and oxygen
easy to create just place thruster and add fuel
the fuel tanks will explode

-Solar sails:needs light for propulsion so closer to star=faster no fuel needed and can be ''shot'' using beam lasers for interplanetary and your first interstellar drones wich will travel to the other star sytem slowly (a week) and can be destroyed in the journey
easy to create just place thruster
safe


-Metal gas:ah heres where you start with your interplanetary hyperdrive,you can go to other planets quickly but it is a planned journey since it can be sometimes 1 way,good for missiles easy to create just place thruster
safe
-Fusion engines:Mid game, for a few time you wont have FTL travel so there will eb a setting similar to the one in the expanse but shortly youll discover the warp drive,wich the first one MUST have a ring but this fusión engine only needs deuterium+hellium 3 wich should be available in the moon of the starting planet so youll need to travel there with metal gas and mine there preety fast like in the expanse fast becuase it will have hyperdrive and will be efficient enough to not run out of fuel for a really long period of time, good for normal ships fighters will use metal gas to fly, encouraging carriers also fusión thrusters will be BIG and hard to create
safe
-antimatter drives:you need antimatter and should burn enough to safely travel between planets in less tan a minute should be REALLY fast like the ones we allready have but burn qucik like about 1h before refueling and are easy to place jsut place fuel tank,then thruster now we are in mid game and youll start it in the same tech ''level'' as the interstellar drive also heres when youll really start using energy weapons and discover shields, wich brings me to a point you cna choose to re-research techs to make them better and smaller like the first interstellar drive will be a capital class size but if you research it 5 times more then you can fit it into snug fighter and in the 6th you wont even need to place it into a ship
WILL BECOME AN ANTIMATTER NUKE AND DESTROY EVERYTHING IN A PLANET RADIUS
-Void engine:Ohh this is the end game thing should be at the end of the navigation tech section also id like to have 3 different tech section,military,navigation and economy but this requires no fuel but if you want to fit into a fighter youll need to re research it 20 times at the start it will be VERY big and will only fit on your deus-class ships but will be the fastest in the game faster than the one we have now in the pre alpha but it will also give an ''área of effect'' so ships of your faction that are near will be able to be pushed with it and travel at its speed, at thsi point you will permit yourself to travel to other star system without the interstellar drive in a resonable amount of time
at start will be dangerous and if hit it will just destroy the star system but from level 5 to up it will be safe

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Napther
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Location: England: Land of Tea and Biscuits

Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:38 pm

Xxxsquidlover101xxX wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:50 pm
I think there should be a different scale, this one is similar to irl

-steamengines:EARLY GAME should need coal wich isnt available in all planets except a few rares and spawning planets hard to créate also really safe

-Chemical thrusters:able to get out of your planet and make some space station, fast but doesnt have hyperdrive for interplanetary travel, powered with hydrogen and oxygen
easy to create just place thruster and add fuel
the fuel tanks will explode

-Solar sails:needs light for propulsion so closer to star=faster no fuel needed and can be ''shot'' using beam lasers for interplanetary and your first interstellar drones wich will travel to the other star sytem slowly (a week) and can be destroyed in the journey
easy to create just place thruster
safe


-Metal gas:ah heres where you start with your interplanetary hyperdrive,you can go to other planets quickly but it is a planned journey since it can be sometimes 1 way,good for missiles easy to create just place thruster
safe
-Fusion engines:Mid game, for a few time you wont have FTL travel so there will eb a setting similar to the one in the expanse but shortly youll discover the warp drive,wich the first one MUST have a ring but this fusión engine only needs deuterium+hellium 3 wich should be available in the moon of the starting planet so youll need to travel there with metal gas and mine there preety fast like in the expanse fast becuase it will have hyperdrive and will be efficient enough to not run out of fuel for a really long period of time, good for normal ships fighters will use metal gas to fly, encouraging carriers also fusión thrusters will be BIG and hard to create
safe
-antimatter drives:you need antimatter and should burn enough to safely travel between planets in less tan a minute should be REALLY fast like the ones we allready have but burn qucik like about 1h before refueling and are easy to place jsut place fuel tank,then thruster now we are in mid game and youll start it in the same tech ''level'' as the interstellar drive also heres when youll really start using energy weapons and discover shields, wich brings me to a point you cna choose to re-research techs to make them better and smaller like the first interstellar drive will be a capital class size but if you research it 5 times more then you can fit it into snug fighter and in the 6th you wont even need to place it into a ship
WILL BECOME AN ANTIMATTER NUKE AND DESTROY EVERYTHING IN A PLANET RADIUS
-Void engine:Ohh this is the end game thing should be at the end of the navigation tech section also id like to have 3 different tech section,military,navigation and economy but this requires no fuel but if you want to fit into a fighter youll need to re research it 20 times at the start it will be VERY big and will only fit on your deus-class ships but will be the fastest in the game faster than the one we have now in the pre alpha but it will also give an ''área of effect'' so ships of your faction that are near will be able to be pushed with it and travel at its speed, at thsi point you will permit yourself to travel to other star system without the interstellar drive in a resonable amount of time
at start will be dangerous and if hit it will just destroy the star system but from level 5 to up it will be safe
No. None of this """"early game"""" stuff. Whats the point in a generator being there if it sees no further use? Its pointless. No point in spending the time developing a massive fuel system to something so throwaway garbage. This isnt a Minecraft modpack.

EVERY GENERATOR SHOULD HAVE ITS USE: A Combustion generator for example is far easier to make self sustained on a Planet by harvesting fuel. Its low power rating is not a problem when only running Drills and locomotion. Etc.
Grumpy builder of the orange-hulled KDI Faction/NPCs [not yet built in SW...] Image

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