Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

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Capt. Reynolds
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Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

Post by Capt. Reynolds »

I wasn't sure whether to put this in here or in Suggestion Box, seeing as it's a suggestion, but it's about a potential OXP. But anyway...

There was some talk in the "Progress" thread about station rotation rates, and for some reason I brought up the idea of a tumbling Rock Hermit, slowly rotating on all three axes, and how much "fun" it would be to try and dock with. I assumed (and apparently rightly) that the main issue with this would be the havoc it would wreak with NPC craft. But it got me thinking.

Imagine getting a request to help recover an abandoned cruiser of some description that was gently falling into the sun. It'd need to be something BIG with a docking bay, either military or civilian (easy enough to create a viable storyline for either). You'd take off from the main station with an engineer passenger (maybe add in a requirement for having a passenger berth fitted?) and would then have to locate and dock with the derelict, which would be tumbling slowly, making docking a serious challenge - and not one any of us have come across before, to my knowledge.

This brings me to the first major sticking point: would it then be possible to assume control of the derelict as pilot? My primary concern would be that it'd make it difficult to get back to your own ship afterwards, but if it were possible, you could then be required to get it back to the main station (or wherever). Initially all the equipment would be offline, but your engineer passenger could be fixing stuff (in much the same way as the Damage Control Node on a Caduceus does) so you'd gradually get more and more systems back. Meanwhile, the parties responsible for almost killing the ship in the first place (be they Thargoid, pirate, Mafia or military) start trying to prevent you going about your business.

If the switch of ship control thing would be too difficult to implement, you could always drop off the engineer and provide cover/escort for him while he brings the ship back online and takes it to destination.
_________

Here's the sticky part: I can't code, and learning to comes in at about number 7543908 on my list of "things I really ought to get round to". So what do people think?

1. Is it feasible/possible to create?
2. Does anyone fancy a go? If so, feel free...

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Re: Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

Post by JazHaz »

Capt. Reynolds wrote: This brings me to the first major sticking point: would it then be possible to assume control of the derelict as pilot? My primary concern would be that it'd make it difficult to get back to your own ship afterwards, but if it were possible, you could then be required to get it back to the main station (or wherever).

If the switch of ship control thing would be too difficult to implement, you could always drop off the engineer and provide cover/escort for him while he brings the ship back online and takes it to destination.
Its possible. Switching ships by script was added when v1.77 was released. I was working on something similar, and like you, was stopped by my lack of programming experience lol.

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Re: Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

Post by Commander McLane »

It's actually rather straightforward to write as an OXP.

I'd like to see something like this as part of the storyline of a longer mission OXP, although I have some reservations against allowing the player to fly a carrier (= dockable ship). It doesn't really fit into my view of the Oolite universe.



Fun fact:
In the first version of Tianve OXP it was very hard to dock with the station that orbited the pulsar. It was rotating normally, but you couldn't correctly align with it. You were always thrown off-course on the last meters and scratched your paintwork—if you were lucky!; if you were unlucky you smeared yourself over the station wall. At the time I thought that this was some ingenious built-in gravity effect of the pulsar (the docking bay was sideways to it). But of course the real reason was much simpler: the pulsar was so far from the planet that floating point precision became really bad. This resulted in you ship position shaking by several meters while you approached the station, and it was equally bad with docking computers.

What you can take away from this reminiscence: Floating point precision hasn't become better since. Thus it may not actually be necessary to have your derelict tumble in all axes. Placing it sufficiently out-system should suffice to make docking with it sufficiently stress-inducing even for the most experienced player.

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Re: Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

Post by Diziet Sma »

Commander McLane wrote:What you can take away from this reminiscence: Floating point precision hasn't become better since. Thus it may not actually be necessary to have your derelict tumble in all axes. Placing it sufficiently out-system should suffice to make docking with it sufficiently stress-inducing even for the most experienced player.
Except that floating point precision in the next release of Oolite will be significantly better than it is now.. so you'd have to go one helluva long way out to see the effect you describe..

Besides which, it's possible to compensate for tumbling by means of skill.. which can't be said for trying to compensate for random 'shaking' due to FP limitations.
Last edited by Diziet Sma on Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

Post by Hans Olo »

If someone makes this OXP, I will definitely get it.

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Re: Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

Post by JensAyton »

Capt. Reynolds wrote:There was some talk in the "Progress" thread about station rotation rates, and for some reason I brought up the idea of a tumbling Rock Hermit, slowly rotating on all three axes, and how much "fun" it would be to try and dock with.
Point of order: in three dimensions, it is only possible to be rotating on one axis at any point in time. There’s no requirement that said axis is aligned with your docking port, though. *shakes cane*

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Re: Abandoned Cruiser? (concept only)

Post by Cody »

JensAyton wrote:
Capt. Reynolds wrote:There was some talk in the "Progress" thread about station rotation rates, and for some reason I brought up the idea of a tumbling Rock Hermit, slowly rotating on all three axes, and how much "fun" it would be to try and dock with.
Point of order: in three dimensions, it is only possible to be rotating on one axis at any point in time. There’s no requirement that said axis is aligned with your docking port, though. *shakes cane*
Cheyd's nav buoy switches its axis of rotation frequently (I presume that's what it does, anyway) - it'd be interesting trying to dock with that.
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