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FTL Unification 2.0

on Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:57 pm
Well, seeing as the last post on here was 17 days ago, figure now is a good time to poke the site with my most recent project. Razz

    As I'm sure you all know, about ten months ago, I created this topic in order to share something I had been working on all day: an attempt to unify the FTL systems under a common set of rules and terminology― and as some of you may also know, I didn’t like it terribly much. I wanted to get everything done quick, and as a result found myself forcing several drives to fit into the theory, even though it didn’t often either really work or was just unnecessary. Case in point: warp drives, which had basically nothing to do with the theory and operated fine without it― yet still apparently worked off nodes, somehow? Between this square-peg-in-round-hole mentality and just an overall poor standard of writing, the system ended up janky and overcomplicated― while failing to actually accomplish the stated goal of properly unifying FTL tech. As much as everyone else seemed to like it, the project left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I tried taking a crack at it again in December and January, but skuel and burnout both reduced my motivation to virtually nil, forcing my to abandon the project entirely until a few weeks ago.
    For reasons I honestly can’t recall, I decided to begin work on some units and terminology for various purposes in the PCG-verse― and, after some fiddling, was inspired to begin work on the FTL drives again. Not long after, however, my frustration with the Google Doc, combined with this article from Ex Astris Scientia, inspired me to take a radically different approach to the whole problem. Writing off basically the entire doc as unsalvageable, I instead moved to the wiki directly― and, once I got the FTL drive list out of the way, began to work on the main article in earnest.
    After that, well… let’s just say the project ballooned. Razz The original article (and the first you should read) is titled Exospace Node Theory; it deals with most of the theoretical and conceptual stuff, the actual “FTL Unification” part. The second ―originally a single section at the bottom of the former article― is called Ideal Semispatial Mechanics; it deals with the more technical aspects, like equations and warp factors.
    As you may have gathered if you actually went to read the articles, they’re quite wordy; I’ll try to explain it a bit more simply here. Basically, reality as we know it exists in the “realspace” plane; there are 24 hyperspace strata above realspace, and 24 subspace strata below it, which are collectively grouped under the term “exospace”. Hyperspace strata tend to progressively compress space, reducing distance while eliminating the lightspeed barrier; however, they are also much more entropic and susceptible to gravitational fluctuations, making it much harder to navigate― to the point where, on some of the higher planes, travel is restricted to only phasic nodes. Subspace strata are the opposite: while they also eliminate the lightspeed barrier, they actually expand distances between points― though this mostly negated by greater ease of navigation and more plentiful Phasic nodes. When a ship activates its FTL drive, it creates a “stress field” ―or, as ST calls it, a “warp bubble”― causing a “hole” to form in realspace, allowing the ship to “fall” into the desired exospace strata. Moving between strata quickly becomes quite difficult and energy-intensive, as one goes deeper into exospace.
    This is all just laying the groundwork, of course; I haven’t actually gotten to the drives themselves yet. The whole point here is provide a proper background: instead of having a general idea of how FTL drives work and forcing everything fit with to it, I’m creating a complex, flexible background based off the drives themselves, then making them bend a little. Hopefully, this means that the drives systems themselves will be more logical and intuitive,m once you grasp the system― there’s now a reason a given drive has the traits it does, instead of just saying “it does because that’s how I say it works”. As a side effect, I should be able to have the drives be more true to their original form; now, if two drives are too similar, I can just implement them in a different way that won’t interfere with the aspects people are familiar with.
    ...I realize that last bit is a tad unclear, but trust me: it’ll be good. Razz Anyway, that’s all for now. Just thought it was high time to properly inform everyone of status on this thing. Razz

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~Tetrahedron the Deceiver, Locutus of Geometry, Chief Librarian of the Phoenix, Mathematical Bloodletter, First Captain of Vanguard Fleet


Meanwhile, on the chat....
Arik wrote:I'm ready to get back to worldbuilding now... Razz

Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

Star-Hunter wrote:"He might kill us with his cow bombs."
I'll take phrases I never thought I'd hear in my lifetime for $500
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Re: FTL Unification 2.0

on Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:18 pm
I haven't read the wiki articles yet, but everything you just said sounds great. Razz

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Re: FTL Unification 2.0

on Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:05 pm
I'm pretty sure someone already did something like this...or atleast made them all fit into the PCG-verse. I'll try and dig up that article....

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Arik wrote:Sadly, it's a doomed attempt. The Illuminati infiltrated the US government before it even was the US government,
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Re: FTL Unification 2.0

on Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:10 am
Ant: I think it may have been Tetra. Razz This is the second version of a FTL unification system he's been working on, and he posted the other a while ago.

Or it could be somebody else's that's also attempted the same thing. I dunno. Razz

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Re: FTL Unification 2.0

on Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:20 pm
After reading up on all of the linked FTL wiki articles, I think the current method of FTL unification is far too complex to reasonably account for when writing stories, technical documents, or when trying to do any other kind of world-building. The multi-dimension/plane concept is a good mental exercise, but impractical for everyday use. Though I am personally in favor of wiping all of our current FTL tech and starting over using a choice of one or two FTL techs (probably just warp and hyperspace lanes), I know that many people have put a lot of time and energy into developing their FTL techs. So, instead, what I propose is using an FTL multiplier system. Drives types may be assigned FTL factor ranges to be multiplied with the base FTL value, which I think should be about 1 light year per hour.

Here's a quick example: Star Trek's ill-defined warp speeds use a scale from 0 to 9.999. A ship pushed to Warp 3 would be going at 3 ly/hr. However, since this system would be implemented across multiple drive types, it would probably be best if we avoided saying "Warp Factor X" and instead just simply refer to it as "FTL Factor" or maybe "Jump Factor". Additionally, the use of Warp travel is not confined solely to Star Trek, and exists in multiple sci-fi universes, as it is based on actual scientific theories.

From here on out, though, it gets a little complicated trying to balance the 10+ FTL methods we currently have across all of our factions. Everyone, including myself, wants their own special brand of FTL to be slightly better than that of their competitors, so bringing the nerf-hammer down harder on some FTL methods and not others is bound to cause some resentment. Like I stated earlier, it might be best to have a complete reset and only allow for 1-3 types of FTL travel be possible in the universe. As such, all creators will have equal standards to compare ships with. Additionally, it would vastly simplify info boxes on the wiki, allowing us to just record the type of FTL drive and its FTL factor (e.g. 1x, 1.25x, 5x, 9.99x).

I know that this is probably too radical a change for most people to support, but it is just what I see as the simplest solution to our current imbalance.
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Re: FTL Unification 2.0

on Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:11 pm
Our issue isn't that drives are "imbalanced"; they just work on entirely different principles. This is mainly an attempt to reconcile these differences. I suppose there's some balancing involved, in that speed/qualities would have to be adjusted somewhat, but everyone seemed like they were pretty open to that before. Razz

For gameplay-oriented RPs, I could see the need for a system like that― but then all we have to do is create a system like yours specific to that RP. Nuking the entire system is, frankly, overkill. Razz

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~Tetrahedron the Deceiver, Locutus of Geometry, Chief Librarian of the Phoenix, Mathematical Bloodletter, First Captain of Vanguard Fleet


Meanwhile, on the chat....
Arik wrote:I'm ready to get back to worldbuilding now... Razz

Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

Star-Hunter wrote:"He might kill us with his cow bombs."
I'll take phrases I never thought I'd hear in my lifetime for $500
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Re: FTL Unification 2.0

on Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:56 pm
** !! PRIORITY ALERT !! ― DETECTING DOUBLE-POST IN THREAD "FTL Unification 2.0"

CONFIRMING POSTER... ACCOUNT CONFIRMED: "Tetrahedron"

DESIGNATING ACCOUNT "Tetrahedron" TERRIBLE PERSON.
REASONS: DOUBLE-POSTING, GEOMETRY

<END PRIORITY ALERT> **




...So, with my admission of guilt out of the way, I'd like to say Kojan and myself have discussed the topic on the chatbox and essentially came to the conclusion that this whole system needs to be more transparent. With that in mind, I've just finished up on another page on the PCG-verse's FTL tech, appropriately called "FTL Synopsis". Should provide a better idea of what i'm trying to do with the FTL drives, if you weren't clear before. Wink

_________________
~Tetrahedron the Deceiver, Locutus of Geometry, Chief Librarian of the Phoenix, Mathematical Bloodletter, First Captain of Vanguard Fleet


Meanwhile, on the chat....
Arik wrote:I'm ready to get back to worldbuilding now... Razz

Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

Star-Hunter wrote:"He might kill us with his cow bombs."
I'll take phrases I never thought I'd hear in my lifetime for $500
avatar
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Re: FTL Unification 2.0

on Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:09 am
Alrighty, sounds good. Razz

As to your previous post/conversation, I think the one important thing to take care of is to make sure that the changes to FTL tech don't also make a faction's "lore" need to be changed.

...By which I mean two things. One, make sure it's not so different that events in a factions history would happen differently and need to be retconned. That would be a pain.

And Two, make sure it doesn't affect the "feel" of that faction. A significant change to the capabilities and functionality of a facyion's FTL tech could change things like their ship design, military tactics, in-story perception of that FTL tech, and so on. It would stink if we had to redesign our ships to work with the tech, for example. Razz


As for balancing, the only real reason for it is for competitive roleplays, where one side could have an unfair advantage because their tech is more powerful.

Even then though, there's ways to get around it. We could balance out other techs with it. Like maybe one faction has weaker FTL tech than another one, but makes up for it with more powerful ship weaponry for example.
And even if there's an imbalance, we could play that as "this faction's more powerful." Factions wouldn't realistically be evenly matched, and sometimes part of the trick is for the underdog to rely on things like better strategy, diplomacy, quantity-over-quality, etc. instead of straightforward brute force.
...Having said that, a roleplay, especially on a smaller scale, might be better if it's properly balanced out.

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