Break-off from Exotic Space Object thread:
This thread is dedicated to something that in a game such as Infinity, where an entire galaxy is ready to be explored, must must exist in one form or another. Namely, well, that’s up to you during this discussion. You may see it as hyperdrive, warpdrive, jumpengine, etc etc etc. Granted, the game can limit the speed of ships to just under c, but that would mean you would spend potentially your entire life watching your ship scream across the galaxy to reach the next star. That would be boring. To eliminate this, some form of traveling vast distances in a relatively short amount of time is a necessity for making this game plausible.
Here is a link to Theoretical drives that have been hypothesized largely by the Sci-Fi community.
As you can see, there are many different types of drives that could be used.
For this discussion, this can be broken into two separate forms of hyper/warp/jump/drive/engine.
Stationary drives would be something along the lines of a Stargate, Wormhole, etc. In the (terrible) game X:Rebirth, there are inter-planetary ‘highways’ that accelerate the ship between areas in a sector, as well as Warpgates, that instantaneously transport the player to different sectors.
What are your thoughts on stationary transportation modes? Obviously, this type would only be used in ‘core’ sectors, and it would be interesting if major corporations would be able to build their own gates.
Two way or one way? I read a sci-fi recently that has a form of gigantic gun that ‘catapults’ the ship and potentially an entire fleet to their destination. So ‘gates’ as gigantic rings of stabilized wormholes/whatever aren’t necessarily the only way to handle this.
For me personally, Stationary transportation modes would be okay, just as long as they don’t have anything to do with rings with stabilized wormholes in it, as I have played countless hundereds of hours on X3TC and watched the entire series of Stargate: SG1 and Stargate: Atlantis multiple times, and I have seen enough of big glowing blue blobs of instantaneous travel stuff for one lifetime. I kid, of course (about stabilized wormholes), but the concept would not be original for me.
There are balance issues to be discussed as well. Stationary drivers would be good for beginning players to get around core sectors.
However, and this is true for two-way gates, collisions with other ships is an inevitable by product of two way traffic down a one lane street. I’ve been destroyed many times entering or leaving a gate in X3, and destroyed many more myself with my own capital ships.
Mobile drives are your more conventional, bring us to warp-speed Scotty drives. These drives are installed on the actual space-faring vessel. There are several aspects to consider, even before discussing the technology:
Should all ships, regardless of size, be able to equip drives? If so, should all ship travel differently or the same (i.e., small ships travel faster/slower than big ships)? Should interception of ships traveling be possible? Should trips be instantaneous, or take time? Can smaller ships piggy-back rides on bigger ships? Can the trip be interrupted? Should combat during travel be possible, etc etc? Most of these are balance issues.
Should there be hyper-space? In a lot of sci-fi, as I know you are aware, there is a form of an extra dimension that one can enter to travel quickly. There are basically three types:
1 - Homeworld: In Homeworld, capital ships could create hyperspace windows. Literally windows (rectangular blue ones), and travel into them. They could be interrupted en-route to their destination, but actually fighting or even changing course in hyperspace was impossible.
2 - Stargate: In Stargate, one could increase the speed or perhaps even direction, but fighting was still not possible.
3 - Babylon 5: In B5, one could enter via gates or hyperspace drive into virtually a different universe. Fighting, changing course, and getting lost is all possible in Hyperspace.
Hyperspace, to me, is not an ideal situation, but so prevalent that it is worth discussion.
For me personally, something along the lines of Star-Trek with their warp drives would be more plausible, but wouldn’t allow for combat (AFAIK), and was uninterruptible. In the same sci-fi I was reading, ships were able to create a distortion field around themselves to allow their main engines to accelerate the ship several times faster than c. This led to interesting mechanics for combat. One could use the ship as a spear and ram other ships, and combat was possible, but only in certain directions. Firing with projectile weapons was possible, but beam/laser weapons wouldn’t work in any direction except backwards. Firing forwards could potentially destroy your own ship.
So what are your thoughts? Remember, this is a sci-fi, and as long as we can’t travel like ‘they’ can in the books and TV shows, anything is theoretically possible within reason.