Travel time in I:B

Continuing the discussion about travel time from Fuel in Infinity to prevent derailing:

But the faster you go, the more visible you will be on sensors, meaning more time for the enemy team to respond. Sneak attacks should be what requires a long time because you’re trading speed and time you could had spent fighting elsewhere for the element of surprise. Charges should be visible so that nearby defenders can run to reinforce the objective’s automated defences. Which they should be able to do quickly, if they are doing their job well. If the enemy sneak attacks you and don’t do a terrible job facing the automated defences (or perhaps try for something more, like capturing instead of looting and destroying), then your only hope should be to catch them near or after the end of their attack, like what was shown in the comic.

That makes the game a fast paced action game instead of a strategy game. You have a commander yelling “Oh shit! They’re charging Skycrane 5! They’ll be there in 2 minutes! Scramble everything we have and run to defend it!”. Or “Oh shit! The mining asteroid just got ambushed! Let’s scramble to try to catch those suckers as they leave!”. Not “Ok guys. The enemy will be here in an hour or two. Who will be active then? Ok, then send them an email to let them know. For now, let’s just keep cruising towards our destination, as we have been doing for the past two hours. Oh, what is that? We just got a message that the mining asteroid got ambushed? Well, not much we can do about it. It would take us a few hours to change direction and get there with our current velocity and heading. You guys are on your own. Only way we could make it there is to suicide and re-spawn somewhere nearby and that would make us waste almost all of our resources.”


Putting my reply here so we don’t take the fuel thread any more offtopic:

Expecting the average person to have a perfect grasp of newtonian mechanics(including velocity vectors with respect to a stationary star as you move around it) is asking too much.

I never said make travel time instant, I just said that turning on my thrusters and walking away for 3 minutes is pointless gameplay. It’s a waste of time. I can’t even be killed while I’m doing this since someone would have to do the same just to match velocities. You’re making something tedious for the sake of making it tedious.

I have no problems with warp speed caps or travel time for planning any assaults and reaction forces. I do have problems with making it pointlessly confusing to understand. Imagine someone who’s only played battlefield or planetside trying to get to another battle across the solar system. You really expect them to wait 4 minutes just to get into warp, then another travel time just to get there(still unknown since I don’t know the accelerations or max speeds we might have), and then burn for another 15 minutes because they messed up. I can’t see many coming back.

Imagine watching a youtuber or your friend playing battlescape.

“Ok guys, I’ve gotta pre-burn to match velocities so I’ll be back in 5 minutes since there’s nothing to do until then.”

That’s not going to get anyone interested in the game.

I totally agree travel times will be balanced in playtesting and that’s where we should talk about balancing mechanics. What we shouldn’t be doing is introducing arbitrary restrictions on travel that intentionally make the game take longer for no added gameplay bonus.

Edit: @Omegador

I don’t disagree and only read the first sentence of your post because I was midreply to JB. That’s my bad.

That would be a cool concept and I look forward to see how that works in playtesting. To my knowledge every ship will have warp and I don’t believe it will be limited to c but we will see what happens.


I hope that interception will be possible and common, preferably while still moving. Travel time needs to be tweaked in a way to allow strategic depth to the game without making it tedious.
Taking that 30 minute fun goal. A “casual” joins the game and is dropped “instant battle” to the closest carrier/base that has a battle going on.
Now he joins a little late and it’s over in five minutes and it was the last objective close to that “world”. So he joins a fleet and flies to the next moon.
If we make that time 5 minutes the oposing team could launch a counterforce and intercept them halfway. A new cool battle only 3 minutes later ensues.
If travel time is just 2 minutes, I don’t see how someone could organize a counteratack, group and intercept … maybe these things can happen so faster, but not without tools the game would have to provide.


i like your idea Lomsor, i think that we could have a kind of spawn management where a commander can pick 3 spawn points (they shouldn’t be near for obvious reasons) so a new player “might” spawn where you need him/her to do so. If not, put some carriers to work between those spawn points to get all the players you need where they are needed (like in a combat and such).

Long travel times give room for strategy, short times won’t give room for anything but group then destroy everything and let’s see if the enemy dares to approach us without being killed on sight, which won’t even happen because the enemy will be busy destroying the other bases (this from other games experiences), they probably won’t touch or see each other in the whole match besides a few pilots looking for pvp.

Giving the option to shorten travel times are a must, but it should be developed carefully, putting things in the wrong things can ruin a game, leave the short travel times to the short travel time specialists, capital ships, don’t give features to things that shouldn’t have them for the sake of balance.

I dont know you all realize this, but unless this game uses wormholes, jumpgates or such, we have a serious problem.

Even at light speed warp it is not fast enough to go interplanet in a game when high pace, intense battles are needed.

Unless… we scale down the size of the star system or speed up time, where timescale is not so possible in multiplayer…

The distance between planets in I:BS prototype is highly unrealistic.
No offence here because they have to make choices.

Real life planet transfer takes years.
Lets say a saturn visit at light speed, may take over an hour and thats at a favorable planet position.

We simply cant put the nose of the craft toward our destination and warp 100km a second . Its way too slow.
You actually have to aim at an empty spot in space, speed up and wait for encounter on that object, days, weeks or years later.

Again, best game to learn all about planet transfer, kerbal space program.
Or space engine for universe size.

Im sure the devs will figure it all out and will make good compromise between scale/speed/gameplay.

Wouldn’t it make sense to just use a model similar to Elite: Dangerous? Travel times within star systems are very reasonable at several times the speed of light. In reality, at 100c you could get from the Sun to Jupiter in about 25 seconds (assuming constant velocity, so perhaps closer to a minute or two).

Flavien has said they will need to implement some form of FTL travel to compensate for the vast distances.

Ed’s model might work in a single solar system. In ED itself its pretty bad because there’s interstellar travel. the game will give you quests with time limits its not even possible to complete because you need to spend an hour flying out towards a dwarf star or planet near the edge of the solar system. It ends up taking longer to travel within a single system than it does to traverse significant chunks in the galaxy.

Maybe if you made the speed increase due to distance from gravity wells scale exponentially. It would be way more reasonable then.

I think the devs are pretty sure they want to use some sort of microjumpdrive to solve this.

“planet system drive” = “warp”
“Interplanetary” = “microjump”

@devs I’ll make a thread for this when the frst game version is out, but: Please please make sure to stick with every release what you might change and what not. If for instance you say “no, we won’t consider any other FTL drive then the Microjump drive and only want you to find a good balance for how much fuel it uses and maybe a visual effect” that’s fine … but we need borders or we will waste a lot of time in the dev forums if you forget to set them.

@Skyentist @Kichae if we could travel near the speed of light in real life, what would be the effect of passage of time in strategy and perception of the moves of others (according to relativty of time and what I think I understood about it (the faster an object moves from A to B the less time pass for the object moving or something like that))

What a pilot’s perspective of FTL travel would theoretically look like:

They wouldn’t be able to identify objects in this state, and even if they could I think the theory is that they wouldn’t be able to perceive time or motion.

From the perspective of a stationary observer, I believe an object travelling at the speed of light would have already passed their closest approach by the time it became visible, based on simple geometry.

I’m very much approaching this from a science fiction point of view and I’m not going to justify anything with mathematical proofs or scientific reason.

I was talking about perception of time, but now not sure I can say that like it in english

Sorry if I ask something stupid

Well in theory, the perceived passage of time of an object travelling at or above the speed of light would be slower from the perspective of an observer. The object would then perceive time around it to be passing much more quickly. This is the “simplest” form of time travel, since technically more time has passed for the observer than the object.

These videos might help explain things a bit better. They’re both Brian Cox explaining Einstein’s theory of relativity, but the second one is a bit more down to Earth.

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it’s not in theory only, it has been experimented, with two clocks and a plane, and it is not only for object travelling near the speed of light, it’s for everything at every moment.

Thus, it’s not only about speed of an object, but also about gravity, but here my explanations could be confusing too, that’s why I asked to @Skyentist and @Kichae that seem to have a strong knowledge in physics

here’s a good documentary about it and some extrapolations by Brian Greene

Theory doesn’t mean “speculation”. Something isn’t properly a theory unless it our its effects have been observed.

Exactly backwards! The “object” would perceive time for the world around it passing just as slowly as the “observer” perceives time for the object. Because motion is relative, and one cannot say that the “object” is moving while the “world” is at a stand still is any more true that the interpretation that the “world” is moving and the “object” is the one standing still, the perception of time must be equally symmetric.

What isn’t symmetric is the amount of time each perceives the trip taking. This is because time dilation, while the most famous consequence of special relativity, isn’t the only consequence of special relativity. We also have to take into consideration length contraction. Length contraction is also a symmetric effect - objects perceived to be moving quickly shrink along their direction of motion. That means, to the “observer”, that “object” will appear to be “squished” along its forward/backward axis. It also means that the world will appear to be squished along its forward/backward axis (i.e. the direction of the objects travel!) for the “object”!

In a relativistic model, if you could travel at almost the speed of light, you would see the distance you were crossing shrink down to near zero. Meanwhile, everyone else would have the full light-travel-time to go about their business. To you, you might cover the distance between two planets in 2 or 3 seconds (because, from your point of view, the distance between those planets has shrunk to ~1 million km, or so), while for everyone else it may have taken you 40 minutes.


Right, my bad. It’s kinda hot here at the moment so my head isn’t all there, I’m thermal throttling.

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@Kichae ok for the perception but what about time that really passed for the object moving near speed of light and for the rest of the world and its observers ?
I though that moving so fastly into space would dilate time (really) for the object moving and make the duration to travel from A to B shorter (really) ?

Like if when you consume more space, you consume less time

Edit : and sorry for the mistake between theory and hypothesis

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yup Earthslug but that’s an obvious problem that has obvious solutions, scy-fi features.
And we know that the prototype has unrealistic distances, it’s for show off, which is also obvious (not for everyone sadly).

I mean, we can’t accelerate more than 1G easily right now (takes a lot of fuel, man-hours, and money), but in this game we do this like it was as easy as walking. That’s scy-fi.

As I’ve been saying, we should let the big ships perform those “micro jumps” maybe based on a probabilistic model so it’s not easy to use, so if you try to jump too near an enemy facility, you could crash against it and get destroyed. This for the sake of balance as well.

And for those jumps, the jump system should overheat if used too often

The traveling object experiences time for itself passing at the usual rate. It just sees the universe around it shrink in its direction of travel. , as far as it is concerned, it really did only travel 1 million km, and it really only took about 3 seconds. Perception is reality in this case, for everyone involved.

There’s no “right” answer. It takes the object both 3 seconds and 40 minutes to make the trip, because time and distance are relative!

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As the “Twin Paradox” illustrates, times does really slows down for a traveller near the speed of light. The whole “perceived time” thing is just to highlight that there is no absolute space/time referential (hence the name relativity).

@Kichae Awesome answer thank you : everything is about a point of view, like in any subject