Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

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Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by johnnylump » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:53 pm

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All your covert machinations on Earth and industrialization efforts in space are the path to building fleets of warships to protect and advance your interests. Once the factions unlock the early-game orbital shipbuilding tech, and the follow-on space dock project for your habs, you can build interplanetary spacecraft. The armed spacecraft tech opens up various weapon technology paths.

At any time, you can design ships out of the modules you’ve developed. Once you have a shipyard, you can build the ships themselves out of your space resources and, if necessary, boost and money.

The critical values to watch when building your ships are mass, acceleration and Delta-V. More mass means a slower and less maneuverable ship. Delta-V how much you can change your velocity; it governs how quickly you can get somewhere

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Ships are composed of the following elements:

1) Hull. The first thing you’ll choose in the ship designer. The key values this sets are the number of nose and hull weapon hard points, the number of utility modules, and the length of the hull. (Also which model you’ll see and lots of other things, but those are the most important in gameplay terms.) Right now we’re developing 12 hulls for human ships, ranging from 50-meter gunships to 300-meter titans. Note that this list doesn’t quite capture the full range of difference; the hull hard point arrangement varies between hulls, and only some allow you to mount larger turrets that encompass multiple hard points. In general, these can be grouped in threes; with each group having a hull focused on nose weapons, another on hull weapons, and another a generalist with a mix of weapons and space for an extra utility module or two. The hulls are:
  • Gunship: 1 nose hard point (for weapons), 1 utility module.
  • Escort: 2 hull hard points, 2 utility modules.
  • Corvette: 1 hull hard point, 1 nose hard point, 2 utility modules.
  • Frigate: 1 nose hard point, 1 hull hard points, 4 utility modules.
  • Monitor: 4 hull hard points, 3 utility modules.
  • Destroyer: 2 nose hard points, 2 hull hard points, 3 utility modules.
  • Cruiser: 2 nose hard points, 3 hull hard points, 6 utility modules.
  • Battlecruiser: 3 nose hard points, 2 hull hard points, 4 utility modules.
  • Battleship: 2 nose hard points, 6 hull hard points, 5 utility modules.
  • Lancer: 4 nose hard points, 3 hull hard points, 6 utility modules.
  • Dreadnought: 3 nose hard points, 8 hull hard points, 6 utility modules.
  • Titan: 4 nose hard points, 6 hull hard points, 8 utility modules.
2) Power Plant. The main types are fuel cells, fission reactors, fusion reactors, and antimatter reactors. These power your ship and usually its drive.
  • Certain drives require certain types of power plants. Certain power plants are only allowed if you equip certain types of drives.
  • Power plants will automatically scale up in mass depending on your drive requirements.
  • Power plant designs have a maximum output, meaning they can’t handle drives that above a certain power rating.
  • Designs also have a specific power value, which is their mass per unit output.
  • Finally, they have an efficiency rating, which determines how much waste heat you have to handle with your radiators.
  • Power Plant development is mostly strict improvements, where most or all of those values improve one generation to the next. In looking over the power planet table, I can see exceptions (typically when specific power improves alongside a reduction in the max power), and I should probably reorganize those a bit so there are clearer lines of upgrades.
3) Drive. Drives have two key values: thrust and exhaust velocity.

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  • Thrust and mass together determine the ship’s acceleration, which is critical in both the strategy layer and the combat layer; for strategy, it determines how fast you can get somewhere (propellant permitting); in combat, it’s crucial to your ability to maneuver. Most drives can also increase their thrust for the duration of combat for improved maneuverability. Each drive can have one to six thrusters, so you can increase your thrust (and propellant consumption) during ship design.
  • Exhaust velocity is akin to fuel efficiency in a car; it determines how quickly you use up your propellant when thrusting. Higher EV means you need to load less propellant and can have a lighter and thus more maneuverable ship overall.
  • If the drive is powerful enough, no physical material can contain the drive plasma, and it requires a magnetic nozzle, which is composed of magnetic fields strong and stable enough to direct the plasma. This is an important tech you’ll have to develop before unlocking some of the game’s most powerful drives.
  • If a drive pushes out sufficient mass per second, it uses something called “open-cycle cooling.” This means you’re able to pump most of your waste heat out of your nozzle instead of needing radiators for most of it. This can significantly reduce the mass requirements for your radiators. However, these drives tend to eat a lot of propellant.
  • There is massive variation between drives in the design. It’s hard to predict how useful some of the weakest electric drives will be, but they’re there so you can experiment and see what design strategies you can make work.
4) Radiators. These expel waste heat from your ship, which is necessary for computers to work and your crew to not burn up. Radiators scale in mass based on your power plant’s size and efficiency. The game models traditional fin-type radiators, dust and droplet radiators, and filament/spike radiators. Advanced radiators expel more heat per unit of mass. Radiators can’t really be armored and still work, so they are especially vulnerable in combat – and some are more vulnerable than others. You can retract them for a time, though, if have you have heat sinks in utility slots.

5) Batteries. Batteries store power for your weapons and other systems. Your early ones are very slow to recharge from your power plant, potentially putting a limit on use of weapons that require an external power source.

6) Propellant. This comes in 100-ton tanks. You can add as many as you want. This is what you probably think of as “fuel” but that term isn’t quite right for a lot of drives -- in nuclear drives, for example, fuel goes in the reactor and is distinct from the propellant, which is the stuff that goes out your tail to push you in the direction that you want to go. Different drives have different types of propellant; when you refill your tanks, you’ll draw down your space resources based on the composition of that propellant.

7) Armor. You may select armor materials and thickness for three parts of your ship, the nose, tail and central hull. You’ll actually track four armor values in combat, with the hull divided into two separate lateral facings covering 180 degrees each, which have equal thickness. Technological improvements lead to better materials that absorb more energy per unit of mass. As our ships are fundamentally cylinders, armoring their long sides is relatively mass-expensive – which begins to point to certain tactics in combat.

8) Nose hard points: Nose weapons fire in a limited arc – with some (like spinal railguns) more limited than others. Weapons are rated by how many hard points they take up, so you can conceivably equip four little cannons or one big one on lancers and titans. Nose weapons are generally more powerful than similarly sized hull weapons.

9) Hull hard points: Hull weapons fire in all directions around the ship. Each hard point consists of two mounts on opposite sides of the hull so there’s always a full field of fire. These always work in tandem and share ammo, and only one will fire at a target – it would be too fiddly to ask you to try to maneuver to bring both to bear.

10) Utility Modules: This covers everything else a ship might do. These include heat sinks, additional batteries, space marines, a science lab, systems that improve drive or weapon performance, space station and outpost kits, and ISRU modules.

Another critical value that comes out of the ship design as a whole is its angular acceleration -- how quickly it can rotate its facing. The game internally calculates moment of inertia, which is a product of mass and length, and this leads to smaller ships being more nimble than larger ones. With flanking likely to be an important part of combat, we expect this will keep smaller ships viable as the campaign goes on.
All modules either have a fixed resource cost, or a scaling one if the module itself scales (like with power plants and radiators). These are measured in space resources (water, volatiles, etc.); if you have a shortage, you can instead spend boost and money to ship some from Earth.

Art notes: Each ship model will have at least two versions (thanks to Kickstarter supporters backing a second ship set!) you can choose from. The attached drive, radiator and weapon models will vary depending on your loadout. The ships will also have different coloring based on which faction is fielding them.

I also want to acknowledge a current bit of unrealism in service of coherent art and design flexibility: In three places, we didn’t fully translate the numbers into the visualization. These are propellant volume, power plant volume, and radiator surface area. We don’t really limit how big a power plant or how many propellant tanks you can use in a particular hull. You will show more radiators if you have more, but it doesn’t scale up beyond a certain amount. If I did want to enforce these, I’d probably institute a mass cap on each -- limiting how many tanks you could carry, how big a power plant you could field in a given hull, and how big the radiators could be. I’d fear that would constrain design options too much, especially with smaller ships, but I’ve half-changed my mind in composing this DD, and might do something like opening some distinct miniaturization techs to address this. But we’ll see what feedback we get during testing and whether some limits are in order.

One other thing we’ve been considering is how to handle displaying all the crunchy numbers that underlie the space travel and combat model. Right now, our UIs give you the full report; e.g. this drive has this many million Newtons of thrust, etc. While useful for debugging, that may be … a lot for players to take in and make informed decisions. So one thing on the to-do list is a comparison chart between systems you’ve developed; another is to develop a graphical representation of those big numbers (which really need to handle logarithmic scaling) for easy reading.

We’ll detail in future diaries about space navigation and combat, but also know that we’ve focused on making sure your decision sets are clear and digestible when working with your ships and fleets, in and out of combat. A lot of detail here is what’s going on under the hood; the decisions in both the strategy and combat layer are built around where you want to be by a certain time, and whether you want to pay the Delta-V to make that happen.

Roles

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Another part of ship design is setting a role for the class. Roles tell the game whether the ship is a combatant or noncombatant, what range it should engage in during combat, and what its strategic range is (so how much Delta-V it can carry). The “Standoff” role, for example, indicates a ship design with medium strategic range and a long combat engagement range, while the noncombatant “Outer System Colony Ship” role means the ship is carrying hab kits with nuclear reactors instead of solar power.

The role affects a few things: one, it tells the autodesigner what systems to favor in building the ship if you don’t want to design module-by-module; two, it helps locate your ship in its fleet formation. More detail on formations in a future dev diary, but a ship designated as a noncombatant, for example, will be placed at the back -- or, more accurately, the bottom -- of a formation, even if it is well-armed. It’s also an important setting for the AI and was initially designed for the alone, until we figured out it could help the player, too. Finally, it’s a useful marker for keeping track of all your various ship designs.

You do have some constraints on what roles you set for your designs – can’t designate a colony ship without the right module, for example – but you also have some freedom. If you want to build a short-strategic range, short-combat range ship (normally an interceptor) and call it an attack bomber (which is meant to be long/long) so it will place itself differently in formations, and fight differently if you turn on AI control of the individual ship, you can do so.

Weapons
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Weapons come in six types, and up to four sizes per mount type (nose/hull).

Some weapons can only be used against enemy ships and habs; others can only be used against missiles and projectiles, and some may target both.

Weapons also have an effective range value that represents the precision of their targeting systems.

The types are:
  • Guns: Good old-fashioned cannon (chemical slugthrowers) with performance characteristics similar to modern naval weaponry. Low-tech, cheap, and don't drain your battery.
  • Missiles and Torpedoes: Will chase the target. Constrained by ammo limitations. Nuclear weapons are among the warhead types. The difference between missile and torpedo in this context is mass; missiles go fast faster and have larger magazines while torpedoes carry heavier warheads. Also doesn't drain your battery.
  • Magnetic weapons: Covers railguns and coilguns that launch high-speed projectiles that can be dodged or shot down. Can be used in orbital bombardment.
  • Lasers: Never miss. Damage falls off over distance. Higher input power, larger optics and higher frequencies lead to more damage. Can be used in orbital bombardment, with some limitations for high-frequency weapons trying to bombard through an atmosphere.
  • Particle weapons: Short-range weapons that can do severe damage to a ship’s internal components if it penetrates a ship’s armor. Also effective point defense weapons.
  • Plasma cannon: These are essentially high-speed, low-mass projectile weapons; their design is based on what descriptions are available of the real-world Shiva Star and Marauder projects. In practice, we’re modeling them as long-range, low rate-of-fire weapons to give them a distinct role in combat. Deep in the tech tree.
And that’s it! Next up will be fleet movement in the strategy layer.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Hellfish6 » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:55 pm

I just upped my KS pledge. I loved Mr. Lumpkin's Human Reach books and so I was willing to back to project based on that alone. But I hadn't seen these Dev Diaries before, and now that I've read them I'm totally onboard with this project. It sounds like you guys are making the space game I've been waiting for.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by JOKER » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:51 am

For what gameplay reason that missiles can't be used in orbital bombardment? Modern human already have MIRV so it must be related to gameplay.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by ArgoSnekAdmiral » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:57 am

"These always work in tandem and share ammo, and only one will fire at a target – it would be too fiddly to ask you to try to maneuver to bring both to bear." I'm willing to bet there will be a mod that splits the weapons so you can dual target. Starboard turrets on starboard targets and port turrets on port targets and such.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Nibelung44 » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:52 am

It's all good except one thing! But first, many thanks for the detailed dev diary which is going clearly beyond marketing blurb and goes into meaty interesting details.

The thing I noted which is not very optimal for me is the inability to fire both broadsides at once. I believe you are masking under 'we don't want you to make complex maneuvers' an engine limitation.

Placing your ship(s) so that they manage to have enemy ships on both side is a very valid strategy and has been done quite a number of time by expert admirals. Just think Nelson breaking the French line at Trafalgar, inserting some ships in between them. That's a double 'crossing the T'.

Please see if that's not possible to allow for that, and if not, that's ok, but don't pretend it is for our benefit :mrgreen:

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by johnnylump » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:54 pm

- We've conceived of missile weapons as entirely antiship in nature. They also have limited ammo relative to other weapons so you'll use them up quickly in bombardment. Bombardment is a state you put a fleet in and lasts for a meaningful time in the strategy layer; it's not a combat mode where you are granted precise fire control. That said, thanks to feedback we'll be looking at incorporating them with a lot of extra UI and AI to let players decide whether to use them during bombardment. Just know you'll be dry within an overhead pass or two :).

- It's important to conceive of the two opposite-facing turrets as a single weapon system that covers a full sphere around the ship, similar to if we put a single turret on a rotating belt. In this conception, a laser system, for example, has a single engine that can send a beam to one of multiple emitters via mirrors, or mag weapons have a single bank of capacitors to operate the guns themselves. So they aren't two independent weapon systems -- in ship design, you're "billed" for one weapon in terms of mass, volume and construction cost. If we allowed double firing, then you've doubled the potential rate of fire of the weapon, so we'd need to double its costs for balance's sake and reduce the number of weapons you can put on a given hull, or find some other way to halve its effectiveness. If you want two railgun turrets that can fire at the same time in a broadside, you should put two railgun weapons systems on a big enough hull that can hold them.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by ThornEel » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:24 pm

Also a long-time fan of the Human Reach books, as well as grand-strategy games, so backing this one was a no-brainer!

I have to say I'm surprised to see plasma weapons though. MARAUDER honestly looks like a dead end, and plasma weapons in general are seen as a joke in hard-SF, as they tend to disperse extremely fast, ending up as little more than steam guns. Even schemes like MARAUDER to try and keep it self-contained in some way look like a fool's errand, honestly.

The only plasma weapon I've ever heard of that is plausible (apart from present-day nukes, technically), would be Casaba Howitzer directional nukes - which can either be optimized for pushing an Orion pulse-propulsion craft, or as a weapon. But even then, due to it being plasma, it most probably disperses after at best a few hundreds of km, and is only effective for that long due to the immense power of nuclear weapons in the first place, that can eat the inefficiencies.

The giant, long-range, very destructive end-game weapon sounds more like an ultra-relativistic electron beam (aka UREB), actually.
Electron beams are generally thought as inefficient, because, being charged particles, the beam disperses fast and can be deflected with magnetic fields. However, put enough power in those electrons, and this changes.
At high enough speed, relativistic time dilation slows down the beam dispersion, and they can actually have better range than lasers. And trying to deflect them with a magnetic field would not only require immensely powerful fields, but also result in a massive radiation shower to still hit the target.

They are also extremely penetrating, so while deep underground bunkers should be fine, no ship could carry anything close to the armor required to meaningfully attenuate them. They also cause lots of secondary radiation on the target, in addition to direct damage, that will fry electronics and crews alike.
As far as I can tell, they would require advances and miniaturization of current particle accelerator tech (and extremely good targeting and precision to make use of their range), and would still be long, thin weapons that could be tens or even hundreds of meters long. But they should be quite doable, compared to other end-game tech like antimatter drives.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by JOKER » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:04 am

johnnylump wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:54 pm
- We've conceived of missile weapons as entirely antiship in nature. They also have limited ammo relative to other weapons so you'll use them up quickly in bombardment. Bombardment is a state you put a fleet in and lasts for a meaningful time in the strategy layer; it's not a combat mode where you are granted precise fire control. That said, thanks to feedback we'll be looking at incorporating them with a lot of extra UI and AI to let players decide whether to use them during bombardment. Just know you'll be dry within an overhead pass or two :).
I am thinking about Terrestrial Warfare scenario when using missile for OB. Supply is much less of an issue when my ship is staying on earth orbit, and having OB capability without researching advanced weapon seems like an early game advantage.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by asaz989 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:19 pm

JOKER wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:04 am
I am thinking about Terrestrial Warfare scenario when using missile for OB. Supply is much less of an issue when my ship is staying on earth orbit, and having OB capability without researching advanced weapon seems like an early game advantage.

AFAIU orbital bombardment here is strictly for non-Earth bodies, since all the mechanics listed here reference habs and most of the weapons involved would not work well firing through Earth's atmosphere.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by johnnylump » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:43 am

Also wanted to say thanks to the Human Reach readers giving the game a look!

I'll add electron beams as a weapon system to explore.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Evil713 » Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:21 pm

I'm more of an honorverse fan with the pod dreadnoughts, being able to drop a large number of missile pods to alpha strike and overwhelm point defense sounds fun.

I am hoping that one of the next dev diaries focuses more on the weapons and armor with more detail or stats.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Evil713 » Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:18 pm

The arguement that only one turret can fire at a time does not really work for all weapon types. Oh I agree for nearly every energy using weapon system, but in some cases there it's power supply which would likely be solved by more and better generators, and then heat would be the defining issue.

It's purely physical ordnance weapons where the issue comes up. Ammo dependent weapons would have a supply on hand that would then be refilled from a deeper source. Now I could see issues in reloading speed, one ammo bunkerage being unable to keep up with supply, maybe causing ammo jams. Missiles are simmilar in that regard, they don't really need line of sight to fire, so a much heavier launch is doable.

Now maybe this would be a toggleable option, used either to co-ordinate masses fire or in panic. Would there not be situations where safeties would be disabled to attempt victory with any weapon? Plasma weapons to vent at short range, charging laser capacitors as they are firing, loading grapeshot or overloading rails in magnetic weapons for one big hit? To do something you know is very stupid but has the chance of victory is a staple.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by tarkalak » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:54 pm

For the propellant tanks size you mentioned. You can use drop tanks that attach on a standard place on the Hull and can grow as big as you want. They should be jettisoned after they are empty. Or have dedicated automated tankers that will start with the fleet, refuel them at some point and then get discarded.

Since more fuel gives diminishing returns (more mass, harder to move) there should be theoretical upper limit of fuel when it simply doesn't make sense to put more for any ship configuration.

For radiators and reactors it does make sense to have an upper limit per ship class.

You can even get rid of the hardcoded hull classes and let players build ships like space lego, but that might be impractical.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Evil713 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:42 am

tarkalak wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:54 pm
For the propellant tanks size you mentioned. You can use drop tanks that attach on a standard place on the Hull and can grow as big as you want. They should be jettisoned after they are empty. Or have dedicated automated tankers that will start with the fleet, refuel them at some point and then get discarded.

Since more fuel gives diminishing returns (more mass, harder to move) there should be theoretical upper limit of fuel when it simply doesn't make sense to put more for any ship configuration.

-----------------

You can even get rid of the hardcoded hull classes and let players build ships like space lego, but that might be impractical.
For the first part it was mentioned that there was no volume limit on fuel tanks, I will agree that it is likely they are calculating the fuel weight, they are likely not counting the empty weight of the tanks. I am all for tanker ships, attacking logistics and supply lines.

The second part, Sword of the Stars did that to an extent, a bridge, mission and drive section. The issue I think is they have already made the ships (admittedly a second set on the way) and having to chop up the ships to rebuild them will take time and money. It works, but SotS had multiple races with unique ftl per race, we are dealing with just two here and no FTL. I think.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Stefanum » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:05 pm

It seems like the long cylinders is a friction concern and greatly limiting in battleship design in space where position and vector are relative and friction is 0. For example, helix pods. Seems like a simple fix to just let you add the next pod wherever you want, instead of in a long row.

Second RE: propellant, what of an EMdrive? That is something NASA is literally working on now.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Stefanum » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:12 pm

Are there local orbital launch accelerators? i.e. If I wanted to get something somewhere fast, but didn't want the mass penalty, I would stick it on a giant rocket, fly it around the earth (or the moon/mars/wherever) at an accelerating rate, then shoot the ship out in the direction I want it to go.

I don't waste the tank space on the ship, the ship is at speed and able to maneuver with its fuel instead of the acceleration waste. Plus, it is theoretically easier to refuel for acceleration in one location...

Again, it comes back to my problem with space battles that happen in a small region of space without some sort of non-newtonian trick.

Also, are there food limitations on the ships? Or can they stay out forever with some sort of star trek food synthethiser thing?

Finally, how do you handle people on ships? is there some sort of anti-gravity device to allow ridiculous accelerations? In which case, why not have grav drives, and grav weapons? Or are fighting ships controlled from slower accelerating control-ships... drone style?

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Evil713 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:46 am

----------Stefanum, I must admit I don't fully understand the first part. A google search found no good reference to a "Helix Pod" outside of the movie Passengers, which seems like a tactically bad design for war. Annoyingly at a certain point the best shape for a ship is a sphere, being able to contain the most volume and can be infinitely expanded outwards, fortunately this shape is really only used in the very small and the super large sizes. So Thankfully there is the design reminiscent of a cylinder, which has the upsides of being classic and within our technology.

----------Ships require one thing in addition to there objective design, people. Given the distances of the combat from a command center on say earth, real time decision making needs to be done at the sight of combat. This means the need to keep people alive and at there biological best. This means access to a form of gravity to keep the bones from decaying. This is either achieved by spinning, or by acceleration. You need to think of these ships more along the lines of an apartment building and a little less like a submarine. Everything needs to be aligned with the main thrust, and reinforced in that direction and built to withstand turning on to a new direction. This leads to either a laz-e-boy style acceleration couch or a tank of some sort of fluid that may be non-Newtonian to brace the crew. The shape of a long cylinder also allows to take advantage of armor shapes. By pointing or angling the armor in the front of the ship provides more armor for less material [sort of] and the ability to deflect incoming energy instead of penetrating the hull. Admittedly this only works in a head on style fight.

----------The technology of the game appears to be aimed at plausible and at least mathematically provable technologies with potentially few exceptions. No "magic space drive" [Poking fun at 'A Sword Into Darkness' by Thomas A. Mays here, which I sort of feel this game may be heading towards in some small instances] is on the board here. No reactionless drives. Every sort of matter emitting engine is on the table. Time to intercept early on may be measured in months of game time. We don't even know what the standard time unit will be yet!

----------That all being said, we are simply limited to what is plausible. Yes maybe the first ships will be built on earth, but there are stations and bases to build off world, which likely will make shipbuilding cheaper and faster. Taken into account how much they want to use real science can lead us to certain things we can theory out. Solar panels for example. You will get a little better than half as much power around mars as you will with solar in earth orbit. But Venus and Mercury, that's going to be a butte-load of power. Ion engines would favor very well in the inner system.

----------Boost assisted traveling has not been mentioned yet, but some technologies thought up, like solar sails and Laser propulsion may be a thing, allowing bases to assist in outbound speeds and fuel savings.

----------They haven't really stated a life support feed at the moment into the ship cost, there may be one. It will likely be the second limiting factor to a ships mission duration outside of the fuel costs in maneuvering.

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Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #14: Ship design

Post by Stefanum » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:57 pm

a helix-pod structure would be spheres connected with a helix of structural tubes connecting the spheres. 2/3 exits per sphere, seals on all the spheres, the spheres are all essentially their own escape pods (survivability), and might even have their own thrust nazelles, and it makes it difficult to hit with anything because there is tons of open space in the structure. I was also thinking giant sphere ships, but those aren't good for battle. Think those giant glass dome lattice structures.

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