Author Topic: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...  (Read 5757 times)

Offline Kieran Kindree

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Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but I have a couple of in universe questions.

First, let me state unequivocally that whatever issues I might have regarding "realism" I do not believe that game-play should be radically adjusted to better reflect that idea.

But, my questions are pretty basic.

1) Given that the balloons are clearly too small (or the crafts too big) to maintain any positive buoyancy, given current Earth gravity and atmospheric density, is there an in universe explanation for this? If so, what is it?

2) Given that balloons are notoriously vulnerable, is there an in universe reason for the astounding toughness of GoI balloons. Similarly, is there an explanation for how easy they are to repair?

3) Given the small size of most of the craft and the seeming lack of any real living space on most, will there be remodels of the ships for the persistent universe that make long journies somewhat more "realistic"?

Again. I get Rule of Cool > realism in most cases here. I am just posing some questions in case this has been thought out any for potential story-lines be they in game or out of game titles.

Thanks!

Offline JaegerDelta

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 06:05:42 pm »
Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but I have a couple of in universe questions.

First, let me state unequivocally that whatever issues I might have regarding "realism" I do not believe that game-play should be radically adjusted to better reflect that idea.

But, my questions are pretty basic.

1) Given that the balloons are clearly too small (or the crafts too big) to maintain any positive buoyancy, given current Earth gravity and atmospheric density, is there an in universe explanation for this? If so, what is it?

2) Given that balloons are notoriously vulnerable, is there an in universe reason for the astounding toughness of GoI balloons. Similarly, is there an explanation for how easy they are to repair?

3) Given the small size of most of the craft and the seeming lack of any real living space on most, will there be remodels of the ships for the persistent universe that make long journies somewhat more "realistic"?

Again. I get Rule of Cool > realism in most cases here. I am just posing some questions in case this has been thought out any for potential story-lines be they in game or out of game titles.

Thanks!

Well this game, and all games, is a representation of what it portrays. It is an approximation that comes close to what would actually be happening but does not show everything due to it being an entertainment medium created with limited resources.  Not just money and time but data, the closer the approximation gets to simulated reality the more advanced the hardware and software have to be to run it. As this is a for profit, entertainment venture you have to back away from that extreme, nor is it a minimalistic "art game", so a middle ground has to be found.

In regards to your questions about the balloons and ship sizes,  the same could be said about hundreds of other minutia about the game. why cant you climb rigging, why do you take continuous damage while on the ground, where is all the ammo for the guns coming from, and so many others. The answer to those is that they are all there in universe, they are just not being represented in the approximation you are observing. A game is like a shadow of a world. you can see its shape, make out basic features and functions, but it does not show the worlds true depth.

also, its not really a situation of cool > realism. its all about aesthetic, with out a unifying aesthetic governing how everything in the game looks in relation to everything else while at the same time staying within resource constraints, the user experience suffers. It leaves the player feeling like the game is incomplete and lacking something or leaves them stranded somewhere in the uncanny valley.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 06:08:22 pm by JaegerDelta »

Offline Omniraptor

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 07:05:50 pm »
I just say 'magic'. For example the item blurb for phoenix claw explicitly states it works by 'luck'. That's pretty much equivalent to magic.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 07:11:33 pm by Omniraptor »

Offline JaegerDelta

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 07:24:15 pm »
I just say 'magic'. For example the item blurb for phoenix claw explicitly states it works by 'luck'. That's pretty much equivalent to magic.

or that it works on the human construct that is luck. the pilots belief in the fact that luck is real makes it real.  By which, i mean it gives the pilot confidence to pull off that risky maneuver and because the pilot has that extra confidence he/she succeeds where pilots who do not believe, or are shaken by the loss of their lucky claw, fail.

Offline Captain Smollett

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 03:55:18 am »
Dark matter.

Offline macmacnick

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 04:19:38 am »
For the balloons, hyper-compartmentalized balloons. (Just my theory.)  The balloons automatically cut off the supply of helium once they have enough punctured compartments, requiring them to be manually reset, in which, an internal mechanism sprays out some sealant that fixes the hole or holes in the balloon's internal compartments and to an extent, its exterior. The balloon's Lighter-than air buoyant gasses supply panel also has an intake where coolant is spread through the balloon to suppress fires, however, the coolant must be administered manually. (Just to make some semi-believable explanations that are wholly false.) Also, I tend to like to think that damage to the hull armor causes a gradual misalignment in hull armor plates, which culminates in the hull going down, or a gap in the armor for which gunshots have easy pickings at the internal hull structure. Hitting the hull plate controls (Hull armor repair point) with a mallet spanner or pipe wrench causes them to be realigned to a certain degree, as hitting with a mallet would shift a lever more than a pipe wrench or spanner, because of the larger surface area. Also, the fire stacks make the hydraulic fluid for these plates slowly expand, gradually misaligning these hull armor plates, which can be slowed or cancelled by applying coolant to the hull controls. To achieve the necessary buoyancy in proportion to ship mass in the air, the balloons employ an advanced mix of hydrogen and helium in the balloon compartments, so as to achieve more buoyancy without pulling a Hindenburg, by having the compartments with more hydrogen in towards the center, and the compartments with more helium towards the exterior. However, when a pilot occasionally overrides the helium supply with hydrogen, the compartments do not automatically adjust for the imbalance, thus the outer layers become more flammable as the hydrogen is not covered by a buffer of helium.


TL;DR:
Balloons = many compartments, hull armor = plates that get misaligned, balloon has systems to deal with repairing damage during rebuilds, and a fire-supression system that requires coolant (stuff from fire tools) to be administered manually.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 04:21:15 am by macmacnick »

Offline Omniraptor

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 04:08:08 pm »
..Which brings us to the question of tool availability. Why can't we just set the tools down near a relevant component, or borrow and pass them to each other. How can you inject kerosine into engines while staying on helm? Why doesn't the crew ever get injured? Why don't fires spread across the ship like normal fires? Why do I hammer things with my spanner instead of actually using it lilke a spanner?

three possible explanations- nanobots, magic, alternate laws of physics, or all the airmen are insane are we're experiencing their hallucinations (this would help justify the phoenix claw things).

TF2 for example has the same problem, most classes use 1950s-era technology, except the spy, who inexplicably has a device that lets him bend and shape light how he pleases, and the egni, who can build an turret that has an advanced visual targeting system and (even worse) can manufacture ammo out of thin air, and the medic.

I'm fairly sure the official stance is that all the characters in tf2 are insane. The spy can literally strap a cardboard cutout to his face and become indistinguishable from a teammate in the eyes of enemy characters.

Offline Piemanlives

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2014, 03:44:44 am »
..Which brings us to the question of tool availability. Why can't we just set the tools down near a relevant component, or borrow and pass them to each other. How can you inject kerosine into engines while staying on helm? Why doesn't the crew ever get injured? Why don't fires spread across the ship like normal fires? Why do I hammer things with my spanner instead of actually using it lilke a spanner?

three possible explanations- nanobots, magic, alternate laws of physics, or all the airmen are insane are we're experiencing their hallucinations (this would help justify the phoenix claw things).

Consider the following:
  • Most of what we've experienced of the world is through gameplay.
  • It is reasonable to assume that an engineer would be fully equipped to deal with any situation instead of carrying just three tools.
  • Considering Muse has to make things balanced, and also looking through a gameplay standpoint having to run kerosene to the engines would be unnecessarily complicated than just activating it through tool use.
  • Also consider that being able to kill crew would not be very fun if you were on the receiving end, however it is reasonable to assume that killing crew is in fact physically possible however from a gameplay stand point it wouldn't work.
  • Smacking things is much easier from a gameplay standpoint than having to, oh I don't know, actually repair things.
  • The gameplay does not dictate the boundaries of a universe, that is rather two dimensional thinking.

Offline Omniraptor

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 05:24:39 pm »
The purpose of the thread is fan wank/epileptic trees/whatever, having fun by trying to justify how the mechanics of the game work in-universe. Of course they actually work that way because it was deemed more fun than 'pure realism', but it's still cool to speculate.

as for the spanner, it's just a matter of adding a different animation. In the original guns of icarus you actually used the spanner as a spanner, e.g. to screw things in. In GOIO you just smack things with it.

Offline Piemanlives

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 11:59:16 pm »
I'm pretty sure there was a smacking animation in there as well, of course there was actually much spannering to be had so I guess that's a reasonable assumption.

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 12:04:03 am »
I rationalized the size of the balloons and how slowly the ships fall as well as why the hull takes continuous damage when touching anything and how we survive hwacha blasts by assuming that the balloons are not what actually keep most of the ship's weight afloat. The balloon is more like a fish's air bladder, and the ship itself is kept almost neutrally buoyant by the same technology that kept both the Juggernauts AND the naval warships (we will get to those) in the air .

The devices themselves are build into the hull, and any metal they are integrated into is given a gravity repulsion field. This makes the ships themselves weigh almost nothing, and requires very little helium to keep them in the air. If the balloon is broken, the ships fall slowly to the ground, like a balloon filled with air.

Why does touching the ground cause damage, though? Well, if the ship's hull comes into close proximity to a large mass, it interferes with the field the device emits. This causes torsion in the field, thus twisting anything effected by it. In other words, your armor and hull. So, it is not the impact itself that causes the damage for the most part, but the gravity repulsion field gone haywire. One of these devices is contained in the 'hull' repair point on your ship.

But, the hwachas! Yes, of course the hwachas. Again, with a bit of hand waving, we can blame the field created by the device. Nothing larger than dust particles can enter or leave the generated field. The bullets are not actually hitting the ship. They are impacting the field. The force they create is transferred into the field itself, disrupting its flow. The 'armor' going down is actually the device getting its field scrambled. 'Fixing' the armor is actually realigning those fields. After a certain point, armor 'break', the impacts to the field transfer the energy directly to the device itself, and begin damage its physical connection to the hull. When it is fully detached, it sends out a torsion wave that blows your ship apart.

Why can't you fall to the ground? Given the little understood quantum physics nature of the device, anything falling off the ship falls onto the deck near the device. Or, maybe you do fall to your death, and a quantum double is created. No one has been brave enough to check.

Boarding does not work and is not attempted for obvious reasons.



Now, what about those naval ships in the middle of the desert? The devices would have been invented when navel ships were still in use. Having discovered the nature of the the gravity repulsion field, the Juggernauts were soon constructed. This sudden appearance of a new super-weapon destabilized the delicate balance of power, and war erupted soon after. There were few Juggernauts constructed, but still many naval warships. A new plan was put into place to quickly move naval warships around. They would be floated through the air. Given their mass, they were equipped with thousands of the devices, and tethered to hundreds of weather balloons until neutrally buoyant. Once lifted into the air, the massive warships could be easily towed over landmasses to new waters, where they would be lowered and the devices shut down. Sometimes, they would even be towed to waterless areas, such as deserts, where they were 'parked'. From there, they would fire their massive guns into previously safe cites (nod to Labyrinth).

Eventually, some of the Juggernauts were brought down, along with the navel ships they had in tow. Other naval ships were lost in storms as their tethers broke, and set adrift with their crews unable to leave what became a floating prison. Some of these ships have even been found high in mountains, or dashed amongst jungle temples far from safe waters.

Knowledge of how the devices were made was lost as the tide of battle turned to their city of manufacture in a surprise attack. Facing certain defeat and capture of the facility, the officers in charge triggered the fail-safe, destroying the massive complex. The scientists responsible for the discovery were never found. No one else really understood what they had even created.

War raged on and on, spreading and twisting as once allies turned on each other on rumors that they were working on their own devices. Whether this was true or not never came to light. The result was worldwide devastation, along with famine and disease that reduced the greatness of human kind to groups of scavengers.

Eventually, after generations, tinkers and inventors discovered ways to get salvaged devices working again, though without knowledge of their making or actual mechanics. They also could not figure out how to construct ships with more than one device without said ship instantly exploding once the devices were activated. This severely limited the size of the new ships, but still set off a mad scramble to scavenge any still working device from the aged wreckage. Hundreds of navel warships remain unaccounted for, as well as several Juggernauts. The prospect of countless devices still waiting to be found created the equivalent of a gold rush. Men and women spent their fortunes on just one device so that they may soar the skies in search of this new treasure. Others found it more easy to prey on the treasure hunters. Kill the ship, and the device often remains unharmed.

Due to the devices' nature interacting with the gravity of the planet, the gravitational repulsion field has an upper height limit to its abilities. Much like one magnet hovering over another, once that height is reached, it can go no higher. There are rumors that one ship tried, using extra balloons and downward-facing propellers. The rumors each tell of different lands, captains, and names, but they all end the same. A ship tried to fly too close to the sun, and rained back to the earth.

Thus became born the days of Icrarus....









At least that is how I rationalize it. :)

Offline GeoRmr

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2014, 06:18:18 am »
Richard...

Mind-Blown.

Offline AbbyTheRat

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2014, 09:38:38 am »
I took the time to read it all. I agree with GeoRmr, mind... blown.. Now I need to find the missing pieces.

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2014, 12:57:54 pm »
As you can tell, I detest loose ends.

I also have a balloon explanation as well, but did not want it to get lost in the mix of the hull thing. This also explains how balloon tools work.

Balloons use a modified version of the hull devices that charge an intricate metal grid, similar to several layers of a very heavy-duty screen door. The altered field has a reversed energy field that generates a much weaker gravitational repulsion field that does not interact much with the one generated by the hull. However, it changes the effect of not letting anything larger than dust through it, to not allowing anything through it. This creates an impervious air bubble inside a balloon made out of the screen.

The balloons we see are actually just the canvas that the screen is sewn into, since the screen is not strong enough to support itself. The canvas itself is not airtight.

Changing the power output of the balloon device slightly changes its gravitational repulsion field properties, thus allowing the pilot to raise and lower the ship.

Similar to the hull, impacts to the balloon make the field misaligned, causing it to lose some of its gas retaining properties, as well as increasing the gravity repulsion field strength. This is why the balloon will 'deflate' while under attack, yet the ship will not fall until it is completely down, as well as reducing the pilot's ability to make rapid altitude changes.

Pilots can make the ship shoot up rapidly by increasing power to the field and rapidly pumping hydrogen into the balloon. This creates the dual effect of increasing the gravitational repulsion properties combined with the increased lifting ability of hydrogen. Up we go. Of course, this makes the balloon device react directly with the hull device, letting gas escape and creating warps in the balloon field that must be manually realigned by an engineer.

Chute vent actually reverses the charge the balloon device for rapid intervals. This turns it into a quasi second hull device. The problem of two similar fields interacting comes into play, nullifying both devices' gravitational repulsion fields. Pulsing the charges instead of just switching them keeps the ship from exploding. The ability to hold gas is also completely lost, relying on just the canvas to retain any helium. Once again, this creates the need for an engineer to realign the field.

If the field becomes completely misaligned, all gas can escape and the balloon mesh becomes dead weight. Thus your ship drifts slowly to the ground.

Unlike the hull, which is simply integrating a device with massive chunks of metal, balloon construction is very intricate, considered by many to even be an art. The mesh must be woven and shaped very carefully to create the proper field properties. The most easily created shape for this is a sphere, followed by the the classic cigar shape. Custom shaped balloons are much harder to make, and are often not as efficient. This is quite evident in the Junker, which requires a much larger balloon to hold up a tiny hull, mostly due to the balloon's sloppy construction.

On the other side, the Mobula is balloon craftsmanship at its apex. The custom shape, careful integration of hull and balloon fields, and fine attention to the weave create far superior vertical control abilities. Placing the balloon screen below the mass of the hull actually increases the performance of the balloon. Since the hull is almost neutrally buoyant, it only requires the light use of turbo-fans to the keep the ship upright. Many see the Mobula as the precursor to a new Golden Age of airships.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 01:02:17 pm by Richard LeMoon »

Offline JaegerDelta

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Re: A couple of questions regarding the nature of this universe...
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2014, 07:03:32 pm »
As you can tell, I detest loose ends.

detest loose ends.
use MacGuffin that requires highly advanced physics.
create even more loose ends.