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Flight of Nova - DCS in space


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in the 1990s there was a DOS space combat simulator which purported to use newtonian physics called 'mantis'- there was nothing fun about it, because it was much too difficult to dogfight in space with realistic momentum and inertia in space with no gravity, atmospheric effects, aerodynamics and control surfaces. the player's craft and the enemy ships slip and slide all over the place and taking control of it was all work with no payoff.

 

if these games take that route, to what extent are they fun if you have to literally use contemporary technology known to us now- basically using control thrusters which you must fire in different directions, having to apply the right amount at the right time, apply the opposite effect to neutralize a particular direction rather than returning the controls to neutral, and so on- requires preparation and mental concentration rather than getting to the action of flying, if that is what you want- in star wars type of games which tend to look like world war 2 dogfights at least skip all of that and you can concentrate on the action. if you need to maneuver slowly and deliberately, it's one thing, but if you are looking for action and combat, it's too difficult, it's more likely to appeal to a gamer who wants to spend a lot of effort docking and deploying vehicles etc like in real life, which isn't so much fun as it is stressful

 

the alternative i suppose would be to shoehorn something into the games like future tech which for some reason can mitigate all that, but then it isn't as 'realistic' either.

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Arguably, with large enough flywheels you could rotate a spacecraft without having to rely too much on thrusters, so I guess a game could use that as a way to let the user maneuver in a more "gamey" way without abandoning space physics entirely.

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On 6/6/2022 at 3:01 PM, Captain_Colossus said:

in the 1990s there was a DOS space combat simulator which purported to use newtonian physics called 'mantis'- there was nothing fun about it, because it was much too difficult to dogfight in space with realistic momentum and inertia in space with no gravity, atmospheric effects, aerodynamics and control surfaces. the player's craft and the enemy ships slip and slide all over the place and taking control of it was all work with no payoff.

 

if these games take that route, to what extent are they fun if you have to literally use contemporary technology known to us now- basically using control thrusters which you must fire in different directions, having to apply the right amount at the right time, apply the opposite effect to neutralize a particular direction rather than returning the controls to neutral, and so on- requires preparation and mental concentration rather than getting to the action of flying, if that is what you want

[...]

the alternative i suppose would be to shoehorn something into the games like future tech which for some reason can mitigate all that, but then it isn't as 'realistic' either.

 

I occasionally play a game called Space Engine, which was primarily designed as a procedural universe simulator. The ability to fly around in spaceships was added later. The developer did decide to include a bit of "future tech" - namely warp drives and extremely powerful engines with no fuel limits. But you still need to carefully consider your maneuvers, because the game indeed uses [mostly] accurate physics. In fact, you can use the standard formulæ for real-world orbit calculations in-game. The difference being that there are no enemies to try and outmaneuver. But you can still get yourself into trouble if you're too near a planet or black hole, etc.

 

The thing is ... that's exactly why I enjoy the game. Because you can plan complex maneuvers - including orbital rendezvous and docking - without having to worry about someone shooting at you. I always did wish the developer would add the ability to include objectives or some type of scenario to complete. So it looks like Flight of Nova might be right up my alley.

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On 6/13/2022 at 2:28 AM, Lt DeFault said:

 

I occasionally play a game called Space Engine, which was primarily designed as a procedural universe simulator. The ability to fly around in spaceships was added later. The developer did decide to include a bit of "future tech" - namely warp drives and extremely powerful engines with no fuel limits. But you still need to carefully consider your maneuvers, because the game indeed uses [mostly] accurate physics. In fact, you can use the standard formulæ for real-world orbit calculations in-game. The difference being that there are no enemies to try and outmaneuver. But you can still get yourself into trouble if you're too near a planet or black hole, etc.

 

The thing is ... that's exactly why I enjoy the game. Because you can plan complex maneuvers - including orbital rendezvous and docking - without having to worry about someone shooting at you. I always did wish the developer would add the ability to include objectives or some type of scenario to complete. So it looks like Flight of Nova might be right up my alley.

I didn't realise Space Engine included the ability to fly around in spaceships. Very interesting, will have a look.

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7 hours ago, Count Sessine said:

I didn't realise Space Engine included the ability to fly around in spaceships. Very interesting, will have a look.

 

Here is a link to FREE legacy versions. The current version is US$24.99 on Steam. I am still using the last free version.

 

I recently downloaded an add-on pack of Star Wars ships and am having great fun establishing stable orbits in my Imperial II class Star Destroyer while I play the Imperial March in the background. It looks absolutely stunning. Maybe I'll post some screenshots a little later.

 

Cheers!

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