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Engine Trails

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Leon026, Jan 17, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Leon026 Apprentice Engineer

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    So literally I had an interesting idea.

    On the general forums, someone posted a multiplayer dogfight video, and someone commented that a lot of time was spent searching for the person, and that we needed player names.

    I dont agree, because dogfights in sci-fi always had hiding in debris or hiding behind an asteroid as a valid tactic (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica) to surprise the opponent to get an advantage.

    However, its also true that finding someone in the vast openness of space is almost near impossible, especially at a distance.


    So, the idea is: Engine trails.

    The faster your ship is moving, the longer the engine trail (ie heat signature), and a slow moving ship, barely has any.

    This translates to:
    Fast ship flying at full speed with afterburners at 104m/s will have a visible engine trail (high heat signature)
    Slow (sub-20m/s) ship moving stealthily amongst the asteroids and debris will have barely any visible engine trail (low heat signature).


    This negates having player names pop up everywhere and having yours visible to the opponent as you're trying to hide. Essentially, in my opinion, floating player names = being spoon-fed information on where the players are. If you're trying to hide and have a stealth ship, don't bother, because unrealistic floating name above your ship gave you away like a bright ass beacon.

    Yet at the same time, it remains realistic and conceivable that if you're zoom-zooming everywhere and not being stealthy... people are going to notice you.
     
  2. darth_biomech Senior Engineer

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    Yes please. Besides gameplay and tactics, it is just damn pretty.
     
  3. Fab Apprentice Engineer

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    Homeworld in Space Enginners
     
  4. moroder Apprentice Engineer

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    Oooh wonderful idea! (and indeed: homeworld zOMG)
     
  5. OracleTX Apprentice Engineer

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    I'll go for showing up on sensors more readily when the reactor is running at full power and a bunch of thrusters are going. It could be pretty, but I say no to "engine trails". I do agree that breaking Line Of Sight should pretty much prevent detection from most sensor types. Also, speed does not equal big sensor signature except for Doppler Radar. More power, active sensors, communications, active thrusters, and firing weapons should all increase a ship's sensor profile and make them easier to detect.
     
  6. moroder Apprentice Engineer

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    Strike Suit Zero did the same thing. Made battles with a ton of ships positively spectacular.

    (and no, I'm not implying Space Engineers is, or should be, anything like Strike Suit Zero)
     
  7. Leonhardt Senior Engineer

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    1,930
    So literally this is literally a good literally idea.

    Literally.
     
  8. shepard1707 Trainee Engineer

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    Not a bad idea... and it would look very, very pretty...
     
  9. jonasjax Trainee Engineer

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    I also don't want floating player names everywhere. But when someone shoots rockets in my ship and destroys what I have build up and he vanishes before I even can have a look on him... then I want his name :mad:

    Okay, maybe for pirates it would be fun causing havoc without anyone noticing who it was. On on day he destroy my ship, next day I trade with him some resources to build my new ship without ever noticing who he was. Could be some fun on RPG server, but most people (I assume) would abuse this feature.

    When we can balance this somehow, then count me in.
     
  10. Leon026 Apprentice Engineer

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    Doesnt mean you can't have a weapon damage log though?
     
  11. phenomenalx Trainee Engineer

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    Why not a map/radar? :| The engine trails sounds like an okay idea though.
     
  12. CptTwinkie Master Engineer

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    I'm fine with engine trails with one change. Don't base them on speed. It's unrealistic because in space, as in the game, you don't need engines blasting away to maintain speed in a straight line. It's pretty much the defining characteristic of space travel. Have heat signatures of some kind when accelerating. More engines more heat even. Make radio and scanners detectable if you like. Even have ion streams or some garbage but don't do it in a way that defies logic because it was done that way in some other game.
     
  13. paswert Junior Engineer

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    I made a comment suggesting that, I believe this thread is in response for that, please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  14. phenomenalx Trainee Engineer

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    I don't know. To me, I haven't seen a thread about radar or maps.
     
  15. shepard1707 Trainee Engineer

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    I think having it be based, in some way, on how much the thrusters are actually running is a good idea. Idle thrusters should still leave a faintly visible engine tail, but completely deactivated thrusters should not. Most combat is going to include a lot of engine burning, either through the computer assisted flight, or just burning your engines anyway, so for combat purposes it's a bit of a moot point.
     
  16. Leonhardt Senior Engineer

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    1,930
    So don't put beacons on your fighters. In space, a signal being transmitted is stupid easy to detect. It's completely realistic that anyone would be able to see a ship behind an asteroid if they have a glowing light on top transmitting "USS Radical Larry" non-stop.
     
  17. Shiliski Apprentice Engineer

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    In order for a ship to accelerate faster, it's probably going to either need less mass or more thrusters. 10 thrusters in a cluster, each one leaving a trail, is going to be a lot more noticeable than a single thruster by itself. This means that smaller ships get to be stealthier, and that large ships will have to choose between stealth and maneuverability.

    I say: Let there be engine trails and let them only show up when a thruster is being used. After the thrusters shut off the trail should dissipate a bit.
     
  18. Azi Dahaka Apprentice Engineer

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    In space the gasses left behind by engines would expand rapidly in the (practically) zero-pressure environment. It would look like a cloud for a brief moment, but then the particles would be too far apart to be visible.
     
  19. marineten Trainee Engineer

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    here is what it would look like, this is from a free to play space combat game called star conflict and it has engine trails, they are completely optional so people tend to disable them for friendly ships but i like to leave them on. i also think that they only show up when someone uses afterburners but im not sure.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjDtKJlxuHo
     
  20. Hatter Apprentice Engineer

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    Literally rally.
     
  21. AstTheCat Trainee Engineer

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    Do want!
     
  22. Morbophobie Apprentice Engineer

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    I think it is a good idea. But this shouldn´t be related to the speed as already mentioned.

    The thrusters pushes out fast gases so it would be cool if the signature would be bigger if the thrusters pointing in your direction are used. So you can look for gases.
    Or you could detect the reactors. If they are nuclear you would probably see electromagnetic rays like them from the sun. (tarning methode: coming from the sun - disadvantage black dot in front of a bright sun)
    Also you could register messages that are sent betweend different ships.
    These are passive scan methodes. So your ship recognizes incoming particles or waves.

    But you could also use active scan methodes.
    Like sending electromagnetic rays/infrared/... out and receive the echo. (That is how a radar works) The disadvantage of these is: by sending out these rays you tell everyone where you are. And everything can reflect these so you don´t know if the object is a ship or only an asteroid. But you could guess by the movement.

    I would like different scan-methodes and I also would like the player to interpret them. So you only see "ok from there is coming a high amount of X - what could it be?" And not the computer auto-frame the targets.

    That would lead to different tactics - shut down the engines and fly with dampeners turned off to your target, using the sun to hide or lure your target to a strong signature. Active scan methodes would be primary for stations or big ships that don´t have to hide.
     
  23. Leon026 Apprentice Engineer

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    I think you misread my post. Also unsure where you got the idea that I put beacons on my ship.

    Engines trails, amongst other ideas mentioned in this thread are ideas to provide different ways on how we can spot players and ship in space, without having player names (as some have suggested in the General Discussion forum).
     
  24. freshmango55 Apprentice Engineer

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    As long as I don't have a kilometer long trail behind my ship I'm fine with it.
     
  25. jonasjax Trainee Engineer

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    Sounds good :) Engine trails are fine: dogfights à la Homeworld. As other have already said, make them somehow realistic. If you deactivate the engines, there must be the rest of the engine trails still be visible ... slowly dispersing.

    And a new tactic for big ships: put so many thruster on your ship, that nobody behind you sees what's happening :-D
     
  26. Nukesnipe Trainee Engineer

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    Personally I hope we'd be able to customize the trails, a la Homeworld.
     
  27. Thenerdylord Apprentice Engineer

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    How about trails only if your are pressing the keys for thrusters to activate. So if you are accelerating you would have trails but if you are not touching the keyboard then no trails.
     
  28. marineten Trainee Engineer

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    ^:)
     
  29. piddlefoot Senior Engineer

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    +1

    And beacons will very probably end up faction locked so only you and your allies see them everyone else will probably need a radar which is probably coming too.
    Like all my probables in there ! hahaha
     
  30. whistler118 Apprentice Engineer

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    139
    Great idea. Can't remember the game but its in development which is all about managing your heat signature to avoid detection in a PvP space game. Looks awesome and love to see this in engineers.
     
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.