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Possibilities for Rudimentary Aircraft (gliders, proto-human-powered aircraft)

Discussion in 'General' started by Raelsmar, Jan 19, 2015.

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

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    I wanted to get an idea on everyone's thoughts with regard to aircraft. While Da Vinci had ideas regarding possible designs for these types of vehicles (ornithopters, gyros), they wouldn't come to any sort of airworthy fruition for centuries. Human-powered aircraft has only become a viable possibility in the past half-century or so and still often requires a highly athletic person and low altitudes to work.

    Given these limitations, does anyone think designing simple gliders or even daring to make propeller- or rotor-based craft would be a worthwhile endeavor? I've always loved the idea of contraptions such as these, and it would appear that there is a windmill mechanic (possible wind?) which raises the question for me on whether or not it would be possible to create surfaces that generate lift. I think the main limiting factor would center around the weight of the vessel, as modern ultralights and gliders are viable due to their exceptionally light frames.

    TL;DR: Are air vehicles a pipedream in Medieval Engineers?
     
  2. Steelpanther Apprentice Engineer

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    For vanilla, I would say and hope no.

    Edit: Corrected my sentence, I typed so when I meant to type no.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2015
  3. Thederper121 Trainee Engineer

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    It may or may not be more hard work, but I'd like to see some sort of wind or areodynamics system in the game. That way windmills will only power when there is wind, and may even have the ability to make some type of aircraft with windmill blocks.

    I would ask for explosive gunpowder barrels, although I think that may be pushing it too far + I don't think gunpowder was anywhere else than China in medieval times :)

    Just saying, being able to make basic rocket-powered armaments/explosive catapults would be cool. Although if it does get added in ever then it would probably be a mod.
     
  4. Wintersend Senior Engineer

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    I'd want to see if I can recreate something from Kessen 2, A modified ballista that is built on high ground and designed to accelerate hang gliders to a high enough speed to get over castle walls even if where they are set up isn't actually taller than the walls.
     
  5. Ash87 Senior Engineer

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    Maybe.

    I mean it's a matter of setting up air as a thing, so aerodynamics matter, isn't it?

    That is another layer of complexity ontop of structural stress and strain, gravity, etc. Ignoring that we may get volumetric water.

    That said, wouldn't the work for volumetric water be -very- similar to what we would need for this?


    I wouldn't expect it early on, if at all.

    Edit: And, this was already covered someplace else: it'd be nice, but aircraft sort have the potential to nuke balance. You make a glider, fly over someone's wall, and drop a bomb or a person inside. What is the point of the wall then? So, what does it add?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2015
  6. Wintersend Senior Engineer

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    Well, the wall succeeded in stopping a rush, and one bomb can't do much, and I imagine a glider wouldn't have much weight capacity or reusability.
     
  7. Ash87 Senior Engineer

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    Statements 2 and 3 are all based on a very limited view of gameplay.

    "The Wall succeeded in stopping a rush" : What rush? You kind of lost me on this one.

    "...One Bomb can't do much" : Maybe? I mean what if it's a warhead block from SE? It could do pretty good damage. And what is it doing, dropped on the wall, on the keep, on the stuff on the ground. Also, one bomb?

    "A glider wouldn't have much weight capacity or reusability" : if it was an object constructed in a game as a stand alone object yes. But that isn't what is being asked here. What the OP is asking is: Can we BUILD gliders. Built gliders are only going to be limited by the engine itself. So what is to stop someone from making a HUGE glider that is a medieval B-17? If you nerf what the engine can do, so that they are going to be tiny and mostly useless... why make them at all?

    Or, saving massive amounts of resources (And this goes for point 2 as well), why make 1 glider when you can make 3? What if you make 36 of the things and have an rotation going where you continually drop bombs on a target?

    And this still is ignoring: What would be needed to even have them in the game?
     
  8. Wintersend Senior Engineer

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    Fair enough, I was just thinking that the bomb, assuming we get gunpowder, would be less like a warhead, and be more grenade like. And on the rush, I meant you'd probably see things like this used in MP and the wall would have succeeded in stopping a lot of players from coming in from all around, instead they'd be forced to drop in from the same direction and only be able to carry with them what the glider can carry.

    But you do have me on someone creating a B-17, but I think if someone can do that and actually get it in position and move the thing fast enough to get airborne even from going off a cliff, then they deserve to get a castle out of it since I imagine only a few times will terrain actually allow its deployment.
     
  9. War.Freak Trainee Engineer

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    no, just no.
    Air vehicles are unrealistic, as you said yourself, and a pain to code in ME.
     
  10. Murasame Trainee Engineer

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    Yes, just yes.

    While they don't fit within the Medieval time period of our history, they are completely realistic, as they are real and do exist. I'm not going to pretend to know the level of difficulty it would take to code them in ME since I'm not working on the game and don't know what systems are in place; however, I imagine it wouldn't be that big of a change from SE in gravity environments.

    If they could/did implement aircraft of varying complexities they should implement a 'historically accurate' >.> filter for worlds for people who don't want them.
     
  11. K^2 Apprentice Engineer

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    Hot air balloons existed even before 5th century, but first human flight is early 18th. So even that is a bit out. I would like to see aerodynamics in a good steampunk mod, though. Heck, I can even help code it.
     
  12. Ash87 Senior Engineer

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    Balloons did exist in some form or fashion before the 5th century, but first manned flight was beyond the time range of the game... I don't get where there is room to debate this. It didn't exist in the way you wanted before the 1700s

    And before you say: What about Gliders... there are two reports of monks trying to fly using rudimentary gliders in the 9th and 11th centuries... Neither worked very well, and both monks ended up with rather substantial injuries.

    [SIZE= 12.7272720336914px]
    They exist, yes. But the question isn't: Do they exist, it's: What would it take to make them viable to CREATE in game. You can't just throw fabric and fire together to make a balloon... There is no helium, there is no hydrogen, so you can't use gas bags, you have to use hot air or gliders. To make a system by which WINGS on a thing, or a hot air balloon will lift and defy gravity... you have to consider a lot of variables. I mean the alternative is that you push for the devs to put in a really weak and stupid OBJECT that defies the laws of the game for arbitrary reasons. It would work in the same way the glider in Assassins creed works. It doesn't actually consider the aerodynamics of the object, it just falls in a certain way and can be bumped up in a certain way. It's static, it can't be altered. That doesn't fit in ME if SE can be taken as an example. So if we are instead BUILDING, gliders or hot air balloons, there has to be a way to let the design of the aircraft act on forces in the game world... and Create flight.

    You don't just turn off gravity. You have to consider construction, materials, etc. etc.

    It isn't just: "Lets turn off a button, and suddenly it's happy fun times steampunk land over here, and boring old reality over there" if you want this to still be an actual building game, and not just a lego set that you can fill in the gaps with the power of imagination.[/SIZE]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2015
  13. War.Freak Trainee Engineer

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    /|\
    |
    | yes, these are my concerns. thanks Ash87

    You are being controversial or we have a misunderstanding. As they are not within the Medieval time period, they are not realistic to add to ME.
    IMO: it would make the game unbalanced and waste development time
     
  14. X__INFINITY__X Apprentice Engineer

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    This is almost the same thing with the talk of gunpowder, Or more specifically is an explosive barrel of gunpowder (all keen has to do is re-texture the warhead to look like a barrel, simple as that.)

    Now for flying, they would have to implement a whole system for wind, aerodynamics, propulsion, all which probably won't be seen in the early access (maybe final game though)

    Now they could do a glider where the higher you are the farther you can go, like in far cry 3.

    the gliders could only drift down, depending on the angle of the glider would determine how fast you could go, the more you point down the faster you fall, the more level you point the glider, you would drift slower down to the ground. it could be very simple.

    But then i'm hitting the issue Ash87 brought up. Not if they existed but how hard will it be for keen to implement a system, and for us to make them. although a simple glider, with an even simpler gliding system could be used (like in far cry 3)

    I hope i'm not lacking information
     
  15. K^2 Apprentice Engineer

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    Isn't... Isn't that exactly what I said?

    Not as hard as it sounds, actually. Simple aerodynamics simulations are pretty straight forward. Which is why I'm saying that this is mods territory. There's an entire thread on "fantasy" mods. We'll definitely see mods that deal with Medieval setting in not-so-realistic ways. Flying belongs in these.
     
  16. Ash87 Senior Engineer

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    [/SIZE]

    Yes it IS exactly what you said. But you then say: "I would like to see..."

    Yes lets ignore that I missed that you said MOD.

    *Facepalm*

    Sorry, I thought you meant aerodynamics in the main game for some reason. My bad.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2015
  17. DDP-158 Master Engineer

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    So far we're up to flying around like Ezio dropping bombs on very advanced and fully interactive AI marauders that formulate strategies instead of following paths, wielding our bastard sword and wearing our herald armor as we drop down on our sailing ship doing a flip or something, whatever they do in wow, before sailing off into the sunset to our fortress to pick up another load of ore from our SE spacecraft.

    I love putting all the zany ideas together.
     
  18. K^2 Apprentice Engineer

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    Well, curiously enough, sail physics is very similar to that of a wing. Good sail is an airfoil. So simply having aerodynamics in ME wouldn't be a stretch. It's a bit of an overkill, perhaps, but I can at least see someone wanting to write good aerodynamics code for that.

    Not for flying, though, definitely. Mods territory through and through.
     
  19. Raelsmar Trainee Engineer

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    As long as there's a framework there for modders to work off of, I'm fine with not including it in the main game for the purists. What I would have a problem with, is if it was made impossible, as was said before, sails and wings do have a great deal of similarity, so if there is even the most basic of aerodynamic systems, I think talented modders could pick up the slack.

    Also, very glad to see the discussion this is generating, on both sides of the fence.
     
  20. Alestron Trainee Engineer

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    Honestly no, I don't really think any kind of aircraft has a place in this time period.
     
  21. Kregon Trainee Engineer

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    Uh, plz no aircrafts or baluns or anything like that, just no! This is Medieval period and personaly I deslike steampunk or any similar games, its unrealistic for that period.
     
  22. Martinineter Senior Engineer

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    I would really really like to not see this ingame.
     
  23. LcsFletcher Trainee Engineer

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    For vanilla definitely no on any type of aircraft, last thing I want to see out my window is a horde of flying barbarians coming towards my base.
     
  24. K^2 Apprentice Engineer

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    It's funny how this sort of thing was never a problem for SE. Sure, there isn't historical accuracy to violate, but in terms of actual realism, I could spend a long time listing things in SE that are less realistic than building hot air balloons with medieval tools. All you really need is basic metallurgy and silk, both of which have been available before 5th century, and flying lanterns existed even earlier. It just happen to have been prohibitively expensive to try, what with the price of silk being what it was. So balloons in medieval game would be anachronistic, but by no measure unrealistic.

    Mind, I'm not disagreeing with the sentiment. ME will be much more fun if it sticks to some amount of historical accuracy. I just find it extremely ironic how militant some SE fans get about realism in ME.
     
  25. Zh3sh1re Trainee Engineer

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    I'm getting all dem Da Vinci vibes from this thread.
     
  26. Raelsmar Trainee Engineer

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    This kind of thing happens even more over in SE-land. There's a lot of fun policing over there. Just look at some of the threads that have been written about wanting to change thrusters to work like they would in, say, Kerbal Space Program (another favorite of mine, don't get me wrong), which would ruin many designs that are primarily aesthetic in nature.

    I think there needs to be a balance of fun and realism, and I trust KSH to walk that balance effectively. Modders can help bring the game where I'd like to see it go, turning it into more of a medieval-flavored physics sandbox. My only worry is that it would be impossible to actually get the depth of flight simulation I would want. There aren't very many games that let you actually fabricate the aircraft you want along with a great damage model (see Homebrew) that Medieval Engineers clearly has and we already know Space Engineers has. Perhaps in the future we'll see another game in the Engineers series that takes place in more modern times that allows for these sorts of creations.
     
  27. Chrono13 Apprentice Engineer

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    I don't expect to see any air vehicles any time soon, if ever, in ME. Reason being, aerodynamics are a very tricky thing to program (apparently), even games where it is a major player (like Kerbal Space Program) are still struggling with realistic flight.
     
  28. cyrv Trainee Engineer

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    pls no aircrafts.
    apart from the fact that aircrafts dont fit in the historic context and probably wouldn't be ressource-friendly, i am also worried about the gameplay itself.
    you would need to adapt your castles whole defense. the big trench you digged for hours would be useless, the highest walls would be also useless, as long as you don't have a giant roof over your whole castle. I am afraid this would lead to castle designs that are as ugly as they are necessary and that nobody here is wishing for.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2015
  29. K^2 Apprentice Engineer

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    You can have both, asymmetrical thrusters and symmetrical thrust. Take a look at the Space Shuttle. You just need a clever algorithm that balances thrust between thrusters.

    That said, I would also prefer to see it in form of a mod. One of the best things about KSP is how far modding has gone. You can use mods to make rockets way more realistic or way more outlandish. That should be the way forward with SE and ME as well, in my opinion.

    I kind of hope that Keen allows us to hide bits of C# code in ME as well. I've built some rather nice aircraft in Garry's Mod by using processors from Wire Mod to compute aerodynamics and apply forces to parts I've marked as "wings". This would, obviously, have to be a mods only feature, rather than built into gameplay like in SE, but it would open up all sorts of opportunities for expanding ME both into fantasy/steampunk settings, or making it more realistic, with more weapons, combat styles, etc.
     
  30. Murasame Trainee Engineer

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    When I see ME, I don't see historical context. It's impossible to have historical accuracy because every single person is going to build things with a 21st century bias, no matter how hard they try, from how they design their castle to how they dig their quarries. The way we view, understand, and interact with our world - and any world - is different than people of the medieval times.

    To me, ME is a medieval themed sandbox with a giant procedural world; it is not an attempt to feel like I'm living in the medieval era. I would rather see us have the ability to try and make things work with medieval tools and resources rather than being confined to the ideas that those in the period had.

    If you want to be purist, that should be allowed; however, that desire for purism should not impede the desire of those of us who want to think outside of the box.
     
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