Dynamic Ooniverse

An area for discussing new ideas and additions to Oolite.

Moderators: another_commander, winston

User avatar
Commander McLane
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 9520
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:08 am
Location: a Hacker Outpost in a moderately remote area
Contact:

Dynamic Ooniverse

Post by Commander McLane »

This is taking up an idea Killer Wolf posted in the "A Pirates Joice"-thread:
Killer Wolf wrote:Re Anarchy.oxp, i'd quite like to see a reverse scenario : the innocent habitants of a system are hacked off w/ the pirates buggering up their trades, so a set of missions could be made to wipe a bunch of pirates out and assualt a bigger, meaner Rock hermit pirate base, thereby actually making a system no longer Anarchic, resulting in much wealth in reward and the adulation of the local girlies.
that would actually be quite interesting - veering off here on a tangerine - ie, making the system status more dynamic. consider - if you do a lot of pirating, the system will become more dangerous, and the market prices could rise sustantially....make yourself a nice little market ;-)
I definitely support the idea of the systems in Oolite being more dynamic, but in a broader sense, not influenced by the player. If you play long enough to become ELITE pretty much in-game-time will have passed. So it would be actually quite strange if nothing would change in the Ooniverse during that time. As we have a total of 8*256=2048 planets it sounds quite likely to me that at least some would change their government system during playtime. Revolutions happen in feudal and dictatorship systems, setting up democracies or communist governments. The military attemps coups in democracies or corporate states, making them dictatorships or (if they fail) anarchies. Statal entities in multi-government systems can unite, forming a unified government of one kind or the other.

Also planets can advance (or stumble) in their economical and technical development, thereby raising or decreasing their TL or agricultural/industrial status.

We just have to look out of the window to RealLifeTM and see what changes are happening even on a short-to-medium timescale on earth with its mere 200 countries. Then it seems very, very odd that the far bigger Ooniverse should be so static!

I think it's even possible without hard coding. An OXP could be changing selected planetinfo very, very slowly every now and then. The only question is: Should it be done randomly (therefore differently for every player) or should someone invent and script a certain line of development and change in the Ooniverse that would be the same in each game?

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

I think this is a very good idea and I also think (given my limited understanding of oxp scripting) that it could be done via an OXP.

The ooniverse has changed to some degree already I think as I've found several references in the wiki for planet descriptions (tech level and govt type) that do not match what I've found in the game.

I think it should be pseudo-random that would make sure that eventually everybody had the same ooniverse and would make it difficult (but not impossible for the spoil-sports) to work out where the Ooniverse was going over time.

I think dajt's javascript oxp branch of the code would lend itself very well to this being much more "code-y" than straight scripting.

Problems that I see:

- somebody has a mission critical change to specific planet and/or planets only to find the "organic_ooniverse" oxp alters it just afterwards, scuppering the oxp.

- what happens if/when the oxp is uninstalled - does it reset or do you carry on with a fixed (but non original) ooniverse from there?
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
Killer Wolf
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2043
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:38 pm

Post by Killer Wolf »

other random "acts of god" things might be interesting : say, a famine might strike a system, causing a hike in food prices. a screwed-up climate might cause a demand for furs, emp from solar flares might put up puter prices via demand for replacements etc etc

it's interesting tht narcotics are available, but blood (yay, vampires!) and medical supplies aren't (were they on one version of elite? i'm sure they were) - i had a ship idea (eye candy one) of a high-speed ambulance, could be tied in w/ medical supply runs. we have a Moray medical boat after all.

User avatar
stevesims
Dangerous
Dangerous
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 4:07 am
Location: London, England

Post by stevesims »

Nice ideas!

I must admit that I'm not entirely convinced that the world changes fast enough in RealLife™ for this to be interesting if changes in the Ooniverse were at a similar rate. I suspect that if you look into it you'd find that less than a dozen countries here would have had a government change worthy of an alternation of their Oolite government type in the last decade. Shifts of TL also don't tend to be terribly fast. The shift from agricultural to industrial economies tends to work over much longer timescales.

There is of course no reason why the Ooniverse should be as slow as real life. :-)

An OXP implementing the idea of such shifting planet data would be cool. It would be even cooler if you got news bulletins about events occurring at particular planets.

There is of course the danger that changing some of this information could affect OXPs. Some may rely on certain planets being a particular TL in order to ensure that certain equipment is available... I suppose if TL never went down it would solve that problem.

As for the idea of "acts of god" - that's excellent. I very much like the idea of short term events that affect the commodities market. Not sure how scriptable that is though - the place to look for info there I guess would be the rock hermit's scripts.

The notion of adding different cargo types is an interesting one, however I fear that may be beyond the ability of an OXP.

User avatar
Commander McLane
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 9520
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:08 am
Location: a Hacker Outpost in a moderately remote area
Contact:

Post by Commander McLane »

stevesims wrote:I must admit that I'm not entirely convinced that the world changes fast enough in RealLife™ for this to be interesting if changes in the Ooniverse were at a similar rate. I suspect that if you look into it you'd find that less than a dozen countries here would have had a government change worthy of an alternation of their Oolite government type in the last decade. Shifts of TL also don't tend to be terribly fast. The shift from agricultural to industrial economies tends to work over much longer timescales.

There is of course no reason why the Ooniverse should be as slow as real life. :-)
Well, let me try to list some of the notable political changes on RealEarth over the last decade or so:

(Old) Yugoslavia: Communist -> Multi Government
(New) Yugoslavia: Dictatorship -> Democracy
Croatia: Dictatorship -> Democracy (both of them still on the way)
South Africa: Dictatorship (somehow) -> Democracy
Somalia: Dictatorship -> Anarchy
Afghanistan: Dictatorship -> Anarchy
Iraq: Dictatorship -> Anarchy
Taiwan: Dictatorship -> Democracy
South Corea: Dictatorship -> Democracy (perhaps a bit out of the timeline as the process started earlier)
Nepal: Feudal State -> still not clear: Communist? / Dictatorship? / Democracy? / Anarchy?
Ukraine: Dictatorship -> Democracy (hopefully!)

(Note to myself: there should be warlords in Anarchies.oxp.)

And that's only what I remember without serious thinking. Wasn't there also some latin american juntas stepping down recently? And remember, the Ooniverse is roughly ten times bigger than earth, as far as the number of statal entities is concerned. That means that even with the same speed of change their would be roughly 120 changes in government in the 8 galaxies over the course of ten years, so 15 per galaxy. However I must admit I don't know now how many in-game-time will pass for a typical commander. But as longer witchspace jumps can take a couple of days it has to be years in total.

But I agree that--at least in our present time in RealEarth--economic developments seem to be slower. The first-world--third-world polarity seems quite static, with the possible exception of some "asian tigers" on a medium range timescale. But that needn't always be so. During the 19th century the european countries developed their economy with an enourmous speed in the industrial revolution. So there definitely is change in the economy of a given state.

And what about population growth and gross domestic product? In Oolite these values don't really affect gameplay, as far as I can tell, but still for the sake of adding "flavour" they can be changed--and in RealWorld can change quite drastically even in short terms.

And YES, I forgot to mention it in my first post, but OF COURSE I thought that a news bulletin should inform the player about changes.

Love also the idea of "acts of God" (would that be "Acts of Giles" in the game?), short term events effecting the commodities market. And of course also those would come in a news bulletin. The player would then decide whether the desaster is close enough to fire his engines and make a good profit, or at his arrival all the desaster relief agencies already would have stepped in and drowned the place with their aid, thereby completely collapsing the market. Again somehow reminds me of playing the Escape Velocity-games.

The big concern in all this is indeed the possible and--as we get ever more of them--likely interference with OXPs that change the planetinfo of some systems. Ionics is a quite drastic example for that. With all the systems stats set back to the original Oolite settings and from there only changed slightly it just wouldn't make sense anymore.

One solution could be that every OXP has to set a global variable to indicate that it is playing or--if it does make permanent changes to the Ooniverse--that it ever has been played. DynamicOoniverse.oxp would have to check those flags and NOT change systems affected by the OXP. Although I admit that it would be an AWFUL lot of work (but not impossible) to set up a list containing all the systems affected by all the OXPs, and TO KEEP IT UP-TO-DATE with new OXPs. Also in most cases it would do no harm to a mission-oxp if the TL of one of its planets would be incremented by 1 or its population would grow by half a billion.

Anyway, let's keep thinking about it.

User avatar
stevesims
Dangerous
Dangerous
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 4:07 am
Location: London, England

Post by stevesims »

Sorry to be a pedant here.... I just enjoy playing devil's advocate. ;-)

Without doing much research myself...

South Korea's first modern democratically elected president (Roh Tae-woo) was back in '88, although some may argue that since he came from the military it could be argued that the real change was when his successor (Kim Young-sam) was elected in '93. (My wife's Korean so I knew that one without looking...)

Nelson Mandela became president in South Africa in '94...

Old Yugoslavia ended in '91...

The modern Ukranian constitution was adopted in '96, so arguably they've been a democracy since then...

The Republic of China (Taiwan) had it's first democratic presidential election in '96...

I'm not denying that we see changes of government happening, I'm just suggesting that they don't happen quite as fast as you may think.

As I said there's no need to restrict to Ooniverse to work at the same pace as Earth. Additionally sometimes things happen over a longer period of time - you could have news articles about peace-keeping forces being deployed, or impending civil war. Also an ongoing civil war would leave a planet as an anarchy for a while, which could then result in the planet becoming any number of different government types when the war ends.

As for the problem of OXP compatibility, I don't think there's going to be an easy solution to that. The idea of having a list of systems whose parameters can be affected by OXPs seems to be the most practical way - those systems can be set to be islands of stability in the Ooniverse.

Another thing that may help other OXPs is to algorithmically ensure that certain planets will remain stable/unaffected. You could go for a simple approach like planet number divisible by 8, or something more complex like democratic-style government with TL 8 or higher.

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

@Reills - in the old Elite (and more apparent in Frontier with its x10,000 time step) the planets and systems seemed further apart and being a bit of a physics nut even then (aged 13+) I remember calculating the time dialation effect caused by a ship travelling at 0.35LM (or genuinely 35% the speed of light - about 100,000km/s) it was significant.

In Frontier (and sort of in Oolite) jumps "felt" instantaneous but actually took days or weeks depending on the ship.

So to extrapolate and come up with a (plausible) theory - us space bound types are ageing very slowly (as are our ships (take note those who feel routine maintenance comes round rather too quick - you may be right) compared to planet bound inhabitants of the Ooniverse.

If Giles hadn't been clever and put on actual distances once you get the target enhancements we could still blag the great speeds and great distances (after all in the original Elite manual it basically says that hitting the J key to engage the Torus drive also put you in a semi hypnotic state so time passed more slowly (or you experienced its passing to a lesser degree - concept expanded upon in Frontier) - with these great speeds and Witchspace jumping we would age tiny amounts compared to the Ooniverse - politicians and their related govts could come and go in a few dozen trips on popular routes while we'd barely had enough time to worry about four days worth of stubble and looking a bit rough...

Just my thoughts.
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
Killer Wolf
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2043
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:38 pm

Post by Killer Wolf »

the time thing...it's one of the things that spoils the game a little if i think too much about it. i know it's "real" according to Einstein et al, but it makes no sense in some things. Eg : I've been given the Constrictor mission. i got a Python so i'm not going after it till i spec myself up a Purgatori. meantime, going by the ship clock, that means so far over a year has passed - what's the credibility of that? i'd prefer this Witchspace thing to be near instantaneous, like the method in Stephen King's "The Jaunt".

User avatar
Commander McLane
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 9520
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:08 am
Location: a Hacker Outpost in a moderately remote area
Contact:

Post by Commander McLane »

@ DaddyHoggy: Are you sure you wanted to post in this thread? There is not even a post of reills here. :wink:

But anyway, as you however accidentally have raised the issue, I'd like to contribute something:

Another physics thing that bothers me about Oolite (yes, I have followed some physics related threads and know that Oolite-physics are only very remotely related to RealWorldTM-physics) is in fact the speed of light.

If your ship goes 0.25LM (so 25% the speed of light) you move 2500m in 10s (you can easily measure that by flying toward a station and taking the time between let's say the distance of 20000m and 10000m). Divided by ten that is 250m/s. Now remember that's supposed to be 25% the speed of light! So times four brings you to C=1000m/s!!! That's way out of scale, even compared to the planetsize-station/shipsize issue (Ships and stations being 1000x bigger than in reality, or actually it's the other way round: planets and suns being 1000x smaller than in reality, because according to the wiki on planetinfo the radius of a planet may be set to anything between 3000 and 7000m(!). Also the sun may be located at roughly psm 0 0 1000000, so one million meters, that makes one thousand kilometers. That's already 150.000x smaller than in our world, where the earth orbits our sun at about 150 million kilometers (and sits pretty much in the middle of the habitable corridor)!). But the Oolite speed of light beats all that easily, being roughly 300.000x smaller than in RealVacuumTM.

Another issue with speed is the hyperdrive (press J). According to some information in the wiki the hyperdrive is three times faster than your normal drive. So for a ship with 0.25LM its 0.75LM. Fine. A CobraMK3 however would have a speed of 0.35LM x 3 = 1.05LM. Faster than light even without jumping??? And for all the uber-ships out there it is even less believable.

User avatar
Killer Wolf
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2043
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:38 pm

Post by Killer Wolf »

you start looking at the size in Oolite and the whole game falls apart. just have to look at a ship going into a Coriolis and you think - there no room for owt else in there! it's like parking in your own garage! i tend to just switch off and enjoy the game tho. i suppose some clever programmer to go through and scale everything properly, but could the graphics engine adequately cope w/ a proper-sized station etc? is it REALLY that necessary? suppose not, unless we drift towards the real-world-sim of Frontier. i've always fancied going back there. there's a wealth of OXP/gameplay potential in just one planet actually - imagine : your "hyperspace" trips are actually continent to continent, and trading could be between cities/cloudbases - even undersea, if you had a Moray or a Subaqua conversion/shield (like heatshield in reverse). getting into pirate dogfights over forests or in canyons sounds fantastic to me. give us our 9 planets and the moons in real size, there's more than enough potential - after all, how many of those 256 planets do you go to? me, i'm trading between about 6 ona regular Ag - Ind circuit to build up credits. beyond that...hmmm. aside from specific OXPs, where's the incentive for touring??

User avatar
Commander McLane
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 9520
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:08 am
Location: a Hacker Outpost in a moderately remote area
Contact:

Post by Commander McLane »

Finding better trade routes? The best one I've found so far is in Galaxy 3, two awkwardly specc'd planets, witchspace distance: zero!

But actually I've never done this hopping-between-two-systems-thing for very long. It gets boring as well. Personally I'm roaming around quite a bit in each galaxy, interchanging between high-end and low-end planets, but in a way that I'm doing a "long way around" if you like so, also visiting an Anarchy from time to time if I want some more action--and of course travelling a lot through interstellar space--the real action is out there, I tell you! (At least with the right OXPs installed.)

I guess I've taken on this habit in the old days of playing ELITE, when I had no clue where there might be more missions hidden and so had to visit more or less every system in order not to miss anything. But I'm still feeling quite comfortable with it--although right now I enjoy OXPing more and my Commander hasn't gone anywhere since he finished NOVA. But I'm still looking forward to Deposed, Lovecats and (of course) Assassins. That keeps me going--that and one day being able to play my own OXPs...

And in-between while I'm just enjoying the game I frankly give a **** about physics, distances and whatever. (Seems to contradict my other post, but, hey, we're all human (or furry felines or bug-eyed lizards or bony lobsters, for that matter).)

User avatar
Gareth3377
Deadly
Deadly
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:46 pm
Location: Worcester

Post by Gareth3377 »

I think the real world physics could actually drag the game down (don't wish to offend anyone though). Frontier was let down a lot by the real world physics used (but that's another gripe). Elite always held the fascination of pathfinding and what might be out there. Sure, I might not visit every planet - but it's nice knowing they are there if I wanted to.

I've played an awful lot of space based games over the years from pure shoot 'em ups (hello X-Wing) to Elite wannabes (The X series and Freelancer) and none of them have conjured up the atmosphere that Elite has had i.e. there's a universe out there - go play!

I don't think - with the exception of Oolite - that there is a game out there that says - this is your means of transport how you play the game is up to you.

I bit of rambling with a side order of waffle...

Cheers

User avatar
Killer Wolf
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2043
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:38 pm

Post by Killer Wolf »

i agree : gamepley 1st, real physics....well, 257th mebbes. which is why when people start going on about Newtonian flight etc i just start groaning. even if you get into my stuff about planets, if i'm over a city and kill my speed i wanna hover, not plummet etc. i would be *nice* to go there, but as it is, i love the game as it stands.

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

My post to reills was supposed to be Stevesims - I think they have similar avatars but a fairly pathetic excuse - nonetheless :oops:

My excuse is very tired between decorating and pregnancy scares over my missus!
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Despite having my first degree in Physics I'm very happy to ignore the speed/size issues that Oolite (by its historical Eliteness) throws up.

I just tell myself the following:

My Cobra isn't really going 0.35LM its not really doing 100,000Km/s because I couldn't react to anything in that time - its was just a marketing ploy that stuck...

The stuff coming out of the back of my engines isn't the thrust that's propelling me along - it merely the visible bi-products ejected/created by the near-inertialess field generator that hidden away in my ship somewhere and this is why I can effectively come to a "dead-stop" (relative to my nearest gravitational body) from whatever speed I'm doing in just a few seconds...

That way Oolite makes enough sense for me to ignore its little foibles...
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

Post Reply