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Subject: Requires Players to Account for Planetary Motion? rss

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Timothy Young
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Just looking at the game board it appears that players will need to account for each planet's rate of motion and try to plan on arriving at where the planet will be, several turns in the future. Is that right? And I'm guessing that all the planets are moved along their orbit at the end of each round, or something like that? If so, I find the idea very intriguing, and I think it sounds like it would be a lot of fun to play.

-Tim
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Gil Orey
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Your are guessing correct

But there are other things in this game that could be interesting like the away ships moves (fuel and hyper fuel) and mission cards (who give extra VP).

At the moment the game is in final tests. End of July will start the production and in October will be ready for Essen Spiel 2012 laugh
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Yury Yamschchikov
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Hi Tim!

Moreover, there is simple but quite realistic simulation of ship movements in outer space, there is no friction and no strong gravitation. It means that after you accelerate your ship, one keeps own speed without fuel burning. Each new turn you may accelerate more to increase speed or to slow it down (if acceleration is applied in opposite direction).

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Yury
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Timothy Young
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Tanion wrote:
Hi Tim!

Moreover, there is simple but quite realistic simulation of ship movements in outer space, there is no friction and no strong gravitation. It means that after you accelerate your ship, one keeps own speed without fuel burning. Each new turn you may accelerate more to increase speed or to slow it down (if acceleration is applied in opposite direction).

--
Yury


That sounds so cool! I'm getting the impression that the ship movement will give players an experience similar to the car movement in Racetrack, while requiring them to keep tabs on available fuel (and perhaps other resources?).

(Edit: In a given turn in Racetrack each player's car travels along a vector which is determined by modifying its vector from its previous turn by no more than n number of spaces, where n does not usually exceed 2.)
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Yury Yamschchikov
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TIM0THY wrote:

That sounds so cool! I'm getting the impression that the ship movement will give players an experience similar to the car movement in Racetrack, while requiring them to keep tabs on available fuel (and perhaps other resources?).


Oh, I love that game - we spend a lot of time with that during school time!

TIM0THY wrote:
(Edit: In a given turn in Racetrack each player's car travels along a vector which is determined by modifying its vector from its previous turn by no more than n number of spaces, where n does not usually exceed 2.)


In KOCMOC we used somehow similar, but not exactly the same mechanism. And also we try to make it simple for players:

Every space ship Capitan has personal board, on which he/she keep fuel units, energy shields (the second resource) and visited planets tokens. Every turn you may spend up to 3 units of fuel, which are placed on the chosen direction(s) on a direction board (you can see it on the corners of the game board). More fuel units are on the direction - more speed in THAT direction (each turn ship moves 1 cell for each fuel unit).

Of cause you may place fuel units on two or three directions in the same time, and ship will fly in every direction with fuel units on it (1 cell in every direction for 1 fuel unit, placed on that direction).

As I mentioned before, fuel units are NOT removed after every turn flying (and actually it is more correct to call them "speed units" when they are lying on the direction board). That is done to simulate no friction media of outer space.

So you can increase speed every turn until you land on the planet. Landing makes speed equal to zero.
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Timothy Young
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So, looking at what I assume to be the player board in this image

it seems that there are only two directions for the player to account for- left and right. (Red blocks being used for fuel/speed, and gray blocks being used for shields.) Is this correct, or am I misinterpreting the image?
 
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Yury Yamschchikov
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TIM0THY wrote:
Red blocks being used for fuel/speed, and gray blocks being used for shields.


Correct. At this picture ordinary fuel is yellow, hyperfuel is red.

Now we change colors, because red is more "powerful" color and it should be used for hyperfuel, while yellow is used for ordinary fuel. Shields are still grey.

TIM0THY wrote:
it seems that there are only two directions for the player to account for- left and right


No, that's just fuel tanks on the players board



Direction roses are on the corners of the MAIN board and each of them has 6 directions (because game board is hexagonal):

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Yury Yamschchikov
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On this image there is a mistake with chips on the direction roses:



It is show correct uses of direction rose here:



(click to enlarge; red cubes is used as ordinary fuel here).
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Timothy Young
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This really sounds like such a cool concept.

A couple more questions:

What are the gray hexes between Mars and Jupiter? Asteroid belts?

Is it possible to run out of fuel?- thus requiring that players be judicious in their use of a limited resource?

Finally, when will the game be available in the USA?
 
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Yury Yamschchikov
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TIM0THY wrote:
What are the gray hexes between Mars and Jupiter? Asteroid belts?

Yes, you are right - that is dangerous asteroid belt.

TIM0THY wrote:
Is it possible to run out of fuel?- thus requiring that players be judicious in their use of a limited resource?

You may refuel your ship on any of the planets (that takes one turn), but yes, it is possible to run out of fuel. Actually that happen only once during our several months of testing. I think, players should be more judicious in their use of energy shields, which could NOT be restored during the game (except one rare event).

TIM0THY wrote:
This really sounds like such a cool concept.
Finally, when will the game be available in the USA?

I'm waiting our publisher's answer, but as far as I know game in not manufactured yet.
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Yury Yamschchikov
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Publisher answer:

Quote:
The game will be available for selling in ESSEN Spiel 2012.

After that will be available in some markets: Portugal, Spain, Germany,
USA and Russian.

Of course the game being available in the that markets really depends of
the distributors. In our case, will try the games to be there as soon as
possible.

But any person have always an option. To buy the game from our net =
store: www.mesaboardgames.pt
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Matthew Eklund
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This is the same movement system found in Hard Vacuum...

Not realisitic for driving a spaceship in a solar system... but is quite thematic... like a video game.
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Yury Yamschchikov
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Matthew_Eklund wrote:
This is the same movement system found in Hard Vacuum...

Matthew, thank you for link - it is interesting to see how the same core mechanic is used in different kind of games.

Matthew_Eklund wrote:
Not realisitic for driving a spaceship in a solar system...

Could you please explain why do you think so?
 
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Timothy Young
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Tanion wrote:
Matthew_Eklund wrote:
This is the same movement system found in Hard Vacuum...

Matthew, thank you for link - it is interesting to see how the same core mechanic is used in different kind of games.

Matthew_Eklund wrote:
Not realisitic for driving a spaceship in a solar system...

Could you please explain why do you think so?


When I read his comment I wondered if he felt that way because the movement of the ships only occurs in two dimensions instead of three.
 
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Yury Yamschchikov
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TIM0THY wrote:
Tanion wrote:
Matthew_Eklund wrote:
Not realisitic for driving a spaceship in a solar system...

Could you please explain why do you think so?


When I read his comment I wondered if he felt that way because the movement of the ships only occurs in two dimensions instead of three.

Of cause there is several assumptions in the game, which simplify the mechanics - probably I'll write big post about that.

But, all orbits of all planets are in the SAME PLANE in Solar System, so 2D is quite realistic

 
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Greg S
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Tanion wrote:
But, all orbits of all planets are in the SAME PLANE in Solar System, so 2D is quite realistic


Poor, poor aberrant former-planet Pluto

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Yury Yamschchikov
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Qualm wrote:
Poor, poor aberrant former-planet Pluto

Yes, poor aberrant Pluto, which is not a Ninth Planet anymore cry
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Matthew Eklund
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Tanion wrote:
Matthew_Eklund wrote:
Not realisitic for driving a spaceship in a solar system...

Could you please explain why do you think so?


It's somewhat counter-intuitive, and my explanation is overly simplified... but the physics goes something like this:

All things in Sol system are in orbit around the sun. You spend fuel to modify that orbit. If you stop spending fuel, you don't keep drifting towards your target, in fact you'll never reach it. You will continue on your current orbit.

You must accelerate (spend fuel) to go move from planet to planet... you can't just aim at it (or even aim where it will be), light your thruster, and drift in a straight line to your target. Both you and your target are in orbit.

Even in a non-orbital system, it doesn't appear that the game takes gravity's effect on the rocket into consideration (why are the planets following circles, when the rocket isn't?).

You could consider implementing a basic gravity system (as an example see the tactical maps from Rocket Flight) wherein a player landing on an arrow hex gets a free acceleration in that direction (with the arrows representing gravity wells). In this way players could use big gravity wells (like jupiter) to help them slingshot around the solarsystem (like real life).



Anyways it really doesn't matter... vector movement in a space game is very thematic, and i like it (just like i like it in many other space games, but done best in Hard Vacuum). It just happens to be fundamentally scientifically incorrect (who cares, it's a game!).

cheers
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Yury Yamschchikov
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Mattew, thank you for detailed explanation!

I agree with you - gravitation of planets and the Sun is very important. But only with assumption, that speed of space ship isn't much more that speed of space ships of our time.

This game is science-fiction. That allow as to assume, that in the future humankind will know how to travel in space much faster that now. In the case of very high speed, contribution of gravitation will be less, than size of one cell on the game board.

And we have to assume very high speed, in other case it will be not the fast Race, but Regatta with several years duration.

So, I do you agree that with assumption of very high speed game mechanics is not "fundamentally scientifically incorrect"?
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Yury Yamschchikov
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PS

Of cause there are simplifications in the game. For example distance between inner planets and far planets is disproportional to orbit sizes (in other hand we need a impractical huge game board).

Of cause that discussion is more about science, less about the game. For game it is more important interesting game play, good balance, interaction between players and so on.

But anyway we try to make core mechanic credible. That help players feel the atmosphere of space travel and enjoy that flight.
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Richard Hutnik
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Don't sweat it. Word is that if it is anything like Travellers then only some simple Calculus will be needed.
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Matthew Eklund
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Tanion wrote:
Of cause that discussion is more about science, less about the game. For game it is more important interesting game play, good balance, interaction between players and so on.


this is of course the real answer, and should be the real goal

Tanion wrote:
So, I do you agree that with assumption of very high speed game mechanics is not "fundamentally scientifically incorrect"?


no, even with very high speed, the mechanics remain incorrect... the gravitation effect of the sun on the planets is clearly simulated by their circular orbits... but the exact same force on the rocket (remember that the mass of the affected object is irrelevant when talking about gravity! remember the bowling ball and the feather experiment?) is not simulated.

It's really not a big deal. Seriously. It's a game.

But you might find some cool game mechanics if you look at the science a little more closely.


For example, looking at the map it appears that the planets move from icon to icon on their orbits... with the outer planets moving faster than the inner planets (in hexes per turn). Of course in reality the closer planets orbit much faster than the far ones... this could easily by simulated by moving the icons around a bit (and would be pretty cool). Necessary? No. Critical to gameplay? of course not. But conceptually valid and adding a neat educational tidbit? yes.

Just like my previous comments on gravity wells or slingshots.

Or having the sun's gravity affect spacecraft (at least one's close to the sun).

These are just random thoughts, not criticisms... it's a game! It's perfectly easy to think of the little uber-rockets as having futuristic gravity neutralizers or somesuch... :)
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Anton R.
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Tanion wrote:
Mattew, thank you for detailed explanation!

I agree with you - gravitation of planets and the Sun is very important. But only with assumption, that speed of space ship isn't much more that speed of space ships of our time.

This game is science-fiction. That allow as to assume, that in the future humankind will know how to travel in space much faster that now. In the case of very high speed, contribution of gravitation will be less, than size of one cell on the game board.

And we have to assume very high speed, in other case it will be not the fast Race, but Regatta with several years duration.

So, I do you agree that with assumption of very high speed game mechanics is not "fundamentally scientifically incorrect"?


How about special relativity in high speed case?
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Yury Yamschchikov
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Matthew_Eklund wrote:
no, even with very high speed, the mechanics remain incorrect... the gravitation effect of the sun on the planets is clearly simulated by their circular orbits... but the exact same force on the rocket (remember that the mass of the affected object is irrelevant when talking about gravity! remember the bowling ball and the feather experiment?) is not simulated.

Yes, I agree that gravity force will affect on all objects on the Solar System, including the ships. Applied force produce acceleration. If acceleration, produced by ship's engine will be much more then acceleration, produced by gravitation force, we could consider that gravitation makes unsignificant contrebution.

PS Everybody, sorry for offtopic
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Yury Yamschchikov
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gozik wrote:
How about special relativity in high speed case?

Anton, you just kill me! How can I forgot about relativity?!
Now I have to make calculations to check if ship can have a speed, which is big enought to reduce contribution of gravitation and, in same time, small enought to concider relativity unsignificat. Just because of academic interest
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