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At its core, the suggestion to add weather and clouds is simple. Clouds, wind, perhaps even storms. Its easy to imagine how interesting it could be. But before we can really delve into the suggestion, we need to consider different ways weather could be implemented, and figure out what the best way would be for KSP. But first, lets talk about the elephant in the room: The fact that it can adjust difficulty: Weather and Difficulty: The way I see it, there could be a number of basic settings for weather. -Full disable: Weather is disabled. It is always clear. -Visual only: Weather does not actually effect you. -Storms only: Weather only effects you when you are in a "storm" like scenario. -Full: Weather, winds, etc, will effect you any time. Depending on the level of simulation, there could also be toggles/sliders for things like wing icing, damage from dust storms, or "gustiness". Also interesting would be a Sandbox option to add a weather system of your choice to a location (presumably your current one). Core Mechanics and Weather Simulation: The first question to ask is simple: How do we design the weather with regards to the game? I do not speak of merely how wind works (it would presumably be a form of modifier to the current aerodynamics), but rather where it comes from. KSP is a physics heavy game, and adding some full-blown weather simulator to it would not be very good for gameplay purposes. So what, then, is the best way to add weather? Three options come to my mind, and perhaps you can imagine others. I'll start with my ideas on the matter: 1. Exceptions to Standard. In this setting, the all-clear weather on Kerbin is still the "standard weather", and any other weather events are things that generate randomly, move across the planet for some time, and then disappear. For other planets, the "standard" could also be clear, or it could be a set windspeed and direction (i.e. if you wanted to give Jool a saturn-like atmosphere) or just being cloudy instead of clear (i.e. if you want to make Eve a little more Venus-like in appearance). These events would be storms, areas of wind, perhaps even benign weather like partly cloudy and drizzles. Whenever one disappears, a new one would generate at a semi-random location, and would randomly generate its path based on some planet-defined directional preferences. Some weather events could also follow a pre-determined pattern of changes over their path (i.e. a "hurricane" might have a building phase, an main phase, and then just be a normal storm on the last leg of its path) This results in a reasonably viable set of weather mechanics that shouldn't require too much processing power to simulate on a global scale. Values worth noting would include the max number of weather events per planet (a value that can change based on the planet), which weather systems can generate on any give planet, and perhaps "seed spots" which are the only region on a planet that can generate certain weather events (i.e. maybe only weather events that generate in certain sea areas have a chance of being generated as a Hurricane event, and only storms that are generated in northern areas have a chance of generating as snow storms). If two weather events overlap, one of them can simply take priority over the other as they pass through each other for simplicity sake. 1b. Permanent weather events: It would be good in this case to have a permanent type of weather event possible. These events would be designed into applicable planets. They would be used for things such as Jool, where you might want to have an equivalent to Jupiter's Great White Spot. 2. Extremely simplistic, low power weather sim. The idea here is to split a planet into a set of "cells" and have the simplest, easiest simulation you can that still causes a reasonable variety of weather, perhaps intermittantly "seeding" it with an effect to get things moving if need be (or to simulate seasons). One option would be to take the "exceptions to standard" idea listed in 1, but just replace weather events with randomly generated air masses with semi-random values for speed, humidity, and temperature (semi-random because they could be influenced by the location they are generated). Any time two of these masses meet, they are replaced with some weather event, based on the values of the air masses. By themselves, these air masses would generally just have some wind, temperature, and humidity, and some form of cloud cover ranging from zero to full. 3. Pre-decided weather patterns. Rather than worry about dynamic weather in this scenario, the developers simply "design" the weather on Kerbin (and each other applicable planet) for a set amount of time, such as a period of 1-4 of that planet's years, and then run it. When it reaches the end, it loops back to the start. The upside is that you can have some good weather variation without actually needing to simulate it. The downside is that the weather is predetermined and thus will repeat. You can get around this somewhat by starting each planet at a random point in its weather "track" upon starting a new career, so you at least don't find yourself seeing the same couple days of weather every time you start a new game. What effects can weather have? The first and most obvious effects are the visual ones. There will be clouds. You can fly through them. They may be simply rendered, but they can still be clouds. Also, there can be rain, snow, and lightning. When you are in space above a storm at night, you might see some occasional flashes from the storm from lightning. There would also be a simplistic fog effect too (perhaps most notably on Duna, where it could be used for sandstorms). If the weather isn't impressive enough visually, then I imagine mods will help fix that. Next we have mechanical effects. -Wind can, of course, cause some ruckus during launches and take-offs. It might be a good idea to add another runway to KSP, and to allow you to choose which one to launch aircraft from (and which end of the runway to do it from). You could display this choice while in the aircraft hanger when you click launch, along with the current direction and speed of the wind. -Wind gusts are another potential one. For simplicity sake, I assume that rather than worrying about what causes such turbulence and attempting to model it, that some weather systems or air masses may simply have a value indicating a chance of encountering gusts of somewhere between X and Y strength intermittently, and that when this happens the wind affecting your vessel rapidly changes for a couple seconds. -Icing could be something that occurs in fairly water-heavy worlds such as Kerbin and Laythe. If whatever Eve has can also freeze and snow, you could perhaps have it there too. -Being a Mars analogue, Duna could of course have sandstorms. These could be windy, reduce vision, and could be at risk of damaging some equipment if it is not protected or put back into its stored configuration (Engineer astronauts could fix them if you forget). -Planets with active volcanoes could have a permanent weather effect near them with an ash-plume storm, and wind direction matching the plume direction. The priority could be set such that this effect disappears whenever another weather effect is in the region, resulting in the volcano appearing to sometimes be erupting, and sometimes not (when in actuality, not erupting just means another weather effect is overriding it). -Given how weird Eve is (its SORT OF a venus analogue, but not really), you could probably imagine some interesting things for it. Dense but slow-moving and harmless fogs (insert Purple Haze joke), small tornado-like storms that look almost more tornado than storm (but which actually only have a small "real" tornado in the very center). -Weather effects could have their own science equipment associated with them. This equipment would gather science based not on location, but rather what kind of weather they are in (for these instruments, all vacuum areas would be considered the same "weather" pattern, unlike the current thermometer and barometer). -Some more major weather effects could temporarily override the biome in the region they are affecting for some instruments. These would generally be major things like hurricanes, or permanent weather systems like the "Great Jool Blot" (has a nice ring to it, actually). -Planets without atmospheres (and maybe those with really, really thin ones) would of course not have weather. Misc other thoughts and comments: -If the SUN is granted some weather, it could have "sunspot" events, along with rare "eruption" events. The sunspot events could just act like a biome for purposes of near-sun spacecraft science gathering, but eruption events could have other effects too. If one of these happens to be pointed towards a planet, you could generate an aurora effect around the poles of that planet. It could also cause a notable additional heating effect when a spacecraft near the sun is above its "biome." -Meteor showers are not weather (and should not be considered such mechanically), but could potentially be an interesting visual effect that occurs on planets with atmospheres at set points in their year, independent of weather. -I wonder if Jebediah Kermin has any type of weather he especially enjoys. Knowing him, probably hurricanes. While in an aircraft he designed himself. With an exterior pilots seat. During re-entry. With boosters ignited. And poor Bob in the cockpit screaming in panic about how horrible an idea this was.
First of all, sorry for the text wall. I've been thinking about this recently, and wanted you guys' opinion: With the advances in technology, we've been able to run simulations (especially games), and they've been getting more and more detailed recently. These simulations have varying degrees of detail, with KSP, for instance even simulating physics on planetary scales. Other games, like FPS, can simulate ballistics and advanced movement (ArmA, for instance). Powder Toy can simulate chemistry/physics (I managed to build an ion engine there, was quite difficult), and neural networks can simulate small-scale evolution. This got me thinking, what if our "reality" is actually a simulation run by much more advanced beings? Can they interfere with it? If that was the case, then what about our simulations? Could a player in a FPS game, for instance, be controlling an actual being from within the simulation without it knowing? Still considering the shooter game, that being would know nothing that's not in the simulation. It would not know nothing but that it had to shoot specific things, that it could move and do specific things, and should avoid being shot. It wouldn't be able to know anything not explicit in the game. Think of it like this. Imagine a sentient being that lived in a 2D universe for its entire life. It would only be able to think about going forwards, backwards, left and right. It wouldn't be able to know about up nor down. The mind of the simulated being would be similiar: in the shooter game, it wouldn't be able to think about anything outside what the game can offer. It wouldn't be able to think about what's outside the game map. It wouldn't be able to think about doing something that's not possible in the game. All it would know is what is present in the game. That brings me to my next point, its senses: It would only have two senses, vision and hearing, since we're only able to simulate that (screens and speakers). In the shooter game, what it would see is only what's being rendered on the screen (HUD included), and what it would hear is only what goes through our speakers. So, if our universe was a simulation: every sentient being would be controlled by a "real" being's inputs. However, there's a problem with the simulated universe theory, the resources needed to simulate every single subatomic particle, and forces, etc. But what if only what sentient beings are seeing is being simulated (rendered?)? As in, everything that we don't see is "on rails", like a ship that you're not controlling in KSP (one interesting thing about this thought is the "if a tree falls and there is nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound" question). Bacteria would only be "actually" simulated when you use means to see them, for instance. That would reduce the need for resources immensely. About our senses and sentience: Our sentience is due to being controlled by a "real" being, just like in a singleplayer game, the only character that can actually think is the one you're playing as (This tackles the concept of "souls", but I really don't want to bring religion into this). Our senses is what the "real" beings have managed to simulate, just like we have screens and speakers to simulate video and sound, they must have other devices to simulate smelling, tasting and touching, creating the possibility that we actually have less senses than them, and that our reality is simpler than theirs. So, basically, in my mind: simulations, like games, create realities. Our reality might be one of those simulations. The bad thing is that there's no evidence to support this, and I don't think it's possible to prove the existence or non-existence of our reality. So this might be more of a philosophical theory. I'd like to read what you guys think.
So as a proper, over ambitious programmer, I decided to tackle a problem that is at least 3-6 years worth of education above my head, delving into big scary math where nobody my age (nor my teachers for that matter) have dared bury their heads in equations before. For context, this is where my problem comes from : http://www-evasion.imag.fr/Membres/Fabrice.Neyret/NaturalScenes/fluids/water/waves/fluids-nuages/waves/Jonathan/articlesCG/simulating-ocean-water-01.pdf I want to try to simulate ocean waves before I get into other scary water related math problems. I currently have two problems, they both involve programming the equation: The equation h(x, t) = Ʃ mean_h(k, t) exp (ik · x) k where h is the height, x is the wave direction vector (2d vector), mean_h is h with a line over it (I believe it is the mean height, hence the name) , t is time, k is another 2d vector that I think I've defined in programming. (this is more clearly on the article at 4.3, equation 36 in the article) But some parts of the equation raise questions... such as what to do with the exp(ik * x) , I can do the exp(I * x) just fine (its obviously a dot product), but how do I treat the i, it appears to indicate the complex number, but what should I do ? supposing that just means (0,1) (since it can mean that), what do I do between it and the I (ik * x), should I do a cross product or a dot product seeing as it doesn't have a dot unlike the other term. The second problem I have is putting the sigma into programming, the person who wrote the equation does not give everything that summation normally does, it uses a vector of all things as the start point, gives no end... It also leaves me clueless as to the mean height, how do I obtain it ? it doesn't indicate in the article, is it just a product of the summation ? tl;dr : I have math problems with that equation involving just about everything after the = sign.
parameciumkid posted a topic in Science & SpaceflightSome of you may recall the galaxy simulation I was working on a while back. Since then I've made improvements to it and also created an in-browser infinite procedural universe. The simulation uses 3D infinite Worley / Voronoi noise and a pseudorandom number generator (a la Minecraft) to produce an unlimited (other than engine limitations) number of procedural galaxies, laid out in a similar pattern to the large-scale structure of the real universe: Long story short, I just thought I ought to share this with my buddies on this forum and perhaps get some feedback. I'm not currently working on an "official" game involving this at the moment (too busy with other stuff), and I am aware that Space Engine exists, but hopefully this still counts as share-worthy. LINK: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13276416/Unity/CellNoiseUniverseTestGL/index.html