SomeGuy123

The Expanse technical thread

106 posts in this topic

9 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

I can't wait to see the forth book on screen, that will be flippin' amazing!

I just finished book 5 yesterday :D

Anyway, I feel it's pretty realistic, if you ignore the Epstein.

I do laugh, however, about everybody who praises the realism in terms of no faster-than-light travel. Obviously that means they haven't gotten far enough into the books to find out about the stargate.

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Just now, mikegarrison said:

I do laugh, however, about everybody who praises the realism in terms of no faster-than-light travel. Obviously that means they haven't gotten far enough into the books to find out about the stargate.

Wormholes are possible through.

And it's a cool expansion on the expanse :wink:

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14 hours ago, SargeRho said:

Ceres has been stripped of its ice, and is now a dry rock. The ECLSS on Ceres isn't 100% air- and water tight, and water is probably also used to produce fuel for chemical thrusters.

Ah! That makes sense!

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5 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

I think you are confusing realism with lack of a plot. But since there is no accepted boundary for what is and is not science fiction, I suppose it could be claimed that anything completely realistic isn't science fiction at all.

I will certainly say that for most stories, a desire to be 100% realistic is very constraining. Probably this is because fiction, by it's nature, is unreal, and so trying to write "realistic fiction" is actually an attempt to create something that is "realistically unreal" -- a difficult task.

An interesting thought. I like fantasy as much as anyone else, but I think I like "simulation" even better. I don't think a desire to be 100% realistic is necessarily so "constraining." There are libraries full of fiction that never invokes fantasy, spread across dozens of disciplines.

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4 hours ago, Gkirmathal said:

Since I began reading the books, I have been looking for a new Sci/fi game which combines the Expanse in feel, scope and in technological development, with KSP like features.

A game like: KSP's ship construction/design, proper Newtonian physics, a large (full) scale solar system to explore, trade and walk around in. But not orientated on building/launching rockets, like in KSP.

I haven't been able to find any title besides KSP that checks most boxes. Most titles have unrealistic physics, submarine ship design, or artificial gravity mumbo-jumbo/propulsion/etc. Helion and Helium Rain seem to come close, though both have also have elements I really dislike.

KSP's 'realism' can really spoiled you :P, so is there anyone else who is looking for a similar type of game and know of something in development at this moment?

 

Children of a Dead Earth?

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminus_(video_game)

This was a game that featured role-playing in a setting almost exactly like The Expanse. You either played as an Earth fighter pilot, a Mars fighter pilot, or an independent ship owner.

It featured Newtonian physics (although, IIRC, not orbital mechanics) for the ships, and was extremely difficult even with SAS-like aids turned on. A joystick was essential.

There was an overall story that progressed about conflicts developing between Earth and Mars, with each side blaming the other side for pirate attacks, etc.

I never finished the game. I can't remember exactly why.

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1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminus_(video_game)

This was a game that featured role-playing in a setting almost exactly like The Expanse. You either played as an Earth fighter pilot, a Mars fighter pilot, or an independent ship owner.

It featured Newtonian physics (although, IIRC, not orbital mechanics) for the ships, and was extremely difficult even with SAS-like aids turned on. A joystick was essential.

There was an overall story that progressed about conflicts developing between Earth and Mars, with each side blaming the other side for pirate attacks, etc.

I never finished the game. I can't remember exactly why.

I used to play this! I still have a copy on CD somewhere, but it won't run on modern OS. It used Newtonian Physics for maneuvering, but, as you said, it didn't factor in orbital mechanics at all. It was kind of like freelancer with much more detailed ship design and real physics.

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2 hours ago, peadar1987 said:

Children of a Dead Earth?

It has some super nice features, although I don't like the combat focus and the scenario type missions. The ship building feature would be fantastic IMO, if they expand on that and made it bigger than a pure space combat sim.

About Terminus, I read about it on SpaceSimCentral forums. For it's time it looks like a really nice game.

It's a shame really that most game development studio's choose to not develop a realistic Newtonian space environment, or more or less with correct physics (within the limitations of their engines).

Using The Expanse universe as a basis to build a game upon is immense IMO. Like for instance 100>200 years in it's future, has great potential to make a single or MMO game environment. The world building opportunities, revealed in book three, would be a great basis for a game.

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You know . . . in a couple hundred years it does seem quite likely that there will be a major human presence off the Earth. Perhaps only thousands or tens of thousands of visitor/traveler/workers (maybe even "colonists"), but a significant presence nonetheless.

Given the tremendous economic value (supposed) of some of the resources out there, it seems inevitable there will be plenty of human drama, even if one were to stick 100% to conservative estimates of how technology will work.

Somebody really does need to make a game that covers that stuff.

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If the average action movie doesn't feel the need to stay 100% within real physics, I don't see why sci-fi needs to either. As long as it's immersive and has a decent story, I'm happy to watch it,.

On 2017-02-20 at 11:18 AM, mikegarrison said:

I do laugh, however, about everybody who praises the realism in terms of no faster-than-light travel. Obviously that means they haven't gotten far enough into the books to find out about the stargate.

Tag your spoilers, good sir! :/

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Expanse, s02e06 "Paradigm Shift".

A brief summary:

Spoiler

 


 

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Just saw a couple minutes of the current (?) episode that involves some spacecraft maneuvering around Jupiter. Beyond absurd, had to change the channel. Adding RCS puffs to what are in effect X-wing type flying doesn't cut it. Note that I'm totally fine with space opera---but the closer to "now" it is, the less I can deal with that sort of stuff.

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5 hours ago, tater said:

Just saw a couple minutes of the current (?) episode that involves some spacecraft maneuvering around Jupiter. Beyond absurd, had to change the channel. Adding RCS puffs to what are in effect X-wing type flying doesn't cut it. Note that I'm totally fine with space opera---but the closer to "now" it is, the less I can deal with that sort of stuff.

Spoiler

Roci is doing a bunch of gravitational slingshots around some of Jupiter's moons to get to Ganymede without using her engines. I'm not sure why Alex wouldn't just let it tumble, though. Rule of cool?

 

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The speed was ridiculous. It was in real time, and it went from moon to moon at what must have been 1000s of km/s.

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9 hours ago, tater said:

The speed was ridiculous. It was in real time, and it went from moon to moon at what must have been 1000s of km/s.

One super important thing I learned about orbital mechanics and FTL travel from Star Trek is:

The vessel will always move at the speed of the plot.

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On 2/20/2017 at 7:46 AM, Gkirmathal said:

Way back The Expanse started out as a tabletop rpg and that made me wonder what other games besides KSP are in the making.

Come to think of it, the basic setup really does seem like a RPG. You have three main factions (Earth, Mars, Belt) and each is somewhat balanced if you are playing scenarios in the belt (Earth: wealthy, Mars: tech-savvy, Belt: natives).

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Posted (edited)

On 09.04.2017 at 2:41 AM, JayPee said:

The vessel will always move at the speed of the plot.

This proves that the vessel always stands still, but the chunks of reality reappear around it.

On 08.04.2017 at 4:45 PM, tater said:

The speed was ridiculous. It was in real time, and it went from moon to moon at what must have been 1000s of km/s.

In fact the ship was crawling like a snail, that's Alex had emptied at least ten cans of some liquid (see the previous episode), at it was flinging him to and fro like in a fighter cabin.

10 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Earth, Mars, Belt

Atreides, Harkonnens, Ordos

P.S.
Btw, why there was a double door between the room and the vacuum, and only the outer part was closed? (So, got broken)

Edited by kerbiloid

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Posted (edited)

On 8/4/2017 at 6:44 AM, tater said:

Just saw a couple minutes of the current (?) episode that involves some spacecraft maneuvering around Jupiter. Beyond absurd, had to change the channel. Adding RCS puffs to what are in effect X-wing type flying doesn't cut it. Note that I'm totally fine with space opera---but the closer to "now" it is, the less I can deal with that sort of stuff.

It also bothered me, because the same thing could have been presented just slightly differently, and work a million times better. Turns out, even the show's creators feel the same on this one. Check out how it should have been done.

Just like interstellar's suppossedly difficult axial docking. Just make it non-axial, stupid!

 

Rune. That one really stung.

Edited by Rune
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Posted (edited)

On 2/20/2017 at 9:14 AM, Diche Bach said:

Ah! That makes sense!

IIRC, in the first book they explain that most ships use water steam based RCS systems.  They even refer to maneuvering without using the ship's Epstein or fusion torch engine as "going teakettle."

 

On 4/7/2017 at 9:44 PM, tater said:

Just saw a couple minutes of the current (?) episode that involves some spacecraft maneuvering around Jupiter. Beyond absurd, had to change the channel. Adding RCS puffs to what are in effect X-wing type flying doesn't cut it. Note that I'm totally fine with space opera---but the closer to "now" it is, the less I can deal with that sort of stuff.

you must have missed the scenes setting that up, the ship's computer plotted an optimal gravity assist trajectory, using a few of the minor Jovian moons to slingshot the ship back to Ganymede with RCS thrusters only to avoid detection by the MCRN blockade.

Edited by Capt. Hunt

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8 hours ago, Rune said:

It also bothered me, because the same thing could have been presented just slightly differently, and work a million times better. Turns out, even the show's creators feel the same on this one. Check out how it should have been wrong.

Just like interstellar's suppossedly difficult axial docking. Just make it non-axial, stupid!

 

Rune. That one really stung.

It single handedly made me stop watching the show. I tried last year, and saw something that annoyed me, and stopped. A friend likes the show, and I gave it another chance, only to see that utter nonsense. It wasn't dramatic license, it was awful. It's nice to see that the creator didn't like it, but they should have reshot it, frankly. Maybe next year I'll watch again. Probably not.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

It single handedly made me stop watching the show. I tried last year, and saw something that annoyed me, and stopped. A friend likes the show, and I gave it another chance, only to see that utter nonsense. It wasn't dramatic license, it was awful. It's nice to see that the creator didn't like it, but they should have reshot it, frankly. Maybe next year I'll watch again. Probably not.

Well, sometimes you have to kind of switch off your rational brain a bit, else you would watch no shows. It's only once or twice per season...

 

Rune. At least The Expanse tries.

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Posted (edited)

Saga about asteroid underground beggars rebelling against hi-tech Earth is by definition doomed to be an opera rather than hard sci-fi
Remember s01e01 and its technological level, degrading from episode to episode.
Why not just implant a chip into the miners' pleaseure centers as a part of space contract, to prevent mass insanity caused by the bottomless abyss.

The ship docks by its bottom to the rotating station on top of its wheel, but after that the gravity inside the ship pulls its crew to the ship floor, not to a wall

Thanks to the distress and adventures, Roci's captain ("John Snow") now has successfully recovered from his drug addiction.
In s01e01 he was pouring some s**t into his coffee, but never did this later. (Or maybe he now hides better).

Ganymede is a nice place for a agricultural station under glass domes. Radiation belt makes mutations run faster.
(Interesting: what animal did mention the criminal dealer as "chicken", and couldn't it survive on the surface without a space suit).

Not sure, why the Martians left Draper alive on Ganymede when she was an expendable white mouse.

P.S.
Season 3 will be named:
"Invasion from Venus: The Return of Blue Cop".

P.P.S.
Dr. Cortazar draws some crosswords or so. They look too simple to be true formulas. He cosplays a mad scientist patiently waiting for a moment. Like him. He's a ray of light in reign of darkness.

P.P.P.S.
Mass starvation of beltalowda was caused by the Phoebe scientists. They had spent all stock of pasta drawing the horrible moleculas in their grim lab.

Edited by kerbiloid

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I am much, much more picky about near future SF than distant future SF, though. I want as few laws of physics broken as possible. So add in the magic drive... I can deal with that, disbelief suspended... then throw in what looks like a Star Wars sequence with RCS puffs added? Lost me entirely. I tried watching past that, but I just could't.

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There's this thing called suspension of disbelief. You have to use it to watch just about anything on TV.

If a few small liberties with physics ruins your enjoyment of The Expanse, then you shouldn't be able to enjoy any TV show, book, or movie at all.

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Posted (edited)

19 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

There's this thing called suspension of disbelief. You have to use it to watch just about anything on TV.

If a few small liberties with physics ruins your enjoyment of The Expanse, then you shouldn't be able to enjoy any TV show, book, or movie at all.

I wouldn't presume to tell anyone how their own brain works, you're almost certain to be wrong most of the time.

As I said, the nearer future it is, the harsher I judge it as SF.  When the starting point is obvious fantasy, it's actually easier to suspend disbelief sometimes, because you have zero expectation of attention to realism. I was mightily annoyed in Apollo 13 by the wrong Apollo countdown, for example---but I actually remember the real thing, and as a kid, I knew it by heart. So it works in history, too---don't get me started on WW2 movies, I'm the guy who notices improper markings on aircraft (though I suspend disbelief when they have to use the wrong model of actual aircraft sometimes, for example a B-25J for a Doolittle raider that should be a B-25B, or the wrong model P-40 for AVG aircraft).

I'd add that the liberties in that particular shot (I suggest you actually watch it) was not small, it was obviously, jarringly ridiculous. 

 

Edited by tater

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