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So, I want to create a plugin to add a wheel to the game to emulate a hovercraft.. The wheel should have the following properties:

  • Invisible wheel, visible around the attachment point.
  • Cannot be destroyed, even without cheats active.
  • Does not affect aerodynamics.
  • Has long suspension, meaning that too much stress can cause the vehicle body to scrape the ground.
  • Has suspension in all directions, instead of just up and down, if possible.
  • Constantly uses EC, otherwise the wheel will stop physical interaction, in addition to the EC required to make it move.
  • Can slide more easily left and right than forward and back, if possible.
  • Custom, or no sounds from the wheel hitting the ground.

Can anyone help me outline the steps I should take to implement this idea? I've never written a plugin before, aside from some basic part cfg editing.

Edited by AceNova
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49 minutes ago, AceNova said:

So, I want to create a plugin to add a wheel to the game to emulate a hovercraft.. The wheel should have the following properties:

  • Invisible wheel, visible around the attachment point.
  • Cannot be destroyed, even without cheats active.
  • Does not affect aerodynamics.
  • Has long suspension, meaning that too much stress can cause the vehicle body to scrape the ground.
  • Has suspension in all directions, instead of just up and down, if possible.
  • Constantly uses EC, otherwise the wheel will stop physical interaction, in addition to the EC required to make it move.
  • Can slide more easily left and right than forward and back, if possible.
  • Custom, or no sounds from the wheel hitting the ground.

Can anyone help me outline the steps I should take to implement this idea? I've never written a plugin before, aside from some basic part cfg editing.

You can probably achieve this without a plug in. A wheel is a set of colliders and meshes, the colliders are what the physics calculations use, the mesh is what you physically see. So If you made a wheel with no wheel mesh and just the colliders you'd have a hoverwheel.

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1 hour ago, AceNova said:

So, I want to create a plugin to add a wheel to the game to emulate a hovercraft.. The wheel should have the following properties:
...

This sounds a whole lot like the repulsors in KerbalFoundries2, using KSPWheel rather than the stock module.
Might be worth looking at adapting this code, and/or asking @Shadowmage re. tweaking it for your idea. Could save reinventing the wheel, so to speak. :P
 

Edited by steve_v
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14 hours ago, AceNova said:

I've never written a plugin before, aside from some basic part cfg editing

First get a basic setup going (see here).

 

14 hours ago, AceNova said:

Can anyone help me outline the steps I should take to implement this idea

The basic idea may be simply to add a force to the vessel that negate acceleration in a direction (eg: toward the planet surface, to negate gravity).

So lets call the acceleration you want to negate "A", and the acceleration you are using to negate it "B".

  • If you set "B" at every step to match "A", you have perfect hovering (gravity negated perfectly and instantly)
  • If you put an upper boundary on how much "B" can change per-second, you'll get a 'suspension-like' effect (vehicle can scrape the ground)
  • Lower "B" when vessel altitude is above target, and viceversa
  • Specify the above mentioned boundary in an appropriate thrust metic (eg: newtons)
  • Each simulation step, add some small random variance to the direction vector and re-normalize it, to get a 'slight instability' effect

Authoring the acceleration direction can be implicit, eg: you can simply use one axis of the part frame of reference.
So rotating the hovering engine in the VAB will allow for other acceleration-negation uses.

Consuming EC is trivial. Playing audio should be easy enough.

Note that this is like an engine module, but with automatic throttle and consuming mass-less fuel.

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