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As of five minutes ago I became aware of the OpenRelativity toolkit for Unity. ( https://github.com/MITGameLab/OpenRelativity ). I have no idea if KSP 2 even uses Unity to begin with but I actually first bought the original KSP with the hopes of having relativistic travel. It was still a very worthwhile purchase even without this feature, but given the interstellar scope of KSP 2 I think relativistic effects could be an important feature; though I do doubt that it would be added this late in development if it's not already one. Thoughts?

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I agree that it is probably not going to be added before release if it is not already there. However, I would support seeing this feature in a future update along with other select “realism” features that aid with gameplay. 

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I don’t really know if they would be able to do this. Let’s think about this for a sec.

If you go near a high density object like a black hole, and stay there for an hour or two building stuff, years and years of in game time would’ve passed everywhere else. Would your colonies just be dormant and doing nothing for all those years? Would the game simulate you progressing for all those in game years? And that’s just single player. The devs already have to worry about time travel with timewarp in multiplayer, imagine having to deal with actual time travel.

I’m sorry if I sound pessimistic but I don’t think adding relativity into Kerbal 2 is possible, especially with the amount of resources the devs have.

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I think adding relativistic effects could maybe be done, but I doubt it would go farther than making the seconds tick by slower on ships moving close to the speed of light. Then again, I am far from an expert on either game development or relativity, so I really don't know.

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On 7/12/2022 at 10:38 AM, BowlerHatGuy2 said:

I’m sorry if I sound pessimistic but I don’t think adding relativity into Kerbal 2 is possible,

Forget being possible. I don't think there's a point to adding it. I have yet to see someone who asked for this describe how it's actually useful (rewarding or challenging), especially in a game like KSP.

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9 minutes ago, JadeOfMaar said:
On 7/12/2022 at 3:38 PM, BowlerHatGuy2 said:

I’m sorry if I sound pessimistic but I don’t think adding relativity into Kerbal 2 is possible,

Forget being possible. I don't think there's a point to adding it. I have yet to see someone who asked for this describe how it's actually useful (rewarding or challenging), especially in a game like KSP.

Let's remember that one of the first selling points of KSP 2 is that interstellar vessels can be built, and I highly doubt players won't find a way to attain near-lightspeed velocities with the available stock parts. KSP already has time acceleration, if you can figure out how to apply that to specific entities in the game then you can do special relativity.

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19 hours ago, JadeOfMaar said:

Forget being possible. I don't think there's a point to adding it. I have yet to see someone who asked for this describe how it's actually useful (rewarding or challenging), especially in a game like KSP.

Only thing I can think of is resources, a vessel on an interstellar trajectory traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light could require less food/water/power etc. 

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2 hours ago, Apelsin said:

Only thing I can think of is resources, a vessel on an interstellar trajectory traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light could require less food/water/power etc. 

I don't think thats right. If you travel 1ly at 10% the speed of light it still takes you 10 years to reach your destination, so you still need 10y of food and reactor fuel to keep the lights on. You still experience time as if nothing is amiss. Its that your experience of time is slightly different relative to everyone else. So compared to a game with no accounting for relativity your in-transit vessel would need exactly the same amount of food, instead you'd need a little more food for every other part of your program. At 1/10 or 1/5 the speed of light it also wouldn't be that noticeable. It's not until you get up to .6 or .7c where you start to see a meaningful percentage difference, the kind that might effect gameplay decisions. I think this is the reason the devs decided to avoid it--it just creates a lot of headaches for very little (if any) gameplay benefit.
4-astronomywit.jpg

Edited by Pthigrivi
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Just now, Pthigrivi said:

I don't think thats right. If you travel 1ly at 10% the speed of light it still takes you 10 years to reach your destination, so you still need 10y of food and reactor fuel to keep the lights on. You still experience time as if nothing is amiss. Its that your experience of time is different relative to everyone else. So compared to a game with no accounting for relativity your in-transit vessel would need exactly the same amount of food, instead you'd need more food for every other part of your program.

Travel does take less time for you when you are going fast. From the perspective of an outside observer, you are traveling at x% of the speed of light, and you reach your destination in “normal” time. However, for you, the trip takes a shorter time depending on how fast you are going. You might have heard that “as you approach the speed of light, things flatten out” and a grain of sand travelling very very very very close to the speed of light could pass through the Earth having only experienced a couple dozen meters of rock. This shortening of distance is another way to think of what someone experiences when traveling fast: that grain of sand observes the universe moving past it at the speed of light, but it is compressed spatially so it travels further than it normally would have in the same time, thus making a shorter time for the journey. Someone looking at that grain would see it moving at near the street red of light, and if they could measure the relative time, they would see that the grain of sand is experiencing time very slowly. 
 

This nifty fact is leveraged in some good science fiction (I’d highly recommend Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary, where life support was made possible by the time savings) and I think that if relativity was introduced as a feature, it would be very, very niche, but it would make for some insane challenges of getting to other stars on 1.2 tons, traveling at 0.99999c. 

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24 minutes ago, t_v said:

This shortening of distance is another way to think of what someone experiences when traveling fast: that grain of sand observes the universe moving past it at the speed of light, but it is compressed spatially so it travels further than it normally would have in the same time, thus making a shorter time for the journey.

Ahhhh thats right! I always have to go back to the old barn and ladder thought experiment to picture it. 

I should know this but does that mean photons don't experience time? That can be....

Edit: Woah. Okay. They don't.
https://phys.org/news/2014-05-does-light-experience-time.html#:~:text=From the perspective of a,doesn't experience distance either.

Edited by Pthigrivi
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1 hour ago, Pthigrivi said:
3 hours ago, Apelsin said:

Only thing I can think of is resources, a vessel on an interstellar trajectory traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light could require less food/water/power etc. 

I don't think thats right. If you travel 1ly at 10% the speed of light it still takes you 10 years to reach your destination, so you still need 10y of food and reactor fuel to keep the lights on. You still experience time as if nothing is amiss. Its that your experience of time is slightly different relative to everyone else. So compared to a game with no accounting for relativity your in-transit vessel would need exactly the same amount of food, instead you'd need a little more food for every other part of your program. At 1/10 or 1/5 the speed of light it also wouldn't be that noticeable. It's not until you get up to .6 or .7c where you start to see a meaningful percentage difference, the kind that might effect gameplay decisions. I think this is the reason the devs decided to avoid it--it just creates a lot of headaches for very little (if any) gameplay benefit.

Just a brief interjection, they did say a significant fraction of c in the original message, rendering most of this message moot. Also worth noting, I highly doubt there will be any way of preventing players from reaching these velocities, and that as far as my little knowledge in game design goes it shouldn't be impossible to apply time warp to specific entities depending on focused vessel velocity to emulate special relativity.

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^Right, but I think the game design headache/value ratio on relativity no matter what is way above 1. Even with no relativistic effects proportion C is where interstellar travel could get really interesting from a gameplay standpoint, because upon the unlock of interstellar rated drives the interstellar recon fork emerges. Do I send a flyby probe optimized for speed to assess local resources or just send a whole Ready-for-anything colony mission? All of a sudden players have to care a lot more strictly about payload mass and relative gameplay advantages/ disadvantages vis-a-vis science discoveries and resource scouting, but only if there is an overarching set of time-based rewards. From a pure gameplay standpoint relativity simultaneously marginalizes those decisions and makes them needlessly complicated to assess. If anything the harder problem is what prevents players from putting kerbals in a big methalox rocket and time warping 100 or 500 years to another system. If its not a consumable LS resource I don’t know what it would be.  

Edited by Pthigrivi
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