Jump to content

What about interstellar communication?


Kspsk
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been thinking about this quite a bit and I've realized that there really isn't any great way to communicate through interstellar distances and that could be an annoyance or even a problem due to colonies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m curious what role communications will play in KSP2. Interstellar distances do cause some problems if it is needed for control purposes (probes), so my guess is that the “probes lose control” difficulty option will be scrapped in favour of losing some other benefit instead. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Why would you need to communicate? Colonies need to be self-sustaining, and when you've got a self-sustaining colony there's not really any use in keeping touch with the KSC.

If you want to synchronize technology across your colonies, I think they should need to communicate. There’s not really any reason why a colony 5 lightyears away should magically know of research on a local planet unless it can receive communications. 

14 minutes ago, MechBFP said:

so my guess is that the “probes lose control” difficulty option will be scrapped in favour of losing some other benefit instead. 

I think that comms technologies will improve instead, and probes will need to have really big/powerful transceivers or have an interstellar relay chain, or both.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember bringing up this topic about... what, a year ago?

I think we're definitely in quite a news drought, and need something else to fill the void. I'm absolutely against Intercept rushing KSP2, but there should be a clear idea as to when new news arrives, even if they say "We will have a new feature video by the end of this month," or something like that. Give people expectations on how long they should wait.

I just feel a tiny bit of sadness every time I glance back at this forum with little in the way of interesting material. Then again, the best remedy for this is to shut up and just put my mind on something else.

Edited by intelliCom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've seen transceivers on colonies before, the commsnet will definitely still matter. I'm guessing that there will be massive transceivers for ships, however there will also be very large AI Cores that way you dont need to have a constant commsnet connection to control interstellar probes. The catch here will be that these AI cores are very large, thus its impractical to put them on a surface probe, meaning the surface probe will have to have connection to the large voyager probe in order for it to be controlled. This would promote things like carrying small relay drones on your interstellar ship to establish a constant commsnet connection for your surface probe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always thought a cool gameplay dynamic would be to give players the option to send a relatively fast, light probe to do an interstellar flyby to scan for local resources before you sent your big colony mission. As @t_v says you could even send a sequential chain of them that report back to Kerbin via daisy chain, with each doing tighter flybys of specific planets. You'd have a strategic choice then to either head out into the unknown with a jack-of-all-trades colony composition that could react to whatever it finds, or wait for detailed scans come back and design more specifically to the local conditions. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Quantum Entanglement Radio

quantum-entang.jpg

As far as we know light speed is infinite in KSP universe.  Planck time is .05 ms and planets are 10 times denser than our universe. 

Fun fact the first time the speed of light was measured was observing Jupiter's moons, their pattern was  around 14 minutes later then Jupiter was near the side of the sun than earth.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

I've always thought a cool gameplay dynamic would be to give players the option to send a relatively fast, light probe to do an interstellar flyby to scan for local resources before you sent your big colony mission. As @t_v says you could even send a sequential chain of them that report back to Kerbin via daisy chain, with each doing tighter flybys of specific planets. You'd have a strategic choice then to either head out into the unknown with a jack-of-all-trades colony composition that could react to whatever it finds, or wait for detailed scans come back and design more specifically to the local conditions. 

Yes, now an obvious thing would be to drop an probe before starting to brake, this will fly by the system years before the ship arrives. 
It will move very fast however, at 0.1 c it will pass trough the system in an hour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Yes, now an obvious thing would be to drop an probe before starting to brake, this will fly by the system years before the ship arrives. 
It will move very fast however, at 0.1 c it will pass trough the system in an hour.

I looked at the wiki, and at 0.1 c it would take 7,570 seconds to go from the outermost edges of Eeloo's orbit to the other outermost edge of Eeloo's orbit in the Kerbol system. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, t_v said:

I looked at the wiki, and at 0.1 c it would take 7,570 seconds to go from the outermost edges of Eeloo's orbit to the other outermost edge of Eeloo's orbit in the Kerbol system. 

Yipes that's barely more than 2h!! And we're hoping to be potentially much faster than that for advance flyby probes. Even at 50%c thats just 25m. If you're trying to take readings of a planet's surface composition you're not going to get much more than half its surface in that time even from a distance. For most bodies you're going to pass all the way through their SOI in like a second. Still, if science readings were automatic when passing within range it would give you some idea what to plan for. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

I've always thought a cool gameplay dynamic would be to give players the option to send a relatively fast, light probe to do an interstellar flyby to scan for local resources before you sent your big colony mission. As @t_v says you could even send a sequential chain of them that report back to Kerbin via daisy chain, with each doing tighter flybys of specific planets. You'd have a strategic choice then to either head out into the unknown with a jack-of-all-trades colony composition that could react to whatever it finds, or wait for detailed scans come back and design more specifically to the local conditions. 

If like to see the option of having fast comm probe 2-way chain baked in.  That is at interstellar level it is simply assumed you have a non-FTL craft, laser, or radio link in place such that tech discoveries etc would propagate at near or light speed.  Of course advanced colonies could unlock tech independently in the normal way without that delay.  Anything quicker would be magic ansibles and unacceptable 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one area where gameplay dictates that they need to (and should) take liberties. Besides, from a non-diagetic standpoint, there is no, and never has been, a comm speed limit (or in game as well. not like there is any lag time sending back science from Eeloo. it would be short enough, and you can head canon it as having a lag, or that space probes now are justing executing instructions sent earlier, but gameplay wise it makes no difference) .

As the 'director' of your space program, as long as you can jump from ship to ship any time you like, or jump over to control an interstellar probe and make a course correction, or plan new missions based on working on a colony then immediately jumping back to the space center in another system to build it, communication is functionally instant, and imposing a limit elsewhere is arbitrary. If relativity as we know it makes a functionally unified interstellar government/empire/whatever impossible, then it has to be handwaved away in the name of gameplay.

Furthermore, since there are going to be shipyards on/around other planets, then without fast communication, how are you building a ship with parts they just figured out how to make yesterday in a different star system?  You would technically need a non synchronized tech tree in order to be consistent, and I absolutely guarantee that they will not do that (besides implementation time, it would be a gameplay annoyance, and a big turnoff for non hardcore people. It's one area that will, and should, be left to modding, if people decide they want that). And if you (the general you) are not willing to fully bite those bullets one way or the other, now you are asking for inconsistently applied physical (in game) laws, which I would argue is way worse, from a realism standpoint, than some sort of scifi-futuretech. 

Quantum comms probably are the way to go here (yes our best understanding says it's impossible, but it can at least be handwaved away by saying it turns out it is possible, or is just possible in the ksp universe. If the Jool moon system is impossible, then we have already have a universe with at least slightly different physical laws), because they are the closest thing to a decently scientific answer; I guess they could maybe say micro wormholes or something also, but I don't see how that's any better, and they've already said that's a territory they want to stay away from (at least for travel, but one could surmise that it would be odd to use it somewhere else). Besides, do you just keep making antennas bigger and bigger and bigger? Better to have more exotic looking parts that just have really serious power costs. Also, If they aren't going have some sort of futuretech, the only other option, really, is to pay basic lip service at most and then just ignore the problem altogether, and I would imagine most of us would not prefer the option of the issue just being totally ignored

Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, GigFiz said:

Quantum comms probably are the way to go here (yes our best understanding says it's impossible, but it can at least be handwaved away by saying it turns out it is possible, or is just possible in the ksp universe.

The alternative, which I like better, is to not have speed of light delays in communications. Your point about desynchronized tech trees being an annoyance has changed my mind about whether it should be in stock, and I’d be happy to see it as an option or mod.  I think that trying to explain the FTL comms with a technology like quantum entanglement raises more problems than it fixes. The main issue is that as far as we can tell, the “synchronization” of the two particles doesn’t happen immediately - there is a good chance that the two only match once information has the ability to reach from one to the other, which probably happens at the speed of light. 
 

Instead of messing with quantum, which has to be hand-waved in multiple ways to get it to work (the main problem is that you can’t actually tell whether communication has even happened when using these particles), why not hand-wave light and say that it travels infinitely fast? Sure it breaks things, but it is a simpler break than breaking quantum, if you want instant comms. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GigFiz said:

This is one area where gameplay dictates that they need to (and should) take liberties. Besides, from a non-diagetic standpoint, there is no, and never has been, a comm speed limit (or in game as well. not like there is any lag time sending back science from Eeloo. it would be short enough, and you can head canon it as having a lag, or that space probes now are justing executing instructions sent earlier, but gameplay wise it makes no difference) .

This would be acceptable on a planetary timescale where delays are barely a few hours (even in a real-scale system), and even then it's a somewhat big liberty when IRL a big challenge for spaceflight that can already be seen over the horizon is the fact that message travel times between a short distance (say, Mars) already puts the crew under psychological pressure. "Taking liberties" won't cut it for interstellar distances where you're completely isolated from your home base. It makes no sense that the KSC could receive research points from an interstellar ship that literally only just arrived at its destination.

Now I'm not saying probes should suffer input delay. I'm sure by now, most KSP players aware of this have already independently invented a headcanon where all player inputs are just a part of the probe's script, or maybe the probe's controlled by an AI. Either way, I'm merely saying that research and tech unlocks should be delayed. A colony builds an antimatter engine 15 light years from Kerbol - how and why does the KSC need to instantly get antimatter engines when the plyer can just use timewarp or occupy themselves with something else - for example, keep themselves busy with AM engines at the colony that created them while waiting for the KSC to receive the blueprints? They just unlocked AM engines, why must they be in a rush to get it back to the KSC when they can just play around elsewhere?

That's another thing, I'm sure we are all used to the KSC being the primary space center we use in KSP, but with KSP 2 well-developed colonies should be functionally identical to the KSC seeing as KSP 2 isn't a mod, but a different game whose systems are more robust than those in, say, the Kerbal Konstructs mod. What's the big rush to get a shiny new technology back to Kerbol if you've already got a set of colonies space centers in a more interesting system whose interesting planets are more deserving of attention from rockets equipped with AM engines than the planets around Kerbol?

I think what I'm trying to say is that going into KSP 2 (especially with lightspeed delays) requires that you don't use the exact same mindset as KSP 1. It's a different game that might not even demand that you keep the original KSC around when your other space centers ran under the same agency are low on funds. Maybe distant colonies can't even operate under the same agency because the physical distance between stars makes it impossible for them to remain connected to their roots back at Kerbol. Again, this isn't KSP 1, not everything is centered around the original KSC. If your AM engine blueprints take the same length of time as a super-efficient Jool mission to get back to Kerbol, so what? Just don't play with Kerbol, the other systems are more interesting.

TL;DR: The KSC doesn't need to receive all tech instantly. It might not even have to exist when you've got other space centers and colonies elsewhere -  KSP 2 has got to have a way of letting you liquidate unneeded colonies, for example, the KSC. That's to say it's not important if the KSC (and other Kerbol colonies) don't need to get unlocks instantly - it quite literally does not matter, especially considering that timewarp is an option already.

1 hour ago, GigFiz said:

As the 'director' of your space program

From how I feel when playing KSP, and how some marketing words the 'about' section of the game in some stores, I figured that the player is just a god helping the Kerbals get to space. For switching between vessels in that case, I think we can ignore lightspeed delay. I said it's a big liberty when it comes to unlocking tech, but it's not like the player can convey technologies to colonies faster than light just by switching vessels. Sort of like another instance of the no-communication theorem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, t_v said:

Instead of messing with quantum, which has to be hand-waved in multiple ways to get it to work (the main problem is that you can’t actually tell whether communication has even happened when using these particles), why not hand-wave light and say that it travels infinitely fast? Sure it breaks things, but it is a simpler break than breaking quantum, if you want instant comms. 

Honestly, I'm fine with that. I picked quantum, because someone had brought it up, and because it's the closest option to semi-plausibility without completely making stuff up. I'm also not an expert, but I am aware of the issues with quantum comms: it fascinated me enough to spend a good amount of time researching/reading about it. It certainly does look as though it does not work in a way that would allow that to work, but the easy handwave is that we have been completely wrong about lots of things in science in the past (not a bad thing, just the nature of scientific progression), so why not just say this turned out to be one of them. Our best understanding says no, but our best understanding is always evolving. I'm not actually saying that's the case, and that's not a well you want to dip into super often in speculative fiction, but it's kinda the best one around, in this case.

I'm not actually not super attached to how they do it, and preferences along those lines will be super YMMV for any given individual. I was primarily hedging a guess that people might prefer a quasi-tech related solution rather than a laws of physics one, but if it's the other way around, that's cool too. Your solution has a good appeal, honestly, and removing general relativity from the KSP universe may break some things, but it also kinda solves/mitigates other issues as well, like the ever increasing energy requirements required for interstellar travel as you get closer to c, and the fact that, even with ftl communication, the entire concept of 'now' is a hell of a lot more wibbly than most people realize

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

TL;DR: The KSC doesn't need to receive all tech instantly. It might not even have to exist when you've got other space centers and colonies elsewhere -  KSP 2 has got to have a way of letting you liquidate unneeded colonies, for example, the KSC. That's to say it's not important if the KSC (and other Kerbol colonies) don't need to get unlocks instantly - it quite literally does not matter, especially considering that timewarp is an option already.

Well, like I said, gameplay wise, you gotta bite some bullets in order to have ftl lag, and it looks like you are good with that, so that largely resolves the inconsistency. Although to say it literally doesn't matter is more accurately to say it doesn't matter to you, which of course is a perfectly valid preference. I would suspect, though, that most people (whatever % that may actually mean) would not want to deal with different part selections in different systems (that said, I am perfectly into part limitation based on level of resource availability/infrastructure development, so there is a valid argument for you to ask how that is any different), and I still doubt that it is something that they would want to bother spending the man-hours with implementing differentiated tech trees. It would also raise the question of: is your only option that you have to just wait for transmission lag (and really, if you are wanting that tech for a project in a different system, how exactly do they know (in-game perspective) that they will be getting that new tech and just have to wait for it) ? Can you just re-buy the same techs separately in different systems (and if so, why are they all somehow getting the exact same parts every time, even though they were researched differently) rather than wait for the transmission to arrive (time warp is a thing, as you said, but so are transfer windows, and some people might not want to wait)? Do you then have different science scores in different systems?

There are also certain limitations regarding lag time that cannot be done in game and would have to be self imposed. Example: you have two systems colonized and want to go for a third; you decide, for whatever reason, that the best way to do it is to launch simultaneous expeditions from both current systems. Technically, if you immediately build and launch both, you are breaking lag times, and it's literally impossible for the game to be able to know this. Now you can launch them separately based on transmission times, or wait a certain amount of time to account for coordination before launching both, but that's self imposed at that point. You can also say that, well missions are planned so long in advance that of course there was time for it to be communicated and coordinated, but at that point you are handwaving it away, and that raises the question of why are doing it for this, but not for these other things. Also, if there is already a head canon handwave for people about implicit transmission times, why is it so important that it be expressed explicitly. If we take it as read that these would be happening, then all you are left with is the fact that, for anyone who wants to synchronize their tech tree, an extra step of clicking the time warp button is not compelling gameplay.

While I get your point about ones position of omniscience as 'director', no matter which side of the issue you fall on, it gets a little weird (but that's also just the nature of it being a game). Time lag like what are talking about is one issue if you are a real director person, for example. However, if you are a more godlike figure, why are they talking to you directly and giving you missions (and tutorials), etc. The actual reasons are obvious, but at a certain level of seeking verisimilitude, you really have to not think about it too hard, I suppose.

And it is very true that this is a different game, and that interstellar travel raises questions and issues that were pretty safely ignored when confined to a single solar system in the first game. And that's why we are having these conversations in the first place anyway. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what approach they take.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, GigFiz said:

I would suspect, though, that most people (whatever % that may actually mean) would not want to deal with different part selections in different systems

That's a necessary part of interstellar travel. It would be disingenuous for the game to ignore that. You simply cannot have interstellar colonies remain in contact without serious lag. You can't have one president overlooking more than one star system like in Hollywood, that is literally impossible. It'd be like if KSP 1 had infinite fuel by default, because having to use the Hohmann effect or do gravity assists felt too clunky.

 

20 minutes ago, GigFiz said:

Technically, if you immediately build and launch both, you are breaking lag times, and it's literally impossible for the game to be able to know this.

People can independently invent things without ever knowing each other (like in the case of the Morris-Thorne vs Ellis wormhole, where Kip Thorne & Mike Morris and Homer Ellis came up with almost identical wormhole metrics despite having 0 contact). This isn't breaking any lag rules. It's just a coincidence. With lag times, two colonies sending expeditions to the same system unknowingly is just bound to happen.

Edited by Bej Kerman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, GigFiz said:

 Do you then have different science scores in different systems?

This is the real problem, it just makes managing your tech-tree needlessly complicated. You really want this in one simple window where tech is purchased using a single resource pool. If we can handwave probe control we can handwave this. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, t_v said:

Instead of messing with quantum, which has to be hand-waved in multiple ways to get it to work (the main problem is that you can’t actually tell whether communication has even happened when using these particles), why not hand-wave light and say that it travels infinitely fast?

You don't even have to handwave it.  The Kerbin universe isn't relativistic. Heck, if you're not playing with Principia, it isn't even properly Newtonian but kind of a weird hierarchy of nested, mutually independent Newtonian 2-body systems.

With that set of physical laws, there's no inherent need for a finite lightspeed whatsoever (that only comes with relativity - or rather,  if you assume a finite, constant maximum speed and are a genius like Einstein, relativity is a simple consequence of that assumption).

So for KSP, just assume that there is no cosmic speed limit. Fits well into the physics, and fits even better into gameplay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...