dcfedor's blog

Docking System UI

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Hey Folks! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. It was a cold one, here. By Seattle standards, at least. We even had some snow! Rainy, windy, messy snow that fell but did not stick. And as a result, mostly indoors and errands this weekend.

Back at the desk, I decided to try and setup some controls for docking. With the game starting docked at Ceres Station, we'll need a way to undock. And by extension, a way to dock again. And since the navigation computer isn't really the place for that (and is getting crowded anyway), I'm setting up a new UI.

Ceres Station: Permission to Launch

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Hey Folks! Another big step towards completing interplanetary travel today: starting the game docked at Ceres Station!

As most of you know, the last several weeks of work are aimed at getting some sort of core game loop up and running. And a bare-bones summary of that loop looks like:

Reactor Feed and Shutdown

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Hey Folks! More reactor work today. Was a bit more productive today, tackling a few more necessary features of the reactor system: drawing fuel/propellants, and shutting down.

Course Plotting and Propellant

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Hey Folks! Bit of a short day today, as I had an errand to run this afternoon. I did, however, get a bit more work done on the course plotter.

Propellant Storage Figured Out, Reactor Controls Next

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Hey Folks! I think I figured out how I'm going to handle propellants for the reactor/thruster, so I finished up adding that data to the game, and I'm starting on the reactor controls.

Yesterday, I wasn't sure how to handle storing propellants, since the fuel used in the reactor/thruster (He-3 and D) had such a low density, even as liquids instead of gases. I was calculating needing 40 of those 4 giant canisters you see in the image above. And while that would be realistic, it'd also be kind of a buzzkill.

Fuel and Propellant Storage

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Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Pretty uneventful here, though I did fire up a bit of both Alien Isolation and Warlock for some fun. Forgot how much I enjoy those!

Back at the office, I resumed work on end-to-end flight systems. Last week, I managed to get everything on the ship assigned a mass, as well as an estimated thrust for the typical reactor, and that's a major step towards getting the flight computer to plot an actual course based on ship parameters.

Accounting for Mass and Thrust

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Hey Folks! Big science and engineering day today, as I tried to work out reasonable thrust ratings for the reactor, and mass ratings for all components on the ship.

Reactor Is "Go"

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Hey Folks! Finally got the reactor working today. Well, "working," as it doesn't do anything fancy just yet. But it's enough to stand-in until later!

Most of my morning was unfortunately spent wrestling with JSON. As mentioned yesterday, I was having trouble getting the JSON reader/writer to deal with single vs. double precision numbers. And I briefly steered down a course where I was going to replace the LitJson library with Unity's built-in one.

Reactor Charging...

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Hey Folks! I think I finally got the batteries behaving, and I'm back on the reactor again.

I decided to bite the bullet and just write code to handle power distribution on the ship. Puzzling out the Rube Goldberg machine of conditions and triggers to do what is basically a heartbeat function was getting to be both too much of a headache and too unreliable. So now, all my powered items just update on the same heartbeat as other conditions, and the nitty-gritty power use/storage/transmission stuff is all handled in code.

Recharging Batteries

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Hey Folks! Some progress today, though still a bit slow. Working on the power system a bit more, focusing on battery recharging and visualization tools to help tell what's going on.

Power on a ship is going to come from one of two things: a generator (like the reactor) and stored energy (batteries/fuel cells). And so far, the system can handle either. In theory, anyway.