Ship Pre-Cooking, Cooler Tweaks

Hey Folks! Worked on derelicts and ship pre-cooking today, as well as some tweaks to the cooler from yesterday.

The cooler tweak was just something that occurred to me this morning. I realized I could "reverse the polarity" so-to-speak, and get it to cool faster, more on par with the heater's rate of heating. I was originally trying to "heat" a room down to 200K, which was very slow due to the small difference between room temp (273K) and the heating element (200K). I thought I could speed this up with tweaking the heating element's surface area and volume, which is true.

But then I realized, "hey, why don't I just heat the void outside?" Since the heater can be set to apply an opposite heating effect on the "other side," if I heat the void outside the wall, I'll cool the room. And since I'm heating, I can use the same element temperature (1073K) to cause a much faster heating rate. So I swapped the input and output points on the cooler, adjusted the values back down to match the heater, and it worked! Now the cooler is just a copy of the heater with an optional output dump turned on, except the heat goes outside and the "cold dump" is inside.

The net result is a cooler that can cool a room more like the speed of an air conditioner, instead of a wet towel.

Then, I decided to take the ship for a spin, and see how docking with a derelict felt. I geared-up my character with an EVA and some hull patches, finished chargen and launched my ship, then docked with the closest derelict I could find. And quickly noticed a few things in need of attention.

First of all, ships all start out empty and cold. This is fine for a derelict, but not so much for the player's chargen room and ship. So I added some code that pre-fills new ships with safe atmosphere when they're spawned. This means we won't freeze to death/suffocate just by taking too long in chargen or our first flight.

Second, my line-of-sight code was too slow for prime time, so I disabled it for now. And that also means the shadows are too expensive to run for now. Boo.

Third, there were a few bugs in docking ships that I hadn't run into before. A race condition in a loop that drains containers on "used" and derelict ships caused a crash. And some weird bug that caused ships to occasionally spawn inside my ship while docking. I fixed the race condition, but I can't find repro steps for the latter yet.

Finally, I decided to make derelicts a bit more derelict-y by removing random parts from them in addition to the damage rays that put holes everywhere. I think something like this should be there, to simulate missing reactors, furniture, equipment, or even walls/floors. So far, I'm running into some issues with the power/air simulation not keeping up, so that'll be next week. But I may also want to add some sort of random loot to ships, to make them more interesting (and worth exploring). So perhaps those are where I'll start Monday.

For now, have a good weekend, all!

Tags: Ostranauts