Navigation & Autopilot

There's not much point designing a spaceship if you can't take it where you want to go!

Server performance permitting, we're aiming for full collision simulation - ships won't behave like spheres, they'll actually collide with objects as you'd expected them to.

Thruster Autopilot

Where you place thruster modules on your ship will determine what forces are applied, so in order to ensure that piloting your ship is not literally rocket science, your ships navigation computer will automatically determine the exact combination of thrusters that will achieve the desired angular and linear acceleration.

However, if you don't place your thrusters correctly then it might be impossible for your ship to accelerate forwards without also turning. In that case you'll probably head in roughly the right direction, but you're going to have a hard time gaining the upper-hand in fights.

Manual Override

Desired angular and linear acceleration will be determined by your current navigation mode (orbit, align, keep at distance) and target but it will be possible to manually override and augment these parameters. This will allow you to perform strafes in any direction as well as point your ship in a different direction to your travel.

In particular we expect players to manually roll their ships in order to hide fragile weaponry from their enemies until it is ready to be fired. Keeping within weapons range and maintaining high transversal velocity is going to be an important part of the combat mechanics so we want to give you the tools to navigate creatively.

Terminal Velocity

Of course, the ships mass and thruster strength will determine how quickly it can accelerate, but if we didn't simulate any drag at all (as would be physically correct in a vacuum) then ship speed would have no upper bound.

This would cause huge technical issues and wouldn't be conducive to fun combat so we'll be implementing something called 'sub-space drag'. This special type of drag will only be active when the ships engines are on, meaning that while ships will have a maximum speed, they will also be able to drift forever with their engines off. We will probably base the amount of drag on the volume of your ship, which will create some interesting min-max dynamics.