Pipedream: Space station dimension working as the Nether

Dex Luther

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(This topic is in reference of @Dex Luther's Orbital Miner: http://forum.micdoodle8.com/index.php?threads/orbital-miner.2604/)

Space station dimensions could work like the Nether, one per primary planet (e.g. Overworld, Mars, Venus) and could be used to travel long distances in some kind of low orbit height, but the distances traveled in a Space station dim would be 1:1 ratio to the Overworld.

This idea would allow the player to install or create space stations, satellites or any geo-synchronous equipments (e.g. the orbital miner) covering certain areas of the planet. (EDIT: And perhaps, to be able to travel from a space station to another and to satellites.)

Currently, space stations (the structure) are always generated at 0,64,0; one per world in a separate dimension per player. In my idea, you could spawn more than one space station, anywhere in the space station dimension, referenced to the primary planet x/z-coords that you lift off from with your rocket.

To avoid space stations overlapping each other, the space station dimension would be divided into "regions" of 512x64x512 (if you know how world saves work, you know it already). Each region fits in a 512x512 grid centered at 0,0; this mechanics is like the Map item. And the building limit would be 128 blocks for each direction, so that two space station will not touch or get too close to each other.

For example, if you created a space station in the 0,0-region and want another, you have to travel 512 block along x or z axis for a free SS slot.

If you fall from a space station located at 768, 768, you will fall at the same coord in the overworld.
I love you Ezer! That idea sounds awesome.

Maybe to simulate the vastness of space and to make sure stations aren't too close or even easily visible from each other, the launch co-ords could be multiplied somehow.

If you launch from 768, 768 yours point in space would be something like 768 x1,000, 768 x1,000 = 768,000, 768,000. Someone launching from 770, 770 would send them to 770,000, 770,000, which would separate those stations by 2,000 blocks.

The default variable could be even bigger, maybe 10,000? That would make stations in the example 20,000 blocks away from each other.

The calculation probably shouldn't be straight multiplication though. If you launch from 0, 0, you'd end up at 0,0 in space. Then again, It still works since 0, 1 would put the next station at 0, 10,000. hmm

Getting back down to the surface could be simple division. 770,000 / 1,000 = 770

Since you mentioned my idea, I assume the same calculation would be applied to the orbital miner's beam?
 

Ezer'Arch

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Maybe to simulate the vastness of space and to make sure stations aren't too close or even easily visible from each other, the launch co-ords could be multiplied somehow.

If you launch from 768, 768 yours point in space would be something like 768 x1,000, 768 x1,000 = 768,000, 768,000.
1000x? I think this is too much. This means that space stations cannot be built from x/z=30 000 or farther, once the world limit is 30 000 000 towards any direction. (Trivia: The PlanetMinecraft Server's world limit is 24 000)

I got your idea, but in my idea space stations should be geo-synchronous at a 1:1 ratio so that players would not have much trouble figuring out coords and deal with calculations. They should be 512 blocks from center to center and one SS dimension per player (both properties could be configurable).

Additionally the space stations would be "floating" over the Overworld dimension, which is flat and vast by itself alone, just like this:



Instead of rendering the default Overworld icon, as seen in the pic, it would render the map of the actual terrain beneath, as seen in the Display Screen. We have the technology already.
 
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Space Viking

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The drawing part is easy, the harder question is whether we can extract biome map data from vanilla Minecraft even for chunks which are not loaded (maybe not even generated yet). This would cool in many ways, and is the direction I intend for the Display Screen to be going in.
Oh, I overlooked this. I'm remembering the idea of potentially extracting seed data that could be applied to some possible areas of use. It would be cool in many ways indeed.

The two examples I know that can generate imagery of a specific seed is WorldPainter and AMIDST, but of course, those aren't precisely Minecraft mods, but tools for it.


Example on how it looks like in WordPainter:

[Edit]

Replaced the old crap examples with new better example images that also uses a matching seed (2835430087979152376) for the sake of reference.

WorldPainter:




AMIDST:

 
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radfast

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This is definitely becoming one of my favourite Suggestions threads, so much good content here guys, keep it coming.

<3 the ISS video especially at 0:30

@Space Viking thanks for those screenshots from the two different tools, very interesting. By coincidence I checked the vanilla worldgen code and I'm now confident I can generate a similar biome map for any location, without causing unwanted chunk loading / world generation. (OK, I'm not confident about the position for modded biomes like Biomes o' Plenty, but like everything else in modding its best to take this one step at a time.) But ... I think both of those maps are ugly. I think I can do better :) #IamRadfast
 

Codym2405

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Yea that sounds like a pretty good idea, and maybe there could be a hight factor as well? Like the lower you go, the faster you travel to other locations, but as you get lower you need more propellant to use in some form of machine (New idea as well) to keep yourself from falling into earth. If your station goes lower than Y=0 your station falls to earth regardless of your propellant use. All the blocks would drop as items in your 'area', spread randomly around it. At Y= 250 (Or something else) You don't use any propellant but you have no movement potential (Geocentric orbit)
 

Ezer'Arch

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#IamRadfast

Okay...

----

About the interface, I'm a bit critical with the idea of the interface spoiling big extensions of unexplored parts of the world. I think the player needs to visit an area and use a rocket so that GC can generate a map of the nearby area (512x512?).

This is a mock-up of "Space Station" catalog interface:



But it doesn't reflect perfectly my final idea yet. As you can see, you can find and select one of geopositioned space stations or satellites found in a per-player dimension.
 
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radfast

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Nice mock up. But I plan for:

1. the Space Station to be always moving

2. the (always changing) view below the Space Station can be seen on a Display Screen, if you have a Communications Dish to pull those images back to your Overworld base

3. there's no way to take a still image or "save" the imagery in a map, so the player would need to be paying attention to the Display Screen see what biomes are in the world - I don't care about spoilers, if the player has the materials to make a Tier 1 Rocket + a Space Station + a Communications Dish + a Display Screen then he's pretty advanced in the game and deserves some rewards

4. the "use of Space Station as rapid transport" will depend on the player's timing, it's like jumping off a moving railcar (or a London bus, one of those ones with the open back) at the correct spot. A Display Screen inside the Space Station will let you know the current position (approx. coordinates + the view below)

5. there will not be a launch screen, it's just a question of taking a rocket to your Space Station and then jumping off

6. we might also implement a drop tube or drop pod from Space Stations so you don't have to use a parachute (also because moving "down" in freefall is kinda hard and annoying, hmmm) and that could help players who don't have good timing

7. we also need to think about the position for newbies, I mean a basic space station needs to be geosynchronous so that the newbie who falls off it ends up back at his Overworld base - so something extra will be needed to move this space station into LOO* so that it starts to move relative to the terrain.

* LOO = Low Overworld Orbit

So to summarise there will be three stages or tiers to this:

Stage A: Geosynchronous station, player returns to launch spot on Overworld

Stage B: Moving station, player who "falls" from it parachutes down at the coordinates the station is at - needs some skill plus timing to get that fall correct

Stage C: Drop pod, player can program the coordinates he wants to fall at, and the drop pod will drop him when it is at its closest approach (not necessarily exact coordinates, the station's path might not come all that close to the desired coordinates)

I have not yet thought about the station's orbital period, i.e. whether it will cycle across the map once every Minecraft day or be more rapid than that. (IRL, a LEO space station orbits once every 42 minutes.) I'm kind of tending towards twice every Minecraft day so it crosses the same spot once by day and once by night. I don't think I want this to be player controlled with multiple different orbital heights, as that makes it more complicated + needs a machine and GUI to achieve that, but I will think about it - maybe for the future.

Probably there will also be a Display Screen image which shows the space station's sinusoidal path on an overall representation of the Overworld (with oceans and all that) but that depends on my testing to see whether an ultra-zoomed out map of the Overworld looks good with lands and oceans, or just looks like random noise. Until I've tried it, I just do not know.

One important aspect which needs thought: how will the player get back home again, after the Space Station dropped him far from his base? Obviously a wise player will be carrying 9 Launch Pads, a Tier 1 Rocket, a Fuel Loader, fuel canisters and batteries. But what about the unwise player: the only way back might be death or a very long walk. We might have to incorporate a costly, consumable, "teleport home" item? Or a command? On a server it's easier as most servers are set up with Essentials so the player can simply /home.
 
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radfast

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@EzerArch what I do like about your mockup is the map overview aspect, I mean the coloration - which I think is in fact the same as the current Display Screen map view.
 

Ezer'Arch

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@EzerArch what I do like about your mockup is the map overview aspect, I mean the coloration - which I think is in fact the same as the current Display Screen map view.
Because they are the very same images the Display Screen uses to display the map of the idea around the last lift-off point. Galacticraft creates a new PNG image every time you launch a rocket in a different point of the world. I got those in .minecraft\saves\{savename}\galacticraft\overworldMap, but this raises a question: wouldn't it possible to use those images to create an atlas?

I'm afraid your idea is (or has become) pretty different from what I was intending to: I was thinking of being to use the Space Station dimension to create a network of geostationary facilities (i.e. multiple stations, satellites etc) to cover and fast-travel/transport over a planet, pretty much we do with the Nether, except it would a 1:1 ratio, not 8:1. The coordinates you'd spawn at in a planet dimension from a SS dim would be fixed, not random or dynamic.

I came up with the idea of a space station catalog, accessible by clicking on space station icon in the Galacitcraft map, because it would graphically impossible to represent/hook up all space stations icons around a planet in the Galacitcraft map... if it were possible to have multiple space stations in a single SS dim and if the space stations were geosynchronous, otherwise the space station catalog (as seen in my mock-up) hence would have no point, nor would we be able to use the SS dim as space Nether.
 
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BJ97

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Nice mock up. But I plan for:

1. the Space Station to be always moving

2. the (always changing) view below the Space Station can be seen on a Display Screen, if you have a Communications Dish to pull those images back to your Overworld base

3. there's no way to take a still image or "save" the imagery in a map, so the player would need to be paying attention to the Display Screen see what biomes are in the world - I don't care about spoilers, if the player has the materials to make a Tier 1 Rocket + a Space Station + a Communications Dish + a Display Screen then he's pretty advanced in the game and deserves some rewards

4. the "use of Space Station as rapid transport" will depend on the player's timing, it's like jumping off a moving railcar (or a London bus, one of those ones with the open back) at the correct spot. A Display Screen inside the Space Station will let you know the current position (approx. coordinates + the view below)

5. there will not be a launch screen, it's just a question of taking a rocket to your Space Station and then jumping off

6. we might also implement a drop tube or drop pod from Space Stations so you don't have to use a parachute (also because moving "down" in freefall is kinda hard and annoying, hmmm) and that could help players who don't have good timing

7. we also need to think about the position for newbies, I mean a basic space station needs to be geosynchronous so that the newbie who falls off it ends up back at his Overworld base - so something extra will be needed to move this space station into LOO* so that it starts to move relative to the terrain.

* LOO = Low Overworld Orbit

So to summarise there will be three stages or tiers to this:

Stage A: Geosynchronous station, player returns to launch spot on Overworld

Stage B: Moving station, player who "falls" from it parachutes down at the coordinates the station is at - needs some skill plus timing to get that fall correct

Stage C: Drop pod, player can program the coordinates he wants to fall at, and the drop pod will drop him when it is at its closest approach (not necessarily exact coordinates, the station's path might not come all that close to the desired coordinates)

I have not yet thought about the station's orbital period, i.e. whether it will cycle across the map once every Minecraft day or be more rapid than that. (IRL, a LEO space station orbits once every 42 minutes.) I'm kind of tending towards twice every Minecraft day so it crosses the same spot once by day and once by night. I don't think I want this to be player controlled with multiple different orbital heights, as that makes it more complicated + needs a machine and GUI to achieve that, but I will think about it - maybe for the future.

Probably there will also be a Display Screen image which shows the space station's sinusoidal path on an overall representation of the Overworld (with oceans and all that) but that depends on my testing to see whether an ultra-zoomed out map of the Overworld looks good with lands and oceans, or just looks like random noise. Until I've tried it, I just do not know.

One important aspect which needs thought: how will the player get back home again, after the Space Station dropped him far from his base? Obviously a wise player will be carrying 9 Launch Pads, a Tier 1 Rocket, a Fuel Loader, fuel canisters and batteries. But what about the unwise player: the only way back might be death or a very long walk. We might have to incorporate a costly, consumable, "teleport home" item? Or a command? On a server it's easier as most servers are set up with Essentials so the player can simply /home.
with how often a space station orbits a planet take into account stuff like mass and how far away it is from the planets center i.e. the equation (2πr^2)/T=V V being velocity T being how many times it orbits in some formula(can't quite remember how to work it out) but i'd guess it'd be easier to say that they all have the same mass and orbit at the same rate o_O
 

Space Viking

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* LOO = Low Overworld Orbit
Oversynchronous orbit
Overscience
Overgraphy
Overlogy
etc.

This scientific study about the Overworld is sounding pretty catchy lol

I have not yet thought about the station's orbital period, i.e. whether it will cycle across the map once every Minecraft day or be more rapid than that. (IRL, a LEO space station orbits once every 42 minutes.) I'm kind of tending towards twice every Minecraft day so it crosses the same spot once by day and once by night. I don't think I want this to be player controlled with multiple different orbital heights, as that makes it more complicated + needs a machine and GUI to achieve that, but I will think about it - maybe for the future.
Isn't the ISS's orbital period approximately 92,5 minutes?

When I discussed about it regarding future development, it was considered a bit on the extreme having a day/night cycle lasting 77 seconds in so called LOO, although, maybe it isn't as bad in practice as it might sound. Otherwise, simple multiplication maybe?

A low orbit isn't an universial figure though, but rather it's relative to the celestial body. It depends if using Kepler's 3rd law would be desirable to atleast get a rough estimate. Examples on some celestial bodies estimated low orbit height and respective orbital period:

Earth
400 km
92,5 minutes

Moon
100 km
117,8 minutes

Venus
400 km
95,21 minutes

Mars
250 km
111,5 minutes

Jupiter
1000 km (presumably)
175,5 minutes


When it comes to the celestial body's scale relative to an observer in low orbit, I think you could get away with keeping them all the same, since the smaller they are, the lower your orbit tend to be. Whenever a synchronous orbit would be possible on a specific planet, I'd imagine there could be a simple checkbox for that. They'd also hardly have anything worth mentioning as day/night cycles, since the planet would look so tiny from up there. :p

Probably there will also be a Display Screen image which shows the space station's sinusoidal path on an overall representation of the Overworld (with oceans and all that) but that depends on my testing to see whether an ultra-zoomed out map of the Overworld looks good with lands and oceans, or just looks like random noise. Until I've tried it, I just do not know.
In theory it works best with a celestial bodies that mainly consists of a single shade of color and mostly covered by a surface, like the Moon and Mars. For the Overworld that have blue water and green grass, It's indeed a bit awkward combining seed generated imagery with a hand drawn texture that features a whole continent and an ocean. Still, nothing has been written in stone yet and I do find it appealing what possibilities there could be.

One important aspect which needs thought: how will the player get back home again, after the Space Station dropped him far from his base? Obviously a wise player will be carrying 9 Launch Pads, a Tier 1 Rocket, a Fuel Loader, fuel canisters and batteries. But what about the unwise player: the only way back might be death or a very long walk. We might have to incorporate a costly, consumable, "teleport home" item? Or a command? On a server it's easier as most servers are set up with Essentials so the player can simply /home.
That's one potential frustration. Generally I assume you'd always use the same vehicle that brought you to the station to also leave, but on the other hand space stations aren't exactly planned to be safe. I'd imagine the unrealistic feat of jumping off the station should only be done as a last resort or by the most experienced. In comparison to the Nether portal's mechanics, if some douchebag sabotages the portal you'll be stranded in hell.


I'm afraid your idea is (or has become) pretty different from what I was intending to: I was thinking of being to use the Space Station dimension to create a network of geostationary facilities (i.e. multiple stations, satellites etc) to cover and fast-travel/transport over a planet, pretty much we do with the Nether, except it would a 1:1 ratio, not 8:1. The coordinates you'd spawn at in a planet dimension from a SS dim would be fixed, not random or dynamic.
I do see your idea. It's indeed in a conflict with concept of more accurate orbital mechanics, unfortunately, since geostationary facilities would still oscillate on the map's vertical axis the more their orbit would be inclined. The closest thing I can think of in the respect of your idea would be some form of space elevator that would be anchored with a tractor beam by some ground-based device. Although, maybe suborbital flight with a tier 1 rocket could be the standard for direct fast-travel instead?

I came up with the idea of a space station catalog, accessible by clicking on space station icon in the Galacitcraft map, because it would graphically impossible to represent/hook up all space stations icons around a planet in the Galacitcraft map... if it were possible to have multiple space stations in a single SS dim and if the space stations were geosynchronous, otherwise the space station catalog (as seen in my mock-up) hence would have no point, nor would we be able to use the SS dim as space Nether.
Finding out a good method of organizing the space stations was really tricky. I'm not sure how many stations are expected on average to be on the list for a player, but the current GUI solution is adequate as long as there aren't over a dozen of various stations on the list for the same planet. One thing I'd think could be really nice is when you select an SS on the list, it will display a map preview in the middle.

Another future idea is there could be a profile menu button for celestial bodies, but with the same button also working for space stations to elaborate listing on the planet's SS's and perhaps even unmanned satellites.
 

InsanityPie

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I also keep thinking about this and how we can make Galacticraft more "space like" without spoiling the core Minecraft aesthetic of:
1. flat world
2. circles are squares, spheres are cubes

One option I have toyed with - and this is really going to annoy you guys, because the code to do this is actually in Galacticraft right now, it's been there since around June 2014 only it's disabled - is to make the world not flat.

Screenshot 1 (early concept test, a lot of issues and nasty gaps but it shows you the idea:



Screenshot 2 - a lot of improvements, still a minor gap / glitch, that's now invisible in the latest version



That's still a possibility for some future version of Galacticraft, maybe only for "small" moons. Please do not ask questions about when or whether this will ever see the light of day.

The bigger issue is: what should the Overworld look like from a Space Station. I would love to add: a terminator line, an atmosphere fringe, and clouds.

Oh wait: somebody already suggested that and made a mock-up: http://forum.micdoodle8.com/index.php?threads/bigger-earth.4435/page-2#post-33953 ;)

It feels like we're stuck with square planets. A rotating cube just looks wrong, and raises unanswerable questions like how can players get to the other face of the cube. But what do you guys think about a terminator line moving across the square planet, as the sun rises? We can probably do that. It's not consistent with the vanilla game physics (i.e. it's the same time of day everywhere on the Overworld). But think of the square planet as being like a Mercator projection of a planet which is in fact spherical, only because it's Minecraft you can't see the curve, the curve has to be made flat (i.e. Mercator projection).

We could also maybe look at "Low Earth Orbit" space stations where the terrain underneath changes, and is more zoomed in.

I don't have a problem at all with the Minecraft world wrapping around so that e.g. x=-10000 joins on to x=10000, if we are talking about graphical effects in orbit, and space station orbital paths. As has been said, a lot of servers use a WorldBorder plugin to limit the size of the world. We could make the wraparound configurable in Galacticraft.
I has to comment of this even if it IS pretty old... by god, we need this ._.
 

Codym2405

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Okay...

----

About the interface, I'm a bit critical with the idea of the interface spoiling big extensions of unexplored parts of the world. I think the player needs to visit an area and use a rocket so that GC can generate a map of the nearby area (512x512?).

This is a mock-up of "Space Station" catalog interface:



But it doesn't reflect perfectly my final idea yet. As you can see, you can find and select one of geopositioned space stations or satellites found in a per-player dimension.
Maybe you don't get such a detailed image? You might just be able to get colours, not detailed imagery. This way, you might just be able to determine the biome, if it was unique. You would just get this sandy mass if you looked at a desert, no locations of lakes, villages ect. All forest type biomes would look the same. It would also be display much more land than a map, yet have the same size, so everything in it is smaller. These mechanics would prevent this feature from being to OP, just be a minor aid to gameplay.
 

radfast

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I'm afraid your idea is (or has become) pretty different from what I was intending to: I was thinking of being to use the Space Station dimension to create a network of geostationary facilities (i.e. multiple stations, satellites etc) to cover and fast-travel/transport over a planet, pretty much we do with the Nether, except it would a 1:1 ratio, not 8:1. The coordinates you'd spawn at in a planet dimension from a SS dim would be fixed, not random or dynamic.
Don't be afraid :D

Launch Controllers already allow you to create a network of facilities between locations you have visited. (At least they do if the rocket lands properly ... I know there is one open issue about this...) I don't want to duplicate that functionality. Also, at present the game design is only one Space Station per player and we can't + shouldn't change that, bear in mind that each Space Station is a new dimension, and on servers you can have hundreds of players. (I used to manage a Galacticraft server with over 30,000 active players ... not all on at the same time of course.)

What could be interesting to bring back in some features of your idea is to have a global map on the Display Screen which also shows the location of your launch controllers (as well as the Space Station in motion overhead).

LOO space stations should have the feeling of being constantly moving over the planet below. As I've posted elsewhere, one of the things we are aiming for in Galacticraft is the "feeling" or "emotion" of being in space, in a blocky world of course. I think it's possible, the same way you can have a feeling of "what a beautiful sunset" or "will this ocean never end?" in the Minecraft world, it's immersive. I think a key feeling of being in orbit - apart from the freefall - is the sensation of floating suspended above this beautiful blue/green planet which is constantly changing below.

I also think it will be great - and novel in Minecraft - to have a way to travel far distances to spots on the Overworld you have never visited before. Because walking - and even flying in a MMMPS - gets a little tedious after a while.
 

Codym2405

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Don't be afraid :D

Launch Controllers already allow you to create a network of facilities between locations you have visited. (At least they do if the rocket lands properly ... I know there is one open issue about this...) I don't want to duplicate that functionality. Also, at present the game design is only one Space Station per player and we can't + shouldn't change that, bear in mind that each Space Station is a new dimension, and on servers you can have hundreds of players. (I used to manage a Galacticraft server with over 30,000 active players ... not all on at the same time of course.)

What could be interesting to bring back in some features of your idea is to have a global map on the Display Screen which also shows the location of your launch controllers (as well as the Space Station in motion overhead).

LOO space stations should have the feeling of being constantly moving over the planet below. As I've posted elsewhere, one of the things we are aiming for in Galacticraft is the "feeling" or "emotion" of being in space, in a blocky world of course. I think it's possible, the same way you can have a feeling of "what a beautiful sunset" or "will this ocean never end?" in the Minecraft world, it's immersive. I think a key feeling of being in orbit - apart from the freefall - is the sensation of floating suspended above this beautiful blue/green planet which is constantly changing below.

I also think it will be great - and novel in Minecraft - to have a way to travel far distances to spots on the Overworld you have never visited before. Because walking - and even flying in a MMMPS - gets a little tedious after a while.
If your worried about too many dimensions, just add something like 'disable multiple stations' in the config, and the system will turn to normal.
 

Dex Luther

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I love the discussion going on in this thread. GC has a very very interesting future ahead.

Nice mock up. But I plan for:
6. we might also implement a drop tube or drop pod from Space Stations so you don't have to use a parachute (also because moving "down" in freefall is kinda hard and annoying, hmmm) and that could help players who don't have good timing
*cough* Drop pods? *cough* Sorry I have a terrible cold at the moment. :p