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Where are the Hard Science 4X games?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Not_Sure, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I'm not really sure what the nervous system storage is even for, honestly. All you "need" is a brain in a jar, and not even that if you're truly uploading.

    But the argument for intelligent design is--if we're living in a simulation, it had to be created by someone/thing.
     
  2. Not_Sure

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    Why not ourselves?

    If creating a mass migration to a virtual world clears out the "real" world, which in turn is actually virtual, are we really creating a new world?

    Or are we just repeating the same pattern again and again while we blast through space in a giant ship full of rattling jars of brains?
     
  3. cdarklock

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    Yeah, I know what the prisoner's dilemma is. But you're not proposing a prisoner's dilemma. You're proposing a political scenario in which two nations need to negotiate the division of resources. That's not the same thing, and it's not nearly as black and white.

    That doesn't even make sense. You complained that you have to go to a planet to look at it, and now you're arguing that you don't have to go to a star to look at it. Stars are bigger than planets. You can see them in greater detail from farther away. That is how size and distance work.
     
  4. Not_Sure

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    I mean stars have planets and planets have stars.

    And I meant we don't have to travel to a star system to know what is there.

    When I complained that you had to go there to look at it, I meant in sci-fi that's the case, while IRL you can tell what's there by looking.
     
  5. Deleted User

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    Because our solar system is actually very boring and not diverse, especially for 4X game.
    Look at the gravity of possible-to-colonize planets/moons:
    Earth: 9.807 m/s²
    Mars: 3.711 m/s²
    Ganymede: 1.428 m/s²
    Titan: 1.352 m/s²
    Europa: 1.315 m/s²

    Now look at environment of these planets/moons:
    Earth: terran
    Mars: barrens/dust
    Ganymede: barrens/ice
    Titan: barrens/ice
    Europa: barrens/ice

    As you can see this is very depressive. Of course you can make some kind of Master of Orion, but Master of Earth instead. Earth is colonized by evil humans who care only about profit from you and you're just martian/ganymedian/titanian/europian, who decided together with others to separate from Earth. But then something happened and now you all at war. Terrans will be like Antarans in MoO, and your main objective is to conquer the Earth. But still good 4X game need more environment-types for the planets and more stable gravity for "realistic and fun sci-fi", unless you start with some strange unrealistic technology to manipulate gravity of planets/moons, or you're just robots with human consciousness, who don't care about environment and can colonize even open space, because they don't need any life-sustaining stuff.

    Moreover there's no reason to pursue realism in games, since they're usually being played, because real life is boring. So OP asks why no one makes boring games, which will be played by people, who like realism, but for some odd reason instead of "living" they will play such game? Game is a place where everything can be possible, and game devs should use this opportunity.
     
  6. Billy4184

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    Yeah my point was not about realism as such, more about taking advantage of somewhat more near-future scenarios, and spinning a fantasy around them. I suppose that's probably not what this thread is really about.

    Anyway, it just takes imagination. Look what Destiny did with the solar system, OK this is not hard science but for me at least, it made the game more compelling and more interesting.
     
  7. cdarklock

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    And what I said is that we actually know very little about what is there, when we're talking about a planet. I gave a very specific example of just how little we know about the closest exoplanet to Earth. Planets farther away give up even less information.

    That's the real science of the matter. And if you're going to propose magical information gathering, why would you stop at that? Go on to FTL travel and particle beams and alien buttlickers.
     
  8. LaneFox

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    This thread is teetering on useless now.
     
  9. Not_Sure

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    How so?

    @cdarklock has a point.

    But I would say the next step would be a probe, not a scouting ship.

    Right now we're looking at going to Alpha Centauri with ultra light light-sail probes using lasers fired from Earth.
     
  10. cdarklock

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    We've been talking about that since the 1980s.

    Here's the thing that has never made sense to me.

    What good is space exploration?

    To the best of our ability to tell, there's nothing out there worth going and getting. Why would we do it? Why would anyone?

    It's like, if we ever went to some planet and met aliens, we might very well find that they're living like native Americans in the 15th century and getting on just fine. At no point did the Lakota Sioux or the Crow say "we must build really really big canoes and cross the water to see what else is over there." They didn't care. It simply wasn't relevant to them. We sort of take for granted that an intelligent civilisation is going to develop advanced physics and natural sciences, then say "we must leave the planet and see who else lives out there!"

    Why? I mean, really, did we ever actually need radio? For two million years we didn't have it and we didn't give a toss. It's only in the past eighty years or so that we've gone "SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE" and gotten all misty eyed over the idea. Why would an alien species necessarily have the same delusional fantasy?
     
  11. JoeStrout

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    Rubbish! :D

    Ah, I see the problem: you're a planetary chauvenist. If you assume that we need planets to live on, then sure, our solar system is pretty boring outside of Earth.

    But we don't (or soon won't) need planets to live on. We can build High Frontier -style colonies anywhere we find building materials and energy. Materials are abundant: all the planets, their many dozens of moons, plus millions of asteroids in the main belt, trojan clusters, centaurs, Kuiper belt, and Oort cloud, not even counting the scattering (but still numerous on a human scale) smaller rocks and snowballs careening around the solar system outside of any major cluster.

    As for energy, there's plenty of solar energy, especially in the inner solar system... and if we master fusion, then we have abundant energy anywhere we find hydrogen. And hydrogen can be found frickin' anywhere. The universe is mostly made of it.

    I keep wanting to make an idle clicker game about our expansion into the solar system; like the OP, I would want to base this on real science as we currently understand it. I just need to get a round tuit.

    Well, realistically that probably is how the future will unfold (space colonized almost entirely by nonbiological folk, i.e. uploaded people and AIs), because it's so much easier. But it's not necessary. You could choose to discount that whole development, and still have trillions of people spreading life to every nook and cranny of the solar system.

    I have to disagree with pretty much every statement in this paragraph. ;) Real life is not boring; and in particular the possibilities for our real future are very exciting. People who like realism realize this, and enjoy exploring those possibilities through their media. And yes, in fiction of any sort, everything can be possible — but to those of us interested in the real world, most of those possibilities are worthless tripe, while some have value, because they might actually happen.

    It just occurs to me that the same works for the past, too. Some (many?) people prefer historical fiction, which portrays fictional characters & events that could have happened (but didn't) in a realistic historical setting, over fantasy, which portrays things that we know darn well could never have happened because they involve magic etc. Here we're talking about the exact same thing, but set in the future.
     
  12. cdarklock

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    I had an idea about that once. I was going to call it "Space Trader." The notion was to have it gradually unlock the major moons of each planet as you progressed, and when you hit a certain threshold you could unlock the next planet.

    Then why do people play clicker games?

    I mean, we seem to have an awful lot of people who would rather click a button and watch a number than live their real lives.
     
  13. JoeStrout

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    Because it's not a delusional fantasy; it's limitless resources. By analogy, let's go back 4 billion years or so, when the entire Earth was a prebiotic (i.e. chemically rich but non-living) soup. In some tiny nook — let's suppose, a tidal pool three feet across on the shores of some minor island somewhere — chemicals hook together in a way that self-replicates, using energy and materials from the environment. They quickly fill up the tidal pool.

    Now you (as a primitive replicator) say: OK, great! Our tidal pool is full, our job is done! Why are you fantasizing about leaving our pool? There's nothing interesting out there, it's just a bunch of prebiotic soup! Who cares?

    Well, obviously, that's not how it played out. Life will always expand to new niches once the capability is there; this is a direct consequence of natural selection. You can stay home if you want, of course. The galaxy will just be settled by somebody else.
     
  14. cdarklock

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    Think about that statement for a moment.
     
  15. Deleted User

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    But that's illogical, I mean it's easier to colonize completely barren planet, than build a station in space, because space station will never be a better option, unless the planet is very toxic or have ultra high gravity or something else that makes it completely uninhabitable.
    And even if what you've said will be possible and people could live and self-sustain in space station.. then why would stupid humanity ever waste so much resources to build space stations, when they can do the same, but on barren planet? So they don't need to bother with so much materials and additional resources/tools to build it right in the space, when they can build it on the ground of a planet.

    Just look at this:
    Mainland - our planet. Ocean - space. Islands there - other planets. Space stations - cities-on-water. If you can build city-on-water, which can supply itself, why would you waste resources on "floor", when you can just build it on islands?

    The only reason to build a space station where people can live is - there're no more room on every possible planet/moon in our solar system. But even then... it's easier to limit birth rate or something like that.
     
  16. JoeStrout

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    Both untrue (a space colony — not the same as a space station, BTW — can be much better suited to us than a planet) and irrelevant (even if planets were easier, there just aren't that many of them compared to the millions of non-planetary bodies in each solar system).

    But I hate to derail the thread further... maybe we should continue via PM?
     
  17. JoeStrout

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    (Re. limitless resources)
    I've been thinking about it carefully for years.

    (If we want to be pedantic, we should say effectively limitless resources, since the universe is not infinite; but it's close enough to infinite on a human scale. I generally assume other people are not pedantic unless they prove otherwise.)

    However, the misconception that space is "empty" is very common, and all the more reason somebody should make a realistic game that shows otherwise. The biggest problem is the sheer scale — the are far more interesting places to live even in our own solar system than you could possibly simulate, except in very broad strokes.
     
  18. cdarklock

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    But it's still just a fantasy. It hasn't been confirmed in any meaningful fashion. Even if you speculate based on density that a given planet or asteroid belt has a high concentration of some useful resource, that doesn't make it cost effective to retrieve, and bringing a bunch of it back to Earth will necessarily impact the market value of the resource.

    I mean, it's easy to say we're never going to run out of water on planet Earth because there is so much of it, but there remain many cultures on the planet who don't have reasonable access to clean potable water. We may have effectively limitless water, but it comes with strings attached.
     
  19. Not_Sure

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    Man, I don't even know where to begin with that one.

    Do you you want me to list off all the things it has already done for us?

    Or how it's good for our economy?

    Or how it's good for science?

    Or how it's good for military deescalation?

    Or how it will solve all of energy needs for centuries to come?

    Or how it will make important, but rare, materials readily available?

    Or how it's vital for our continued survival?


    From what I hear there's three kinds of critics towards space exploration.

    People coming from a pragmatic perspective that say it's a poor investment. It's not. It's objectively not. People had the same criticism in the 60's and now we have satellites and cell phones.

    People who criticize it from a religious point of view. Which seems ridiculous even from their point of view. Like, "Boy! It sure was swell of God to make this big seemingly infinite universe just so I can look at it! Yep, just look at it and absolutely nothing else."

    And then there's the people who think it's a bad idea because it won't benefit them in their lifetime. Which of course is MASSIVELY selfish and horrible. But also potentially wrong considering that we have no idea how long people alive today will live. We do know it will almost certainly be more than 80 years. And in 80 years we will definitely pass over the technological singularity. We can print organs, genetically modify cells, create ever increasingly efficient artificial organs, know more and more about the diseases of aging, and have found a protein engine called "CRISPR" that has just made the field of genetics explode.

    We all may very all live well past 1000 years old in healthy bodies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  20. Billy4184

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    I think this is an extremely misguided view of history. What many historical romanticists don't realize, is that just because someone lived in a time when something didn't exist, doesn't mean they wouldn't have wanted something if they knew that it was possible. I think that when a primitive people have rejected some kind of modern technology or knowledge, it has more to do with the circumstances in which they encountered it, than any kind of zeal for natural living.

    You've obviously never read about all the maritime explorers throughout history who set off on a course into nowhere with not a lot of chance of ever coming back, just for the sake of knowing what else existed in the world (or where it ended). No motor, no hydraulics, no gps, no maps, no maritime rescue, no modern weather forecasting, no guarantee that there was even anything to find at all except death by starvation or drowning, lost somewhere in an endless ocean.

    Or what person with tens of millions of dollars would spend all their money trying to make a private space company when they could easily have made some facebook type thing and quadrupled it all, or, if they were feeling selfless, just sent it to some charity for making life better for a few people here on earth?

    I can't imagine what it would be like to spend a life not wondering what else is out there to see and to know. The idea that human civilization never leaves this planet is one of the most depressing things I can possibly imagine, and I sure hope I don't finish my time here with the possibility being more remote than when I started.
     
  21. cdarklock

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    Sure! Tell me everything we have ever brought back from space that made our lives better.

    The economy, the science, the military benefits... we did those here. All by ourselves. Didn't need to go to space for them. We did them right here, on the planet we started from, with stuff we already had.

    It also doesn't mean they would.

    Given an alien culture on a planet, it is every bit as valid to conjecture that they don't want or need to explore space, but nobody ever does. They presume that the culture either wants to explore space, or is just too stupid to know space is a thing. There's an additional option: they know it's a thing, they just don't have any particular interest in it.

    Consider another thing - football. Either one wants to play football, or doesn't know what football is... right? Surely there isn't anyone on the planet who simply doesn't care about football. If they don't want to play, they must just be primitive and ignorant.

    Right? Same basic logic. If it works for space, it should work for football.
     
  22. Billy4184

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    I don't think it's the same. Because space/the universe is not just something fun that we like or not. It represents the frontier of what we know, at least symbolically. Uncertainty is what drives us to imagine what's out there, and to want to explore it. A mixture of fear and anticipation. Whether we find something or not is not really the goal - the goal is to be there ready to find it.

    I've met quite a few people who are otherwise not particularly scientifically-minded, or at all fitting the stereotype of who you might expect to be interested in space exploration, who nonetheless talk about it keenly. I think that space just happens to currently represent something about the nature we have developed in our time on this planet, that hasn't quite gone away (thankfully).
     
  23. EternalAmbiguity

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    Ascribing symbolism and sentimentalism to your argument doesn't really help it. I don't deny it exists, but it's not a justification or reason to do anything.
     
  24. Billy4184

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    That comment is about whether space exploration is the same as football in terms of someone's disposition to be compelled by it.

    In any case, I don't think that rational justification is an incredibly strong argument in favor of it. I see space exploration the same way that I see exploratory research in general - you can't really justify it at least in the short term, but when it happens to bring something to light that's really important, you realize that there was no other way to get there. So you just have to ascribe a value on the simple fact that it's pretty uncertain what you might find or where it might lead.

    Also, I think that there is something clinically wrong with a civilization which does not attempt to do things for the simple reason that it represents the frontier of what they know and where they have been. When I used to play Age of Empires, I always found it very compelling the idea of a civilization building a 'Wonder', a pure display of the skill and ability of that civilization and what they could do. What else could be greater than that? I've always been impressed by the ancient Egyptians and the pyramids - just a tomb, yet constructed with such scale and precision that even with modern machines it would be excruciatingly difficult.

    I don't think there's an incredibly strong rational reason to colonise space right now - although there are a multitide of futures in which the fact that we didn't would be the one of the reasons why we no longer existed. Yet I don't think that's a good reason to ignore other motivations, such as the desire to expand out into the universe and know what is out there. In fact I think that, whether as an individual or as an entire civilization, everything that you do is merely to strengthen the platform from which you seek to increase your knowledge and expand your influence on the universe, and the moment that it is not, is the beginning of the end. The moment that someone says "this is enough, let Time stand still and leave me be" then Nature has already left them behind.
     
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  25. cdarklock

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    Wow. No.

    It means the existence of a thing is insufficient to make it compelling.

    Yes, space is there. So are mountains. Do you find climbing mountains compelling? What about deep sea exploration?

    Space exploration is just a thing. It is not necessarily more or less compelling than any other thing. There's nothing particularly special about it.

    Here, let's look at something that came out of space exploration: a massive improvement in medical technology.

    We needed a fuel pump for the space shuttle. Grossly oversimplified, the design criteria were that it could not rely on gravity or atmospheric pressure, but that they also must not interfere with its operation; and that it must neither contaminate the fuel by direct contact with it, nor overly agitate the fuel in conveying it from place to place (because fire in space is bad - like, really excessively bad, let me tell you boy howdy).

    By some amazing coincidence, these are very nearly the same issues we have with pumping blood.

    The pump we designed for the space shuttle's fuel has not just put the shuttle into space. It has also dramatically improved the success rate of cardiothoracic surgery. Heart transplants, open heart surgery, pulmonary haemorrhage, a vast array of scenarios which inherently involve disconnecting major blood vessels - suddenly, not only do these become vastly more survivable, they mean the patient needs fewer transfusions, there's less shock to the body, the doctor has better visibility (because there's less bleeding), a large number of procedures suddenly become possible that were never an option before.

    People tend to crow, "See! That's why we need to go to space!"

    Except we didn't.

    Nothing we needed to make that pump came from space. It wasn't made by astronauts on a space station. It was made here on Earth, with materials we'd already invented, using technology we already had. The people who made it weren't going to space.

    The single biggest argument you can make is that we would not have funded this research for some stupid thing like pumping blood and saving lives. We wouldn't have made this for any other reason. The tens of millions of dollars a year we sank into it were only made available because we were going to spaaaaaaaaace.

    But that's sick. That's one of the most awful, damning problems with space exploration: we are sinking huge amounts of money into things to get us into space, because we care more about that than we do about the availability of renewable energy or clean drinking water or homes for the homeless.

    And I don't see a single good reason why. Sure, I don't see any compelling reason why not, either. But space exploration looks to me like a collective delusion. Instead of investing in that and randomly finding out that what we invented is useful for other things, why don't we just invest in the other things? Why don't we put our money into what we need, and not what we think is sexy and cool?
     
  26. Billy4184

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    If you read my posts, you will see that I agree with much of your point of view, except that I come to the opposite conclusion. I actually don't think that there's a very practical short-term reason to go to space, and although I think there are a few strong long-term ones, I doubt many people would look that far ahead (although that doesn't invalidate them).

    The main reason why I think we should do it is exactly because it's sexy and cool. I tend to agree with Elon Musk that the idea of spending your life just solving problems is a pretty depressing one. It's one of the reasons why I decided to do game dev in fact. I know that I'm not going to be here forever, and in the end I'm not going to be particularly interested in whether I solved some problems, I am going to be interested to know what I did to make the human existential experience greater, to increase the reach and scope of knowledge and imagination.

    Although I think a government is partly responsible for nurturing these values among its people (beyond mere practical benefits) I'm very, very glad that a private space company is leading the way now, and I hope that it gives the opportunity for people who have money to spend, to put their money where their imagination lies.

    Although I don't want to get into a debate about this point, just for the sake of communicating my point of view, I don't think that most of the world's problems have very much at all to do with money, nor can they be solved in the long term simply by applying lots of it. Education is 1000x more effective than donations, but the problem is that you can't extract it from money.
     
  27. cdarklock

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    I don't have a conclusion. I am asking a question.

    This is what really confuses me. I say I can see neither a good reason to do it, nor a good reason not to do it, and ask why someone who really wants to do it wants to do it.

    And they never have a good reason.

    ...solve the problem that in your opinion the human experience was not good enough, because knowledge and imagination had insufficient reach and scope?

    "Oh, no, it was totally good enough and sufficient and all that stuff. I just wanted it better."

    Why?
     
  28. Billy4184

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    That's fair enough, to call it a problem - but the difference is that the solution is not a value, but a vector, with direction and magnitude. It has no end, because it has no beginning. The concept of 'good enough', when applied to the question of human knowledge and imagination, is completely meaningless to me.

    You might even say that for me, the question of whether I should or should not take part in it is a moral question, although I'm not really sure if it's the same sort of morality that most people talk about. But if I'm to look beyond myself, beyond temporary circumstances, beyond 'worldly' social values, taking a step in that direction before I'm finished here seems like the only thing worth doing.

    I don't think that there's any real absolute value to strive for in anything, in fact to me, the very concept of happiness dissolves when it isn't a derivative value, a rate-of-change of something. I don't think it's just me either, I think it's part of human nature - people are never quite as happy to have something as when they were striving for it. We didn't choose to be this way, but it's what drives us, and we can only choose to embrace it if we want to be part of the future.
     
  29. cdarklock

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    That's the case for problems in general. Even when you make your #1 problem disappear, all you do is promote the #2 problem to #1, and in most cases you don't ever make the problem disappear... you just make it small enough that it drops down the list.

    See, this is what frustrates me when I talk about space with people.

    "Why go to space? Well, why go to anything, really?"

    That's meaningless. I literally never go up to people and rave about how we as a society should listen to more dubstep, because that's a pointless opinion that is just flat-out weird to push on other people. But people are always coming up to me and raving about the importance of space exploration, under the clear impression that I absolutely must agree with them. And that's weird.
     
  30. Billy4184

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    I pretty much agree, and that's why I think space exploration is where it belongs, in the private sector.

    But still, I can't help but feel that there are certain things that influence a society at large, that can't be effectively reduced to a question of individual interest. But that's a pretty fuzzy line, so in the meantime, I'm glad with the way things are going, and I hope one day I can do something to propel it along.
     
  31. cdarklock

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    It's still not something you can assume about another society, though. Let alone another species.

    The entire point of bringing this up is to say that an alien species may simply not be interested in space travel. That's a valid possibility.
     
  32. Not_Sure

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    It is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  33. cdarklock

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    Okay, imagine that you own a company that breeds racehorses. And in the process of breeding racehorses, you learn all kinds of useful stuff about horse breeding. And every year, you go out and bet a third of your operating budget on the Kentucky Derby, but you lose it all.

    Maybe... you could not bet on the Kentucky Derby? Because, you know, then we could use that budget to keep learning useful stuff about horse breeding. Instead of betting on the Derby. When you always lose.

    "But I like betting!" is not a valid rebuttal.

    Well, see, investing in the infrastructure is part of the cost. You might save a lot of money on plane tickets when you buy a private jet, but you have to buy the jet.

    I'm sorry, do you think that actually makes a difference?

    The Karman line is at 100km. Chimborazo's summit is about 6km. You want to run a rail up the side of a mountain to get 6% of the way there, and then imagine this will somehow save you so much time and effort that you can accelerate your cargo to escape velocity with magnets and lasers.

    Bring one back, and we'll talk.

    (In all fairness, I have a friend working on this problem with a NASA subcontractor, and it's not precisely impossible. There are just some rather serious issues that I don't think we're likely to solve in a cost-effective manner. But we'll definitely be able to bring back less gold than the trip was worth! Eventually!)

    The primary problem with the world's energy needs is transmission and lossage. We get a huge amount of energy from the sun, and another huge amount of energy is coming out of the Earth's core (mostly through, you know... geothermal vents on the ocean floor). The problem we have in accessing that energy is that solar cells are hugely inefficient, undersea construction is enormously dangerous, and the places where this energy is most available is usually quite far from where it is needed.

    Going into space is basically making the problem worse. "We can't use solar panels in the Mojave, because they're too far away. Let's see if we can put solar panels on Mars."

    What?

    Yes. Have you forgotten Pompeii? Or Mt. St. Helens? The world as we know it is a thin skin floating on a sea of molten rock. Sometimes that skin cracks, and we have earthquakes. California has been expecting "the big one" my entire life. It's supposed to have fallen into the sea by now, remember? Kind of like global climate change is supposed to melt the ice caps and raise the sea level by... um... a few feet. (The sea is big.)

    And that's not even counting the things we've built on purpose.
     
  34. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Touche'.

    Anyway, the point of setting up shop on Mount Chimborazo isn't for the altitude, although half of the ambient air pressure is nice. It's more about being a really nice shape to lay 100 miles of track to partially accelerate the ship and it's right on the equator which gives it the push of the earth's rotations as well.

    Also, you know NASA accounts for less than 0.5% of the national budget, right?

    We have 19 aircraft carriers and running just one cost a little less than running all of NASA. Or 8 of the 49 fast attack subs we have.

    EDIT: Oh, and why would you ever collect solar power on mars? Especially when a 1kM x 1kM panel near the sun could collect more light than all of the earth. Then take it and shoot the energy back to earth as a laser.

    But anyway solar make more sense as a replacement for shingles, then just use net metering rather than batteries. Batteries are like 85% if the costs after all.

    In the more immediate future we should use platinum and nickel to make thermocoupling generators and collect heat from the ground. Really, the only reason we DON'T do it is because platinum and nickel are stupid expensive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  35. cdarklock

    cdarklock

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    In order to get the push of the Earth's rotations, you would need to be coming from the coast toward the mountains. Mount Chimborazo is less than 150 miles from the coast. So you basically think it would be convenient to carve a track two-thirds of the way across the entire country of Ecuador so we can shoot crap into space with "magnets and lasers."

    Meanwhile, the people who live and work in the country may be a little annoyed at the idea that they now have to drive around your stupid space train.

    NASA has an annual budget of over $19 billion, more than three times that of the ESA, and representing over half of all spending on space worldwide.

    Seriously. 350 million Americans are more interested in space than the other 95% of the planet.

    Why?

    I'm not saying it's bad. I'm asking for a good reason.

    You wouldn't, because it's stupid. That's kind of the point.

    ...where we still have all the same problems of getting that energy where it needs to go.

    So you haven't solved anything. All you've actually done is spent a huge amount of money doing some pointless crap in spaaaaaaaaace where it is not making any practical difference at all, just like always.
     
  36. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Well, America is by far the largest economy in the world. So why shouldn't it also spend the most money on space?

    You do know that tunnels are a thing, right?

    Also, if you're going to be moving at speeds of mach 23, you'd most likely need to put the rail in a vacuum anyhow.

    Also-also, I'm pretty sure that Ecuador, one of the poorest countries in the world, would be very happy to have an industry move there.
     
  37. Deleted User

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    Here's an idea how to create hard science 4X space game, it'll be actually very realistic even for today science:

    In the game you're just a human, who sits on a toilet infront of PC. There's also other human, who constantly brings you food. The toilet also is so good and multi-functional that you can even sleep right on it, it also auto-flushes itself (I think it's all possible to do even today). So the goal of this game is to play 4X space sci fi game, just like any other 4X scape sci-fi game. Oh, also your character is very very healthy. Or there're all kinds of doctors constantly checking him. And mechanics make sure PC and toilet will never break, they maintain them 24/7.

    1) Do we have humans in real world? Yes.
    2) Do we have toilets in real world? Yes.
    3) Do we have humans, who can bring food to other humans in real world or very helpful doctors and mechanics? Yes.
    4) Do we have PCs and unrealistic/sci-fi games on them? Yes.

    Now here's a question: will this game have "realism" tag on it? And does it meet requirements of being non-sci-fi?
     
  38. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Historically plenty of civilisations have taken this attitude. Egypt wasn't interested in expanding into Rome. But Rome was interested in expanding into Egypt. Which is why modern society is more akin to the Roman way of life then the Egyptian.

    The American Indians weren't interested in the cost and expense of building boats and crossing the ocean. The Europeans were. The American Indians are virtually irrelevant as a culture today.

    The same can be said of the Australian Aboriginals or the pacific island natives. Or any other number of cultures that choose not to be expansionist.

    One could reasonably expect this pattern to continue throughout space. As long as there is one species that focuses on space travel, resource extraction and general expansionism, it will eventually make all others redundant.

    Of course, this all assumes an expansionist space faring race is possible. One solution to Fermi's paradox is that large space faring civilisations are an impossibility.
     
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  39. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    On the OP, hard science is not a thing in 4X games for several reasons.

    Hard science is slow. Even at the most generous estimates, getting between star systems will likely take more time then many entire civilisations have been around for. The most likely hard science scenarios have each star system existing virtually entirely independent of the others. Which is hardly exciting.

    Hard science is boring. You just can't compete with the excitement of science-fantasy. A Star Wars or an Iorn Man will always be more exciting then a Space Oddesy.

    Hard science predictions are normally wrong. Look at Star Trek. We were supposed to have FTL at about the same time we developed pagers. And yet I have a pocket computer with more power then the entire Enterprise, but we can barely fly a spaceship to the moon. I'm aware of virtually no science fiction that predicted the way social media would affect society.
     
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  40. Not_Sure

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    I do believe that there were some people who had an inclination as to what the world would look like, but at the time they were going on and on about how amazing transistors were and the average person just thought "So we have a smaller radio now, so what?"

    Well today we have people going on and on about graphene, CRISPR, vantablack, seeded organs, printed cells, thermocouplers, and hydrophobics. And all we hear people saying is "So what?"

    As far as the time scale goes, I don't see what that matters when turns are as long as you want them to be.

    My personal philosophy on the matter is that we will never go faster than light, but we will extend our life exponentially and in turn the longer you live the faster time moves.

    That's not just speculation either, psychologically time moves relative the amount of memories you have. I read (I need to find the original article) that by age 10 you've hit the middle of your life in terms of how time moves for you. That sounds about right to me.

    So if we live to be 10,000 a 20 year jaunt to Alpha Centauri would be like a 30 hour flight.
     
  41. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    You know physics doesn't actually care about personal philosophies. :p
     
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  42. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    I'm pretty sure I go to sleep every day and don't feel time pass, physics or not. :p
     
  43. Billy4184

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    So much possibility for games within the solar system though. Like, there are all the planets, a huge belt of asteroids encircling the solar system, an artistic playground that makes earth itself look like a grain of sand on a beach, and possibilities for incredible epic stories - yet for some reason everybody feels the need to generate random planets from the other side of the universe, populated by unoriginal characters whose names always contain 'K' somewhere, and a minimum of one apostrophe ..

    I found Call of Duty's take on near-future space warfare to be refreshing and inspiring as a game theme, which is hardly what I would have expected from them. Push that out a bit to the nearby planets, add things like mining bases etc, and it's something I think is not just fantastical enough to be very compelling, but also not incredibly far-fetched.

    Also having watched some plays of Destiny, seeing what is obviously a representation of the international space station makes it all that much more interesting to me, not to mention that I found the moon environment by far the most compelling of the lot by virtue of how it bridged the gap between the present and the game era, and it felt like a more authentic representation of a science fiction environment than what I usually see (usually a hastily redressed sword and sorcery theme).

    There's an insane amount of Mass Effect style games that could be made in this solar system that I think would be incredibly interesting for gamers. It's a shame it isn't being exploited by developers.
     
  44. Kiwasi

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    Not really. Not for a 4X game anyway. Not if you want to keep the hard science.

    Kerball is perhaps the best example of a 'hard science' game based within a single solar system. (Even then there are a few shortcuts taken in the name of game play. The planets are more dense then any known element in our universe.)

    And yet Kerball can hardly be called 4X. It contains some exploration, but once you've visited each planet a couple of times there isn't much to do. It contains minimal exploitation and expansion. And no extermination

    And if you look closer at Kerball, you'll see most of the gameplay is simply waiting. You set up a manoeuvre, then wait. You have 30 seconds of action at the node, then you wait for the next one. As much as I love the game, the moment to moment gameplay is pretty dull. Hard science tends to be pretty boring.

    To make a 4X game inside a solar system you would have to change a few things around. Probably breaking enough science to loose the hard science title.
    • More resources on other planets (ie money to make fighting over them worth while)
    • Cheaper and faster space flight
    • Enemies on another planet (either aliens or a independent human settlement)
    • Effective space militaries
    • A renewed taste for war
    Humans haven't done any real space exploration yet because there is no real point to it. The best reasons we can come up with are wonderlust, apocalypse and spin off benefits. Contrast that with the driving forces behind the various colonial empires and it looks pretty weak.
     
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  45. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    I think a one system game is a great idea. Most likely if I did that I would have it consist of independent mining companies fighting over resources in the asteroid belts. Humans in a randomly generated solar system sounds about right.

    BUT, I'm still thinking of a galactic 4X as of now.

    Hey, what if the game assumes that there's a technological singularity and takes research out of the formula?

    I think the game would be more board game esq that way and it would play out more like a galactic version of Diplomacy. You know, where everyone moves at the same time.
     
  46. Billy4184

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    Yeah I'm definitely talking about 'apparent' hard science as a theme. IMO actual hard science, beyond a few basic things, has about as much relevance to space games as a realistic walking pace has with any game at all.

    I'm basically saying that using a realistic background, with realistic themes is way too under-utilised, but I get that isn't really what the thread's about.

    I don't think it's so much that there is no point, in fact I think that, besides communism, colonising space is probably the most universally popular idea that has never eventuated. The problem is that there's a huge gap between the cost, and any individual capability to use it for their own benefit. I have no doubt that for every gamer who is willing to spend $15,000 on Star Citizen ships, there are ten people who would spend $150,000 to go to space, or to be part of space exploration. The problem is that right now, that is still nowhere near enough to secure a substantial individual benefit.

    Like I've been saying throughout the thread, there really isn't a great practical reason, but that doesn't mean that the non-practical reasons are not substantial to people. The problem really does come down to the fact that if you want people to spend a signficant amount on a space venture that has no practical community benefit, obviously you cannot take it and send someone else up instead. Musk is doing the right thing by focusing on reducing (re)launch costs, I think there's a threshold at which relatively rich people will go "ok, that's it, take my money and let's go", and then the private space industry will boom.
     
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  47. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    This.
     
  48. Kiwasi

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    Totally agree there. Realism tends to be detrimental to most games. And space in particular.

    Maybe. I'd love to see spaceflight become accessible in my lifetime. But I don't see it happening.

    Then again, I didn't see smart phones or social media coming. So what do I know. Like I said earlier, science progress is notoriously difficult to predict, even in the short term.
     
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  49. frosted

    frosted

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    @BoredMormon mentioned earlier that science is usually boring or scary. That's really the truth.

    If you look at almost every sci fi movie in the last 40 or so years, scientific progress and technology is usually the bad guy.

    It's actually really odd, if you go back to earlier sci fi (like 1940s), science came to the rescue, more modern sci fi we always need to be rescued from science.

    Almost all recent, popular sci fi is a story about plucky humans relying on our innate humanness to overcome icky technological horrors.
     
  50. Billy4184

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    Probably less so for anyone who chose a space strategy game, but you're definitely right about that. I find it incredibly disappointing to see movies like Avatar, such an opportunity for something interesting but completely wasted.

    In terms of philosophizing directly about the collision between humans and machines/technology, without falling into guilt or stupidity, Blade Runner was the last great movie IMO.