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Remnant is a 4X space strategy game with a heavy emphasis on espionage, tactics and logistics. A few twists to the genre include: orbital mechanics, full 3D tactical combat with six degrees of freedom and a roster of randomly generated agents that act as governors, admirals and spies.

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In this brief visual primer, I'll cover the basics of the flight mechanics used in Remnant.

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Introduction


In this brief visual primer, I'll cover the basics of the flight mechanics used in Remnant. Ships in Remnant follow Newton's laws of motion to create a physically accurate simulation rather than the more arcade-like systems typically seen in games or movies. The core concept of a Newtonian flight model is inertia, or an object's resistance to a change in its state of motion. To overly simplify things, massive ships take a considerable amount of time to start moving and once they are moving, they're equally slow to stop moving.

Translational Thrust


Ships accelerate and decelerate with an uncomfortable 5 g of force for a brief period of time to "get up to speed" before scaling back to a comfortable 1 g for the imagined human occupants. This is true for flying around local sectors near planets and flying throughout the planetary system. There is no warp or faster-than-light travel in Remnant.

acceleration

Acceleration


deceleration

Deceleration


Rotational Thrust


Rotational thrust is even slower as angular acceleration forces are much deadlier to humans than linear ones.

acceleration

Acceleration


deceleration

Deceleration


Combat


As I'm sure you can imagine at this point, these painfully slow movements are a threat to the survivability of your ships in combat.

combat

A slow ship is a dead ship


For this reason, ships in combat prefer to conserve their momentum as much as possible by utilizing sweeping turns rather than direct paths.

combat turning

The faster path


It's this conservation of momentum, a fundamental principle of Newton's laws, where the flight model begins to shine. It allows for some interesting combat tactics, such as turning the ship around to engage a target behind ...

conservation of momentum

Conservation of momentum in action


... or to spin the ship around evasively to dodge incoming projectiles while simultaneously maintaining your course.

Summary


Mastering the Newtonian model is an incredibly rewarding experiencing and key to ensuring your ships survive combat. As ships are incredibly costly to produce, the last thing you want to happen is something like this:

explosion

Less than ideal combat outcome


Thanks for reading!

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Support Remnant on Patreon. Follow us on Twitter for updates. For a more behind-the-scenes look at game development in general, follower the lead developer's Tumblr.

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