• Register

ScrumbleShip is the most accurate space combat simulation devised to date. Gather resources, construct a capital ship out of individual blocks, then pilot it with AI or human help against other players.

Post news Report RSS ScrumbleShip Heat Engine

A technical writeup of aspects of the ScrumbleShip heat engine.

Posted by on

Heat Damage 1

So ScrumbleShip has a "Heat Engine". What exactly does that mean?

Simply put, we simulate heat gain and heat loss in space with the real-world properties of various materials. A cube of butter will melt at a relatively low temperature, while a cube of tungsten will absorb enough heat to decimate a small town. This heat transfer is based on real world physics, and computed in real time. It takes into account surface area, specific heat capacity, melting point, and boiling point (under pressure).

We do all this calculation very quickly, due to some very careful choices in the design of our memory structures and algorithms. For example, if a section of space has had no temperature changes in it since the last check, we needn't run our heat transfer algorithm on ANY portion of that space.

The heat engine makes for some interesting and fun dynamics - Take a look at the following steel hull with copper heatpipes to a butter repository. I fired a laser at the steel plate, and ScrumbleShip simulated the transfer of heat through the structure. Copper is an excellent conductor, so it quickly moved much of the heat from the steel plate to the blocks of butter, causing them to melt and boil. Neither metal was damaged by the heat, as it was below their melting points.

ButterMelt

So how accurate is it? Somewhat!

Heat transfer through a solid meter of anything is remarkably slow, so to make a fun game the heat travel speed has been scaled up. We can also increase the power of lasers to compensate, ending up with something very close to the way battles would actually play out, if a bit faster. (I.e. Hour long space battles, rather than day long ones)

We make several assumptions about surface area and heat gradients that are true on average, but not true in every case - For example, we don't compute "edge effects" at all. Also, materials like diamond or graphene transfer their heat too quickly for our engine to deal, and require special treatment to behave appropriately.

Heat Damage 2

However, every copy of ScrumbleShip comes with source access, so anyone with a physics background can submit code to increase the heat engine's accuracy.

Of course, the real test of our engine is in how it compares to engines in other games, and this is where it truly shines. I'm not aware of a single game, in our genre or outside of it, with as detailed a heat simulation as we have. I believe we're setting a new standard for accuracy in games.

Want to learn more? Click an icons to visit ScrumbleShip.com or our IndieDB page:
ScrumbleShip IndieDB

Cheers,
-Dirk

Comments
Insolent.
Insolent.

Informative write-up. ScrumbleShip's heat engine really is awesome, and I seriously can't wait until it's used to simulate the gradual and catastrophic destruction of ships!

It's incredibly cool that battles, especially battles between large ships, really could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on how well armed, armored, and designed against venting they are! It ain't over 'til the fat lady tries to sing in a vacuum.

And even if the ship is totally devoid of air, it can still hold out if the crew has spacesuits, for as long as their suit resources hold out! Battles in ScrumbleShip will play out like the best of the hard sci-fi space battles, and that's exciting. :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Follow Report Profile
Icon
ScrumbleShip
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Orangehat Tech
Engine
Custom
Contact
Send Message
Homepage
Scrumbleship.com
Release date
Game watch
Follow
News
Browse
News
New
Post news
Report
Report
Share
Related Games
ScrumbleShip
ScrumbleShip Futuristic Sim
Related Groups
Indie Devs
Indie Devs Hobbies & Interests with 1,659 members
Indie Gamers
Indie Gamers Hobbies & Interests with 1,511 members
Linux Gamers
Linux Gamers Fans & Clans with 2,970 members
Open Source Game Development
Open Source Game Development Other with 42 members
Orangehat Tech
Orangehat Tech Developer & Publisher
Science Fiction Fans
Science Fiction Fans Arts & Literature with 783 members
Scientific software
Scientific software Educational with 12 members
Team of One Game Development
Team of One Game Development Hobbies & Interests with 87 members