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Time Scale

 
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 12:15 am    Post subject: Time Scale Reply with quote

Just for fun, trying to get an idea of how long a turn is.

I've often seen it written that speed 32 = warp 3.2. Using a cube root function I figure that is really warp 3.18. So it comes out close, the number of km a ship moves is actually the vessel's speed x light speed (c).

This means speed 27 = warp 3, speed 8 is warp 2, and speed 1 is warp 1. So far so good. Still, this doesn't yet figure the tome scale.

Each hex is 10,000km. Speed of light is 300,000km, therefore 1 hex represents 1/30 light-seconds.

Now, if speed 1 is 1 x c, and it would take 30 turns to move 10 hexes at speed 1, my estimate is that each turn is 1/30 of a second. If that is true then a ten round combat only lasts 1/3 of a second. Seems fast.

Please, blow my assumptions out of the water.
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a paragraph in one of the older SFB manuals, which was described as Time Dilation, a turn would seem like 1 minute --
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose that can explain it, though not well. But its sci-fi, so we;ve all heard worse. Like "god did it" to explain all the unexplained things in the new BSG.

If it were me, and I am not (you read that right), I'd place it on a slower timescale with warp assisted sub-light and superluminal velocities. I mean, a warp field supposedly keeps you in a bubble of "normal" space, with the bubble travelling superluminally.

For me, I would rather put speed 30 as warp 1, the speed of light, so a speed 30 is moving 1 light second per second, and a turn is 1 second. This would put most action at sublight (though fast sublight) with no dilation while warp fields still affect the way a ship moves. A speed one ship would take 23 seconds to make it to the moon from Earth, which is a realistic "feel" IMHO.

Note: this is my own meandering and opinion. I dont mean to PO anyone.
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Dan Ibekwe
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I started playing SFB, the time scale troubled me a lot. It wasn't just that the turns lasted a fraction of a second, you also had to assume that not only could the ships go that fast, but that there were forms of radiation that went even faster, to allow the ships to see and shoot at each other.

The 'fix' I use is to assume that all combat is way below the speed of light, where 1 hex per turn = roughly 100 km/s, one turn = roughly 90 seconds and the effect of warp drive is to allow ships to rapidly accellerate to and maneuver at these speeds without turning their crews into strawberry jam, through some form of 'inertial damping' handwavium.

There again, I'm not a trekkie and I personally don't give a rats' a$$ about ST canon...YMMV.

Time dilation actually doesn't help. It's a long time since I messed around with special relativity, but IIRC the equations say that as you approach c, you become more massive, shrink in your direction of travel and your clock runs slower, all as seen from an observer 'at rest'. That much has been experimentally verified.

The fun starts when you (putatively) exceed c. As you accellerate beyond the speed of light, these effects fall away at the same rate as they grew as you approched it.

So at 2c and above your length and mass look almost normal to an observer 'at rest'. Your clock is also running at the pretty much the same rate as theirs, only it's going backwards.

(Thus the saying Relativity, Causality, FTL - choose any two).


Last edited by Dan Ibekwe on Sun May 17, 2009 1:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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MajerBlundor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once did this same calculation. I now ignore the whole warp speed thing, time scale, and distance scale when playing Federation Commander.

To me the game plays and feels like an early 20th century naval game with respect to pacing (anything from the Russo-Japanese war to WWI).

A strict time/distance scale can't be reconciled with how the game feels since it would indicate something closer to an FTL space fighter game with the "fighters" managed by Artificial Intelligence and with a duration of less than a minute to mere fractions of a second. Wouldn't make for good cinema either!
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As they say, time is relative ---

In an old FASA game book, a ship traveling from Earth to the Romulan border would require 2 years time at Warp 6 (might have been a higher number, haven't had the book in 10 years) ---

Just some things you have to disregard or it would drive you crazy, just let things like that go and enjoy the game ---
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Time is an illusion; lunch, doubly so." --Douglas Adams

It really makes no bearing on the game. The game is fun. But so is thinking about such stuff.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old news. This conversation started in 1980 and repeats every few months. We did the time scale to match the only hard data on the TV show about how fast the ship moved. The game works, the scale is silly, but don't worry about it.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not worried, like silly. Just wondering how Starfleet Command came to how fast the game would run.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The same way we did, but what made a good game.

So much of SFB's brilliant game design was just dumb i eat my boogers luck. The impulse system worked fine the first time we tried it, and we didn't have to
"dial in" the design. The phaser tables never changed, neither did photos. The original disruptor table did change (based on what made a good game) but that was a matter of simplification. Disruptors originally had several kinds of "ammo" each of which had a different combat table, and you had to pick the kind you were going to use at the start of the turn. You could find yourself face to face with a fast-charging Fed when your disruptors were loaded with long-range sniper ammo. We finally decided to just assume that the ammo was created from energy when fired based on what was the best at that range, and combined all of the charts into one (using the best factor at each range).
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Wolverin61
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I was thinking that one turn was thirty seconds. Don't know where that came from. Oh well.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do the time dilation thing according to "reality," it would work exactly the opposite.

Most other space games seem to avoid the issue entirely and allow the firing of weapons only at sub-light speeds.

Its just a game.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
If you do the time dilation thing according to "reality," it would work exactly the opposite.

Most other space games seem to avoid the issue entirely and allow the firing of weapons only at sub-light speeds.

Its just a game.


Just a game? I thought this was Ender's Game. You mean I'm not really commanding Starfleet????????
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