Not a member yet? Why not Sign up today
Create an account  

  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
Concept: steam powered stuff

#1
The steam engine is glorious, but not hugely useful.
How can we make it more useful and expand the range of vehicles in the game?
Once concept is steam powered CRAMS. A steam powered CRAM could "pack" faster(due to the high pressure from the steam). Or the steam could be used to fire the shell- perhaps this means the shell is not visible to munition warners, or perhaps it means the the CRAM can reload faster. 

Perhaps steam pressure could be used directly for a sort of turning jet system for the vehicle (allowing above and below water propulsion similar to the ion thruster but using steam pressure alone)

Perhaps it could be used in a melee weapon context (blasting steam at your opponent)

Can you think of anything else, and what would you most like to see?
Reviewed FtD on steam yet? It's the #1 thing you can do to help FtD (and future games by Brilliant Skies!), so please take the time!
Bug tracker - view, "upvote", comment on and add all bugs here.
Request tracker - request new features here
support - private portal to service desk
Reply

#2
I'm not sure steam powered weapons are a good idea, as one of the downsides to steam is its material consumption, giving steam more stuff to do would only increase this issue, furthermore I don't think cram should be the receiving weapon system to be steam powered. 

If you must make a system steam powered I would be interested in missles for ejection speed, or drills, done in a similar manner to props, but a tad more flexible. steam propulsion is a fine idea, I enjoyed props greatly.


I am not convinced that steam isn't entirely useful.
Steam props where a move in a decent direction, giving a decent speed boost to ships equipped with them, and steam engines are great at power density.

Instead of giving steam more stuff to do, I would look into saving the steam parts state when pulled in and out of play, even if its just engine rotation speed and boiler pressure, as the spool up time seems to be an unnecessary disadvantage. 

If you give more stuff for steam to do, a more advanced pressure management system would be needed, perhaps some method of reading pressure, storing steam in storage tanks and controllable valves, as to ensure the main seam engine gets enough steam to run the normal functions of the ship, additionally a reserve for steam props value on steam engines would be useful.
Builds things*
*Quality Varies

Reply

#3
(2019-05-03, 07:02 PM)Albino Wrote: I'm not sure steam powered weapons are a good idea, as one of the downsides to steam is its material consumption, giving steam more stuff to do would only increase this issue, furthermore I don't think cram should be the receiving weapon system to be steam powered. 

If you must make a system steam powered I would be interested in missles for ejection speed, or drills, done in a similar manner to props, but a tad more flexible. steam propulsion is a fine idea, I enjoyed props greatly.


I am not convinced that steam isn't entirely useful.
Steam props where a move in a decent direction, giving a decent speed boost to ships equipped with them, and steam engines are great at power density.

Instead of giving steam more stuff to do, I would look into saving the steam parts state when pulled in and out of play, even if its just engine rotation speed and boiler pressure, as the spool up time seems to be an unnecessary disadvantage. 

If you give more stuff for steam to do, a more advanced pressure management system would be needed, perhaps some method of reading pressure, storing steam in storage tanks and controllable valves, as to ensure the main seam engine gets enough steam to run the normal functions of the ship, additionally a reserve for steam props value on steam engines would be useful.


Agreed - these are good suggestions. I'm hesitant to say that complicating the game further with niche uses for steam would be a good way forwards, and instead removing some of the nerfs against it would be better.

Large boilers are at a really big disadvantage because they take so long to heat up - typically on crafts, it's better to just spam tiny boilers. It would be nice to see boiler warm up times rebalanced (reduced for large ones - it can take minutes last time I checked, which is an eternity in a FtD fight when you need shields and weapons to get powered immediately) and also saved when crafts are pulled out of play/spawned in.

Steam is a little bit unwieldy to use for propellor shafts at the moment as everything has to be on the same axis as the crank. This is a particular issue if you change something about the weight balance of a ship and then need to move the propellor up or down - I've had to entirely re-design an engine before just to move a prop down by one block. It would be awesome if steam engines could get more parts (even just for propeller shafts) so they can be directed around more (like a 90° axis shifting gear for instance.) Also, steam crank and propellor shaft parts have to be placed the correct way around to work which is a pain - if that could be fixed it would make steam engines easier to use.
Reply

#4
Add more options for changing behavious of steam engines like: Stovepipes (AKA Smokestacks), Air Ram Turbine (ART) (For faster spool up, but needs a fuel engine or electric engine to power the ART and will use more fuel until full power has been reached), Air Intakes in general (to have pipings that you *CAN* (not must) put out of the Engine citadel to the deck, which makes it more vunreable but gets an efficiency boost (Like on the stovepipe).


Make Kinetic power More consistent, not decrease as you use some, or at least give an indication of what the maximum power can be drawn from this gearbox(es).
There is always a weak-spot if you search Hard enough.

If you fire enough AP at that shield, at some point you're going to come through.

There is no "best" I wouldn't even say there is anything universally good, Good is subjective, I find everything bad even if it's in theory good against this or that.

Reply

#5
Some changes about steam are coming, there are several steps for that overhaul:
- make it so large boilers do have more volume than small ones (per block), and huge boilers more volume than large ones.
- we'll add a way to tweak the efficiency and ramp-up, and it will be possible to do it more for large boilers, and even more for huge boilers. Meaning that it will be possible to obtain more efficiency for large, and even more for huge boilers, while reducing a bit the ramp-up for large and huge boilers (but it will still be better to have smaller volumes).
- pressure damage will also be added, and the turbines will not work the same (as currently they can have infinite pressure, which is a bit insane...).
- the last step should be (but it's not yet sure as we do not yet have a clear idea of how to do it) to provide ways to control more finely the pressure in the boilers/pipes and the rotation speed of the shaft/propeller (these controls may be under the for of inputs/actions for the ACB, and/or directly in the blocks themselves).


I haven't been able to work on it any sooner for personal reasons, but I will work on it this month.
I hope to be able to release the fist step for the end of this month (It is the one which should take the most time).
Reply

#6
(2019-05-04, 10:07 AM)Gladyon Wrote: - the last step should be (but it's not yet sure as we do not yet have a clear idea of how to do it) to provide ways to control more finely the pressure in the boilers/pipes and the rotation speed of the shaft/propeller (these controls may be under the for of inputs/actions for the ACB, and/or directly in the blocks themselves).

I haven't used steam practically at all myself so I don't have any big opinions here, but my friend has setup a few engines and had a lot of trouble setting up ways to control them. Adding ACB options for this stuff would certainly help, but I think this is also a great use for the breadboard.
Reply

#7
Direct underwater propulsion and CRAM propellant sound nice.
Faster CRAM packing might be a bit too convoluted/plain CRAMs weak if it's a noticeable boost.
Collisions are really destructive anyway so I think more melee weapons are wasted effort.

1 extra use could be speeding up pistons, dunno how practical that is though.
Reply

#8
(2019-05-04, 04:26 PM)vyrus Wrote:
(2019-05-04, 10:07 AM)Gladyon Wrote: - the last step should be (but it's not yet sure as we do not yet have a clear idea of how to do it) to provide ways to control more finely the pressure in the boilers/pipes and the rotation speed of the shaft/propeller (these controls may be under the for of inputs/actions for the ACB, and/or directly in the blocks themselves).

I haven't used steam practically at all myself so I don't have any big opinions here, but my friend has setup a few engines and had a lot of trouble setting up ways to control them. Adding ACB options for this stuff would certainly help, but I think this is also a great use for the breadboard.

I agree that this is the ideal use for the breadboard. If it could read the status of the pressure you could use an equation (or even a PID) to control the pressure. If it could read the battery charge then you use it regulate the turbines to keep the batteries constant.
Reply

#9
I remember when nuclear power was still under consideration, maybe this concept can be revisited with steam engines?

Why not use a nuclear reactor to heat up boilers instead of burning resources directly, like it works in real life? If that would be too easy (nuclear reactors rarely require refuelling), why not use existing RTGs instead. Of course, RTGs will heat boilers at a much slower rate than burning resources in order to keep things balanced but, it would still be useful for craft that doesn't require as much steam pressure and output from their steam engines.

I just love using steam engines and building them but, their resource consumption can bite hard sometimes. It's the tradeoff for more power but it does tend to make fuel engines seem like a more viable choice. Maybe boilers can be heated by burning fuel as well? It would provide lower power output but be more economical.

Speaking of fuel engines, is there a chance that we will get mechanical shafts and props for fuel engines as well? It was a marvellous addition for steam engines. At the moment fuel engines are just generators providing electricity to propulsion components instead of driving them directly. Fuel-powered ships tend to be spammed with props to achieve reasonable speed as a result.
Reply

#10
I dont think steam engines are useless, especially with the driveshaft propellors. It's just that they just eat far too much resources for fuel, and their controls are too clunky.

Personally i think steam and fuel engines need to be unified first before doing anything else engines-wise. The way i see it, divided in sections:

F=Fuel, S=Steam

1. Engine Control: Control fuel injection for relevant systems, based on power demand. Essentially the 'Fuel Engine' block from fuel engines, sans generator. (output can be overridden with ACBs/breadboards/whatever)
F. Fuel engine controller, attach to/in crankshaft line
S. The various steam controllers, attach to steam generators* (boilers)

2. Power generation: Generates power from fuel.
F. Fuel engine blocks: Crankshaft, cylinders, carbs/injectors, radiators (Cylinders break when hot)
S. Steam engine blocks: steam generators,* (boilers) pipes, steam consumers** (cylinders, turbines) and shafts**. (Boiler goes boom with overpressure, cylinders/turbines break with overspeed)

3. Exhaust: A common system for all engines out of the current fuel engine exhausts.
F. Exhaust taken from cylinders cools those cylinders.
S. Exhaust taken from steam generator increases maximum burn rate (increasing power density)

4. Fuel saving: differing mechanisms to increase fuel efficiency
F. Turbos and superchargers, reduce fuel consumption for carbs and cool exhaust (exactly like now) (Breaks when hot)
S. Radiators, (new) attached to steam pipes they reduce steam/fuel usage of that steam system. (goes boom with overpressure)

4. Power Conversion: Turn power into electricity or mechanical work for drive shafts. Bundles demand from users into demand for the controller(s)
F. Gearboxes*** and generators. Larger gearboxes are more inefficient. Larger/more generators convert more power.
S. Gearboxes*** and generators.** Gearbox efficiency depends on size difference between gearbox and crankshaft. Larger/more generators convert more power.

5. Power use: Common across all engines, power users demand power according to craft control inputs.
- Electric power users: Thrusters, wheels, weapons, decoys, spin blocks, simply anything not on a driveshaft that currently uses engine power.
- Batteries: takes all the electricity from generators it can get, unless overridden by a battery controller (new)
- Driveshafts: Drives propellers like the current steam propellers, maybe even wheels and spin blocks? A single driveshaft can only be driven by a single gearbox of its own size.

*Steam generators: boilers, currently come in sizes Small, Medium and Large.
**Steam consumers: cylinders, turbines and their corresponding crankshafts + generators come in sizes Small, Medium, Large and Turbine.
***Gearboxes, driveshafts and propellors come in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. For simplicity's sake steam and fuel engines may use the same gearboxes. Gearboxes may also convert a small base amount of electricity.

If needed i could make a visual mockup. There are after all only a couple of new parts, and i suspect even the game code itself needs few changes!  Cool

For nuclear power, simply take steam and replace 'boiler' with 'Nuclear steam generator'. Tongue
Reply



Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)