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Planet Interiors - None, Fantasy or Realistic?

Discussion in 'Feature Suggestions' started by Restless, Mar 25, 2014.

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None (ever), Fantasy or Realistic?

  1. None (ever)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Fantasy

    3 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Realistic

    9 vote(s)
    75.0%
  1. Restless

    Restless Terraformer

    • Member
    I was thinking about the possibility of planet interiors in SOA for a really long time now, and I've come to the conclusion there can be 3 approaches:

    1) None

    This is probably the most likely for a long time yet at least. If planet interiors will ever be fleshed out I imagine it won't be very high priority. It's probably also the most likely because of just how inhospitable and vast planet interiors are. Especially planets with hot liquid interiors under immense pressure. Difficult for players to navigate, a lot of new content has to be made for it, perhaps even new physics due to the immense pressures as you go deeper. If players won't even get there why develop it? Might need to force it to be possible if it is opted for.

    2) Fantasy

    This I'm guessing is more probable than the realistic approach. While based on fact, the rules are bent to allow the game to be more enjoyable to play and to give the player a bit more freedom in exploring the world. If planets are given interiors with a core and mantle and other layers that form inside a planet I would imagine they would be the most difficult places to traverse, but not as impossibly difficult as in real life such as tweaking the physics compared to how it would be in real life to make it easier to survive. This might allow players to devise ways of exploring the sub-terrain.

    Stepping to the fantasy side also allows you to slide in a few more rewards and interesting features than would be available in real life, such as to make the inner layers and core worth the time and energy to explore them. It would be boring to have to drill/swim/whatever through vast areas of solid rock or featureless bodies of magma greater than any ocean of water with absolutely no little rewards to break up the monotony, or no big reward to lift the player at the end of a hard grind. So, in a fantasy world the core mantle and lower crust might be enough full of empty caves, exotic elements and compounds, rare gases, valuable minerals, powerful energy sources and so-on so that the player will never be travelling too long without encountering something remotely interesting.

    I personally like the idea of adding some spooky content to discovering the core, some freaky physics-bending effects or discovery of a portal to somewhere deep in space. But you could say my imagination is running away with me!

    3) Realistic

    Why would anyone go for realistic? Because SOA is a game that seems to be aiming for realism. Some people just like knowing that under their feet is a vast sea of magma, and that if they blow up enough nukes they can cause a volcanic eruption or one of the possible fault zones to shift and cause an earthquake. That if they could drill down through the semi-liquid mantle they'd find a pseudo-solid core, even though there's little chance they'll ever manage to get there or find anything interesting.

    Realistic could still allow you to populate planet interiors with interesting and worthwhile things but distribution will be more based on research of things we know about planets with liquid interiors rather than what will be good for gameplay and enjoyment. I'm guessing this might be the least popular suggestion but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case.



    So far I have only talked about planets like our own with layering that goes thin rocky crust -> hot liquid mantle -> hotter core that may be solid under the weight of the planet. There could be all different types. There are many rocky planets out there with a cold, dead interior - you'd just need to replace all the magma with solid rock and bring down the temperatures, but they could still be full of valuable resources for the adventurous. There are other planets with interiors made of liquids other than molten rock, perhaps at a vastly different temperature and distance from the sun than we're used to meaning common natural substances would be in different states from how we're used to encountering them. There might be a cold planet out there spewing oh, I dunno, liquid nitrogen from a layer somewhere in it's interior from a volcano for example, and we already know Europa has cryovolcanoes meaning somewhere beneath it's icy crust is something fluid enough to be ejected through cracks in it. That's not to say they have a hot or liquid core, but these fluid layers could still possibly be very deep into the planet.

    Lastly, how would players be able to explore these potentially inhospitable environments? I imagine suits and vehicles of some kind, but I'm not good at coming up with ideas for that.

    Let me know what you think, if you have any more ideas to add, anything you definitely don't want to see or any ideas that you would change to make better.

    To developers, I do understand this may never happen. It would be massive. It's really just to see what you and others would think of the idea and if it has any chance even for later stages of development.
  2. PsychoticLeprechaun

    PsychoticLeprechaun Designer & Web Developer

    • Dev Member
    Biomes for underground terrain is planned, and you can be sure that if they are planned, so too will mechanics to make the most of it!

    Going as deep as the inner core of the Earth is going to be a technical impossibility due to the way Ben has made the world round, that said, you will be able to get reasonably deep and well beyond what we are capable of today. The one main thing of great interest is that realism and huge rewards easily come hand in hand with the underground aspect of the game - pressures on the rocky layers in the Earth means that you will find entire caverns of exposed minerals that have been shifted over time (figuratively speaking of course). As for difficulty of access, you will definitely need to develop some technologies in order to have the ability to safely and productively mine and/or explore the depths of the world!

    I really like the ideas you have mentioned, all the way through in fact! I do see there being technical difficulties/impossibilities for a few of the ideas, but for the most part, I think that most of the ideas fit very well with the style and planned mechanics of SoA.

    Edit: I just noticed the poll, if there was a "I'd go for a combination" option, that would be my choice, as your fantasy ideas are not too far fetched from reality - in fact, considering the minerals present at great depths, and the immensity of geothermal energy, I would dare say your fantasy ideas fit incredibly well with your realistic ideas.
  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin Lead Developer

    • Dev Leader
    As matthew said, it will probably be a combo of 2 and 3! We are going to have underground biomes like jungles and moss fields, which could* happen in real life on some strange planet :)
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