This week I took my standalone UI prototype a started working on last week and started to connect it so our backend. Because the interface is so different from what we had so far and because I wanted to use this opportunity to rethink some of the technology choices we made more than half a year ago, this took quite a lot of effort and progress was relatively slow. At the end of the week I had many of the core functions I had in mind finished, though. This includes „buffers“, windows that you can open new tiles in when you don’t know where to put them yet, and a drag and drop mechanism to move tiles around. I also converted the first components to the new framework, most of which are related to the commodity exchange.
On monday I was finally be able to finish the slower than light travel for the time being. I started focusing on the FTL travel and began by figuring out how it should work exactly.
I had several ideas in my head so I started to write it down. The FTL drives work a bit differently than the STL ones: Instead of burning fuel to accelerate towards the target a central reactor generates energy and uses several field emitters to generate a distortion in the spacetime. The energy created from the reactor is fed into capacitors first. Once enough energy has been accumulated the capacitors drive the emitters which bend spacetime and the ship can travel faster than light to its target. This leads to the effect that the ship has to charge up before each jump on its route to the target. In STL flight the mass is the property which influences the speed of travel most. A heavier ship needs more engines with more thrust and will need more fuel to achieve the same speed as a light ship. In FTL travel the volume of the ship is more relevant since the field emitters need to bend spacetime around the ship. A larger ship simply needs a larger field.
I was able to finish the first few steps of the implementation: Routes are segmented and before each hop there is a slight pause when the engine charges the capacitor. The FTL drive/reactor will not use the normal STL fuel but a separate one I called Singularium for now which I added as well.