How water could work

LuceoX30 shared this feedback 33 days ago

So, I've in multiple threads on steam that the implementation of water would most likely kill PC's with performance and such, but I do have a few ideas about how it could work without having to kill PC's and Consoles.

First is taking notes from Subnautica; not really using liquids that will require physics, but an immovable plain that sets a dig and fly boundary for players and/or ships. All you would have to do is change values with certain state modes on the physics of the individual player or the ship, i.e. making ships have minimal gravitational pull yet require more fuel to move around while also increasing drag, for both players and ships. call it a "trigger" if you will, for when you enter the water. And impacting the surface too hard will damage your ship like you're running into a layer of heavy armour. for flooding the ship, again, take notes from playing Subnautica: use animations of water entering the ship like air does escape in a vacuum, while using a rising water texture during the process. (As a side note, I'll let you decide if it weighs the ship down if flooded.) All you need to represent water out of the body is splash animations and particles affected by gravity.

I'm gonna supply context with the gameplay trailer to show off my point.

If rendering is a problem, the game only has to load certain chunks of the visible surface of the water instead of an entire ball, and add onto it as the player drills land. When viewed from a distance, a blue sphere is all that's needed. You don't need to create oceans for it.

The basic summary of this, though... Is that you should treat water more as a second, visible layer of atmosphere, instead of a physics object.

(As an idea for lava: It's the exact same thing but burn and destroy anything that touches it)

Comments (1)


This is exactly how not to do it. It's a great way to break physics around the surface of the water, generate a million complaints about magically appearing/disappearing/non-interacting water, and slap on another half-finished, poorly implemented feature that barely adds anything to gameplay.

The system only works in Subnautica because there's a very limited set of ways you can interact with the actual environment. Buildings stay put, so leaving/entering the water isn't an issue, and vehicles are both fixed in design and leave the water rarely, if at all. And of course, pressurization is only between water and air, with no vacuums to deal with. Voxel editing is nonexistent as well.

Space Engineers has enough issues already. With the amount of work being put into development, we can't afford to start entirely new, overly complicated systems. If you're going to suggest something, at least make sure it doesn't exacerbate the biggest and most persistent problem in the history of this game.


But wouldn't it be just like adding a couple of values to the game with a switch state? I'm no game dev, but I'm adamant in the belief that isn't a team that'll go out of their way to add unnecessary elements go the game such as crush depth with such a decisive or complex topic. Excuse the pun, but something like water should only have toes dipped into to start with.


Water has been requested, literally since the inception of planets. Don't think it matters how many ideas people come up with or how many times they ask. This is just a non-starter. I remember Tribes 2 had volumetric blocks of "water" which were really just physics zones with different lighting conditions so you could decrease view distance, etc. and even add damage conditions (for lava or toxic water). It was makeshift and it functioned mostly but as this other poster points out... there was no voxel editing. Structures were static. Vehicles, like players could freely traverse the zones and that made things interesting but there's just too much going on with SE to make a viable water system if it wasn't included in the core mechanics.

It's just not something they can tack on and make work in a way that players will relate to and won't cry foul for immersion breaking. (They couldn't even manage to exempt interior, pressurized areas from their "weather effects" on the first swing just as a very relevant note).

The KSH answer to this is, and always shall be "Space Engineers 2".



It wouldn't. Even with minimalism, the boundary of the water is a clangsplosion just waiting to happen. And if people somehow convinced Keen to do that, some would immediately push for more even if it completely broke physics upon glancing at the water.

There's probably a slightly better way to do it with carefully-applied voxels, but that's still incredibly janky at best while also being power-intensive enough to turn a computer like mine into a pile of molten slag.