Unified Power Cell Concept Ver 1.0

Mia R shared this feedback 2 years ago
Submitted

There seem to be several related suggestions (including my own) related to recharging the astronaut suit and small grids. I think try we, as a player community, should try to unify behind one idea to give KSH an easy path to satisfy our requirements. This post is my attempt to define such a path and I hope others will get behind it (or come up with something better that doesn't ask the world of Keen). It is labelled version 1 because it might change and I think its important to keep votes for it separate based on version.


Iteration 1 - Power Cells for Astronaut Suits

In the first iteration, a power cell would be created that could be used to recharge the astronaut suit. It would be manufactured in the assembler and consumed on use (not rechargeable). This requires a minimum of new art and game logic (and is why I want to start with the suit rather than small ships).


Iteration 2 - Power Cell Bay for Small Ships

In the second iteration, a power cell bay would be created as a power generator for small ships. It would be almost identical to the nuclear reactor, but would take power cells instead of uranium and be much less powerful. Power cells would be consumed in whole units like ammo. This iteration should also require a minimum amount of new art and game logic since it builds on the first iteration.


Additional Note

Once the second iteration is done, it should also no longer be necessary to have batteries start with a small charge, so they can return all of their components when deconstructed without enabling cheating to get free power. I know some people were complaining about this.


Feedback

If you have a different plan, please put it in a different topic if you haven't already. Leave this topic just for this idea. Keep in mind that a goal of this plan is to keep each step small and immediately achievable (and therefore more likely to fly). Further steps could be added down the road to make a more elaborate system. That's how iterative development works.


Previous Works

The following are the previous related topics that I found:

Comments (5)

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Oops... name conflict. I forgot there is already a component named "Power Cell". The power cells in this topic do not refer to the component used to construct batteries but a new component for recharging suits and small ships. I'm open to suggestions for a name.

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you can edit your post to fix that ;)

Suggestion: "Charged Power Cell"

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Yeah, but I need a name to replace it with first. I'm trying to get away from anything "Power Cell" because of the component used for batteries. But maybe I don't need to? I'm curious what others think.

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I don't think it's necessarily a conflict. In a separate comment I just outlined how they could be one and the same.

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Yeah, there isn't a name conflict if they refer to the same thing. As I commented below I think that's worth pursuing as a separate topic. If you decide to, then please add a link here so people can decide which they like.

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https://support.keenswh.com/spaceengineers/publictest/topic/portable-and-salvageable-power-cells-one-solution-for-two-common-requests

Here's the link to the topic I started to expand my take on this idea. IDK why it didn't show up in the list when I first posted it.

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Power Cell Bay for Ships is essential for powering ships without a connector when you can't use uranium.


So this will keep tiny planetary drones alive, and it allows to have nice wheeled vehicle designs when you don't have to place a connector for charging it.


+1

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I added a post to your topic to suggest people also visit here. I hope you don't mind and thank you for your support.

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There is this mod which would have been a good direction to go in with the survival kit producing health and energy packs once connected to a power source and a supply of stone & ice to produce the health energy packs https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1329566561

then you could fuel your suit and small grid ships and the survival kit would still act as a spawn location.if you run out of power on your ship then you could load these to jump start the ship and use them to venture further in your suit.

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Better idea: Make Power Cells like bottles, and batteries kinda like the o2 generator. Instead of Power Cells being a component, give the battery an inventory. Battery output is dependant on how many Power Cells are in the inventory with full = the current max output. Power Cells are charged in the battery and can be removed for use as a portable power source, similar to bottles. No new 3D assets required, most of the code could probably be copy-pasta'd from the o2/h2 code. The only thing is small grid batteries would need some form of interface (maybe something like the interior turret) since batteries don't have conveyor ports.

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@Zachary: I considered the idea of rechargeable power cells that get recharged when in a battery that is in recharge mode and consumed when the battery is in discharge mode. And adding a connector port isn't that big of a deal. It's a good idea and worth creating a separate topic for to see if people like it better.

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They should make it so that batteries are basically like tanks, you charge em up and slide them in. When you're done, you return to base, swap the base-charged cells with the ones you just used, and recharge the ones you just used.

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Yeah, that's like what Zachary is saying. The reason I'm avoiding making them rechargeable is because of the extra game logic that would need to be developed to make them useable by whatever block you plug them into (though the logic already exists for an astronaut). I'd rather save that for a third iteration so that we get a little something before asking for more. That being said, since items already support a "fill" quantity, it isn't actually asking all that much more. Would everyone prefer asking for rechargeable power cells straight from the get go?

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It's the same logic used to fill O2 and H2 thanks.

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I would prefer them to be rechargeable. As far as overhead goes, most of the code would be a modified version of the O2H2 generator / bottles. My idea for how to reduce calculations is to insta-balance the charge across all cells in a battery (similar to how to O2H2 gen insta-fills bottles,) this would be a one-time calculation anytime a cell is added or removed. This way the % charge of the cell would = the % of the whole battery. Batteries being used normally (not adding or removing cells) wouldn't generate additional overhead. I don't think it's necessary to add conveyor ports. I mentioned the interior turret because it shows an example of an inventory access that isn't a conveyor port. Just pick a spot on the model to highlight and interact with, It's not like the spot used on the interior turret makes sense anyways :P In my post I tossed up the idea that cells could be placed in the inventory automatically when welding, to preserve the existing quality of life.

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@Pedro: It's the same logic as the O2 and H2 tanks when filling the power cell or when using it on an astronaut, but it creates new logic for Iteration 2 when used by a ship block.

@Zachary: Adding a conveyor port to a battery isn't that big a deal. They have dozens of instances of the art for the conveyor to copy from. Any decent 3D game artist will make very short work of it. Same goes for coding and the game definition. So whether it does or doesn't have a conveyor port is pretty moot. The only case where it isn't is the new small battery since a small conveyor port isn't big enough to fit the power cell as it is currently defined, so it probably wouldn't have one.

The real issue in terms of work is the using up of multiple power cells. That's why to keep the request a minor one, I made it a different example of things that they've already done. That required moving it away from the battery because the battery has two modes of operation, charging and discharging, that would need to be combined, something they haven't done. The O2/H2 generator will fill bottles, but it never drains them. Turrets consume ammo and reactors consume uranium, but they never create them. If the battery were to do this with rechargeable power cells, it would have to be able to do both, dependending on its mode. Is that really a big deal? No, not really. I can easily picture the code to do it. The problem is that it would have to loop over the inventory contents every frame and, as has already been demonstrated, blocks that modify their inventory continuously (e.g. the Refinery) don't perform very well. So I'm not sure that we could convince them to reimplement the battery in a way that would cause the same problems. And while I can think of some simple caching schemes that would avoid that, that means more work. It seems better to leave the battery alone.

Besides, I wasn't envisioning the power cell block as a replacement for batteries, reactors or any other power source. It was intended to jump start ships and maybe operate them for a few minutes to dock them. Otherwise, it obsoletes all the other power generators. Even without a conveyor ;)

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@Mia R I'm not sure you're fully understanding my idea.

"The problem is that it would have to loop over the inventory contents every frame..."

This is precisely why I suggested auto-balancing charge across power cells. That way, for cells in a battery, they simply print the charge of the whole battery expressed as a %, which could be done once by the battery as opposed to, say, 120x (once for every cell in a large grid battery.) Internally, the battery would still work much the same, with the addition of a means to detect a change and alter it's stats based on that change, which is not as complicated or intensive as calculating every individual power cell every frame. The act of adding or removing a cell could tell the game to execute the relevant code, it doesn't even have to check every frame.

"Besides, I wasn't envisioning the power cell block as a replacement for batteries, reactors or any other power source."

Neither am I? I'm approaching the topic as a solution for the energy exploit that is currently patched by the inability to salvage power cells. Using power cells as an "energy bottle" is just a bonus and a logical extension to include in the proposed change.

Nothing in my suggestion should significantly effect overhead, unless poorly implemented.

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I feel like asking for iterations is asking for the dev's to do more work.

If batteries consume the resources, you would have to refine nickle, iron, and silicon + put them through the assembler. If you use a speed mod, it will literally require more energy to make them and thus the game's balance would be off (I.E. it costs more power to make the cells than they contain/ less in case of power mods).

In addition, where exactly are the power cells going when used up? Things shouldn't just disappear imo!


This essentially creates a new fuel source made of different materials. We already have this in the form of hydrogen. I fail to see the point of a third, inefficient power source.

Your battery block would have to be a reverse-assembler to prevent the materials from vanishing. It would be a messy solution.

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