Children of a Dead Earth

Children of a Dead Earth is an upcoming hard sci-fi space warfare simulator. On this blog I will post developer musings, random tidbits, and the like. A quick primer on how scientifically accurate Children of a Dead Earth is:

Realistic Orbital Mechanics – With a full N-Body Simulator, all manner of orbital dynamics are supported, from Orbital Perturbation, Gravity Slingshots, Hyperbolic Trajectories, and Lagrange Point Orbits. By comparison, most other games use the Patched Conic Approximation, which is extremely inaccurate at certain scales, and can’t simulate most of the above features.

Realistic Scale – The solar system is modeled perfectly to scale. The sizes of planets and moons are just as enormous as they are in real life, and the distances between planets are equally vast. Other games fudge the sizes of planets, or the densities of things, and almost all fudge the distance between planets.

Realistic Technology – Every technology in game was implemented using actual equations from engineering textbooks and white papers, from the exhaust velocity of the nuclear thermal rockets, to the thermal expansion stress of the railguns when firing. You can even tweak the actual properties of these systems to see how they affect their performance, such as altering the length and thickness of your railguns to determine how that affects the inductance, or altering the nozzle length and expansion angle to see how that affects rocket exhaust velocity.

Realistic Space Warfare – All combat in game is a physically and scientifically accurate simulation. Every gun turret draws power not just for firing, but also for the reaction wheels that orient it. Every propellant tank, filled or empty, affects the delta-v and the mass distribution of ships, affecting how the ship will tumble when torqued. Every projectile impact damages each tile of armor based on actual hypervelocity impact studies. Nothing is handwaved, nothing is glossed over.

More on the nitty-gritty details of the game in later posts.

7 thoughts on “Children of a Dead Earth

    1. Tentatively (read: I ran it on the machine below and it worked fairly well)

      Windows 7+ or Mac OS X Lion+
      200 MB of disk space
      Intel Core i5 @ 1.70 GHz processor
      2 GB of RAM
      1280×800 Resolution
      Intel HD Graphics 4000


  1. Reading in awe! As an author trying to balance The Rule of Cool with realism, this inspires me to get real!

    I wonder how you would make use of Mass Drivers in place of railguns? Or is that your coilguns? Could have a diagonal lattice of struts to provide strength to the tube, capacitors for each ring of pull magnets, it self-centers the projectile which never touches the mass driver so no degradation. A set of skinny ones could take the “minigun” concept to the next level, with hypervelocity projectiles as fast as a feeder system could possibly handle. Could help with point defense?

    Ideas are fun. Will get into the articles and see if my answers are buried there.

    Thanks for the great inspiring system! Looking forward to it!


    1. Coilguns and railguns are both used for projectile weaponry, and linear induction motors are used for catapult launching large payloads like missiles or drones (though in game you can actually try having the railguns launch missiles, for instance, but I’ve never tried it).

      In design, you can strengthen the launcher tubes of your projectile weapons, and often you’ll find doing so is critical since the recoil stress of launching projectiles at 5+ km/s can get enormous.


  2. Power plants such as Thorium reactor? Using thorium as a catalyst can make a lower heat reactor that converts much more of the uranium, so the powerplant can use less fuel (mass) for longer, “cooking” it down below 20% instead of the high 100% down to 95% useage of unranium in the wet reactors we are familiar with. I will have to dive deeper into your reactor articles and see what you have in the details. This is a fun system.


  3. Wow. I cringe at the amount of work and engineering knowledge modeling absolutely everything with such accuracy must have taken. And on top of that the game doesn’t even look like a MATLAB or professional utility application like some truly hardcore simulation games. You are truly inspirational and deserve great success!


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