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What would a hull breach look like?
Forgive my ignorance, I'm not intimately familiar with your game - but now that I know about it I am excited to find out more! However you (Joe) also sent the question in to the Space Studies Institute and said it was ok for SSI folks to contemplate it here goes my personal knee-jerk...

Good question.

For a game, even one trying to stick to hard-physics it has to look cool and exciting and it can break some minor rules of reality for effect, but for the real things I think it should be part of the design to accommodate such unusual possibilities a bit better. Either way I think the first answer is the same, and is a question...

How big a rock, why kind of "rock" (or type of debris), what's the internal pressure? (O'Neill researched and described a realistic average hit on an Island 3 as being not so beg a deal because while even losing one or more of the proposed windows would cause a full leak the amount of internal air volume would make loss take a long while and replacing such windows was determined to likely be a regular maintenance issue but not a catastrophic issue. For larger issues the plans for the colonies was to keep the length-wise transports available to all and no more than a few minutes ride to the escape ports at the ends plus the High Frontier book describes how the lengths would be set so that even if power loss occurred and individual physical mobility was required (aka running like a chicken with it's head cut off) the distances to locks would be measured in minutes.

But if you got a big ol' un-hollowed Dandridge Cole hard rock hitting you square then it might just be a Hollywood movie event.

Guess it all depends on the size of the object, the impact angle and location of the impact on the colony, the size and type of the colony (in O'Neill terms that's an Island 1, 2, 3 or Stanford Torus... or a modular Job Shop or a now-lost-to-us arrangement of pressurized SSMEs).

Big lingering fires would likely be out of the image - except for games and movies, just as they are allowed to make big boomy noises in a vacuum for effect - but aside from that I guess it's all up to how jarring you want the images to be.

In reality - High Frontier Concept reality - it is a great thing to keep top-of-mind for designers. Perhaps every structure in an O'Neill colony would be modular with the lower "floor" that ties into the shell being an enhanced escape pod. No need to run to locks if all you have to do is bring in the cat, close your doors and when the impact is over look out the window and wave to your friends in their free-flying houses. Then it's drag them back together and lock them back in place... kind of like using the lunar slag to make big lego bricks instead of a seamless outer shell (or, for folks from Seattle, making it like the Floating Bridge out from Yarrow Point, when the big storms come it breaks apart, when the storms are over they bring out barges, grab the floating pieces, snap them back together and the cars start driving across again)

Nothing is perfect even with perfect design though, we used to have two big buildings in New York and Titanic was unsinkable. However, the Titanic didn't go down in seconds but the movies made many individual human parts fast and exciting so there's challenge in a game and in life to get past the short difficult moments but still make the entire event less totally destructive than the half-second complete destruction of the death star... unless the reason for the event itself is to cause randomized debris for a 1st person game's cockpit level of flying through the mess and maybe picking up folks in bottle-suit mini-pods.

Guess it's up to you. Can't wait to see it!

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RE: What would a hull breach look like? - Smith - 03-24-2016, 09:42 AM

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