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Quantum Oxygen Not Included Mechanics


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Due to the nature of running discrete programs on discretely classical machines, the physics of ONI are not like the physics of classical mechanics except as a reasonable approximation in some cases.

Classical mechanics relies on notions of continuity, smoothness, and strict consistency of systems of equations. ONI physics can not replicate exactly continuity or smoothness and the consistency of local mechanics with global mechanics is hit and miss in a lot of cases due to the nature of the tractability problems of the ONI programmatic world and the realities of corporate development.

As such, ONI's mechanics despite some appearances otherwise are fundamentally discrete and quantized. Some quantities are pseudo-continuous and are represented by floats or doubles in code with precision set by hardware constraints of CPUs and GPUs.

Given this reality it is some what perplexing to me that the mathematical physics theories of ONI do not include or identify the quanta of the ONI system. Two of the biggest differences between ONI physics and real world physics is in the space-time of the game world; it is an unknown problem in real world physics as to whether or not space or time are quantized, but in ONI, we have definitive answers to this problem.

ONI space-time is quantized, and one of the most basic quanta of the game is the tick which is roughly 0.2 seconds on a standardized machine in real time. The tick is the quantum of time in the ONI universe; this is a really important notion because time underlies mechanics for things like velocity and acceleration and thermal transfer or any force/action mechanics.

We know for a fact that space in ONI is also quantized; the most obvious examples is the square grid of the game world tiles, but space is also quantized in many cases in terms of storage or containers.

This immediately implies the quantization of velocity in the ONI mechanics as distance/time = velocity. Given that the tick is the minimum unit of time for any given action or transformation of the game state and the tile is the minimum possible distance then the quanta of velocity is the ONI equivalent of the speed of light or the limit of signal speed through tiles; the rough consistency of the ONI system results in significant differences between this quantum of velocity and the real world c in particular with things like circuit networks and power transmission, but the acknowledgement of this fact can facilitate the development of a class or group of such speed limits and experimentally derived quanta.

Of tremendous interest to the general community including both devs and players is the notion of the thermodynamics of ONI; Thermal transfer of energy from one body to another is the primary mechanics of the game, but the exact documentable statement of those mechanics in a comprehensive sense has been elusive. I propose that there exists a thermal quantum of energy and there exists a thermal quantum of wattage; these represent the minimum non-zero value of energy that can transfer from one body to another.

Also of general interest, ONI's fundamental mechanics do not strictly conserve mass and many other quantities like heat as would be conserved in a closed real world physical system. As such, the first law of ONI thermodynamics concerns some other set of invariants which immediately seem to me to be closely related to ONI space-time mechanics; the identification of what quantities are specifically and strictly consistently conserved across the whole game world at every step of the simulation would be of great interest and use for the player base and the devs.

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I love you already. Quantum mechanics is the core of the reason why some players have a hard time accepting ONI physics. But if you say that, you might sound like a new-age charlatan. Regarding time, there are a few delineations. Most of the sim states occur at 5 times per second, but I'm pretty sure automation ticks occur 10 times per second (correct me). When stepping forward in game state in debug it seems game states have 60(?) ticks per second, but I guess this might only be animation related. Rockets (and most things) can move their position on a sub-tile basis, probably float based, and probably up to 60 times per second. Dripping liquids and sands can travel much faster than 1 tile per tick.

There are some breakpoints for mass. Less than 1mcg of gas will change into vacuum (except when it doesn't and you end up with 0.0 mcg of steam), so this can probably be said to be a quantum of matter. For falling liquids, less than 10g will turn into vacuum on its next position change. Excess of 100T of debris or bottled fluid also disappears - so the storage capacity hacks can't go over this for gas/liquid reservoirs.

The minimum heat capacity delta that can transfer heat is 0.1 DTU (J in code/debug), so below that difference will result in perfect insulation. There is also a maximum transfer clamp per tick. This reminds me of a real world quantum phenomenon: the transparency of glass. There is not enough energy in visible light photons to raise any electron to a higher energy state in transparent glass, so they just don't interact.

Electricity also runs at 5 ticks per second, and the interesting thing is that electronics work without any idea of wattage. At each tick, up to once per second, each consumer will try to consume its required energy in electrical joules stored on the line. If it gets it, it subtracts that many joules from the line and does one second of work. The wattage calculations are done later for the power line capacity checks, and are just a running average of the amount of joules consumed over some recent time.

Most values seem to deal in floats, and in regions where they are not encoding-limited (they will round at medium masses, and encode limit at enormous masses), so really these limits are just emergent properties of the code. Tile physics and time delineation is certainly quantized though.

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Well, as a computer scientist, I should probably point out that _all_ digital simulations are quantizised. It is an aspect of the simulation though, not of what is simulated. And it is at the core of why a simulation cannot be perfect. The other is the resolution problem. In ONI, a tile holds one element and all of that is in exactly the same state. And that brings us to the real limit: A digital simulation is always finite and as a purely practical matter has a rather small state. 

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10 hours ago, DaClown said:

Thermal transfer of energy from one body to another is the primary mechanics of the game, but the exact documentable statement of those mechanics in a comprehensive sense has been elusive.

If you have not yet read the Thermal Conductivity wiki page on the topic, make sure you do.  It gives credit to the two sources I've been using for the last two years, and only recently swapped to using the wiki page after @wachunga pointed out how nicely it does things. 

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