Airless environments?

Apart from the possibility of water being its own z-level and having explorable/divable depths and various things to do, what’s the chances of the game having airless/oxygenless dry environments in which we need some sort of pressurized suit with oxygen tanks to traverse in? Perhaps a lab whose ventilation malfunctioned and now it’s effectively unbreathable?

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That would be so cool

The idea of a location that actually requires a pressurized suit to traverse is pretty unlikely, even in the case of a malfunctioning lab. Generally speaking, it takes explicit intent and effort to generate and then maintain a vacuum on earth. Even the best vacuum pump systems leak. Even then, the real risk of such a place is not the vacuum, but the impending equalization of pressure when you unwittingly enter such an area.

An environment that cannot be breathed on the other hand is not only viable, but expected. While it appears that our nether invaders are either atmosphere agnostic (Does the blob breathe?) or breath a similar enough composition to us, that does not mean they don’t have atmospheric elements in their dimensions that are toxic to humans, which I would expect to find present in labs that were experimenting with portals.

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Given that there are toxic fumes generating… things… in the Mi-go towers I do believe that those could exist in labs too.

Also, malfunctioning (or deliberately activated in the hope to stop the monsters) fire extinguishing systems, especially in labs, might use argon or similar gasses, which would result in an “unbreathable environment”, which in term either has to be vented or accessed with a SCBA. That would be very close to what @MutaMan suggested, if I see that right.
Be also aware that in these environment, the human body doesn’t show “typical” suffocation signs. You’d get slightly dizzy, pass out and die. So, we would need some warnings (signs? …), otherwise the player has no idea what just happend.

I guess that this could make use of the existing field system to apply a “no oxygen” field to a room.

Unless a malfunctioning computer activates the vacuum chamber on full throttle and maintains that state. Maybe with a functioning air-lock?

We already have portals to extremely cold dimensions - that’s the lore explanation for ice labs. I could see a portal to a vacuum dimension causing the lower floors of a lab to be in a vacuum.

Someone was talking about making a total conversion mod to turn Cataclysm into an outer space survival sim, with vacuum and pressure integrity being an important concern. It’d be nice to have mechanics for vacuums in the game that could be reused in that kind of mod, or alternately, adding those to the mod and reusing them in the original game.

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Correct me if I’m wrong. But the logic of a vacuum lab or building being opened would draw in so much pressure as to make the player actor “fly” inside at dangerous speed. Everything held and on the actor would act as a projectile when shaken loose and one could be impaled or just end up with such blunt force trauma from pinballing around as to kill said actor. This of course assuming the entrance method were a automatic door. As a human wouldn’t even be able to open a door outwardly(pull towards actor).

Not discussing having them(vacuum buildings) as much the logic of them in practice.

As a measure of player and general logical personel safety there’d probably be an airlock in labs that experimented in/with vacuum environments. If a portal was involved it would not need to be to a vacuum dimension per se, it could also be that the people there were trying to see if a portal to space could be opened for faster delivery of things off-planet.

Should a player or something breech the vacuum environment I’d imagine it being similar to the amigara event where the player can only move towards wall, except in this case it would affect the player and everything around the player on a per-tick basis. Everything would move towards the densest concentration of a field with the vacuum effect in the reality bubble, turning everything affected into ‘thrown’ projectiles and having the player experience the same effect as being punted around by hulks. In short a vacuum breech is extremely deadly. If it is a field then the portal could constantly leak it out, so even if the player equalized the pressure the area around the portal would still constantly be sucking things in. A breech could be determined by a tile with a vacuum field being next to a tile without one, causing a ‘pull’ effect on items and entities from non-vacuum tiles to vacuum tiles. Entity collisions along with wall hits and ‘thrown’ item hits would all contribute to damage, along with being unable to breathe in such a field. The airlock would have specialized tiles that can spawn and take away all vacuum fields on them when both doors are closed, as to prevent the player being thrown around on every entry and exit of the enclosed vacuum area/lab.

As for the argon fire extinguishing malfunction, I like it. It’s also simpler and likely more implementable than a vacuum.

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Atmospheric pressure is only about 15 lbs/sq in. It’s a lot compared to the 0 PSI of a vacuum, but if air starts venting from a room, the pressure is going to start equalizing and creating a gradient - which means that the pressure difference between the front and back of your body will be a lot less than 15 PSI, and therefore the push is going to be a lot less. Depending on the volume of pressurized air and the size of the hole causing the depressurization, you can be looking at anything from a gentle breeze to hurricane force winds, but generally on the gentle breeze side of the spectrum. And if you do experience hurricane force winds in a depressurization event, you probably won’t experience them for long, since all the air will rapidly vent and disperse into a vacuum.

My preference would be to flag some tiles as ALWAYS_PRESSURIZED (ie, has sufficient air reserves and circulation systems to always be a 1 atmosphere), others as CAN_BE_PRESSURIZED or CAN_BE_VACUUM, and finally some as ALWAYS_VACUUM (representing the edge of a volume that is large that it cannot be pressurized at all). CAN_BE_PRESSURIZED tiles could have “low pressure” fields to represent air low pressure, and CAN_BE_VACUUM tiles would have “partial pressure” fields to represent some air in them. Air pressure would flow from ALWAYS_PRESSURIZED tiles via “low pressure” fields in CAN_BE_PRESSURIZED tiles, through to CAN_BE_VACUUM tiles via “partial pressure” fields, and finally disappear upon hitting an ALWAYS_VACUUM tile. This would ideally limit the number of fields that need to be processed every turn: ALWAYS_PRESSURIZED and ALWAYS_VACUUM tiles never need fields to represent air pressure and can be dropped out of the calculation.

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But if in the event of a portal causing the vacuum. Wouldn’t there be a steady draw like something similar to a black hole…but not nearly as powerful? Not as powerful to breach the pressure door. But enough that the portal being still open could cause that tidal hurricane effect. Thus pinball.

In my head it looks like Aliens at the end in the shuttle bay, fighting the queen.

I’m not entirely sure what your trying to describe by a steady draw. The outside of the pressure chamber, seals in particular, would be under constant force, but if you were inside the room, the atmosphere at some point runs out, and any pulling effect ceases to exist in that sense. You’d still experience your suit (or flesh, if you were unfortunate enough to not be prepared) expanding against the pressure difference, but there’d be no real bias towards the portal location at that point.

Once you introduce a volume of gas that is not equalized, then the pressure difference returns and the perceived force returns.


Steady draw as in the portal is not an actual doorway between varying pressure zones. Thus there could be a constant pull from the portal. Again. Like a black hole.

It is though. The portal leads to a void. The varied pressure zones are generated as a result of the atmosphere being pulled in. Once the atmosphere is sucked out, its gone. The ‘pull’ isn’t a nature of the void, but a side effect of the pressure equalizing.

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This is in game as you describe already? I thought we were brain storming.

He’s just saying that if we add something like to this the game, it’s either in a sealed room in a vacuum, in which case there is no draw, or it is exposed to the Earth’s atmosphere, and the planet’s air is slowly being vented to some transdimensional vacuum. Since the latter puts a rather large damper on the game, we can assume that the portal is in a sealed room or operates intermittently or something.

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Although, the idea of a literal portal storm could be neat. A sudden vacuum point in the atmosphere would wreak havoc on the weather, I would imagine. Sudden hurricane grade windstorms springing up

Ah. Thanks guys for the clarification. Interesting.

If the vacuum portal was simply a transference of space in the same dimension and just above our atmosphere then we’re not totally doomed I’d imagine. Most of it would probably be pulled back to the atmosphere but there’d still be a constant pull. A cycle, if you will.

Portal sucks air to just above atmosphere, air goes down to atmosphere eventually, repeat.

Would be something similar if a portal/rip opened up in the middle of knowhere and the other end in space…hmm, would it pull the atmosphere into space? Maybe, perhaps in terms of fudging physics a little for the game to create that havoc? :wink:

Since gravity keeps our atmosphere to our planet. I suspect an immediate passage to a void could create a suction, to which could cause a hurricane-esque force. Would be funny to walk through the woods and that stiff breeze you felt turned into a HOLYSH!T force that began dragging you and other creatures to it lol

Use the Grab or Haul functions to hold onto a tree for dear life. Using what Mutaman suggest for cycles, to wait a few turns. Let go. Run a few tiles. Wash rinse repeat until you are far enough from the pull to get out of that area. Fun!

Would probably only find a room like that in a lab, and once you open the door oxygen will rush in, probably exploding your lungs and causing your eyeballs to shoot out of your skull at 200 MPH because of the massive change in air pressure. It would be like opening the airlock in a space ship.

If a portal like that existed, running away wouldn’t help. It would eventually strip the Earth of it’s atmosphere and everything would die.