My question is more philosophic in nature than a Hard Software question.
I've been playing various Space simulations over the years since the 286-processor age (yea, old me..) but I have never ever seen or played a real planetary/atmospheric descent or a start from the surface. I ask mainly because of the StarWars Mod I luckily stumbled upon. I could imagine that the ability to go down to the surface of a planet would open an abundance of new options in all of the Mods using this game engine.
Now what I thought about was following:
Basically the only problem in this is equation is the gravity. One would have to add old Mr. Newton into the whole game and make mass an additional property of all objects together with the gravitational constant, so that their behaviour could be changed according to F=G*((m1*m2)/r^2) with G=6.67*10^-11m3kg-1s-2. Now if you mess with the gravitational constant G and "CHANGE the CONSTANT " (Physicists?. sorry you'll laugh now
I know) it you would suddenly open an entirely different range of options. OK, I know its weird but it's nothing else but 9th grad physics. The consequences of this would be enormous. I'll underline it with some StarWars examples but I guess it might be just as valid for any other space simulation.
Uncareful navigation might then suck you into a black hole or into a Neutron star (remember Han Solo mentioning that in Episode 4), if you are in a less than geostationary Orbit your plane would loose the engines/thrusters it would start to fall down (and possibly burn in the atmosphere) . I see a potential for SAR missions there ("Anti-Grav generators are down!! Pull us out!! Mayday!). It gives room for Gravitational Weapons that might crush an entire battle group, or for some bad species that tamper with the Gravitation and produce phenomena such as the "Delphic expanse" in Startrek. Not to mention the ability to hoover above a surface (and actually to LAND a craft) with anti-gravity reactors on-line like a Helicopter. I wonder what happends if you manage to shoot down these or damage these in a skirmish ???
I guess such addition might not only make Anakin Skywalker's Rescue of the Chancellor Palpatine in Episode 3 playable, but would also be a welcome innovation to other MOD. Last but not least, the introduction of mass into the physics of flight would result in a different dogfight behaviour. A fighter that is fully loaded has a much greater turn radius and is of course less agile - Velocity and Mass make up the Inertia. Heavy missiles and torpedoes would be fired earlier to "get rid of them", because the less missiles and armour you have the more agile you become. That would be definitely a big plus for the TIEs, A-Wings, Arrows a big drag for gunships and, say, B-wings or Thunderbolts. A whole lot of different approach to fighting would be if you are with your X-wing inbound to your target or on your flight home when you encounter a swarm of TIEs :-)
So this was some pouring of ideas. Maybe some programmer who is cool enough might take up this challenge.
And maybe someone who knows the code of by heart might reply me with a "Sorry - it is a no go". I'd be just as thankfull for such reply if competent.