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October 2, 2012

Category: News

Author: Charles

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Space is big. Really big. Also, it is very empty. Big and empty - so how can Concealed Intent be about stealth?

The idea is that while space is big and empty, your enemy is a long way from you. Opponents 30,000km apart would be considered in close combat and certainly too close for most stealth abilities to be successful. First contact with the enemy will be at ranges of 1 lightsecond (the distance light travels in 1 second - 300,000 km) or further. Your enemy is small, far away and moving fast. To your benefit they are also frail and have nowhere to hide. Of course, the same situation applies to you.

At these distances and with ships travelling at significant fractions of the speed of light (10-30%), the key to winning a battle is determining exactly where your opponent is and firing first. Various sensors and drones assist detection. Acting to reduce the amount of noise (heat, radar, gravity disturbance) emanating from your ship make it harder to be detected. Also breaking line-of-sight by flying behind planets or moons will hinder detection - for both you and your opponent. In the end it is a tradeoff between actions that help detection of other ships but also aid in others detecting you.

Like most space combat games, Concealed Intent takes some inspiration from naval warfare. For an interesting discussion of common space combat inaccuracies in games and movies that a look at this Foreign Policy article. In this case the influence is submarine warfare. Before becoming Concealed Intent, the game had the working title SpaceSub. Imagine if there were only submarines (no surface ships or aircraft). It would all come down to detection - who could evade detection and who could quickly detect others. That is my aim.