Travel time jump lines and across systems.

Baggins

Petty Officer
This kinda of ties into the discussion we are having in the Arena/Star*Soldier discussion thread, but is there any proper sources of the amount of time passes to jump from one system to another? It might make for an interesting side document to put together, if not.

In the main games it seems travel between systems is almost 'instantly' but this also assumes all jumps are even 'close' to the location they are exiting out from (if they have to switch to another jump line). The Jump itself always seems 'instant' based on the cutscenes (although this is mired in game mechanics),)

But in in the novels where details are a bit more specific, it might show that jumps themselves, and travel time between points might take considerably longer, either because there are no direct jumps, and they have to take several detours (jumping to pass through other systems, like we do in Privateer games). Sometimes having to travel from one side of the system to another. In game time this can take up to an hour if you manually fly from spot to spot, instead of using the autopilot. But this is game mechanics....

In the novels perhaps it shows that things take much longer to travel between locations. For example in Pilgrim's Truth, the Claw is stationed at Hell's Kitchen for nearly the entire story. At one point they calculate the nearest jump points between Hell's Kitchen to reach Sirius. Now based on maps we have in various sources there are ways to travel that would take three jumps, others that take four, and still others that might take up to five or six jumps (or more). We honestly don't really know the scale of where these jump points are in relation to each other, it might be that within a system the jump points to each between two other systems might be right next to each other or even across the system. This can take an unspecified amount of time.

Taking unconventional jumps and knowing the right coordinates can shave off time, and in some cases a single jump point might be used to jump to several different alternative systems if you know the correct coordinates within the jump point itself (Ulysses Corridor, or the artificial jump points that Pilgrims and Kilrathi were trying to put together in the Wing Commander novels might be examples). These types of jumps can make travel between systems rather quick, but in general most ships are forced to take conventional and slower routes.

Going back to our example from Pilgrim's Truth it states that it would take 19.3 hours to travel between Hell's Kitchen to reach Sirius, using several jump lines between the systems. So this seems to indicate that time between jumps and travel across systems can be considerable. Even in the movie and its novelization this appears to be a major plot point, and the reason why they risk taking Charybdas Quasar in the first place, as its only way to actually take a 'short cut' and skip the normal jump lines, and travel lanes.
 
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Ijuin

Admiral
A lot does depend on where the jump points are within a system.

For example, let's say hypothetically that there are two jump points in Sol System, both of which are near the orbit of Neptune, but on opposite sides. That places them nearly eight light-hours apart. Even if you can get up to relativistic speeds very quickly, it would still take at least ten hours to travel between them. In WC the characteristic system-crossing speeds seem to be in the tens of thousands of km/s, so it would require about 1-3 days to cross the system. If the jump points were closer in, the transit time would be correspondingly shorter.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Transit is not instant, we see that in the wing commander cartoon. The prophecy map however outlines "shortcuts" between star systems, and it even varies by the jump technology used. In the games it appears instant for the player.

In other fictional universes it can be an occurrance, from star trek to stargate to andromeda; primitive FTL ships had been travelling for thousands of years where only months had passed for the crew... And the technology was abandoned until near-instant travel and communication was possible. And unforseen situations caused accidental timetravel(generally resolved in thesame episode).
 

Baggins

Petty Officer
No specifics. Basically you can choose to travel across systems manually or 'autopilot'. When you can use autopilot its 'instant' travel between points, well it actually just puts you close to a point, and you still have to fly a few KM to reach it. Enemy ships prevents 'autopilot', so you have to manually fly when that happens. You can speed up flight travel by using afterburners. But the scale is really not entirely 'realistic' to actually space distances.

Jump points themselves just initiate cutscenes of you jumping from one place to another. Again it appears to be 'instantaneous' . But again that's more due to mechanics.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
We can probably collect all the references, but you'll end up with some strong contradictions. :) Jumps themselves are explicitly said/shown to be instant *AND* have been seen to take time (especially on Wing Commander Academy.) And then Wing Commander IV is especially troublesome because you get to watch Blair and Maniac fly a shuttle from the outer planets to near Earth in a matter of seconds.

Worth noting that Enyo to Dakota (three jumps?) is said to be 'four days hard travel' in the film.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
I always assumed (it gets me into trouble) that the jumps between systems were more or less instantaneous, but the travel time between points in real space takes up the bulk of the time. this is largely backed up by what we see in the games and the movie; both the Diligent's jump and the Claw's jump to Charybdis are instant (nifty bullet-time sequence not withstanding). Also Blair's jump to Sol. The reference to four day's hard travel I took to mean the fleet had to run at full reactor output plus, just to reach the jump points in time. it also is logical to assume that ships can't burn straight through a system from point A to point B, planets, asteroids, etc. Would all cause a ship to have to make several course corrections on a journey through a single system.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Ah I didn't mean to imply otherwise - the 'hard travel' is, indeed, the transit across systems. The most significant time we see ships take time 'inside' a jump us on Wing Commander Academy. The Last One Left begins with Blair recording a log entry while in jump space (and cutting to various activities going on aboard the ship.) And then in Expendable, the pulsar jump takes several hours. (There are a few more 'in jumpspace' scenes around the series.)

Some time passes in a few other places. There's a Wing Commander IV cutscene where we see the Intrepid's bridge while it's Sliders tunneling through jump space. There's a mention of a jump taking 'a few minutes' in the Wing Commander I & II Guide. I suppose a jump seems to last a couple seconds in Privateer, which is still an amount of time!

(But in most cases, jumps are said to be instant. The physics guide in the bible claims as much, and this was ultimately printed in the Confed Handbook... and referred to whenever jumps were used in the novels.)
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
And then Wing Commander IV is especially troublesome because you get to watch Blair and Maniac fly a shuttle from the outer planets to near Earth in a matter of seconds.

Remember though that "its shown to be instantaneous" is a dangerous argument, thanks to the magic of film editing! :) Honestly, if nothing interesting happened during that journey, any director would have shown only the spectacular parts.
 

Baggins

Petty Officer
Well if you take the movie into account, it seems to bare noticeable 'amount of time' but time also appears to stop while the jump is being made, in a Matrix bullet-time sort of way.

But ya, we have to be careful not to count 'game mechanics' (or scale issues) and movie 'time compression' (the act of editing out time, to keep film or story narrative within a certain amount of time) as being 'facts' of how much time actually takes place.

The most accurate assessments will have to come from hard quotes from characters, narrators, documents or if it's specifically listed on a ship's computer screen in a reliable scene (in the movies scenes?).

http://www.mediacollege.com/video/editing/time/compression.html
 
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Baggins

Petty Officer
And 'instant' is also relative... Does it feel instant from the perspective of those inside of it? Or is that the perspective of those on the outside watching a ship enter, and then exit? Any forms of time dilation occurring? The entering of wormhole itself instant (and on the reverse the exit) but what about the inbetween?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
You are absolutely right about the Wing Commander IV intro - I was remembering it (and debates about it!) as being us literally seeing a single conversation that lasted from Jupiter to Orion, but there is a clear cut point when I go back and watch now.

The easiest explanation is that jump points are (almost?) instant, but that the jumps we see in Academy are a special type (which is awkward, but somewhat bolstered by the fact that one of them IS explicitly said to be a special type.)

(One odd one to ever try and make sense: the leftover 'Forever War' bit from the Wing Commander movie, where Maniac and Rosie talk about how everyone they ever knew will be dead when they return home. Problematic on the whole, sure, but also in the case of the movie since the whole thing is about the Tiger's Claw going back to Earth. :))
 

Baggins

Petty Officer
"almost instant' seems like a fair compromise/interpretation. If we assume that in general most descriptions are only 'minutes' at the most. It is after all folding space most of time connecting point 'a to point b' dimensionally ('intersecting'?) in the same 'point' in time and space.

As opposed to a wormhole (star trek style, or stargate style) that physically links two places but via a tunnel across time and space (subspace?), which actually does have more of a physical 'distance' between two points. While faster way to travel between two points, and at least in star trek sense shaving off lightyears, you could still noticeably experience a period of time passing, and 'expanse' inside of the wormhole itself, as DS9 showed interpreted things (but that's going off topic).

One special exception does seem to be that Ulysses Corridor (a 'jump line') though the Charbydis Quasar which definitely seems to show it haveing physical distance between many points along a route, and functions more like a wormhole.

Rather than simply 'all the points' touching at once. It's also described as being the longest of 'jump lines', which also suggests 'length'. Which also indicates its more about 'speed through the passage' rather than simply in one place, and then physically appearing at another (or being in both places at once in the same single 'instant' before locking oneself to new location only).

While 'jump lines' are said to connect two or more different 'jump points' at least when that term is being used, it does seem to indicate distance between two points, rather than simply two points existing at the same time/space via folding. So this may indicate that at least with the term 'jump' (or jump points and jump notes) there is more than one definition, but 'jump lines' which is more of a movie terminology does refer to a physical 'cooridor' between two 'points', rather than simply two points coexisting at the same time and place (although even the handbook that introduces this concept seems to mix the two ideas frequently describing 'physical distance', and 'intersecting points in time and space').

Offtopic, but notes Star Trek Voyager toyed with the two or more, or all points intersecting at the same time (or alternatively described being in more than one point at the same time) concept of 'space travel' as a possible means to return back to Earth... But uh that lead to the Janeway and Paris 'devolving' into newts and reproducing before being returned to normal, in what is often considered one of those worst episode moments of the show... But I bring it up as another example where its worth noting that there is 'instant' as in 'no distance' (folded space) and wormholes which have perceivable distance that must be 'traversed' (speed and forward momentum) via a tunnel.
 
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Baggins

Petty Officer
"(One odd one to ever try and make sense: the leftover 'Forever War' bit from the Wing Commander movie, where Maniac and Rosie talk about how everyone they ever knew will be dead when they return home. Problematic on the whole, sure, but also in the case of the movie since the whole thing is about the Tiger's Claw going back to Earth. :))"

What exactly is 'Forever War', and are you saying this reference supposed to be a reference to extreme 'time dilation' event (as in very little time occurs to a person 'traveling in space', while years or centuries pass on the ground)?

Also by home where are they referring? Maniac is from Leto II and/or Proxima Centauri IV isn't he? Don't remember where Rosie is from.

Could it be reinterpreted as either hypothetically believing that war will keep on going (as those fighting in WW1 believed when it became clear there was no clear end to the war in sight, when they realized they wouldn't be 'home in time for Christmas' as the stereotype goes), and that their family would simply die in the mean time of 'old age'/natural causes. Or alternatively that potentially that their home worlds might become part of the battlefields and their families potentially killed during the war?
 
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Baggins

Petty Officer
http://starcitizen.wikia.com/wiki/Jump_point_(gameplay_mechanic)

Notices that star citizen's universe is offering yet another interpretation that seems blend the concepts of 'jump points' and 'wormholes' (much in the Wing Commander movie's Ulysses Corridor example). Which also portrays a physical 'pathway' between two points. Near "instant" in this case mainly meaning its 'quicker' than traveling by sub-light engines by conventional means.

These wormholes have to be physically navigated similar to the star trek concept of wormholes (or basically how pilgrim's navigate wild jump lines without aid of computer calculations).
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The Forever War is a novel, sort of similar to Starship Troopers. The conceit is that humans can travel through these “collapsars,” but they do so relativistically… so soldiers who go off to fight come back to a world decades, centuries or more from when they left. And as the war goes on and on you have soldiers from across many time periods off fighting aliens who are going through the same thing. The novel uses it all as an allegory for Vietnam, but it captures the imagination on the sci-fi side as well.

It was one of Chris’ big inspirations on the original Wing Commander, originally leading to the idea that the war with the Kilrathi was this never-ending multi-generational affair. The earliest drafts of the movie’s script include the relativistic aspect as a much more significant point… the people who choose to fight the Kilrathi are leaving their homes behind forever and are only recognized by their band of brothers on the front line (and so when someone ‘never existed,’ there’s the added punch of their being forgotten entirely.) The finished script dialed back on the concept pretty much entirely, but somehow the conversation between Maniac and Rosie survived to screen!

I think the confusion over Maniac’s home comes from Wing Commander IV, which lists it on the roster as Earth. Leto has always been Proxima Centauri IV (his Claw Marks bio says ‘I’m a Proxie, from Leto - Proxima Centauri IV.’) (Leto II, on the other hand, is just a worm dude :))

Star CItizen’s jump stuff is going to change quite a bit soon. (Jump drives are becoming an optional add-on to quantum drives and will utilize some of the same technobabble. Major reason for that being we need in-system FTL for multiplayer where Wing Commander could always just give you a traveling cutscene.)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
It was one of Chris’ big inspirations on the original Wing Commander, originally leading to the idea that the war with the Kilrathi was this never-ending multi-generational affair. The earliest drafts of the movie’s script include the relativistic aspect as a much more significant point… the people who choose to fight the Kilrathi are leaving their homes behind forever and are only recognized by their band of brothers on the front line (and so when someone ‘never existed,’ there’s the added punch of their being forgotten entirely.) The finished script dialed back on the concept pretty much entirely, but somehow the conversation between Maniac and Rosie survived to screen!
Yep. You've explained this a couple of times over the years, and each time I read about it, I can't help thinking: why in the world would he want to do something like that? Sure, the concept is interesting and unusual, and could be pretty great for a new franchise - but when you're making a film based on a solidly established, ten year-old franchise? If the movie in its final form still generated years of endless "is it canon" discussions, how much worse would this have been? And the weirdest thing is how the script, right from the get-go, made that relativistic stuff absolutely impossible, yet it doesn't seem like a more significant change of the plot itself to better incorporate these things was ever contemplated.

Do you ever get the impression that Chris Roberts, when making the movie, was internally conflicted on what he actually wanted to achieve? This Forever War-inspired stuff, and to some extent all the Pilgrim stuff as well, makes it seem like he wanted the movie to be like "proper" sci-fi, maybe not super high-brow, but definitely a cut above the pulp sci-fi that the series had been. At the same time, there's the WWII-in-space aspect, where you just can't get more pulp sci-fi than that, and which of course also fits in perfectly with the original franchise.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Yep. You've explained this a couple of times over the years, and each time I read about it, I can't help thinking: why in the world would he want to do something like that? Sure, the concept is interesting and unusual, and could be pretty great for a new franchise - but when you're making a film based on a solidly established, ten year-old franchise? If the movie in its final form still generated years of endless "is it canon" discussions, how much worse would this have been? And the weirdest thing is how the script, right from the get-go, made that relativistic stuff absolutely impossible, yet it doesn't seem like a more significant change of the plot itself to better incorporate these things was ever contemplated.

Do you ever get the impression that Chris Roberts, when making the movie, was internally conflicted on what he actually wanted to achieve? This Forever War-inspired stuff, and to some extent all the Pilgrim stuff as well, makes it seem like he wanted the movie to be like "proper" sci-fi, maybe not super high-brow, but definitely a cut above the pulp sci-fi that the series had been. At the same time, there's the WWII-in-space aspect, where you just can't get more pulp sci-fi than that, and which of course also fits in perfectly with the original franchise.

Chris has actually stated the forever war as an influence on WC1... not that you would know that by playing any of the games.

Anyway, I'm confused by which verion of the script you are refering to. I'm not sure what you mean by the script making the relativistic stuff impossible. If you go back to the first draft of the movie script it very much plays on the relativistic angle with an ancient Paladin (he was on the Iason and all that) who delivers the info that Pegasus has been destroyed to Tolwyn. Pegasus is reported to be destroyed "two weeks" earlier and Belegarde is almost mad that Tolwyn knows this already because its "three years hard travel". The relatavistic angle in the early drafts actually enhances the reason for why Paladin and Pilgrims being able to find "short cuts" is so important to beating the Kilrathi to earth. The early drafts were interesting, However, the wierdo hard-militaristic-sci-fi bent of the early drafts just *does not* feel like a Wing Commander story at all.


I do definitly think Chris had a more serious movie in his head though. You can get more of a sense of it in a fuller edit of what was filmed (or to a degree with the novel). It wasn't necessarily captured during production adequately but the whole subtext of Blair's identity dilema is certainly more than expected from a pulp sci-fi story
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
What I'd do an extended edit that at least adds back in the confederation traitor storyline... Sigh.

I believe well see that some day (CR wants to do a new edit and replace the Kilrathi with CG creatures). But I doubt we'll see movement on that until SQ42 is closer to release.
 
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