Those are excellent suggestions @Mihawkler!
I'll definitely introduce the ability to alternatingly skip lines between cells. Internal pressure is modelled a bit too simple for this to just work, but it needs to be revised as it's buggy and incomplete anyway. Right now it just checks for each cell, each frame: hey, what's your angle to the incoming wind, and your angle relative to your neighbours, and how fast are you going, and it fudges those things to inter-cell force that resists twisting the overal shape.
I've got a better idea in mind for it anyway, and alternating line patterns is a good reason to expand the pressure model.
The line tension affecting the airfoil is now feeding a very simple statistical model. It has separate lift/drag curve sets for each line's tension level, and each frame I check: how much are the A,B,C&D lines pulling on the wing, which just results in those lift/drag curves being blended together. So lots of pull on line A gives you mostly the lift/drag curve that is defined for A.
Some lines actually exist physically, like the front/rear lines, and actually link the canopy to the pilot body. Some lines, like right now the brake lines, are virtual lines. They affect the airfoil behaviour, but are not actually physically simulated for tying the canopy and pilot together.
I debated earlier on whether to expand the model with multiple rigidbody sections along the chord line. This would mean the actual geometry of the parachute would be able to twist chord-wise, not just span-wise, and would indeed allow me to more accurately model the change in lift/drag behaviour.
I would love to do this, but I have to keep in mind two things:
- Computational complexity: each added rigidbody and each added connection between them, really increases the amount of calculation your computer has to do
- Multiplayer synchronization complexity: each moving part we add will have some data to it that will need to be synchronized over the network for multiplayer
Those two things are an inhibiting factor to how free I feel to just add moving parts everywhere. I'm trying to skimp on moving parts where I feel I can do without them.
We're in the experimental phase though! I'm not discounting anything at this point, which is why your suggestions make me very happy indeed.
I'm really fairly sure pilot chutes, pulls, openings, cutaways, reserves are already possible with the current sim model. Changing airfoil, and affecting the planform elliptic shape are already possible in the Unity editor, but we still need to create GUI elements for changing them in-game.