It is announcement week, with an update being released last week and one planned for next week!
Next weeks minor update includes several new components that many players have asked for over a long period of time for various reasons!
One component being released next week is the new steam piston! Players have been asking for other ways to make steam engines, including smaller engines for some time and this new update will do this. The new steam pistons come in various sizes, and are designed for low-speed high-torque applications.
The steam pistons work in a very mechanical way, similar to real steam pistons. There are 4 steam ports on each piston cylinder, with 2 ports above the piston head, and 2 below. There is also a connecting rod and a crank shaft that rotates in the expected way. The valves opening and closing each port are controlled by the position of the crank shaft. A typical way to use this new component would be to supply high pressure steam to the input ports, and add exhausts to the output ports.
In one direction of the stroke, the piston will open the input valve of the compressed side of the piston, and the output valve of the expanded side. The difference in pressure between the two side of the piston will create torque and motion. As the piston reaches the other end of the cylinder, the valves reverse, exhausting the high pressure steam, and allowing high pressure steam into the other side.
Like a real steam engine, either a flywheel or multiple out-of-phase pistons are advisable to avoid stalling. This is because the torque action on the crank shaft has low-efficiency zones at the ends of the strokes, just like real pistons. Adjacent pistons placed next to each other are locked together, but can be spawned with player-defined crank cycle offsets. This allows a huge amount of control over how engines are built.
Along with steam pistons, there are several other related components that we will announce next week! And of course, there will be the usual bug fixes and improvements!
Much love <3,
The Stormworks Developers