The new functionality of electrics in Survivalcraft that I was talking about is analog signals.
For those who don’t know, a digital signal can only have 2 levels: low and high. This is what we had in Survivalcraft before 1.23. Analog signal on the other hand is smooth and can have any level between low and high.
One can transmit a lot more information with an analog signal than with digital. While a digital signal always carries one bit, analog signal carries as many as we can extract from minute differences in voltage level. For practical reasons, I limited Survivalcraft to 4 bits. That means the analog signal has 16 distinguishable levels.
On the other hand, digital signals are a lot more resilient to interference and easier to work with – that’s why pretty much everything in the real world has moved to digital. But these advantages do not have any importance in the world of Survivalcraft, where there is no interference :-)
The inevitable question is, why do it?
Less wires to carry the same information. And this is not just a matter of convenience. By principles of geometry, devices in Survivalcraft are limited to 4 or 5 inputs. If all of these are used, the devices cannot be placed near each other because the wires sticking out of the sides get in the way.
Only one wire can be used for devices which need to be next to each other – the one that enters at the back of the device.
That’s one reason. Another reason is that real life phenomena are analog. Weight. Speed. Distance. Brightness. They can be perfectly well transmitted as a single analog signal instead of encoding them as multiple digital ones.
Here’s a video showing some of the new elements in action: