Disclaimer: All ideas are based on the publicly available info, not under NDA.
Hello, so one of my biggest concerns with the voxel building tools so far, is the lack of support for curved shapes. I really think it would be sad to see an amazing game like this, filled with only Minecraft Box spaceships. Because curved shapes are so impossible to make. So here are a few basic additions I think could really improve on the current voxel building system. I know, more advanced voxel editing are planned like being able to edit control points, and a Voxel Element Library for more complex shapes. But, there are other, more simple things I think that can be done to get curved shapes into the game sooner rather then later. So, the basic idea is to make curved voxel shapes easily available so players would be encouraged to build none box shaped ships and constructs. I did some artwork to help illustrate my ideas. Please feel free to discuss and give feedback on this thread in the comments. Ok, So lets dive right into it.
These pictures are examples of designs that can be made with these shapes.
So, there are several shapes to begin with when using the voxel deploy tool. Here are some important primitives I suggest should be added as voxel brush shapes. Those shapes are Oblate Sphere, Prolate Sphere, Cone, Torus, Elbow Joint.
Why these shapes?
The reason I chose these shapes is because they are nearly impossible to make with with the current tools. An even with advanced editing options, they would still be difficult to get right. So it seems like a no-brainer to have these shapes as starting primitives for the voxel brush. It would make it much easier to start creating curved shaped constructs, and encourage more creative designs.
This picture is of the voxel shapes I think should be added to the voxel brush tool.
Voxel Shape Options
So the next thing is an a expansion on the voxel shapes, by adding parameters before/after the shapes is deployed. For example, having an option like size, and diameter of the TORUS shape before/after you deploy it, or option to set how extreme the elongation is on the SPHERE or CONE before/after you deploy it, and even maybe set the angle of the Elbow joint. So, the way I imagine it would work is, when you select a starting primitive shape, shortcuts like arrow keys, numbers keys are used to set the value of the shape options, then you can deploy it as normal. Also, having an option box that would stay on screen as long as you're using that shape could work too, so that you can continue to change options and deploy new shapes.
This pictures give an example of what changing the options would look like on each shape.
Bevel, Fillet, sharpen edge tool
So, we currently have a tool that allows builder to smooth edges, but to expand on that idea, I think we should also have the option to Bevel, Fillet, or sharpen edges as needs. The issue is that most times the smooth tool does not give the desired result, or maybe you only want to bevel an edge but not smooth it, or maybe you want some edges with a fillet and some edges sharpen. I imagine it working exactly like the current smooth edge tool, except you would be able to Bevel an edge, Fillet an edge, or Sharpen an edge.
This pictures below illustrates how the tool would effect the edge. This is the current smooth tool.
I think this is a simple, but vary important option that needs to be available. Basically we have the option to scale the size of voxel primitives, but we should also have the option to scale voxel primitives on a specific axis (X, Y, Z). This I think would definitely add greater control to create the desired shapes, as well as enhance the freedom of creativity.
So, this thought came to me last minute, but I think its something that shouldn't be overlooked. The ability to start with hollow voxel primitives. Either a voxel brush option to deploy hollow voxels, or solid, and set the wall thickness, or have hollow voxel shapes as a standard starting shape to choose from. I know that there is an option to cut out voxels using primitives shapes, but the main issue is that cutting out voxels gives a very ugly looking result, most times the edges don't look right at all, or you need a hard edge but the cut out has a rounded edge with a messy texture. Also, hollow primitive shapes would improve the speed, and ease of use when building constructs. Especially when working with curved shapes. Trying to hollow out a curved shape would be a nightmare, so starting with a hollow shape would be great.
So my last suggestion is in regard to Voxel Elements. Novaquark mention in this DevBlog that will have a Library of detail, or complex voxel shapes that players could use in their constructs. They mentioned a spiral staircase as an example. Well, here are a few shapes that I think should be included in that database of Voxel Elements.
Pictures of suggested Voxel Elements to add to the Voxel Library.
I know that a voxel point cloud editing system is in development, list on trello Here. That will really open up lots of possibilities for builders. But, in addition to that, having a variety of voxel brush shapes to start with is still needed to give builders alternative options, because sometimes doing things one way just may not work out how you need it to, so having other ways to create shapes is a big help.
I think that covers the general ideas I had. My overall goal is to see more spaceships and constructs that aren't just limited to boxed shapes, and enable creative builders to really unleash their imagination. An I feel adding additional shapes to the Voxel Brush tool would be a good way to accomplish that goal. Please feel free to give feedback in the comments.
Thanks for reading, see you in the next thread.