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Scalable Ship Components

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Scalable Components

 

Everyone expects that there will be bigger and bigger things built in this game. So I was thinking about how are you planning to do it with the pre-set functional components. Those seem to have static size and static stats/power. That would seriously limit some ships and when you look at 10 different capital-class ships, they would have same looking engines for example, just different number of them. And if someone made really big thing and wanted to move it, it would be bad if he had resources for it but was limited by too small sizes of components.

 

How about introducing scalable-components where it's reasonable? Let's start with power plant (reactor or core, you name it), then continue with engines. These are components that I'm most afraid of as different size ships will need different size components. As these should always follow some pattern, you could let us to simply choose the intended power of the Engine (using slider) and that's it. You could drag these around as any other component, change it's size and the textures of object would simply adjust automatically. It's no hard thing to code with the tech you already have and simple to balance with those pre-set tiers (you can also add new ones in updates anytime). When you make something X times bigger, it will simply need X times more + Y extra resources (Y resources is kind of technological fee, so the price of big stuff rises exponentially).

 

This example can of course be taken to any scale stuff, not only the biggest ships.

 

 

Future idea -> Functional Component Blueprints

 

And if you wanted to eventually bring this one level higher, there could be new type of blueprint: Functional Component. Players could design own components using voxels, colors, etc. and select their type. The resources and stats would be depending on mass of the object and player could see them during the process. During this process he could also select one of his ship blueprints and this would show little frame on the screen with information how much power would this component give to the ship. For example, you would make small engine and select your cruiser, the tooltip would say "Engines: 12% of optimal power, current max speed: 15 m/s".

 

While this could be super useful to many components, weapon systems would still have to be limited and couldn't be created this tool. Probably...

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While this could be super useful to many components, weapon systems would still have to be limited and couldn't be created this tool. Probably...

B)  Bring on the Death Star.  :D

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It would be best if we were able to engineer components out of subcomponents each of which have particular properties, methods and interfaces. For example, a rocket engine could consist of a fuel tank, fuel pumps, high pressure piping, fuel injectors, a combustion chamber, an afterburner assembly, a nozzle and control actuators. Without each of these sub components, you can't build an engine. But if you developed a superior fuel injector, you'd have a superior rocket engine, perhaps one which is more fuel efficient, while a superior nozzle could improve manuverability, a superior combustion chamber could improve acceleration, superior tanks and pumps could increase the pressure at which you store fuel and that increases range, and superior piping could reduce weight. That way you'd have more than the Mark 1, Mark 2 and Mark 3 engines. You could have a company that makes rocket engines that are lightweight and high maneuverability for combat craft while another company makes engines that are fuel efficient and reliable for long haul cargo ships. The new Zykos-V fighter is equipped with a Motokrafwerks F-300 rocket motor with the highest vector-thrust capability of any commercially available engine! Subcomponents for major components could greatly enhance the individuality of the designs produced by players. It wouldn't be the coolest looking starship is the best, it would be deeper than that.

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I agree with this. Does anyone know yet how these components will be obtained? Are they readily available to slap on your construct or is there a process required to assemble them before you can do so? Also I like the idea of different tear components requiring smaller components of different grades made from harder to find minerals to make them. Some of these minerals could come from more hostile or alien planets and require better scanning skills to find them.

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It would be best if we were able to engineer components out of subcomponents each of which have particular properties, methods and interfaces. For example, a rocket engine could consist of a fuel tank, fuel pumps, high pressure piping, fuel injectors, a combustion chamber, an afterburner assembly, a nozzle and control actuators. Without each of these sub components, you can't build an engine. But if you developed a superior fuel injector, you'd have a superior rocket engine, perhaps one which is more fuel efficient, while a superior nozzle could improve manuverability, a superior combustion chamber could improve acceleration, superior tanks and pumps could increase the pressure at which you store fuel and that increases range, and superior piping could reduce weight. That way you'd have more than the Mark 1, Mark 2 and Mark 3 engines. You could have a company that makes rocket engines that are lightweight and high maneuverability for combat craft while another company makes engines that are fuel efficient and reliable for long haul cargo ships. The new Zykos-V fighter is equipped with a Motokrafwerks F-300 rocket motor with the highest vector-thrust capability of any commercially available engine! Subcomponents for major components could greatly enhance the individuality of the designs produced by players. It wouldn't be the coolest looking starship is the best, it would be deeper than that.

That would be very cool, and would really help make R&D be an actual thing. Probably quite complicated to implement, though.

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That would be very cool, and would really help make R&D be an actual thing. Probably quite complicated to implement, though.

Assuming that this is object oriented design, the implementation wouldn't be that difficult, as a spaceship is already made of components.  This would just make those components made of subcomponents; it's just adding another layer of inheritance.  The hard work would be the art and the component management interface.  

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It would be best if we were able to engineer components out of subcomponents each of which have particular properties, methods and interfaces. For example, a rocket engine could consist of a fuel tank, fuel pumps, high pressure piping, fuel injectors, a combustion chamber, an afterburner assembly, a nozzle and control actuators. Without each of these sub components, you can't build an engine. But if you developed a superior fuel injector, you'd have a superior rocket engine, perhaps one which is more fuel efficient, while a superior nozzle could improve manuverability, a superior combustion chamber could improve acceleration, superior tanks and pumps could increase the pressure at which you store fuel and that increases range, and superior piping could reduce weight. That way you'd have more than the Mark 1, Mark 2 and Mark 3 engines. You could have a company that makes rocket engines that are lightweight and high maneuverability for combat craft while another company makes engines that are fuel efficient and reliable for long haul cargo ships. The new Zykos-V fighter is equipped with a Motokrafwerks F-300 rocket motor with the highest vector-thrust capability of any commercially available engine! Subcomponents for major components could greatly enhance the individuality of the designs produced by players. It wouldn't be the coolest looking starship is the best, it would be deeper than that.

 

This plus several discrete sizes of elements would be great, IMO. It would impose some limitations instead of making a one-size-fits-all element that will give you exactly what you need for minimal tradeoffs. For example, if you had a medium sized engine that had the best parts to produce the most force, the only way to get more force would be to move from medium engine to large. The consequence of that would be a significant increase in mass. Or you could add more engines. Having truly scalable elements is a little bit too easy, I think.

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This plus several discrete sizes of elements would be great, IMO. It would impose some limitations instead of making a one-size-fits-all element that will give you exactly what you need for minimal tradeoffs. For example, if you had a medium sized engine that had the best parts to produce the most force, the only way to get more force would be to move from medium engine to large. The consequence of that would be a significant increase in mass. Or you could add more engines. Having truly scalable elements is a little bit too easy, I think.

 

Sorry, I get confused what quote button to hit.

 

OK, imagine that the basic engine is 2 tons and has a 3-1 thrust ratio, producing 6 tons of thrust.  That's enough to push a 6 ton ship at 1G or a 3 ton ship at 2G.  You can combine three of them on a 9 ton ship producing 18 tons of thrust for 2G performance.

 

You have a research track into aerospace design that lets you build a single 6 ton engine with a 10% bonus thrust, giving you 3 x 6.6 = 19.8 tons of thrust.  This is due to higher efficiency by eliminating redundant subcomponents,  Your ship now has 2.2G performance.

 

You have a research track into metallurgy that lets you build your engine with a lower-weight, higher heat-resistant alloy, giving you a 10% bonus.  You also have a research track into fuel science that lets you burn fuel more efficiently for another 10% bonus.  Put all three advances together, you can build a 6 ton engine with 24.17 tons of thrust, which would power your 9 ton ship at 2.7G.  You'd need to build the engine in a bigger facility to be able to make a 6 ton engine, using rarer alloys and more highly refined fuel, so you'd be dependent on a supply of the right kind of ores being refined using a level 2 technology to build the engine, and the fuel being refined by a level 2 technology in order to fuel that engine.

 

And of course I'd like to combine that with the subcomponent idea, so on the metallurgy track a fuel injector made with Duralumin might be able to survive more battle damage and be lighter than one made of stainless steel, while one made of titanium would be very durable and resistant to higher temperatures but would be much more expensive to manufacture.  In aerospace design, your injectors could be made to be designed to require less frequent maintenance, and you'd need advanced injectors to be able to handle higher temperature burns from advanced fuels (or suffer higher rates of failure.)

 

I mean, if it isn't complex enough, it'll be boring and if it's too complex it'll be tedious, I suppose.  But now that I think about it, this actually is rocket science.

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Has anyone talked about Doors ?? We need Scalable doors ones we can change the shape/size to fit our needs that way the devs only have to build one set of doors and we can use them for ship doors or Hanger doors, building entrance doors.

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The bigger ships should also get some sort of landing gear/ ramp components...

 

Seeing the fighters with flat undersides is okay but not for something massive!  Little voxel sticks would be crazy.

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The bigger ships should also get some sort of landing gear/ ramp components...

 

Seeing the fighters with flat undersides is okay but not for something massive!  Little voxel sticks would be crazy.

I'm hoping that we'll be able to design our own elements eventually, so that we can do thinks like drop ramps for troop carriers or launch pods for aeroshell jumpers, that sort of thing. Elements need to be scalable and upgradeable. It's not going to look all that good if every fighter in the galaxy has the exact same cockpit, for example.

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It would be best if we were able to engineer components out of subcomponents each of which have particular properties, methods and interfaces. For example, a rocket engine could consist of a fuel tank, fuel pumps, high pressure piping, fuel injectors, a combustion chamber, an afterburner assembly, a nozzle and control actuators. Without each of these sub components, you can't build an engine. But if you developed a superior fuel injector, you'd have a superior rocket engine, perhaps one which is more fuel efficient, while a superior nozzle could improve manuverability, a superior combustion chamber could improve acceleration, superior tanks and pumps could increase the pressure at which you store fuel and that increases range, and superior piping could reduce weight. That way you'd have more than the Mark 1, Mark 2 and Mark 3 engines. You could have a company that makes rocket engines that are lightweight and high maneuverability for combat craft while another company makes engines that are fuel efficient and reliable for long haul cargo ships. The new Zykos-V fighter is equipped with a Motokrafwerks F-300 rocket motor with the highest vector-thrust capability of any commercially available engine! Subcomponents for major components could greatly enhance the individuality of the designs produced by players. It wouldn't be the coolest looking starship is the best, it would be deeper than that.

While i totally agree this would be cool (companies designing engines would be a thing!!!) i'm afraid that it could look very weird and be a bit hard for new players to get in to how they even build a ship. Perhaps it should be like an option so you could just use pre made components or design your own depending on your needs, deadline and skills. I am not sure how you imagined it done but i think the most effective way (and the way most it would get the best look) would be designing your engine in a minecraft kind of way and then depending on the blueprint you create different materials will be needed and the design will be somewhat the same. In space engineers i used the hell of a long time providing my ship with oxygen if a similar system was used for engines in DU i think i would never get started.

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While i totally agree this would be cool (companies designing engines would be a thing!!!) i'm afraid that it could look very weird and be a bit hard for new players to get in to how they even build a ship. Perhaps it should be like an option so you could just use pre made components or design your own depending on your needs, deadline and skills. I am not sure how you imagined it done but i think the most effective way (and the way most it would get the best look) would be designing your engine in a minecraft kind of way and then depending on the blueprint you create different materials will be needed and the design will be somewhat the same. In space engineers i used the hell of a long time providing my ship with oxygen if a similar system was used for engines in DU i think i would never get started.

Engines do look weird:

IMG_4375.jpg

 

It only looks cool when it's under a hood.  I think eventually we'll be able to create our own elements, which will be submitted for approval and if approved, you'd get a blueprint for your element.  We know they want us to do the work of designing stuff so they can focus on the game engine, business rules, balance, etc.  

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