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xocorret Jan 31, 2014 @ 10:10am
Suggestions about module geometry
I was playing around with the ship builder for quite a while and I always have the feeling that the modules simply do not fit right, especially when trying to combine them from different sets. So here are my thoughts about improvements for an even better ship design process:

  • Show the measures of each modules bounding box on mouseover in the ship hangar. This gives the player/ designer a possibillity to see beforehand if a module will fit or not, instead of using trial-and-error.
  • Give the player/ designer the possibility to group modules and use theese groups as more complex building blocks, so they do not have to create repeating structures all again by hand (and anew for every ship).
  • I guess that modules have an inner and an outer bounding box to allow some overlap. If not, it would be quite interesting (at least for me as a programmer) how the overlap was handled.
  • The size of the inner bounding box (so the module part that must not overlap) should be adjusted. The outer bounding box is not touched by this in any way. So there is probably no need to completely redesign existing modules.

The math part (abstract):

Let's assume we use 1 unit as a base of length measurement. Also let's further assume that the bounding box of a module is a cuboid. Then there would be some numbers far more eligible as base lengths of the bounding boxes size as compared to others. I will call the set of eligible numbers N and its Elements n0, n1 and so forth. (Or n in general.) Theese elements should obey some rules for the best results:
  • n = 1 or n is prime or n is composed of at most two primes by means of multiplication or division.
  • for given n0 and n1, n0>n1, but not n0>>n1 i.e. the numbers should be clustered close together.
  • n is not much greater then 1.

This gives us a possible solution for N = {1, 2, 3}. This is a pretty simple start but already allows to use ratios like 3:2 which is considered optically pleasing by most people. To obtain an equally fine ratio as 4:3 one could combine multiple modules (2*2 with 1*3) but this is rather unelegant. A possible improvement would be to extend N with {3/2 and 5/2}. Maybe you even want to add {4, 5} for more variety.

Also: possible solutions for constructing triangles (with angles that are a multiple of 15°) from the given module lengths:

If you want to align your modules in angles other then rectangular, it wold be neccessary to have a bounding cylinder or sphere for the modules serving as connection point. The radius of the cylinder/sphere would have to be taken in consideration when constructing your ship.

The numbers are choosen, so that the required angle will be between the first and second side. You may of course scale the lengths according to your need.

  • 15°: 4, 5, 3/2
  • 30°: 2, 4, 5/2
  • 45°: 2, 1, 3/2
  • 60°: 1, 1, 1
  • 75°: 5, 4, 11/2
  • 90°: 2, 3/2, 5/2

    I am curious to read what you (the developers as well as fellow players) think of it.
Last edited by xocorret; Jan 31, 2014 @ 10:12am
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xocorret Jan 31, 2014 @ 1:37pm 
Sounds great. Keep up the good work :)
xocorret Jan 31, 2014 @ 1:47pm 
Oh, while we are at it, may I suggest, that the surface of the module is represented by different materials and one may set the material properties? For example if I build my ship from carbon fiber and glass modules and can make sure it does not look like aluminium...

Another cool thing would be to be able to attach lights, so one could actively illuminate a ship. Feb 10, 2014 @ 10:17am 
Originally posted by DraachePat: Nodes are not centered.
This ii a knwn isue - and the devs have stated it will be corrected/fixed/adjusted.
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