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Author Topic: Tips for ship building  (Read 42465 times)

LordHavoc

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Tips for ship building
« on: January 30, 2017, 12:20:45 PM »
Hi all,
After building a few recreations I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned - in the hopes to make everyones ship building easier.

1a] Draw out your plan on paper/art program freehand. Doodle it, thrash it out; get it out of your head and into a form you can see
1b] Then, get that design into a vector based art program that uses grid/snap (I use Inkscape personally because its free). With this, you can easily and quickly make 2d boxes and triangles and trace your design into something that will look similar ingame (You can see an example in my 'O'Neil' thread in this forum)

2] You can full adjust the scaling and grid sizes ingame on the left, use this to fine tune while you build. For ease of use, the grid size should be half the scale size.

3] Use the pallette to resize your whole ship: Say you make a ship that is a fighter size, and it's a good design but too small. Select all the ship and ctrl-c, then open the pallette and paste with ctrl-v. Then you can make a new ship, and using the pallette you can select the template and adjust the size before pasting. *Caution on the blocks you use though, make sure to take note of the template material selector.

4] Centre-of-block option speeds thing up: On the left, the dropdown that has "Local Grid" etc has an option for centre of block. When you have your shape already in place and you need to quickly fill it in, block placement using that option is much faster as you don't need to fiddle with alighment.

5] Design your game ships in creative mode and save the plan. Then in your main game use that plan to replace your current ship: This means you won't need to worry about getting attacked in your main game when you're changing ships.

6] Replacing the default block (no xml editing): Add a few blocks (of the size you want) to the front the starting block. Then turn off safe mode and delete the starting block. Exit build mode, and then re-enter and the centre will now be at the centre of mass of those new blocks. *Can be a bit tempramental, I think there is some kind of mass calculation.

7a] Spinal mount your main thruster: I've found that making the main thruster the centre point (and the starting point) to your ship is a good way of determining your needs for the rest of the ship. Build to the speed that you want your ship to go to, and then add power/crew/manouvering thrusters as needed.

7b] *Alternative* Build your crew requirements first: Work out how many turrets you want, and the build the crew to meet those requirements. Then add the other systems till you get a good balance.


Edit: If you've got some good tips, add them to this thread and I'll try and collate them into this top post.

Tchey

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 01:58:29 PM »
Thanks for sharing.

I was enjoying these videos, back in 2014-2015 when i played a lot of Starmade. They are just global advices, like proportions, very helpfull i think for dump designers like me. Should have a look at them :

« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 02:37:53 PM by Tchey »

LordHavoc

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 02:12:15 PM »
The link isn't appearing

Edit: It's okay now
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 03:24:45 PM by LordHavoc »

Tchey

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 02:37:04 PM »
It's a youtube video i can see it embedded in the forum, with Firefox on Linux. Weird you don't.

This link :
Code: [Select]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f4lz6qW6JU

Falkenherz

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 02:48:15 PM »
And there I just wondered whether I should start such a thread myself!  ;) Here is my experience from a non-stop Avorion weekend.

1. Experiment and get a feeling for how the ship builder works and how the blocks attach. Don´t overdesign your first ships or you will feel quickly overwhelmed and uncontent with your first results.

2. Get clear about your "architect´s philosophy"! If "functional design first", what should the ship do for you? If "aestetic design" first: Which shape do I want to create? The final result may be similar, but it helps you on the process.

3. Ships have two (three) important properties:
a) Mass (i.e. the amount of inertia when maneuvering, longer hyperspace cooldown)
b) Durabiliy (i.e. hitpoints added to hull, but also of each individual block), and linked to this also function (i.e. more energy, shield, etc., for each "function block"), in short, strength.
c) Number of module slots. This number raises according to ship volume.

A "better" ships usually means, more hitpoints and more turrets. The former is achieved via high volume and higher tier material, the latter via more module slots where you can put in modules which add turret capacities. Thus, the bigger the ship, the better it is (but also, more clumsy). Thus, again, you aim for highest volume with as little mass as possible, but also need to get clear about how many hitpoints you want in the end. Downside is, the more mass a ship has, the more clumsy it will get. Lighter materials and more thusters can compensate a bit, but hyperspace cooldown suffers.

If you just want to trade, you usually just aim for big cargo holds and a little protection for during the occosional required retreat. If you just want to salvage or mine, a small fast scout ship can do.

4. Understand available materials. Figures are here http://www.avorion.net/forum/index.php?topic=856.msg4709#msg4709

Rule of thumb:
 
a) Titanium (tier 2) should replace all iron (tier 1), because it is better on all aspects.
b) Naonite (tier 3) is stronger, but also slightly more massive then Titanium, i.e. it could be restricted to function blocks and armor, where it´s higher strength also increases the block´s functional output.
c) Trinium (tier 4) should completely replace Titanium and Naonite because it is both stronger and lighter.
d) Xanion (tier 5) is more massive but also stronger than Trinium, see b)
e) Ogonite (tier 6) is very massive, and the text hints that it has exceptional good armor blocks.
f) Avorion (tier 7) is strongest, less massive than Ogonite, so it should replace all other materials, except for availablity or cost issues, of course. However, it could be that Ogonite armor blocks would still be stronger (unconfirmed).

Higher tier material has new function blocks.
a) Titanium adds generator and integrity field blocks.
b) Naonite adds hyperspace and shield blocks.
c) Trinium adds fighter hangar and computational blocks (the latter adds more module slots).
d) Ogonite does *not* have shield blocks.

5.  Understand each block type and function. Function blocks have very low durability compared to normal blocks (cargo, crew, solar). Armor has 3,5times normal durability. Details see here: http://wiki.avorion.net/index.php?title=Block

Some interesting details:

Best ratio of mass vs. durability for a given volume are cargo (0,3 mass, 1 durability) and armor blocks (1,6 mass, 3,5 durability). This also means, if you just aim for volume, use lots of cargo volume, if you just aim for hitpoints, use lots of armor volume.

Solar and (currently still) thruster blocks get better with surface area, not volume as usual. I.e. very thin large area blocks are most efficient.

7. Each ship has a basic limited turret capacity of 1-1 (+1). I.e. one weapon turret, one miner or salvager or repair turret, and one for either the former or the latter. (I sometimes also get a basic number of 2-2, but don´t understand the conditions). This basic number can only increased via specific modules, i.e. indirectly via volume = module slots.

8. Energy production and consumption must be balanced out. For boosts and hyperdrive recharge, you will need excess energy generation capacity, or the more situational batteries. For recharging batteries, you also need excess energy generation.

9. Have a look on the data about your ship while laying out its functions. Stopping and pitch/yaw thrust are not to be underestimated. The more and larger function blocks you have, the more expensive crew you need. Bring it in line with the above point 2.

10. Ship design should first layout a spine and then get the functions layered on. If want to achieve a certain high ship volume and you can afford it, more volume goes into cargo capability and/or hyperspace reach. Final touches consists of the tuning of thrust and maneuverability. Add some color.

11. If daydreaming during your job, have paper ready. You will have filled out multiple sheets with ship layout and concept art before you realize.  8)

EDIT: Some additions. If ppls find this helpful I could volunteer this text for a wiki-guide?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 04:12:51 PM by Falkenherz »

Tchey

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 05:41:40 PM »
Excellent reading, you should definitively paste it to the wiki.

SageThe13th

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 07:11:52 PM »
7. Each ship has a basic limited turret capacity of 1-1 (+1). I.e. one weapon turret, one miner or salvager or repair turret, and one for either the former or the latter. (I sometimes also get a basic number of 2-2, but don´t understand the conditions). This basic number can only increased via specific modules, i.e. indirectly via volume = module slots.
EDIT: Some additions. If ppls find this helpful I could volunteer this text for a wiki-guide?

Ships that have all turret slots will show those slot being available for both armed and unarmed turrets at the same time.  So if a ship has 2 armed, 2 unarmed, and 4 all slots it will tell you you have 6 armed and 6 unarmed turret slots.  When you eat into those all slots you see the number of the other type go down.  So if I add 4 armed turrets to that same ship I will see 4/6 armed and 0/4 unarmed slots remaining.  The way the information is presented if confusing and could use some improvement.

Tchey

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 07:52:04 PM »

3] Use the pallette to resize your whole ship: Say you make a ship that is a fighter size, and it's a good design but too small. Select all the ship and ctrl-c, then open the pallette and paste with ctrl-v. Then you can make a new ship, and using the pallette you can select the template and adjust the size before pasting. *Caution on the blocks you use though, make sure to take note of the template material selector.

What and where is "the pallette" ?

thedamngod

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 07:54:44 PM »
I have moved the topic to  the user guides forum as I think it's more appropriate here and won't get drowned by other submissions as easily.
FAQ    Infos for bug reports

Want a post moved, locked, deleted? Think something is wrong or not appropriate? Then use the "Report to moderator" button

LordHavoc

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 01:49:23 AM »

3] Use the pallette to resize your whole ship: Say you make a ship that is a fighter size, and it's a good design but too small. Select all the ship and ctrl-c, then open the pallette and paste with ctrl-v. Then you can make a new ship, and using the pallette you can select the template and adjust the size before pasting. *Caution on the blocks you use though, make sure to take note of the template material selector.

What and where is "the pallette" ?

When you bring up the menu to show you all the blocks and materials, you see a section below the turrets. That's the palette; the best way to learn is by doing...so select a few blocks that are joined together. Copy and then paste them into a free slot in the palette, you'll see an icon appear in green showing your selection. You can then re-use it (and resize it, and change materials too)

Terradoss

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 03:16:16 AM »

3] Use the pallette to resize your whole ship: Say you make a ship that is a fighter size, and it's a good design but too small. Select all the ship and ctrl-c, then open the pallette and paste with ctrl-v. Then you can make a new ship, and using the pallette you can select the template and adjust the size before pasting. *Caution on the blocks you use though, make sure to take note of the template material selector.

What and where is "the pallette" ?

When you bring up the menu to show you all the blocks and materials, you see a section below the turrets. That's the palette; the best way to learn is by doing...so select a few blocks that are joined together. Copy and then paste them into a free slot in the palette, you'll see an icon appear in green showing your selection. You can then re-use it (and resize it, and change materials too)

I'm having some weird issues with the pallette. I can copy paste my ships construction into it just fine, and using the "Q" key i can expand or contract the shape as necessary, however when i attempt to apply this shape to a new ship (or even an existing one just for testing purposes) the copy pasted "ship shape" seems to take the overall ship mineral requirements and split it into whatever the original construction material was and.....Iron, at a 50/50 ratio.

To explain further, if i have a ship that consists of 100,000 trinium worth of construction materials (and no other mineral types at all), and i copy its shape and put it into the palette, then attempt to use the palette to apply this shape to something else, I can do it, but the resulting ship costs me 50,000 trinium and 50,000 iron and the new ship has a huge number of components that are made out of iron, instead of being pure trinium like the original ship was.

I could be missing something, but I'm not completely sure whats going on here and I don't really understand it.

Anyone else noticed this or know why its happening?

Tchey

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 09:33:07 AM »
You have to select the material in the top right corner too.

I have another kind of trouble, the shape not keeping its shape if i stretch it like others shapes. Anyway it's a great tool, i need to play more with it.

Thundercraft

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 02:14:05 AM »
As mentioned here: How to scale a ship up or down:
  • Click the "Select Blocks By Drawing A Frame" option.
  • Drag the selection rectangle around the entire module to select everything.
  • Press [Ctrl]+"c" to copy.
  • Turn 'Safe Mode' off.
  • Delete the ship, but make sure to leave behind at least one block! (The easiest way would be to either add one more block and then deleted selected blocks, or Apply a basic cube ship .xml. See Note 1, below.)
  • Press [Ctrl]+"v" to paste.
  • Adjust your Scale Step and Grid Size as needed.
  • Hold down either W, A, S, or D while dragging the mouse to scale.
Note 1: Optional (easier) way to skip steps 4 and 5; If you saved the base cube as a ship file beforehand, you could simply Apply that. I find that easier.

What and where is "the pallette" ?

I believe most players call them "templates" because these are all saved in the templates.xml file (found in your C:\Users\ [username] \AppData\Roaming\Avorion\ folder).

How to create new templates (bottom of your build inventory window):
  • Select the blocks you want to become a template using either the "Select Blocks" option or the "Select Blocks By Drawing A Frame" option.
  • Press [Ctrl]+"c" to copy.
  • Press [space] to open the build inventory window
  • Press [Ctrl]+"v" to create a new template out of the selected blocks.

Sometimes, however, I have need to convert a ship file directly into a template without the copy and paste method. (The copy and paste method may change something.)

How to convert a ship .xml into a template:
  • Create a copy / backup of your templates.xml file. (See above for location.)
  • Open templates.xml with either Notepad or Notepad++.
  • At the bottom of the file, right before the last </templates>, insert this code:
Code: [Select]
<template accumulateHealth="true" convex="true">

</template>
  • Open the ship .xml with either Notepad or Notepad++.
  • Copy the ship's data, but only the stuff between the <ship accumulateHealth="true" convex="false"> and </ship> tags.
  • Paste it between the <template> </template> tags in the code above.
  • Save your modified templates.xml file. Profit.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 02:36:59 AM by Thundercraft »

Astroniite

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 09:25:55 AM »
These tips are lifesavers, thank you so much! Every day it seems like there's more and more to this game.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 09:57:40 AM by thedamngod »

Maxavian

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Re: Tips for ship building
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 01:07:58 AM »
Quote
Press [Ctrl]+"v" to paste.
Adjust your Scale Step and Grid Size as needed.
Hold down either W, A, S, or D while dragging the mouse to scale.

My problem is I can't paste much. None of it will "snap" to the single block I leave. Any trick to getting custom shapes/ships to snap to the single block? It's a real chore to get any of my custom shapes to snap. Always wants to be inside my other blocks, never on top or on the sides of them. I've tried every snap/no-snap option possible.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 01:24:08 AM by Maxavian »