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Starship Challenges & Requests / Re: MRC's SE Fleet.
« Last post by MRC on April 13, 2016, 09:45:15 pm »
It is a favorite of the crowd. ^-^

Also, was this move or did I accidentally post in "Challenges and requests"?
Oh my... but this is neither a challenge nor a request! How embarrassing...
Starship Challenges & Requests / Re: MRC's SE Fleet.
« Last post by Voltaire on April 13, 2016, 08:08:17 am »
I think Menhire is my Favourite.
Starship Challenges & Requests / MRC's SE Fleet.
« Last post by MRC on April 12, 2016, 03:02:30 pm »
Last weekend, trying to find something to do, I decided I would jump in Space Engineers and take some good pictures of the few ships I had built to preserve them and perhaps create some nice desktop wallpaper. After which I thought it would be a good idea to share them here, give some context to and analyze their design. I figured this could spark some interesting discussions on ship design, aesthetic, interior layout etc... And generally provide inspiration for upcoming ships as BR approach actual game development.

With each ships I will give a bit of lore and some insight and trivia about their design hopefully providing food for though on what goes into building a spaceship.
Also, grab a snack you're in for a long-ish read.

Small Ships
-Small Ships-
Given in no particular order, these are the ships made from Space Engineers' small block grid.
They are shown in two bulks, utilitarian and military, to save some space.

Utilitarian Ships
-Utilitarian Ships-

<Top image>From Left to right: Cigogne, Taupe, Fourmi

French for: Stork
Length:9,5m Weight:10,000kg

The Cigogne is a towing and supply delivery craft. It is lightweight and equipped with powerful thrusters and reaction wheels to drag heavy loads.
About the Design.
The connector is located under the craft<Bottom left image> to keep them away from the exhaust of the main rear thrusters during transport.
SE does not model off-center-of-mass thrust, allowing for this 'under' carrying. A more realistic supply runner would attach it's cargo at the front, inline with the CoM.

French for: Mole
Length:10,7m Weight:7,900kg

A simple, minimalist mining craft the Taupe has the bare minimum for safe and efficient mining to keep production simple and cost low.
About the design.
The thrusters bulk is built far back to keep a thin profile and allow the craft to fit easily into tunnels.
Despite striving for a low mass, pieces of heavy armor are positioned near sensitive parts to protect them from bumping into tunnel wall and debris.
The asymmetry eliminate any unnecessary cost but mean there is no redundancy. This is a trade off to keep in mind when building any craft, it's cost and simplicity vs resilience and reliability.

French for: Ant
Length:10,1m Weight:8,600kg

An Automated Mining drone designed for mass production and deployment on remote asteroids.
Just drop a few 'Ants' on a chosen asteroid and they'll take care of mining while you deal with more important business.
About the design
It might be surprising to note that that the Fourmi is heavier and more expensive than the Taupe despite being designed as a mass production drone, but really this is normal. When giving work to a dumb, fire-and-forget style of drone extra measures have to be put in place to ensure continued work, more armor, redundant systems etc.
They are driven by just about the simplest automated logic you could have, Spin -> Sense Rock -> Advance & Drill -> No more rock -> Stop and spin -> repeat, plus a breaking subroutine in case they sense another 'Ant' in front of them. This creates a dumb, chaotic but reliable tunneling behavior <Bottom right image>.

Military Ships
-Military Ships-

<Bottom Image>From left to right: Geolier, Enclume, Bardane MkII

French for: Warden
Length:20m Weight:63,000kg
Armament: 2xMissile, 4xGatling gun.

A heavy fighter, mainly designed for defense. Large sideways thruster allow for hairpin turns and quick strafing allowing a Geolier to easily keep chase of small, light fighters.
About the design.
Every thruster on the Geolier is deeply entrenched in armor to protect them from incoming fire, giving it it's bulky shape.
The prolonged 'spikes' around the cockpit act as a net to protect from incoming missiles without blocking too much view.

French for: Anvil
Length:23m Weight:122,000kg
Armament: 4xGatling gun.

Arguably a corvette, the Enclume was designed for a single purpose, survive hell. This ship will not outmaneuver nor outgun it's foes, it will outlast them.
About the design.
The long 'spikes' at the front and back acts as missile net. This is especially evident when looking at the rear of the craft<top left image> you can see that the many 'spikes' blocks the view of and therefore line of fire to the thrusters. Only a shot perfectly straight on from directly behind the craft will hit.
Notice that the sideways thrusters could not be entrenched like the other two fighters. To compensate for their lack of protection they where set apart rather than grouped so that they could not be taken out all at once by a single missile.

---Bardane MkII---
French for: Burdock
Length:10,7m Weight:15,100kg
Armament: 1xMissile, 2xGatling gun.

Second iteration of the Bardane, better in every way, the MkII is a light and nimble inteceptor designed to take down assault fighter in hit-and-run strikes. It's small size allow large numbers of them to be stored and deployed in combat.
About the design.
The name Bardane(Burdock) refer to a plant producing spiky seeds that stick to fur and clothes, the name came after thinking "Cross the wrong field and you'll inevitably have a dozen of them stuck to your ass"
You can see that the Bardane uses various design element of the other two crafts, only miniaturized and reduced to save weight.

Large Ships
-Large Ships-
Given by Weight, these are the ships built from Space Engineers' large block grid.
Most of them are quite old and by far obsolete in the current version.

S.S. Etoile-Du-Nord
-S.S. Etoile-Du-Nord-

More Images
French for: North Star
Length: 38m Weight: 212,000kg
Armament: 1xGatling turret.

This is a bare-minimum exploration corvette built to cover every needs, it's as small as it can be while still providing full enclosure of the cockpit... and some aesthetic.
About the design
Oddly enough this one kept getting smaller as I was building it. I started with a rough bunch of everything I needed and kept finding more efficient ways to pack them as I went along. Cut a bit there... Shave some weight there... Bypass this system by doing that... etc...
In the end every part was precisely considered and measured, this is a very interesting and satisfying way to build if you like optimizing like I do.
Finding a place to put the door was the hardest part of the build, requiring a dozen revision of the cockpit.

S.S. Masse-D'Arme
-S.S. Masse-D'Arme-

More images

French for: Arming Mace
Length: 70m Weight: 740,000kg
Armament: 4xMissile turret, 1xGatling turret.

A versatile combat frigate with attachment points around the 'neck' allowing it to mount a variety of augments to fit every situation. Be it extra armor, weapons, mine launcher, extra cargo etc...
About the design.
The smallest of the tower-style vertical ships that makes the bulk of my fleet, be prepared to see a lot of recurring element. These recurrences will be addressed all at once in the "The whole fleet" tab.
The base ship is very simplistic in design as it was intended to be augmented via attachments.
No attachments were ever created for it as they would have been way to tedious to manage at the time of this build. (before cross-world ship saves)(and still are)

S.S. Scrarabee
-S.S. Scarabee-

More Images

French for: Scarab
Length: 70m Weight: 1,100,000kg
Armament: 1xFixed rocket launcher, 2xGatling turret.

By far the most recent and advanced ship of the fleet. This prolonged exploration frigate is the Swiss army knife of space travel, with enough armor and armament to blur the line between military and utilitarian.
About the design.
This ship was built from the inside out to be as compact as possible while leaving all system accessible to the crew for maintenance. It contains nearly every system available at the time of construction.
This type of high density build offers excellent performances but it is nearly impossible to update, quickly making them obsolete. This is something to keep in mind when building in a developing game. Often it is best to keep some spare room to be able to integrate new features as the game's development progress.
It comes with a hologram projector at the front to communicate via emoji. The flip-off emoji is by far the most used.

S.S. Tribunal
-S.S. Tribunal-

More Images

French for: Tribunal...
Length: 100m Weight: 1,800,000kg
Armament: 4xMissile Turret, 8xGatling turret.

A heavy destroyer, it is surrounded with extended shields making the inner core nearly inaccessible to enemy fire.
About the design.
As stated the outer shields provide excellent protection to the inner core by keeping explosive hits far from fragile equipment. The shields are lined with holes to let thruster exhaust flow through.
The S.S. Tribunal and the S.S. Masse-D'Arme are sister ships, their design having many similarities. You might think that the Tribunal is a heavy-armor version of the small frigate, but it really is the other war around with the Tribunal coming first and the Masse-D'Arme being an armor-striped version.
The command deck shows ample room to implement new features as they are released.

S.S. Rose-Des-Vents
-S.S. Rose-Des-Vents-

More images

French for: Wind Rose
Length: 165m Weight: 2,400,000kg
Armament: 1xMissile Turret, 6xGatling turret.

A military-industrial support cruiser. This mobile factory is deployed alongside military fleets or alone in hostile environment to maintain and supply dedicated combat ships, it can also magnetically carry a mining or fighter squad.
About this design.
This ship was first design as a hostile environment prolonged exploration ship, giving it it's name, but quickly found it's place as a military supply and repair vessel. This is a good example of how a ship's name or class name might not be so fitting of it's role as a it was designed for another function but unexpectedly ends up filling a role gap in the military.

S.S. Prevoyant
-S.S. Prevoyant-

More images

The original doodle this ship was based on. Due to the blocky nature of the game, many feature were scrapped or modified but the overall silhouette is there.
French for: Forecasting
Length: 130m Weight: 3,250,000kg
Armament: None.

Faster than it looks, this scouting cruiser is equipped of long journeys away from the fleet. No armament is mounted by default, it relies on it's speed and sensors to keep itself out of trouble. It's job is mainly to search and mark valuable minerals for the supply fleets and seek out enemy fleets.
About the design.
My first completed large ship in SE. After many abandoned builds I decided to draw this one on paper first so I could figure out an appealing shape<in "More images">. This gave me a strong enough template to quickly complete the build without the headache of improvising constantly modifying a shape that killed so many project.
It seems surprisingly heavy for a scout, this can be blamed on the fact that it is the first ship built. None of my weight-shaving or compression techniques were applied to this ship in order to stick to the template, inflating it's weight dramatically though the sheer amount of thruster greatly compensate for this. This mainly serve as a building practice to find a aesthetic style to my liking.
Nearly all of the aesthetic features were kept and used on all of my ships going forward.

S.S. Menhire
-S.S. Menhire-

More images.

French for: Standing Stone
Length: 350m Weight: 25,000,000kg
Armament: 20xMissile Turret, 32xGatling turret.

Charged with holding the empire's border, the Menhire battleship is immovable in defense and unstoppable in offense.
About this design.
Designed for endurance first, every reactor and system on the Menhire is enclose in two layers of heavy armor. The outer layer contains corridors, living space, cargo and other non-essentials. The inner layer contains the reactors, command deck and reaction wheels etc...
The bottom thruster bank is deeply entrenched to reduce exposure to a minimum, unfortunately this offers a hiding place for enemy fighter to creep into. A more realistic thrust model would simply incinerate anything that enters the 'skirt' but otherwise fighters can be dealt with using a quick flip, smashing them on the sides.
The rear spike showed much more versatile than anticipated. It can be used to swat harassing fighters, impale unsuspecting ships or slash ships that felt brave and got too close.
The thinner cross sections at the waist looks weak but is deceptively strong, so much so that many attacking player choose to focus fire on it in hope to cut the ship in half, to no avail. It is in fact by far the strongest part of the ship and anyone focusing fire on will only waste time they could have spent attacking rooms that actually contain vital systems.

S.S. Obelisque
-S.S. Obelisque-

More images

This legend shows the layout of the various systems. You can see that critical system are kept deep at the back(or up since the image is sideways) of the ship and are ofter behind miltiple layers of armor. The horizontal(actually vertical) row of reaction wheels for example is protected by 3 layers of heavy armor plus an insulating empty pocket in between to prevent damage from being carried through.
The whole ship is also built entirely around the central spire to improve structural integrity.
French for: Obelisk
Length: 400m Weight: 38,000,000kg
Armament: 8xMissile Turret, 6xGatling turret.

The Obelisque is a frontline mothership designed to cover the supply needs of an entire combat fleet. They are most often dotted along the frontline to serve as command outposts but also see use as colonial ships, being able to build new civilizations around them.
About the design.
This build was a week long endeavor, it started as with a few prototype hangars to find what worked and what didn't. With the hangar style chosen a quick doodle was drawn that integrate it comfortably and to set the silhouette which was then built as a wireframe shell. After this the floorplan was laid down roughtly so that modification would be easy. Then came the thrusters, then the hardware, then the piping. Once content with the layout, the armor was built halfway, small revisions and addition were made as the armor revealed more or less space. After which the armor could finally be completed and painted.
The corridors warp and bent in a very M.C.Esher-esque way made possible by local gravity fields. SE only allow for poor system tweaking, so this ended up in a 2 day tweaking nightmare before all local field were seamlessly merged.

The whole fleet
--The whole fleet--

A nice family picture, with the military on the left and the utilitarian on the right, to compare scales.
From left to right(Large ships only):
S.S. Masse-D'Arme, S.S. Tribunal, S.S. Rose-Des-Vents, S.S. Menhire, S.S. Obelisque, S.S. Prevoyant, S.S. Scarabee, S.S. Etoile-Du-Nord.


The similarities become obvious once placed side to side, the tower-styles all share their anatomy. From top to bottom they constitute the crown, the head, the waist, the hip, the skirt and the spear.
The Spear, or 'spike', is intended as a landing anchor for orbital drops. It took a while before planets were implemented to test their effectiveness and while they do not impale the ground as intended, they do successfully crumple up and brake the fall, keeping all thrusters intact.
The main purpose of the skirt is to reduce the profile of the main thrusters in combat, but it also helps with stability in a crash-landing.

Something you might have notice in a few ship images it that they often have a two command chairs, one pointing forward, one pointing up. In truth every tower ship has them, this give them a dual nature, both vertical and horizontal. The horizontal stance is used for travel, taking advantage of the main thruster bank and the vertical stance is used for combat and docking maneuvers, being easier to turn and more precise in maneuvering.

Tower-style ships are nice in that they are easy to build The two axis symmetry greatly accelerate building and the verticality makes floor planning easy as every floor is rather small and can be entirely dedicated to a specific use, without having to cut and draw rooms.
The Mass-D'Arme, the Rose-Des-Vents, the Menhire, the Scarabee and the Etoile-Du-Nord were built from the inside out. The Tribunal, the Obelisque and the Prevoyant were built from the outside in.

Tower Ships can revolve in combat to keep exposing more weapons and spread damage evenly.

S.S. Menhire and S.S. Obelisque are known to cause server crash. The Menhire because of it's ridiculous amount of weapons firing all at once, the Obelisque because of it's mere existence.

The Menhire, the Prevoyant and The Obelisque all contain an experimental kinetic shield made from gravity generatore spread through the ship resulting in a roughly 400m radius bubble that eject any passing material. The Obelisk has an updated model producing a hollow bubble, every generator has a short range canceller which create a neutral inner field keeping unseated crewmen from being splattered against the walls at 20g. However the various tugging gravity fields create uneven ripples, causing the crew to stumble and walk around like drunkards, earning it the nicknames 'Drunkard Shield' and 'Booze Field'.

They are named by either their intended role, for example Wind Rose and North Star are exploring ships, or whatever their shape reminds me of, the Scarabee for example is reminiscent of a scarab with it's six solar panels and large back end.
None of the ships have a class name, mostly because I there's no real point in having multiples in Space Engineer. So they were all considered unique and given personal name.
Why are they named in french? You might ask. Well, because I am... And I really wanted to confuse english players online.

Grammar edit:
And feel free to ask question and provide criticism. I'll be glad to answer them.
General Discussion / Re: [Answered] Refunds?
« Last post by Aaron on April 02, 2016, 05:16:56 pm »

Hah.  Well, fair'nuff. ;D

Mind if I put you in a "plz check us out again :| ..." list?  Just in-case we're awesome again before next year. ;P
General Discussion / Re: [Answered] Refunds?
« Last post by iStormUK on April 02, 2016, 05:09:08 pm »

Due to the iterative, or "keep trying new things and see if they stick" style of development, there's very different views on what the game is depending on what version you're looking at.  Version W28 was its own kind of game, W51-71 was its own kind of game, W91 (never released) went in a Minecrafty direction that we were really no satisfied with.  The game we're making right now in 2016 is nothing like those versions.  It's aiming for a different market than we did back in 2011.

We're willing to accept our amateurish foibles and apologize for the stupidity, but we're far from done with Blockade Runner, and would ask that you remain constructive this year as we start putting new builds out again.  Lemme know if you have any questions Epic, and I'll try to answer them. =\

P.S. and just wondering... have you seen Micah's Unity Standalones at all?  Because it's just a taste of how we're not making W28.  Or W71.
I've come back hoping to see some progress. And I'm grateful there are founder builds now. Though having read through some of the posts, particularly this one by Aaron, I think I know now why its taking so long. As they say, they've made several differing versions with different aims. Which does not give me much hopes of ever seeing this come to fruition.  One vision, one goal, then you can focus on achieving it.

Still, I'll be back in another year to check on progress. See y'all then :)
Ideas & Suggestions / Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Last post by Me2005 on March 31, 2016, 07:06:42 pm »
I was initially under the assumption that there would be a ship showcase on the main website that people could download a ship in game if they didn't want to take the time to build one themselves.

If there was such a thing, I'd just prefer the price for ships be set by the game and not the player. Then the game gives the player a cut of the cost regardless of how much the actual blocks cost: Maybe it's +10% to buy a ship vs. build it yourself; maybe it's +0%, but the designer always gets 20% of the ship's cost even if the game is theoretically taking a loss.

But, now that I've had a few days to think it over I don't think linking in game credits to this would be a good idea for a game that is widely open to modders (it would just be another thing to break and complain about).

Didn't think of this. Also theoretically, it'd be a server-based 'store', so maybe that'd add some strength against mod-hacking. But if that's the case, it'd be just as easy to mod-hack some credits into your account as it would be to mod-hack a ship into your store-account, so the point may be moot.
Ideas & Suggestions / Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Last post by Aaron on March 31, 2016, 04:42:01 pm »

Lol, no probs.

A transferable currency between /mods/ is nothing we can the time budget for, but thanks to CS-Script I think people could come up with their own encrypted-but-transferable currency.  It couldn't communicate with a separate server (as far as I know), so the currency would have to be stored locally.  It just seems messy to deal with to me, but if someone comes up with an ingenious solution, huzzah. ;D
General Discussion / Re: Recoil or no recoil?
« Last post by Cy83r on March 27, 2016, 04:55:17 pm »
As far as classes go and inasmuch as it pertains to power/heat dynamics without going off-topic, you can think of it like a square/cube tradeoff.

Reactor classes increase geometrically, hypothetically in nice clean cubes: 1^3 (1c); 2^3 (8c); 3^3 (27c); 4^3 (64c); 5^3 (125c).  We'll assume class ratings of components scales from 1 to 5 for ease and simplicity.  While the size increases only slightly between each reactor, the comparable volume and thusly the comparable power output (plus efficiencies from using a larger single package) tail off as class rating increases.  Principally, I'd make the prediction that you're more likely to see redundant reactors on larger vessels where the redundancy itself (and possibly cost reductions) outweighs increasingly minimal differences in size and output between the larger reactors and you're more likely to see overlarge single reactors in the smaller ranges of craft most notably in glass cannons where volume will be at an assumed premium.

With a radiator two of the dimensions with increase faster than the third and I don't really expect the things to get larger than 1c thick in the first place.  Correspondingly we will see the oft-elaborated need to maximise surface area in order to take advantage of greater heat dissipation needs in larger and more powerful vessels.

Weapons are even further distorted towards linear power growth over class rating increases, principally you can make the round longer than it becomes wider to take advantage of penetration effects, hitbox profiles for missiles, and fuel economy (again for missiles).  So while linearly compact, firepower might experience a somewhat more geometric increase over class rating.  However while any level of "alphastrike" firepower is attainable fairly cheaply, rate of fire in cannon, velocity/maneuver in missiles, and beam concentration (i.e. range) in energy weapons might suggest geometric cost-curves for a given level of performance.  A cheap solution to the performance curve is saturating your platform with weapons emplacements and relying on numerous but inexpensive attacks at closer engagement zones, but that becomes its own cost-curve for given levels of performance at the end of the day as well.

All other systems except beside senscomms, thrusters, and perhaps large-scale life support seem like they should have a near linear use-to-volume ratio.  How are we even doing gravity? Will gravity wheel systems work as a specially coded scalable prefab? Will the falling mechanics and induced gravity be a function of acceleration/velocity? Or are we using space opera gravity and building wheels just for show?

Reactor Classes: cubic size disparity, high cost to increase performance
*Thrusters: most are a reactor, or a series of reactors, with one end open to space, otherwise near-linear tankage-to-thrust input until we start using Newtonian fuel accounting
*Life Support: assumedly volumetric performance ratings for "atmo-generators"
Radiator Classes: squared size disparity, linear cost over surface area to performance
*Senscomm: they're a type of radiator with a bunch of computers attached to the back end
*Life Support: filtration equipment relies on membranes similar in function to radiation setups
Weapon Classes: near-linear size disparity, low cost to increase basic firepower per unit of munitions (i.e. "per kg of bullet"), high cost to increase secondary firepower factors (velocity, cyclic rate, maneuver, dissipation, etc)

P.S.  Getting back to whether or not recoil would be a decent addition or an unnecessary complication, my personal opinion is that it adds a special depth to designs that doesn't just rely on what sort of gear you're kitted out with, but it ties into design necessities in the same way as you would plan your thruster placement.  Even if compensating devices are available to install, a well-designed ship that doesn't need to rely on those extras will be that much more efficient and gives builders a special niche to focus on within the general grind to the game's progress.  Even further it opens up the game to quirky designs that, by choice or accident, become known for unique and possibly even desirable maneuvering profiles.
General Discussion / Re: Recoil or no recoil?
« Last post by MRC on March 18, 2016, 08:38:43 pm »
I'd prefer to have both power lines and largish reactors so you've got interesting effects from hitting certain points on a ship: knock a line out from a weapon to the reactor, and it no longer functions (but is undamaged; robocraft does this well). Knock the reactor hard and you've blown a sizable portion of the ship away and disabled it (unless it's got backup reactors).

As far as "interesting effects" goes I'm sure there will be plenty of interesting consequence for destroying various systems like fuel lines, ammo dump, heat sink or whatever else we might see implemented. The reactor itself should be the hardest one of the bunch to reach since it's so critical to the function of every other system (and 'cause it blows up good).

Otherwise I pretty much agree. ^-^
General Discussion / Re: Recoil or no recoil?
« Last post by Me2005 on March 18, 2016, 07:36:32 pm »
I'd love the topic to be split so we can debate power and heat in more detail. But this would be one of my main point against power/heat requirement as the exclusive balancing mechanic.

My point here ties into the powerline mechanic demonstrated 3 years ago(subject to change?). What would makes powerlines work as a mechanic is a low reactor volume and count per ship volume ratio, since a reactor is a critical weakpoint...

Now, increasing the power requirement would either mean more or bigger (more voluminous) reactors which would either A) spread reactors all over so cutting powerlines would barely mean anything or B) increasing weak spots size such that they become the more viable target.

Not necessarily. A glass cannon is a ship mounting a weapon several classes larger than it should have. So it's fitting that it has a reactor several classes larger than it should have (not as many classes as the weapon possibly, by dumping other capabilities and by not mounting several capital-class weapons), and that it is much more vulnerable than it should be. A capital ship mounting capital weapons might be vulnerable to a glass-cannon, but it'd be less vulnerable to a glass cannon than to another capital ship; or the glass cannon would be proportionately more vulnerable than the capital ship.

Also, I haven't been saying a capital reactor can't be as small as, say, 27 reactor blocks total (3x3x3 cube) vs. a fighter's 1x1x1; or some other thing that would preclude power lines being important severable items. Or that the reactors couldn't be the same size, just different classes. I prefer a layout where the power system is a greater proportion of the ship's total interior volume (say 10%-20%), but that really is a different discussion. I'd prefer to have both power lines and largish reactors so you've got interesting effects from hitting certain points on a ship: knock a line out from a weapon to the reactor, and it no longer functions (but is undamaged; robocraft does this well). Knock the reactor hard and you've blown a sizable portion of the ship away and disabled it (unless it's got backup reactors).
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