Author Topic: Galactic Academy - Tutorial Thread  (Read 7573 times)


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Galactic Academy - Tutorial Thread
« on: October 01, 2011, 12:45:53 pm »
This thread will contain tutorials covering all the important aspects of the game.
It will be expanded and changed to be up to date with the game. The Tutorial is currently based on W23.
If you just want to know the minimum and find out the rest for yourself then read just Part 2 Quickstart Guide.
Suggestions and discussion go here.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 12:38:56 pm by Zerebo »


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Re: Galactic Academy - Tutorial Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 12:52:43 pm »

Part 0 Basics

Installing and getting the game started:

1. Download and install the required things:
XNA 3.1 (4.0 Won't work!)
.Net 3.5 (Integrated in Windows 7. Needs to be activated manually sometimes)
Direct X 9.0c (Newer version alone won't work)
2. Download the game.
3. Unzip the game somewhere. Give the .exe in the game folder admin rights when under Windows 7.
4. Run the .exe to start the game.

Menu, Controls and Settings:

Controls can be changed by modifying the Controls.xml with a text editor.
Controls_P2.xml sets the controls for the second remote controlled ship.
This is how the default controls look like:
  <Left keyboard="A" />
  <Right keyboard="D" />
  <Forward keyboard="W" />
  <Backward keyboard="S" />
  <Up keyboard="Space" />
  <Down keyboard="C" />
  <TurnLeft mousecoordinate="Left" />
  <TurnRight mousecoordinate="Right" />
  <RollLeft keyboard="Q" />
  <RollRight keyboard="E" />
  <LookUp mousecoordinate="Up" />
  <LookDown mousecoordinate="Down" />
  <Action1 mousebutton="Left" />
  <Action2 mousebutton="Right" />
  <Action3 keyboard="F" />
  <Boost keyboard="LeftShift" />
  <Brake keyboard="LeftShift" />
  <Menu keyboard="Tab" />

Game Startscreen:
After starting the game you have following options:

These are links to the different Blockade Runner related web sites.

Log here in with your Blockade Runner username/email and password when you buyed the game. (Use the account you also used to buy the game)

-Info Box
Just some Info text.

-Changes Box
Shows the most important recent changes.

Closes the game.

2 options are aviable:
starts the game
Let you change Settings



Set these 3 to the same resolution. If your pc is powerfull enough set this to the resolution you set in windows.

-Texture Filter
Just change this when you have graphic errors.

-Full Screen
Toggles between windowed mode and fullscreen. Saving and loading doesn't work in fullscreen mode.

-Vertical Sync
Set it to off when you have poor framerates and on when you see tearing.

-3D Hud
Toggles between the fancy looking 3d hud and a 2d hud. Use 2d hud when the text ingame is unreadable.

-Frame Detail

Here you can change the music and sound volume.

Game Options:
Defines the used unit for ingame measurement:
Atomic: Zanmgts own unit
Metric: Meter, Kilogram
Basic: Pound, Feet

Here you can set the keyboard layout you use (QWERTY, AZERTY, DVORAK) or to Costum(Settings in the control.xml).

Ingame options - Tab Menu

Far enough away from any object:

-New Entity
Creates a new entity. The start of every new ship or other object.

-Reset Galaxy
Resets your galaxy. It will look just like it did after starting the game.

-Reset Position
You are again where you started the game.

-Remote control: on/off
Here you can activate the remote control. You will no longer control the camera. You will control the ships you set to control.

-Radial Menu
Select a block and then build it with right mouse click.

-Save/Load Entity
Save or laod your creations. Just works in windowed mode.

-Remove Entity
Removes the entity from the galaxy.

-Mass Center Hide/Show
Hides or shows the mass center of your creation. More infos in the engine section.
Just works when the hud is on in the main settings.

-Inertia On/Off
Toggles between realistic physics and slowing down every movement automatically.

-Balance Perfect/Real:
Perfect means the engines will be used in a way that your controls always work the same.
Imbalanced ships will be slower though. Real will always fire all engines at full power and imbalanced ships won't move accordingly to the controls.More in the engine section.

-Ship Info Hide/Show
Shows or hides ship infos. WIDTH, LENGTH. HEIGHT and WEIGHT.
Units will be the same you set in the main settings. Just works when the hud is on in the main settings.

-Set Remote Control 1/2
Sets the Entity you are next to as remote controled ship one or two. The controls for one are the same you use to navigate the camera. The controls for two are in the Controls_P2.xml.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 12:18:49 pm by Zerebo »


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Re: Galactic Academy - Tutorial Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 12:19:00 pm »
Part 1 Ship Basics

Thrusters and Movement

Blockade Runner uses (mostly) Newtonian Physics with its ship movement, speed, ect.
So when the dampers are off and the thrusters also, the ship will keep it's velocity.
You start spinning and the ship will never stop spinning until you use the thrusters, or the dampers to stop the spinning.

The game gives you full 6DoF. That means you have 3 axis for movement (Up/Down,Left/Right,Forward/Backward) and rotation around this axis.
When perfect balance is on, the controls always work how they should and your ship is just flying into the direction you press the key for.
Just that this perfect balance will have some drawbacks in later game and a balanced ship will be advantageous.
So it's important to know how the game calculates the movement based on the thrusters.


The thruster produce force and this force leads to acceleration. But the force will also produce a turning moment when not directed at the mass center. The center of mass is a represantation of your ship. Your ship as a whole basically behaves the same as this one point where all the mass of the ship is concentrated.

The Thruster fires upwards but it's 3 blocks away from the center of mass and this leads to a rotation.
The acceleration of this rotation depends on how far away the thruster is.
Double the space -> double accerelation.

A second example:

Now we have 2 Thrusters firing into the same direction. Both produce the same amount of turning moment but into opposit directions. That means there is no turning moment in the system and it flys straight up.

Here is another example:

Now you got double the engines. But to fly straight up the thrusters on the left would have to reduce their thrust.
Perfect balance would just shift the mass center but with real balance this "ship" will fly up and rotate.
The thruster on postion 5 alone would produce at full power nearly double the amount of the turning moment the thruster on position 3 on the right side produces.

What the examples showed for 2 dimension happens ingame in 3d. 
What does that mean for ship building?
It's easy. If you want a ship that flys even without perfect balance good and suffers less from it's future drawabacks then you have to place your thrusters right.
Thrusters far away from the mass center let you spin faster, just take care they won't do to much unintended rotation around the other axis.
If you want fly straight then place your thrusters so that they produce no rotation while moving forward.


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Re: Galactic Academy - Tutorial Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 12:36:23 pm »
Part 2 Getting Started - Gameplay

Quickstart Guide

Start the game, log in if you buyed, then go to menu - shipyard and there we are.
Congratulations you are now in the game. So what can you do here?
You can build a ship, fly it and shoot other stuff.

Building a ship:
First create a new entity with the tab menu.(Tab - New Entity)
Now you see some blocks. This will become your new ship. Press tab near your "ship" and select the frame in the radial menu.
Left mouse button will remove blocks and right mouse places the kind of blocks you selected from the radial menu.
Now build your ship the way you like it. You can use the plating to cover the frames with hull (not in Lite version). Just don't build to big if you want to fly it.
Now place some engines (also from the radial wheel). Try to build them evenly around the center of mass. Then place the helm pad. From this block ypu control your ship.
(It's direction is determined by the direction you look)
Just press f when above it.
You can now fly your ship the same way you fly around with your camera.
Weapons are placed the same way like helm pads. Use left mouse to fire them when flying your ship.
There is also a remote control. You can use it to get a third person view. Just press tab when your are connected to the helm pad - Set remote control 1.
Then place yourself so that you can see good and still "stick" to the entity and activate the remote control from the tab menu.
"Stick" means that you still have the radial menu when pressing tab.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 04:28:24 am by Zerebo »


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Re: Galactic Academy - Tutorial Thread
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 08:49:18 am »
Part 3 Building:

Mega Projects:
1. DO have a plan. It can save you a massive number of headaches.
        1.1 Find or create detailed side-on, top-down and front/rear images of the ship you wish to build.
        1.2 Find or choose an overall length for the ship.
        1.3 You can open your images in image editing or 3d modeling software.  (Blender is free) Place a grid over your images, matching the number of divisions to your desired length.
        1.5 Hand-drawing or printing your plans allows you to easily make notes and adjustments as you build.
2. DO place extra blocks every 10 units to act as a measure.
3. The entity dimensions readout is NOT 100% reliable as of now. It can have various issues updating. Take your own measurements.
4. DO MEASURE TWICE (preferably 3 times) and build once. It is far better than measuring once and building 2-3 times.
5. Straight lines are easy. Angles are harder. Curves are hardest. Both in terms of measuring and time invested.
6. DO determine which way your entity is oriented at the start of your build. Start a new game. The direction the ships fly at the beginning is "forward".
7. DO take a break every 15-20 minutes. Take a deep breath. Go outside. Feed the dog. Call up an old friend.
8. If you don't like placing every block by hand, wait for tools.
9. Assigning macros, if your keyboard/mouse/gamepad is compatible, can speed up block placement and stave off carpal tunnel syndrome.
10. If you turn down the block detail to low, it can vastly speed up repeating macros and allow you to more easily spot gaps in your construction.
11. Save EARLY, save OFTEN and make BACKUPS.

Added from:
Thread by Strait Raider
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 08:53:25 am by Zerebo »