[GUIDE] Custom caves, asteroids, and terrain POIs

Discussion in 'Scenarios' started by ravien_ff, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    Alpha 9.2 update: Filler Blocks
    Some awesome new functionality has been added to filler blocks since this guide was created, allowing you to create caves or tunnels in your POIs that use real terrain! Check out the post here that details exactly how filler blocks work.

    This guide will show you how to use terrain blocks in your blueprints to add custom caves, asteroids, asteroid bases, and more, as POIs that spawn in your custom scenarios:


    [​IMG]

    (I will try to add videos for all of this once I have more time)

    You'll need to know the basics of the creative mode tools as well as how to add custom POIs into your own scenario in order to make use of this guide.

    I have encountered no game breaking issues so far but keep in mind in an early access game, things change, and your blueprints may become corrupted in future game updates. Use this method at your own risk.
    (If any devs are reading this, please allow us to access terrain blocks from the creative item menu and add support for custom asteroids and caves!)


    First you'll need a source of terrain blocks that you can copy and paste from. Luckily for you, I have already done the tedious work of converting all the in-game asteroids into BA blueprints that you can simply download, spawn, and edit. I also included a few examples of POIs and even an ore freighter.

    Download the attached zip and extract it into your Empyrion - Galactic Survival/Saves/Blueprints/<random ID number> folder.
    Every blueprint is tagged with "Eden" at the front to make it easy to find them. Feel free to extract only the blueprints you're interested in using.
    (This is my first time sharing blueprints in this manner. If this ZIP file doesn't work please let me know)


    List of included blueprints:
    Default resource asteroids converted into BA format for easy spawning.
    4 example asteroid bases.
    An example of a blueprint for a cave POI.
    An example of an ore freighter.
    Eden_Terrain_Blank, a large, blank rectangle of terrain, as a starting canvas for creating caves or custom asteroids.

    Download instructions:
    Download the attached Custom Terrain Examples.zip file. (If you don't have an Empyrion forum account, you can create one using your Steam info)
    Click on it to open it up.

    Navigate to your blueprints folder:
    From your Steam games library, right click on Empyrion.
    Click on properties.
    Click on the Local Files tab at the top.
    Click on Browse Local Files.
    Open up the Saves folder.
    Open up the Blueprints folder.
    There should be a folder under that that is just a string of numbers. Open that up.

    You should see all your blueprints. Extract the folders from the zip file into this folder. You can extract everything, or just the particular blueprints you're interested in.
    Find and spawn them in-game by searching for Eden.
    It shouldn't ask to over-write anything but if it does, click NO.
    If you don't want the blueprints anymore, just delete them.

    Alternatively:
    The process is tedious so I recommend using the attached blueprints instead.
    You'll need to create a custom space playfield that spawns the resource asteroids as "BA_Alien" like so:

    Code:
        - Type: BA_Alien 
          Name: [AsteroidVoxel01Iron, AsteroidVoxel02Iron, AsteroidVoxel03Iron]
          DisplayName: Iron Asteroid
          Faction: None
          Mode: Survival
          CountMinMax: [ 10, 10 ]
          Probability: 1
          Properties:  
            - Key: RegenAfter
              Value: 180
    Load up your custom playfield in a game.
    Type "changemode" into the game console (without the quotes). This will turn your game into creative mode.
    Use "map" "godmode" and "teleport" to find an asteroid in orbit.
    Look at the asteroid and press LeftALT+O and save the asteroid as your own blueprint.
    You now have a BA blueprint with the terrain blocks that you'll need to create other bases with.

    How it works:
    Ore asteroids in orbit are just POIs, with their own blueprint file. Not much different than a standard BA. By re-saving them as a BA blueprint, you can spawn them in creative and use the creative mode tools to copy and paste the terrain blocks that make up an asteroid for use on other blueprints, or you can edit the asteroid directly to change the terrain or add BA blocks to make a custom asteroid base.

    This is only feasible for creating custom POIs to be included with your scenarios. Blueprints with terrain blocks are not buildable in survival mode. Custom asteroids can be spawned via console command in survival mode but custom caves are only feasible as POIs because they need terrain to be cleared out before spawning on planets.

    Getting started:
    You'll need to be in a creative mode game for this. I highly suggest doing this in orbit to avoid any possible structural integrity problems.

    Spawn the blueprint called Eden_Terrain_Blank. This is a basic rectangle of rock with some LCD screens that provides basic guidance. The cargo box is empty (sorry about that).

    Terrain blocks function basically like any other construction block.

    To remove terrain:

    • Use a hand drill or vessel mounted drill to drill holes or shape terrain.
    • Shift-right click to remove a single terrain block.
    • Use the selection tool to cut or delete entire sections of terrain blocks.
    To add terrain:
    • Use the selection tool to copy and paste parts of terrain onto other parts of the base. You can copy single blocks or entire sections.
    • If you are trying to copy terrain from one blueprint to a completely different blueprint, remember to hit the "remove selection" button on the first blueprint before you attempt to select anything on the second blueprint to avoid an error message.
    • Copied selections retain their "damage" state. You can use a hand drill to thin a section of terrain and then when you copy and paste it, that section will be thinner than normal.
    • You cannot use the hand drill in "fill" mode to restore terrain. Copy and pasting it is the only way.
    • You can use this to paste small bits of terrain onto another base, or paste large sections together to create a custom asteroid.
    • Example of adding a bit of terrain blocks to an existing base:[​IMG]

    Creating a custom asteroid or asteroid base:
    • Spawn one of the included asteroid blueprints.
    • (Alternatively, you can "make your own" from scratch by spawning the Eden_Terrain_Blank blueprint and then shaping that to fit your needs.)
    • Change the shape of the asteroid, if desired, by copy and pasting bits of rock or ore, or by using the hand drills, the shift-right click function, or selection tools to remove parts of the asteroid.
    • If you want it to be an asteroid base, add any BA blocks or devices that you want. Add a core, fuel tank, generators, living quarters, control rooms, hangars, alien turrets or spawners, etc.
    • Save the blueprint and set it up to spawn in your space playfields like any other space POI. Make sure to check "save damage states".
    • Example of custom resource asteroid:[​IMG]
    • Example of custom asteroid base:[​IMG]

    Creating a custom cave POI:
    • Start with the Eden_Terrain_Blank blueprint.
    • Make sure you are in orbit to avoid structural integrity issues.
    • If you want a larger area to contain your cave, copy and paste parts of it to make it bigger.
    • The outer dimensions must be a perfect rectangle, except for the top. Any deviation along the sides or bottom can cause spawning issues when the game places it on your planets. You can do whatever you want with the top, adding in protrusions, blocks or devices, etc.
    • Create your cave by adding an entrance to the top and hollowing out the inside as you see fit. Try hiding a core, generator, and fuel tank somewhere and then hiding lights inside the cave walls.
    • To hide lights in walls, use the selection tool to select a single block of terrain, move the selection to inside the wall somewhere, then delete that block. Add a light in the empty space.
    • Add any other BA blocks or devices or alien spawners that you want.
    • You'll need to measure the height of your blueprint to properly set the height offset to get it to match up with the planet's terrain when spawning. This can be trial and error. Check the test cave blueprint for an example.
    • Make sure to check the "blueprint flattens ground" and "save damage states" options.
    • Once properly set and added to your playfields, the cave will spawn and be embedded in the ground and players can go explore it underground.
    • It's not perfect, but it's as good as we can get for now:
      [​IMG]
    • Caves are NOT viable to being manually spawned on planets. Unless you want to dig out the entire area before spawning them, you'll have to rely on adding them as a POI so the game automatically digs out the area they need to spawn in.

    Other info:

    • Terrain blocks spawned on planets that are on the TOP layer will take on the texture of the surrounding biome, making them fit in. For example, these bins are filled with terrain blocks that automatically adapt the texture of the lava lake biome they are spawned in to give the appearance of being filled with magma:[​IMG]
    • On planets, terrain blocks that are underneath another terrain block will revert to a default terrain texture. This can be an ugly texture transition but can be masked by using BA blocks for your entrance. There is a workaround: if you use the "RockAsteroids" texture somewhere in your terrain.ecf for your playfield, the cave's interior texture will take on that texture, providing both a smooth transition and a somewhat customized texture for your cave's interior! Use the in-game terrain editor to get it set up right.
    • You can use resource rocks in your blueprints and when players mine them, they will obtain the ore. Copy and paste the resource from the appropriate resource asteroids included with the blueprints above.
    • Resource rocks used on planets don't look any different from normal terrain blocks, but players will still obtain the proper ore if they mine them out. They just won't be able to tell the difference between standard rock and gold ore in your base. The exception is that resource rocks underneath a layer of normal rocks do take on the proper resource texture, provided you have that resource texture set up in your terrain.ecf for your playfield.
    • Structural integrity is a little wonky with terrain blocks. It's highly recommended to disable SI in the yaml entry for your POI. Even then, if players drill through the rock, parts of your POI may collapse.
    • You can create custom terrain features. Maybe a Talon village built into a hill, a spire of rock, a floating island. Etc. If you want to avoid the texture bug, just remember to not have any overhangs or to use the RockAsteroids texture in your playfield.
    • You can use terrain and ore blocks on CVs, too. Create custom ore freighters that haul a specific ore. Terrain textures bug out while in motion, however, so it's recommended that you hide the ore beneath some armor so players don't see it until they capture the freighter.
    • Terrain blocks are airtight.
    • Note that mechanics (such as anti-grief zones) that prevent mining will also prevent players from mining out your custom asteroids. Set up your playfields and game options accordingly.
    • Experiment! Get creative!

    Please post if you have any questions. I am half asleep while writing this so if anything isn't clear let me know.
    If the included zip file doesn't work then I can re-upload the raw blueprint files instead.

    I think this can open up a huge new area of creativity for POI and scenario designers. I wanted to share this method with others to help the creative community. I hope others can find a use for this information like I have. :D

    *UPDATE* I have attached an optional custom config file that may aid in your asteroid and cave creation.
    It massively improves the speed of all 4 hand drills and gives each one a specific use. Really helps when shaping custom asteroids or creating caves.

    This config should only be used in creative mode and then removed during normal gameplay. The standard disclaimers with custom configs apply (remove before reporting any bugs. Back up your save game. Don't forget you have it.)

    Download the Config_Drilling.txt file and place it into your Empyrion - Galactic Survival/Content/Configuration folder.
    Rename it to Config.ecf to activate.
    Delete it or rename it to something else to deactivate.
    Feel free to edit the stats in the file to your liking if you wish. Make sure the version number at the top matches the one in the Config_Example.ecf file or it won't run.

    Changes:

    • Ranges of all hand drills greatly increased to 25 meters.
    • Drill speed and damage of all hand drills greatly increased.
    • Ammo capacity increased to 10,000 and reload time reduced to 0.5 seconds.
    • T1 drill is now a precision tool with a tiny AOE, for fine tuning your cave walls or asteroids.
    • T2 drill has the standard AOE, good for general shaping or tunnels.
    • Epic Drill has a large AOE, good for overall shaping or excavation.
    • Debug Drill has a massive AOE, for excavating huge areas or just destroying an asteroid.
     

    Attached Files:

    #1
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  2. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Rear Admiral

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    @ravien_ff

    Thank you for explaining how to do these wonderful effects! Thank you also for sharing your knowledge by taking the time and trouble to write the guide.
     
    #2
  3. 7HzHetrodyne

    7HzHetrodyne Lieutenant

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    Wow... quite a little gem here! I'm amazed I haven't seen this in so many years!

    Thanks for posting, I can't wait to try it!!
     
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  4. Needleship

    Needleship Master of Custom Terrain

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    ... speechless.
    Have seen the asteroid folder in the prefabs all the time, but didn't think much of it.

    I guess, this forum needs a new POI category... :D

    (For the caves: The blueprint offset works with .x values. E.g. an offset of -2.1 is allowed. (1 is half a meter, 0.5 would be 25cm.)
    Don't know, how small the values can get after the point. Could be some tinkering, but maybe there is a value that fits the height?)
     
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  5. Needleship

    Needleship Master of Custom Terrain

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    (Couldn't recreate your steps to make these slabs-o-wonder, but the editing works fine :) - - Thanks alot! )
     
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  6. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    So glad it's working out for you!
     
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  7. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    I found a partial workaround for the textures on planets. If you set one of your playfield textures to RockAsteroids then your cave interiors will take on that texture, allowing partial customization of your cave interiors as well as providing a smoothed texture transition between your cave entrance and the playfield terrain. You can then edit that texture slot with the in-game texture editor to customize it. Ice caves are now sort of a thing!
     
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  8. Sunshaker

    Sunshaker Lieutenant

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    I would love to put a "ice cave" in my rainbow caverns :). I can't wait for the final finished Empyrion, when all this "workarounds" will be a stable part of the finished game,
    Then for me, the real "Digging" begins :).
     
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  9. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Raven, you, are a beautiful person. Very nicely done sir! Incredible inventiveness!
     
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  10. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    Thank you! I hope someone gets some use out of this. :D

    Some examples of what I've done with this so far:

    Editing textures in a playfield to create brightly glowing Pentaxid pillars in a cave.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The new filler blocks are great for making the entrance of a cave look better (gets rid of the huge square cutout, leaving only a tiny one for your entrance). Place filler blocks above the body of your cave, and leave a little hole for your entrance. When it spawns, it will cover your cave with terrain except for the entrance.
    [​IMG]

    Create playfields that compliment your POIs to allow some neat things. Here I've set this POI to spawn in the "burning plasma" biome of my plasma planet and used terrain blocks inside the POI that take on the texture used in the biome, giving this Abyssal plasma research lab some extra "coolness".
    [​IMG]

    Here I created a large structure with floating rocks all around it, again spawned in this custom biome to give it the blue glowing lava texture:
    [​IMG]


    There really are a lot of possibilities and I hope the devs keep expanding on this!
     
    #10
  11. RazzleWin

    RazzleWin Captain

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    @ravien_ff I've loving your work here. Reminds me when I was younger and was modeling 3D objects well until I hired others to do it for me.
    I use to do the same thing take what was available change it, reform it. You have a very inventive mind there mate.
    I was never able to texture like that. My life partner handled all the texturing part I did all the nut and bolts parts. Make the model and she would make it look great. But once we starting have to just make moon and mar's landscapes well all the color left our life! Anyway I digress. Really have been enjoying what you do.
     
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  12. Kaeser

    Kaeser Rear Admiral

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    Awesome work in here, I for sure will be using this to create new POIs in the future

    Already have a few planed...
     
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  13. Sunshaker

    Sunshaker Lieutenant

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    Beautiful!, Is there a way for me to spawn the Pentaxid pillars & the blue lava textures into my game "rainbow caverns"?
    Can I get these "terrain blocks", to use in my game?
    Once again, Great work, I'm jealous, I need these for my caverns:).
     
    #13
  14. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    Sort of. You could spawn the blueprints manually and then use the in-game texture editor to adjust the textures as you want. It's best done by creating a custom scenario though.

    You can always play around with the texture editor by itself though in your single player game. Just remember to make a backup copy before you do anything just in case. :D Typing "te" into the console will open up the texture editor and allow you to change any textures in your current planet, so you could use the blue lava texture for your caverns (or change it up to whatever you want!)
     
    #14
  15. Sunshaker

    Sunshaker Lieutenant

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    Cheers, I did not know about "te" command, opens up new ways to create,
    Thank you!,
    But....I may be a bit slow this morning, but I have the te menu up, but don't know how to actually use it?
    It seems I have to pause game to access the menu, but then what?
    How do you change textures?
    [​IMG]
     
    #15
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  16. piddlefoot

    piddlefoot Rear Admiral

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    We need a thread where people can post there unique planets / asteroid creations, server owners would love it.
     
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  17. RexXxuS

    RexXxuS Administrator
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    @ravien_ff , you really deserve credits for this :)

    I don't know if you remember my post from September 2016, but I was so excited and happy as I found few things out about the terrain blocks! I can exactly imagine how you felt!

    https://empyriononline.com/threads/tool-emp-admin-helper-eah-free-v1-45-x.5771/page-5#post-68205

    Unfortunately with a big Unity update, Eleon removed the ability to place terrain blocks and my dreams were broken.
    But the Copy Paste tool brings back all the cool stuff and more (by the way, you can also convert parts of CVs to SVs that way ;) )

    I start to fiddle around with it as well, will share also some work and can only hope that Eleon keeps this unintenional feature of copy paste that way ;)

    RexXxuS
     
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  18. piddlefoot

    piddlefoot Rear Admiral

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    I vote Ravien Eleons Custom map builder for End game !

    I recon you could build some fascinating landscapes.
     
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  19. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    I'll edit in a section with examples on spawning custom resource asteroids in space playfields as there's a couple tricks and quirks to them. You can have them spawn in like any other resource asteroid complete with the correct resource map icon, or you can add them as an alien base like normal POIs.

    I'm glad to see people excited for this! Hopefully I explained things well enough. Please post your creations or let me know if you're having problems getting it to work right!
     
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  20. Kieve

    Kieve Rear Admiral

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    This is fluffin' genius. I saw those Abyssal plasma screenshots months ago and was absolutely in love - and completely mystified how you'd done such sorcery. Now I know.

    *bookmarks*

    This is gonna change everything now.
     
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