Modular cargo system and dynamic container docking

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Average, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Average

    Average Commander

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    Wouldn't it be great if cargo/material storage could be easily done via external structures (CS - container structure) that you could easily pick up and drop like a real-life container. You'd use them as mobile, modular storage for your main ships and bases, built as whatever shape you like and out of existing blocks.

    So imagine a shipping container that you attach to your HV to store ore when mining. When full, the same container could be dropped with a keypress, to be picked up by a SV transport, loaded onto a giant cargo CV, which can drop them at a space station for trade or production.

    IMHO this would be a much more interesting and immersive alternative to magic "wifi"!

    [​IMG]

    This would be easy to implement! No new blocks are needed. Implement would only require the following:
    • A CS (container structre) structure-type that is the same as a SV except with only with 1 cargo controller and cargo extenders allowed. Alternatively you could just have a new SV block that provided this function but disabled all other systems on the SV.
    • A passive version of the docking pad that docks the other ship to the one you are piloting, if the other ship is controllable by you. Sort of the opposite of landing gear.
    • A keybinding that detaches all CSs from your ship (and perhaps all piloted SVs/HVs).
    • Containers on docked CSs should appear in the F4 and constructor options the same as if it was in the current ship
    • Allow UI selection of what container mined ore goes to, or just make ore go into CSs first
    It might also allow:
    1) Emergency cargo container drops from just inside orbit
    2) Combat HV/SV drops where you press a button as you land to deploy piloted vehicles, especially cool if pilots can sit in docked ships during flight. This would only apply to piloted vehicles so you couldn't drop 50 HVs into an enemy base.
    3) If CS was limited to one cargo controller per CS, you could implement a scanning mechanism where you had to get close to it to scan it and reveal cargo contents. Voila, cargo inspector and smuggler game elements (story, missions, gameplay etc)

    Optionally, if this feature was coupled with a server option to disable wifi, this could function as a more physically immersive way to move cargo around. Cargo transfers would basically be allowed only between any structures that were docked to each-other. Inventory linking would just be for placing heavy blocks, not for moving them around.

    That would make internal layout much more important - suddenly those beautiful corridors/hangars/cargo bays actually do something. In this system there might be lots of physical activity in a spaceport, with loader craft moving things around etc. Awesome!

    [​IMG]

    Edit - improved wording.
     
    #1
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  2. Track Driver

    Track Driver Rear Admiral

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    I'm currently working on a similar, though smaller scale concept. I don't have push-button release as my containers are either HV or SV constructs that dock with a carrier SV and must be driven off. Whether I get around to upscaling to a CV remains to be seen.
    2019-11-23 (7).png 2019-11-23 (6).png 2019-11-23 (5).png 2019-11-23 (4).png 2019-11-23 (3).png 2019-11-23 (2).png 2019-11-23 (1).png 2019-11-23.png
     
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  3. Average

    Average Commander

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  4. Jennraven

    Jennraven Ensign

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    Push button connect/disconnect... now that would be a great feature! Oh the design builds would broaden even more!!
     
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  5. Thoder

    Thoder Commander

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    Why can't you do that now? There was a ship created that did just that. Granted the cargo pods were self-sufficient but, it was awesome. and the Devs actually put the ship in-game as an NPC. That NPC ship did not have the cargo pods though.

    I don't think it exists on the workshop anymore as it was removed when this famous ship designer had a dispute with the community. He has return to the community now and continues to produce new ships. I'll look and see if it has been readded to the workshop and post a link if so.
     
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  6. Average

    Average Commander

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    There's a couple of things missing to make it remotely practical: selecting a container from a docked vessel as a place ore goes into when mining, and also a button to dock and undock other vessels to your current one. Otherwise you have to get out and "fly" the container to dock it, which imho isn't fun practical for larger scale logistics, and also detracts from their feel as containers, as they need a pilot seat and probably fuel and thrusters to get into the correct place.

    I would be interested to see designs based around cargo modularity though, as perhaps they'll add this feature later.
     
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  7. RedSamurai

    RedSamurai Lieutenant

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    good idea!
     
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  8. Khazul

    Khazul Rear Admiral

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    TBH - I kind of miss the docking connectors from SE for this kind of thing, but then in SE once a container is on the base's grid (for eg), then anything will automatically pull from it, unlike in this were for eg with constructor you have to first get everything needed into the one storage that it can access.

    So yes, I would welcome the OP suggestion, but in the current game as-is, it seems a bit pointless without a load of other supporting improvements. And imagine what a nightmare a cargo ship would be - having to manual undock all those little containers and then manual dock them elsewhere so the cargo ship can dock (which some people in this community seem to consider to be an essential good part of solo play).

    I SE, I have done this kind of thing and it works well and it would be great to see a properly thought out equivalent here.
     
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  9. Whisper 2

    Whisper 2 Ensign

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    Great idea maybe just one switch per container? But would make some vehicles needed to ferry resources around instead on all in one super ships.
     
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  10. The Big Brzezinski

    The Big Brzezinski Commander

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    I'm not really sure how this would be different from the system we have now, except cargo containers lack visual changes based on their contents. Perhaps this should change.
     
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  11. Average

    Average Commander

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    Maybe you could allow them to be detached individually through the registry. It does make sense that if you were a trade ship, for example, you might want to detach a container and drop it somewhere individually without having to re-attach 20 other containers to your ship.

    It would certainly be nice to see what % full the container was, perhaps via the colour of its name or something like that.

    All this makes me think, it would be interesting if there was a game mechanism where you had to get close to a container and "scan" it to reveal its contents. Voila, cargo inspector and/or smuggler gameplay, missions and storylines.
     
    #11
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  12. Brimstone

    Brimstone Rear Admiral

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    I've had something similar for a while.. SV 1x4x8 base with fuel/thrusters/etc.., and the you stack 3 deep with cargo boxes, fuel tanks, O2 tanks, or even fridges. It's exactly the same size as a 1x2 CV/BA cargo box but carries hella more

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, the pics are old...
     
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  13. Average

    Average Commander

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  14. Track Driver

    Track Driver Rear Admiral

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    I wonder if you saw the same video I did? It was a long time ago (in a galaxy yada-yada -yada...:rolleyes:) in what I think was a YouTube video. I didn't pay attention to the author at the time and merely copied it as best I could. The intent was to make it the size of a full block. It included a constructor and was designed to park in a designated recess along with others to achieve a built-in look. Yours do not appear to have docking pads. Are they meant only for BA use or are you better at concealing them than I am?:confused:
     
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  15. Brimstone

    Brimstone Rear Admiral

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    Look closer between the thrusters on the first and second images... they're there, they are the pre-animated pads, turned sideways

    Don't remember where I got the inspiration, I remember my first attempts were bigger, to recreate the lost cargo pod from a certain Texas-inspired prefab. At some point, I got the idea to do this because it was more efficient and a little more RP-friendly

    Now, I could add wifi to the pods and even make it out of extensions instead. Too bad we don't have refrigerated controllers, though.. (hint, hint, Eleon)

    This version had a constructor, used it for blocks and ores:

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  16. Brimstone

    Brimstone Rear Admiral

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    So, now I had to go back and update, the new tank models make them look much better- and unify the storage to work more like an actual tank

    Added wifi and was able to drop them to a small SV generator, and also created a version using container controller:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also made one that's set up to process ice/water into water/small water/O2. Like the aesthetics of the "tank" containers, but three controllers/extensions may be more practical... we'll see. Wish HV/SV constructors could process H2 also..

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Track Driver

    Track Driver Rear Admiral

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    I hadn't thought about wi-fi. That's a good idea! Wait a minute.... I did think of that! I just looked and it's on the back side.
    Damn, gettin' old sucks!
     
    #17
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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  18. Brimstone

    Brimstone Rear Admiral

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    That it does. Like that you jumped on the Eagle to test, I've been wanting to do that since the Hv/SV docking was announced, just always getting distracted by other stuff

    Went back a few years ago and watched Space:1999 with my youngest... didn't hold up quite as well as my memories, but still think teh Eagle is one of the best sci-fi ships of all time...
     
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  19. Track Driver

    Track Driver Rear Admiral

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    You noticed that, too? The stories don't hold up that well IMO but I love the structures and ships.
     
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  20. Brimstone

    Brimstone Rear Admiral

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    Best damn Christmas ever was the one I came downstairs to find that 3 foot Mattel Eagle under the tree. Parents had just split up, was sure there wasn't money for it.. but Mom came through like she always did...
     
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