Nanoframes, structures and building

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Average, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Average

    Average Commander

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    There are many suggestions to replace the current factory system, usually with some kind of factory block which you place on your base. Vermillion has suggested you would link constructors to the factory, producing the materials for the factory block to output a ship through the factory block. You ask the constructors to prepare for a BP to be produced, and some/all of you constructors start making the blocks for it.

    However the factory block is problematic, for two reasons.
    • There's no obvious way to build a BA (base) using a factory block
    • A factory block creates the need to check if space is available to output the ship, complicated by the fact that the available space may be filled during the build
    Nanoframes

    A cooler and easier way to do this would be to replace a factory block with a nanoframe system. Instead of outputting completed ships, the factory UI outputs nanoframes - basically a empty shell of the ship or base in question. That shell would be deployed in the same way as current spawns, except that instead of its normal textures it would have a single nanoframe texture all over. If possible, when deployed it would be fade into view over 5 seconds but remain transparent.

    An extra mode on multitools would then be used to (gradually) move blocks from inventory or cargo into the nanoframe. Basically you point the multitool/turret at the nanoframe to build it. When all the necessary blocks are moved into the nanoframe, there's a flash of light and then it changes into the completed ship/base.

    [​IMG]

    I picture the total build times using a hand-multitool being around between 1% and 5% of the current factory build times, so a starter HV might take around 20 secs if you have all the blocks ready. A ship mounted multturret would build it considerably faster. A base mounted multiturret that fired automatically at any nanoframe in range would be even faster, effectively allowing a "shipyard" that builds large ship in reasonable time frames from the base inventory. The main time constraint would be in building the blocks themselves (you'd still use Vermillion's idea above). In multiplay users could be limited to 1 frame at a time, and/or 1 frame every 2 mins.

    You could use the salvage feature to reverse the process on unfinished nanoframes and recover resources (also available to enemies in PvP). You should also be able to destroy a nanoframe, with their HP being based on how close to completion they are. If destroyed, some/all of the resources drop to the ground.

    Advantages:

    • The UI and the space/size check for nanoframes is already implemented - just use the current factory system
    • A nanoframe uses the BP as graphics with a single texture - no graphics implementation required
    • Bases can be built using this system, unlike the factory block alternative. You just need a multitool or multiturret ship handy on the build site
    • Players can work together building something to create more social tasks
    • You can no longer insta-spawn huge towers into PvP zones. They must be protected and built over several minutes, which is more immersive and interesting
    • It looks cool and relatively immersive, unlike a factory block instantly spawning stuff
     
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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  2. Foofaspoon

    Foofaspoon Lieutenant

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    I really like this idea - seems to me to be the best way of implementing system in general. Means factory ships / HVs would become a thing as well. Specialised factory bases potentially, especially if multiple building tools can be put on and work simultaneously.
     
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  3. Average

    Average Commander

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  4. Foofaspoon

    Foofaspoon Lieutenant

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    Early on you could, rather than or in addition to the mutltool, have simple constructor device that you power up and put resources in, and then that can build simple (T1 lvl 5 and under) SV / HV's - holding left down on the multitool for 5 minutes might get a little dull :D

    If you wanted to limit people spamming BPs everywhere you could require them to be placed within a certain distance of the construction tool - or I guess have a separate item a little bit like the SE projector that enabled BP to be spawned in within a certain radius (the early tool would act as both combined in this case)
     
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  5. Khazul

    Khazul Captain

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    Sounds like you are trying to describe the projector based construction system in space engineers and associated welding tools.
     
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  6. Average

    Average Commander

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  7. Khazul

    Khazul Captain

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    Ever used the 'nanite build and repair system' mod in SE?
     
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  8. Average

    Average Commander

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  9. Foofaspoon

    Foofaspoon Lieutenant

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    I've not played space engineers though watched various lets plays etc - I agree I wouldn't want the complexity of the base projector system of that in Empyrion. I like Average's idea in that it seems a simplified version of that - get the wireframe / projection and point a tool (and/or a turret auto 'shoots') at it which then draws from inventory / containers and hopefully ties into a auto-build system (i.e. orders the assembly of the needed blocks from linked factories when needed). You then get the gameplay benefit of having to build / maintain / defend the factory structures (including time taken to build) without the fiddlyness.
     
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  10. Khazul

    Khazul Captain

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    The base projector system is only complex because they made the orientation of it non obvious and the origin point can be messaged up. Take away that problem and it is very easy to use, especially if combined with nanite build and repair system mod.

    The massive advantage you get in SE in that you can just stick a projector on an existing structure and project and build an extension to the existing structure - think a blueprint for a base in part to represent each upgrade stage, or even entirely extend a building etc.

    It is massively superior to what we have here in most ways (simpler to just build in spawn in this, but that is so restrictive). Another massive advantage with a projection is when you project a bunker base into the terrain - you can see to dig out the hold before you build. Even better you could build your bunker base in segments.

    Keen made it overly complex in SE because of their orientation and pivot system being too confusing for noobs when it didn't have to be.
     
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  11. Average

    Average Commander

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    You're right that extending an existing structure is a fairly big advantage. I think the main downside is that most Empyrion players wouldn't want to weld each block, especially for some of the massive builds, and the engine doesn't support pistons or rotors so 3d printing is unlikely to be an option.

    An Empyrion-style system might be to use joiner blocks to add modular sections to a structure. So you place the extension down as a nanoframe, the nanoframe attaches to your base in exactly the right place, and you use your multitool/turret to build it. Then when complete, either treat them as two separate structures that remain joined (potentially with separate owners, or select a user-level option to merge the two structures into one. Here's my modular building proposal that describes this, and which I think would compliment the nanoframe system very nicely:
    https://empyriononline.com/threads/modular-blueprint-building.92930/
     
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  12. Khazul

    Khazul Captain

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    Hence why I include the equivalent of the nanite build and repair system - manually welding each block is a pain in the ass, but the nanites build it all for you directly from your base or ship inventories. It is a really easy build system, MUCH less messing around than even the factory in this as you don't even have to move it all through your personal inventory.

    You can even set it up so that a bunch of nanite machines are scrapping a ship you have captured into your ship/base inventories while other are using the salvage materials to build something new. I would often build ships this way for eg from scrap of captured/trashed ships.

    We used to even have a way point in space directly above a scrap yard 40km below on the planet surface so that we could capture a wreck in space, drag it to the way point (using another ship), attach some parachutes (that automatically open at a set altitude to arrest the free fall), then push it down into the gravity well through the atmosphere to the scrap yard below where it would automatically get recycled (assuming it fell into the range of the nanite recycling machines).

    As for joining stuff (different structures), SE has a 'merge block' which joins structure together into a single structure (this can make two ships act as a single ship as well, sharing thrusters, gyros etc). There are also connectors that temporality join ships wit bases for eg - ie docking, so they can access each others devices and inventories.
     
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  13. Average

    Average Commander

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    I've had a look a the mod you're talking about now. I agree it looks great (even more if they could improve the particle effects). I think there's a couple of advantages to the nanoframe approach though.

    Firstly it would require much less implementation work, for example it wouldn't need a projector to be developed, nor the nanite building turret things, nor would the UI need to change much at all. This would also make it quite easy to switch on/off per server if that was desired. Secondly I think a nanoframe means someone can't fly into the build area after the build commences, and so is less open to griefing or to accidents from team mates. Thirdly, the nanoframe system is very distinct from other games in this genre.

    So I'd favour the (nanoframe+join blocks) method rather than the (nanites + merge block) method, although I have no criticisms of the nanite mod you mention - it looks like a cool system.
     
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  14. Khazul

    Khazul Captain

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    Yes - ignore the specifics, I just wanted you to see and understand the concept. Don't hung up by SEs other failings in how the projector works specifically in SE - its the core concept and the freedom and help it gives that matters for discussion.

    The projector is just an alternate transparent preview rendering. Not hard to do and not really any more so than the existing spawn preview.

    Having the projector is HUGELY useful for pre-digging out bases before you build them and it serves as a digging guide, for eg to drive your digging HVs along. The projector is what big underground prefab bases very easy and practical in space engineers. In this they are a nightmare of hours of hand digging without it.

    Also merge blocks are only required to join EXISTING structures - in EGS that could only really apply to ships (SE works differently as bases and ships are different modes of the same thing), so probably doesn't have a place. In order to extend a structure with a blueprint, you use a projector on the existing structure.
     
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