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    Devblog 18th June 2017

    Discussion in 'Game News' started by schema, Jun 18, 2017 at 11:59 PM.

    1. schema

      schema Cat God

      Joined:
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      Greetings, citizens ~


      We’ve added some exciting features this week, including a fill and line tool, and new rails. There’s also a new Advanced Build Mode GUI! Everything should be cleaner and much easier to access now. However, keep in mind that the layout and content is still a work in progress, and so may change significantly between builds. Over the next few days, we’ll tweak what each group contains and adjust how the tools work in order to streamline the experience.


      New dev build!
      This first dev build contains the core functionality of two new tools: the Fill Tool and the Line Tool. Both are available under the Shape Tools group.

      Fill Tool
      The fill tool allows you to incrementally fill (or replace) areas with your desired block. It’s quite simple to use: you can freely select your starting point with the camera (similar to ‘create docking’), and press the [Do Fill]* button with a block selected on your hotbar.


      * We are absolutely going to rename this later.


      The fill tool allows both space-filling and block-replacing, depending on what the starting point is. If it’s empty space, the tool will flood-fill; if it’s a block, only that block type will be replaced. Also: this is a step-based system, meaning undo and redo work, allowing you to easily fix any mistakes.


      For now, the filling process is done in a single step, and uses a fixed amount of blocks. We will change this over the next few builds to allow you to specify how many blocks to place at once, as well as allowing servers to impose their own limits to reduce server strain.


      We’ll be adding some optimizations to this in later builds.


      Screenshots below:
      Hollow torus made of crystal armor

      [​IMG]


      Filling the torus starting from the bottom

      [​IMG]


      Filling the shell of the torus with blue hull, replacing crystal armor along the way.

      [​IMG]


      Line Tool

      This is an addition to the build helpers. You set two points (using your camera position, as with the fill tool) and it will create a line between them.


      We’ll add more features in the future, such as splines and line thickness.


      As with the new GUI, this is also a work-in-progress, so we’ll be improving it and fixing any issues that arise.


      Load/Unload Rails

      We’ve added two new blocks to the game: the “Rail Load” block and the “Rail Unload” block. (We’re still working on their textures)


      You can place them anywhere, and they work identically to normal rails, but they have an added feature: item transfer. These blocks allow transferring items between connected storages on a station and a docked ship via the Load/Unload Rail. Example:


      You connect a storage to your rail docker on a ship, and dock it to a Load Rail on a station. The ship is then able to pull items from any storage on the station connected to that Load Rail.


      If you instead dock the ship to a Rail Unload block, the station may then pull items from the ship’s connected storage to any storages connected to that Rail Unload block.


      Again, both docker and rail need active connected storages. Also, the station will only pull items if it has permission to do so!



      The ship radial menu allows you to select between 5 different permissions for the load/unload rails:

      ~ Always allow

      ~ Always allow faction, ask for rest

      ~ Always ask

      ~ Allow current (the entity you’re docked to; this allows manually activating or deactivating)

      ~ Never




      Advanced Build Mode GUI

      The new GUI is much cleaner, and all of the controls are much more accessible. You may show/hide individual groups, and in later dev builds, these will be customizable in location, order and size. The game will remember these settings between instances.


      We’ve added new sliders, too, which allow dual input: you may enter values manually, or use your mousewheel while hovering over the controls. This also allows scrolling through the GUI without changing sliders’ values unintentionally.


      [​IMG]


      This is not the final version, of course, as we will continue to work on the design.


      Outline System and New LoD mesh

      This completely new system is able to produce highly-optimized meshes of any number of blocks. It will be used for several effects in the future, especially for outlining the systems of a ship (e.g. for building and/or scanning). The outline itself will also be used for selecting entities in subsequent builds for this release.


      This system is not able to replace the existing mesh and chunk system. Not only should any object realistically only be loaded into memory in chunks to begin with because of the sizes involved, but also in terms of graphics it’s not possible for the block meshes to retain all of the information needed. The new system simply doesn’t work with multiple textures in the same mesh. We’d have to use one mesh per block type, which would pretty much remove any advantage the system confers. Also, no lighting or material information can be stored in the limited amount of vertices of such meshes, and furthermore: making a mesh of a large object might be too much for the graphics card buffers to handle... so a chunk system would be needed anyway.


      However, it is absolutely perfect for far-away LoD views of a model since block types can be mapped to a low number of colors, thereby producing one mesh per color. This, when combined with a higher-granularity chunk system, should give a large FPS increase when viewing bigger objects in the distance.


      New Chunk Request System

      We’ve completely rewritten the chunk request system! The new approach streamlines the order of chunk requests over multiple entities. They’re now ordered in the background on a global level, meaning nearby chunks will have much shorter load times. This also benefits the lighting calculations, which should improve overall performance.



      Moving Forward

      Dev builds should come out a lot more frequently from this point on. Though as always, be careful and use a separate installation so you don’t risk anything bad happening to your data, as dev builds can occasionally contain game-breaking bugs.




      As always, thank you for playing StarMade!

      ~ The Schine Team
       
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    2. Jaaskinal

      Jaaskinal ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Joined:
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    3. Daeridanii

      Daeridanii Detail Devil

      Joined:
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      Looks fantastic! (Especially the line tool and new advanced build mode GUI.) :)
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. therimmer96

      therimmer96 Cake Build Server Staff Elwyn Returnity Staff

      Joined:
      Jun 21, 2013
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      3,468
      Remember when you said we wouldn't get paint and fill tools because you didn't want to make building too easy? You've said some daft stuff over the years <3
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    5. Sachys

      Sachys Hermit.

      Joined:
      Nov 30, 2015
      Messages:
      280
      the fill tool sounds like more people with titans on servers in less time.

      dont get me wrong, its a nice addition in some ways, however, I'm one of those that just see it as being another thing benefitting the ogres.
       
    6. schema

      schema Cat God

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      Still don't want to make building too easy. However, in the wake of having to refit ships and that being more tedious than it is building skill, I changed my mind on this feature.
       
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    7. Comr4de

      Joined:
      Apr 21, 2013
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      1,653
      Does this devbuildg include fleets retaining orders after logoff/restart?
       
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    8. Lancake

      Lancake Head of Testing

      Joined:
      Aug 20, 2013
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      Yes
       
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    9. schema

      schema Cat God

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      Ah yes it does. A full description of all new features will follow in the pre release news.
       
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    10. Sachys

      Sachys Hermit.

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      Nov 30, 2015
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      wouldnt it have been better to go with the shipyard refit idea i proposed a long time ago? (ie an advanced form of filtering done through shipyard computers).
      also, helps if you reply. my psychic powers are limited as to when my cat needs chicken and if the tax man is going to send a letter! ;)

      Edit: and to be clear, you just made it too easy. perhaps restrict it to shipyards (which need fixing since the last actual update btw), and only if the blocks are available (not as a design feature, but as a "build" / manufacture feature).
       
    11. madman Captain

      madman Captain Self-appointet Overlord of the Scaffold

      Joined:
      Jan 11, 2015
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      120
      Hmm... I already think that Starmade have the best building system (and now its even better).
      Btw. is it possible that this load/unload feature also be implemented for rail-turret-axis?
      You know, turret mining will be a nice feature.

      But cool stuff, really. Will be a plesaure to play with this new building stuff.
       
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    12. Crimson-Artist

      Crimson-Artist Wiki Administrator

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      excellent stuff! this should make refitting much easier! Also we finally got type-able ABM build areas!

      Yeah I suggest calling it the [Do it, Fill!] button
       
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    13. Ithirahad

      Ithirahad Arana'Aethi

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      So, a few points.
      1. After playing with the fill tool, the first thing I thought of was a gas filling a space, and then I thought: wait, can't this same tech be used to implement an oxygen system?
      2. Uhm, no mention of the new power system in this dev blog? IDK if I am being overly sensitive but it seems that after talking a lot about its current development state suddenly nothing's being said about it for the past three dev blogs. Is this just because the tech required for it is being worked on, or did something happen?
      3. It took me a sec to figure out how the new fill tool works because it doesn't work properly with the 'reverse place/break block button' option in the options menu. For anyone who's having issues using the new fill tool, try disabling that first. :P
       
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    14. Neon_42

      Joined:
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      Any news on Power and Planets?
       
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    15. MrGrey1

      Joined:
      Feb 10, 2017
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      49
      Where's the reset button for the brush size? Having to rezero the sliders all the time SUX! It would be a major improvement to efficiency if you just added a reset button. If you add a slider you should add a reset along with it....(also being able to choose and place a blueprint of a turret via the 'create docking' menu please.)
       
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    16. Ithirahad

      Ithirahad Arana'Aethi

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      Planets are coming with the universe update, which is planned for a while from now. Power... well, that's my question too.
       
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    17. Extholious

      Joined:
      Jun 21, 2013
      Messages:
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      quick question, with the fill tool would you be able to set the build helper to resrtict build area and then just fill the outline?
       
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    18. MacThule

      MacThule Rocket Man

      Joined:
      Jan 31, 2015
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      870
      Great update; thank you! The new build tools are exciting, as is the LOD. Going to have to play with the new rails a while to see what they can do...

      Very excited about fleets holding orders on logoff. Big change, that. It's giving me special feelings.

      Looking forward to more good stuff!
       
      #18 MacThule, Jun 19, 2017 at 2:45 AM
      Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 6:38 AM
      • Agree Agree x 2
    19. Crusade

      Crusade Made of Admintium

      Joined:
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      1,100
      Sudden excitement to be home! Great work!
       
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    20. jstenholt

      Joined:
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      It's been 2 and a half months since the last planet teaser and I'm going to lose my mind if we don't get a new snippet soon. Just so you guys are aware when I go AWOL from the Dock and nobody sees me for a few years.
       
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