Engineering for Roleplay - Brainstorming

    Jun 11, 2016
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    Hello my fellow Starmadians, I patched together some roleplay building ideas. - They are suggestions I don't use all of them myself.

    The very point of this thread is to share with you, about how I think building can happen. I try to impose some rules onto myself, to have a better gameplay experience while building and later on when it gets destroyed used in pvp or generally in playing.

    This is a guideline on how I think I could build my ships - I am myself not follwing all of the mentioned rules and ideas. (The best example are the chapter's System Groups, and Outer/Inner Hull - I am not doing that at all in 90% of the cases.) But it should give you an idea on what's already possible with the current game's mechanics.

    I often encounter alot of new player that struggle to build a coherent ship in Starmade. Following the later mentioned guidelining point, I never had any issues making my ship feel like it's a real ship. Which translates ingame to a ship that has purpose and functionality, extended via the game's logic systems, and not only a bunch of rooms connected via hallways. For example if I go into the core room I can walk around the reactor and see wether or not it has damage.


    • contain booth system groups and interour

    • can be labelled with display modules, but should be identifyable and distinguishable only by furnishings

    System Groups

    • need an sourrounding hull layer and a 1 wide gap between each group, including layer

    • rooms need to be accessible from a walkway network, but can be behind other rooms. For example the shield tank room can be behind the shield generator room

    • goal: each group can be observed in astronaut mode for their damage


    • depending on the ships size more than one entrance neccessary!

    • Wether or not a ship is suitable for gravity deployment (landing platforms can be only about magnetic pull instead of using actual gravity to keep astronauts and ships on its surface), it should have lifts, ramps or stairs that lead to the ground

    Outer Hull/Inner Hull

    • As we put every system inside containers, we also cant have any systems directly touching the hull, for exeption outside mounted guns or thrusters

    • From an interiour perspective we will not hide the hull with straight walls, we will smooth it out from the inside as well, and have it accessible as parts of the interiour


    • Inside the walls or even better: below walkways - because logic pipes are ugly
    • Server Nodes wire the logical currents
    • Differentiate between logic for the ship's owner, and logic that visitors use. And even for ship owner's logic make it so, that a new captain easily can controll all functionality. Allways hide as much logic as possible behind a wall and only show the most neccessary buttons that actually control something. Also have a public permission module visible to each button so visitors see that they can use it! Buttons to control doors, hangar functions or cool stuff like a moving medical chamber glass sealing case should be only one button, and all the other logic that a visitor doesnt need should not be visible. You press a button, you see what happens while you look into the same direction (best practise to force the button presser into a position where his perspective already looks into the direction of what's going to move).
    • Central Server room for all logical operations

    • bridge only controls the logic, and gets status signals – all of the logic's status signal's and readings should be readable and controllable from server rooms

    • Server room and bridge have public control modules behind each input button, except for very important buttons (for example: self destruct or release all docked ships – lock all doors button is not important because you can simply control and open all doors+logic by hand as ship owner) they can be faction modulised

    • don't use wireless controllers within one entity, only for connecting to other entities
    Docked turrets/entities

    • most important functions for turrets: remotely turn them on or off
    • Their functions can be operated directly below the docking place

    • wireless controllers for other entities are directly below the docked entity

    • Besides turrets you could have: expandalbe airlock pipes, moving hangar doors, cranes, publicly accessible docked storage containers that can be claimed by visitors with faction modules


    • there are (secondary) maintenance and main (primary) walkways

    • Minimums: primary: 3 wide, 3 high; second: 1 wide, 2 high

    • main walkways connect to each main room, but maintenance walkways can be put in everywhere, even below main walkways to access wiring below

    • main walkways and maintenance walkways need to have airlocks and gates between sections

    • each door should be have an motion detector opening or be open in regular ship operation mode, but have a remote controll option button from the bridge ("close all doors" button)

    Boarding possibilities

    • as we roleplay we can have ways to make a ship boardable

    • it's the creators decission to make a ship boardable or not (if you don't want to you easily can switch out all the doors with rail based doors, or use faction protected teleporters to move inside your ship).

    • if you decide to make it boardable, every room should be accessible via public interfaces, even teleporters, and you can defend your main walk ways with inside anti person turrets that require around 10 seconds to kill an astronaut if you hit him while he is standing still

    • the fun doesn't really come from the actual pvp inside the ship, but to plan how to engineer this gameplay possibility into your own ship

    • keep in mind that using torches onto doors is only interesting the first 20 seconds, so have most of your doors with public buttons or motion detector doors. Or have the public buttons hidden behind some console or make some riddle – just make it transparent to your pvp opponents and tell them they can access each room before you start playing the pvp scenario

    • yes this is an boarding scenario you would invent yourself, you can in this case just make some docking modules where a boarding cabin could dock onto – after the enemy lowered your shields for example, and the shields dont regenerate because you have a very low shield regen module count

    Gravity Chambers

    • depending on the ship's usage it's required to have gravity chambers: Carriers, Science vessels, Long Exploration vessels all need gravity to accomodate the human's need of gravity; Fighters and Ships that are only for short terms usage, for example starting from a station to defend it, don't need gravity

    Crew and Roleplay Rooms

    • Wether or not a ship has one of the following: private cabin with bed, sleeping bunks, toilets, kitchen, mess hall, group recreation room, office, private recreation room, medical bay or chambers, armoury – this all depends on wether or not the ship is a short term fighting vessel, a sole patrol and duty vessel or a trading or mining vessel (they also have long trips)

    • most of the mentioned rooms can be spared out in combat oriented vessels if they are not meant to be for long term opertions deployment

    • minimum example for a short term combat vessel: pilot chairs and that's it. - most of the huma needs can be satisfied with an astronauts suit and sleeping happens in the chair as well

    • example for a patrol vessel that's deployed for longer that 24 hours, but less than one week: pilot cabin, bunk beds, mess hall, medical chamber, armoury/locker room, airlock to outside, entrance/hangar room behind the airlock

    • example for a vessel that is traveling longer than one week: one cabin for each crew member, recreation room, kitchen with mess hall connected, medical room, armoury, toilets in each cabin and toilet on each floor, bridge
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    Jun 11, 2016
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    Part 2

    Advanced Design and Layout Patterns for Multiplayer

    To start off, we look at how an example pvp faction would set up factories and storage commonly: Two or three fabricators of each type, and one big cargo connecting each of them. Newcommers don't get stations or factories access, and have to mine for ships until they prove their trustworthyness.

    This is fairly easy to set up, you need around 20 minutes to wire together the factories and storages.

    But we are roleplayers, we try to invent additional gameplay with making stuff up that isnt really neccessary. ;) So let me show you what's possible as well for multiplayer factions:

    The docked city
    - build streets, and each street sides to building squares. common size: 25x25 squares, and 4 squares are sourrounded by a street.
    - each square is a platform, and it's docked to the actual station. faction members or foreign visitors can claim those platforms and build whatever they desire onto it
    - now we - if we like so - can impose some building guidelines: has to be a house, has to have all room accessible with public permission door buttons, maximum height 50m, minimum height 30m, has to have entrance area with guiding signs, has to work as sort of embassy for the foreign faction with the following info: ally since when? coords of the foreign factions homebase? member count? factions intentions are trading or pvp or roleplay or industrialist or building or what else?

    The docked visitors apartments
    - sometimes people start out on a server, or people in your faction don't want to build a whole big house
    - in your station you have some sort of motel area set up, wether its a house or a section of your station doesnt matter
    - inside this area you have one or more rooms that are a docked ship inside the station, but if you would delete this ship, the outside of the rooms and the house would not be different (you build walls for the rooms, and for the outer hull seperate from each other)
    - the visitor can furnish his rooms and walls as he preffers
    - the doors are either locked by key combination, or, the easy way: you dock a small entity that has a button, this entity gets factionised by your appartment use, and is remotely connected to the door
    - bonus points if each appartment has its own factory and storage setup accessible from only within the room

    The docked personal hangar
    - its fairly the same as the apartments, but its accessible for ships
    - attention: I highly recommend to have a rail directly on your station with a public permission module, this way its ensured that the docked ship is save. Starmade sometimes doesnt protect multiple docking chains correctly, and they can be attacked or undocked by intruders.
    - bonus points if you have multiple hangars, and the entrance doors for the ships are not leaving to the outside, but to an inside tube that then leads outside over another bigger door.
    - the hangars should have cool doors that slide open with blinking lights

    Docked Storage containers
    - most of the time faction members dont need their own place to life, because alot of players prefer to simply build ships in Starmade, and dont care at all about stuff that can be built onto a station
    - The docked storage can be factionised by the member, and allows him to have place to store his own goods
    - bonus points if it gets connected to factories with compliacted wiring (next to impossible)

    Public Docking Harbour
    - big sign (at least 10x5) indicates for vistors where they can dock their ships
    - multiple orientations for the rails are needed because scubmade never worked that part out, and now each. player. uses. another. orientation. for. how. they. place. their. rail. dock.
    - i prefer to use the USD - standard, example:
    (dont use the fancy logic, usd solely defines itself by how the rails are positioned: dock and rail point towards each other, and a positioned below the walkway, ensuring every docked ship has the same orientation when it docks)
    - has introduction signs for visitors explaining how your station is set up, that they can access each room as all buttons are public permission (you will not be online all the time)
    - can have a public storage, that automatically gets drained, people can drop in gifts
    - can have a writting board where people can leave messages

    Public First Aid Room
    - undeathinator, medical cabinets, some few first aid items (ship core, jump chambers, thrusters)

    Making everything labbeled propperly and have an easy floor layout
    - imagine visitting the station for the first time
    - if you have no clue at all about the stations floor layout, can you easily find signs that indicate on where to go, how visitors can find first aid and the public harbour, what this station is about and maybe on how to apply for your faction

    Display Showcase Hangar or Platform
    - ships that are on sale, or ships that you like from other factions can be displayed here
    - have a sign that explains that people can buy this ship for ingame money, and get it ready to use

    First Aid Newcommer Ships
    - if you have new faction members, they shouldnt use your only and biggest miner, they should get a fairly affordable vessel thats easy to use
    - if you have new players approaching your station, why not have a good starter ship that you can gift them? offer them to pay you back later if you dont wanna give away stuff for free
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