I don't get Starmade anymore.

    Will I be able to improve, or should I quit? Only two answers to this one, no grey area?

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    • Sure, and I know how, but you should still hate yourself FOREVER and get a new account

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    Have a table of contents instead of a TL;DR as I want people to fully read through my post before giving it any feedback to clarify any misunderstanding and prevent flaming:

    1) Understanding my motivation
    2) Explaining my problem
    3) Explaining my problem with others' help, or from my perspective, a lack thereof
    4) Analogy to why I can't solve this and won't be able to at this rate
    5) With the above in mind, this section won't be a flounce
    6) Call to Action, or in other words, plz help

    It should be an enriching experience, and if it isn't, like food that you don't like when you're full, leave it alone. This text is in red and bold so that I can't be, by the content of this post, entitled, attention-whoring, or flouncing as people will read this far easier than if it was formatted identically. Thanks in advance all the longsuffering individuals who took their time to read and understand this.


    1) Understanding my motivation

    This game sounded great. From my experience, it is enigmatic, deep, and wide, rich in ways to get resources and things to fight, with the goal to conquer the galaxy with no less than your creations.

    The issue with my experience with the gameplay loop is the last part.

    2) Explaining my problem

    I have always been struggling with voxel building games. They are, from my limited experience and pool of knowledge, impossible to even build a structure vaguely like a reference image, as regardless of whether your mapping the structure out by placing scaffolding or vertices, they're impossible to build properly around. Anything you build looks terribly deflated, with a plain surface that as a result of the scaffolding shape and size cannot be ribbed or decorated without making it look even less structured. The best ships I've built were simply shaped like composites of simple geometric primitives, and anything I've tried, small or big, usually results in an unworkable mess on one or all sides. To prove my, as anyone besides always says about what I say in times like this, extraordinary, unrealistic, catastrophic sounding claim, as all of mine always are, A station I built ages ago, with a ship I gave up on: upload_2019-10-12_16-8-11.png
    Look at that: extremely small size, dinky turrets that couldn't hurt a player, minimal shields, open reactors, a shipyard that can't fit anything above a single salvage drone...
    Want more? Two ships I submitted to the dock to at least have in my poor-tfolio.
    Why did I submit these? I at least wanted to prove I had any amount of experience building in the game.
    Why do I hate them? Both of them are actual cylinders, they have poor systems and chamber selections, they were made fun of time and time again when I showed them as they were and asked for help to make a better one, and the community is tight-knit enough where they probably know who they are, but I forgive them and I can 100% see why they thought it was abhorrent. A couple of people honestly thought they would be great fixer-uppers but they still are thought of by most of the enlightened masses and master shipwrights, or everyone who actually plays this game but me, as a personal embarrassment, a weak scrap of metal and put down.

    https://starmadedock.net/content/sword-of-orion-warship.7558/ And its direct precursor https://starmadedock.net/content/big-dipper-cruiser.7554/

    3) Explaining my problem with others' help, or from my perspective, a lack thereof

    I have asked in the Discord for help, and what it ends up becoming every time is either a brief apprenticeship that starts as soon as it ends, out of frustration with me, confusion of mine, or otherwise, or being told I need to practice more when this is all I know how to do. It is also all I will ever know if I'm told to practice, as all practicing ever helped me with is improving the speed and accuracy of what I already know.

    4) Analogy to why I can't solve this and won't be able to at this rate

    To elaborate, with a (in the developed world only) universal experience: Could you be asked, on an assignment at school in a math class, to long divide polynomials over and over (something difficult to compare building to) and improve without being taught? With no outside resources to help you beyond the pencil and paper at your desk (analogous in this case to basic tutorials on controls, the in-game shape and line tools, etc), would you ever improve? What if you were being shown the answer key and it showed the correct answer but no work, or the work was written in the wrong order, or you didn't know what it meant?

    5) With the above in mind, this section won't be a flounce


    So on a world I made right after thinking I already had completely given up, disillusioned with my confidence in building, which I aptly named "vestiges", I decided to make a replica of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Of course, like most of what I made in this game, it became nearly unworkable, and was very confusing to work around.


    upload_2019-10-12_16-34-15.png

    With this in mind, here is the reference image I used.



    I'm guessing someone's already made one before and it's already flooded through the community hundreds of times over, so don't be bothered if I stole someone else's idea. Because that's just how places like this have always worked, and this game made for people who aren't me, who aren't so much guarding secret knowledge on how to build away from me as some conspiracy as they are just inherently better than me, as people, at this game, or otherwise. I don't know how to enjoy this game anymore without being negative and stressed and leaving far worse than I came in.

    6) Call to Action, or in other words, plz help

    With all of this, which is likely going to be called a wall of unimportant text, removed by a moderator who thinks it's just going to cause issues (and honestly I fully forgive, far more than I ever would myself, anyone who may sound like my stumbling block in this, because I was my own stumbling block in all this, because of my inhumanly terrible personal permanent flaw that makes me a freak, not knowing immediately when I started playing how to build a flagship the size of a planet, let alone how to get to that point) said, if literally anyone can so much as validate my feelings, share in the experience, and hopefully describe how to get out of it, I would be ever in debt.

    An open letter brought to you by Xpertice.
     
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    Yeah, truly a wall of text xD Maybe a bit of spoilers?

    Actually, from what I see, your builds are pretty OK for first builds. As for learning... Nobody will teach you how-tos. People can explain you game mechanics, logic circuits, weapon balance - technical things. But trying to explain how to build a ship... Nobody can do that; it is like explaining how to paint Mona Liza like Da Vinci. Creating a hull shape, decorating it, building interior - that's not science (we're not in real life here), that's a form of art. No way you can learn how to create art - you can learn only how to replicate it. And to do so you need to build your sample base, to explore the collection of already existing builds, to memorize what was made well and what could be done better. And to use your experience in your own creations. Practice your skills, but not simply replicate them over and over again - try to go for new technques, try to improve, not copy. And then you add your imagination to the equation. You start to invent new ways of doing something if no one tried to do that. You start improving hull shape when you're not satisfied with it. Going more complex, with more intricate detailing, tiny things making your build feel alive. You start not simply replicating but creating. That's what this game is about. Trying and succeeding, improving and creating, building and enjoying your builds. Not just kicking some sorry ass with your death cube xD

    I remember my first builds - they are pitiful at best. But I believe I'll improve and so should you. Everybody can improve - he just needs to believe in that.

    BTW nice station on the first screenshot. Could use some polishing but has a good potential.
     
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    Yeah, truly a wall of text xD Maybe a bit of spoilers?
    I'll put spoilers per chapter but honestly since I'm recommending that people read the whole thing... If they're not looking solely for the replies it's not going to be too helpful.

    Actually, from what I see, your builds are pretty OK for first builds.
    Reassuring I guess...

    As for learning... Nobody will teach you how-tos. People can explain you game mechanics, logic circuits, weapon balance - technical things. But trying to explain how to build a ship... Nobody can do that; it is like explaining how to paint Mona Liza like Da Vinci.
    I'm not saying this would fully debunk this, but I'm sure there's at least some amount of techniques I could use (I mentioned some and why I've had trouble with them), and if anyone told me before I started doing art that using a low opacity multiply/addition brush again and again (to put it mathematically, as I understood it, a vector integral over a surface (the shaded area) of the colors multiplied or added, with the coefficient being the opacity, my art wouldn't have started out flat. It would never have been flat, it would have been shaded as I'd understand why it works and how to display it and where. I already have known since the first time my eyes worked that physical appearance and lighting are anisotropic, the full extent of color theory soon after, and combining the two into shading, as per this image:



    Creating a hull shape, decorating it, building interior - that's not science (we're not in real life here), that's a form of art. No way you can learn how to create art - you can learn only how to replicate it. And to do so you need to build your sample base, to explore the collection of already existing builds, to memorize what was made well and what could be done better. And to use your experience in your own creations.
    Let's go further back down my artistic history. I stagnate until I know how to do something right. I made at least seventeen works of art which flopped because I didn't know how to do fills, when I learned that it improved to being boring and flat:
    I tried out animation soon after this. Both of these were done by me happily with a new graphics tablet with which I was still, at this point, inept until I started using a pen to do traditional art twice. (I realized pen was a poor art medium and threw it away but now knew the texture which was better to use on a computer.
    Practice your skills, but not simply replicate them over and over again - try to go for new technques, try to improve, not copy.
    I'm honestly not sure what you mean. Isn't a skill something you do linearly, like a flow chart, and implement strategically?
    Even art for me is a simple break down of shapes of what I remember what I want, or in my most recent ones, replicating based on mentally gridded boundary detections, drawing in that exact shape, filling it in with the colors I desire, shading it on whichever edge I prefer. It's extremely calculated for me and I enjoy it because it's a single exact thing to focus on doing, something I can care about because of the amount of heavy processing and metacognition involved. I've tried doing this in Starmade but again, the result or part of it becomes unworkable or chunky regardless of how much I slab or wedge it.

    And then you add your imagination to the equation. You start to invent new ways of doing something if no one tried to do that. You start improving hull shape when you're not satisfied with it. Going more complex, with more intricate detailing, tiny things making your build feel alive.
    This is a step that at first, sounds like I'm already familiar with, except that I already know to improve hull shape but have no idea how to feasibly adjust it within the constraints of voxel shapes.
    Gigantic monolithic metalloid creature species ship that shoots Silver Surfers and the Silver Surfers have backpacks with 5 Chuck Norrises upload_2019-10-12_18-24-31.png upload_2019-10-12_18-25-7.png upload_2019-10-12_18-24-31.png upload_2019-10-12_18-25-7.png

    You start not simply replicating but creating. That's what this game is about. Trying and succeeding, improving and creating, building and enjoying your builds. Not just kicking some ass with your death cube xD
    Glad I could explain it much more. Might link this in the OP.

    BTW nice station on the first screenshot. Could use some polishing but had a good potential.
    It's a box with windows, I guess I'll make triangles with windows next?
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    1) Understanding my motivation
    2) Explaining my problem
    3) Explaining my problem with others' help, or from my perspective, a lack thereof
    4) Analogy to why I can't solve this and won't be able to at this rate
    5) With the above in mind, this section won't be a flounce
    6) Call to Action, or in other words, plz help
    1) Your motivation: You started playing the game and want to get better. This is understandable and admirable. Anyone who would flame you for this isn't worth listening to.

    2) Your problem: Lack of understanding of ship systems and aesthetics. In other words; you are neither an engineer, nor an artist. ...YET.

    3, 4, and 5) Not really that important now if you really understand your problem and objective.

    6) Help: There's no way anyone can cram 3-6 years' worth of building knowledge into one responding post to make you a better builder. But with time, you will eventually get better. There is a LOT to know about this game and it's going to take a while to learn it all.

    With that having been said; we all have to start somewhere...
    ...before we can GET anywhere...
    ASC Challanger.jpg
    At your current stage, a big favor you can do for yourself is learn how to build small. This will allow you to practice things like reactor efficiency and fitting things like shields, chambers, thrusters and weapons at a small scale. It will also allow you to learn some of the weird quirks in this game before you get into something big and complex. During your small builds, practice the following.

    - Learn to maximize your power output through placement of your stabilizers and (if needed) via reactor "alignment" in advanced build mode.
    - Avoid multi-barreled weapons and turrets; as they consume a lot more energy than if they were single weapons.
    - Learn the weapon combos; learn which are most accurate, best against shields and best against armor.
    - Clump shield capacitors together into groups. Otherwise, they will start to overload and explode (low integrity) when your ship is shot.
    - It's easier to build around systems than it is to fit systems into a hull. Over time, you'll learn to do both.
    - Read the Wiki and watch youtube videos made by StarMade builders. Yes; they're outdated, but some of that stuff is still relevant.


    Other than lack of experience with the software, is there anything specific that you feel is holding you back with regard to your builds?
     
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    and if anyone told me before I started doing art that using a low opacity multiply/addition brush again and again (to put it mathematically, as I understood it, a vector integral over a surface (the shaded area) of the colors multiplied or added, with the coefficient being the opacity, my art wouldn't have started out flat. It would never have been flat, it would have been shaded as I'd understand why it works and how to display it and where.
    People already said to you about ships. But I also want to comment on this part - you will regret it. The part where you started to use opacity and multiplication from the start. There is a reason why people suggest to use only hard round opaque brush for beginners. It teaches you how to see and deal with colours and values.

    Also with your mathematical approach - have you tried for going function over form? As in first design the ship for the purpose and lay down the systems, rooms and corridors that lead to them. Then wrap it up in a shell. Think about what you need for the ship to function, where it would be better to place it, how does the crew access it and build accordingly. Pretty soon you'll find that you need to do compromises here and will need to try and think of better configurations.
     
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    Answering how to build is very difficult. What might work for one person might not work for another. Building composition and use of colors is something you can just google information on. It is not something unique to voxel building games but to all forms of visual expression.

    However, there are some building techniques/concepts that might help you here.

    - Building pixelated.

    This is most known form Minecraft. You can build complex 3d using only blocks. The bigger you build the smoother it will look. Basically, using the blocks as pixels like in any paint program


    - Building smooth.

    Using the available blocks natural shape to build more complex shapes. Possible in StarMade because wedges are a thing.

    You can use either of these build styles or even a mix of both. You see this often when slab blocks are used to create more shallow slopes in the game.


    As for building in the game itself here are a few steps I usually take. I’m not going to talk systems because they are in flux now, and its unsure yet what they will end up like.


    Step 1. Shape

    The overall shape of your ship can be complex or very simple. From the examples you have show you used both. A very simple cylindrical shape for some of the ships you released or the very complex shape of the Nautilus. Remember that rounded shapes will almost always push you to a more pixelated build style. That might not be a good fit for you if you run into problems all the time.

    In my example I’ll use a simple box



    Step 2. Subdivide

    Subdivision of shapes is in my opinion one of the primary tools to use in ship building. In the example below I did so with 2 methods. I added an additional armor layer on top of the box (changing the dimensions) and gave it a different color. You will immediately see 2 distinct parts of our ship now. The main grey box and the blue armor in the middle. Already a lot more visually interesting.



    Step 3. Sections

    This is basically subdividing as well. You decide to section of parts of the ship for a particular purpose. Engines, turrets, living quarters. You can visually represent that by dividing your overall shape into different sections. In the example below I removed some of the blue armor plating to section of 2 smaller parts.



    Step 4. Details

    Now that we have our overall shape and armor plates of our ship, we can add some details to make the shape a bit more visually interesting. The two methods I used below are different use of materials and color and adding additional geometry to break up large flat spaces. In this phase it might be important to think about what these details represent. Do you add a vent at a spot because the engine needs to get rid of heat waste? Or do you add an antenna to the front of you ship for communication?



    Step 5. Highlights

    Adding visual highlights to your build might make that extra bit special. These highlights will immediately draw a player’s attention so be careful when using them and don’t overdo it. This could make a build look messy if there is to much for the player to focus on.

    Using lights and high contrast colors is one of the ways of drawing the attention of a player to a certain area of the ship.



    Step 6. Bringing it home

    This last step is using all the above mention steps to complete your build. In addition, using positive and negative space when adding elements can drastically change how your build is perceived.

    The example below shows a bridge element added at the frond. This drastically changes how the box is perceived. It might look a bit like a ship now.

     
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    I have always been struggling with voxel building games. They are, from my limited experience and pool of knowledge, impossible to even build a structure vaguely like a reference image, as regardless of whether your mapping the structure out by placing scaffolding or vertices, they're impossible to build properly around. Anything you build looks terribly deflated, with a plain surface that as a result of the scaffolding shape and size cannot be ribbed or decorated without making it look even less structured. The best ships I've built were simply shaped like composites of simple geometric primitives, and anything I've tried, small or big, usually results in an unworkable mess
    Okay budy thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I will just quote your stuff, and write what I think about your first few thoughts. I can't dive into your whole long text, because...I think just talking about your starting chapter will help you the most.


    I have always been struggling with voxel building games.

    How old are you? When I started building in Minecraft I was 21 years old, and only after playing 4 years with breaks in between, I got significantly better in building. The first thing that improved was the interiour part. Exteriours of my Minecraft houses (and also later on ships in Starmade in the first few months) were kinda boring - not for me but from an objective aesthetic point of view. I think the older a person gets, the easier it is to him to build anything, as he has more architectural feelings and pictures in his head, from all the buildings he analised in the real world. When I got 23 people really admired my builds in minecraft...who were around 18 years old. Just saying I was there before, other player where there before, and its a part of any players experience. No one just starts up a voxel game and is great in it right from the start or even after the first year (with a few exceptions).

    My suggestion: Try to copy some parts of ships or stations that you like in Youtube or other Screenshots, and put for exampe this cool thrusters onto your ship. Or that cool cockpit. More parts: Airlocks, turrets, landing gear, hangar doors, armour plates.

    (it is) impossible to even build a structure vaguely like a reference image, as regardless of whether your mapping the structure out by placing scaffolding or vertices, they're impossible to build properly around.Anything you build looks terribly deflated, with a plain surface that as a result of the scaffolding shape and size cannot be ribbed or decorated without making it look even less structured.


    To build a structure from a reference picture is a cool way get inspired. But it is not as easy as you think. A complete reference picture copy consists minimum of two parts:
    1. The overall shape and proportions, copied into an outline: your reference picture shows a fighter that is 15m long, you decide to build it into Starmade with a 1:1 scale > becomming 15m long in Starmade
    2. The analising for what details of the reference picture you want to incorporate into your Starmade build, and to adjust your overall builds size to that smallest important part: you really want that cool cockpit and that cool gun shap of the reference picture on your Starmade fighter, and after a short glance you see that the gun that is roughly 1m long in the picture actually needs at least 3 blocks length in Starmade to be built in a recognisable detail > you decide to lift your Starmade builds size from 15m to 45m total lenght and to use a 1:3 scale instead of a 1:1 scale - don't try to incorporate every detail, you have to cut down and you should not use a detail that bloats up the scale from 1:3 to 1:10 just so you have that space toilet that actually doesnt prove to be a so important addtion in relation to how much more time it consumes to build it.
    -> Most important is that you first build the outline structure so you know where is the end of each wing and the start of the nose and where some windows, airlocks and guns are etc. - but only do it after deciding what scale you use, when you analised part two about what size is minimum required to build some details.


    unworkable mess
    To have usable and function fullfilling builds is right now not possible in Starmade. You can build for roleplay. But not for the gameplay Starmade has: Neither mining, trading or pvp makes sense in Starmade with the current config. This is possible in other games like Empyrion or Minecraft. In Starmade you can only build for inefficiency but cool atmosphere and cool logic or rail function. Action features like a cool opening hangar door or a cool ship moving crane. It's like actual space legos.

    My suggestion: Put in only the least neccessary amount of system blocks, to have your ship doing the job its supposed to do (mining, shooting). Starmade will rework systems again and again and having the expectation that your ship or station will behave well in combat or mining will only lessen your fun building it. You will have the most fun building it, if you still build for efficiency, but only give around 40% of the total volume of your interiour of your ship to the alocation of that systems. The rest can be roleplay interiour. Protip: Put alot of system blocks into shells, for example put power blocks into a reactor object, and put shield blocks into a shield generator object.

    I have asked in the Discord for help, and what it ends up becoming every time is either a brief apprenticeship that starts as soon as it ends, out of frustration with me, confusion of mine, or otherwise, or being told I need to practice more when this is all I know how to do. It is also all I will ever know if I'm told to practice, as all practicing ever helped me with is improving the speed and accuracy of what I already know.
    Oh this is a problem of how you deal with recommendations, and how you try to ask for help. You try to solve all your problems at once. Only try to ask for help for a very specific problem, that actually is provided with an precise example! Your post above is for me only a "lets share feelings" thing. To help you it requires that you first decide where you want to start, and that you then are ready to TRY OUT THE SUGGESTIONS YOU RECEIVE. Heck do you think we like to type our fingers bleeding, just so you dont even try at least one out of five suggestions we give? I am pretty sure for every suggestion you get you say "i cant do it because of xyz" - You have to first change how you react to suggestions. If you say "yeah that is a nice idea I will think about it" then people who try to help get a good feeling and are likely to help you further. But if you say "I think this one suggestion doesnt work for me because of xyz" right away without even trying anythin that you get recommended people will think you are straightup unable to digest any criticism, and people will know that you dont need help as you ignore it anyway. A person proves itself about its actions, not about the talks he gives. If you get 100 suggestions and dont talk about how you tried out some of them, we see that you are not acting. You only talking. But we only justify a person on actions usually. What they say before or after matters less if you did something. :)
     
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    I'm honestly very grateful for the help, and I guess this will get me back into the game, especially with the "systems first" deal. That's actually amazing, and I was just confused because everyone else I saw did systems last, also the subdividing/decorating a box was genius. If and only if anyone has other stuff I could use, I'd be glad. I'm very grateful for what I got though, thanks to everyone who motivated me. But on the last paragraph up to this point, I wasn't refusing help, I was accepting it until it ended up not involving me. Every person up to this point who gave me direct help with this game eventually kept to themselves. Don't worry about any of this though, I'm moving on. I'm sure others have more information to share, so go right ahead @whoever.

    EDIT: I guess you could say "I get starmade now?"
     
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    Well, hello, actually.

    The problem you are facing with the voxel games comes out of a simple rule - the ship shall be of a size, that allows the game's smallest element (block) imitate the ship's smallest element. So if earlier Starmade smallest block was 1 meter*1 meter*1 meter. This means you couldn't have any detail SMALLER then 1m*1m*1m. Quite a huge part, huh? And if you wanted to have an, e.g. circle structure, it had to be 100+ meters in diameter to look actually like a circle, and not a bunch of blocks.

    Some time ago Schema added smaller elements to Starmade (e.g. half blocks, ligh sticks etc), that allows players nowadays to build stuff lesser then 1*1*1 meter (like antennas, etc). But you can't shape a ship completely out of light sticks, huh? So in the matter of hulls and general forms you are still facing the same problem - when you are trying to build something curvy, and use smaller sizes, in the end you get a refrigerator with a gun mounted on top of it (like the example Tshara gave you above).

    So, if you want to get out of the dead end, BUILD BIG. 1+km size ships - this is where you start to have curves and difficult forms, biological ones, curvy or whatever (just like the u-boat you are building now - you can see it has cube shapes all over it, it is because the size overall is too small for such a level of details).

    OR you have to deal with the level of imagination abstraction, e.g. looking at a cube on top of your ship you can IMAGINE that it is a small 1 meter sphere.

    anyway. thanks for playing Starmade.
     
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    So in the matter of hulls and general forms you are still facing the same problem - when you are trying to build something curvy, and use smaller sizes, in the end you get a refrigerator with a gun mounted on top of it (like the example Tshara gave you above).
    That made me laugh. It kind of is a refrigerator isn’t it :D
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    Well, hello, actually.

    The problem you are facing with the voxel games comes out of a simple rule - the ship shall be of a size, that allows the game's smallest element (block) imitate the ship's smallest element. So if earlier Starmade smallest block was 1 meter*1 meter*1 meter. This means you couldn't have any detail SMALLER then 1m*1m*1m. Quite a huge part, huh? And if you wanted to have an, e.g. circle structure, it had to be 100+ meters in diameter to look actually like a circle, and not a bunch of blocks.

    Some time ago Schema added smaller elements to Starmade (e.g. half blocks, ligh sticks etc), that allows players nowadays to build stuff lesser then 1*1*1 meter (like antennas, etc). But you can't shape a ship completely out of light sticks, huh? So in the matter of hulls and general forms you are still facing the same problem - when you are trying to build something curvy, and use smaller sizes, in the end you get a refrigerator with a gun mounted on top of it (like the example Tshara gave you above).

    So, if you want to get out of the dead end, BUILD BIG. 1+km size ships - this is where you start to have curves and difficult forms, biological ones, curvy or whatever (just like the u-boat you are building now - you can see it has cube shapes all over it, it is because the size overall is too small for such a level of details).

    OR you have to deal with the level of imagination abstraction, e.g. looking at a cube on top of your ship you can IMAGINE that it is a small 1 meter sphere.

    anyway. thanks for playing Starmade.
    There's more to aesthetic building than just trying to make "all these squares make a circle".

    DBZA references aside; there is a LOT that can be done with regard to a ship's appearance in the sub-100m size range and even the sub-50m range. I'm kind of a living proof of that. Though not practical for most PVP builds, the real tests of creativity begin when you go below 15 meters in all dimensions. ;)
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Well. Actually. You aren't.
    View attachment 54926
    Actually, I am.

    Defenders.jpg Industrial B2.jpg New fighter X2.jpg Classic BSG.png Armored Vehicle 01.jpg cereberus02.jpg 9m Armor.jpg My new toy5.jpg

    And as klawxx demonstrates, I'm not the only one.

    There's more to appearance than trying to emulate a curve or slope. If it somehow, psychologically "injures" you that StarMade does not allow for the "resolution" needed for perfect curves/slopes, then that's your limitation alone; since there is no shortage of players who have been making sick builds well below capital ship scale for years.
     
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    Actually, I am.

    View attachment 54928View attachment 54929 View attachment 54930 View attachment 54933View attachment 54931View attachment 54927 View attachment 54934View attachment 54932

    And as klawxx demonstrates, I'm not the only one.

    There's more to appearance than trying to emulate a curve or slope. If it somehow, psychologically "injures" you that StarMade does not allow for the "resolution" needed for perfect curves/slopes, then that's your limitation alone; since there is no shortage of players who have been making sick builds well below capital ship scale for years.
    OR you have to deal with the level of imagination abstraction, e.g. looking at a cube on top of your ship you can IMAGINE that it is a small 1 meter sphere.

    You totally missed this one.

    And yes, all those builds look like 5yo lego sets.
     

    Dr. Whammy

    Executive Constructologist of the United Star Axis
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    OR you have to deal with the level of imagination abstraction, e.g. looking at a cube on top of your ship you can IMAGINE that it is a small 1 meter sphere.

    You totally missed this one.

    And yes, all those builds look like 5yo lego sets.
    Considering how many people don't jump straight into titan building, (especially in their early learning stages) and considering the OP essentially said he/she doesn't know how to build (not how big) I'd say you're the only one "missing" things.

    From the OP's original post:

    ...They are, from my limited experience and pool of knowledge, impossible to even build a structure vaguely like a reference image, as regardless of whether your mapping the structure out by placing scaffolding or vertices, they're impossible to build properly around. Anything you build looks terribly deflated, with a plain surface that as a result of the scaffolding shape and size cannot be ribbed or decorated without making it look even less structured. The best ships I've built were simply shaped like composites of simple geometric primitives, and anything I've tried, small or big, usually results in an unworkable mess on one or all sides...

    ...Why do I hate them? Both of them are actual cylinders, they have poor systems and chamber selections, they were made fun of time and time again when I showed them as they were and asked for help to make a better one...

    ...I decided to make a replica of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Of course, like most of what I made in this game, it became nearly unworkable, and was very confusing to work around...

    Instead of pursuing a pointless argument on why you feel all these squares absolutely must make a circle, why don't you try helping the OP with what he/she asked? ...how to build, in general?
     
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    DrTarDIS

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    Have a table of contents instead of a TL;DR ...

    1) Understanding my motivation

    This game sounded great. From my experience, it is enigmatic, deep, and wide, rich in ways to get resources and things to fight, with the goal to conquer the galaxy with no less than your creations.

    The issue with my experience with the gameplay loop is the last part.
    This sounds like you're too stubborn to download other people's stuff and learn from it. You got ego problems. Blame your parents and teachers for programming your mind to think that 30th place is just as valuable as 1st place. Then sit back and fix that programming error with a mantra like "there will always be someone better than me, but I should still be better than someone else though effort" and repeat it staring in the mirror while your brush your teeth. Brush your teeth more often too, so you can reinforce this mantra faster.


    2) Explaining my problem

    I have always been struggling with voxel building games. They are, from my limited experience and pool of knowledge, impossible to even build a structure vaguely like a reference image, as regardless of whether your mapping the structure out by placing scaffolding or vertices, they're impossible to build properly around. Anything you build looks terribly deflated, with a plain surface that as a result of the scaffolding shape and size cannot be ribbed or decorated without making it look even less structured. The best ships I've built were simply shaped like composites of simple geometric primitives, and anything I've tried, small or big, usually results in an unworkable mess on one or all sides. To prove my, as anyone besides always says about what I say in times like this, extraordinary, unrealistic, catastrophic sounding claim, as all of mine always are, A station I built ages ago, with a ship I gave up on:
    Struggle begets growth. Identification of flaws and weaknesses is part of growth, as that lets you know how what needs fixing. You are not and will never be good at anything without practice. Everyone who's better at something than you are using skills gained from repetition and occasionally cross-translated from other things. Artists learn about colour theory and spacing and whatnot though thousands of hours of class time and thousands more using their preferred tools. Starmade is just MS Paint in 3d. Engineers learn about differentials and tolerances and cross-apply them. If you don't have skills to cross-apply....get gud? Unless you're just using buzz words to talk above your actual mental thow weight it sounds like you should be able to understand math. Open up the block configs and learn the values and formulas of things and use that math to build specifications before you build the actual ship.

    If you want a shortcut, download stuff other people put up there and just use that. Profiting from other's effort is the only way low-motivation individuals have to compete.

    Facts of life.

    3) Explaining my problem with others' help, or from my perspective, a lack thereof

    I have asked in the Discord for help, and what it ends up becoming every time is either a brief apprenticeship that starts as soon as it ends, out of frustration with me, confusion of mine, or otherwise, or being told I need to practice more when this is all I know how to do. It is also all I will ever know if I'm told to practice, as all practicing ever helped me with is improving the speed and accuracy of what I already know.
    Practice and experimentation are what you need, also real life skillsets and a few good role models IMHO. If this post is a good example of your personality I totally get why they'd say "go practice". They are right. If you don't want to LISTEN to the people you ASKED, that is A PROBLEM WITH YOUR PERSONALITY. Identify yourself as needing work, and do the work. Answer to section 1 applies here.


    4) Analogy to why I can't solve this and won't be able to at this rate

    To elaborate, with a (in the developed world only) universal experience: Could you be asked, on an assignment at school in a math class, to long divide polynomials over and over (something difficult to compare building to) and improve without being taught? With no outside resources to help you beyond the pencil and paper at your desk (analogous in this case to basic tutorials on controls, the in-game shape and line tools, etc), would you ever improve? What if you were being shown the answer key and it showed the correct answer but no work, or the work was written in the wrong order, or you didn't know what it meant?
    Yup, actually. Directly from that analogy: I learned/realized a BUNCH of mental math tricks though repetition: Multiplication by 5 is always half the original number and shift decimal right by 1 (try it), division by 5 is always double original number and shift decimal left 1 space (try it). Other trick like that found by recognizing patterns in things though repeated actions. This is how neural nets grow. Stop fighting it, realize it's true, put in the work. Your wish to be better is admirable, but your lazy and crybaby attitude towards doing what you're told to become better is disgusting.

    5) With the above in mind, this section won't be a flounce

    So on a world I made right after thinking I already had completely given up, disillusioned with my confidence in building, which I aptly named "vestiges", I decided to make a replica of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Of course, like most of what I made in this game, it became nearly unworkable, and was very confusing to work around.

    .... Because that's just how places like this have always worked, and this game made for people who aren't me, who aren't so much guarding secret knowledge on how to build away from me as some conspiracy as they are just inherently better than me, as people, at this game, or otherwise. I don't know how to enjoy this game anymore without being negative and stressed and leaving far worse than I came in.
    Yes, being willing to put in effort and having persistence does make them objectively better people. You have identified it. Now emulate those traits and become an objectively better person yourself. Your parents and teachers lied: YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL, NOW PUT IN EFFORT OR DIE LIKE THE DODO. :)

    Stop being afraid of failure. Everyone who stands above you failed a thousand times outside of your vision to get to their current heights. Failure is experience. Experience is skill. Knowing ten thousand things NOT to do is very important when it comes to knowing intuitively what you SHOULD do.

    6) Call to Action, or in other words, plz help

    With all of this, which is likely going to be called a wall of unimportant text, removed by a moderator who thinks it's just going to cause issues (and honestly I fully forgive, far more than I ever would myself, anyone who may sound like my stumbling block in this, because I was my own stumbling block in all this, because of my inhumanly terrible personal permanent flaw that makes me a freak, not knowing immediately when I started playing how to build a flagship the size of a planet, let alone how to get to that point) said, if literally anyone can so much as validate my feelings, share in the experience, and hopefully describe how to get out of it, I would be ever in debt.

    An open letter brought to you by Xpertice.
    Tough love reiterated:

    Don't "forgive" me for anything above that offends you. Instead STOP FORGIVING YOURSELF for bad habits. That is how you "get out of it" you stop being nice to yourself and objectively assess your own areas of failure and PUT IN EFFORT TO FIX THEM. There's a great book from Jordan Peterson; buy, rent, or steal a copy and DO THE WORK.

    Specifically to starmade: Watch some "let's build" videos on youtube. Learn what you can from them. Check the threads on the shipyard section like keptic's charon, or the various "XXX porn" threads to see what others have done and shamelessly steal their skills. Finally: practice. Skill is effort, not divine intervention. Try and find a surgeon who knew how and where to cut without going to medical school and cutting into a hundred dead bodies before ever touching a living one.

    Edit: You're not alone and I've said similar things before ~3 years ago (in slightly better game states)

    "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas A. Edison

    “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”-Lao Tzu


    I can't hand you motivation. No one can. But I CAN tell you that 2 days after I get something "working" I figure out it breaks in certain conditions, or can be done WAY easier than I did it, or it has unforseen "special features" that make it better for something other than what I had planned...You can learn from everything if you make the effort, but only is you don't "avoid" learning stuff you're "not looking for right now."
    Hit the up arrow an the side of this quote and find solidarity in another person's same misery. XD
     
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    Energywelder

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    Personally i just accepted i'm not very good at decorating anything past macro-sculpting. Never felt the need to write an "open letter".
     
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    Thadius Faran

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    One of the big things is trying to decide what you want to build. Knowing just a little bit about what you want to build gives you a stepping point.

    Whether its wanting to build a ship for a certain role, or build a certain style / look these really ground you and help you stay motivated on a project.

    Emulating things you see and really like also can help you learn. Even though you won't be able to make an absolutely perfect replica, you don't need to and shouldn't want to. Halfway through the process you may have an idea about how to change the thing you're emulating. Follow that idea through, suddenly you'll find yourself building original pieces or whole ships in the same visual style of what you were emulating!

    Concept art for a Destiny ship. I looked at this and tried to emulate it as best as I could.

    By trying to follow the angles of the ship; I produced my first slab heavy ship and also took some liberties with the design to make it better to me.


    Another thing I'd like to stress is to always iterate on what you've done. Don't hate it, but find ways to improve on it because in games like these, there's always ways to improve builds (especially when new blocks and components are added in updates). And while you're doing that, don't be shy about changing the design up dramatically. It's your ship and you can do anything you want to it, adding or removing entire sections of the ship even.