Micro Vehicle Production

    WarSong

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    The idea needs more fleshing out which I implore my fellow starmates to help with. However I have the basic concept in mind.

    Micro vehicles are small vessels that can transport only a few people at a time across terrain. I think they should be produced as meta items you can use to spawn.
    In my mind the ability to make your own micro vehicles should have two prerequisites. You'd need an advanced factory and have it produce a micro assembler.

    When you use the micro assembler it would put you into an advanced build mode with 1/8th scale. The max build area should be 128^3 blocks. The parts you use have to be fed into the assembler 1:1. Logic could be used but no weapons or effect modules. No shielding either. Just thrust, power, power storage and hull/decor blocks. The end result would be a vehicle that fits within a maximum 16x16x16 area.

    The maximum thrust provided should be limited to what would be produced by a lone shipcore with friction providing the extra locomotion. Power regeneration should also be capped along side a softcap for power storage. During the build stage you should have access to logical templates for wheels, engines, moving parts and drive system. All of this would need to be mapped to a control instrument panel.

    The controls would be connected to an operator's seat. Who ever is in that seat can control the vehicle's mapped functions. Ideally this would match the movement used in astronaut mode. As an example: pressing W would make w/e means of locomotion you wired to that input key on. Moving the vehicle forward if done properly. To rewire controls you would have to load that vehicle's blueprint into the assembler and remap it manually.

    What the end result vehicle looks like would be plates, struts and machinery (logic) existing in a 1/8th scale virtual space within space that can interact with the surroundings and player models. Cars, trucks, motorbikes, hover craft, helicopters, biplanes, jets and the like should all be possible. How a vehicle performs is dependent on how it was built. Docking it magnetically should be simple enough but it should also be possible to put it in your inventory as a meta item to respawn later.

    Humor my segue..
    The micro assembler produces meta items. This opens up the possibility of hand made weapons. We would just need to switch the assembler's "mode" from the 128^3 to something sane for a hand held weapon. Something along the lines of 32x8x8 for striking weapons (produce a meta item that is swung) and 16x32x8 for firing weapons (item has a kick and fires from active weapon module). Eventually we can add modes for other skeletal attachable items and possible accompanying animation(s).

    Again. This all needs a lot more discussion before it'll work even in concept. The biggest hurdle is making viable and functional vehicles that can co-exist with the existing blocks like Lego and Duplo bricks do. The next big issue would be getting them to move and control their movement/acceleration. In theory you could make micro spacecraft the same way. But it's a big stretch.
     
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    All of this reminds me of Planet Explorers(c) and their weapon/vehicle schematics. There's not much to discuss here, as present suggestion in it's form is an obvious and shameful copy-paste of what that game has to offer. As I can see the apparent beauty of such a system, it is still way too complex of a framework to build ground-up to allow this level of customization, which in perspective is not going to have much effect in Starmade. Starmade does not place any considerable emphasis into planetside operations, which Planet Explorers is completely built around. In limited degree it might ease movement around stations, but in fact it is enough to increase the maximum speed for rails to carry docked entities to nullify the need for independent vehicles completely.

    Weapon customization might be a thing to consider, but it will not require nearly as much complexity as you describe, but something more like combining different weapon parts to produce weapons with different stats and effects.
     

    WarSong

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    All of this reminds me of Planet Explorers(c) and their weapon/vehicle schematics. There's not much to discuss here, as present suggestion in it's form is an obvious and shameful copy-paste of what that game has to offer. As I can see the apparent beauty of such a system, it is still way too complex of a framework to build ground-up to allow this level of customization, which in perspective is not going to have much effect in Starmade. Starmade does not place any considerable emphasis into planetside operations, which Planet Explorers is completely built around. In limited degree it might ease movement around stations, but in fact it is enough to increase the maximum speed for rails to carry docked entities to nullify the need for independent vehicles completely.

    Weapon customization might be a thing to consider, but it will not require nearly as much complexity as you describe, but something more like combining different weapon parts to produce weapons with different stats and effects.
    I've never played or seen planet explorers. If I had used any of their ideas I would have admitted so outright. Like I did citing the interaction of 1/8th block and the rest of the SM universe scale to Lego and Duplo blocks.
     
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    The idea is by no means a bad one, but the main problem is why would anyone build these vehicles? I think it's a cool idea but planets would need a lot of changing to accommodate this idea. First of all, planet bases would need to get some kind of bonus to justify not just eating the planet with a world eater. Then the planets would have to be big enough to make driving around necessary. Lastly, the planets would have to negate ships somehow to force you to build one of these vehicles, because right now building a planet exploring ship would be more efficient than trying to build a mini-vehicle.

    All of these changes to planets to accommodate this idea wouldn't be bad. In fact, I think it would give a new dynamic to the game if say on certain planets you get factory bonuses or repair bonuses, and that some planets gravity is too powerful for scout ships while others you just world eat. It could add a new reason to find planets and use them. This would take a lot of work on top of building a system for land vehicles. I think that the changes could improve planet exploring a lot if they have the time for it on the road map.
     
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    I agree with vehicle building but planets would need to be more useful and not just used for strip-mining . They would also need to be a lot bigger like the guy above me said.
     
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    I have to agree. Adding any kind of ground vehicles that would require special mechanics and framework to exist would be kind of a waste of time and effort given how actual 'ground' (planets) are currently made.

    Plus, even if said planets would be remade to be much bigger and varied (while somehow not killing average-spec computer when processing blocks), there's still a matter of all that work to be put just to create a gimmick feature - as that's what it'd be unless it'd be made to be somehow superior for transportation than what we currently can construct.
     

    WarSong

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    The idea is by no means a bad one, but the main problem is why would anyone build these vehicles? I think it's a cool idea but planets would need a lot of changing to accommodate this idea. First of all, planet bases would need to get some kind of bonus to justify not just eating the planet with a world eater. Then the planets would have to be big enough to make driving around necessary. Lastly, the planets would have to negate ships somehow to force you to build one of these vehicles, because right now building a planet exploring ship would be more efficient than trying to build a mini-vehicle.

    All of these changes to planets to accommodate this idea wouldn't be bad. In fact, I think it would give a new dynamic to the game if say on certain planets you get factory bonuses or repair bonuses, and that some planets gravity is too powerful for scout ships while others you just world eat. It could add a new reason to find planets and use them. This would take a lot of work on top of building a system for land vehicles. I think that the changes could improve planet exploring a lot if they have the time for it on the road map.
    I'm not worried about the 'goodness' of the concept. It's incomplete. It's not even an idea I can claim as my own as it is the indirect result of several conversations with folks whose names I can't remember to properly credit. I was actually hoping a few might show up here and say 'oh hey! we talked about that huh? let me give you more ideas from my version..' but that's yet to happen.

    Discussion on planet issues are not the main concern here. You did a great job illustrating that even bringing it up does more harm than good. For the sake of argument let's just say this is a faction's home-world and they will not be stripping to the core. Accommodation would be fantastic. I think the focus need to be on feasibility.

    Should it be done? Can it be done? What would be the optimal implementation look like? What hurdles and poor concepts in the OP need fixing to even make this a real discussion?
     
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    Should it be done? Can it be done? What would be the optimal implementation look like? What hurdles and poor concepts in the OP need fixing to even make this a real discussion?
    Not him but to help the discussion along - I think what OP lack and what you need to provide to make this idea viable is convincing reasoning why should it be done - how it'd improve things while making effort necessary for implementation of such idea worth the work involved.

    People mention planets because the there's no good reason for the existence of dedicated ground vehicles as anything more than what I've called a gimmick. Such vehicles are artificially limited both by their function - as starships are simply more versatile at no additional costs (in fact, ground vehicles are starships, just with thrust too crappy to escape the gravity of a planet) and utility - as planetside gameplay currently is almost nonexistent and what there is of it doesn't really require ground vehicles for any practical endeavor.

    How would you propose to first elevate their importance without making things unbalanced and changing big part of other mechanics and features, planets included? Then, how would you argue that this way of implementing creation of vehicles is as good or better than what we current have? It seems to me like adding whole new system of building stuff, rebuilding big part of the game, while we already have perfectly working one that should be adjusted and improved rather than given alternative to.

    Generally, the whole feature seems to me more like a suggestion of complete refactoring of current vehicle building or providing an alternative to it. Things like ground vehicles seem merely as an example of how it'd work.

    In the form as provided so far, while I appreciate some ideas on their own, in relation to the whole game I am very much unconvinced it should be done, that it'd be worth doing.
     

    WarSong

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    I'm not qualified to make such propositions. I was hoping someone here might be. Without dismissing lack of need or questioning efficiency; Issues that can be addressed at anytime.

    Additionally, you're right. Ground vehicles are just one possible use. The 'should' could be easily razor'd by the argument that existing means, well, exist. And serve adequately. It can be similarly harpooned by questioning the effort needed to design and implement. It would simply be too much trouble.

    I'd like to refocus on using this (albeit gimmicky) as an alternative to shipwright. Give inexperienced and veteran users alike the challenge and fun of creating vessels for short-range non-combat use. Build anything from an all terrain unicycle all the way up to a mini-shuttle. Planes, trains and automobiles. Someone might even manage an All-terrain HORSE thingy. Who knows. The end result should be able to produce a system for making task specific tools the user built for themselves without dependency on shipyards and shops. Survival without space travel.
     

    Lecic

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    Ground vehicles would be useful for capturing creatures or dealing with dangerous hostile ones, and out of microblocks, they would be much more versatile to use for these purposes rather than bulky 1m^3 ground vehicles.