1. We've removed some functionality from SMD in preparation for a migration to new forum software.

    Slab scaling for ALL hull/glass/door blocks and variable wedges

    Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by GROOV3ST3R, Oct 2, 2016.

    1. GROOV3ST3R

      Joined:
      Jul 11, 2013
      Messages:
      277
      I would like to make a point on geometry available in StarMade.

      Having come back to the game, I find that with the addition of slabs the game has come a very long way in terms of design options.

      But it's one thing being able to make feasible armchairs and quite another trying to create a gradual 1/4 height incline.

      First off, lack of Wedge slabs is a little frustrating. Creating smooth wedge windows or staircase railings is impossible without having to resort to design ''cheating'' - obscuring an otherwise square block to only show a wedge like shape. Simply being able to squash wedges sideways in the same way slabs work for full blocks would open up a world of possibilities. ''Curved'' ceiling glass for a cockpit? Round/diagonal windows? Railings for staircases? Smooth swept back winglets? Thin diagonal support struts? List goes on - slab wedges, best thing since sliced bread.

      Next, to go with the wedge slabs, we could make good use of height and inclination adjustable wedges, corners, hepta and tetra shapes.
      The idea is that the ''slab height'' adjustment would stay persistent for all shapes and dictate their visual height. However, 2 new sliders for these blocks would be required:
      - ''Slab Offset'' - this would dictate the height at which the angled portion of a block... ''begins'' i.e. If you are given a 1/2 inclination wedge, you will need 2 pieces to complete a full block: a starter piece and a continuing piece, offset by 2 slabs in height, relative to the starter piece.
      - ''Inclination Offset'' - this would allow us to select an inclination for the block i.e. Angle of the tilted face, expressed by a fraction of height of a full block. This would mean we could have 1/4, 1/2 and 1 inclines in armor designs or 45/26.56/14.03 degree slopes. 3/4 slope would be possible, however the slope produced would cross over separate blocks vertically and horizontally, requiring far too many intermediate blocks and shapes in order to complete it - simply put, it's not practical and thus out of question. A 1/3 slope would be a more likely a candidate, but again, there's only a slight angle difference between 1/3 and 1/4, rendering a 1/3 slope obsolete. Also, it's out of sync with slab heights.

      Note that the only limitation with this system is that, while fully height and angle adjustable, blocks retain their width and depth. This means that, unless a whopping amount of intermediate shapes is implemented in between to allow for a nearly smooth transition from a 1/4 vertical to 1/4 horizontal inclination (forget about 1/4 to 1/2), it's simply not possible. Adding 2 more sliders to adjust width and offset of blocks would be necessary for full compatibility. Possible to do, but not entirely practical at this point without a major headache. This way, blocks simply become squashed, but retain their compatibility with blocks in other orientations without major changes/additions to make them compatible other than the necessary geometry they require to work in the first place. Also note that only the Wedge should have the options to control both inclination, offset AND width to allow for varied angles on slabs.

      Here is an illustration to the concept:
      [​IMG]

      Size 1 is the current wedge angle, sizes 1/2 and 1/4 are pretty self explanatory and take 2 and 4 blocks respectively to complete a full block inclination. Note this graph is true for all shapes as this is their profile footprint when viewed from the side. Colored areas represent the footprint of each size.

      Offset is simply a measure of how many slabs need to be stacked underneath the block to reach desired height. For 1/2 blocks, offsets of 0 and 2 would be available. For 1/4 blocks, all offsets would be available. Reason for locking out a 1/2 block is that it would not be practical to only raise it by 1 slab, instead it is raised by 2 and raising it by 3 slabs would mean it could extend outside the boundaries of a block - that is also... not practical.

      So there we have it, my 2 cents. Let me know what you guys think! Do you agree with me that StarMade could really use some more varied angles for design purposes? What would you have done differently?



      EDIT: 1 - Autocomplete, Simplification and a more intuitive system.

      So, an idea on how to implement this system in a way that would be as intuitive and easy to use as possible. We could add an option to automate the offset. Then, players simply select their desired inclination (of 1, 1/2 or 1/4) and start placing blocks. The blocks would then attempt to autocomplete the shape based on the block placed directly in front of the current block, taking into account it's output slab offset.

      Here's an illustration to explain this better:
      [​IMG]

      In this example, we have a 2 slab height block incoming and we want to create a smooth slope of 1/4 to complete the 1 block height.
      To do this, we select the inclination and desired wedge block as appropriate and place it behind the slabs. The game then detects that blocks of 2 slab heights are placed directly in front of the block we are trying to place. In this case, the game detects we have a height of 2 slabs and we want a 1/4 inclination so it offsets the wedge by 2 slabs and continues it from that point.

      To prevent errors, if we tried to autocomplete a 1 or 3 slab offset with a 1/2 angle, the game would first complete 1 more 1/4 slab and then switch to 1/2. Going the other way however does not create this issue.

      It's important to note Autocomplete would be switched ON by default to simplify the process of making smooth inclines, but could be switched off for manual selection of desired blocks for design and detailing purposes.
      This way, if we simply want a 1/2 or 1/4 angle armor, we just select the angle and go. If we want to throw some funky shapes on our ship or make never-before-seen furniture or that sweet sweet cockpit setup, we can manually select all of our blocks.

      So, a single slider for when you want a nice and smooth slope, full control for when you want to create custom details.
       
      #1 GROOV3ST3R, Oct 2, 2016
      Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
      • Agree Agree x 6
      • Like Like x 1
    2. jstenholt

      Joined:
      Jul 29, 2013
      Messages:
      1,165
      Honestly? I'm more than happy with the available selection of block shapes. I don't see much of a reason to hyper-complicate things as they are now. Gonna give this one a big, fat "meh."
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    3. Calhoun

      Calhoun Part-time God

      Joined:
      May 26, 2015
      Messages:
      877
      Helps with smaller detailing. Fighters, interiors etc.
       
    4. Gasboy

      Gasboy BLRP

      Joined:
      Aug 11, 2013
      Messages:
      1,311
      This would help a lot with shaping and detailing.
       
    5. Spoolooni

      Spoolooni Token Chinese

      Joined:
      May 23, 2014
      Messages:
      179
      Interstellar rift had a lot more of these shapes going on. From experience, I can tell you right now, they'd have to change the interface or bulk out the amount of things you would have to go through to get to the piece a builder wants. It's a nice idea but, if executed poorly, can present an arduous process that would make building feel hindered rather than convenient.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. GROOV3ST3R

      Joined:
      Jul 11, 2013
      Messages:
      277
      That's a valid concern. It's a tricky subject, perhaps automate shape adjustment to the desired slope and existing slab height?

      This will need some further explanation, i'll edit the main post.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Shadow2Lead

      Joined:
      Jul 22, 2016
      Messages:
      76
      I would love this in theory. But, does anyone have a current count on current block IDs vs Max block IDs? This sounds like it could use up a large fraction of them for only visual benefit. Not ragging on decorative blocks, i would love to use these, but, if my guesstimate of new blocks needed is even ballpark this sounds like it would use a lot of block IDs.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. Mariux

      Mariux Kittenator

      Joined:
      Jun 20, 2013
      Messages:
      1,822
      But then people will ask for more heptas and tetras... And then everything will get even more complicated...
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    9. Lone_Puppy

      Lone_Puppy Me, myself and I.

      Joined:
      Mar 12, 2015
      Messages:
      1,249
      These would be great and I can see you have put a lot of thought into this. I've often wanted this at times, but as Shadow2Lead mentioned, the block ID count would be quite high. And as Mariux eluded to, this will also be requested to be applied to many other block categories.

      I have seen stuff in development a long time ago where the engine used a kind of blur effect on the blocks in a way to create a more rounded effect without the use of slabs. However, these tend to use a smaller block size with reference to NPC or a players avatar. I wonder if Schine could apply similar trickery.

      There's also the possibility they abandon having the corners, wedges, heptas and tetras as separate blocks and make it a transformation of a standard block like the slabs are. Somehow I don't think this is likely though.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    10. rocketman221

      Joined:
      Aug 25, 2013
      Messages:
      180
      There are currently 1183 block types in the game with a maximum of 2048. 213 of those are for the slabs we already have.
      Adding all of these wedge types would use a significant amount of them.
      I would still like to see the first type of slab wedge that was suggested, but adding the ones with different inclines would take too many block IDs.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    11. Madman198237

      Joined:
      Feb 25, 2016
      Messages:
      1,362
      I really want to see 1/4-height slabs. The problem is that a method to make 2 blocks occupy one space (A 1/4 slab and a 1/4 slope) doesn't exist (Or at least that's what I gather from previous responses to requests for this feature).

      But 1/4 would likely be the most useful.
       
    12. Jojomo

      Joined:
      Aug 23, 2016
      Messages:
      758
      I like the idea, I'd love to be able to use all these for detail work, I'm just not sure how feasible it is.

      For example wedge slabs: you could go to 5 bits for orientation, like corners, but 5 bits isn't enough for 4 thickness’s of wedge - it's only enough for two.
       
    13. Madman198237

      Joined:
      Feb 25, 2016
      Messages:
      1,362
      I would like to see wedges with inclinations of 1 and 1/4, and then wedges with 1/4 width (Same height [one full block], but only as thick as a 1/4 slab). And any other intermediate slab width. I just really want the 1/4 inclination. Although a 1/2 inclination would also be highly useful, I think that the 1/4 width and 1/4 inclination are more important and more generally useful.
       
    14. Stripes

      Joined:
      Jun 20, 2013
      Messages:
      8
      I like it, would be nice for detailing
       
    Loading...