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From concept to creation 3: September - Freight systems

Discussion in 'Community Creations' started by AutoMcD, Aug 1, 2015.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    Welcome to the third Concept to Creation contest! CTC 3.

    **Wondering what happened to August?**

    July's has been extended an extra month. Everyone is busy. This one is starting way early but gives us two months.
    Inspiration hit me because of this week's update so I'm just letting it rip early.
    We will play it by ear on it it needs extended or not midway through Sept.

    WHAT
    : I will post concept art. It is simply an idea, a starting point.
    WHEN: Deadline will be end of OCTOBER.
    WHY: For fun
    WHO: Verbal vote which lasts for a week after the deadline.
    RULES:
    100% stock
    no size or weight restriction, but if it melts my computer I might not be fair on it.
    survival capable (o2, conveyored, etc)
    post as blueprint preferred.

    Actual voting criteria will differ based on who's voting, what his/her priorities are, and how your craft differs from what they had in mind.

    CONCEPT:

    Cargo needs hauling, and now that it has weight to it we have a job on our hands.
    Hauling freight is serious business, and to efficiently get things to where they need to be, some standards must be set.

    In the next week I will detail the connector/merge scheme and upload an example freight car which complies. This standard will be as simple as possible, a simple arrangement of a connector/landing gear/ possibly a merge block. Also a maximum width constraint is needed so that we have a safe area for engine thruster output.
    There won't be any vertical limit on car size, and we obviously don't have rails or tunnels to worry about, but there will be a general guideline to that the "meat" of the cars all falls in line visually. I'm thinking 7 blocks wide for car width.

    EDIT: THRUSTER REQUIREMENT FOR CARS REMOVED.

    Contest will be for building the engines. Adding a variety of freight cars will be nice but is optional.

    Engine requirements:
    -Must be able to dock up to the freight car, in front or in back.
    -Engines may be docked to eachother to increase output thruster and jump capacity, depending on freight load.
    -Engine must not damage other engines of the same type, or freight cars of any type, when docked. Main concern here is obviously thruster damage.
    -A heavy freight car could have 4 large cargo full of steel plates. This would weigh around 3,500,000 kg. Safely moving this around the docking space will take some power. Typically parts and ores are not as dense but plan on lots of weight.
    -Making jumps will be preferred once away from the docking space. The engine should have more than one jump drive on it. I imagine most will have a whole stack of them.
    -Typical crew will be 1 person, but could be 2.
    -Docking cars together with so much weight could prove dangerous. Any scripts, functions, tools, safety features you can think of are probably a good idea.

    I'm not outlining a minimum jump distance or acceleration rate because the train could have any number of cars and configurations. Consider utility vs cost. Also use what you know about trains, they are not expected to accelerate quickly, but they do manage to move what seems like an infinite amount of weight.

    EDIT:
    Deadline extended!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  2. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    If I can use only connector and landing gear, this would allow option for freight cars made of small blocks.

    But this may be asking for trouble, we may need to stick with merge blocks because of the physics.
     
  3. plaYer2k Master Engineer

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    3,160
    So these high mass trains shall work in space without gravity?
    Just asking because wheels tend to break when the weight exceeds 1.2MN each.

    Edit:
    nvm, after reading the description a few times it seems like it should only work in space with zero-g and thus weightlessness as we can "jump". Thus a rail-space-hybrid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  4. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    Right. In space, zero G, no rails. Simply moving material from point A to point B in a manner that is professional and efficient. Such as from a mining outpost to a refining base.

    edit: And it doesn't need to look like a traditional train, have wheels, etc. I'm intending this to be focused on FUNCTION.
    In fact I expect that they will look quite different, and only resemble traditional trains at all simply as a result of the functionality.
     
  5. Mr Ixolate Apprentice Engineer

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    276
    Well this seems like a more practical use for an idea I had, now I just need to beef it up significantly.

    Edit: Early tests seem to work, though I slightly went overboard on the weight, by about 20x per module...
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  6. blastertoad Trainee Engineer

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    75
    I suggest connection point laid out as: connector, space, merge block

    This configuration will not damage a connector while merging as well as allow compact docking rings for pass through.

    As far as having a remote on each car maybe there should be a tug vehicle instead, or a cockpit since having a large antenna on each car to allow remote control seems a waste of space.
     
  7. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    The RC is only for inertia dampening, so you can drop a car off and and it will stay parked. You may add an antenna or cockpit to control it, but that is optional. Cars won't have the expectation of being able to be controlled.
     
  8. Dante McFox Junior Engineer

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    547
    its for toggeling the inertia Dampeners, correct? Coz i think on a new ship they are always on, thats why 6 thrusters and a gyro wont fly away if u tap them (energy needed of course)!
     
  9. blastertoad Trainee Engineer

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    75

    Oh, sorry I thought that was there for offloading
     
  10. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    I'll test when I slap the example freight car together. If we don't need it then we don't. But I'm fairly certain that without RC or cockpit then it'll act like a dead stick.
     
  11. plaYer2k Master Engineer

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    3,160
    Without RC it will dampen aswell.
     
  12. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
  13. picklerok Junior Engineer

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    544
    I'm confused as to what you're really looking for. Are we supposed to build a space train, complete with engine and modular "cars" that can be linked to it in a line, or just some sort of general cargo-carrying ship with modular cargo crates?
     
  14. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,800
    I'm on it. I like doing industrial designs like miners, welders, grinders, etc. I'm pretty good military ships. But I find the real fun in building stuff for commercial usage.

    Is there a way to privately submit designs? Perhaps I can temporarily friend you on Steam? I don't want to publish my design publicly until the end of the deadline.

    I already have a prototype built and just refining the design. I don't want to wait until the last minute to submit, since that's a pain for me and for you I suspect as well.
     
  15. Sergeant Snuggles Junior Engineer

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    998
    Bah if I had the chance I would upload my Freight Train I built just a few days ago! functional, speedy and capable of merging to a massive freight cargo container that allows it to add another 5 large containers worth of material for hauling.....of course its a small ship and I found with the recent update that when full it moves at about 0.000000000000000001 m/s :woot:

    May have to re design a little!
     
  16. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    The contest is for the engine.

    The modular cars will be a standard form factor to work with. You'll be provided at least one example, and I'm pretty sure that most people will make a few of their own just for fun. These cars should interchangeably work with any of the engines.

    Well, it's public vote. And not for at least a month.. I don't need to see it early but if you have a question on it then I guess you can email it to me.
     
  17. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    dealing with imgur on the phone is kind of annoying.

    Anyways here's the spec:
    [​IMG]
    The typical car will have 7x7 profile with the connector centered, and merge block 2nd from bottom. The width is a limit, specifically so that you have a safe area for thruster output. The height is only suggestion so that train maintains a mostly reasonable profile, but anything can happen depending on purpose of the car.

    Car length can be anything, but there will be a weight limit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  18. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    Make sure that your engine is long enough so that two of them don't damage each other if doubled up. Only engines from the same author will be used for this, so no worries on engine configuration other than that.
     
  19. P. Kerman Apprentice Engineer

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    164

    I kind of thought we had more freedom with the car design. My cars have an off center connector are they space-legal anyway?

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=495147357
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=495148612
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=495149172
     
  20. Wicorel Senior Engineer

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    1,242
    Will they be doubled up? or can we specify that if two engines are needed, they go front and aft?

    Or is the intent that they stack so any number can be added?
     
  21. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    That looks pretty close! I love that idea using wheels for bumpers. Would it be so hard to slide the connector down? And more than 1 merge is just wasted parts.

    The intention is that you keep stacking until the performance is adequate for the load size. It's common for freight trains to have 4 engines up front. The thruster damage zone is in the wiki. 7 blocks I believe? I'll have to look into it when I get to a computer.
     
  22. P. Kerman Apprentice Engineer

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    164
    Well if I want to keep the look when walking along the cars then yes it actually would be pretty tricky. I squeezed quite a few blocks in there.

     
  23. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    I see what you mean. I'll stick to my guns on this one though, walk thru type car would still work if you go over top of connector. Plus no height limit really so could vault the ceiling or make a double decker passenger car, etc.
     
  24. P. Kerman Apprentice Engineer

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    164
    Fair enough. I guess that means back to the drawing board.
     
  25. picklerok Junior Engineer

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    544
    In my opinion, this contest doesn't seem very organized. Entering excessive question asking mode.
    1) Will you provide carts for us to haul or do we build our own? If you do provide carts, will they come in large and small ship variants, or is this contest large-ship exclusive?
    2) Will the "train" just be one engine and one cart, or an indefinite number of both in a single-file line?
    3) Does it have to be single file, or can the engine haul carts in a double-file line?
    4) Do the carts have to be arranged in any sort of line at all?

    In my opinion, I think it would be fun if the contest included building the actual carts (to the already stated standards, of course). I think it would be fun to build the actual cargo that needs hauling. If that was the case, there should be a 3-cart limit or something similar so that people focus on quantity, not quality.
     
  26. Dante McFox Junior Engineer

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    547
    just standing on the side watching, but cant agree whit that:
    ---
    ---
    ---
    erm, u mean the other way around, dont you? ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  27. picklerok Junior Engineer

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    544
    Yes, I did. I might just be losing my mind, but I got really confused as to what exactly we were building when I first read the OP. I've got it all cleared up in my head now.
    Now we just need to wait for him to upload the freight car so we can get building.
     
  28. P. Kerman Apprentice Engineer

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    164
    One question is the 7 blocks a hard limit including lights, catwalks, LCDs and other small blocks or is there some leeway?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  29. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,800
    So here's what I'm doing, rules, no rules... I'm focusing on the idea that the train has to work on a pvp server. The cheaper the cost in build time and materials the better. There's an inherent weakness in the design that all cars will be connected to each other via one merge block. So there's really no use in putting armaments or armor on it.

    I'm sticking with the idea that one freight car will have four large cargo containers, a gyro, a battery, and six small thrusters. With the new volume limit on large containers, you'll probably use up your battery before bringing a rogue freight car to a stop. So if the cars get shot apart during transit, they're going all over the place.

    I'm designing a system people can use effectively rather than look pretty. Though it'll be hard to demonstrate how things function from a simple blueprint rather than a world. I'll attach a video.
     
  30. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    I'm sorry that this is/was confusing. Any details I may have left out, just refer to your understanding of how our modern day freight trains operate.
    Real life has gotten into my game time again, all that you need to know to get started is in the previous picture. 7x7 with a connector in the middle and that merge block under it, that's what you're docking to.
    There should be no loopholes or reason to overthink. I really just want a minimum of specs on the cars so that it leaves as much freedom as possible in building a variety of them, for a variety of purposes. And the engines we are building should be able to move any of them without a hassle.
    Having reasonable specs allows further utilitarian enhancements, like a welder array to build cars and it works great because they are all a similar profile. Someone might build an amazing refinery car to drop off for an outpost. Whatever, anything.

    I doubt those things would be impacted by thruster output, and if they do then that's on you, not the engine's author. This is a standard so that we know the minimum distance to place thrusters out at.

    This. The weight limit will be such as only 4 large cargo tanks will be used if it's heavy things like steel plate. 6-8 of them for lighter stuff. This is mainly to have any expectation of managing the individual cars in dock. The only armor I would recommend would be as defense against other cars and industrial equipment. There is no military aspect to this one. A few turrets to keep pests away, that's up to you.

    I agree a world file may be better for this contest. It just means more loading to check them out.
     
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