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Functionality & Performance VS Aesthetics & Originality

Discussion in 'General' started by Evito, Oct 30, 2013.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Evito Apprentice Engineer

    Which one do you design for?

    Do you favour spaced armour, uneven surfaces and bristling amount of weapons and redundant systems.

    Or do you favour beatiful looking ships that are either inspired by something else or make your own fantasy ships.

    Will you change your design paradigms when we get MP and you have to face others in battle.
  2. Devland99 Trainee Engineer

    I prefer all of the UNSC Ships, some Aesthetics and Functionality and well maybe lacking in preformance. [​IMG]
    (Edit apparently the picture does not want to load here is a link instead :p http://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/13/12932/UNSCships.jpg )
  3. Nivve Apprentice Engineer

    I always go for functionality for two reasons

    1. When I try to make somethign look good, it will not.
    2. I get some sort of feeling of satisfaction when I finish something, even though it's ugly as hell, and I could reason that it would actually be able to successfully do stuff.

    Having something beautiful but impossible in real life would be a huge failure in my eyes.
  4. erdrik Apprentice Engineer

    Im a stubborn bastard, so I tend to try to have function and aesthetic.
  5. solver Trainee Engineer

    Same here.
    I would however never put a thruster inside or completely incased so i can have a nice design.
  6. Evito Apprentice Engineer

    They actually seem like theyre something you can make with good performance, no "wings" or external parahernalia thats of no practical use, relatively blocky and plain surface meaning good protection and can be built with redundancy.
  7. erdrik Apprentice Engineer

    I don't consider completely incased thrusters to be aesthetic.
    I know its there. Therefore it is ugly.
  8. ArcherV Apprentice Engineer

    Form follows function.... So cubes are the way to go. :D
  9. Dcjxd Trainee Engineer

    i really don't see a "vs." in there, it justs depends on how you start to build/design a ship. I tried different approaches so far: First the rooms/interior, then hull - first the hull and asthetics, then everything inside of it and some experimentals where interior and exterior design concentrate around one or two specific features, like a bunch of refineries or stacked large reactors. I can only speak for myself, but as for now, lacking deeper knowledge about how things are actually going to work and how engines, reactors and guns are designed, i basically found and try a mixture of all techniques, where i vaguely design the interior, then the exterior, placing rooms where i feel they need to be - with 1 or 2 lower performance backup systems in other parts of a ship - and then placing decorative struts, walls, grates and whatnot.
    Then everything is followed by intense and repeated stress tests with a little help of a medium-class vessel (about 500k in mass) specifically designed to breach hulls like a bullet. Based on that, i redesign some parts, adding smaller struktural components (don't know how to describe them, this is by far not my mother tongue), just think of the hallway in the deathstar prison (where Leia is held captive) where clean sections of wall alternate with protruding support "pillars". Through this incredibly sophisticated and scientific process of randomly crashing ships into that project, adding parts and deleteing obsolete sections, i come up with functional, neat looking and efficient ships. Of course, not considering real in-game functionaly. I just have no idea how things could possibly work or need to be connected.

    Just a little addendum: I LOVE to keep weak points and smaller flaws. Massive behemoths with more than 3 layers of armor are unlikely to be affordable for most of the time and could mostly result of combined teamwork, so ich dont try to overpower everything, make it too heavy und overload the design, but keep things that should be kept simple that way.
  10. SporadicIdiocy Trainee Engineer

    They're not mutually exclusive, really depends on how much time you're willing to put into your design/build.

    I try to do both on mine, usually by building a framework of the ship, laying out the reactor and thrusters, making sure the ship is fully functional. Only then will I cover the ship up with hull plating/armor... it'll make my ship a little boxy at first, so then I bevel the edges and make them look nicer.
    FYI I do put thrusters inside the hull, though I leave exhaust ports open for them, I think it makes more sense that way if you don't want them sticking out affecting the outer lines of the ship.

    Also, I'm using only one layer of armor to keep the ship's mass as low as possible, until more armor types and actual combat are made available I think there's little point in having really thick armor.. that is unless you're gonna crash test your ship all the time.
  11. johncage Trainee Engineer

    you can have both. this is a false dilemma
  12. Evis Apprentice Engineer

    I don't understand how someone can be so controlling as to dictate how and where people place thrusters on their ships. What does it actually matter?
  13. bacondeity Apprentice Engineer

    I think a goal pretty much everyone has is to make a good lookin' ship that works the way they want it to. I'm afraid of only two things.

    1) People, and myself, making something that tries to do too much. Be high on the defense, be high on the offense, be high on the transport, be high on maneuverability, etc. I find a ship that has focus... a personality, if you will, most attractive.

    2) Someone exploiting the game in some way to get a ship that is just OP in whatever aspect the designer had for it. It's cheap, unattractive, and just not fun to play with. Plain and simple. (This is the same reason I stopped playing D&D with certain people, they played the game just to exploit the mechanics (min-maxing like crazy) to get the best rolls and be as OP as possible... They didn't care about their characters, their backstories, their roleplay, nothing... It made it really not fun. And that's what I'm afraid some people might do in multi, just come in with an OP ship and just wreck everything. T^T)

    But thems be my personal opinions, that all they is. I honestly love to roleplay and the Dominion PMC thing I made is a great basis for it (We apparently already have enemies). And because of this, it lets me appreciate the difference of a "well crafted ship" and a "ship that was made within the rules and mechanics of a game to be as efficient as possible." Know what I mean? That doesn't mean I don't want to get competitive and duke it out with another ship though. ;D I'll still play competitive multi. :D

    In essence, I whole heartedly agree with Dcjxd and what he does too. :)
  14. Nivve Apprentice Engineer

    For the ones stating that they are not mutually exclusive:
    That is true but beside the point.

    It is a state of mind, read the question like this:
    What would you do if you had to choose between aesthetics or function for parts of your ship?

    When you notice something really cool creates a weak point in your ships hull, do you alter it?
    It's of course not mutually exclusive, but it is nice to see how people value these decisions. One will have a more function ship with battle tested designs (Nice post dcjxd), while the other will simply make the ship of its dreams and being somewhat lenient when weakpoints appear due to his design.

    It's not mutually exclusive, but about what perspective do you guys take.
  15. Dcjxd Trainee Engineer


    Just like in actual "real" design processes, it's neither economic nor practical to have an op'd allrounder, as for most of the time only parts of the integrated modules are used. Theres a reason why some states have carrier groups instead of a plane-ladden modern Bismarck (well... that actually sounds a bit awesome). Especially considering multplayer, which kind of implies having more than one guy working on something, different ships for specific tasks are often more fun to play (thinking of RPG'esque play styles).
  16. Evito Apprentice Engineer

    To clarify a bit, the question is not mutually exclusive but dependent on your designing skills. The point of it being, it does affect the design of ships. As Nivve stated, the state of mind when making the ship
    does affect the design and form of the ship you're building. Are you willing to sacrifice hull strenght or armament et cetera for a nifty looking fluff for example. Or will you alter your design if you notice a weak spot.

    And its not about min-maxing either, building a minmaxed allrounder will just result in failure and utter defeat in any battle between competent combatants.
    The guy who made a death star will still ultimately loose to the guys who made cheaper and easier to produce ships that designed for a purpose,
    they might lose to the death star the first time but when they've seen it.. You can be sure as hell they'll design ships specifically made to penetrate and kill that ship.

    My design philosophy is somewhat simple, first i decide the role of the ship, is it an escort? perhaps its a support/missile cruiser? maybe an agile close-in brawler with high mobility and armour around protected spinal weaponry.
    I'll weigh every addition of mass/equipment against the overarching function of the ship, i will not build a fighter hangar for a fire-support frigate or a massive anti-ship weaponry for a carrier et cetera.

    Properly designed ships for a given function will ultimately be more effective when handled with proper tactics and doctrine.

    And they dont need to be ugly, but i'll never build a ship full of fluff Star Trek style. I rather enjoy ships that look like they're made to kill.
  17. SporadicIdiocy Trainee Engineer


    Hmm, in that case, I guess I'll choose a third option. I'll call it the balanced philosophy.

    I'm not one to make a ship that doesn't function well just for aesthetics. That being said I'll do my utmost to.. uh.. "beautify" it with minimal compromise to functionality.. :D

    I do agree a purposeful design is the best design.
    If you check out the link in my sig, you can see most of my ships have a role to play in my fleet, I do my best to give the impression that they fit in that role, all the while trying to balance functionality and practicality.
  18. Nivve Apprentice Engineer

    Nice selection, not so much 'fluff', but not as ugly as mine either :p

    I am more of the functional side, due to my inability to make them good looking. Might as well make them more functional then anyway :)

    (edit: http://steamcommunity.com/id/Nivve_NL/screenshots/)
  19. bacondeity Apprentice Engineer

    I think we'll get along juuuuuuuust fine. I feel you, homie.
  20. brainsuker Apprentice Engineer

    You can say about beauty and Aesthetics now. Hopefully, it will still true when the survival and PVP mode has been implemented. Will you still build a beautiful big ship to enter a PVP combat or you will make a 5 blocks with thrusters, weapons and bridge ship in the name of efficiency and economic reason. Because big ship is expensive (materials, time, efforts, etc), and looking at the youtube, you can destroy a big ship by ramming it with another ship. AKA easy to be destroyed. So, because you need a lot more (materials, time, work) to make a good big ship, I guess you will eventually shift into a 5 - 10 blocks of armor ship that has the cockpit panel on one of it's surface, and thrusters, reactors, weapons on the other empty blocks. It's cheaper that way.
  21. Artikbot Trainee Engineer

    Well I do both. First comes building a sound, capable base, and then comes making it pretty.
  22. Falidell Apprentice Engineer

    my opinion is it's all in the design. i have a custom cruiser size ship that i first designed in paint.net then built.
    it does it all except land. can take one heck of a beating too. decimate both default ships(red and blue) and still goes.
    it doesn't have a name yet and the paint it still in the works. not sure if i want to change it yet.

    • Mass Redundancy for everything. one side of the ship is exactly the same as the other.
    • Conveyors linking everything that can be linked( reactors, cargo, assembler, refinery, etc. ) not sure if we'll need em this way or not.
    • there are 3 exterior conveyor ports for ease of access when mining.
    • single floor spacious layout that's pleasing to the eyes
    • mass : 2,430,688 KG
    • Power: 3,864 GW ( 2 large reactors and the rest spread out through-out the ship
    • Thrusters: 72
    • Gyros : 10( spread through-out the ship ) turns nicely
    • 23 mini gun turrets and 2 missile launchers
    • 2 refineries
    • 4 assemblers
    • 2 large cargo bays, and 10 small cargo bays (all linked within the conveyor system )
    • oh and has a single docking port in the rear.
    On my Steam thingy

    it's beautiful, strong, and deadly. those arms really help to do a number on tearing ships in half.
    the the ship gets between them all i have to do is turn " ah snap your trapped now, and you're getting cut in half"
    the cockpit is pretty sturdy too. has a helmet if you will and 2 layers of armor
  23. Evito Apprentice Engineer

    Lovely design, only fault is its obviously immense building times and costs.
  24. Falidell Apprentice Engineer

    my ship has 2833 blocks

    compaired to the default ships

    • Red without interior(the map without green base) =2952 blocks
    • Red with interior(map with green base)= 3348 blocks
    • blue=1310 blocks
    based on those numbers i'd say it's pretty average.

    side note: NotePad++ really helps with figuring this. also anything that can be placed is considered a block. so a simple light is also a block.

    i was lookin in the blueprints.sbs and the blocks.sbs and based on those figurers(assuming of course it'll stay the same).

    • it takes a batch of 10 iron ore to get 7 ingots
    • 10 magnesium ore to get 6 ingots

    one steel plate uses​
    • 0.003 of a single magnesium ingot
    • 0.0025 of a single iron ingot

    pretending the entire bit of my 2833 blocks are light armor blocks

    and it takes 25 steel plates to make a single light armor block
    we can figure​
    • 2833*25=70825 steel plates

    so now we can figure that it'll take ROUGHLY​
    • 213 magnesium ore
    • 178 iron ore
    to build my ship. of course those are based on unrefined numbers found within game files. for survival mode that has not been released yet.
    and pretending the entire ship is made out of light armor blocks..... just figured it out. it'll take 19 hours to build the components for all those armor blocks using only 1 assembler =( i'd need 10 assemblers to make it down to just under 2 hours

    fun fact heavy armor blocks cost 150 steel plates LOL Atm at least
  25. MrFloppemz Trainee Engineer

    I would say his ship design is definitely efficient seeing as how I've made a 1:1 scale ESF carrier that is 24,000+ blocks. And yes I do plan on building it from resources (eventually).

    To reply to the actual topic: My personal build style is to construct the external "shell" of the ship first, and I build the shell of the ship with purely aesthetics in mind. After the shell is complete and I'm happy with how it looks, I then begin applying functionality without modifying the external shell whatsoever. In other words, I build from the outside in, meaning I can add armor to the inside of the ship, reducing interior space, but improving defensive capabilities, but still keeping the same look externally.

    But overall, yes I value Aesthetics & Originality much more so then Functionality & Performance. The way I see it, anyone can build a giant cube and put hundreds of guns and turrets on it while having 20 layers of armor between the outside and the cockpit. But it takes real effort, creative thinking, and ingenuity to build a ship that really has visual appeal. You can always maximize the potential of your ship later, once you limit yourself to your external shell.

    Sure you can win practically any fight with your giant Borg cube of death, but that is nowhere near as impressive as that 1:2 scale Battlestar Galactica that wins about ever 2-3 fights.

    Most of the people here have just said they have a balance of functionality and looks, but that's rhetorical. When you look deeper into your own personal building style, you'll find that you stray to one side or the other, and that was what OP was asking.
  26. Falidell Apprentice Engineer

    i'm not really sure where i would stray too. i kind of have an.. exploration ship building style if that makes any sense. think enterprise in star trek. needs to be self sufficient and defenseable. not designed specifically for cargo, battle, construction, or anything really. just exploration. jack of all trades master at none.. tho i do have to say i'm quite fond of smooth hulls. not a big fan of rigidity
  27. Dcjxd Trainee Engineer

    That statement actually made me think about the frikkzillion things i have build in minecraft, using a frikzillion more mods, where quite a lot of components had to be placed, often connected, which used a lot of space, until i did what I am basically applying in my designs in SE: Balance those factors. Just an MC example: I combined a bunch of engines, all fueled and cooled via pipes, into a single motorblock which kinda looked like a ship's diesel engine. Through a compact AND neat looking structure i managed to reduce the overall part count and used less ressources, therefore finding a "perfect" (or at least great) balance of form and function. As soon as survival/mp kicks in, this is what i could imagine a lot of players would do with their ships.
    In some way a player will identify with their vessel as a base of operations, status symbol und huge investment of ressources, which should be wisely used if you want to show off, perform well and feel safe at the same time. I don't mean to reduce the importance of looks in a ship, but personally I would think twice if i need that extra vanity window/gallery instead of an additional airlock or backup-gyro. "Everyday needs" and pragmatism will likely promote a stronger emphasis on the functional part. I'm really excited to see what players will come up with and how design choices will dictate form and function. I'm currently still relying on a lot of testing and reworking until a get a finished ships which was more or less created in one single building phase, which is a thing I think will also change a bit in favor of modular, multi-stage building (like a generations old city-ship continouisly beeing worked on, to name an extreme)
  28. SporadicIdiocy Trainee Engineer

    It's true I may sway a bit to one side or the other on different designs.. however, I don't think it's consistent enough for me to brand myself as either. That is why I call it a balanced philosophy... an ideal that isn't always possible to live by.

    Also, as game mechanics aren't even in place yet, all we have now is a sandbox build mode where we have no restraint of resource or time one can afford to put into one's design.

    I'd imagine once resource gathering is implemented the importance of functionality may take priority over anything purely aesthetics, especially in PvP.

    It is rather pointless for me to speculate the impact of different designs will do to the performance/functionality of a ship when the only function we have is to build, fly around and crash, and maybe do a little experiment with the gravity generators.

    It is entirely possible that very large ships will require so much resource that it'll take a team of dedicated miners days to gather enough resource to build...

    Will you still value aesthetics then if it means a significant increase in resource required? Will I? I truly don't know.
  29. MrFloppemz Trainee Engineer

    The standpoint I'm speaking from in my last statement revolves around the creative gamemode that we currently use in Space Engineers. I did not have the survival gamemode in mind at the time, so I was only talking about the 'place blocks' and 'destroy blocks' aspect of the game.

    In terms of deciding whether you prefer Aesthetics vs Functionality in a survival gamemode, you also have to take into account the environment and situation the player is in. The less resources you provide the player with, naturally the more efficient and conservative his creations will be. That's why my standpoint comes from an unlimited resource view, because obviously the player cannot focus much on looks if he's hard pressed for resources to build the ship outright.
  30. SporadicIdiocy Trainee Engineer

    Hmm if we ignore survival/PvP, then there's little functionality to speak of at this time..

    All our ships have only the appearance of functionality, we create that impression with our design choices, give them shapes that look like a mining vessel or a battleship, give them dummy mining equipment and guns so they look the part.

    The fact is none of our ships are actually "functional" when all the equipment we put on them are only dummy placeholders.
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