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how do you build/design in space engineers? more a question poll then anything

Discussion in 'Survival' started by deane, Oct 2, 2014.

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

    I'm a new player and always have found the building/designing of things to be tricky and challenging. so wanted others take on how do they build/design in game or out of game. thanks and happy mining ;-)
  2. Ackemi Trainee Engineer

    To be a builder you have to be part dreamer and part perfectionist.

    Start with a reason/need, dream up a possible solution, attempt to build according to your solution, then refine your creation until it pushes the boundary of acceptable.

    That really is the enjoyment of this game!

    If the dreaming is the hard part go work off of someones idea posted in the Steam workshop or "as seen on Youtube".

    I probably didn't answer your real question... Could you restate the question differently?

    Added: The only out of game building tool I've used was a calculator to help you tell how many of each type of mineral you have to mine to build something. I found using it really impeded my game enjoyment so I don't use it any longer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2014
  3. deane Trainee Engineer

    actually you did answer the question. thanks
  4. Ackemi Trainee Engineer


    I should also have added don't feel bad about the particular solution you are working on doesn't work at all. Just think of it as a learning experience and dream up another possible solution!
  5. Koder Apprentice Engineer

    In survival specifically (I'm a 1x1x1x1/first person only hardcore enthusiast), there are different steps i take to my design.

    Best way to design is just get a good feeling of your goals before you start throwing blocks down. I still remember my first design challenge was just to get buildings oriented the way I wanted them so that I could integrate them into conveyor pathway elegantly, while having adequate access to the individual inventory ports as needed.

    Another thing that gets overlooked is travel time. Try to build accessible inventory very close to where you are constructing your ship. At 1x you will immediately notice the benefits of not traveling back and forth 10 times for plates, and just turning instead.

    Another recommendation. Build a small cargo ship with just one medium container on board with your materials in it, attach a welder/grinder/drill as needed, but even before you get those components its good just for storage at remote locations for parking next to an ore deposit and loading up ore that you mine by hand into the cargo container.

    I could go on and on, but this game rewards players that really take their time to think and plan.

    I will add that the default rescue ship is terrible, and the lone survivor scenario hands you all the buildings already with a platform. My favorite scenario is asteroids with a custom spawn ship, so you are forced to make those basic decisions too. Having facilities pre-built hinders the player from a design standpoint because you have to take apart what you already have just to get back to a starting point.

    - Koder

    EDIT: Basically, focus on work area and very small tools/design challenges, bigger isn't always better. In fact the ships I utilize the most are probably my smallest ones.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2014
  6. theAnthonyGrey Trainee Engineer

    As with any type of skill in everything: trial and error. - aka practice.
    Don't be afraid to fail. You will fail. learn from it and move on.
    Look at what people have done. Some may call you a copycat or whatever but a working design exists for the sole purpose of being replicated.
  7. deane Trainee Engineer

    thanks for the advice. I made a 9 drill "boxie" I call it. um more general question. are blueprints NOT able to be done in survival? 9 drill small ship that is. and boxie because its just a box.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2014
  8. TheBoot Apprentice Engineer

    I've been hollowing out the central asteroid you start with in the Platform scenario. Since I've had the game I've been progressively adding new areas inside. Makes for an interesting structure, gives me something to do, and gives me PLENTY of ore! You learn a lot of drilling tricks when you build a base inside an asteroid. One good one is when I'm staging my drilling platform which consists of up to 16 drills at a time, I'll place the drill frames off to the side and quickly tap each one with the welder to set all the components. Then when I'm ready to weld the drills up, I can grind the frames quickly, place the drill on my rig and weld 'em up! Another thing I learned is how to precision drill the asteroid to clear just the ore I need to remove to place my blocks.
  9. Conradian Moderator

    When it comes to designing/building a ship nowadays (In creative for larger ships) I've taken to writing out pretty full design documents (I'm an engineer IRL too) that list the aims and objectives of each project. From there I work up a general concept, and then I take that in-game and begin starting to brainstorm how parts should work and how it all fits together.
    I'm quite a good interior designer of ships in SE now (Thanks in part to mods) so mostly I focus on the general hull shape and then fill it with the interior later. Conveyor networks come first and I try and keep those nice and out the way where possible, and then everything else just starts to fit in around it.
  10. Koder Apprentice Engineer

    Yeah I'm a cable technician IRL too, and its just crazy how that works. I've came up with like a data closet design or something or where to route my power and data in and what kind of supports and wire management I think we should implement.

    Here I am in space engineers and I like taking the time to design now because its much less headache later on. Design documents are the best.
  11. picklerok Junior Engineer

    Do you mind sharing this modded ship? I like to play on asteroids too, and I find having to grind down the default ship to be very annoying.
  12. Haunty Apprentice Engineer

    I just start building from a general idea in my head and design as I go, which is kind of interesting. I usually spend more time remodeling than the initial building. I might try doing some designing before building.
  13. Koder Apprentice Engineer


    here are plenty of others on the workshop as well though (That you can browse from within game). Mine's pretty diabolical. It's the "Floatie" that I have in my sig.

    EDIT: Spelling
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2014
  14. Blako Apprentice Engineer

    In abstract:
    • Have a goal or challenge in my mind (am I designing a miner for people that crash a lot or creating an asymmetrical ship?)
    • Consider some ways to meet that goal.
    • Look for problems that require design revisions.
    • Test and refine.
    Conversely I am currently challenging myself to have a home-ship that grows without plans or forethought just as an experiment to see what the end result will be.

    In game:
    • Give myself enough some room to work.
    • Place a small landing gear and 3 steel blocks up.
    • Lay the frame for the ship's core idea: cargo space? welder? weapons?
    • Only when the vessel's conveyor system is framed up do I start welding.
    • Test flight and refine.
    I am a bit of a racer so on my first "space world" I made a race track. Now, race cars have to look cool right? So, the priorities were agility and style. If you would like to see what became of this race track check the video in my signature, and bring popcorn.

    Ahoy Koder! It was so cool to see you fly a custom starter ship from my pack in my world just hours after we were chatting on the forums. [​IMG]
  15. Koder Apprentice Engineer

    Indeed :) Was nice to see you in game Blako. Hows the experiment working out? The no station thing that is.
  16. Blako Apprentice Engineer

    Life without stations? I'm going to have the coolest motor home in the sector. :D It needs some form of hauling four small ships and added multiplayer seating. Doing that might require more thrusters which in turn will require a new reactor and perhaps more refineries. Sounds like the beginning of the next overhaul eh? :cool:
  17. Kuu Lightwing Senior Engineer

    I'm going to bump this thread since I decided to make an attempt to design an interesting ship, and for now I don't know how...
    I read this guide by Brenner and attempted to make a simple machine room with small reactors and gyros.
    Here's what I've got:

    First one:

    Second one:

    It's all nice, but it's just one room and that still doesn't give me the knowledge how to make a ship.
    Say, look at Blue or Red ships - their performance is awful, but interior is pretty good, and they don't even have distinct rooms sometimes.
    I'm also afraid that if I make many rooms and stuff and then armor it, the ship would have awful performance - like default red and blue ships.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2014
  18. Dragon-Raptor Apprentice Engineer

    For me, Form generally follows Function. Symmetrical left-to-right, and often so top-to-keel. I do try to add style and flair, but the main form follows how the ship functions.

    Here's my example:

    This is my Grinder ship 'Moray' from my current ongoing survival world. The first ship I built. She's had three engine/rear-assembly refits, minor tweaks to the fore, but the core has remained the same.

    Is a bit of a 'Hot-Rod', hence the engine nacelles. Her welder sister doesn't have that feature, but otherwise has a similar layout of parts. Turns fast, strafes easily, pretty good fore/back acceleration... and eats large ships really quickly :D
  19. Blako Apprentice Engineer

    What do you mean you don't know how? When designing a ship how many steps do you complete before getting stuck?

    On the big red ship take it from 11 gyros to 45 and give it test flights before and after.
    On the big blue take it from 2 gyros to 6 and give it test flights before and after.

    Micro Paparazzi Drone
    6 thrusters, 1 reactor, 1 gyro, 1 remote,
    1 antenna, 1 flashing light, 1 camera, zero armor blocks.
  20. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    i never use stations..why should i when my ship is mobile.

    and i typically build for aesthetics first then try to figure out how to put things in for functionality.....that's when i decide to concept build only.
  21. Kuu Lightwing Senior Engineer

    I had to add 10 gyros to blue ship before it started to turn at least adequately. And 16 for red ship. But red ship also accelerates badly so additional thrust is also required.
    I'm not sure where am I stuck, but now I'm designing a cruise yacht and it seems like it's going to be too huge. I'm decided to make interior first and then add armor. I made two storage rooms - large and small, and a front machine room.

    I plan to also add a small hangar for 2-3 small ships, a bridge, a small factory a second machine room and probably some sort of crew quarters. It's going to have the size of a light cruiser... And I'm still not sure whether the 20 gyros I plan to add is enough (looks like it's not) and how would I put all the propulsion required.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2014
  22. Henakk Trainee Engineer

    I'm not great at building design either, usually I just make mine practical. I ask myself what the purpose of this ship is. Is it a miner, freighter, military frigate? I usually start of making it very practical and it looks bland and sometimes squarish. Then I go back remove stuff and change it or add it. Its kind of like sculpting and having to add and remove where you think it goes. It's a learning process for sure and everyone's different. But as you continue you remember past designs and instead of tearing it down you do it how you like from the first time. My advice would be to start small, even in creative. Make a small ship, delete parts, add parts, mold it into what you like then expand from there. I have over 200 hours played and i'm just getting comfortable with myself to start an steroid base in survival, I was afraid it would look like crap and I would tear it down and delete the world.

    I'm still making plenty of mistakes but I feel much more confident. Also look for inspiration, movies, games, real life ships or buildings, even other fellow engineers creations. The possibilities are endless.
  23. Spaceduster Trainee Engineer

    While there are a few differences between designing for creative or survival, it mostly comes done scope.

    There is a great deal of preference involved in designing space ships. For me, design is a bit of a catch-all term for both practical application and aesthetics. A Dishwasher doesn't have to be pretty to be practical, but if you have a bright designer kitchen with a pale brown dishwasher in the corner, it tends to stand out in a negative way. For me, the same applies for spaceships in space engineers, you can have an old ugly clunker but as long as it fits with its back story, it'll be a good design.

    Ask yourself a few questions and base your design on the answers. Questions such as what am I designing, who am I designing it for and what are the primary requirements can really help flesh out an idea better than just telling yourself you'll build a frigate.

    Do you like your ships lean and functional? Go with a minimalist approach where sleek lines are an afterthought. If however, you care about the look of things first, go extravagant! Form can impair function but it does not have to. Each new design starts as an empty canvas in your mind.

    Just remember that the only bad designs are those that don't meet the functional design requirements, everything else is just the icing on the cake. Good design becomes very personal once aesthetics get involved.

    At least, that is my two cents.
  24. jonahgrimm Trainee Engineer

    One of the things that I"ve noticed is that my designs have gotten a lot more realistic once I devoted myself to Survival.

    Many designs you see are fun, but horribly impractical for most uses. I've got a base with four assemblers and three refineries... and I just don't need more than that for any project I've come up with so far. I built a grinding platform to shred capture ships as a project, and it's the largest scale construction I've done... with forty grinders! ... but I still wouldn't call it 'superscalar', and it's paid for itself a dozen times over already.

    Asthetics are nice, but when you're laying out a ship big enough to hold twenty assemblers... yeah, it's not going to be anything less than unwieldy. Every kg you add harms your performance.

    So... start with function. Then move to form - every design you've mentioned so far, OP, is just... /massive/. THe bigger you get, the more you need of everything.
  25. Tcsisek Junior Engineer

    I map my designs out on an I-pad app called geometry pad, you dont have to pay for it either.
    If you use it here are a few tips.
    1. Color areas that have a role (example (damn it can't upload a picture) I make doors a dotted green line)
    2. Make sure you know exactly how big you're ship will be. I had to make a ship I'm working on 2 times as big so it could do its task, that led to the type of armor I was using to be messed up.
    3. You can use a line to mark the middle of you're ship, can help for big ships.
    4. This is just personal preference, I use the options menu to get rid of the axis and to change the default background from whatever it was first to A blueprint theme.
  26. AirplaneFood Apprentice Engineer

    I build a box, and lie to myself and say it looks good... :l
  27. Tcsisek Junior Engineer

    I build a box a congradulate myself on how functional it is.
  28. ObjectZero Apprentice Engineer

    For a small ship it's all function so as long as it works I don't really care what it looks like. My large ships I do different, there is more planning in it and how much planning depends on what I'm making. If I'm starting a new large ship I'll cover the basic I want the ship to be able to do. Like my main ship normally start off with refinery and assemblers places so I don't have to use tube to link them. After the base is finished I'll cover it in armor. After that I'll address holding smaller ships so I'll make a hanger to fit, with that made I'll have to re-address the thrusters.

    You just need to address the things you want your ship to do and how high up on the list they are.
  29. kristakis Junior Engineer

    For small ships I set goals and then tweak the design 'til it fits. For example for a welder my goals were:
    • Under 10 tonnes
    • No armour blocks
    • Fits in 1x2 large block gap (so 4 small block high by 9 small blocks wide max)
    • strobing yellow safety light when welders are running
    • reactors plumbed into network
    • remote controllable with rear camera for docking
    I present Sparky:


    She's got 2 cameras for remote operation and twin connectors for stability. The connectors are on conveyors so you can add extra welders on the outside for large panel work. Fits in the space required and has 2 gyros making her quite nimble.

    Next revision after this image has the cockpit moved up a block and the lights and camera underneath - this was due to me crashing too much due to parallax issues :rolleyes: And I also re-arranged the thrusters so they were safe for thruster-damage servers.

    I build mainly in SMP because I can watch it come together slowly and I am constantly changing my mind. I would say this design is the 4th or 5th revision and is about 6 hours of design and construction in total. The first revision was about 3 hours, so it does get quicker with each successive redesign.

    As for large ship - NFI :( In the 1300+ hours I have been playing this game I have built 2 large ships and collaborated on a 3rd. I have modded probably 2 or 3 lemons into ships too, but most of them are still identifiable as lemons. I don't like large ships and find them difficult to work on - the scale feels wrong and I can't get a good sense of my purpose when designing them. For the 2 ships I did build, I did them in creative and even then it took me many hours to get the first one finished.

    Here's the 2nd large ship: Ã…ngstein


    It was built around a 48 grav gen mass driver weapon and I don't like how it looks. Took me a week in SMP to build and then an hour to grind back down into parts. I build it from the outside-in and I think that's the wrong way to do it. I would recommend starting with the interior and building outwards instead.

    I hope that helps :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2014
  30. Comicsluvr Trainee Engineer

    I have to types of builds: Esthetic and functional. The former I build to look nice and expand my skills at building. The latter is usually ugly but useful. Most of my esthetic designs have been small ships. I fancy them to be 'captain's yachts' or whatever. They look nice and fly well and often I'll include an Ore Detector and fly them around for scouting. The functional designs are the most hideous things ever seen...but they work.

    I build functional ships around the guts. I lay down a spine of armor blocks and then begin building everything around that. I've built drill ships, tunneling ships (not really the same thing), cargo haulers...you name it. Utility ships I tend to paint yellow, cool stuff is whatever strikes my fancy.
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