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How I Build Ships

Discussion in 'Community Creations' started by Dwarf-Lord Pangolin, Mar 19, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    In light of Keen breaking both merge blocks and welders again this last patch, after pledging to fix both, perhaps the title ought to be "how I used to build ships before I quit Space Engineers in a fit of RAEG," but regardless ...

    Over the years I've seen a lot of people ask how to get started on building ships, and have wanted to write a walk-through of my design process to help them. This isn't meant to be the only way to do it, just an examination of the way I do it, that highlights some of the considerations you have to make when designing things. Every time I've decided to do it, I've never really gotten started. This time though, I'm going to do it properly. So let's get started!

    The first step is deciding what to build; in this case, I want to build a carrier, a big carrier. This is both for Workshop points (engies love carriers), and also to fill a hole that exists in my lineup in both out-of-character and in-character terms.

    Now that we know what we want to build, we need to identify what essential features it needs. If I was building a normal warship, this would be where I sat down and figured out what weapons it needed, both stock and player-made. I'd consider the class of warship, and how much armor its main gun and missiles needed to penetrate. Then I'd look at my preexisting projectiles to see if I had anything in-stock that fit those needs; if I did, I'd either use an existing launcher/gun, or design a new one. If I didn't, I'd start with a bunch of tests of projectile designs against targets, both ideal targets (just stacked layers of armor), and practical ones (actual ships, eventually working up to ones with active defenses). A large degree of this testing would be speculative, since the best tests -- multiplayer fights -- are not practical with MP in such a sorry state.

    In this case, the features it needs as a carrier are fighters, or more accurately, hangars for the fighters. But this isn't going to be an escort carrier, like the Vancouver; this is a strike carrier, the equivalent of a fleet carrier. It's supposed to be able to store, maintain, and deploy enough strike craft that it can seriously threaten the enemy. So it needs hangars to match that.

    Looking at my inventory, it turns out I already have something that suits the bill pretty well. This is my stock landing pad; I use it all the time in survival, because it's big enough to handle just about all my small grid craft.
    [​IMG]
    I can also use it for my trucks, since they too have a ventral connector (this, BTW, is why I don't use dorsal connectors; those require a hangar with a ceiling, to stick the connector to. A pad lets me set down on it, and I can use the same pad for ground vehicles too). So I'll be using this as the basis for my ship.

    But it's going to need some tweaking; it can fit any fighter, but using something that big for a Viper would be a huge waste of space. So we need to add more connectors, and in such a way that it can handle multiple configurations of craft in a space-efficient way. A few minutes of fiddling around gives us this:
    [​IMG]
    It's not perfect, but it's a start; I'll probably make it a little wider so the Haasts don't have to worry about banging their wings on things. And I already know the Condor -- the dropship the carrier will be using -- will fit on the pad's central connector, so I don't need to test that (after all, I designed the Condor around this pad; standardization saves you a ton of time). This is a hangar floor that will work with everything it needs to.

    Now that I have a basic hangar floor design, I need to put some thought into incorporating it -- or them -- into a ship. And this is where we start considering the ship's overall layout, because this is going to affect that. Carriers are particularly complicated, because their design needs to make sense not just for the carrier itself, but for the craft they're carrying, and how those craft will realistically be used in (hopefully stable) multiplayer. So let's do some theory-crafting; this is going to get a little in-depth and long-winded.

    The big thing to worry about, as in real life, is collisions. So we want to arrange the ship to avoid collisions. I can't control what every individual idiot pilot will do, but I can arrange the ship so the things they have to do are unlikely to result in collisions. And on a carrier, they have to launch, and they have to dock. So the ship should be arrange such that craft doing those things do not cross paths.

    In launching, you're accelerating, so you don't want anything in front of you, especially if craft have different rates of acceleration! Ideally, each craft's launch vector should belong to it alone, with no other craft crossing it. This suggests the same kind of individual launch bays that the Galactica has.

    [​IMG]

    But there are two different kinds of docking; there's long-term docking, where the fighter gets shut down, repaired, and maintained; and short-term docking, which is basically a pit-stop between missions. This is particularly true if you're only flying back to the carrier to reload PMW missiles or rocket pods. It doesn't make any sense for the folks flying in to tank up their ordnance to have to maneuver around dropships that might not even be used that mission; additionally, long-term docking needs much less space. You just need to hold the thing, protect it from getting bumped into. But short-term docking needs everything a pit-stop needs; you need a space to decelerate, preferably with protection from being shot at. You could decelerate outside, easy, but then your ass is hanging out there for all to see. You need access to the ship's inventory and assemblers, and you need enough space to move around the thing to patch it up and stuff. And you also need enough space to fly around other ships that are doing the same thing.

    Putting these together, it starts to look like we need two different kinds of spaces on the carrier. One of them is what we'll call a sortie hangar; this is a large space that fighters can fly into easily, dock temporarily to re-equip themselves, and then fly out of quickly (since it's big, we can also use it to store the really big ships, provided we arrange things so they don't get in the way. And the other is a series of small, compact spaces, oriented such that craft flying from the don't intersect any other craft's vector, designed to hold craft and provide an initial launch space.

    That's all I have written now, but I'll be posting shortly to continue this, and show how I intend to implement this layout.
    --- Automerge ---
    So we decided on two different kinds of hangars, one big one for sorties, and a series of smaller ones for the initial launch as well as long-term storage. The launch hangars need to be positioned such that launch vectors don't intercept each other; the best way for this is either from the sides, or the dorsal-ventral faces. The sides are probably easiest, as well as being simple to fit into my existing aesthetic layout, so let's assumed lateral launches for now.

    The sortie hangar will have a fly-through design; this helps reduce the risk of collision, because craft are only coming from one direction. Fly-through lets craft decelerate within the bay, protecting them from enemy fire if an interceptor does a strafing run on the ship; and aligning the bay longitudinally will let craft dock more easily while the ship is moving, assuming it keeps its nose pointed forward. So we're looking at a bunch of little hangars on the sides, and a big ol' bay running the length of the ship. We'll work on the big bay first, because that will determine most of the rest of the ship's layout.

    We need to further reduce the risk of collision by making craft being refitted present a low profile; this means recessing the landing areas, like so:
    [​IMG]

    That leaves us with a problem though, because the Condors will stick WAAAY out; any ship running through there runs a serious risk of clipping them. About half its height is above the deck there. So we need to drop things down even further.
    [​IMG]

    Better, but yeeesh, that's huge. Then again, this ship was never going to be petite, anyway. The other problem we have is that, if we store the Condors in there, we can't refit ships during missions without moving them first. So we either need to add dedicated bays for the Condors, or extend the main bay. This is where we again look at the overall ship pattern. I like my ships to have a length-to-height ratio of 9:1; longer is definitely better here. Based on the width of this thing already, we need more length to keep that ratio; this is also a pretty short bay so far, so decelerating in it would be hard anyway. So, we're going to add more length to the bay; however, since the Condors have space allocated for them anyway, we're not going to recess these fully.
    [​IMG]

    Well, that's frankly huge. We'll see how this works out; the partially recessed bays may be all that's needed. They certainly look less hideous. We can't determine which option is better without roofing the bay, so let's get that done. Again, this will determine the overall hull of the entire vessel, so we need to pin it down early on. This will also let us determine how the bay entrance integrates with the rest of the ship. First, the height; if we're going with partially recessed bays, we need 4 blocks of clearance. Then we work out a layout that will give craft enough room on the sides, as well as look decent on the hull exterior.
    [​IMG]

    This works. And there's plenty of space to fly through.
    [​IMG]

    Now we can begin on the lateral bays, as well as forming the lower hull. Again, this is a carrier; if a warship gets close to it, someone done goofed. So unless we expect thrusters to be cooking it, it's going to be light armor. I'm not even going to bother with my normal heavy armor skeleton framework here; there will be so much light armor, that will be enough to hold it together. And that means we can cover the external conveyor blocks with just some catwalk blocks. But for now, lateral bays!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ta-da! Y'know, actually building these things has convinced me it makes more sense to put the Condors in their own lateral bays. Besides the fact that, holy toledo, that central bay is HUGE. More later.
     
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  2. carnivore Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    158
    More of this please! There has always been some great photos and videos of ships in this forum but hardly ever any discussion of theory. You're nailing it so far and tackling a subject I've always struggled with. Carriers are hard!
     
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  3. The Churrosaur Junior Engineer

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    744
    :DDDDDDDD
     
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  4. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    They really are; thanks! I'm glad you're finding it useful so far! I wasn't sure if I was going about it the right way.

    Now that we've got a basic idea of the main bay, and a set of smaller bays (ended up making ones for the Condors, we'll see how implementation goes), it's time to figure out how they'll go together. First I need to finish up the underside of the main area, which is ... very large.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Basically, we're going to stick this on the lower side of the main hangar assembly. Time to do a mockup to get an idea for how it'll work out together:
    [​IMG]

    ... well, yuck. The length:width:height ratio of a ship with this would be all out of whack. We're going to have to rethink this. Either reduce the size of the launch bays drastically, or rethink the entire shape of the ship. I was thinking of a jumbo sized version of my Vancouver, just reuse my standard ship layout, but the proportions for that simply will not work here. You'd have to increase this central bay even further to get that, and that would end up being, like, over a kilometer long. And I don't want to shrink the launch bays, because they look so durn pretty (besides, that would only make things slightly smaller; we need things to be a lot smaller for this to work here).

    NB: This is why we design essential components first, before settling on basic hull shape; otherwise you'd end up having to redo the hull from scratch (very painful), or trying to cram components in, and compromising on function. So now, we need to either redesign the components, or rethink the hull we had in mind. Form must suite function. The main bay might be able to be made shorter, but it can't be made narrower, not practically. So we need a design that works with a wide central section. And while it could be made shorter, that would reduce the number of craft that can be refitted simultaneously; we're looking at a small craft complement of 16 Vipers, 8 Haasts, and 4 Condors; that would require 12 pads, and our ship has 8. So reducing the length is kinda problematic. But we're going to keep all options open at this point; one of the worse mistakes you can make in building is unconsciously getting so devoted to one single aspect of the design that refusing to compromise on it ruins the entire project.

    So how can we make this work? Well, maybe our initial idea can work; the aesthetics for my ships need a length:width ratio for the forward module of roughly 3.5:1. This thing would be 43 blocks wide if done as-is, so the forward module would need to be about 150 blocks long (375 meters); right now, it's 125 blocks. It would need to be even longer, like we thought before. I'm sorry, but that's just too damn big.

    Actually, it's too big right now; this is how big it is compared to a dreadnought:
    [​IMG]

    So this is the point where I had to admit my theory-crafting was just straight-up wrong; I don't care how useful a protected bay long enough to decelerate in with lots of space is, it just ain't playable. It's got to go. There's an expression (no clue who said it): "kill your darlings." It means if you get really attached to an idea, it's probably going to blind you to necessary changes, and you need to kill that idea. With an axe, or something; kill it good.

    However, that doesn't quite apply here; the idea behind the big bay is still valid and necessary. Go back up and look at those launch bays, then try to imagine docking in one of those in a hurry while fighting in MP. With a carrier that might not be sitting perfectly still. Practical? Nope. So the arguments in favor of a pit-stop style hangar still stand, we just have to change how we do it. It's the implementation, not the idea that's wrong.

    So. That bay's about the length of a dreadnought. As the forward half of a ship, that would be far too big; but as the whole length of the ship itself, that wouldn't actually be unreasonable; full scale carriers are big, after all, and being a bit bigger than a dreadnought would be reasonable, especially since it'll be made of lighter armor. So the bay could instead run the entire length of the carrier; we're doing better already. Might have to knock some of it off, but we're in the neighborhood of reasonable again.

    Next, the launch bays; that's half the bays for the Vipers there. We still need 8 more Viper bays, 8 Haast bays (bigger), and 4 Condor bays (much bigger). We can't put 'em there. Maybe we can put some of them under the hangar; the hangar itself is pretty thin compared to the entire length of the vessel. That would solve another part of our problem, but not all.

    We could reduce the fighter complement, but assuming a multiplayer scenario, assume each player will lose at least one fighter, so our real complement is half that. Assuming a 32-man server (a reasonable expectation, SE better have multiplayer that can handle that) with even teams, that's 16 players per team. So 8 Vipers, 4 Haasts, and 2 Condors, with each player getting 2 "lives" per craft (realistically, in MP you're not going to get a pilot in every carrier fighter, which is why we think of carrier fighters in terms of respawns instead; if you can get a pilot in every fighter, the other team is toast). That leaves another 2 players, presumably to either man the carrier, or more likely man escorts for it. You could man more escorts, get some cruisers and destroyers in there and do legit combined arms like you ought to, and give fewer pilots more lives instead, which is what I'd suggest. So, reducing the complement isn't really a great idea, TBH; it sounds like a lot of fighters, but factoring respawns in it's not. So we need to put fighters elsewhere, which is good, because it gives us more reason not to just make the ship a big long box and call it a day.

    Another design consideration: the hangar will run the entire length of the ship, from fore to aft. Since we can't put engines and reactors and stuff behind the hangar, like I normally would with, for example, that dreadnought, we need to put them to the sides, top, and bottom. Combine this with the need to put a bunch of fighters in hangars that aren't on the sides of the main section, and that means adding a bunch of ship to the sides, and possible top and bottom.

    This is the point where we start thinking about wings, or more accurately fins. Because fins are ****ing awesome. They look stylish, they don't present a large target from the front or rear, and they can fit a surprising amount of stuff. Also, they look better than just sticking boxes on the sides of your ship. And if this had appropriately sized fins, that would hold a lot of those launch hangars. It would also give them clear launch vectors going on either side of the main hull, which was another of our design requirements. A really quick and dirty mockup here gives us an idea of what we're talking about:
    [​IMG]

    The proportions are all screwy for the wings -- you'd need more breadth and less length for the aft ones -- and these would be canted downwards, not just sticking straight out to the sides. But that kind of shape would actually work, and would let us incorporate a decent number of bays into the wings, especially facing aft; nothing to worry about hitting there, even if the ship is moving. And, if the wings are canted downwards, adding more bays on the underside will work better. We could also put the larger hangars -- Condors and Haasts -- on the sides like we initially planned, where the wings meet the hull. That would work well enough.

    More later, but we've seen our terrible, terrible mistake, and we've got a plan for getting around it.
     
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  5. Arcturus Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,649
    About theory, what are your thoughts on using a birds-sitting-in-a-tree design for docking small craft?

    - Small craft approach the branches from one side, and fly out the other side without having to change direction
    - The thinnest branches are just conveyors to exposed resupply/fighter carrying connectors
    - Thicker branches are conveyors and crew walkways
    - The trunk contains actual lateral hangars for shirtsleeves/repair work
    - The root is Carrier control, power, thrust, ammo storage, etc.
    - 3D aesthetic rather than a 2D wet navy boat
    - More Cylon/villain with parasite fighters than BSG/hero hangar carrier

    Pros: mass efficient, fast launch time
    Cons: fragile, exposed, gets rekt in CQB
     
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  6. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    That's definitely a valid approach. The main reason is that, as you note, craft are highly vulnerable; even an interceptor could take something out on a strafing run. With an enclosed hangar, you can't see where craft are docked; even if you have PMWs, you might penetrate the hangar roof only to hit nothing. I also just like the heroic aesthetics. ;)

    That said, depending on how this goes, I'm not ruling out ripping off the roof and making the main hangar a main landing strip on the dorsal surface.

    However, the layout you describe is actually one that I do use, but in jumpships, not carriers. I'll put a screenie up later.
     
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  7. Crusader Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    177
    MORE, MORE... MORE!!!
     
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  8. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    All right, so when we left off, we'd decided to revise the plan in a number of ways. First, the central hangar was going to run the length of the ship (with ship systems being set off to the sides). Second, we've decided to put the launch hangars elsewhere than right on the sides.

    A day or so ago, I was talking to @The Churrosaur, who made an extremely useful suggestion: offset the main hangar. I'm comfortable with interior asymmetry, but I don't tend to use it on the exteriormuch. In this case though, it makes sense, particularly when combined with removing the top of the central hangar. If we go back to our mistaken theory-crafting:

    The enclosed fly-through hangar was identified as desirable because it protects craft inside it from getting shot up while they're vulnerable. However, we also established that, as a carrier, if anyone managed to get a warship near a carrier, someone had screwed up royally. So that means we're devoting a titanic amount of volume and mass to a roof to protect against strafing runs by dinky little interceptors that might happen.

    Once again, I done goofed. We need to ditch the roof.

    [​IMG]

    Back to almost-square-1. Weeee! So, that leaves us with a landing strip, instead of a big hangar. The risk of collisions is brought way down along with the cost, because craft can vector above other craft as much as they need to. You'll definitely need escorts though, to ward off attackers; ever hear of the Yorktown? We free up a ton of interior volume, and also give ourselves a lot more freedom to design the thing's interior. And we can put the strip off to one side, and use the other side for ... what?

    Let's talk about killing darlings.

    I love the Viper launch bay I designed. It's cool, it's cute, it's very BSG-ish. I'm definitely keeping it around for later. But it's also kinda big, and really hard to incorporate into designs. So it's got to go.

    ~muted axe-murdering noises in background~


    Ho-kay. We need something more compact, something that's easier to squeeze into a design. Something made for a really compact ship. We need a hangar built for a corvette.



    That hangar will fit in just about any ship. We can definitely squeeze that into this design anywhere we want; sides, underside, wings, whatever. But we have another option, too, that might be even more efficient.

    Let's go back to what we said about the risk of collisions. You don't want people crossing your path when you're launching -- but if you're all pointed in the same direction, you don't need to worry about that if you accelerate at the same rate, especially if you exercise a modicum of sense and wait to hit the gas until the guy in front starts moving. So, do we have a space on our ship where Viper's could launch from where we know everyone will be facing the same direction?

    Why yes. Yes we do.

    [​IMG]

    Remember: we're in SPAAAACE! There's nothing that says ships have to come up to the flight deck right-side up. That'll get extended a little to the aft so we can put the final pair in, but it's looking promising! And the whole assembly is still only 5 blocks high; we have plenty of space to play with before this looks stupid or gets too big. But: what if someone's coming in to dock while a new Viper is lifting out? Remember how we sunk the landing pads before, to make sure ships could go over them? Same thing. Make sure pilots know to decelerate, then drop down, not the other way around. Then the problems won't be any worse than with a ship that's already on a pad.

    You will note, at this point, that I've contradicted myself about a dozen times over. Again, that's frequently necessary when designing ships, especially the big ones; you have to rethink your ideas or you'll end up getting trapped in a corner. And actually, if you read the development histories of a lot of military vehicles, the same happens in real life; you have a theoretically ideal design, which then pancakes on the real world, and you have to adapt. And that's what we're doing here.

    More later with what we're planning on doing with that delicious asymmetry of Churro's.
     
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  9. Bullet_Force Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    348
    A PVERs guide to ship design.
     
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  10. The Churrosaur Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    744
    Reading about the Yorktown It makes me (almost) want to have fires, or reactor failures, or some analogue so we'd have to think about handling damage control and bulkheads and all that juicy stuff. It's almost a pity that spaceships can't "sink" :p
    --- Automerge ---
    Also you ever considered posting this on the subreddit (somehow)? They'd get a hoot out of it.
     
  11. iN5URG3NT Senior Engineer

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    1,132
    This is a cool thread, but I'm afraid you seem to have missed the golden rule...

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
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  12. Crusader Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    177
    The question is, why would you need such a large carrier? Wouldn't it be more effective to create a mobile-base or a shipyard?
     
  13. carnivore Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    158
    The question isn't why do you need it, it's how do you build it? Do we really need a lot of the designs we come up with? For some of us, the real fun of the game is as much in the design phase and overcoming these obstacles as it is in fighting or mining asteroids. It's about challenging yourself and that elusive sense of accomplishment that slowly creeps closer redesign after redesign, dead end and failure after failure. Seeing something fleshed out that you built first in your head becoming both functional and aesthetically pleasing is the dragon we're chasing here. I've already gotten my money's worth before even setting foot in survival or mp.
     
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  14. Crusader Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    177
    I can't see myself building ships that I wouldn't use in survival at some point. Might be because the first gamemode I played for 200+ hours without even visiting creative was survival though. You tend to see things differently then.
     
  15. tyriael_soban Apprentice Engineer

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    113
    Finish?!
    I havn't even gotten mine off the drawing board, nevermind the destroyer and frigate i planned ...
    I have trouble converting the ideas from pen and paper to SE, but this thread has given me some food for thought, so to speak, thanks OP!

    Small question also; is it possible to build multi-environment fighter craft without having them performing like slugs in either space or in atmosphere? ive seen a few shots at it, but they always seem to be a little slow ... and end up being outperformed by dedicated propulsion craft.
     
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  16. Crusader Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    177
    yes, it is.
     
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  17. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    I mean ... in the absence of reliably functional multiplayer, any passing excuse for balance regarding the weapons we have (both stock and player-made), and no steps taken to prevent players from abusing mechanics for multiplayer advantage ... you're not wrong. No one is designing ships for PvP right now, because we don't know what real SE PvP is going to be like; it doesn't exist.

    That's in addition to the fact that something like this would never be built in survival -- nor would the dreadnought, not without a way to build ships a lot faster. They're for scenario PvP and RP, not survival PvP. My FACs, corvettes, destroyers, and such, those are for survival PvP.

    I'd really like this game's features to be more thought out. Block on fire next to an oxygen tank? Boom. Reactor leaking green stuff? Radiation damage to anyone within 10 blocks of it that isn't behind heavy armor (and since they mentioned once they'd like to add solar flares as an environmental hazard, that would dovetail well with this). Unfortunately, they still don't seem to have any kind of cohesive vision for what they want the game to be; it's a lot of really cool features all slung together in a very slapdash manner.

    Once it's finished I might, but I don't think the format would work well on Reddit while it's still a WIP. I was surprised at how popular the video of the Baltic loading its gun was!

    I'M NOT COMPENSATING FOR ANYTHING. AT ALL. WHATSOEVER. NOPE.

    In seriousness, the in-character reason is so the Uranian Confederation has the ability to threaten aggressors with meaningful retaliation; they don't want to go empire-building, but not everyone else shares their reluctance, and they need a deterrent for that. The out-of-character reason is that if you have a bunch of fighters that don't have jump drives, you need something to schlep them around, and I wanted something sexier than the Vancouver (that's another design that would work in survival, actually; very cheap to build).

    Yes, but realistically, they'll always perform worse than dedicated craft designed for that environment; if it's in the atmosphere, it'd be cheaper and faster and have more of an energy budget if you took the exact same craft and removed all ion thrusters. They can perform well, but they'll always be comparative jacks-of-all-trades, masters of none.
     
  18. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
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  19. PyreStarite Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    559
    What is carrier?

    When am I going to release a large ship instead of more Valkyries and Station pieces? ...um... I don't know. When is keen going to keep merges fixed?
     
  20. The Churrosaur Junior Engineer

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    744
    Merges and welder range have been fixed with today's update
     
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  21. Timberwolf Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    246
    I love working on carriers. I have a few (abandoned) experimentals saved as blueprints.

    But in my case it always come down to how do you store small craft as efficiently as possible while using as little space as possible without storing them on the flight deck.
    Storing them on the flight deck means you get traffic jams and any small craft needing to land or dock ends up having to wait. While having a seperate storage deck means you can't scramble them as fast as you'd like. And good luck maneuvering a small craft through a carrier while said carrier is at speed.

    Last time I tried building a carrier, I used the Akron and Macon as inspiration.
     
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  22. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

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    2,369
    a dirigible would be fun. we need floaty blocks!
     
  23. Tyriosh Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    478
    So you guys are actually planning all that stuff? Can't imagine how that could work for me :( . Keep up writing tho, it's quite interesting.
     
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  24. The Churrosaur Junior Engineer

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    744
    @AutoMcD In the nicest way possible, do you think you could put your Sabrina build gallery in a spoiler? Sorry- I just feel like it's kind of getting in the way of Dwarf's thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
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  25. Whiplash141 Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    958
    Any craft dedicated to a specific environment will perform more efficiently than a hybrid fighter. You may be able to achieve the same performance to an extent; however, the larger you are, the more likely you are to catch a rocket to the face :p. When building a dogfighter you want as quick and small of a target as possible, so I don't recommend hybrids for fighter roles. Also, you'd ideally want the fighter to be as cheap as possible for survival purposes. Cramming in engines that you aren't using adds mass and cost to your designs.
     
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  26. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,369
    Well, it was relevant. But I spoilered it for ya
     
  27. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    4,797
    There have been some answers to this, but I have $0.02.

    You CAN build multi-environment fighters. But you have to be extra careful about mass. Atmospheric thrusters are dead weight in non-atmospheres. Hydrogen set-ups only give very limited range.

    I like multi-environment ships, even if they aren't as nimble due to the advantages they have. Hanging out in the upper atmosphere of a planet causes any adversary to generally burn hydrogen. Extended engagements means running dry on hydrogen. Atmospheric-only craft can't touch you once they've hit their ceiling. So you have an entire biosphere to play in.

    Being able to launch from a planet, hit a target in space, and return is an advantage. Being able to fly down to a planet, attack, and leave the planet entirely is also an advantage.

    I will use a spread-sheet to calculate force v. mass and engineer the hell out of a ship. But you have to be willing to make sacrifices in design in order to achieve a ship that can survive. Typically, reserve multi-environment ships for ranged attacks rather than tank-style.

    Here's a screen shot of my latest multi-env attack ship from the bottom. It uses a fair amount of upward thrusters. It supports four gun pods (converging fire with a landing gear locking down the rotor for safety). There are also four merge blocks for guided and fire-and-forget PMWs. I created multiple sizes of pods and merged weaponry so the fighter can take on several roles.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  28. Timberwolf Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    246
    My question to Dwarf-Lord Pangolin is, how does one go about building a cruiser?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  29. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    I might actually have some screenies I took of the Shanxi's development left over. I'll do some digging later.

    More to come on the carrier, just been busy IRL (wife finally got back from deployment today! :carlton:), and checking out For Honor. I've been mentally figuring out the specifics of the overall hull shape, and I think I know how I want it to go. It's going to look rather different from my normal shape.
     
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  30. Whiplash141 Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    958
    Haha ok, we'll see you in a few weeks then
    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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