Space Engineers

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:26 pm

Space Engineers

I've mentioned this in the past, I think, but I thought I should actually make a thread about it or something. Space Engineers is almost exactly Futurecraft. Build ships with blocks, mine stuff, craft stuff, shoot stuff, multiplayer, no aliens, etc. It's at a roughly Minecraft Classic level of development right now: the game is perfectly playable, and it's available on Steam, but important stuff is yet to be added. Like MC Classic, it's locked in Creative mode, although just a few updates ago they enabled the mining and crafting stuff, so that's rapidly changing. Multiplayer was added all of two days ago, so that's an alpha of an alpha, but like Minecraft Classic this looks like it has the potential to go a lot of fun places, and IMO it's worth the 15 US dollars it costs.

Now, how this is relevant to Futurecraft: This is basically what we're doing, but it's an actual game that can be played. There's a lesson to be learned from that: Stealing is awesome. There are a lot of features and mechanics here that suit what we want to do very well. In particular, we could do a lot worse than copying some of the mining/crafting mechanics. Mining is done with drills, either handheld or ship-mounted. Handheld drills are slower, of course, and they don't have an inventory; chunks of rock break off and then you have to look at them and press T to grab them. This is cool for precision work but not so great when you're trying to take out an entire asteroid, so each ship-mounted drill has an inventory into which rock/ore/ice/whatever is put. Once you've got your ore, you take it to a Refinery, which is a fairly massive thing mounted on a Station or Large Ship. That processes it into ingots or gravel or what have you, and those materials can be put into an Assembler, which will make you the items you want if it has enough of the right materials. There are a lot of materials: Iron, nickel, cobalt, uranium, gold, silver, platinum, magnesium, potassium, gravel, and almost certainly a few others I'm forgetting, plus more complicated stuff like reactor components or metal plates. This system seems to work pretty nicely so far; I haven't used it all that much yet because it only came out a few updates ago. Both the Assembler and the Refinery stop working when you look at their progress and won't start again until you've gone away, but presumably that'll be fixed. I think they just don't work well under pressure or something.

Ship construction mechanics will change considerably once the game can be played in Survival mode, but basically there are two kinds of ships: Small and Large. Small ships are fighters or whatever; the blocks used to construct them are much smaller than the blocks used for Large Ships. Large Ships are any ship you can run around in (or, perhaps more accurately, you can run around in any Large Ship). The blocks used are a full player-height, which only allows half as much detail as Minecraft. It makes construction much easier, though, especially as Space Engineers allows you to place an entire row, plane, or rectangular shape of blocks at once (the limit seems to be about 2000).

The one thing I think should definitely change is that in Space Engineers everyone's always wearing a spacesuit with at jetpack. The game doesn't have planets or any way to pressurize an area, though, so you'd be kinda screwed if it didn't. There's no distinction between 'vacuum' and 'inside' at all.


I have no idea whether all that was actually what I wanted to say in this thread. I think that about covered it, though.
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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:29 pm

Re: Space Engineers

I think vacuum and inside may be coming later. I'm a Space Engineers fan, so I'm glad somebody else is. Anybody want a server?

To talk about it in a FC sense; it is still a "classic" sort of feel; I can't see how the final game will be, but it has a lot of potential. The destruction engine is the second best I have ever seen. The ship building is amazing. The time to kill a ship is way too low, though.
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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:32 pm

Re: Space Engineers

Keon wrote:The time to kill a ship is way too low, though.

Small ship rocket launchers are insane. I spent two minutes building a ship, dropped two rocket launchers on it, found the biggest asteroid in the world, and cut it completely in half in just a couple of minutes. Those definitely need a balance pass. The Gatling gun absolutely shreds small ships, too, although it doesn't seem to do crap to big ones.
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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:53 pm

Re: Space Engineers

As a proud owner, I can say with certainty that it is fun and FC would much benefit from taking "inspiration".
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:02 am

Re: Space Engineers

Specifically speaking, what do you think made it good for you ?
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:14 am

Re: Space Engineers

I don't have SE, but from what I've seen form Let's Plays I've watched, it seems like a good inspiration.
The most inspireing feature for FC would propably be the row-building mechanic which we could use for the blueprint-making mode.
It also teaches us something about rockets: If they are capable of passing through shields, you are screwed. Especially with FC having a pressurized inside of the ship, which means that a hull breach does not simply expose the equipment, but also renders it inaccessible to the crew.
This leaves us with two options:
a)make armor and missiles in a way that make it possible to shield your ship in a way that the hull can deflect missiles
b)make shields -or at least some medium-advanced types- capable of deflecting warheads.

There has been an argument between me and Iv yesterday whether b) would even be possible to implement.
I think we need a seperate thread for that.
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:17 am

Re: Space Engineers

We all need to get SE and play dat.

The company behind it abandoned their last project while it was indev but this has way too much potential to pass up.
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:59 am

Re: Space Engineers

Why is it impossible to make them ? I just say that for the sake of fairness those shields require more power consumption per hit. Also having torpedoes pass through shields will encourage people to make proper armor and flak systems.
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:14 am

Re: Space Engineers

Iv121 wrote:Why is it impossible to make them ? I just say that for the sake of fairness those shields require more power consumption per hit. Also having torpedoes pass through shields will encourage people to make proper armor and flak systems.

The problem is that rockets in SE are crazy powerful right now. It's totally possible for a single person ship to cut a four-hundred-block-long battlecruiser in half in a couple of volleys, and they can be fired very fast. Ships need some kind of defense against that. Shields that stop projectiles but not energy weapons would be a convenient idea.

JEDIT: On second thought I'm not sure I understood the debate here. I'll leave the post intact, but if it's not relevant ignore it.
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:06 am

Re: Space Engineers

The ships in Endless Space use flak to counter rockets. Automated flak systems for dumb missiles and countermeasures and cyber warfare for homing ones could be an adequate counter for those in FC.
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Space Engineers

Provided an FC server for this did 't devole into griefing or just die, this would be cool. Plus, good source of inspiration.
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Post Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:54 pm

Re: Space Engineers

That looks like an interesting game. Very interesting....

I do believe there is a lot we can learn from projects like that or Blockade Runner and such.
For example, I think the demo videos they had highly outlined the need for shields.
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Post Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:21 pm

Re: Space Engineers

This is 33% off for the next 18 hours if anyone's looking to get it.
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