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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » My ideal preferences for visual design of technology in SE (Basically me being a supernerd about how things should look)
My ideal preferences for visual design of technology in SE
curiousepicDate: Tuesday, 11.12.2012, 01:20 | Message # 1
Space Pilot
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United States
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I thought I'd make a main post that I can refer to when I want to bitch about the aesthetics of the proposed ships in Space Engine, and I just realized that I posted a bunch of my thoughts on the Russian Forums that I never posted here as well. For now, this will just be copypasta of my previous posts. All except the Russian one is spoilered.

A quote that I'd like to reiterate, that also serves as a good summary:

The visual design of the game should complement the gameplay; a relatively peaceful, serene, stately atmosphere. The player is not exploring these worlds in order to exploit/exterminate them. We’re exploring them to explore them (and possibly expand to them). The ship should invoke a feeling not of “industrial power”, but more “post-scarcity zen”.

Some of my first thoughts shortly after discovering Space Engine:


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Examples of realistic future ship design from the Millennial Project 2.0:


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Thoughts on building/habitat design, which also apply to ships:


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Suggestion for a "pod" representing the player, instead of squishy humans walking around ship interiors:


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Posts on the Russian forums with some rough examples of my vision of the mothership I made in Sketchup:

Mothership:

I like the SHW's Mothership designs, and agree that Mefistofel's recent design is the best so far. I really, really like these designs, and those by other forum members. But the materials and structure are too much contemporary. They are good for a “near future” setting, rather than a future distant enough for FTL travel, the world of Space Engine.

I would like to present some rough design I did in Sketchup. They are simple, with almost no detail or textures. But this simplicity seems more plausible for the far future than the "bare bone" trusswork and polygonal tanks that I have seen so far. My philosophy regarding spacecraft materials and structure of the far future is described very well by this English website: http://tmp2.wikia.com/wiki/Solarian_Spacecraft

You must think about the materials of the future, of super-abundance, high nanotechnology. Many functions that today we think of as distinct components of a spacecraft will be fully integrated into the structure of the spacecraft itself. With nanotech metamaterials, the hull “skin” of the ship can act as micrometeoroid shielding, sensors, communication device, thrusters, radiators, solar collector, phased-array defense laser projector, and more. And, it will be self-repairing.

The spine of the ship can be extensible. It would “grow” by itself, the same way SpaceEngineer says “nano-eggs” will grow the planetary buildings. Then, drawing from a tank of raw materials, it can “grow” any of the modules needed (cargo modules, rotating passenger rings, nanofactories for auxilliary vehicles, pre-fabricated surface colony buildings). Cargo containers will grow like fruit from the spine. I can see in my mind a simple animation for this, while still being realistic. It would glow with waste heat from the process.

The ship might look thick and heavy, but underneath the skin is mostly empty space, and a light weight, bone-like structure. Almost the whole ship will be covered in this material, and so will have a uniform appearance. One exception might be for the metastable metallic hydrogen tanks. Because these are “swapped” with full tanks from gas mining stations, they are not grown “on demand”, and would be made for only one purpose (MMH and/or anti-matter containment), they might look different from the rest of the ship.

You can see in the image, one ship is short, it is in minimal, fast exploration mode. The second one is after mining a new planet, and gathering a lot of material in cargo containers that it grew “on demand”, with a longer spine to carry them. The bottom is a passenger ship, with a longer spine and a second shield to protect the passenger modules from the drive section (maybe not necessary).




Another, simpler, shorter design. The particle accelerator tubes are shorter, and the radiator is absent. I like the look and the glow of the large present-day radiators. But I think in far future we will have something like an advanced system of particles suspended in a large magnetic field instead. Maybe it can have a pleasant glow in a field around the ship, like aurora smile




Of course, I do not intend for these to be a final design. I only hope to influence the final art to have more of a smooth, organic aesthetic that would be implied from far future technology. One of my favorite features of the Space Engine game is realism. But if the game is set in the far future, the current designs are not realistic.

Space Plane:

I think the shuttle designs are also too contemporary. They would not be different from the materials of the mothership. And we are not designing a plane for only the Earth. The shuttle should be versatile. The wing length and shape can be dynamic, for the different atmospheres of many planets, including Gas Giants. In my dreams, the shape will morph depending on different attributes of the atmosphere you are in.

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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Maybe some magnetic fields may focus droplets into the collector at any ship's maneuvers, but natrium is non-magnetic metal...


I'm thinking of advanced, engineered solid nanoparticles. And a VERY strong magnetic field. Also, most of the heat will be generated during acceleration in one direction, correct? Heat from maneuvering might not exceed the capability of radiators built into ship's skin.

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Shield should have several layers: first layer destroys the meteorite and scatter debris, second absorb debris, third absorb debris that pass throught second layer and debris of second layer itself. Also, shield should be easily-replaceble, so it is good idea to make it disassemble.


I think at this time, the metamaterials will have some sort of ability to mitigate the damage without a large distance between the layers. And, ability to self-repair would negate need to replace the entire shield. Do you doubt the ability to engineer such advanced materials? Or is there another reason?

I think you do not spend enough time at http://nextbigfuture.com/ biggrin

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Also, why you make holes for reverse engines? Engines should be covered by shield. To protect shield against engine's jets just turn engines a bit away from ship's longitudal axis.


Mostly on a whim, for the sake of a slightly more interesting shape. But, the engines are not exposed, as seen below. I was also thinking to protect shield from engine exhaust somewhat. Probably not necessary, I agree. FYI, braking engine offset angle is 1.5 degrees. And, before you ask "why are the braking engines themselves not angled?", the trajectory of the particle accelerator is angled inside the engine housing.

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Except smooth shapes - they are not necessary in space.


Of course, it is not for streamlining. I imagine the smooth shapes would be a result of the nanofabrication process. The skin is just "stretched" over the interior framework which extends radially from the central spine. Most of the mass is whatever shape it needs to be inside the hull skin.







My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
Troest87Date: Tuesday, 11.12.2012, 08:51 | Message # 2
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Good one

Quote
Examples of realistic future ship design from the Millennial Project 2.0


not sure if it makes sense to say realistic future.. since it hasn't occurred yet.. biggrin i get your idea happy


Edited by Troest87 - Tuesday, 11.12.2012, 08:52
 
curiousepicDate: Thursday, 01.08.2013, 00:31 | Message # 3
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United States
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TED talk regarding how 3D printing may change aircraft design. Very in line with my arguments for the aesthetic of the future.






My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
kairunotabiDate: Thursday, 01.08.2013, 05:00 | Message # 4
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A very anthropocentric idea...

This would need a new major feature to be added to the engine, there will be a very small voxels that would combine together in order for a new strange procedurally generated ships to be done. 10k voxels isn't enough to generate a escape pod







Edited by kairunotabi - Thursday, 01.08.2013, 05:02
 
DisasterpieceDate: Thursday, 01.08.2013, 19:29 | Message # 5
World Builder
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Quote (curiousepic)
Basically me being a supernerd about how things should look


This is the SE forum, we shun you if you aren't a supernerd.





I play teh spase engien
 
curiousepicDate: Friday, 06.09.2013, 19:48 | Message # 6
Space Pilot
Group: SE team
United States
Messages: 141
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And here is a PDF from Tethers Unlimited presenting SpiderFabs - "inside-out" 3D printers for building very large structures in space from very light, extruded components - the kind that would compose the structure of the ships, in my vision - optimized for load-balancing, light, with a smart material "skin" stretched over the "skeleton".




My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » My ideal preferences for visual design of technology in SE (Basically me being a supernerd about how things should look)
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