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Spaceship Engineering

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Summary

On this page you can find detailed instructions for creating and modifying spaceships.

Ships can generally be constructed by manually bolting objects and components together, or by manufacturing directly from a predefined blueprint.
Spaceships can also be bought from for example Mega Stations or directly from other robots.

The ship construction process from start to finish:

  1. Mine raw resources from asteroids
  2. Refine raw resources into usable Materials and metals.
  3. Print and / or Build resources into Devices and Parts.
  4. Bolt together Beam parts into a usable frame.
  5. Bolt additional components to the frame and Devices.
  6. Link required devices to power and propellant and add control devices such as a command centre, Flight control units and more.


Component and Device Production

Image of all currently known materials and refined ores in the galaxy
The Bolt tool being used for emergency repairs, bolting an off angle steel plate to a superstructure

All ships are created from components and devices and most objects can be bolted together using the Bolt tool.

Basic Materials

All Spaceships are created from refined materials collected from asteroids or harvested from other ships and wrecks within the universe.

Raw minerals can be found throughout the universe on asteroid fields.
Materials and minerals will vary in distribution and usefulness, with rare minerals being used for more expensive and critical elements of ships, such as the MFC/FCU (Flight control unit).

Resources can be mined by using a Pickaxe, or a Mining laser.

Refining

Materials will usually require pre-processing before they can be used. This can be done by simply selling minerals, or refining them using large refinery devices, commonly found on any of the five Capital Mega Stations that currently populate the galaxy.

Component / Part Printing

Components and devices that are usable must be first printed from refined materials into physical objects.
Refined materials can be used to print beams, armor plates, door parts and such.
These printed objects and parts can for example be stored in cargo containers.

Basic Construction

Components in the world are primarily assembled by bolting components together using the Bolt tool. Usually the process starts from a superstructure that is constructed from modular beams, which functions as a frame onto which armor panels and devices can be bolted.

Ship Design

Image showing the superstructure of an Ithaca spaceship. Beams bolted together provide the main structural backbone of a ship.
The Ithaca Spaceship after the addition of Armour Plating and various Devices

All spaceships need four key things to be able to function:

  1. Power & Generation
  2. Thrusters & Fuel
  3. Superstructure/ Frame
  4. A method of controlling the ship such as a Command Centre or Levers.

In addition armor plating and various devices are needed to add defence, weaponry and other assorted functionality to a spaceship. After construction a ship can be examined with the Durability tool to test for key flaws in a design.

Superstructure / Frame

All ships require a rigid superstructure, that acts as a frame and a basis from which a ship's structural strength is derived. A ship's superstructure is composed of I-Beams printed from materials, which are then bolted together using the bolt tool or a ship mounted bolting device.

Since all structural strength is derived from a superstructure, it is important that it is designed in a way that supports the ship as overpowered thrusters on a flimsy superstructure will tear apart a ship, and a ship without adequate support would be prone to structural damage.

All structural stability of a design can be related to structural integrity.

Armour Plating

A small singular armour plate shown prior to being fastened into a ships superstructure

Armour plating is the defensive skin that covers the superstructure frame of the ship. Armour plating provides internal components and the superstructure protection from space and weapons Damage, although it is not critical to the ship's ability to fly.

Armour plating is fabricated in shaped sheets or sections which can then be bolted to a ship's frame to add aesthetic contour and defence in critical locations to mitigate various types of weapons and environmental damage. Plating can be bolted in any location, assuming it has a valid location to be bolted. It can be used for both external and internal defence and decoration.

Ship Power

All ships require power created from a Generator device. All devices that require power need to be connected to a generator by connecting them with blue wires, which can be custom placed throughout the ship with the cable tool. If at any point power connection is severed the connected component or device will cease to function.

Ship generators are not simple plug and play devices, and can use a whole host of additional addon-devices that facilitate it's function.
Generators have need to have:

  • Modules for cooling / heat dispersion
  • Sockets for attaching power cables to
  • Fuel rods (for fuel)


Thrusters/Thrust

Thrusters are devices that provide the main driving force of a spaceship in flight. Every ship requires thrusters to fly in space and to provide motion in all axis for the spaceship. Thrusters require both power from a generator and Propellant from propellant tanks to be able to function. The exact amount of propellant required depends on the thruster type.

A resource called Propellant is consumed by thrusters when being used, and is stored in tanks within the ship. Every thruster needs direct or indirect piping to a propellant tank to facilitate its use, connected through use of the Pipe tool. Cessation of a fuel line will cause a thrusters to cease functioning.

Most ships require multiple small maneuvering thrusters in all directions, this provides a ship the ability to turn and point itself when travelling.

In Starbase all thrusters apply a torque around the centre of mass, thus for the most efficient designs thrust should be balanced and equally distributed as much as possible.

MFC/FCU (Flight control unit)

One of the smallest types of ship capable of spaceflight. The Vasama has 329 parts. The beam-based frame can be seen in the picture, as well as fuel tanks, generator and the command centre and seat, along with external power wiring (blue) and some maneuver thrusters

.

The 'Main Flight Computer'(MFC) and 'Flight Control Unit'(FCU) are expensive devices used to 'balance' a ship.

For example in a ship which has offset thrusters, or has damaged thrusters on one side of the ship, under normal circumstances accelerating will cause the ship to spiral out of control.

FCU'and MFC's come in the form of small boxes, and can usually be easily identified on a build. All FCU's will take input from various control means and route into a central MFC (connected via wires), which combines information from several FCU's and sends data to the thrusters in order to balance them. The FCU/MFC will throttle each thruster so that forces around the center of mass are balanced and thus when accelerating, even if the ship is off balance or has battle damage, the ship will not spiral out of control and it will still be easily flyable, even when subject to battle damage.

Being expensive components that have such a high importance they are a great component to be looted or targeted, and should be kept heavily defended.

Additional Devices

Additional Devices on a ship refer to the many additional components that can be attached to a ship that provide additional functionality.
Devices include but are not limited to: Weapons, mechanical blocks such as doors, generators, control seats, mining equipment and such. Devices require to be connected to power and usually fastened to the superstructure, like the armor plating.

Critical out of these is a controlling device that facilitates a characters ability to interface with and control a ship. This can be in the form of directional levers or buttons around the ship, or in a command centre or bridge.

In addition, most devices have some form of access to the programming language YOLOL, which ultimately allows automation of processes and streamlining of ship systems for enhanced functionality.