A quick tally of new lines of code comes in just under 50,000. At 40 lines per printed page, that would produce a 1,250 page book.
Here are some screen shots. I suppose I could have spent more than five minutes on the model. You'll have to use your imagination a bit, particularly since there is no texturing at all.
- Hull thickness. No more paper thin walls. They can be as thick as you want. The same goes for floors.
- Interior rooms. Draw them wherever you want inside a hull. Connect them to each other and to the outside with doors and windows.
- Transparent windows. Windows can also be translucent/decorative; those kind light up due to internal lighting conditions but they don't have anything behind them, to create a facade of lit windows.
- Door and window shapes. The door and windows were created using a thing called a jig. You create the jig by drawing the shape of the door or window. That creates an extrusion of that shape that you can move around and cut doors and windows with. A door jig creates a door from the stuff that gets cut out. A window jig creates panes of glass.
- Animated doors. By default, doors simply disappear when opened. However, you have the option of creating geometry for many states of a door, including 9 intermediate states between closed and open (closed, 10%, ..., 90%, open). The door could become a stairs or ramp, as depicted in these pictures. It could deploy a ladder, have hydraulic lift arms, etc. Landing gear are implemented in the same way. Turbo lifts are similar, where each state is a destination for the lift. Turbo lifts differ in that they contain a door jig, useful for cutting the door at each destination.
- Smoothing. A trivial thing but worth noting since the old ships never smoothed their vertexes. You can smooth or flatten any vertex of any face.
- Part manager shows a list of the parts in the design. Names of rooms can be changed. Visibility can be turned on/off. Parts can be locked to prevent accidental editing. Parts can be omitted so they are not considered to be part of the design. States can be added and changed to doors, landing gear and turbo lifts.
- Bounding box, seen as a yellow frame around the work area. It can be toggled between the maximum size hull allowed and the maximum size that can be built on the ground. It is a visual guide and does not present a hard limit to designing anything. The maximum size limit is currently 1,600m in each dimension (-800m to 800m).
I drew out the basic hull shape of an Imperial Star Destroyer just to take a look at it. That's a big ship. Too large of ships present all kinds of problems, besides dwarfing nearby worlds and making the game scale look wrong. I am wondering what the fuel consumption of an Imperial Star Destroyer sized ship in SoH would be. That may present a soft limit of its own. How long would it take to build a ship the size of the Death Star? Generations?
I don't prefer arbitrary limits; that's why I started big. We'll have to see how this works out.
I am not ready to post an early preview of the designer, perhaps at the end of this week or next. I'll go out on a limb and predict these new ships will be operating in SoH by the end of January. Saying that brings to mind a comment someone once made about the sound of deadlines whooshing past.
Buildings will follow closely behind spoacecraft. They don't require development of a new designer. They will simply be a rehash of existing designer features. I expect buildings to be upgraded relatively quickly compared to spacecraft.