2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Details about updates to Shores of Hazeron

2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby Haxus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:52 pm

New buildings are barely working, just enough to build a reasonably safe update. It will be nice to regain version compatibility with the public servers so I can log into the game to work/test/play/chat. It's much more fun.

Some bugs were fixed in common components that affect new style spacecraft designs.
  • One bug allowed a person to become stuck against the outside of the hull, simply by moving close to it.
  • Another bug caused an incorrect multiplier to be applied when calculating damage inflicted on new style ships; it was about 10x too high.
Don't get too carried away with the building designer. I tried to apply some reasonable limits to things, so you can't make buildings as big as star destroyers. You could build the Colosseum of Rome or the Burj Dubai but Mile High Stadium is way too big. Be prepared for designs to become invalid if they push limits that get more restrictive later.

I'm not sure about turret limits. Is it ok to have a laser tower with 47 turrets? I suppose if you want to dedicate 47 troops to manning one single target...er...building, that's a tactical choice.

Buildings now must meet minimum armor and life support requirements to be constructed in harsh environments. This is noted in the design analysis. No bird cage will be built around these new buildings. If you want a dome, build it into the design.

There is no city stock pile and no 6 minute import cycle. Buildings import what they need at the moment they need it from all buildings in the system that they are connected with, depending on export policies of those other buildings' empires. Buildings store what they make in their own commodity storage space, until it is full. Buildings store tools they need in their own tool storage space, separate from their commodity storage space.

I haven't finished warehouses yet. You will tell them what to store and they will import it until they are full.

Interconnections work something like this.
  • Buildings interconnect with all buildings within 500m of them, considered to be walking distance.
  • When roads are done, buildings will interconnect with roads within 250m and thus interconnect with each other.
  • Buildings that are wharfs or interconnect with wharfs are considered connected by sea with all other wharfs or buildings interconnected with wharfs, on the same planet.
  • Buildings that are airports or interconnect with airports are considered connected by air/space with all other airports or buildings interconnected with airports, in the same solar system.
It would be nice if wharfs could determine an actual sea route between them, for interconnectivity. That would be excruciatingly painful to work out, best to leave it in the ignore pile.

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Military Air Terminal is treated like an airport when making connections. Military Dock is treated like a wharf when making connections.

Connectivity starts when the building is placed on the terrain. The construction site can immediately import materials from all interconnected buildings. Airport under construction can import by air/space immediately and wharfs under construction can import by sea immediately. That first moon base should be much easier to build now. That should be the end of, "What do you mean I have to buy all the materials to build my first moon base?"

NPCs will not populate homes or operate processes in new buildings yet.

The presence of new buildings does not inhibit the construction of old style cities yet.

New Building Blueprint Exchange is accessed on the City button on the main view window. I created minimal mine and farm models. They will be posted to the exchange once the servers wake up.

There is a new Construction window. Key binding is temporarily mapped to Shift+F11 until the old Construction window is gone. It integrates with the exchange to show designs that work for the building industry that is selected.
  • Sometimes I have to open the exchange and refresh it once, to get designs to start showing up, maybe only with designs I just published a few moments prior.
  • The bulldozer button does not work but one hit of damage destroys a building under construction.
There is a new Building window. Key binding is temporarily mapped to Shift+F7 until the old City window is gone. Use the Building window to construct and manufacture using new buildings. The City window was unchanged; it continues to operate on old style buildings.

The New Building option is enabled on the File menu in the designer.

A recommended first step is to create a site mesh, using the Parts|Landscape|Site menu option. The default site meshes are intended to mimic the old building footprints somewhat, so they are all simple squares.
  • Site meshes in your designs do not have to form a square or rectangle; you can draw any shape.
  • The building site does not have to be in the center of the site mesh, like it is in the default site meshes.
  • Site meshes do not have to be flat. They can be used to form hills. Do not bend faces. Fracture them and work with the triangles instead.
  • Site meshes are not visible at the final build site, in game. They exist to define the site area and its effect on the terrain and landscape.
The native terrain surface is never broken or cut; it can only be stretched as it is pushed up or down out of the way. The vertices are not at a high enough frequency to push the terrain into fine shapes. It is ok for the building model to penetrate the terrain surface. Seamlessly moving through a building into underground building locations currently requires use of (untested) turbo lifts.

The pit for a swimming pool could roughly be cut into a back yard using a site mesh. It will be unpredictable where the actual terrain vertices hit the mesh, so the resulting pit will have a ragged edge. To get a nice smooth looking pool, you would want to model the pool concrete yourself, including a wide apron of pavement around the cutout, to form a bezel over the ragged pit sides. A similar technique would be needed to make an accessible basement of a building.

A bunker dug into a hill side would likely require two site meshes. One of them, above/behind the bunker, would be configured to fill only, so it would pull terrain up to the mesh but it would not pull existing terrain down, if there happened to be a nice hill there. The other mesh, in front/below the bunker, would be configured to cut only, so it would pull terrain down to the mesh but it would not pull existing terrain up, if the slope continued down there. The model of the bunker should be placed so the wall of terrain formed by the drop off would pass through the structure in a way that looks ok, even if its exact location varies a bit.

Site meshes respond to red glow at the vertices. The more red a site mesh vertex glows, the less it influences the native terrain. Using vertex glow, site meshes are blended with the native terrain, so there is not a sudden cliff when terrain elevation changes at the edges.

To blend a site, configure a site mesh so it does not glow on one side and it glows bright red at the other side. Glow drops off linearly between vertices. The amount of glow at any given spot on the site determines the amount of blend.

The default home and agricultural site meshes use this feature, though the red glow can be difficult to see in the designer. The home site blends the yard from no red at the building site in the middle, to full red at the outermost edges of the yard. The agricultural site blends one mesh from no red to half red, then the adjacent mesh blends from half red to full red.

To set glow in the designer, select a site mesh and enter Face mode. Select the face to modify and the specific vertices to glow. Then use the Face|Finish|Glow menu option to apply the glow. For site blending, only the red component is used; green and blue are ignored.

Site mesh properties let you specify the blend method: flat or rolled. A flat blend produces a flat slope when blending to higher or lower terrain, like a ramp. A rolled blend produces a more natural rolling slope when blending to higher or lower terrain.

The terrain deformation happens immediately when the building is placed on the ground. It would be easy to experiment with different mesh configurations, to see the result.

Two new stations were added: Citizen Post and Livestock Post. When the building is in use, citizens will appear at citizen posts, to run stores and otherwise make the place look alive. Livestock posts provide a similar location at which animals will appear at farms and zoos.

A flag is no longer considered a construction material. It will not be listed in that commodity category and officers will not buy/sell them when ordered to trade construction materials.

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Nuclear Power Plants built using the new buildings operate differently than the old ones. Instead of burning radioactives like coal, they now consume nuclear fuel rods, which are manufactured at a Nuclear Fuel Plant from radioactives and some metal and plastic.
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Plutonium can now be manufactured at the new nuclear power plants using nuclear fuel rods. There are no known uses for plutonium yet.

There is no Nuclear Power Plant module for spacecraft yet.
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby gnomical » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:01 pm

Haxus wrote:
Some bugs were fixed in common components that affect new style spacecraft designs.
  • One bug allowed a person to become stuck against the outside of the hull, simply by moving close to it.
  • Another bug caused an incorrect multiplier to be applied when calculating damage inflicted on new style ships; it was about 10x too high.


viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9365

have these issues been fixed yet?
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby TestAccount » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:09 pm

How will the current quality system interact with the new buildings?
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby Haxus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:12 pm

On quality, new buildings make a distinction between quality of construction and quality of operation. The old buildings did not.

New buildings start with a quality of operation of 1 and advance at the same time-based rate as the old buildings.

Quality of construction is based on the construction materials, like when a spacecraft is made.

Tech objects and patents are compatible between old and new buildings.
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby Haxus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:14 pm

The two bugs mentioned were fixed.
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby TestAccount » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:17 pm

Will morale buildings be integrated into the designs?
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby Haxus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:21 pm

Almost all old style building industries can be made with new buildings.

Condominium went away. I couldn't come up with a meaningful way to make it different from an apartment. It has had a troubled history, started life as a Hotel. Maybe it never belonged there.

Town Square went away as it no longer serves any purpose.

Military Flag went away.

Biodome is temporarily disabled until it is reimplemented as a building design object.
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby Haxus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:24 pm

Many buildings can incorporate space for a store, which is retail space.

Unlike old style buildings, new buildings will not buy/sell with someone on foot unless they have a store. I am going to add a shopping page to the Building window to make this easier. It's wonky to stand there and have to call the guy on your phone/comm. I would prefer to see and browse the things a store has to sell.

Adding a store adds a job.
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby Haxus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:29 pm

A building can create two kinds of jobs.

Manufacturing jobs are those that have an associated process that can be run. This includes Universities as they manufacture patents.

Service jobs are those that do not manufacture something. People in these jobs are paid for their service, not for making something.
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Re: 2017-12-01 Buildings Debut

Postby Haxus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:32 pm

A building can create three kinds of homes: small, medium and large. These will have a morale effect similar to the effect of apartments in the old cities, which gave a negative morale modifier when there was an excess of apartments, or small homes. Now there could be a positive morale modifier based on large homes.
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