Designer

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The reason given is: The new designer (See Spacecraft Update and Building Update) is already functional. This page has need more information about basic designer functions. Could use some help.

Blueprints are designed inside a design studio.

Players may work together in the same studio to develop a spacecraft design. In this case, the first player to enter the vacant studio is registered as the architect and owner of the design.

To enter a studio, display the Building (F10) window and click on the "Enter" button of a studio. When a studio is "Vacant", you may leave the password box blank or you may enter a password of your choice. The password you enter establishes that studio's password until the studio becomes vacant. To join an "Occupied" design studio, you must enter the password that was established by the first person to enter the studio.

Once inside a studio, display the Design (F6) window. Nearly every function and button has a usage tip that appears once clicked which describes what the function does. Use the exit button to return to the game environment.

Designer Interface

An image of the new designer interface.

The new designer interface is accessible through both the offline launcher and in-game while online. Upon entering, you are inside a bounding box (yellow lines) that define the design area, with a grid underneath you that is split with two axis.

The interface is heavily based on menus as seen at the top of the screenshot. This means there are a lot less buttons immediately visible. The F6 hotkey or the designer button on the left toggles both the Parts list on the right of the image and the black bar with all the buttons seen at the top of the screenshot. However, it does not toggle the white menu buttons seen at the top above the black bar.

Note that the black bar is able to be moved by clicking the dots on the left edge of the bar, while the Parts list seen on the right can be docked and re-positioned normally.

The Parts list

The parts list contains every single part that is within the current spacecraft design. This includes hull objects, imported meshes, rooms, berths, etc. This allows you to easily see everything within the design at once, and also provides buttons for toggling the visibility of each part, the lock state (whether or not you can make changes to the part), whether or not the part is included within the final design, and a seal (which allows other users to modify the design afterwards). The Parts list is also useful for deleting equipment and objects.

Visibility Toggle Lock Toggle Omit Toggle Seal Toggle
On ScShow.png ScLock.png ScOmit.png ScSeal.png
Off ScHide.png ScUnlock.png ScInclude.png ScUnseal.png

The menu buttons

This section describes what each of the menu buttons generally contain at the top of the interface. Note that all of the buttons under these by default give a usage tip on click.

Menu Buttons
  • File contains a bunch of options related to the management and saving of the entire design. Includes options such as creating a new spacecraft design, saving the current design, importing .3ds objects, and quitting.
  • Edit contains options related to basic object manipulation. This includes functions such as copy and paste, select all, grab, and rotate. This also includes the settings menu.
  • Design includes options related to the creation and overall manipulation of objects within a design. This includes the ability to create rooms, hull pieces, jigs, and convert objects to other types. Also allows for viewing ::of design properties and finalising designs, which checks for errors.
  • Object includes everything related to detailed object manipulation. This is often used for singular parts at a time. This allows the modification, cutting, joining and shaping of individual faces, vertices, and edges.
  • Surface contains options related to face aesthetics. This includes options such as painting, glow, transparency, polish, and some effects which can be applied. This also normally is used on individual faces within Object ::Mode.
  • Stations contains options related to Spacecraft Consoles and troop posts. This allows for the placement and sizing of console screens or old swivel style consoles, for all different console types.
  • Panels contains options for placement of screens that allow for management of a ship. This includes service panels for repairs/upgrades and status panels and world maps.
  • Vehicles contains options for placement of different vehicle types. This includes vehicles like boats and motorbikes, while also allowing for space vehicle launch and recovery slot creation.
  • Details contains equipment which is placed around a spacecraft. This includes headlights, game tables, berths of all types, and decals such as empire name and empire flag.
  • Paths allow you to manage in-designer gravity and collision, alongside placement of hull voids, room voids, ladders and paths.
  • Helpers contains options for manipulating the grid and overall designer. This includes options such as changing the grid position, the designer bounding box size, etc.
  • View allows you to individually select what elements of the designer interface to see. Options such as back faces, and the Texture Wrapper are found here.
  • Help contains information about the designer, including a general guideline of what to do and links to the Wiki.

The buttons on the black bar are also very useful. Note that hovering over any of these buttons gives a tooltip for usage.

Black Bar buttons
  • The "Design Properties" button shows you properties of the design, and allows you to change module types. The one to the right refreshes collision data, while the collision and gravity buttons to the right of it are for ::toggling collision and gravity within the designer respectively.
  • The box next to these buttons is for entering co-ordinates. This moves objects/faces if one is selected, otherwise sets co-ordinates of points when designing shapes.
  • The next 4 buttons are for enabling object mode, and the view of vertices, edge lines, and faces. Object Mode is useful for modifying individual objects in detail, with each element being toggle-able if needed.
  • The next 3 buttons are for enabling the view of edge lines, front faces, and back-faces of objects. These are visible even when not in Object Mode.
  • The "Move Grid" button to the right of these allows for positioning of the grid. The co-ordinate box can be used for this.
  • The next 3 grid buttons are for setting the grid direction. XZ sets the grid to face vertically, while YZ switches the X and Y axis around on the vertical grid.
  • The "Position Grid" button is used for setting grid position and rotation.
  • The drop-down which has a distance unit on it is used for setting the spacing of the grid lines.
  • The "Show Grid" button is for toggling grid visibility.
  • The "Grid Follows Work" button to the right of this is for making the grid follow any new co-ordinate entered.
  • The next 3 buttons are for adjusting snapping of the cursor.

General Design Process

There are several steps to creating a ship that can be finalised. In general, from the in-designer Usage Tip, the order is like this;

  • Create an exterior hull.
  • Create one or more rooms inside the hull.
  • Cut out doors and windows.
  • Create finer model details.
  • Apply textures and other effects to finish the surfaces.
  • Add details: control stations, berths, lights, display screens, etc.
  • Add room voids.

Design -> Finalise Design performs checks to ensure that the ship has valid paths, rooms, hulls, and that specific elements are reachable. This is what is used to prepare a spacecraft design for manufacturing. This will list errors such as no fuel, no capacitor, no doors, missing hull, etc.

Most equipment from the old designer has been removed, however, elements such as lighting and console stations remain. This equipment is found under "Vehicles", "Details", "Paths", alongside "Stations". This equipment mostly functions the same, and is still required for a functioning spacecraft. A table below shows what each unit does.

Jigs

Jigs are found underneath the Design Menu button. There are many different types of Jigs, such as Door Jigs, Window Jigs, Launch Tube Jigs, Cutting Jigs, and Decal Jigs. They are created like any other hull or room objects, by selecting the Shape type (Extrusion, Sphere, Tubing, Spindle) and drawing the shape wanted. A physical object is then created and added to the Parts list as a Jig of the type selected.

Jigs are used by positioning the created Jig object between two rooms, or between a hull and room, ensuring that the Jig penetrates both walls. Once this is positioned correctly, select all 3 objects at once using the Parts panel, and then select "Jig Cut" under the Design Menu button. The jig then cuts the walls in the shape of the jig, allowing you to create tube hallways as an example. The cut walls are then converted to the object type of the jig, such as the walls being converted into transparent glass if using a Window Jig, or door objects if using a Door Jig.

Jigs can be used in order to create different types of objects, exits or walls between two rooms or the interior and exterior of a design. For example, the Door Jig creates a door between whatever rooms the Jig is placed between. The Window Jig creates a Window between the rooms, while the Launch Tube and Cutting jigs just create holes between the hull and room and cut the faces of each side, respectively.

All jigs create faces between the two walls that they penetrate, in order to give walls thickness and prevent you from seeing any back-faces.

Spacecraft Design

For spacecraft designer specific information, see the Spacecraft Design page.

Building Design

For building designer specific information, see the Building Design page.