Rough Ship Builder

March 26th, 2010| Posted by Andy Korth
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags:

As we mentioned before, player-built ships are a big part of our plans for Solaro. You’ve probably noticed that the other builds feature a stock ship model that doesn’t look particularly configurable.

So we wanted a really flexible way to let players make ships. We rejected just giving out a set of prefabricated hulls, and letting players attach things on them. There’s still a creative process there, and a sense of ownership, but you are limited to what you’re given, and you can never create anything really unique or identifiably different from that hull piece.

So we’re taking more of a building block approach. We provide modular pieces and let the player add them wherever they want. Initially we thought about a grid based system, but this wasn’t quite flexible enough from an artistic point of view. It was very limiting to see pieces that had their connecting faces constrained to a grid.

So this is what we have:

Comments on the blog are open- we’d love to see what you’ve made. We’ve only got a few test pieces right now (and a few aren’t quite set up to rotate correctly), but we’ve found we can make some interesting stuff. Feel free to share in the forums as well. You can use Upshot for taking and sharing screenshots of your creations!

  1. Red M@
    March 29th, 2010 at 12:44
    Reply | Quote | #1

    You should take a look at Spore’s building and vehicle designer. IMO, the best open-ended end-user-oriented model creation tool I’ve used. Not that you would want to duplicate it, but it might be useful for ideas.

  2. Andy Korth
    March 29th, 2010 at 19:25
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Not a bad suggestion, Red M@. I am familiar with it. I think one thing we’ve mocked up differently is the connection points. In Spore you can snap any piece just about anywhere on your critter. We’ve set specific points for attaching pieces. Maybe that’s a more fitting approach for for non-organic pieces, but it’s something we could explore…

  3. James McNeill
    March 30th, 2010 at 08:28
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Creating a ship builder like this seems like it has the potential to be a giant time sink. Spore took eight years to make; not sure if it is the best model in that regard. It is cool, though.

    As an aside, user-generated content is one of the tactics boxed-game makers are adopting to attempt to discourage the rental and resale markets.

Comments are closed.