Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Space Engineers

Been getting the combat itch again lately. Made afew smaller 'bomber' frigates, pretty sure I photo'ed one of'em in a previous blog entry. The follow up to that one was supposed to be lengthy and heavily armored, yea it got exploded the first time I took it up against a military npc ship.

Decided to build another small class fighter but overkill it on armor. This one has kept me alive to date though she's out of commission atm. Last thing I took her up against was a ore hauler ship and the Gatling gun on its top got several shots off before I killed and captured the ship. Ship felt fine, went about my routine. Landing gear locked on to ship after all its defenses were gone, activated my inertial stabilizers to bring the thing to a stop, disconnected gear immediately because landing gear is buggy again and has a habit of exploding. From there I took the pilots chair and all the beacon/antennae just to make sure the game would acknowledge this as my ship.

Flew back to base and was hoping out of my latest combat frigate (nicknamed "The brick" for good reason) when I noticed the damage. The shots the enemy ship had gotten off destroyed the conveyor line supplying the ships four forward launchers. Further lucky shots managed to take out the conveyor pipe behind that, a piece of armor on the corner of that one and two more conveyor pipes behind it. IE, the enemy fire missed my by inches and now there is a large hole through The Brick where conveyor pipe used to be. Heh.

Well that said, I need a large class fighter and am without one since Pillbug met a sad fate against some ship or another a week or two back. I decided to just go at this random and see what comes out. I made a giant rectangle and stared at it for about forty minutes while my sister happily inventoried and cannibalized the npc ships I had caught earlier in the day with Brick. I don't have a photo of the rectangle, but it isn't needed. It was a big. Rectangle. What I do have are progress shots after it stopped being just a rectangle.

I like the 'dune' block design so put it across the top and bottom. Added a double triangle row across both the left and right sides just because I wanted something there. Placed two large thrusters in all direction with an additional eight small thrusters on the back side for get up and go. Also left holes along the sides and top for future turret installation.

Interior shot from before I actually completed the plating. I had to quickly complete the thrusters, a gyro and one of the reactors because.... landing gear is buggy again and the whole ship was shaking violently while the landing gear holding it in place slowly worked through a conveyor pipe I started this project on. Got the ship capable of standing still and killed the landing gear.

Partially armored. As this is a combat ship, all plating is heavy. That's ALOT of steel plates to complete this beast. The entrance is on the front in between the two braking thrusters. Large enough to fit two small ship frigates.

Initial layer of plating installed and painted, now to pipe out the weapon systems. This ship will have a refinery, assembler and cargo containers on board to maintain self sufficiency. I debated large vs small cargo containers but this ship is 'just' small enough that a 3x3x3 large cargo container would take up way to much room no matter where it ended up. So for this ship it'll be multiple small containers instead.

All the forward pipe work complete, I still need to build the production systems and link it all together in the back. But with the front done, I've added a second entire layer of heavy armor plating because I'm paranoid like that :P Pretty sure this is going to be a very very slow ship :P

Second layer of playing and lighting installed.

Debated for awhile but decided that since the ship is self sufficient and self contained, everything that can be on the inside should be. Since this ship will be capable of housing two small frigates, it gets two frigate connector points. I know one of the frigates will be one of my scv model ships with grinder/welder combo. Probably a combat frigate for the second. Dunno though, I tend to go through those quickly. "Something" will go in the second parking space.

Afew photos of The Ark sitting next to 1.0 and 2.0 and whatnot. Not alot of progress to report on 2.0 btw. Would definitely work for exploration but 2.0 would be chewed up by anything that fired at her light armored self. Main body is still mostly hollow.

My goal for this ship is for her to move from asteroid to asteroid scanning and placing beacons labeling what ores are in the asteroid. Will also beacon any ship wrecks or stations I find out there in exploration. Will probably cover the top of this ship with solar panels so she isn't completely uranium dependant.

I've already got my mind on a 2.0 to this ship. Three times longer 1 1/2 times wider and two blocks taller. Carrier class? Yum!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Simcity BuildIt

So.... Dragon Age Inquisition is downloading... and at 26gigs it'll be downloading for a good long while so lets look at something else while we wait.

I like city builders, always have. I like laying out the designs, building the roads, watching my citizens do their thing, leveling up buildings, managing economies, its all fun for me. I'm not talking about them damn Clash of Clan types here either. Honestly, the only reason I still play CoC is out of habit. I've invested so much damn time (and money...shame) in to that freakin game that I'm going to keep chasing building level ups until the servers eventually shut down 100 years from now.

What I'm going to talk about right now instead is a nice passive pve only city builder, the franchise of which is one I've been playing in some form or another since 8th grade...

Simcity BuildIt
Free, Univesal, Cloud enabled, 98mb download, Gamecenter enabled, Online optional.

Like it or hate it, here is the simcity we've been waiting for EA to put out on our mobile devices. After having played it for almost two weeks I can safety say they learned from their mobile mistakes on other unmentionable titles. This one feels pretty fair. Mostly.

What you will do in this one is simple. Build residential buildings to increase population and gain experience towards leveling up. Level up residential buildings to quickly earn coin and experience. In order to level up your residential buildings your citizens will want certain products which come from... your commercial and industrial buildings. Your industrial buildings will generate all the very very basic products. Commercial buildings turn industrial products in to more advanced products. Further in to the game you go, the more complex your citizens requirements will be.

Now all the rules apply here that any simcity fan should know full well. Keep the production buildings, waste disposal, sewage well away from the residential ones.  Keep parks and recreational buildings as well as police, fire and hospital services close to the residential buildings. Upgrade the roads as the citizens demand it.

Leveling up residential buildings is the only way to earn experience. Earning experience levels you up. As you level up you unlock new services, buildings, etc for use in your city. Residentials are the only building type that doesn't have multiple choices because its the only building type that you level up 'after' you place it. Industrial buildings as you level up you'll unlock advanced forms of them that generate less pollution and can handle more work orders at once. Commercial buildings, you'll unlock new types that make new product as you level up but the only way to increase order slots on these is to spend iap. Waste disposal, sewage, power, all have larger and larger versions of themselves that can handle more residential and related service buildings.

On the subject of Waste/Sewage/Power, this isn't some of the earlier simcity games where you had to run pipe and power lines. Each service building has a simple number coverage displayed, when you hit that cap you either replace the placed building with a larger one, or place a second one of the same type. Up to you.

Increasing your population unlocks new features. The ability to sell to other players, the ability to buy from them. These two... are buggy at the moment. Sometimes your things will sell near instantly, other times they'll sit for sale until you cancel them or have a friend buy to open sell slots. The Dock is useful. Every few hours a ship will show up want x amount of a, b and c product. Filling each one of these gives you ingame currency. Filling all three gives you a key. These keys are used later in the game on special things that you place around your city.

Eventually you will unlock scenarios which also should be familiar to fans of this franchise. Anything from fires to alien invasions are possible, I can't comment on it yet though because my population is currently 55k and this feature unlocks at 90k.

Day and Night are present but have no affect on your city aside from visual. Visually this game is gorgeous! Zoom in and watch cars and citizens walk around and the vehicles will actually move about your city with purpose, parking at their destination. Night time turns on city lights and your skyscrapers will light up.

Controls are nice. One finger slides camera around, Two fingers to pivot camera 360 degrees and from isometric view to top down.

Online connection is optional and only required for visiting friends and buying/selling on the market. Your city is saved automatically and once you complete the tutorial on your other devices and say yes to load your existing save it'll automatically load your save across devices so long as your online.

This game has an inventory system and you have to level it up in order to increase its capacity. Leveling it up requires rare items you find from reading the thought bubbles that appear on your residential buildings randomly and/or buying from other players on the market. Leveling up increases your capacity in blocks of 10.

Land expansion runs on a system just like inventory upgrading, but uses a completely different set of rare items from your residentials.

Iap choke holds :
. Industrial buildings work all work orders at the same time. Commercial buildings only work one at a time. This means timers. At level 13 I only have one timer longer than 20 minutes and its in the first commercial building you get at 1hour. Every thing else, 20 minutes or less so far but still, if you are working on three 20 minute hammers you're pretty much standing still for one hour unless you iap boost.
. Placing things for sale is free. Removing things that won't sell costs iap.
. When a new service unlocks for your citizens, they all instantly want it and your city begins to suffer until the need is met across all your buildings.
. Ingame currency is unbelievably expensive if you try to buy with iap so never ever ever do this. Speeding up production is also unbelievably expensive.
. Iap currency is unbelievably expensive.

Suggestions :
. Every time you level up, tap your level icon top left corner. The popup you will see shows you what is coming at your next level up. Any time you see a new service icon, immediately go to the service and check its price, coverage range and how much space each building of it is going to take. Make sure you have the room and funding in before you level up.
. If your short on coin, work the docks and work the random orders that spawn around the city on your service buildings.
. Focus on expanding your inventory > land expansion. There's seriously lots of land here even at the start, I'm at 55k population and haven't used half of the starter land yet and there's so much unused room that I am able to keep my pollution generating buildings wweellll away from my residentials.
. If a road becomes congested the citizens will want you to upgrade it and will begin moving out if you don't do so immediately. If the residential buildings along that road happen to have roads on the other sides of that building, try rotating the building so its road access moves to one of the other roads. Lighten the load on the stressed road enough and it will uncongest and your citizens will become content again.
. Buildings require roads in order to be placed. Also, one road square connecting isn't enough. 2 minimum from what I've observed.
. Iap currency should only be used on Iap only buildings. Iap only buildings offer significant boosts to residential moral over their ingame currency counterparts.
. Do not buy Iap currency outside of a dev support purchase if you are so inclined. You'll find Iap via achievements instead. Iap prices are stupidly expensive.

Do I recommend this game? Yes. Its completely entirely playable without spending a dime. And it isn't painstakingly slow either so far. Follow my suggestions and you can even avoid most of the minor headaches that can catch you off guard.

Suggestions to Developers :
. A storage mode. Load your entire city in to temp storage mode and re place every building. Right now its REALLY difficulty to redesign my city.
. Remember my camera angle each time I load in to the game.
. Some sort of mini game mechanic or interactive when visiting other friends cities as an incentive to do so.
. "Regions" (guilds) where friends can group up with chat features and the like cross city benefits.
. Reasonable iap Pricing model.
. Let me hide the border cut lines please. It really takes away from the beauty of this game.
. Let me cancel production in my commercial/industrial buildings
. A better alignment mechanic for rotating buildings. Current system is really hit or miss.

Good game, good potential to be even better.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Styx: Master of Shadows

So, I picked this one up back in October at launch, and given my flaky attention span she's sat in my steam library un run aside from one sprint sometime early November one night. I remember making it through the first stage, hitting the first huge open area and then for some reason I got distracted by something else. Dunno what. But I ran the game from start again today and damn this is a good one!

Think Thief. The 2014 edition, but your a foul little goblin. And your driven to acquire something called the heart of the world tree. Its in human hands, who took it from elves apparently. The game seems like it tosses you in near the end after Styx has been captured and is being interrogated by the humans. Your playing out the story he tells them.

The interactions are really well done both in game and through cinematic. Controls were abit wonky at release I'm told but a patch 1 week after launch fixed things and playing here near end of December I can confirm that the game plays very well. Mouse and Keyboard work fine here, along with controller support.

Sounds are solid, voice acting epic.

As you play out his story you'll be moving from stage to stage with a main goal being to get from point a to b but that's not all you can do. There are side objectives like collecting loot, rare collectibles for the hideout, hundreds of different approaches to each stage present themselves. Use the underground pipe to pass some guards? How about jump up on to a cross beam? Looking for combat? Toss a dagger at them, or sneak kill, or eve run up and play a round of parry/parry/parry/kill while they freak out.

Definitely alot of options here. It also kind of feels like assassin's creed, without the neutral down time. Anytime anyone sees you, its guaranteed to be bad news.

Completing stages awards you skill points that you spend on Styx and his possessions improving him and his special abilities. Like making a clone of himself, or going to a special vision that lets him see hidden things, or straight up invisibility.

I am 2% complete, just got to my actual hide out which is large and apparently upgradeable. Very cool :)

Its on steam sale atm too. Like Thief? Like the stealthy side of Assassin's Creed? This is your cup of tea.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Space Engineers

Well we gave it three weeks. Waited for word of their return, but none came. Hoped to wake up each morning and find our old friends back, but hey never returned. Nope, sadly the asteroids were gone.

We were hit by the mid November bug that caused all asteroids to vanish mysteriously. After three weeks fingers uncrossed as word was confirmed that the asteroids would indeed be in all new asteroid belts, but those who lost theirs, would never see them again. We spent the following week after this news puttering around, working on little things here and there, both my sister and I highly bummed that our homes since mid august were now skeletons open and bear to space, no asteroid to protect them anymore.

Eventually the sister started poking and prodding me until I caved in and went to work. I launched a new save file, max asteroid population, fast everything and made it creative / open to friends multiplayer. After the sister and I confirmed that we liked what we saw I then flipped the old server to creative. I copy /made blue prints of every single ship on the server as well as all three bases. Went back to the new copy, pasted it all in. Again we looked around, made sure we missed nothing and finally two thumbs up, server files swapped around and set up. Good to go.

Still miss the old home.

The above photos are simply shots of everything we brought with us. Literally turned the starting platform on the new server in to a refugee camp heheh. 2.0, 1.0, miner's mk8, 9 and 10, scv mk3 were everything I brought. The sister brought all sorts of small ships and afew of our captures from npc patrols. Not in the screenshots but present near by are all our base structures.

Little sister is still mourning her old base so has stuck to random building the starting platform in to something that reminds me of a truck stop. Me? I found the exact same asteroid I lived in previously and looked it over. Initially I decided to trim the odd protruding bits from the tunnel by driving mk10 miner down it. But then I decided a more rectangular design could be really cool and spent the next day tearing up the asteroid. The above photos are the result. Large rectangular, completely sealed up. Command center is top dead center, accessed by the two doors on the left in the final photo. Lighting is still a frame rate nightmare so The bases lighting is kept off for now.

Ive also started working on docks for all my smaller ships. Piston powered, the piston has several blocks on its head that extend outside the dock and are controlled by the four button panel down on the ground in the above photo. All my ships have landing gear built on to their tail end that they use to clamp on to the piston block. The ships have to be powered down otherwise retracting them in to their bed the ships thrusters will fight the piston, this is why I didn't have the ships use base connectors. Now, wondering why the ships in the above photo are all outside their beds and the pistons look damaged? New bug today, piston heads seem to be randomly vanishing.

Introducing the missile boat. Small frigate class, four launchers, four engines for forward, two engines for everything else. Very good at killing anything civilian. Not so good at killing anything military. Camera on the front in between the headlights is there in case I feel like cockpit view but obviously need to see beyond the heavy armor plating that completely blocks view (and protects the pilot). Already planning a mk3 (mk1 got blown up when I learned the above fact about this ship vs military npcs), the design of which came bout in an unusual fashion.

I took mk2 out for a spin, we got exploration and endless worlds today. I got about 25km away from base when I clipped an asteroid wall. Knocked out pilots seat, right launcher, conveyor connections, engines on that side, headlight and all armor plating. Nerve wracking because small ships only broadcast 5km their location, and I was about 25km away from home base. I used several points in the current skybox to remember where missile boat mk2 was, went back and got the scv and then after repairing what I could I powered down the missileboat and attached landing gear. The above photo is of the trip back to base with scv acting as tow truck. And that photo is the moment I got the idea for the mk3 missile boat. Look neat when they are both attached like that. Gonna be fun...

Last photo before I wrap this up, someone asked the other day how 2.0 compares size wise to other ships. There you go. 1.0 on the right and on the left is the starter blue ship on easy map fresh games, ship made by Keen themselves.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

This War of Mine

Trapped in a city warzone, military versus Rebels of some sort. Who knows. All that matters is that I can't escape, I can only survive. Strength in numbers during these times, my party consists of the following. A tv show chef. A football player. And a reporter who interviewed the football player at some point. Will we make it? Probably not. Will some of us make it? Who knows.

This game is deep, moody and oppressive and it kicks ass! This post isn't a review of any sort, just a journal of my experiences. Enjoy :)

Day 1
No tutorials to speak of, just three survivors in a wreck of a house. Since the reporter was on the lower level I set her about looting desks, dressers, cleaning up mess down there. The cook was sitting down so I set him to the same chores just on the middle floors. Football player? He knew the drill and was set to cleaning the upper level.

Pretty quickly on the reporter got 'mildly sick', I noticed the medical icon mid floor bathroom and sent her there but she refused to take the medication saying it was nothing more than a cold. I discovered the work bench, didn't pry to close in on it. Football player complained alot about cleaning up trash without a shovel, I'll make one once I figure out how! Shut it!

Night time hit, game goes to menu screen letting me assign each of my people to various roles. I sent reporter to sleep off her illness, football player on guard duty. No weapons but hey, he played football, hopefully he learned something. Cook I sent to a nearby cottage. This kicks in Night 1.

Night 1
Cottage is abandoned and listed as having plenty of most needed resources. Problem? Limited backpack space. Not knowing a whole lot about what I should be pursuing I just grabbed stuff in the front yard and basement entrance till his packs were filled and headed home.

Day 2
Returned from scavenging successfully. Nothing eventful at the house to report. Reporter is still sick, slept poorly and hungry. Football player, very tired from guarding all night and hungry. Cook? Same. Ok so basic necessities time.

Football player and Reporter I set to building two beds in the basement and put them both to bed. Good news, reporter is 'recovering' while sleeping in a bed! Cook I had build a basic stove and once I realized we had no food I just set him to rest at a chair in the kitchen. After afew moments I decided f'k it and sped up to Night 2.

Night 2
Let the reporter keep sleeping, I don't need anyone dieing on my after all. Cook is on guard duty this time, football player has more backpack space so for him its off to scavenge. The cottage available for a followup, listed as having lots of food. WE need eats.

At the cottage I figure things to be logical so I hit the kitchen... and noticed a purple pulse on the second floor. Its moving slowly around the hall and occasionally to what I assume is a second floor bedroom. I watch it for afew moments and then quickly clean out the fridge. Curious, I inch forward in to the main floor hall way and catch a glimpse of whats at the top of the stairs. A rat. Whew! I clear some debris, clear out a cupboard and then head upstairs. Up there is some more grabs and a locked door to the bedroom. I did notice a journal that mentions a pistol buried in the yard, will have to look in to that eventually but not today.

Day 3
I return home... to find out we were raided. F-k! Reporter is slightly injured, raiders were looking for weapons so didn't take anything because... well because we don't got no weapons just yet. Cook is alive and well, I put football player and reporter to bed, cook goes to cooking up what football player brought home.

Inventory appears central at the base, what anyone finds or brings home is universally available to all for any production of anything. Crafting things is simply a matter of having what you need and dragging the ghost of the object around the house to place somewhere.

A merchant showed up, talked trash, had alot to offer but I don't have a clear feel for whats priority so I passed on trading my stuff for his. Set the cook to clean up detail on the top floor after he was fed. Then remembered I was working on a work bench in the first basement a day back, never finished. Sent him down to work on that. Football player work up, fed him then used the stove to prepare food for Reporter when ever she finishes recovering. Night time hits.

Night 3
Reporter on bed rest, cook on guard duty, football player on a third run to that cottage, still stuff there. Ahh something new. Reading about the buried pistol actually gave me a new interaction icon in the yard. Got the gun parts, its broken but its a step.

Damn front door is barred still, tired of moving through the basement and today is the last day of that. Cleaned out the basement and got through the front door on my way out. Nothing unusual at the cottage. Same rat, same locked locker on main floor, same locked bedroom. Looted until I was full, returned home. Going to need at least one more trip out there. Note to self, bring lock picks.

Day 4
Thank god, nothing eventful happened. Reporter is still sick, but no longer injured. Very hungry so I woke her up, fed her, put her back to bed right away.

Someones at the door calling for help. Reporter and cook are asleep. Football player answers. Children, their mother is sick, needs medication that I don't have, sorry. Day goes by without incident. Note, Reporter is 'sad'. I seem to remember something about cigarettes cheering folks up, going to have to learn to make them or... find something else entertaining. Maybe she's just tired of being on a bed,

Night 4
I send the reporter out. Mildly sick but maybe it'll cheer her up. Got in to bedroom with lock pick, found cigarettes, also found two books. Hey book description specifically mentions uplifting moods. Will have to figure out how to put it to use. Also found pain meds in the place and bullets. I may soon send two folks out, try to finish off the cottage in a single run next time.

Day 5
Reporter is no longer depressed, cook is tired from guard duty and put to rest. Oh neat, base inventory screen has a journal summary on the right. Basically a in character run down of everything relating to the base and to my survivors. Football player and cook are sleeping, football player is slightly sick.

Reporter works and opens up the entire third floor. The bathroom has a door icon, locked. Time for some crafting. She's working on a pry bar, cook wakes up, I send him to do as he does with the stove. We are out of food stuff though, not good. I put the cook to busy work making a radio, send the reporter off to rest. Looks like we wont be following up with the cottage tonight, we need food stuff.

Night 5
Apparently I can only send one person out at a time to scavenge, bummer. Cook to guard, reporter to sleep, football runner to find food. Several locations on the map. A ruined Villa, described as occupied by folks who do not want to trade, stealing would be only option. I'm not to that point yet so I leave them and a 'quiet house' also on the map alone. Supermarket is described as having other scavengers in it but, will risk it.

Ok I arrive there and witness a conversation between three people. Two go in scavenging, third comes up armed with rifle but tells me there's plenty for all so not to worry. Thank god. A good haul, food and stuff.

Crap, ok lesson learned. If you don't clear out of the scavenging site before day time, your scavenger has trouble getting home because its not safe to scavenge during the day.

Day 6
Football player hasn't made it home yet. We were raided but nothing was taken. Reporter was injured again. Reporter and cook are very hungry and tired from attack, I put them to rest since Football player hasn't returned with eats yet.

Football player made it back in one piece, woot!

Third floor cleared out as well as second floor. Set radio up on second floor because reasons. Main floor is also cleared and looted.

Made a knife, will leave it for defense during the night when scavenging.

Night 6
Two new areas on the map. A small apartment building, also occupied and unwilling to trade. And 'sniper junction'. Plenty of everything there, for good reason due to how its earned the name.

So I went with sniper junction for kicks and its literally a wide street with sniper firing shots from a hotel way off in the background. Thankfully he is a slow reload so I just ran from cover to cover between shots. Came across a injured guy in middle of street hiding behind fountain, he told me the sewer entrance next to him normally gave full access to the big multi floor building up ahead but someone blocked the door down there. So I ran/duck/ran my way across rest of street and opened up sewer. He led me to his home, made sure his baby boy was ok and gave me free access to a loot spot under his bed. Five diamonds! I bet I can get good crap with that next time trading presents itself!

Backpack full, back to home I go.

Day 7
Damn it! I was running out of time so tried to sprint across the street, Football player took a bullet one inch from cover. And this stumbled him, causing me to miss day light and.... he's out there solo again. He made it back though thank fully. Fed and put to bed. Trader showed up. Those five diamonds got me all the food the guy had plus abunch of construction materials. Win!

Almost have what I need for fortifying the house, will hit the cottage up for a quick easy tonight. Note, helping the father at the sniper junction has made everyone in my group content. Win!

Night 8
Got what I need from cottage and side note, one more trip there will clear it permanently.

Day 8
Reporter is no longer slightly sick. She's 'sick'. Gave her medication, put her to bed. Fortified the house a bit. Got a visitor, a teacher looking for shelter. She offered to take care of children that we might have. Odd. Turned her down, I honestly don't see the benefit of anymore than I already have since I can't send more than one person out scavenging.

Day 9
Stayed in last night, got an achievement. Football player injuries are looking worse, bandaged and medicated him, fed him and put him back to bed. Reporter is injured still from raid afew days ago, hasn't gotten out of bed, she's also sick. I'm two man weak, my cook is very tired, didn't go out so can't make a third bed. Two kids showed up, asking for help taking their injured mother to the hospital. Sure. Off ran cook helping them, hope that wasn't a mistake.

Night 9
Cook didn't make it back before night fall. Two injured? Sigh. Sending out reporter, she's less injured and I'd like to make a third bed. Quick run, finally cleared out the cottage.

Day 9
Figures I'm down to one man who is asleep, we get raided. They unjured him, figures. Took some food. Cook is back, fed and to bed with him. Reporter will have to tough it out abit longer, didn't loot enough to make a third bed.

Night 10
Fighting around the supermarket makes it inaccessible, bummer. Returning with cook to sniper junction, crafting mats. My goal? three beds, Everyone sleeps at day, everyone guards at night. Change of plans. Sniper junction also blocked off due to fighting. Haven't been to the shelled school yet, will go there. Didn't see anything other than rats. On my side of the locked doors and barricades all loot sites were empty. Other side of doors and barricades? Much better :)

Day 11
Final entry for this blog post, all three still alive, two wounded and sick. Working through it.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Space (Engineers) Bugs!

Who knew there were so many bugs in space! Totally! Thursday update, all my servers asteroids packed up their litter boxes and fled. Haven't seen them since. Thankfully I had previously built mk10 large class miner ship, you know the one with like 40 huge ore drills on it. And had thankfully gone on such a drilling spree that the Dig'n'Dump's 14 odd large cargo containers are overflowing with all types of ore.

Oh and then when Keen tried to fix the Thursday asteroid update they broke grinding. If you are in single player or are hosting the server, your fine. Anyone playing multi player, every time you grind a block there's a chance you will hard crash, but your character will remain in game grinding moving forward. This leads often to long grinded holes through things so yea.

Oh and the random fatal crashes. -facepalm- I may need to take a break from this game for afew days. But here's afew more screenshots of work on the interior of 2.0.

Reworking the outside of the ships head gives the benefit of expanding the workable space of the heads interior. New tables, new walkways, etc. Very nice!

Miner mk9, the class small class mining ship I built will be coming with on the great exploration voyage and since the mk9 is too big to fit in the hangar bay I built a personal docking bay for the frigate. See the second hole? I'm going to make a second ship, identical to the mk9 except that it will be packed with grinders on the front instead of ore drills. Will be used for cleaning up ship wrecks I find/make and bases and whatnot. Mental note, rebuild the SCV. I was using the SCV mk2 to grind up a npc ship for resources when the npc ship started drifting in to pieces. Well two or three of the chunks of the npc ship all converged on the pilots seat of the SCV. Result? Boom.

And lastly, several shots of the inside. Work on the neck, hangar bay and main body. Several shots of the main body you can see just how the mk9 miner and mk1 grinder will dock. -pats self on back- Genius heh.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Space Engineers Update

Greetings engineers, reporting in from SE despite all the bugs of late. Alot of progress has been made and without any prattling on lets get straight to the screenshots.

Started working on the over wing, just put something basic across the top for reference. Note, finally decided where the vertical thrusters will be, heh.

Installing personality to the ring.

Little sister showed up to help, she always has liked parking on my projects. Literally heh.

Upper ring complete, found a nice place for the bridge and put that large flat black panel to use. I knew there was a reason I put it in to begin with!

Bottom ring complete, I wish I had taken more screenshots of this progress. Little sister was on hand to help me 'mirror' the top ring and the bottom. To make it easier on us I literally turned 2.0 upside down putting belly towards the sun for better lighting. Completing the bottom took a bit longer than expected, largely because of SE's Thursday update. Since that update, using grinders to remove anything has a chance of hard locking the game for the person grinding. Whats more? Not only do you have to kill the game in task manager, but then you have to go surf the processes section of the windows task manager to find SE and remove it a second time before Steam will recognize that the game is no longer running. Whats even more? Until you kill the second process, Steam things your still in game, because you are. And your still grinding. and your still moving in what ever direction you happened to be moving at the time of the crash. Discovered that last fact after returning from a hard crash one time to find a whole cut through the upper ring, in to the body, through two engines and out the bottom side.

Epic stuff. We made it a goal to make no mistakes so that we wouldn't have to grind anything. Did pretty well too.

1.0 and 2.0 side by side, from the rear.

Afew more finished product photos.

The above two photos I added for a very specific reason. The problem with taking four months to complete the outside of this ship is that in those four months my design language evolved. This ship I built from the front panel to the back and there is a definite change in style here. The nose looks like it literally is the progression of 1.0's design while the back side of 2.0 looks... only very very little like 1.0 at all. I experiment, I try new things, my style evolves. Well the sister and I wandered around the nose of 2.0 for abit tonight and despite several grind related crashes, here is the new nose.

Looks much better and there's even more room inside, I'm going to have to redesign the noses interior. Darn. Shucks. I 'hate' redesigning stuff.

Yea right. Looking forward to it!

But all that aside I installed two large reactors that are spitting out enough juice that 2.0 only runs at 30% max capacity when flying around aggressively. Oh and this thing is fast as hell. And turns like a turd. Even with eleven gyro stabilizers. Well to be honest once I installed the eleven gyro's she turns quite nicely, but she still flips upside down slow as hell.

Whats next? Reworking the interior that's present and working on the main body's interior. Got to get this beast ready for exploration!

Oh hey, another bug hit by the way this past Thursday. Every damn asteroid vanished. Period. gone. Even after three updates to the game client from the Dev team, no dice. The best they could do is prevent it from happening again, anyone who lost their asteroids prior to the latest hot fixes is screwed. Eventually the sister and I will flip this server to creative mode, make blue prints of our favorite ships and start a whole new map.

Probably will do this when exploration hits.

Oh and one other thing, the space you see around the ships? That's the new skybox from the developers. Much nicer than the low res asteroid belt we were previously in :)