Thanks for all your kind comments last time. And the helpful feedback. Even though they were a sensational success, we’re going to be taking a week off from tubes this time. Don’t worry! The beating heart of spaceship design will return! But while we’re waiting for the REAL key to amazing science fiction design that is comically oversized exposed black rubber tubing, I figured I’d try approaching from a slightly different angle. Instead of starting with blocky cubes and then adding a few round bits, let’s start with the round bits first.
Now, there was some consternation over terminology last time. I kept calling these round things “Lathes” which I thought was a time saving and cleverly descriptive strategy. Mystefied onlookers began to question if I meant “Cylinders” or “Solids of Revolution” or perhaps “Compound rectalinear hemi-toroidal faceted bounding nets” and while all of those are accuratethough I have some questions about that crazy “cylinder” idea my favorite suggestion was to call them eye-sores and move on.
Before generating any eye-sores, let us begin, as before, with a completely accurate picture of:
The Lonely Expanse of Space
Exactly the same thing as last time, but I like maintaining the tempo of these posts. Speaking of tempo, I know what you’re thinking, so let’s just get this right out of the way. I’m not making one of these every week.
Or maybe you were thinking of this?
Because I’m not going to make one of those either.
Or, perhaps this?
Because, I’m not going to waste any time making any of those things. I know you want me to, but I’m just not going to do it.
So, with that out of the way, let’s play with a simple ring. Instead of going all the way through a design as beforehull, engines, crew, cargo, guns I’m going to just outline a few rough designs for each configuration. So, we have the popular ring-lying-on-its-side configuration:
And the more unusual ring-standing-on-edge configuration:
and the rarely-seen ring-face-on configuration:
And, um, that’s it! I mean, you wouldn’t want a ring-at-an-odd-angle-so-you-aren’t-even-sure-which-end-is-up configuration would you? That would be… um, oh, I see here in my notes…
Hmm. Okay. Is that really what it’s called?
Well then, here’s the wonkus-donkus-eye-sore configuration:
The interesting thing about the eye-sores is they have a clear axis, but are also perfectly symmetrical around that axis. It makes the orientation more significant, but also somewhat simpler than for cubes. Not that we want to get rid of cubes entirely. You may have noticed that I’m still using them to adorn the eye-sores, and I’ve got a few new tricks for that as well. The first is chamfering the edges (here we go with the technical language! It’s basically just a first order bevel, which is “rounding off” the edges, but with only a 45 degree cut instead of a fully rounded smooth edge) which gives it that tasty manufactured look. The second is the solidify modifier, which adds thickness to a flat surface. These two can result in some pretty neat geometries. Part of it is the elemental nature of the designs themselvesit’s only a slightly modified cube after all. But another part has to do with something else that I’ve been putting off talking about because it has a tendency to overwhelm all the other design aspects to the degree that one might begin to wonder if anything else matters at all.
Sadly, we’re out of time for this week, so I’ll simply leave you with the source file againAll of this stuff is free of IP restrictions by the way, for your enjoyment.
 though I have some questions about that crazy “cylinder” idea
 hull, engines, crew, cargo, guns
 it’s only a slightly modified cube after all
 All of this stuff is free of IP restrictions by the way
Could Have Been Great
Here are four games that could have been much better with just a little more work.
The Best of 2013
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2013.
The plot of this game isn't just dumb, it's actively hostile to the player. This game hates you and thinks you are stupid.
Crysis 2 has basically the same plot as Half-Life 2. So why is one a classic and the other simply obnoxious and tiresome?
The Biggest Game Ever
How did this niche racing game make a gameworld so massive, and why is that a big deal?