Hello Project Trillek.
I listened through your milestone meeting two weeks ago and have given a great deal of thought to a ship constructor design I hope you may consider. The core principle lies in creating standardized libraries of modular parts and texture sheets for each faction.
Fast Prototyping and Iterative Design
Visual styles can be blocked out, evaluated by the community and changed rapidly
Largest Return for Created Assets
A small library of pieces give way to an enormous number of possibilities
Once the design has been laid out new pieces can be added to the library with minimal effort
Encourages creative designs and sharing of ship blueprints
Open Source Friendly:
Anyone can contribute new module pieces following simple guidelines
Mesh Based Construction Compatible with Voxel Grids
Module pieces will be measured by standard units allowing ships made of geometry to easily be placed in voxel based worlds
The base pieces work for both lego style construction and creating drawn shapes algorithmically via the sims construction.
By limiting each faction to a library of pieces, each ship built from a faction's library will look thematically consistent even when the designs are radically different
Effort Spent on Standardization
In some pieces, additional geometry might need to be modeled to account for all use cases
Smaller Benefit on Organically Shaped Ships
More organic ships would benefit less from smaller pieces as the tiling would become more apparent
If we go down this path, the first iteration of community testing would require only the ability to place and rotate pieces on a grid, then save the result. The programming side could be further simplified if the pieces are exported with an invisible box around them that defines their relative placement on a grid.
Once there is a stable build we could expand on the core concept by adding an additional layer of detail for attached doodads both inside (console panels, chairs, beds etc.) and outside (radar dishes, thrusters, solar panel, guns etc.) and decide the next step based on a community consensus.
The level of skill and organization I have seen executed on this project is really incredible and I would love to contribute to your effort. I feel this path is the quickest way to get to a working prototype without any wasted work. I have taken the liberty of creating some template geometry as a poof of concept. These small and simple building blocks provide a great deal of flexibility, but more complicated, interesting and larger modules can be created based on community demand.
Standard pieces using 1 meter base unit scale
Ships of the Varying scale: room-sized, apartment-sized, and row house-sized
UV Layout and legend