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Ship design has been part of Galactic Civilizations games for many years.  However, with Galactic Civilizations III, the designer has reached the point where user creations are starting to rival what you would see in movies.

The ship designs we included are wholly original creations based on the lore that's been developed over the past 25 years.

The ship designer itself lets people put together thousands of parts to create whatever they want.

A new design

For the serious designer, they start from scratch.  This blank screen with a collection of parts is the starting point.

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In the beginning...

 

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As you add parts, you will see red dots where you connect other parts to it.

 

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In the hands of a clod like me, I can design something like this in minutes.  The controls in the bottom right let me resize, rotate, animate, etc.

 

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In the hands of someone with some skill, you can get something like this such as this Babylon 5 inspired Starfury like ship.  Because ships are hard surfaces, it's relatively easy for someone to create pretty much any ship.  Organic ships tend to be a lot tougher to make.   But most ships are ultimately a series of wings and cylinders.

What is part of the game?

Obviously, we don't include any of these designs, even inspired ones, with the game.  The point of the ship designer and the fans who share their ship designs is to create their own stories in their heads. 

There is a cottage industry of people who compare different ships sizes, write fan fiction regarding their favorite ships.

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Ship size comparison on deviantART.

Anyway, the point being, what people create and share with our tools is up to them.  Galactic Civilizations has always been about creating your own sandbox universe to play in.  It asks the question: What happens after we leave Earth? What is next? And leaves the answers up to the player.

If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments.


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 03, 2017

Hours spent playing GCII and GCIII    Too many to count..

Hours of that time actually spent designing ships...     also way too many to count.


The ship designer is not needed to make these games fun to play... but they are some one engrossing way to make me forget how fast time does indeed pass when having fun.

on Feb 03, 2017

Being able to make your own ships adds hugely to the fun factor of GC III, as it did for GC II.

 

Now in III having all this with fine hires textures and way more detailed components it's just glorious

I fully agree the GC series would be great games without the ship designer, but IMO having them adds immensely to the "longevity" of those games since you can always create something new...

on Feb 03, 2017

The ship designer IS the game. That said, there are problems:

1) In GC2, a hardpoint had a set orientation, in GC3, they have a sort-of orientation, but the X-Y-Z axes of the component are absolute (they align with the ship's axes) not relative (the part's axes). And the program gets confused (as do I). This means that sometimes a piece cannot be rotated in one direction (two 'axes' are now parallel). It also means that arranging parts around, say, a circle is very hard, because you need to use geometry to figure out the offsets. Worse, they won't animate properly because sometimes their internal axis crosses two absolute axes. Also, sometimes the axes upnpredictably come out to 45 degrees off of the main axis. 

2) Some parts have really unfortunate choices of axes, making them hard to use.

3) Sometimes the incremental "offset" values change when you click on another component. You have to enter the value by hand and hit return to make the value come out right.

4) Like above, some angles are unreachable... the angle-ometer will come close to the correct angle, but will stop a few decimal places short. Sometimes even hand-entering the angle won't help.

5) Custom components are hard to make, impossible to organize, and they mess up scaling (especially their own, but they can mess up the scaling of other parts too).

6) You can't change ship size if you mess up.

7) Many parts have lights, which limits their utility if you want them a different size or for a race that can't see visible light. many parts have engines that would be nice to have go away. Sometimes the windows use engine lights and the engines use window lights. It would be nice to just be able to turn off engine or window lights.

8) There isn't enough light in the designer to see your creation, and you can't change light direction or fill light (of which there is none)

9) The designer can't be launched without a concurrent game.

10) You cannot turn a ship all the way around or zoom in and out all the way (zooming into a ship is useful) like you could in GC2.

11) Every [expletive deleted] Yor part is assymetrical.

Ok, enough. I love the designer. I spend all day in it. keep up the great work!

on Feb 03, 2017

General Pants

The ship designer IS the game. That said, there are problems:

1) In GC2, a hardpoint had a set orientation, in GC3, they have a sort-of orientation, but the X-Y-Z axes of the component are absolute (they align with the ship's axes) not relative (the part's axes). And the program gets confused (as do I). This means that sometimes a piece cannot be rotated in one direction (two 'axes' are now parallel). It also means that arranging parts around, say, a circle is very hard, because you need to use geometry to figure out the offsets. Worse, they won't animate properly because sometimes their internal axis crosses two absolute axes. Also, sometimes the axes unpredictably come out to 45 degrees off of the main axis. 

2) Some parts have really unfortunate choices of axes, making them hard to use.

3) Sometimes the incremental "offset" values change when you click on another component. You have to enter the value by hand and hit return to make the value come out right.

4) Like above, some angles are unreachable... the angle-ometer will come close to the correct angle, but will stop a few decimal places short. Sometimes even hand-entering the angle won't help.

5) Custom components are hard to make, impossible to organize, and they mess up scaling (especially their own, but they can mess up the scaling of other parts too).

6) You can't change ship size if you mess up.

7) Many parts have lights, which limits their utility if you want them a different size or for a race that can't see visible light. many parts have engines that would be nice to have go away. Sometimes the windows use engine lights and the engines use window lights. It would be nice to just be able to turn off engine or window lights.

8) There isn't enough light in the designer to see your creation, and you can't change light direction or fill light (of which there is none)

9) The designer can't be launched without a concurrent game.

10) You cannot turn a ship all the way around or zoom in and out all the way (zooming into a ship is useful) like you could in GC2.

11) Every [expletive deleted] Yor part is asymmetrical.

Ok, enough. I love the designer. I spend all day in it. keep up the great work!

About 3) It's not sometimes - it's all the time. The value you input with the mouse wheel is always 0.1 less then what is displayed. With the exception of any round number, like 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and etc.

12) Some parts have not properly aligned hard-points.

13) You can never attach part to hard-point you want if there a one or more hard-points behind the one you chose (from you angle of view). You have to find right angle to do it - if it even possible. Ship designer is a good tool to find out how much actual patience you have... and i have a lot  

on Feb 03, 2017

Any particular reason why medium and large ships are about the same size in the battle viewer?  I'd expect large to be at least twice as long as medium.

on Feb 03, 2017

charon2112

Any particular reason why medium and large ships are about the same size in the battle viewer?  I'd expect large to be at least twice as long as medium.

 

I would re-ask this as a separate issue, titled "sizes in the viewer." I think they made Large hulls larger, but didn't change the scale factor...

on Feb 03, 2017

I have to say I LOVE the designer. I spend a lot of time in it, and really enjoy working with it. But I agree, there are some finicky things about it.

In fact, I got on the forum specifically to post about the designer, and I saw this thread. How fortuitous!

As much as I love the designer, I would greatly appreciate if the dev team could apply a little polish to it. 

General Pants and El_Borrak, good list.

About 5) Parts resizing from the editor to the game can make a ton of time and effort making (what the designer obviously believes is) an awesome design turn into a hot mess and results in a great deal of subsequent frustration and redesigning. This particular issue has recently (last night) thrown me into fits of hysteria and rage (okay, not really, but I was quite frustrated). I did a quick search and found that it has been an issue for a long time (known since at least Nov. of 2015; see posts here and here)... The linked forum posts have pictures, but for those who don't want to click out of this thread, here are some of my own to demonstrate:

While editing, the ship looks like this:

In the game (designer/shipyard/map), the ship looks like this:

Again, I love the designer. It is an amazing tool--just as the OP demonstrates. But "for the serious designer," to whom the post refers, a few fixes could make this all the more amazing! Thanks again to the dev team for all their hard work making an awesome game! Looking forward to many more hundreds of hours of enjoyment!

on Feb 03, 2017

I love the ship designer like I love lego. One thing I would like to see improved in the future selection of colours, shades, etc. Perhaps having more more materials and an RGB wheel?

on Feb 04, 2017

Given that the designer is a genuine standout feature for the game it makes it even more of a shame that over the last 2 years that so little has been done to make the experience better.

on Feb 04, 2017

missing from GC2, you made great improvements to the designer but have left out some of the basic features that were important.

  • the quick orientation views
  • Ambient lighting slider
  • color selection
  •  top down view
  • quick toggle for hard point display
  • auto rotating view

next time I'm in it I'm sure I'll find more

on Feb 04, 2017

Omnibus is so discouraged that he posted this to me with the ok to share it. Please please listen to us.

Omnibus: Havent put it on and doubt I will for some time yet. Might have al look at their new crusade or whatever it is. But unless they have fixed or done something to the Ship limit and even added a delete in the exported (created) Parts then they can go to buggery. I have asked and asked, seems like they have just thrown it in the too hard or cant be stuffed basket. Then come out with, you the players have asked for thing crap, which I havent seen or heard of, but heard and asked for Colour set but again, ignored. Just ppeeved with the whole attitude

on Feb 04, 2017

Edladner

missing from GC2, you made great improvements to the designer but have left out some of the basic features that were important.

 

    • the quick orientation views

 

    • Ambient lighting slider

 

    • color selection

 

    •  top down view

 

    • quick toggle for hard point display

 

    • auto rotating view

 


next time I'm in it I'm sure I'll find more


Quick toggle for hard point is the space bar.

But all the rest is valid points.

on Feb 04, 2017

One more thing that i just remembered - ability to detach part and move it to some other hard-point, without deleting and going through entire list to find it again. 

on Feb 05, 2017

In GC2 if you added a part, later you decided to add more like it.  You could select the part on the ship then reselect it in the list and it would keep the settings that you used before. This was really useful for adding the part to new sections of your ship.

on Feb 05, 2017

And none of us remembered that in GCII you could favorite a part. That would be so useful for making ship sets!

 

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