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New Block Request: New Low-Profile Cockpit, Pic Heavy

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Dwarf-Lord Pangolin, Sep 18, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    • Request: add a new, small-ship cockpit, which is 2 blocks tall, but 4 or 5 blocks long.
    This might seem like an odd request coming right after we got DarthBiomech's cockpit as an official addition to the game, but that's actually what caused me to make the request. Here's the thing:

    DB's cockpit is awesome; it's got a fantastic shape, and it looks tremendously spiffy inside and out. But it does have one problem:

    It's big. Like, really big.
    • It's half a meter taller than the stock cockpit (putting it at 2 meters). In real life, I'm 6'3", which means that I could stand up in this thing and still have almost a tenth of a meter to spare -- almost four inches. That's more than I have on the bus.
    • It's also 3 meters long -- in other words, almost ten feet. Whole lotta legroom there.
    • It's also -- appropriately -- much more massive. It's almost twice the mass of the small cockpit.
    None of these things make it a bad cockpit; and I am so using this on my civilian designs. But they -- specifically, the height and mass -- are a problem if you want to use it on military designs. Modern fighter cockpits are tiny -- here's an example of what I'm talking about. Here's the two cockpits we have at present:

    [​IMG]

    Now compare them with this gentleman working on a reconstructed fighter cockpit (useful because you get to see the cockpit on its own, without the rest of the fuselage):

    [​IMG]

    Standing upright, that man would likely be taller than the cockpit, and he does not appear to be a terribly tall man. I've been to a couple museums of flight that had either scale replicas of cockpits, or cockpits from actual fighters that had been sold or donated to the museums, and first-hand, they are extremely cramped things.

    The reason for the height difference is that both DB's cockpit and the old cockpit have the pilot sitting almost fully upright -- in the position you're probably sitting in right now, if you're reading this at your desk.
    This is also about the same position you'd be sitting in if, for example, you were operating a Bobcat or similar piece of construction equipment, and it makes perfect sense for the default cockpit in a game called Space Engineers. For combat ... not so much.

    The thing is, there is no need for us to be sitting like that in the cockpit. Instead, we should have a more compact cockpit that puts the astronaut in the positions depicted below, in order to save space:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    So, to restate, here's my request:
    add a new, small-ship cockpit, which is 2 blocks tall, but 4 or 5 blocks long to account for the lowered, more stretched position of the pilot. TBH, I would love to see DarthBiomech take this up as a modding project, since he did such a stellar job with his other cockpit.
     
  2. Crewman87 Apprentice Engineer

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    438
    I can agree to this. I love the fighter cockpit, but it is a very large design and very easy to take out in combat. Granted the missiles are OP and do not make a difference.
     
  3. DragonEater Trainee Engineer

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    67
    +1 to more cockpits!

    On the other hand, the examples you are showing are for atmospheric designs. I would assume that after adding the systems required for advanced controls as well as the volume to cram you bulky suit and jet pack into, the module gets bigger.

    As far as I know the reclined position was to help with the blood pressure due to extreme G forces, again, your suit can compensate for this already.
     
  4. GotLag Senior Engineer

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    1,114
    The reclined position also reduces frontal cross-section.
     
  5. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

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    2,597
    Going to give this a bump; glad to see that there are folks who would like to see this as well (all three of you! :D)

    In answer to DragonEater's observations, the controls probably wouldn't be an issue; the stock cockpit itself doesn't have much room for anything besides the pilot if we grind it down, and much of the extra volume occupied by DB's cockpit is open air. And I think that tilting the seat back would provide as much room for the jetpack as there is in the other cockpits.

    So as an illustration, here's DB's cockpit:
    [​IMG]
    Now imagine a cockpit of the same length, but with the seat scooted forward and leaned backwards. That lowers the pilot's head, so drop the canopy and console down two blocks (if it gets cramped, put the controls along the sides of the cockpit instead of with a center console).
    I'd really like to see a lower-profile cockpit in-game; regardless of whether you'd like to use it for combat or just really sleek speedsters, I think it would be a Good Thing.
     
  6. WhiteWeasel Senior Engineer

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    1,086
    I think I made a suggestion for a 2x2x4 cockpit. A low profile one would be really cool.
     
  7. KissSh0t Master Engineer

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    3,529
    I want over 9000 cockpits (◉_◉)
     
  8. SenorZorros Master Engineer

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    7,063
    An 2*4*2, 3*4*2 and 3*4*3(formed like a cabin) version would be nice too
     
  9. KingdomBragg Junior Engineer

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    544
    +1 I'm all for this and was asking for it back in September. Have you spoken to Darth on his modding thread?
     
  10. Levits Senior Engineer

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    2,122
    Great idea with this one as well as having a very good point. I never realized just how big the "fighter" cockpit really is. I'm happy with the choices we have now with the two current cockpits as both are useful and provide for diversity. The original is ideal for conventional use with visibility. The larger, heavier cockpit has or should have a higher durability rating, and the addition of a smaller, even sleeker cockpit should be for those who want an even more efficient and sleek fighter design.

    I would suggest that a smaller cockpit would not have as much durability as the larger one which would allow for one to be used for fighters and the other bombers, but that's just my opinion. The most notable aspect of a smaller cockpit that I would certainly include would be the limited viewing angle that a pilot would have with regards to his position. If he is laying lower in the cockpit, I'd imagine that a players view would also be slightly more impaired than the other two. This is unless the forward section of the cockpit was made of glass.

    Later on in the game however, I'd like to see the inclusion of other cockpit designs and styles as I think it would be nice to be able to choose the right part for the right job.

    Original Cockpit: Simple, light, and cheap. Has a decent view range.
    Fighter Cockpit: heavier, safer, and sleeker design. Also has a decent viewing angle... though I'm not sure if it is a little more restricted.
    Potentially New Fighter Cockpit: Lighter (nearly same as original), possibly cheaper than the normal fighter cockpit (but that is up for discussion regarding durability), and much more sleek than either of the two. It would have a far more restricted view than the others however.
    I'd even like to see a cockpit with greater visibility. One that could be used to support docking or simple visible navigation. All glass or simply more glass panels, like that of helicopter cockpits.
     
  11. Vermillion Senior Engineer

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    2,131
    I think the Azimuth Cockpit is pretty close to it. Though I think you want one "thinner" than that.
     
  12. Swanicus Apprentice Engineer

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    244
    I am 100% for this suggestion. I love DB's cockpit but I agree that a smaller lighter more sleek cockpit would be a welcome addition. Sadly, I believe DB is taking some time off from modding due to a broken computer(IIRC).

    Hopefully he'll attempt another one when he gets back to it.
     
  13. TheDeinonychus Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    88
    You know, while a slimmer cockpit would be nice for a lot of builds (such as utility ships for building/grinding/mining inside stations or ships), there's something I think you may be forgetting.
    How it seems to me, and this may just be my rationalizing things but oh well, is that the cockpit blocks are not just the cockpit themselves. It's the actual cockpit, as well as the life support, navigational computers, operations computers, probably a good deal of the communications. If you want to get technical, you could build a ship with simply the cockpit, one gyro, one small reactor, and a handfull of thrusters.

    The cockpit blocks are effectively a self-contained system, only really missing power and propulsion. Now, while it would add more realism maybe, if you were to strip them down to make them slimmer, you'd need additional blocks for all the systems you took out. That means O2 tanks and filters, a flight computer, a communications block, all would need to be separate blocks you'd have to find room for on your ship. Right now, they're all packaged together into the cockpit blocks.
     
  14. thatguywithahammer Apprentice Engineer

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    179
    Life support and communications are built into the player's suit. Avionics wouldn't take more than a 1-block cube, since it can fit inside a remote control block. The cockpit really just needs to be a chair with glass around it. Computers could fit under the seat.
     
  15. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,597
    I did not realize that -- I am sorry! And no, but I probably should, although if his computer is indeed out that renders the point slightly moot. :(

    It's definitely closer, though you're right; I'd like one that's two blocks tall if that wouldn't unrealistically compress the pilot. The Azimuth is a marvelous cockpit regardless.

    I think thatguywithahammer is right: cockpits don't seem to be self-contained systems. This makes sense when you think about the fact that large ship control stations -- which aren't enclosed at all -- can provide the same functionality as a full cockpit. Life support is provided by the suit with the cockpit providing power; cockpits don't feature comms beyond what the pilot has (otherwise we wouldn't need antennae); and avionics are, as stated, apparently not that bulky (though, to be honest I wouldn't call .5 meters^3 small).

    If it helps any TheDeinonychus, with a seat that's angled backwards there'd still be quite a bit of volume between its back and the bottom of the cockpit, since the pilot wouldn't be lying prone. Also, keep in mind that we're talking about something that's 3 wide x 2 tall x 4 or 5 long. Even with a length of 4, that's 24 blocks of volume, only 3 less than the stock cockpit. Much of that volume is either open air in the cockpit, or not actually enclosed in the cockpit at all due to the slanted canopy. Make it 5 long, and it would actually contain a greater volume, just flatted.
     
  16. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,131
    At two blocks tall, the Engineer wouldn't fit at all with his backpack. Even without it he'd barely fit in that space and even if he did, he'd be sitting horizontally and be unable to see where he's going.
    That's without including the thickness of the glass or "seat".

    Though I did see a new cockpit on the steam workshop today that looked to be thinner. I haven't tested it yet.
     
  17. GotLag Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,114
    The original small ship cockpit is optimised for view ahead and above, I'd like one optimised for view ahead and below. The shape should be roughly similar to the original, but upside down, and with with control panels and graphical doodads moved to the pilot's sides instead of in front.
    Something like this in layout but with the same styling as the original cockpit:
    [​IMG]
    Here's an inside view from a similar model:
    [​IMG]
    These are control cabins for dockside container cranes. Note how the operator's view in front and below is entirely unobstructed.
     
  18. TheDeinonychus Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    88
    Check out the Used Mining Equipment mod. It includes a cockpit like that, as well as a few more 'equipment cab' style cockpits


    As for life support and communications being built into the suit, that's like saying there's no need for a scuba tank when you have a snorkel. Yes, technically there is a radio and life support in the suit. But it's a very limited battery, and limited range. Being in a ship not only allows you to interact with antenna's at a greater range, but also does not run down the battery on your suit. You can interpret it either as simply plugging your suit into a power port, or as using the ship's life support system rather than your suit's. But even if you do consider it just using the ship's power, there's something else to consider. Without sitting in a cockpit, you recharge your suit's power by going to a med-bay. In that sense, you're not only recharging the battery, but also probably refilling it's oxygen supply as well. If not, then you should be able to recharge your suit at any reactor as well, if it's simply a case of needing power.

    With large ships and stations, arguing that small-ship cockpits don't need to be any bigger than the flight chairs runs into one problem. That being that, currently, there is a technical limitation of the game. That being, as far as I know, there's no real way to tell if a structure is open to space, or is a sealed room. Once there is, we'll likely see the ability to pressurize an area with oxygen. That means there would be no need to use the suit's systems outside of tools, jetpacks, or the radio. Till that happens, however, it's just simpler to work the flight chairs the same way as the enclosed cockpits.

    There's also the size of the engineer to consider as well. Using small blocks, the optimal opening I found for the engineer to fit through without difficulty is roughly 3 blocks wide by 5 blocks tall. I'm assuming that would mean the engineer is roughly 3 blocks deep as well, though I haven't tested it. That's 45 square blocks of space just for the engineer to fit comfortably. Any cockpit that's smaller than that is going to be very cramped. Remember, the engineer's feet stuck out of the original small cockpit for a long time. They might still, I haven't checked.
     
  19. Volthorne Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    487
    First, I'm pretty sure our engineers aren't 1.5m across at the shoulders. That would mean either we're wearing the space equivalent of the Hulk Buster armor that Iron Man wears over his regular armor, or that we're 400lb gorillas. Seeing as neither of those is true, I think we can chalk that particular quirk up to collision boxes.

    Second, cockpits don't need to be all that spacious. Especially if they're being used for racing/military applications. Go have a look at the cockpit on an F1 racer or any fighter jet and tell me how much space you think they take up. Not 5 cubic meters, that's for sure (which is roughly how much the collision box on the engineer model occupies). Hell, the standard small ship cockpit only takes up 3.375 cubic meters, and not even all of it - probably closer to 2.5 cubic meters.
     
  20. GotLag Senior Engineer

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    1,114
    Unfortunately they look like ass, and don't match any of the other blocks in the game.
     
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