Space Engineers: When Ships Turn Against You

We’ve had a “blast” in Space Engineers lately.  A few days ago we started a second save file / server for our friends to join us on which really upped the enjoyment.  Space Engineers is absolutely meant to be played with other people.  Having three people on a platform all building stuff or going out and gathering resources adds to how dynamic the experience can be for everyone.

Last night Graev was working on his new mining ship design.  The goal was to create the ship in multiple parts by combining a ‘Large’ ship with a ‘Small’ ship (mechanics built into the game).  The large ship portion would be thrusters and main components for navigation with a rotor designed to spin the drill bit. The drill bit would actually be a self-sustained vessel unto itself that would lock into place via landing gear.  The idea, on paper, was fantastic.

In practice…

It didn’t turn out so well. I think naming the ship ‘Godzilla’ (one of our live stream viewers requested the name) was a curse. Graev and I had fun yelling at each other.  Me: “What did you do?!”  Graev: “I didn’t do anything!”  Me: “Turn off your engines!”  Graev: “This thing has a mind of its own!”  My stomach was hurting from laughing so hard.

We quickly learned that there are issues with connecting ships in this fashion. We still can’t figure out what might have caused the two ships to conflict so much and cause each other to spiral out of control. You can find more of our night’s disasters on our forums.

I can’t wait until more functionality is added to the game.  I’d love to have buttons, levers, etc., to create even more fully functional designs.  Right now we are limited by rotors as our main tool.  It’s getting there!

Once we have a dedicated server set up, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out without the ability to save and reload.

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Fathom - May 29, 2014

freaking hilarious!

Drathmar - May 29, 2014

Nice. I have been working on building a battleship built around a very large re-loadable gravity cannon and then missile and smaller gravturrets that can turn as well. I had the gravity cannon working last night with firing rocks… but for some reason it stopped working and they just started bouncing off instead of penetrating and I cannot for the life of me figure out why.

I did find out that the artifical mass block lets ships be affected by gravity through so I am going to try and build self-correcting torpedo’s when I get home that basically with have thrusters for every direction but backwards so the inertial dampeners can’t actually stop the forward momentum but should keep it in a straight line with the other thrusters.

Drathmar - May 29, 2014

Also watching your video the issue is that when you attach something to a large ship using landing gear… the attached ships mass is not calculated by the inertial dampeners and so crazy things like that happen.

To fix it you need to make sure the attached object is centered between the thrusters of the large ship. Also more gyroscopes might help as the more gyro’s you have the better control over pitch/yaw you have.

Yotor - May 29, 2014

I was there last night. Hilarious stuff my sides were hurting I was laughing so hard. I think one of the best parts was at the very end, you can’t see it very well on Keens stream but Graev decides to tear down his drill bit ship in the on platform grinder, what he doesn’t realize when you destroy the cargo bays or reactors it will drop all of the contents into space. Well gravity was turned on and when the cargo bay was crushed a giant stone just crushed its way through the platform leaving a giant hole and a giant iron turd falling to the depths of space.

The game was just nonstop accident destruction.

wufiavelli - May 30, 2014

Imagine something like that happening to you in an MMO?

Horrorshow - May 30, 2014

I could watch you two playing this game for hours.

Rawblin - May 30, 2014

I’ve been messing around with a multi-drillbit mining vessel. It doesn’t seem like adding gyroscopes helps at all (beyond the initial). However, it does seem like adding more thrusters helps (though it hasn’t fixed the problem yet). When I have 5 drills all running on the same side, it just starts pulling the ship all over the place. The problem slowly gets worse until it hits some breaking point, and then it just goes nuts. This makes mining with the damn thing kind of akin to riding an enraged bull. Fun as hell, but also scary because you may lose life/limb/ship in the process. Haha!

The additional thrusters enable faster correction via the pilot, but they also seem to help the innate inertial dampeners keep the wobble down for longer.

But get this. I had an epiphany. I want to build a mining ship that is basically a ball, surrounded by drills. And then navigate it into an asteroid center, and just let it go wild. I’m not sure if this is brilliance or madness, but it will be tested.

Rawblin - May 30, 2014

Update: After more experimentation it looks like it is actually a power issue. I noticed that my thrusters didn’t have the long pretty blue light anymore while mining, just the tiny little “on” glow. I was using one small reactor, and the instrument panel read something like 300-500% power usage constantly while drilling. Turns out this is a bad thing. Adding a few more reactors got me back under 100% usage, and my thrusters now actually function (and thus so do the inertial dampener systems).

I’m not certain if this had anything to do with your troubles Keen, but it’s worth looking into. I just don’t have any experience with large ships yet.

Rawblin - May 30, 2014

Wow, okay, so as I clicked post I had a bright idea for you.

Your ship is two ships combined. The large ship has its own inertial dampener system by default, as does the small ship that gets connected. The large ship has thrusters and tries to compensate for inertia, but does not succeed. Probably because it would be like trying to do so with a dead spinning elephant on your head.

Maybe that small ship needs its own thrusters, completely dedicated to keeping it synced up with the large ship. Or at least keeping it from “really” being a spinning top connected to the nose of your large ship. Maybe if it could compensate for its own inertia from the drills spinning plus IT spinning, you guys could actually navigate with the large ship? I saw thrusters on the small ship, but not sure if there were enough for all directions.

Anywho, just idle conjecture really as I delve into the physics behind this system. Lol.

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