I've been looking at the question of ship interior designs. I work in Geographic Information Systems (GIS, think GPS car navigation) with software development, and before that I worked in drafting with AutoDesk's AutoCAD products. Raise your hand if you remember R13 and how bad that was.
One of the things I'm always looking for when I'm designing anything in planning for modular code that can be applied in different spots. In GIS, it's about finding ways to match edges of things. That's completely oversimplified, but it's the thing that jumped out at me with this topic.
So this was the design question I had: How can you make an interior that isn't just a one off design for the current situation and make it re-usable by developers and users?
I think the answer is a three stage process.
Use the extensive blueprints available from CBS for each ship class. Leverage the information from the exterior of the ship.
Identify the modular parts... the connectors where the exterior switches to a different design.
Standardize the connection points between the different ship hull classes.
For me, there's many advantages to this design scheme.
Ship parts can be re-used as new exteriors are designed, it only requires a new deck section is designed for the new exterior skin.
Travel nodes can be tied to the connection points for AI routing, advantage for both crew members and mission AI where pathing must occur.
With match points applied ship interior themes can easily be matched.
As long as the match points are strictly adhered to the only holes in geometry would be in the actual collision skeleton.
Worst case, the connections would have to be designed between the ship hulls, because of large geometry differences from the original design. It's still less work than designing an entire deck from scratch with no reference.
Interior skin designs would be a snap to apply. All of the decks would have standard skins (DS9, TNG, TOS, TNG: Movie, Voyager, ect) that would all have the same connection points, flush match design should be fairly simple.
Anyway, there's my idea. The people who want complete freedom will probably hate it. I would much rather see free design in Fleet Starbases, if those are even on the horizon. Which would be very nice. I'm out.
Ahem... The respected owners of star trek and its franchise has told cryptic to stay away from TNG looking panels such as LCARS and what not.
How does this apply to blueprints and ship layouts? Unless your "and what not" applies to the entirety of the rest of the IP. If so, you should clarify and please link to a developer post. I never place stock in community anecdotal statements.
If there was a sticky by someone from the development team stating what you're claiming, I would have removed the references from the start. Something that could cut down on posted ideas that reference a known "no-go" area should be stickied, even if some of the users new to forums and MMOs would just bypass it.
And honestly, I don't really care about the "cannon" skins. I inserted it because friends I'd run the idea by had asked about it. Creating a modular interior design system that could apply to UGC and Cryptic developed content equally was my intent. Even tossing the single bullet item about it out, the system would apply to any of the Cryptic generated skin designs. If Cryptic couldn't use the pre-designed deck plans, using this type of design methodology for their own interiors is still relevant.
Honestly I'd be more happy with a few simple changes to the current system:
1) Have more turbolifts, especially for bigger maps. Instead of Crew Deck and Engineering deck only, have submenus that put you closer to your desired room; or at least put extra turbolifts at the ends of long hallways to get to other levels faster.
2) Have ship class-specific themes for interiors. A Defiant doesn't have a massive engine room, enormous lounge and Presidential Suite captain's quarters. Decks on some ships are linear, some are curved or circular. If you have an old-style Constitution class and a crew wearting TOS uniforms, why not a TOS bridge and deckplan? It doesn't have to be customizable to a great level, just more options like there currently are with bridges. Maybe have one per class per tier if you're feeling really generous.
3) Decorations for ready rooms and captain's quarters. These are the only parts of the ship that should reflect the captain's style and personality. It's sad that they all have the same paintings, plants, fishtanks and furniture.
4) Some level of functionallity. That's a whole other can of worms, so I won't open it here.
1) That would be very possible, I think. I would think at least a fore, midships, and aft turbolift system where they are labeled with a mouse-over in the map would assist with that. Going a step further, when you step into the turbolift and select a deck you could see the area of the ship it places you closest to before accepting the map transfer.
2) The layout issue is something that this is designed to address.
This type of system could have a sliding complexity scale, like the character creator has with body/head proportion sliders.
Simple - standard ship deck system for a "simple" Defiant, Nebula, Galaxy, ect. deck layout.
Advanced step -
Linked to the exterior selections -- Sovereign mixed with Majestic and Noble deck portions.
Unlinked to the exterior selections -- Mix and match the interior deck pieces from the class of ship active.
As far as customization goes, this company put out the City of Heroes and Villains games (originally). Their Super Group base editor allowed complex placement of items in a sandbox environment. I would hope that they eventually have that type of interface for the UGC. I remember being able to place things as far down as a pile of books on top of a desk.
The only major issue I can think of with this is it limits level design for missions for developers. If a mission requires a specific entrance or movement on a ship interior, this could really limit it. I kind of think that's what custom tilesets are for though. If the paid development team needs something, it gets done in house.
Eventually it's something that could get ported over to user content in this type of system, unless it's something that's deemed "not for player use".
im happy about being able to go around the ship its cool,,i was kinda hoping it would have functionabillity tho,we have a sick bay ,ready room engine room ex,,,but cant touch nothing,,idea:should make a twist in game, beable to tweek settings like a computer , go to far and could be bad,set it rite and gain advantages,,you know?? make it work,,