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Planet Explorers Released!

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Topics - Thundercraft

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
I find it a bit immersion-breaking how Vera Novikova leaves the player's party immediately after "Intersolar Diplomacy" - that is, immediately after confronting Governor Skyrunner in the Martian Colony and asking her the big question.

Why would Vera Novikova run off into the wilderness and go back to the Earth Camp alone and on foot? Wouldn't make more sense for her to accompany the player character back to Earth camp, both because it would be much safer as a group and how it would (presumably) be faster?

I mean, immediately after "Intersolar Diplomacy" starts (after "Ask Ataro"), Vera talks about how she hopes that they avoid the quote, "Monsters" as how they are described sounds scary. Does this sound like someone who is comfortable with trekking all the way back to Earth Camp all by herself and on foot? (Myself, I flew there in an airship. Because, why not? I already built the airship and it has plenty of fuel left.)

Besides, the completion of "Intersolar Diplomacy" starts the "Civil Cooperation" mission, which has the player go back to Earth Camp to talk with Ataro again. The player is heading straight back to Earth Camp anyway. So, why wouldn't Vera want to hitch a ride?

I do appreciate that periodic sleep is a necessity in PE. And I like the way that it is implemented, complete with a "tired" state that causes problems for the player. It adds greater depth of realism and a sense of immersion.

That said, I find it annoying that the player's (and followers') sleep cycle does not come even close to syncing with planet Maria's day/night cycle.

Granted, one should not expect the days on extraterrestrial planets to match Earth's 24 hour (23 hours and 56 minutes) period. Some planets have very long days, while some have short days, and many are in between. For example, planet Venus has an exceptionally long day which is equivalent to 116.75 Earth days. However, some planets have a day which is similar to Earth's. The Martian day is 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds, which is only about 40 minutes longer than Earth's.

Assuming that the time indicator in our interface indicates hours and minutes as we know them, the days on Maria are indicated by the passing of 26 hours (from 00:00 to 25:59). This is not too different from Earth time.

As such, one would expect humans to be able to get enough sleep to last through a day on Maria without having to take naps. At least, one should be able to get through a day without having to take long naps.

Well, it turns out the (in-game) reality is not what one would expect. Yes, 8 hours in-game is enough to replenish one's Comfort bar to full. But, in my experience, one's Comfort bar gets drained long, long before the day has run it's course. I could get up around 5:00 or 6:00 with full Comfort and my Comfort Bar would not even last long enough for dusk. It runs out around (15:00 or 16:00). Even with a 2 hour nap, it would run out around 18:00. And when I say my Comfort runs out that fast, I'm talking about days in which my character is not mining or doing anything strenuous.

Please, have our Comfort bar last long enough to get through a Marian day. I get tired of having to spam / repeat Comfort Shots all the time just to get through the day in a manner that matches Martian days, especially since Comfort Shots require Blue Anemone, which is rather rare (darned hard to come by) in Story Mode. (Blue Anemone can be found in certain areas, but only in rather small numbers. And, despite the plant itself being huge, picking it only ever yields 1 (one) unit! :( )

PS: Perhaps the devs do not realize that the minimum amount of sleep required for humans varies by person? Generally speaking, men often require 8 hours to feel fully rested, while women can often get away with 6 or 7 hours to feel fully rested. This is the medical minimum recommendation, anyway. And this does vary from person to person. My point being that even the 8 hour in-game requirement for restoring Comfort to full is a bit excessive. Many people get by with less.

I applaud how boats, aerial vehicles and helicopters all allow a variety of fuel cells, from Fuel Cell Type 01 all the way up to Fuel Cell Type 04. Variety and options are a good thing and it allows us to improve our airship designs as we progress, obtaining better and more materials (and/or better scripts). I also applaud how we are allowed to add up to 32 Fuel Cells to airships.

However, I am disappointed in how restrictive land vehicles are in terms of fuel cells. Ground vehicles in PE come in a variety of sizes, from tiny one-seat, two wheel scooters to monster land behemoths with 16 (or more) wheels. However, regardless of how big we make our ground vehicles, we are still limited to a maximum of eight fuel cells and, at that, are limited exclusively to Fuel Cell Type 01? How does this make sense?

To be fair, airships and helicopters naturally burn fuel faster, as they burn fuel just to stay aloft. And airships, helicopters, and boats in PE tend to be mid to late game and are, generally, heavily laden with lots and lots of heavy weapons, making them burn fuel faster.

However, I've seen plenty of ground vehicles that are bristling with heavy weapons. And while there are some weapons that ground vehicles can not mount (such as Missile Silos and Torpedoes), they can mount most weapons, including Aircraft Machine Guns, Aircraft Laser Guns, and large stuff like Naval Guns and Controlled Turrets. In other words, they can be nearly the energy hog that large gunboats and combat airships can become.

Why? Why can't we mount more than 8 Fuel Cells? And why can't we mount - at the least - Fuel Cell Type 02 or even 03?

Planet Explorers ISOs / Drone/Robot weapon pods? Which does the most damage?
« on: September 20, 2017, 02:06:50 PM »
I am confused on which of the turrets for the Drone/Robot isos does the most damage. Logically, the Laser Turret should do less damage than the Particle Turret, which should do less damage than the Missile Turret. Why? Because of the costs:

Mini Laser Turret costs: 15 Copper, 15 Steel, 1 Chipset (500 MHz)
Mini Laser Turret buying price / selling price: 860 / 229
Mini Particle Turret costs: 20 Copper, 20 Steel, 2 Chipset (500 MHz)
Mini Particle Turret buying price / selling price: 1254 / 333
Mini Missile Turret costs: 35 Copper, 35 Steel, 30 Aluminum Alloy, 2 Chipset (1 GHz)
Mini Missile Turret buying price / selling price: 4528 / 1274

However, the in-game "Attack" rating of drones actually built with different turrets suggests otherwise. One can take the same drone design, built with the same components and materials, only swapping the mini turret and this clearly suggests that the Mini Laser Turret does the most damage.

As an example, here is my Amp-Bot Mk IV. I included 3 different versions, one for each type of turret:

Here are the attack values:

Amp-Bot Mk IV Laser
2 Mini Laser Turrets
Attack "220 /s"

Amp-Bot Mk IV Particle
2 Mini Particle Turrets
Attack "123 /s"

Amp-Bot Mk IV Missile
2 Mini Missile Turrets
Attack "93 /s"

Question: Is the in-game "Attack" value incorrect? Logically, it should be backwards. The version with Mini Missile Turrets should have an attack value of 220 /s, whereas the one with Mini Laser Turrets should have the measly Attack of 93 /s. Considering the resource costs and part values, that would only be fair.

After "Back to Camp" (Return with Ataro's group to Earth Camp), we can finally ask Ataro "Where did Ava and Peter go". This starts "Heading Out West!" And Ataro gives the player a Glider, the Glider Script, a Parachute, and the Parachute Script.

...Doesn't this seem a bit redundant? Why would the player need the script if Ataro gives us the actual item? Is it just in case the player accidentally deletes it and needs to make another?

Ataro had already been very generous to us, giving us so much stuff up to that point. (He gave us 5 VTOL fans, 1 VTOL Type 01, 1 Flight Cockpit, and some other stuff, not to mention scripts to make stuff.) So, I don't understand why he gives us the actual Glider item and the actual Parachute item.

Wouldn't it make more sense for Ataro to only give the player the scripts? I mean, by that point, players should have already gathered plenty of Plant Fiber, Animal Hide, Copper and Aluminum to replicate these ourselves... right?

I've never done Agnes Copperfield's "What Lies Beneath" quest chain before. (According to the wiki, this quest dates back to Beta 0.6. But, somehow, it was new to me.)

Anyway, I was disappointed that this was set up in a way to make the stealth approach difficult to nearly impossible and which requires disturbing the nest in a major way.

The two obvious ways to succeed are to (1) kill the queens and bugs ruthlessly or (2) use followers to help distract them while the player grabs eggs and bones as fast as possible. Option 2 is particularly dangerous as the player character will still take damage as the bugs will not ignore you, even though having followers (or Rol) will help distract them.

This seems to contradict the dialog with Agnes for Part 3:
Agnes: Look at that, fascinating, multiple queens.
Agnes: We need to get some samples from their food and egg.
Player Character: Is this where the fighting starts?
Agnes: Try not to make a scene. Maybe we can make some lights and scare them off? Here, I have some, use them and keep them away from the eggs and food.

Granted, Agnes does give us the Light Box Script and a Light Box, suggesting we use them. And making lots of Light Boxes and laying them down does seem to (mostly) keep them at bay. But this is rather tedious and resource intensive, particularly for an optional side quest that does not reward the player with anything - that is, aside from the satisfaction of having completed it.

Yes, Agnes does give us the Light Box Script and one Light Box. However, more than likely, the player will leave behind multiple Light Boxes for this quest. Moreover, the Light Box Script only costs 90 meat and is only worth 5 meat if we sell it to an NPC. Further, most players will have already purchased the Light Box Script from Lao Lee way back when we first meet him at the Rock Formation. (The Light Box is indispensable in providing enough light to see clearly while mining. The Head Lamp is barely enough and not as useful as laying down a Light Box.)

Considering how Andhera are very light sensitive, I would think leaving behind a bunch of Light Boxes would disturb their nest in a major way. They might be tempted to relocate to a different cave or at least move to a different corner of the cave. Agnes stays behind to study them further, but if the player's actions forces them to relocate...

Also, having followers of any sort, including quest followers like Rol, makes this both easier and more difficult. It makes this quest easier in that the Andhera may attack them instead of the player character, so they are not surrounded and take damage so fast. But it makes things more difficult because they randomly roam around the player character, provoking the Andhera into attacking long before the player gets close enough to steal anything. I had considered doing this quest later, without Rol and after temporarily dismissing my followers. But that involves lots of risk as the Andhera would all be focused on the PC.

The main reason that the stealthy approach is impossible is because both the eggs and the bones were placed smack dab in the middle of the three queens and their brood of males and workers. One can not sneak around and grab them while they are not looking as they will notice you (or Rol or your followers) long before you can grab even one egg or bone.

I've spent the last 2 or 3 days working on some large airships that I created from scratch. And I know for a fact that I created them from scratch. And I know for a fact that I have never released these models anywhere, nor shared them with anyone.

And I tried to upload them to the Workshop. However, I get this:
This file has been uploaded by others
Account cloud disabled

I've tried again and again, but it's the same every time. I've tried all three of my airships (variations of my basic model), but it's the same for each.

Keep in mind: I've never uploaded to the Workshop before. Pondering this situation, I have to wonder if the reason might be because I inserted "Thundercraft" in the Author field when saving the ISO. Could it be that the Author field must be left blank in order to upload to the workshop? Or, if there is a name in the Author field, must it match the name of the character that I'm logged in with? I tried to create a multiplayer character named "Thundercraft"... However, I am prevented from doing so as I get a "Character name already exists" error...

I understand that you've added a 'copy protection' scheme to the Workshop as a way of preventing countless duplicates from appearing. However, I was never a fan of the idea. (I voiced my disapproval at the time.) And it's bad enough that this stupid scheme prevents anyone but the author from uploading a derivative - even a wildly different derivative. However, for some reason, it seems that this scheme is so broken that it prevents me from uploading anything I create from scratch. :(


Okay... I've tried to upload several different ISOs of mine, but they all fail with the stupid "This file has been uploaded by others" false error message. And while I have inserted "Thundercraft" in the Author field for most of them, I did manage to find one without. But, again, it fails to upload.  >:(

Either the system is buggy or broken or the fact that I'm using the Beta v1.1.0 prevents this from working.

Planet Explorers ISOs / How to open Decal and Material textures
« on: September 13, 2017, 01:04:27 AM »
FYI: If you want to copy and backup, share, or otherwise manipulate the files that Planet Explorer uses for Decals and Materials:



Many versions (several years) ago, the format Planet Explorers used for saving Decals and Materials was such that I was able to open most of them with an ordinary paint program. (I believe it was Paint.Net, as that is what I usually use.) However, the formats must have been changed as this is no longer the case. At least, I am no longer able to open them with either Paint.Net or GIMP.

However, I knew that the image data was still there. And I just assumed that PE inserts it's own game data - such as a material's ore type, specular settings, and specular and emissive colors - in front of the actual image data in .PNG format. It's just that most image editing software won't know how to skip this extra game data to find the image data and won't even try.

I've searched for "image recovery" solutions and I did find several. However, most of those cost money. I tried a supposedly "free" demo online solution. But, while it did seem to successfully recover a decal image from a decal, it covered up 90% of it with a demo watermark (asking to purchase their software) that made it unusable.

Finally, I tried the freeware IrfanView, as it was mentioned on an article reviewing image recovery solutions. It got low marks because, in their tests, it did not succeed at recovering their test image. However, when I tried it to recover PE Decals and Materials, it worked! Actually, it recovered all the Decals in my folder, but it could not recover all the Material textures. Though, it did recover most of them (about 70 to 75%).

Anyway, I wanted to share this for the benefit of other ISO creators as this may help in their endeavors. And if IrfanView can recover all Decals and most Material Textures, I'm sure there are other solutions, likely even some that work better.

Edit: The latest download on the IrfanView site requires Windows 10, meaning that it won't run on anything earlier. However, search the internet and you will find older versions that run on earlier Windows. I found one that works on Windows 8, anyway.

Of course my question is rhetorical. Yet, the spirit of the question is sincere: Flying is no longer fun in PE. Why? Because of how it has changed: Every few seconds, over and over... having one's helicopter or airship suddenly stop in mid-air - as if it hit a brick wall - and waiting 1 or 2 minutes for the terrain to load and cache is not only completely immersion-breaking, it is downright boring. Indeed, I get the impression that I could travel faster by ground vehicle, by boat, or even by foot. At least by ground vehicle or boat I don't have to wait for several kilometers of land to load because one can't see that far on the ground or at sea level.

This mid-air pause while the terrain loads happens so frequently that I had a hard time verifying the maximum speed of airship. It almost never reached 100 KPH because it almost always paused and spooled before it got that high. (Usually, it barely reached 80 KPH.)

I do understand that PE can be a hardware-intensive game. But, come on! It's been over 3 years since I bought PE and I half-expected some optimizations to make the experience a bit better. If nothing else, I expected flying to be about the same as it was. What I did not expect was flight performance to drop so much as to be all but unplayable.

What was wrong with the old system, whereby we could fly faster than the terrain could load? At least flying was smooth and the experience less immersion-breaking. At least we could get from point A to point B much faster than by ground vehicle or by boat.

To add insult to injury though: Our aircraft's FUEL continues to deplete even when it is stuck in midair while the terrain loads! Why should our fuel deplete if we are not moving?

And, for heaven's sake, if you must hold our aircraft in midair like that while continuing to burn fuel, why can't we at least turn to face a different direction?

If nothing else, please give us an option in the Options Menu to disable "Pause while terrain is loading". I BEG YOU! I want flying in PE to be fun again. But that will never happen as long as I have to keep hitting a brick wall while the terrain loads.

To be fair, I realize that the game is still under development. And I do appreciate that flying mechanics is being worked on. I suppose I was mildly annoyed that some of my older aircraft designs no longer fly correctly or very well. But, I understand that things must change to get improved. Seeing continued development and systems like flight mechanics get some love makes it worthwhile... in theory.

Is there any reason why players should be prevented from swapping out a hilt? Is there some game balance issue or some fundamental aspect of the Creation system which either makes this impossible or which should not be done?

I ask because this suggestion of allowing us to swap between a Sword and Axe hilt has been suggested before. And, due to the lack of any response and due to the lack of it being implemented, I would assume the idea has been either forgotten or shot down for some reason.

Even though the Axe was added some time ago, there still are not many true Axe ISO's (with an Axe Handle) to download. Actually, there are quite a few ISO's in the shape of an Axe or Halberd, many with "Axe" right in the name. However, almost all of these are technically swords as they have a Copper Sword Hilt instead of an Axe Handle. Many of these Sword "Axes" were released before the Axe Handle was added to the game, but not all. Some are more recent.

I don't blame players for refusing to design Axes with an Axe Handle, because the Axe Handle severely limits the Attack power for some weird reason. Compared to sword ISOs, axe ISOs are very weak and pathetic. Again, this was brought up before. But, again, nobody replied.

Now, we have the Greatsword Hilt and Dagger Hilt. Part of me rejoices at added variety and new features for PE. But, part of my wants to cry. Searching the Workshop, I could only find one or two Greatswords and only a few Daggers. (I could count all the Greatswords and Daggers I found on one hand.)

There is a really obvious solution to provide players with a much wider range of Axes, Greatswords and Daggers: Give us the ability to swap out a Copper Sword Hilt for an Axe Handle or a Greatsword or Dagger Hilt... Bam! Instant selection of "new" Axes, Greatswords and Daggers.

Like axes, there are already many, many ISO's in the shape of Greatswords and Daggers, but which use the Copper Sword Hilt. And I do not blame ISO creators for not having the motivation to painstakingly recreate their Axe, Greatsword or Dagger masterpieces voxel by voxel just because we are not allowed to swap out a part.

I mean... we are allowed to swap out other parts. We can swap out engines, tires, weapons and other parts in vehicles. We can even swap out various muzzles and grips on guns. So, why can't we swap out hilts?

Remember months earlier when the Steam Workshop was finally fixed, after the search function and certain downloads had stopped working? Remember how the Workshop database of ISOs was reset, erasing the old stuff? This means that content in the Workshop today has only been accumulating in the last several months, right, because stuff had to be re-uploaded?

Well, take a look at the "Guns" super-category. It consists of 25 freaking pages, and most of them are unique! Unlike the way it was before, hardly any of them are duplicates. It's a nightmare to search through to find a certain type of gun, especially if we've already downloaded half of them or are picky about attack value.

Similarly, take a look at the "Swords" super-category. It consists of 18 freaking pages and, again, most of them are unique! I could maybe count on one hand the duplicates. Again, it's a nightmare to search through.

My point? Those categories are way too crowded. At the least, why can't you split up the Sword category into Swords, Great Swords, and Daggers? You already have a separate category for Axes...

More significantly, why haven't you split the Guns category by gun grip?

  • Pistol
  • Handgun
  • Rifle
  • Assault Rifle
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Shotgun
  • Laser Pistol
  • Laser Gun
  • Laser Rifle
  • HC Laser Rifle

Planet Explorers Suggestions / On the newer voices & voice acting
« on: September 02, 2017, 04:56:44 PM »
I do appreciate that the (main) characters in Story Mode have voices. It certainly adds depth. I can also appreciate that the devs are concerned about the quality or at least the accuracy of the spoken lines vs. the text and situation, as evidenced by the fact that some of the voice files have been changed.

That said, I was disappointed to hear how several voice actors (for the English version) must have either been redone by different people, or they had to re-record their lines and somehow ended up sounding very different.

In and of itself, sounding different is not necessarily a bad thing. But... The original voices were very easy to understand and had both a lot of character and a lot of emotion. Some of the replaced voices, however, really lack in character and emotion and are harder to hear.

Of particular note, the new voices for Dayita Saxena, Adesa Mostafa and Lao Lei are, to put it kindly, lackluster. And, while passable, the re-recorded lines for Chen Zhen just aren't as good.

Edit 1:
Oh my gosh! :( I just redid the part where we first meet Tarik Bakir in the woods with two random NPCs where they get attacked by an alien. (Except... now it's three aliens instead of one?) Tarik's voice... You must have had him re-record or something. I liked it much better the way it was before.

But that's not the bad part. What completely ruined this scene for me is how, originally, Tarik very loudly exclaims something in response to the alien and shouts, "We're out of here!" But, now, he says absolutely nothing! He is perfectly silent, not giving any warning to his fellows or the rest of us that we should flee instead of fight. IMO, this ruins the plot here, considering how he clearly feels guilty about leaving his companions to die.

Was this intentional? I ask because I think this could be a bug.

Okay, I was a bit mistaken. Tarik does eventually say the "We're out of here" line. However, now, he only says this after he has not only started running away, but after he's almost halfway across the valley to where he stops running. This makes no sense. He should shout that immediately. How else is everyone supposed to know to start running after him?

Also, I do not like his new voice. It sounds sort of like a Chicago-flat American standard like one might hear on the nightly news. Now that I think about it: Previously, several characters had distinctive accents, whereas now they all seem to just sound... American... Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, having them all sound the same just seems to lack... character. (As much as I really don't want to say it: I prefer to hear more diversity in voice. It just makes more sense that this Earth-Mars colonization mission would have people from different cultures and with regional and/or national accents. Even a large-ish nation like the United States has several different, distinctive accents. Many nations do, to say nothing of people who speak English as a second language.)

Actually, what bothers me more is how Tarik's new voice seems to be mostly lacking in emotion. You can't even say that he shouted "We're out of here", because he didn't. He did not sound the least bit scared or excited when it said that.

Planet Explorers Suggestions / Better Hitbox for .ISO Objects! PLEASE!
« on: September 02, 2017, 12:13:36 PM »
Please, I beg you: Adjust the hitboxes of object ISOs to be more form-fitting!

Whenever I create and build a ramp ISO, I find that the hitbox ends up being a very clunky staircase pattern above the surface. This prevents characters or vehicles from using the ramp as a ramp. Trying to walk or drive over it results in the character or vehicle hitting what seems to be an invisible wall.

Jumping on top of the ramp, one ends up floating in space, which is very immersion breaking, to say the least!

And, while I have not tested it recently, the last time I tried to use the Hinge part to create a hinged platform that could be swung to one side, the Hinge would not work as obviously intended. (I.E., it was very buggy.)

If, for some reason (such as performance issues), it is not practical to make object hitboxes smooth enough for a ramp, then maybe you could implement ramp or drawbridge objects in the replicator system?

The primary reason why I quit playing PE last year was frustration. Specifically, frustration at (a) how so few new features had been implemented recently and (b) how I found it impossible to build my base the way I wanted to - with some sort of ramp or hinged platform to function as a simple drawbridge.

I noticed the following on the side bar on the Planet Explorers Blog:
Which award do you have in mind for #PlanetExplorers?

This is an interesting question as I've been pondering this, myself.

For those who don't know what we're talking about, the Steam Awards is a new awards thing on Steam. It is described in detail here.

The competition should be intense, considering how many games there are on Steam. And considering how many games have a bigger player base than PE, I was thinking that perhaps PE would have a better chance if we (as a community) could agree on a unique (*name pending Selection Committee Decision) Award category.

I'm rather stumped on what would be a good award category to just make up for PE, though.

Earlier this year I wrote up detailed tips and instructions on how to use Build Mode in reply to someone's frustration in using the new Build Mode system (and pining for the simplicity of the old system). I figured that, instead of having my detailed tutorial get buried in a forgotten thread, I might as well repost this as a tutorial where it'd be easier to find:

The devs have made changes to Build Mode. The biggest difference is how we can now build with both blocks (like before) and voxels.

The process of placing blocks isn't too different from the way it was before. I'd really need a diagram to explain properly, but here goes: When looking at the interface, starting from the left:

First Row: [Current Material], [Current Block Shape], [+ = Point (single block)], [□ = Cube (extrude multiple blocks)], [/ = Bevel (extrude a ramp)], [◙ = Select (select for deletion, etc.)], [{floppy disk} = Save ISO], [{trash can} = Delete (selected blocks)], [Menu (Lots of options, divided into "Voxel", "Block", and "ISO" tabs)]

Second Row: This is a customizable shortcut bar and it works very similar to the shortcut bar for weapons and equipment, but only for materials and voxel shapes. Notice the number "1" on the far right edge, with tiny arrows pointing up and down? This indicates that page 1 of shortcuts is shown and we can use the arrows to scroll to pages 2 and 3. To customize it, you must open the [Menu], find what you want to shortcut, and then drag it into a panel in the Second Row. There are default shortcuts on page 1, but these can be changed.

Keep in mind:

  • The hotkeys listed on the left are handy. But remember that the Delete function was changed in a0.95 and they forgot to update the hotkey list! Instead of {Tab}, you use {Left Alt} for Delete. (That said, I tend to use the keyboard {Delete} key, instead.)
  • One way to tell whether you're in Block mode or Voxel mode is looking at the [Current Block Shape] (2'nd panel from the left). If it shows a geometric shape in plain grey, you're painting with blocks. But if it shows a material or pattern, then you're painting with voxels.
  • You should be able to tell which panel is highlighted. For instance, switching from [Point] to [Cube] will shade the [Cube] panel a light blue and put a fuzzy sphere in the center of it, showing it is highlighted.
  • By default, when you start using Build Mode it will be in Block mode, meaning it will paint with blocks. You can tell because blocks are much smaller than Voxels (about 1/4 the size).
  • To paint with Voxels, instead of Blocks, click on [Menu], make sure the "Voxel" tab is selected, then select a material. However, the interface seems a little buggy or something. It's just odd. Sometimes you may need to switch between [Point] and [Cube] or select Block mode again to get Voxel to work.
  • To paint with Blocks, you can use the default shortcuts in Second Row, or open the [Menu]. In [Menu], select the "Block" tab and you can select both material and shape. (That's where you'll find the huge selection of shapes.)
  • [□ = Cube] is used by click-holding and dragging the cursor. After you click-drag and release the mouse button to indicate the length and width, it will not yet fill the area. Instead, it waits for you to indicate the height of the cube. So you move the cursor up or down. Finally, you left click and it fills in the cube.
  • [/ = Bevel] I've hardly used this, but it looks like it could be very handy for creating a simple ramp. You use it just like the [Cube], but it makes a ramp instead. If you want a ramp with a very slight incline, fill in a wide area that is only a couple blocks high. And to make a steep incline, fill in a narrow area that is very tall.
  • [◙ = Select] This is used to select a group of blocks to either (a) delete or (b) save into an ISO. (Actually, buildings are saved as ".biso", which are in a folder separate from the ".vciso" for vehicles and other objects.) However, there is a trick to using Select. Selecting a layer of blocks just 1 high is simply a click and drag. But to save a building or something with more than one layer, you have to increase depth to get the whole thing. To do that, you must use the {Up} and/or {Down} keys on the keyboard while you click and hold the rectangular area you want to save. Another words: Click, drag, and hold for length and width, then {Up} and/or {Down} for depth. (Note: Select works with Blocks, not Voxels.)
  • [Save ISO] After you have your blocks selected (above), click this to save. A window pops up with a view of what the thumbnail will look like and a place for a filename. To get a good thumbnail view, you can hold the {Right Mouse} button down and rotate. You can also use the mouse {Scroll Wheel} to zoom in and out. (Note: Save works with Blocks, not Voxels.)
  • [Delete] This does not instantly delete your blocks. It whittles away at them (like a pickaxe), until it finally gets deleted. So, I very often use the {Delete} keyboard key, instead, as that works instantly. (Note: Delete works with Blocks, not Voxels. If you want to delete Voxels, then you must whip out your pickaxe.)
  • [Menu] -> {ISO Tab} This is how you can import an ISO, either something you saved or a .biso that you downloaded from the internet. You will see a list, showing the thumbnail view and filename. Select one and then press the [Export] button.
    Note 1: On my PC, the location for .biso's is: "C:\Users\Username\Documents\PlanetExplorers\BuildingIso"
    Note 2: I just found out that it is impossible to Export an ISO underground - that is, in a cavern or otherwise below the surface. I reported it on the Bug Tracker.
    Note 3: If you want to download some fancy buildings, try the Buildings category on I suppose or the Steam Workshop may have a few, too.

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