[1.0.3] Augmenting & tweaking tech swapping! (Megathread)

ZeroGravitas

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As I've said already, I really love the new animation. Swapping still has several bugs, of course [1, 2], but it's a lot like I had in mind, back in 2017:
In-situ loading that replaces your current tech. Like being a flipping transformer!:cool::D
Anyway, I hoping there will be some more work done on this beyond the new animation, because this feature could create an opening for a lot of creativity and additional time spent in game, as in addition to improving quality of life and looking awesome!



(1) Hotswap bar - about 10 of the players favourite techs. I envisioned this as a permanently visible (hide-able), straight bar of thumbnails. But it could equally be a radial pop-up, I suppose, which would might translate better to console. Either way, keyboard shortcuts for super-easy switching would be the point. Either just the number keys, like switching weapons in an FPS, or another key plus radial selection...

I think something along these lines is already fully in the devs plans and possibly already implemented (or at least prototyped), behind the scenes. So we'll see.




(2) Only animate the blocks that are actually changed between snapshots - This would make much more visual sense if switching between two different modes of a tech, e.g. a VTOL plane with fans/thrusters in vertical and horizontal flight positions (like this):


This could also make a montage that changes through the successive versions of a tech, look that much cooler. But I'm a little torn on this, because I love to see the blocks tumble out and back when just refreshing a tech with it's own snapshot. On balance, I think it would be better for the animation to only highlight the parts that actually changed. It would also probably be necessary for this next point...





(3) Maintain settings of unchanged blocks and don't drop held resources! - crafting got the short end of the stick with this new feature, as usual. With all silos/collectors/conveyors, etc, resources are dropped, pacemaker is reset and so on. I'd like to be able to have a mobile base that can grow wheels/wings for transportation and then easily remove them to re-plant the base.

But this issue will probably come up with other players far more often with large general purpose techs that have resource collection or recharging capabilities. This feature is already a huge boon for those looking to more reasonably repair significant, but non-fatal damage to their big/complex techs (without loosing all charge and having to stop for ages to recharge). Many of these big techs will have some sort of resource blocks on them. Dropping resources momentarily tends to get them stuck under (or maybe inside) the tech...


Shields/regen bubbles that don't change position should also remain on - I expect that some of the enthusiast builders of behemoths will start to request this soon (if they haven't already). It can take minutes for very large techs to re-bubble, fully, even when they retain charge.
 

ZeroGravitas

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(4) Allow swapping/loading with (a low percentage of) missing parts - Any excess blocks could also be jettisoned to the ground. Which could be a second way for players to implement escape-pods (aside from explosive bolt blocks). Although a warning should probably be given, as this is potentially very risky for the player, if not understanding the possible consequences, when swapping jetisons a lot of blocks... :rolleyes:

Swapping without having all the part would help increase the ability tp allow swapping in the presence of enemies (see below)...



(5) Allow swapping while enemies are in range - provided that no blocks are being loaded from, or sent to, inventory. This would open up a pragmatic reason to actually build transformer techs. Potentially loads more inspiration for making builds and posting content, etc.



(6) Multiple tech configurations per snapshot - to share 'transformers' on the workshop currently means one item per state. If it becomes common, that would be messy, also in-game, depending on how the snapshots are sorted.

If enemy techs had multiple latent configurations, they might switch between them when attacking, etc. Although, I fully appreciate that this kind of thing might be taking the game in a different direction, it was too cool not to speculate about! :cool: Potentially something for a major future update, on the scale of adding a new corporation. Dynamic tech switching could be a real signature TerraTech thing... (Or are there other games that already do this in a compelling way?)



(7) Maintain momentum during swapping - currently the block swapping animation freezes in mid-air and then the resultant tech will continue with the velocity of the previous tech, I believe. It would look more awesome if the block whirlwind continued in motion forwards, etc. Proper Michael Bay.

This could be complicated to made work reliably, in practice: to keep tech from intersecting the ground, the whirlwind would probably need to use the collision box of the tech being swapped to, invisibly.

Note that the lack of collision box is already a problem with stationary swaps, though - other techs can drive or fall inside your tech and end up stuck intersecting. The camera currently also zooms into the whirlwind, too far, when swapping between two big techs. So some kind of invisible collider is probably advisable anyway.
 

ZeroGravitas

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Fancy: fancy twirls and whirls
Lol, so just make the animation even moar prettified plx!?


(9) Oh, that reminds me: I was wondering where the black hole animation went with this swapping animation - logically it should be there, like with the send (tech) blocks to inventory. Not sure if people think that would be prettier or more cluttered looking...?
 
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legodude17

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Feb 28, 2019
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(9) Oh, that reminds me: I was wondering where the black hole animation went with this swapping animation - logically it should be there, like with the send (tech) blocks to inventory. Not sure if people think that would be prettier or more cluttered looking...?
This would also make it really easy to test if a tech adds or removes blocks when swapped, because if the two techs have the same blocks then the black hole could just not appear.