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Thread: Support Non-node-based Programmable Blocks

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    Kickstarter Precious Nomad glek's Avatar
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    Support Non-node-based Programmable Blocks

    I know it was mentioned that programmable blocks were going to be (eventually) included in the game using some kind of node-based programming system.

    I've also noticed that there's a fair number of computer savvy people on the forums. While I understand it's not everyone's cup of tea, I'd like to suggest that the programmable blocks support some kind of scripting language in addition to the node-based interface.

    One of my favorite features of Space Engineers is the ability to write C# code into the programmable blocks in that game and I feel it provides a much wider range of possibilities for the player to customize their behavior.

    I'm still in favor of a node-based interface since not everyone wants to learn how to program to take full advantage of the game.
    "And so I close realizing the end has not yet been written" - Atrus, Myst, 1992

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    Kickstarter Builder Nomad
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    I'm an industrial robotics programmer and like programming games for their own sake, so I think the various systems I've run across are all fun, but there is a large downside to having all your logic exist as the logic blocks themselves. I also hope that your interpretation of logic will include a scriptable or logic-controller block that has the programming embedded within it. Then the other functional blocks you would use would be rotors, rails, lights, sensors and various other functional input/output blocks. The idea of connecting up basic and/or/not logic-blocks to build the entire program logic is cool, but very time-consuming and has high space requirements, and probably a heavier load on the server in multiplayer.

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    Kickstarter Wreck Nomad Wishblend's Avatar
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    Just adding in my bit here.

    I do like the idea, but you also need to include options for those who can't code.

  4. #4
    Kickstarter Builder Nomad Dawnkeeper's Avatar
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    Just dropping by to say that I also would like to see a programmable block that accepts 'real' code.

  5. #5
    Member Maslostroj (Daniel)'s Avatar
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    Good to see the scales of how many programmers are here and how many would rather use nodes.

    As far as our idea goes, it wouldn't be just ANDs/ORs/etc. but also the higher level logic, specific IFs and such.
    "Well, I thought. This is how the world works. All energy flows according to the whims of the Great Magnet. What a fool I was to defy him."
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    Kickstarter Wreck Nomad Wishblend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maslostroj View Post
    Good to see the scales of how many programmers are here and how many would rather use nodes.

    As far as our idea goes, it wouldn't be just ANDs/ORs/etc. but also the higher level logic, specific IFs and such.
    Would we be able to copy and paste code that others have written into our own blocks?

  7. #7
    Kickstarter Precious Nomad glek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wishblend View Post
    Just adding in my bit here.

    I do like the idea, but you also need to include options for those who can't code.
    I definitely agree that there needs to be an accessible system for people who can't code. As a programmer myself, though, I would be overjoyed to be able to access the full power of the game's API.
    "And so I close realizing the end has not yet been written" - Atrus, Myst, 1992

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    Kickstarter Builder Nomad Dawnkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maslostroj View Post
    As far as our idea goes, it wouldn't be just ANDs/ORs/etc. but also the higher level logic, specific IFs and such.
    I have worked with visually programmed PLC and they are fine for most projects. But as soon as you logic gets a bit more complicated the programs tend to become confusing.

    My suggestion is to have two kinds of programmable blocks: one that uses the visual editor and one with some kind of script.

  9. #9
    Kickstarter Hologram Nomad eriongtk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glek View Post
    I definitely agree that there needs to be an accessible system for people who can't code. As a programmer myself, though, I would be overjoyed to be able to access the full power of the game's API.
    I cannot code for sh... but. This did not stop me to fiddle around with Garry's Mod's Expression2 chip - effectively it is a LUA script, that you can run with the game's API.
    It was amazing, and although I cannot remember anything now, it was time well spend, whole days, just typing and figuring things out --- meanwhile i still had access to the "normal" tools and nodes if i got bored of it (hardly ever happened)

    I really do hope that the wires can be "hidden" inside the walls, as opposed to having to build a house just to run the cables normally

  10. #10
    Kickstarter Wreck Nomad Wishblend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eriongtk View Post

    I really do hope that the wires can be "hidden" inside the walls, as opposed to having to build a house just to run the cables normally
    Design blocks that have the wiring built in, costs more to build but hides the wires.

    I like it.

  11. #11
    Kickstarter Builder Nomad
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    It's the future. Just assume that logic signals are wireless rather than requiring wiring between blocks.

    StarMade is in Alpha, so things are still in flux, but they have logic block programming with no scripting. You link them up by selecting one and pointing at another block and using a short-cut key. You can see this linking by selecting one thing and the linked blocks are highlighted with a different color. This linking automatically creates a straight-line pipe between the two blocks if they are logic blocks, which is ugly in practice. (Not all linked things in the game create the pipes.) The bulky block-based logic ('blockgrams'? 'Problocks'?) is fun in some ways, but isn't analogous to any real-world physical experience. And it's hard to tuck this into a ship and can be hard to hide the ugly, magic 'wiring,' too.

    It would be neat if you have a logic controller block that holds scripting or programs inside. Some things could be made modular then, if there is a public blue-print or template sharing service. Like someone could make hangar doors or a modular air-lock with ship-to-ship docking functions (lights, doors, docking points, activation buttons, etc, but probably more of a role-play thing than functional as far as air is concerned), and others could download them and incorporate them into their creations.

  12. #12
    Kickstarter Wreck Nomad Harrison's Avatar
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    In game Rawbots visual scripting very powerful, I think, that devs need make something looks same: https://youtu.be/yv28lAx9z6g?t=56
    I saw this game long time ago, wanted support on KS. But good, that I don't bought this game, because it was abandoned... But this game was very potentially.
    And here example more complex machine with programm blocks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azkd_6o0axY

  13. #13
    Kickstarter Alpha Nomad
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    I struggled with these ideas when Space Engineers released the programmable block. I enjoy coding but it's a but too much "work" than what I want to do in a video game... One of my favorite games for visual programming was a little game called Blocksworld on the iPad. It was extremely simple, allowed blocks to emit signals based on inputs (and was easy to build case statements with - you could emit different signals based on the color of a block, and then have other blocks - hinges/motors/lights/etc - react to that signal.) I was able to make some really neat, automated-type worlds with that thing.

    The "PB" in Space Engineers is extremely powerful, but also very off-putting for casual gamers. Sometimes it's just too much of a time-sink for me, and most of my ideas never make it into my ships because it's too time consuming.

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