Eric here. I’m going to give a glimpse at the humble beginnings of our new building system. So, my goal today was to get a rough prototype up and running for the Frame-Slot system. I just wanted to prove to myself and Derek that it worked. So I made a simple Frame and a placeholder Module. In the empty spaces of the Frame, I have trigger colliders called Slots that look for things tagged as “Module.” When the Frame’s Slots detect a Module, they activate a function on the Module’s script. This function makes the Module assume the position and rotation of the Slot, ditches the Module’s rigidbody, and parents itself to the Frame. It is rough and jerky at this point, but we can make the transition smoother in the future. I then made sure that it worked on all 6 sides of the Frame, which it did. When I attached the current Satellite Dish mesh to the Module, it snapped into place just as easily. This was rad because it confirmed, to me at least, that this was the right building system for Drift.
In the end, Derek and I will make various different types of Frames, which can be used on their own or snapped together with other Frames to form interesting ship structures, and then these Frames will be filled in with even more varieties of Modules. Each Module type will have a different look and function. So, for example, one Module could be a window, another an exit & entrance hatch, another is an oxygen generator, and some just may be different types of walls. By placing these Modules where you want on the Frames, players can create a ship that suits them aesthetically and serves their purposes functionally. Because Frames can be combined with other Frames, players who started with a small dinky craft can build up into a massive starship or space station.
Now that we know ‘it works,’ Derek is going to work on designing Modules and Frames. I’m going to continue polishing up the system and adding some gameplay and visual tweaks to make it feel just right.