Engine Design

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Welcome to the engine room, Commander. Engines are the driving force behind everything in this game. You are here to learn the basics of engine design and the uses the engines have. First of all, the engine designer has four properties that can be manipulated and they are Power Generation, Thrust Generation, Maximum Speed, and Maneuverability. Power determines the overall power of your engine. Thrust generation determines the amount of used hull your engine can move. Maximum speed determines the top speed of your engine and Maneuverability determines how fast you can achieve your maximum speed. Next we have the six material slots required to build our engine: The Structural Body, Frame, and Meld as well as the Drive Body, Frame, and Meld. Finally we have the engine color which will be talked about a little further down. Our first stop is the power generator room where we make all the power generating engines. Everything that is built in the colony is going to require power which you will get from your power generating engines. The beginning power generator uses the beginning power engine which produces two-thousand units of power. Straight power engines are the only ones that can be placed on buildings. Engines with thrust, speed, and maneuverability can not be placed on buildings as those properties are meant for units. One of the first things you will want to do is to build a five-thousand power generation engine. This will help in the building of your colonies and can be placed in any building you create. All you need to do is set the Desired Power Generation to five thousand and leave the other three properties at zero. Now you need to put in the best minerals you have for each of the material slots. The engine color has no meaning for buildings so do not worry about that. You are now ready to make your first power engine.

Engines designed for units are a science all their own. There are many different unit concepts that require different types of engines. For a fast moving unit you will have very low power generation but can achieve a much higher speed and maneuverability than ships that require a lot of power. Thrust generation is the largest determining factor in how much hull consumption your engine will have. Let me show you to the fighter engine room where our scientists are going to show you a basic fighter engine. First set your thrust to two hundred and the speed and maneuverability as high as you are technologically able to so in the very beginning that should be thirty for both properties. We can fit four guns on the heavy fighters so let us assume we are going to be using light cannons which take eight units of power and the beginning radar which takes nineteen units of power. Put fifty-one in for power generation and hit design. The most important material in designing engines meant for units is the structural body material because it is the one that affects your hull consumption. The smaller the hull consumption of an engine meant for units the better. The property we did not talk about earlier now comes into play and that is Engine Color. When your flying units are moving the flames that come out of them can be colored as you please. The current selections are light blue, blue, dark blue, bright green, dark green, orange, purple, yellow and red. Just between you and me, I use different engine colors to help me determine the difference between units of the same hull that have completely different components.

These are the very basic and general uses for the engine. There are some more advanced concepts out there but these are here to get you started in the right direction. You can make the engines to fit whatever you want. Relatively speaking, the faster your ship the lower its firepower. It is possible to have some fast fighters that can dish out twenty thousand damage each shot but that is only because they shoot once every seventeen minutes. So really you are only getting nineteen damage per second. If that fighter does not kill whatever it is shooting at in its first shot then it has to rely on its speed to get away. Speed is very important for travel times but when it comes to fighting then maneuverability plays a huge role. If your ships can turn on a dime while the enemy ships take a bit longer, you can be going in the opposite direction and leave them in the dust. You can effectively lead them around while you change directions all over the place to destroy their base or units.

The large ships require a lot more thrust and therefore are a lot bigger. Usually an engine will take up twenty to twenty-five percent of the thrust. The guns you will be putting on the larger ships will most likely take a lot of power which will make the ships slow because the higher your power generation the lower your maneuverability and speed. There are two ways you can go with large power hungry units. You can have high speed with very low maneuverability or you can have mid to low speed and maintain a little better maneuverability. Either way it will take a long time for your biggest ships to get to the fight but when they do you can expect some major damage output depending on what you have. If your guns are not on the all-arc then it would probably be best to cut back on the speed to increase your maneuverability otherwise it will not be able to use its full potential in battle because a faster ship can always stick to the rear and try to avoid your main guns.

Cargo and carrier ship engines require enough thrust to carry the hull used by the ship itself as well as any cargo it might end up carrying. Let us say you have a ship that only uses up three thousand hull by itself so you made an engine with only three thousand thrust. Now that same ship also has twenty-seven thousand hull reserved for a cargo bay or hangar. While empty there would not be a problem but soon as you start filling that space you will start to notice your ship going slower and slower until it becomes so overloaded it can not move. It is important to put enough thrust to cover the maximum hull of the ship so that it can move without impairment whether it is empty or not.

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