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Block Combiner / Custom Blocks


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Can we get some form of block combiner that allows us to combine different block shapes on the same placement cube? This would essentially turn multiple blocks into a single block (in regards to how they take damage, and upgrade to different damage types, anyway).  For simplicity's sake, they would all have to be the same material damage type (wood, concrete, etc.), but would retain their paint and player collision surfaces as if they were their original block forms, they'd just "overlap" each other in the same build/upgrade/damage cube. Kinda like how railed walkways are a plate and railing combined.


I'm sure there would need to be some limits; like no more than say 4-8 base shapes to any single block and solid cubes could not be overlapped as there's no point, anyway.  This could also reduce a little bit of the clutter on the different options to choose from, as some selections are already this very thing combined into a single "block" entity. The old blocks that wouldn't be needed anymore could then be replaced by new, pre-defined "combo-blocks".


I could see this as potentially being a performance boost as there would be fewer block models for the game to have to load and read from memory, but it could also go the other way as the game now has to worry about Z-fighting of overlapping surfaces as well as multiplying the number of shapes per build cube.


The last issue is how to go about it... press a special button to combine shapes on an existing block or create a special screen to create a custom block shape before placement?  The custom block window would be nice as you could then save presets of block combinations, but I imagine just placing a block over an existing block with a special key press might be easier to program.  That said, the "overlap in place" could then be used for placing things like workbenches when using thinner wall tiles where the "empty space" of the tile is turned inward, though then you run into the issue of, does that workbench then take damage at the same time or instead of the block?  Anyway, just some thoughts.


I didn't see any similar posts, but I'm apparently not very good at finding existing posts, so sorry if this is a repost (I'd be surprised if it isn't, honestly).

Edited by Zurar (see edit history)
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There were discussion about similar ideas, i.e. multiple blocks in the same place. And the answers by devs were usually that the engine would need lots of work to allow this, it would generate lots of special cases to take care of and definitely would get FPS down.


The specific suggestion you are making is a bit different. In effect you want dynamic shapes that you can construct from more basis types by combining their shapes. Afterwards there wouldn't be two blocks in the same place but a new block type that just combines the features of both (at least that would be how I imagine it could be done).


I think your idea could be done without FPS-hits, only affecting FPS if you generate many new shapes and the memory gets full. But it would never save FPS as the POIs in the game use the traditional shapes and would have to be loaded anyway. And it would not generate new special cases, which is good as well.


BUT the engine would need work to allow new shapes to be generated on the fly, and UI for this would have to be generated. It is an interesting alternative idea to the current way of adding more and more shapes for sure, but it would also be a difficult system to handle for the average gamer who doesn't expect to have to do CAD to get his shapes.


I doubt they will do that when their main objective is to get finished and release. But I don't know their internal objectives so this is just guesswork




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