Medium Civilian Station WIP

Plasteel Skull

Dyret said:
Which is probably why he put them there in the first place. No point in messing with that... besides, I love them. :)

Out of curiosity: Do you wear your eyeglasses when looking at the nightsky? ;) :)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Plasteel Skull said:
Ok, then i got a humble suggestion: -- might be seen as a little bit meticulous ;) -- isn't there too much of those cross-like stars on this starfield. I realize that it is something quite familiar to WC series, something we got used to -- but I guess 5 or 6 of these on that visible part of starfield is ok, but this quantity seems to me a little bit overdone.

I happen to have an actual picture of the Milky Way as my desktop background right now, and there's just as many twinkling stars spread across it as in Howard's background. It looks great that way. of the Milky Way Galaxy (1920x1200).jpg


I know what it's missing. :)

Dirt, and tons of it! I suppose some sort of system must be in place to add variety. Will the game procedurally add weathering to the station textures the farther away from civilization they get?

As they stand now, they look super-clean. One thing that would help the backwater look would be to have them weather-worn. I know there isn't any weather in space, but you know what I mean. :)

Anyway, looks great Howie. I look forward to seeing the other modules textured.
Sorry if this has already been mentioned elsewhere, but if you're going for a modular design how about some sort of connector/expansion module to enable the station to grow?

Just a suggestion, and they look great btw.

Howard Day

Random art guy.
No, no - that's a great suggestion. I'll try putting together a large station top with extentions here shortly. And, Cam - the dirt is going to get worse. but in all probability it's going to be an in-engine thing, rather than anything I make beforehand.
Anyhow, I mentioned that I wanted to get them all textured by Monday, right? No. Took all weekend to just do the Hangar. Of course, it is one of the most complex modules to texture, but bloody hell it was crazy. Enjoy, and Lemme know if something doesn't look right.


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This looks absolutely stunning. When I saw the third pic of the hangar (the top view), I was immediately reminded of the runway on the Tiger's Claw. The texturing looks great, and I'm amazed that you've been able to put so many different modules together so quickly. Keep it up.


I have suggestions/comments:

Commodity Module:

As far as "how do you load them in if there are other modules next to it", I'd say that the restraining clamps/arms open up either swing open on the "L" joint, or the whole arm and terminal chunnel somewhat fold back into the main jetty, though there'd have to be a space in the side of the main arm for that to happen, so the former is more likely/more physically tangible (being clamped in rather than slid in). That being said, looking at the pictures available, the commodity shops themselves would have to be loaded from proximal to distal via ground guide and small tug operations, because direct ship docking at that close proximity to the depot, or to neighboring modules, might be accident prone. To respond to "What if you had the distal commodity shop only, but then recieved the proximal shop?" Well, I doubt inconvienence has be cured in the future, and the station manager would be hopping mad over the complications it would cause.

Would I change anything?
Just add a little swing motor/ditty to the corner of the "L" arms, perhaps reinforce it with something due to its new functionality, and that technicality in my eye is solved. Everything else is great.

Refinery Module:
I see this and I think something is missing. I know it's the future, but it's not that kind of future yet, which means total efficency has not yet been achieved. There's no steam/smoke/heat being vented. I mean sure, one pod could possibly be a milk processing plant, but I'd doubt that there is a universal milk producer/distributor that needs space depots to aid the process. More than likely, refineries in space are working with higly volitale, toxic, and/or combustible materials that would place a habital planet at great risk if it was located on a planet's surface. Also, though the lack of it might be for the sake of design/detail/ploycount simplification, but there are no catwalks or service points where spacewalkers could get out and correct pump/refining malfunctions. But that's a minor nickpick. Finally, since most refineries deal with liquid substances, wouldn't it make sense is there was a "fueling point" at the end of the module for tanker ships to hook up and load up? Although, there is a answer to this in a module you made that I'll get to later on.

Would I change anything?
Not sure how the engine would deal with it, but maybe a smoke tower or two venting something might add the little garnish to the overall feel for the refinery module. Possibly have a small but noticable central operations spire/deck that would serve as the main pump control room for the refinery. Finally, if the comment I'll make later on isn't feesable, add some kind of "fueling point" for stop-and-go transport tankers.

Hydroponics Module:

Would I change anything?

Fuel Module:
Wow. The design makes a lot of sense. Now, going back to a question/suggestion I posed back in the refinery module, "wouldn't it make sense is there was a 'fueling point' at the end of the module for tanker ships to hook up and load up?" Those things could answer that gripe: direct storage of refinery processed materials. However, they are far closer together than nextdoor refinery modules, and might make multiple diligent transfers unsafe. So, why not alter the attachment point to have the ability to flex up and out, spreading the individual tanks out should they need to for loading and unloading purposes? Solves the issue with large scale distribution of refined materials for large transports too big to dock in the hanger.

Would I change anything?
Just add the flexing mechanism.

Now, not to make more work for you, but a few possible ideas for you to add to the depot.

Entertainment Module:
There was a comment thrown in about an obnoxious sign being placed somewhere for the hydroponic module, but it would be better suited for this kind of module. Rather than a theme park in a space bubble, I would see the EM more as a highway truck stop rest station, much like a Flying J or TA. Something more than just a bar. Contained within would be a place to eat slightly more classy than an automat, an understated casino/game room, a one screen movie theatre, warehouse style mini-mall/thrift shop, something along those lines. For the depot, it's not overdone like Privateer's Pleasure planets, more like a good stopping point for an independant trucker looking for a good excuse to get out and stretch, telling himself, "Right, the next Dairy Queen sign I see, I'm getting off and getting me a Blizzard." I'd probbably say things like these, for simplicity and for slight campiness, are one franchise.

Combinations of Modules Produce...
Looking at the pictures provided, especially the one of the hydroponic/refinery/commodity depot, had me thinking what could that depot be producing. My imediate answer was "pharmacuticals". So therefore I think, other than the module's specific production queue, the sum of the collected modules produces a specific commodity that you'd typically find planet side. Another example would be all commodity modules. The shop would have a lot to sell, though probbably not anything perishable as it's more like a warehouse, and would "produce" large machinery and prefab equipment. Stuff like that.

Can't think of anything else, I'm liking what I see here so far.

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Chuckles: Wow, that's a hell of a lot of suggestions. I like 'em all, but I don't know how many will be enacted. The simpler ones, sure - especially those that are to be done on modules that haven't been textured yet. The other hand, on ones that have been textured... in the interest of getting this done, I'm probably going to let them slide.
That means the comment about the under fuel cells will have to wait, or not get done at all, while the sugestions about the refinery and commodity modules will probably get done. I had been meaning to add a hell of a lot more stuff to the refinery module anyway.
Also - on the question of new modules, I've already got the Ship Dealer, Ship Yard, and Lower Hangar to make - I'm not sure when I'll get to these. I am going to stop killing myself making them, and slow down to a more easy-going rate.
Anyhow - finished the Small glass dome top module. Pretty simple, which is how I like it.


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Howard Day

Random art guy.
Thanks, AD. I hope to bring more of that to the table on the rest of these modules. Also - I haven't even started on the asteroid base modules - those will be even more fun. As for the people walking and working...I'm afraid that's probably too far out of our scope. It would be cool, yes - but it's a hell of a lot of work for such a minor detail, and simply not worth the effort at this point. So many other things to focus on and fix/get done/create.


We don't need to see the workmen from outside of the station. A few walking around on the "promenade" (i.e. the central "plaza" inside the station from which we go to the other locations) would be nice though.

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Yeah, almost certainly no workmen floating around outside, and I'm none too sure how difficult the little people walking around would be. In any case, it's a pretty cool detail, but I've no clue if we'll put it in.
Anyhow - Completed the underside Lower hangar - using bits from the other hangar. Looks acceptable, I think. Any thoughts?
Next up is probably some of the other modules... or the refinery module.


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Howard Day

Random art guy.
And, a little bit more on the Refinery. This just shows some of the lighting I had in mind ( based of a couple of shuttle launch pad images) and additional scaffolding. These didn't add any polys, as I've gone through and optomized everything. It's still hovering around 7600.
And yes. I've noticed that the small hangar will have to be...lowered a bit. As to not have ships slam into those pipes when landing. Oops.
Any thoughts are welcome.


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You could always turn the lower hangar 90 degrees away from refinery modules... but that would be imposing odd rules which shouldn't be necessary, on a system designed for randomness. I guess...

But as always, looks great! Though in my personal opinion, the lower hangar feels very heavy, and the stations no longer feel like they have a "balanced" as it were. Unlike the upper hangar module, the lower one in combination with the refinery make the station seem lopsided.

I suppose this means there's no elevators to the lowest level of the station, with a giant flight deck in the way, eh? :)


Rear Admiral
Wow, neato!

Have you thought about a module that can attach two central modules together, for really huge stations?


That'd be more for Large Civilian Stations at this point, which I gather is a different sub project all together...

Now, for the collision/space issue for the underbelly hanger, I think the simplest solution would be to create another buffer module between the hub and the underbelly hanger. Screwing with angles or correcting already made modules might not be feesable. I'd say something like 3 cylinders for turbolift shafts that go from the hanger to the hub, and one in the middle of them that's kinda like a frieght elevator.

Oh, the scaffoldings? Sweet.

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Cam: Yeah, the elevators...I was hoping no one would notice, but that seems like I'm underestimating my audience. I'll work something out there when I move the hangar itself downwards. Perhaps solving both problems at the same time - remove the lower part of the station, and make the hangar itself the lowest point. That might work well.
Chuckles: These modules are still fairly easy to change. Moving elements around and tweaking textures is still not hard. I'll be re-visiting the lower hangar. Eventually.

Okay. I've had quite a crazy week - been getting home around 12am every day, and just spending a few hours every night on Pioneer. Since the time's been limited, I've worked on easier stuff, namely, explosions. I know I've spent a lot of time on these in the past, but I was still not satisfied with the way they looked. They just didn't have a feeling of scale. They just seemed...weak. Anyhow, I'm much happier with them now. <--This on I was still getting a hang of the system - some random bad things like the excess of purple, and the random floating-off volumetric bits. <- -Better

Anyhow, now that I had a half-day today, I've finished up the majority of the refinery texturing. I'm still going to fiddle a bit with it, but the basic idea is there, I think. Any comments on the colors, or general feel would be welcome. I think I should give fair warning, though - my current time on these station modules is coming to a close. There's only really one more I need to have done for the space flight demo, and then other art becomes more important. As long as everyone knows that I will come back to these at some later date, we should be fine. Next up on the list are more space background artwork - that'll be a good time to work out the feel of the original games. After that, I have menu and MFD artwork to create.


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