Modelling stations

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Docking marker setup

There are only 3 tags for a station now:

  • Entrance locator: entrance_port01
  • Pad locators: loc_A001_p01_s0_500_b01
  • Optional Exit locator: exit_port01

There are some important parts like if you've named your entrance entrance_port01 then there must be some pad locators with p01 in the name to use it, i.e: the 01 parts must match. To keep things simple I would try and use a naming convention starting at 01 and going up for as many ports as you have with a minimum of 1 pad per port.

The pad locator only looks scary so taking loc_A001_p01_s0_500_b01 apart we have:

  • loc_ this is common keep the start the same always.
  • A001_ this a pad name, 4 characters long so John_, #AA#_, etc are also valid.
  • p01_ the port number as mentioned above.
  • s0_500_ the ship size range in this case from 0 to 500.
  • b01 the bay number - keep them sequential, from 1 to 240.

All the other tags that used to be created by hand are now generated internally.

Some further information on docking tag orientation.

Notes on size

Collision avoidance code treats ships and orbital stations as spheres. If the target is inside the sphere, a ship will fly around to approximately the closest point on the sphere's surface, then enter. Massive stations will therefore work, but the autopilot stops around 15km away from its target, so any larger than that and you'll have problems.

Landing pads / bays tend to be 100m across. Ships larger than that aren't expected to dock, and will probably eventually be loaded via shuttles.