Today I've added in some additional Spanish translations to the codex, a sub-set of "trivia" elements for any ships that require it (mainly NPCs) and added a ship "slug" to the page URL. This means you can bookmark you favourite ship.
Someone on Facebook asked "why not just use Coriolis.io"? And I agree that Coriolis and others are excellent, but the Codex isn't meant to be a ship outfitting app, it's intended as an interactive illustrated datasheet with statistics, but also scaled size comparisons and a window into all the data that exists about each ship. Not just outfitting.
I've added a few new data fields including the release version and date of each ship/vehicle. That took a fair bit of research re-reading all the patch notes to ensure the dates I had were correct (many weren't). I'll probably add a birthday cake for ship birthdays later :).
After spending the evening exporting bitmaps of all the ships at the exact same scale (2.9 pixels per metre) I have been able to add the “comparison” TAB to the Codex.
You can now pick any vehicle and compare it to any other in both scale and statistics. So if you want to see if your Beluga is an upgrade from an Imperial Fighter, now you can!
No, not that mug. These mugs.
Since I posted these on Twitter, I guess I should post them here.
Different photo merchandise sites use different dimensions. The Krait template was used with a site called www.vistaprint.co.uk The other two (Cobra & Vulture) were created for www.snapfish.co.uk / www.truprint.co.uk
So check the size ratio and use the right layout or your design will get truncated in a bad way. Download the bitmaps, upload the one you want to whatever local printing service there is and presto! Blueprint mug.
I've now applied most of the translated texts from my blueprints to the vehicle codex. While there's a bunch of "new" labels that are not translated, I have been adding in all data I can.
I will over the coming days get the remaining text translated. I've just got to modify the site to link to the correct language blueprints.
All the work I started at the end of last year is at last coming together.
When I started my vehicle codex, the idea was to have a complete set of all in-game vehicles with all the viewpoints and data statistics viewable, so that players could reference their ships to compare and contrast. I could then include a downloadable datasheet (a new version of the blueprint).
What happened was the blog engine didn’t really give enough flexibility to present the information and hand typing all those stats was a nightmare to create and worse to maintain. Over time the data became obsolete and maintaining the datasheets (alongside the blueprints) was a lot of effort. Especially with constraints on my time.
Then Frontier changed all the ship data for Beyond by removing the basic discovery scanner (which was installed by default), so I was basically at a “start again from scratch” position at the end of last year and looked at how I could “fix” it.
I created a spreadsheet of all my data and then painstakingly checked and corrected everything and added in all the new vehicles. Somewhere along the line I also updated and expanded all the language translations as well with a tremendous amount of help from the ED community. Using a (sort of) mail-merge, I created a new template for the vehicle blueprints and merged the data from my spreadsheet into this, then imported the ship schematic drawings on top. The process took around five hours, including three hours to export the bitmaps of each blueprint. But the results were a consistent set of blueprints with the most up to date information.
Having finished that task, I revisited the vehicle codex. As I said, the process of making individual pages with tons of stats was inefficient and error-prone. To combat this and give a better user experience I decided to make new website that would be a data-driven user interface. First step, I took my updated spreadsheet and converted that into a JSON file and restructured the data. That took a while..
Once I had the data ready, I chose a couple of vehicles with different types of data (big ship, small ship, fighter and NPC) and exported all the bitmaps needed to design the interface. Over the weekend I have continued to refine the interface and as I do, add in more of the vehicles, as and when I finish exporting all the bitmaps required.
Here is the result (so far): http://codex.elite-dangerous-blog.co.uk
I hope you like what I’ve done and find it useful. I will be adding in the language translated texts once the whole thing is complete. An advantage of being data-driven is I can swap languages on the underlying database.
A CMDR posted a sketch on Reddit drawn by his fiancé, Rebecca Gourd, after a short look at one of my older blueprints.
One of the things about Elite: Dangerous is that it is constantly changing. And while that's great for players, for me, it presents a problem.
All the statistics and layouts of the ships keep changing. Creating definitive sets of blueprints & datasheets etc. is a constantly-moving target. With restrictions on my time (this blog is a hobby) mean I don't have the game time to rack up enough credits to buy the ships I need to draw and document (Alliance Crusader at the moment). Harder still, is getting ship launched fighters that require considerable game-time to unlock. These things make getting the statistics pretty difficult in the first place. But I am getting there!
I have in the past had various text files, spreadsheets etc. which contain data collected from many sources; much of it dating back to 2016. In pursuit of the information to complete (as much as possible) my Vehicle Codex, I am performing a complete refresh of all this data. Checking old data and obtaining new. You can see the "missing" or "unconfirmed" values on the partial screenshot below.
When I have collated and collected all the data, I intend to re-publish the full set of blueprints with the latest statistics. This will bring them up to date and match the datasheets created for the Vehicle Codex.
As you can see from the draft sample below, I will be including all hard-points and utility slots numbered in the top down order in outfitting.
I have also put in a request to Frontier to ask for definitive ship dimensions. I currently use a system of sizing that has proven to be accurate and if not "right" then it is at least consistent. Being able to say "I have it from Frontier" would help dismiss the "you got it wrong" posts.
Update: I asked Frontier for dimensions and they declined. Will Flanagan replied to my request; Hello Anthony, unfortunately we're not able to provide you with ship sizes.
I haven't had the time in game to unlock more than one of the Guardian ship launched fighters. Last night CMDR Ranualf assisted me, as he HAS unlocked all of them, in getting the screenshots and statistical data I needed to complete the blueprint.
Using the screenshots, I got the ship schematic drawn and incorporated it into the new blueprint template.
I have now added pages for the three Saud Kruger Passenger vessels; the Dolphin, Orca and Beluga Liner - largest flyable ship in the game currently!