Having added a number of new ships, I thought I'd revisit an old concept.
The size comparison chart that got me started on the blueprint project. I wanted something for the LaveCon raffle this year, so a poster is most likely going to be the thing. Below is a 4K bitmap of what will be an A0 poster.
The poster is done and will be in the LaveCon raffle this year.
Over this weekend I fixed some missing ship views pointed out on the Frontier forums - the Type-9 and Mamba were "bottom"-less.
People seemed a bit confused by the ships being sorted by manufacturer, then ship name - so I've added a sorting menu, so the user can re-order the vehicles in a variety of ways.
I've modified the menu a bit, to accommodate the sort button and I've moved the language selection to button dropdown.
Under the hood, I've changed all the numeric stats from strings to numbers, as they were causing odd behaviours when trying to sort with them. This is now done. If you want additional sort orders, as usual all requests written in pencil on a ten pound note.
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.