Making your own hulls for GSB - the easy way.

Greetings everyone - long time lurker, first time poster. Today, mainly to satisfy my curiosity, I bought GSB. And I have to admit, it was well worth it. The Beta already plays great, and I’m very eager to test the living daylights out of this baby.

Now, one thing I missed about the concept was the ability to design one’s own hulls. However, there are ways and means around it. So for everyone, like me, who is quite horrible at creating original graphics, let alone of the quality Positech provided here, I would like to present the “make your own hull for dummies” method. Since it involves abusing another (freeware) game’s ship making tool to do it, I’m not sure if it’s within the forum rules to suggest here (if it’s not: accept this as my apology), but I still want to give it a try:

This is my first result (pretty crappy still, but that’s because I am just using the rabbit ship as a template for dds size and such - working on that)

I essentially used a game called “Battleships Forever” by Wyrdysm Games and some user-provided parts to assemble the ship for BF, made a screenshot with an alpha-friendly background and then ported it via DDS to GSB. Simple as that. It might not qualify as artistic achievement, but it’s a great help for creating more hulls for this great game. If there is interest in this, I could of course provide a step-by-step walkthrough on this.

The engine is indeed kickass.

I am very interested in this. Please DO provide more detail about this process, as I am eager to do the same. I am totally ignorant of DDS and how it functions, though. If I can create something in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, I hope to puzzle out how to import it into the game…or use whatever other workable methods may exist that I’m as-yet unaware of!

I loaded the game and tried it out. Constant CTD’s and how you created those ships is lost to me. I played around with the editor which was tedious but neat. All the ships have Tron like shapes and colors.

PLEASE … write a little how to for us graphically challenged!

I have visions of a Warhammer 40000 theme!

I too am very interested in getting new ships into GSB - I can see many hours of fun with Star Fury ships battling it out, again …

So, please do post a detailed Tutorial.

What a tease. Hope there is a tutorial soon

I spent the night trying to figure this out.

Made some great ships in Battleship Forever but importing them to this game with color? Right …

Its all beyond me.

Hope this isn’t some hoax.

I’ll have a look into it and see if I can figure out what was done to get the ship into the game, and report back in a few days - especially if there’s no update on a Tutorial from monsterfurby in the meantime.

To get a new hull ingame i used Photoshop and the nvidia DDS plugin.
First get a top-down image of a ship you want, star trek stuff for me. It needs to be 512x512, besides the ship, the background should be one colour, black for example. After you have the image ready, you need to make a selection to the ship, not including the background. An easy way to do this is to use the magic wand to select the whole of the background, and then do Select>Inverse to select the ship instead. Now go to the bottom right of the photoshop tools, where the layers are. Click on the Channels tab. You should have red, green and blue. We need to create an alpha channel. Right click on one channel, blue for example, and select duplicate. Change the name of the new channel to Alpha 1. For this channel to work, we need to make the outline of the ship completely white, so thats what GSB will show, and not the black background. With the ship still selected, and the background black, go to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast. Set them both to 100. Now the alpha channel should be a black image with the white outline of the ship. Now that you have the image ready, lets create a new directory in Gratuitous Space Battles Beta\data\bitmaps\ships\federation called New Ship, in there we need three versions of the image. Go back to photoshop and save the file as DDS. Make sure you have DXT3 with explicit alpha selected, and Generate Mip Maps should be checked as well, save as New Go to the directory and copy it 2 times, renaming it to New and New, those should be damaged versions of the ship but thats another tutorial.
We`re done with images now. Go to Gratuitous Space Battles Beta\data\hulls\federation, and copy paste for example the federation buffalo cruiser, rename the text file to New Ship.txt, open it with notepad. In the [config] section you should see the text defining the dds files and names of the hull, its pretty self explanatory what you need to change here. Other info about the stuff in this files is found on these forums. Also, the coordinates used here is based on a 256x256 file, so you can copy your new ship.dss and make it 256x256 just for quick reference in case you need to change things in the text file. That should be it. Go to the design screen and check it out.

Now comes the hard part, you need to take that 256x256 reference image and make sure the hardpoints fit into the ship, or else you will have weapons that float magically beside the ship hull, same goes for the [targets] and [explosions] and all the other entries in the txt file.

Sorry if this is hard to read, it was done hastely.

Thank you very much!

Thanks Throumbas, however as soon as I add an Alpha channel to my image I loss the option to Save as a DDS…I get the error “Unsupported Input Format”…

Photoshop is not my normal package, so I am probably doing something wrong while trying to follow your post above. Could you by chance post a screen-shot of your Channels Panel?

Never mind!

PC just needed a reboot, now all works as expected…

Here’s a screenie of some new Federation Fighters now that I’ve got Photoshop to work properly…

A bit hard to decern, but they’re Mk 7 Vipers

ive tried this i all i get is a flying white box

not sure if that is a coding fail or a win =P

well i got the borg in game >>

Looks like its the wrong dds format or you messed up with the alpha channel.

heres the dds file

Have the same problem with the white Boxes but just if i try to use my own figtherhull … they fly in with the new hull i gave them but after they stop they get into white boxes.
Can anyone help me?!

I had the same problem LuckyLuke. I fixed it by leaving the hulktexture entry blank, and then removing the hulkuvstart and hulkuvend entries all together. Of course now my problem is that the fighters fly in, and then their image disappears. The fighters are still considered to be there by the game with contrails and all, but the hull of the fighter isn’t displayed. I haven’t been able to figure it out…

Thx Woden501 for your fast answer!
Maybe Wraith could help us cause he post a screenshot of his MK 7 Vipers and it looks like it works for him.
Or maybe someone else could help us to get the figther hulls work.