I've been busy doing a lot of station related programming, and I got tired of looking at glowing red boxes for my stations. So, I fired up blender, read some howtos, learned about flipping normals, and made some stations. These are definitely nicer than a red box :)
Note, I am definitely not a good 3D modeler, and I'm even worse at doing UV texturing. These renderings are all done in-game and with (hopefully) alpha placeholder models and textures. So, don't be too hard. If you are good at these things, shoot me a mail.
Now, I am pleased to present the first 4 stations types!
(You can click any image to get a full size version)
When you're in space, energy is vital to running factories. Everyone, even NPCs, needs energy to run manufacturing processes. Fortunately, "Sunfarms" are there! These efficient solar collectors will sell you a standard unit of electric potential collected from solar panels from the abundant sunlight in most systems.
Unlike in some games, these solar power plants don't magically consume crystals! Yes, once constructed they are pretty much self sufficient, forming the backbone of the economy. Think of them as the lowest tier producer.
Nanites, unable to replicate for reasons that are more than obvious, are used by many factories to do low level fabrication work on things like electrical components, hull plating, and other simple structures. Most factories will be interested in purchasing these machines, which need to be replaced periodically since they wear out and are unable to replicate.
Even in the future there is a high demand for food. Taking advantage of the readily available sunlight and fine-tunable growing conditions in space, space farms grow a wide variety of food products. Fortunately, nanites are never used in the fabrication of a food product.
An application of nanotechnology, composite fabs are huge orbiting silos where nanites turn raw ore into the standardized hull plating composite needed to construct all ships and stations, and some weapons. They will require a constant supply of energy, nanites, and raw ore to stay in operation.
Can NPC Stations Go Out of Business?
Yes! If an NPC station's wallet reaches 0 at any point, it will be dealt with harshly. So stations with bad locations and poor prices won't last too long. The same will go with spawned NPC traders. If they aren't good at trading, they won't last long either.
Comments? Suggestions? 3D modelling talent? Contact me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org !