BYM - Shield Parts Defense Weapon System

This thread is to discuss the design specifics of the Shield Parts Defense Weapon System Version 1.0 in Build Your Own Mech (BYM).
There are factors installed that competitive players could benefit from but would have no idea of due to their complexity without a reference.

(I recommend playing the game and testing with shields before continuing! Hold your mech controller to see your energy statistics!)

[THE CONCEPT: How does it all work basically?]:

Shield parts, if placed within limits of your energy cells within quantity and size limits determined by the energy cells, act as a defensive weapon by absorbing any bumpers, bombs, and spikes of other teams which damages (more if they are larger) your energy level which is determined by the size and quantity of your energy cells. However, when the system is wrongly designed, it can do more harm than good.

Everything your shields are capable of are determined by your energy cells, which you need to understand in order to optimize a functional shield system on your creation.


Q1: What factors do we need to worry about when designing a shield system?
A1: Sizing, Quantity, Placement, Damage, Energy Capacity, Energy Usage, and Energy Regenerating. Note that energy cells may change color depending on not only the energy level, but if parts are out of bounds of each other or if you have too many shields.

Q2: What are the number limits of building with this system?

  • Max Energy Cell Size: 10x10x10 (S * S * S) - Energy Cell Size is always the same in the three dimensions. This is, you cannot have, for example, a 4x1x1 cell;
  • Cell Quantity Limit: 3 per saving slot;
  • Max Shield Size: 10x10x10 (W * H * D);
  • Shield Quantity Limit: 125 per saving slot;

Q3: What does the size of Energy Cells determine?

A3: In a short setence, the larger your Energy Cell, the more Energy Capacity you have. The larger the cell also means higher shield detection distance and the overall performance of the system is increased. However, larger cells can also be more vulnerable as they create larger explosions when destroyed! These explosions ONLY BREAK YOUR OWN PARTS, so they should be treated as a weak spot.

Energy Cell Statistic Formulas
  • Energy Capacity: C = S^2 * 10, where S is the cell size in a given direction.
    Example: A 4x4x4 cell (S = 4) would have an Energy Capacity of 4^2 * 10 = 16 * 10 = 160 units, while a 7.5x7.5x7.5 cell (S = 7.5) would have an Energy Capacity of 7.5^2 * 10 = 56.25 * 10 = 562.5 units.

  • Shield Detection Range: R = S * 10, where S is the cell size in a given direction.
    Example: A 4x4x4 cell (S = 4) would have a range of 4 * 10 = 40 studs, while a 7.5x7.5x7.5 cell (S = 7.5) would have a range of 7.5 * 10 = 75 studs.
    Range is tridimensional.

  • Maximum Shield Part Volume Supported: V = C, where E is the Energy Capacity of the cell, which formula is presented above.

  • Energy Regeneration Rate: E = (1 + (C/150)) * √N, where C is the Energy Capacity of the cell, and N, the number of cells your creation has.
    Example: A 4x4x4 cell (S = 4) with another cell in the creation (N = 2) would have a regeneration rate of (1 + (160/150)) * √2 ≈ (1 + 1.067) * 1.418 ≈ 2,93 units per second, while a 7.5x7.5x7.5 cell (S = 7.5), being the only cell in the creation (N = 1) would have a regeneration rate of (1 + (562.5/150)) * √1 = (1 + 3.75) * 1 = 4.75 units per second.

The explosion that is created when the cell is destroyed follows a non-final and complex formula. A single explosion won’t ever break more than 200 parts.

Q4: What does the quantity of Energy Cells determine?

A4: If you have more than 1 Energy Cell:

  • Their total energy will combine (3 10x10x10 energy cells produce a max energy of 3000 - game max energy limit.);
  • Further, more Energy Cells means your regeneration rate will increase. (The formula regeneration factor increase is the √N mentioned above. So if you have 3 cells, it will multiply your regeneration by approx 1.732.)
  • Lastly, more quantity means you could potentially extend the distance that cells can detect nearby shields to power them. So if you have 3 3x3x3 cells, each can find each other 30 units away so you could place the 2nd cell 30 units from first, and the 3rd cell another 30 units away from the 2nd cell. The extra range depends on how do you place the cells.

Q5: How should Energy Cells be placed?

A5: Energy Cells have two basic placement rules:

  • None of them can be out of range of each other (if they are, all will turn Purple and shields will turn off);
  • None can be too close to each other as to be compressed (they turn Pink and shields turn off.)

The game is always calculating to see the distances between the cells, and it checks from the perspective of each individual cell to determine if they are at least in range of one other cell. Larger cells have higher detection distance. It is also a consideration that Energy Cells need to be able to detect your shield parts, so if they are too far, out-of-range shield parts will simply turn off and not be considered in Usage.

Q6: What does the size of a shield part determine?

A6: The larger the shield, the more cubic shield area and the more Energy Usage it will have. Depending on whether you used a block, cylinder, sor wedge shield, it will take a different amount:

ShieldPart Energy Usage Formulas
  • B is the volume of a part: B = XYZ
    Example: A 2 * 3 * 3 part will have a volume of 18 cubic studs, while a 4 * 7 * 5 shield will have a volume of 140 cubic studs.

  • Block: B
  • Cylinder: B * π/4 ≈ B * 0.785
  • Sphere: B * π/6 ≈ B * 0.524
  • Wedge B * 1/2 = B * 0.5

NOTE: Every value below 1 will be clamped to 1.

Q7: What does the quantity of a shield part determine?

A7: Energy Usage is summed up based off quantity. Spreading out shield parts can be strategic to save on Energy Usage, but at the expense of a higher part count. If your Energy Usage is too high (above the Energy Capacity), all shields turn off.

NOTE: In a future update, I plan to make it so that if your usage is higher than your current energy capacity, it will power the closest shields up to your current cap so if for example, you lose 1 cell, your whole system doesn’t go down as it does currently.

Q8: How should Shield Parts be placed?
A8: Shield parts should be placed within range of Energy Cells in order to turn on. Any out-of-range shield parts will turn off. So before you make missiles with shields on them, take that into consideration.

Q9: What will happen as my Energy Level is lowered or depleted? How does generating work?

A9: As your shields absorb parts, your energy level will decrease and the cells will react to that, according to the color map below.

Energy Cell Color Code
  • Purple: Cells are too far away from each other: All shields turned off.
  • Pink: Cells are compressed (to close to each other): All shields turned off.
  • Really Blue: Energy level below the capacity, but above half of it (50% < x < 100%, where x is the Energy Level).
  • Yellow: Energy level below half the capacity (x < 50%)

Generating is currently automatic, but in a future update it will be manual and require turning off shields to generate. The generation formula should stay the same.

When your energy level becomes depleted:

Shields will go down there will cooldown for 60 seconds and not be able to regenerate until the cooldown is over. After the cooldown, 1/20 of your max capacity will be replaced and generation will immediately begin.

Q10: How much can my shields absorb? How is damage to the energy level determined?

A10: The amount your shield system can absorb enemy parts is determined by the amount of damage they deal to your energy level, and depending on whether its a spike, bomb, or bumper, there will be different damage conventions.

Weapon Blocks Damage Formulas
  • Spike: D = 20 + 3 * H (Does not deal more than 100 units of damage) - H is height of the spike;
  • Bumper: D = 10 + 2 * B (Does not deal more than 100 units of damage) - B is the volume of the bumper;
  • Bomb/TNT: D = 30 + 3 * B [no damage limit, must be direct hit to shield] - B is the volume of the bomb.

So do the math - your system could absorb a lot of small bumpers, or be taken down quickly by a few large bombs. If you’re taking small amounts of damage over a long period, your system could withstand a lot as it regenerates. The best strategy for taking down shields is to give it all at once, but take into consideration the size formulas for damaging.

I hope this answers most of your questions, if you have any more send me a tweet: @GameDevShark

Good luck building!

BYM Developer

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