Battelship Forever is an amazing game. One of the most popular features is the ability to add your own, or other player's, ships to the game; and to modify them.
There are several parts to this document. The first describes the theory and core concepts. The second explanes how the shipmaking tools work. The third walks you through how to make an already existing ship, in this case, the Fleet workhorse - the Hestia, and the forth part is full of the tips from great ship builders (and the rest of us) on what techniques have worked for them.
This document is always growing and changing; and the input of the Battleships Forever community is the life's blood of it's existance. Corrections, additions, and new entries are always welcomed.
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PART 1) Shipmaking theory and core concepts
(text from the Battleships Forever Manual by Sean "th15" Chan)
Ships are rather complex structures. A ship is made out of a central core, which is the heart of a ship, and four types of components. These components are Sections, Turrets, Modules, and Doodads. Sections are parts of the structure and form the hull of the ship. Turrets are weapons mounted on individually articulated mounts. Modules are special turrets that provide special abilities. Doodads are bits and bobbles that you can add to your ship to make them look pretty and more "alive". They have no game mechanics effect, and are purely for appearances only.
To add a component, simply click on the corresponding button on the left side bar and place it on your ship by clicking again.
All components of a ship must be connected to the core of the ship through a section. This is very important because if a section is destroyed, any other section that was connected to the core through the destroyed section will also be destroyed.
The component which is currently selected (coloured blue) will be the parent of the next component you place. A component can be selected by double clicking on it.
PART 2) The shipmaking tools
S: Save ship. Creates a ship code file with the .shp extension that can be imported into Battleships Forever. Also creates a ship blueprint file with the .sbl extension that can be loaded into the ship maker.
Ctrl-S: Saves ship and launches Battleships Forever to quick-load the ship into Sandbox mode immediately.
O: Load ship blueprint
M: Mirrors your ship along it's central axis. Useful for creating symmetrical ships.
Ctrl-C: Clone object under mouse with same settings (uses the currently selected object as parent)
C: Change section colour
D: Delete object
V: Show weapon arcs
Q/A: Bring Section forward/Send Section back or scale weapon horizontal
Shift + Q/A: Bring Section to front/Send Section to back or scale weapon vertical
W: Set Section Depth
H: Hide help
N: New ship (clears everything)
Up/Down/Left/Right Arrows: Scroll Screen
J or L: Rotate object.
I or K: Horizontal scale up/down, also increases/decreases weapon arc
Shift + I or K: Vertical scale up/down
T: Assign target for Aegis Deflector or Booster module
Shift + J/K: Flip Section
Left Mouse: Select object to move (double-click to select only)
Right Mouse: Context sensitive menu, note: you must select the object you right click on it for some options to appear
Shift + Arrows: Nudge selected object by 1 pixel for precise placement
Middle Mouse: Centre view on mouse
Insert: Insert custom values for section or weapon
1: Create Section
2: Create Weapon
3: Create Module
4: Create Doodad
Holding control and pressing 1-4 will scroll forward through the respective list.
Holding shift and pressing 1-4 will scroll backward through the respective list.
Holding shift and control and pressing 1-4 will set the selected component (if they are the same type) to the displayed type. This is useful for changing component types after they have been placed.
Mouse Wheel Up/Down or Pg Up/Pg Dn: Zoom In/Out
Backspace: Reset Zoom
PART 3) Recreating the Hestia (or how to make your first ship)
PART 4) Shipmaking tips and techniques
If you want to see one of the the acknowledged masters of ship design, look up any of the ships of SilverWingedSeraph. Also don't miss his "SilverWingedSeraph's Guide to Good Shipbuilding"
a fun and informative reference.