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Building in Dual Universe can be separated into three categories: Building, Crafting, and Manufacturing. These three activities provide the mechanics necessary to produce virtually all of the products used by players, from equipment to orbital stations. While the processes may vary greatly, all three activities require the use of resources obtained through mining or trade, as well as materials and elements created from those resources.
The process of using raw materials to create a construct, be it a spaceship hull, house, outpost or space station. Building a construct requires a Core Unit, an element necessary to generate a building zone where you will be able to edit a construct.  Within a building zone, a special jetpack mode is engaged, whereby the player can exercise precise control over their position, in order to reach all areas of the construct. Construct details can be freely edited down to 25 cm in scale .
Placing a Core Unit creates a cube of cubes called voxels. These voxels start off as "Air Voxels" with no applied texture, mass or collision. While working inside a building zone, a player can alter the shape of these voxels and apply a material to them using a series of tools. The player can copy and paste sections of the construct, thus greatly accelerating the building process. Furthermore, keybinds allow the player to mirror and rotate the clipboard before repasting, making symmetrical constructs easier to build. The system also features robust undo and redo queues that persist until the player logs out.
See Main Article: Tool
The building system features a wide variety of tools designed to aid in the construction of irregular shapes. These tools can be loosely separated into two categories: creation and modification.
Creation Tools allow the player to add or delete shapes from a construct through the use of simple 3D shapes, such as spheres, cubes, and prisms. The line tool also allows the builder to create linear, irregularly shaped volumes between two existing surfaces. When selecting an area in which to place voxels or elements the shape outline will display in one of three colors:
- A blue ghost indicates that the action will complete as intended.
- A yellow ghost indicates that placing such a shape is possible, but certain factors, such as rendering scale, will cause it to display abnormally.
- Finally, a red ghost indicates that placing such a shape is not possible, and the player will be given an error message that explains the problem, such as insufficient resources or attempting to place voxels outside of the build zone.
Modification Tools, such as the smoothing or paint tools, allow the user to modify the shapes and properties of the construct in order to create the desired shape or design.
See Main Article: Element
Elements are pre-created components for constructs that come in two primary categories: Voxel Elements and Mesh Elements.
Voxel Elements are pre-created or player-created complex shapes that are intended to streamline the building process. A Voxel Element could be anything, from a spiral staircase to a specially designed aircraft wing, that has been created by the player and saved for later use. These elements can then be used in later constructs, to prevent the builder from having to continually re-make complex designs. Additionally, these elements can be placed using a different material than the original design.
Mesh Elements are pre-created functional components such as engines, control consoles, sensor arrays, weapons, and so on. These elements have predefined statistics and functions as determined by Novaquark . These elements are intended to be the primary points of interaction between players, constructs, and the environment. Furthermore, these elements can be effected by custom LUA scripts that may alter the interactions of mesh elements with each other and their environment.
A static construct and space construct are permanently fixed onto the game world, the player must dismantle all elements and remove the core to move the construct. A dynamic construct can be move after the construct has been built.
See Main Article: Physics
Dynamic cores are affected by the game worlds physics. The placement of directional units and engines on a dynamic construct effect it's flight pattern, acceleration, turning speed, and a number of other factors critical to creating an efficient vehicle. For example, a square shaped construct with four hover engines, all placed on a single side of the square, may be unstable because the engines are exerting lift unevenly, which will prevent it from flying straight, if at all.
When working on a dynamic construct, a toolbar will appear at the top of the window that provides valuable real-time information to the player building the ship. See main article: Build Helper
See Main Article: Blueprints
When a construct is finished being built, the player can create a core blueprint from it. The core blueprint can be used to produce blueprint copies which in turn, when combined with the same amount of resources, materials, and/or elements originally used in the construct, create an exact replica of the original. Copies of the blueprint can also be created to sell or give away. However, future changes to that construct will not be reflected on existing blueprints. See main page on Blueprints for further information and information on Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Crafting and Manufacturing
See Main Article: Crafting
Crafting is the process of refining resources into materials, or materials into elements through the character crafting menu available to all players in game. The crafting menu can be accessed by all players anywhere in the game (even in build mode), and they can use that to create materials and elements, so long as they have the appropriate items in their nanopack. As such, crafting is the most basic item creation process, but also the most time intensive, as it cannot be automated. Players can use industrial units to automate many of the functions of crafting, but that process is known as manufacturing
See main article: Manufacturing
- "Ask Us Anything" Event. Dual Universe Forums: https://board.dualthegame.com/index.php/topic/841-ask-us-anything-event/#entry8611
- Dual Universe Explorers - Live Q&A w/ JC Baillie - 09/17/2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9Y0YmqGYDM 24:00 min
- Builder Gameplay, Voxel Tools & Elements. Dual Universe Dev Blog: https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2016/02/20/builder-gameplay-voxel-tools-elements/#more-531
- AMA Event:https://board.dualthegame.com/index.php?/topic/10000-kickstarter-ama-event-first-part/#comment-32186)
- April Video Dev Diary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVJyfKNeOao