Interview with Dr. Rhubarb - Port Albatross (2nd place winner)

Our own NQ-Naerais sat down with the top five builders in our latest Space Station Building Contest. Here's their interview with Dr. Rhubarb, second place winner and designer of Port Albatross.

Dr. Rhubarb: I first want to say thank you for working very hard to build such a great game and I am honored to have taken 2nd place in the space station contest.

NQ-Naerais: Tell us a bit about your station and its purpose

Dr. Rhubarb: As soon as Space Cores entered the game, I knew I wanted to get started right away on a design. The purpose of the Port Albatross space station was to act as a refueling station and a way point to drop ores off for haulers. I placed it 8 su from Alioth because it was mostly outside the gravity well, but close enough that it would be quick to shuttle ores back down to the surface.

NQ-Naerais: Where did you draw your inspiration from when designing your station?

Dr. Rhubarb: When starting a new project, I usually start with Pintrest to find inspiration. There are so many good ideas there to draw from. Often I will have a rough concept in my head, and will be on the lookout for some core designs. For example, I wanted Port Albatross to be a very vertical style station. After hours on Pintrest sometimes, I will usually end up with 3 or 4 images that I save. Each may have certain features that I want to incorporate.

NQ-Naerais: Tell us about your build process - Did you plan the build ahead of time, or do it in real time? / What kind of preparation did you do before this build?

Dr. Rhubarb: For smaller ships and static constructs, I usually just have an image or two as a reference to work from, but to get the proportions right on Port Albatross, which uses three large cores, it took a good deal more planning. I used old fashion grid paper and pencil to make a profile at a scale of 1 square equals 8 meters. I went through two versions before I was happy enough to start putting down voxels. I would say that this grid sketch was critical in keeping me focused on building and not straying or having to consider my next line or angle at each step of the way.

NQ-Naerais: Were others involved if so, how so?

Dr. Rhubarb: Albatross is a small, but mighty organisation. Gontharas did all the mining and the crafting of the elements I needed, which kept me in build mode pretty much 100% of the time. Without his constant supply of materials, I certainly would not have been able to finish such a big build. After the main structure was complete, we turned our attention to interior design. I was responsible for all of the command and control, hallways, hangars, and lobby. Gontharas was responsible for furnishing the crew and guest quarters.

NQ-Naerais: What struggles did you face during this build?

Dr. Rhubarb: The biggest struggle was time strategy. It was difficult to know when to stop working on the exterior and start working on interior in order to finish such a big station.

NQ-Naerais: What is your favorite element of this build?

Dr. Rhubarb: The command and control center is definitely my favorite area. The animated lightning in the two power generators at the back of that room was something I worked very hard on to get it to look right and to be random. It consists of two layered transparent screens with a custom built lightning svg animations.

NQ-Naerais: What advice would you give to other builders in Dual Universe?

Dr. Rhubarb: There are two things that can make a big visual difference when building. Try to think about how you can use elements, like pipes, cables, and lights in interesting ways. Don't be shy about using different textures to break up big surfaces. For example, using a bright iron next to a matte iron of a similar color makes a nice subtle change in a surface that makes it not so boring.

NQ-Naerais: How did you discover Dual Universe and how long have you been a part of the community?

Dr. Rhubarb: I discovered Dual Universe through Kickstarter and have been playing since Alpha phase 1.

NQ-Naerais: How do you spend your time in Dual Universe? 

Dr. Rhubarb: I spend most of my time in Dual Universe in build mode.  I love coming up with new ideas for ships all the time.  It doesn't take long after I finish one ship to start the next one. The most satisfying thing for me as a builder is to design something that has a compelling design and great function.

NQ-Naerais: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Dr. Rhubarb: Port Albatross was made almost entirely using the regular voxel building tools. There is almost no voxelmancy or sub-voxel type work. It shows that you can build really cool stuff in Dual Universe with just the built in tools.


Special thanks to Dr. Rhubarb for agreeing to interview with us, and congratulations on his awesome build! To discuss this build with your fellow Noveans, visit our message board now!

The Novaquark team