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Form or Function?


Agent86
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Form or Function  

255 members have voted

  1. 1. Form or Function

    • Efficiency and simplicity is the primary objective
      46
    • I make small sacrifices in efficiency to improve visual appeal
      96
    • I balance the two as equally as possible
      68
    • Making the vehicle efficient is secondary to making it look good
      34
    • I only build fantastic looking vehicles. Efficiency doesn't factor into the design.
      11


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Which is more important to you when designing a mission? Are you happy with an ugly pancake lifter, so long as it gets the job done as efficiently as possible, or do you sacrifice delta-V, part counts and usability for a sleek, visually appealing vehicle?

Personally, I prefer to build a craft that looks great, no matter how inefficient it is, by using lots of unnecessary parts to create shapes that differ from the shape of typical stock parts, but I keep mods to the bare minimum.

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All for efficiency and simplicity here. The only time when consider the looks is when I can choose where to place a part. Say I can place it at 90º to make it look better but I was going to place the part anyways. But if for some reason I can't place it at 90, then I really don't care. Also solar panels I usually place in pairs.

The rest of the time, whatever works, works, ugly or not, if it takes me to where I want to go, and allows me to do what I want to do, it's fine by me.

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I tend to build quite functionally, within the overall design and objectives I've chosen. That overall design might not be the most efficient possible - for example I'll typically use a separate orbiter and lander, even if a direct ascent would be lower mass. I also like to "show my stuff", at least when it comes to spacecraft - things like batteries belong in plain view for me, not concealed in cargo bays and definitely not clipped inside other parts.

I will make some concessions to looks though. I don't want something that just looks daft unless that's my actual goal. I'll add parts to sort out aesthetic issues even if they add a bit of mass, or use a heavier component because it fits better. I'm not going to slap stuff like batteries on willy-nilly, they go somewhere sensible. And for planes, and occasionally spacecraft, I will be more likely to hide things out of sight.

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With FAR, and probably with the upcoming revised stock aerodynamics, making an efficient launcher necessarily means making it look aerodynamic and pretty. "If it looks right, it'll fly right" is an old adage and very true.

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Generally, if I want a vessel to look a certain way, I'll do it with the minimum parts needed, and avoid weight and lag adding clutter.

However, this is not always the case with planes or rovers, where wing parts and structural panels are the only way to achieve the desired shape.

Some times I'll add lots of physics less parts to the outside of ships, just for look.

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Functionality is a kind of form to me. I like building something that works, and then being semi-surprised myself by what the final product looks like. But also, I put almost no non-necessary parts on my ships to keep part count down and avoid lag. When the working parts alone total over 500,

ytvhqmI.png

I can't afford to pretty it up.

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Functionality is a kind of form to me. I like building something that works, and then being semi-surprised myself by what the final product looks like. But also, I put almost no non-necessary parts on my ships to keep part count down and avoid lag. When the working parts alone total over 500,

http://i.imgur.com/ytvhqmI.png

I can't afford to pretty it up.

This about sums it up for me too. With the new aero, function will be even more of a factor, which until then I roleplay... so form now, function after 1.0.

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I build for function in the first pass, form next not in an aesthetic sense but more for form factor (needs to fit in a...), then an aesthetic purpose.

Since I just switched to RSS I'm stuck in the function cycle for a good while. ;-)

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Balanced, but leans more on the "form" part. I prefer to finish missions. I prefer to make crafts that can finish the mission while making them look good, realistic, and aerodynamic as possible. Because why not?

Check out these things I've made. Same aerodynamic launch vehicle (

) yet different-sized (and varying mass) payloads.

UyADCYn.jpg

9QedUJO.jpg

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