This is an idea I thought up while playing with the Motorwings plane creator. I hope this can inspire some innovation in the plane designer, and make Motorwings stand out from other creator games.
After fiddling in Motorwings for a while I noticed that a plane creation starts with the same steps: add a fuselage bottom half, then the top half and finish it of with a nose-cone and tail pieces. Sometimes with some extra parts in the middle to make the plane longer. After a while this gets repetitive and maybe even annoying.
I've played around with, and looked at other plane designer games: they all follow the same routine:
SimplePlanes, Kerbal Space Program and Balsa Model Flight Simulator.
All these games use a block stacking method for plane creation. To get a airworthy plane with realistic physics, the end result will always be a streamlined cigar shaped fuselage. I think that can be done faster and more intuitive.
Here is my idea to streamline the plane creation, and maybe add even more realism in the creative process: The illustrations are 2D for now, but show an example of how the new creator works in 5 steps.
Step 1: The editor will start with a default basic fuselage shape.
It can be stretched or shortened to fit your plane idea.
Step 2: the fuselage cross section is composed of bèzier curves. The curve can be altered by draging and moving the handles.
A default fuselage has 4 handles, but extra control points can be added depending on the plane length.
Step 3: fuselage bulkheads are generated within the cross section, these are also based on bèzier curves.
Step 4: The plane frame and skin material can be chosen. Wood frame with textile skin would be cheaper than metal frame and skin, but offer different flight dimension. (This example contains a mix: metal in the front, wood in the tail.)
Step 5: All the inner workings needs to fit in the fuselage. (Many games dumb down this step, or allow objects to intersect in the fuselage.)
In this example I added a radiator, cockpit, radio and vertical stabiliser. The fuselage skin will morph to accommodate any protruding parts, so all bits and bobs shown on the plane wil originate from an actual interior device, like in real life.
I know this idea is very different from the current Motorwings editor. I don't know if it is even possible to create an editor like this. But I think it would streamline and enhance the building process. Let me know what you think.