Yeah, yeah, I know, here we go again. I would put this in an existing suggestion, but they've all either been deleted, their scopes are too narrow, or search is having trouble finding them.
Look, compound blocks would improve the game immensely:
- More compact builds would be possible, which may actually reduce block counts for ships (compact interiors means less armour to cover them = less mass = less thrusters and thus power infrastructure, etc).
- We could ditch a lot of blocks in the build menu (ditch the dozens of DLC catwalk variants in favour of catwalk plates and railings, for example, which we already have).
- We would no longer have to choose between lighting our ships or giving them some interior decoration.
- We could make use of half armour sections to better effect by utilising the empty space! Our options would be limited here due to the placement/orientation of a lot of decorative blocks, but still.
- This could pave the way for interesting new blocks, such as framework blocks you can mount conveyor tubes inside (no longer would we have to use conveyor junctions just to have mounting points!)
- More comprehensive armour coverage - no more sides of large thrusters leaving gaping holes that expose your ship's internals. Just slap some thin armour pieces or catwalks in there.
- Allowing us to place blocks immediately around the bases of turrets, perhaps? I just want some catwalks there.
- No more huge gaps of wasted space next to windows.
I could go on and on.
One very specific use case I have is for airlocks: I have two doors separated by a space, in which I have the button panel. The floor block below that is taken up by a grated catwalk, with an air vent below that. That air vent now also requires blocks around it to form a seal. This airlock does not support a light unless I carve out another block, which inflates an already bloated design immensely and looks weird. Compound blocks would allow the floor grating and air vent to occupy the opposing sides of the same block, already cutting out an entire vertical layer, and allow me to add a light, keeping the size down.
We already know the engine can support compound blocks, but as I understand it, the Space Engineers code base has also diverged significantly from that of Medieval Engineers. I would not expect this to be an easy undertaking, but if it were announced, I would gladly buy a particularly large DLC to support it.