BuildCraft NextGen is a laboratory, containing experimentations with new modding capabilities that could be inserted in BuildCraft. This page describes the feature set that is currently under experimentation.
Note that BuildCraft 6.0 was the first version built out the experiments of NextGen, who did among other things resurrect the builder.
This version of the mod will put different technologies in tiers. A tier is an informal classification of the technology, that is unlocked by a set of achievements (items crafted or similar).
The Urbanist module gives a third person view to the player, allowing him to interact with the world from above. This way, the player will be able to give order to its robots to build buildings or create routes, setting area or paths. This is really the main aim of this NextGen BuildCraft, but drives additional development to be completed.
There are currently development aimed at creating multiblock structures, starting with a Multiblock refinery.
Like the building machines, it has 6 “base items” recipe (in this case 5 Iron ingots and a Redstone Crystal) with variable bottom parts (those being Chipsets). This will get you a Base Robot, which you can then “program” (place it in the Integration Table with a “program” item, something crafted randomly with Lasers).
Robots are placed on Robot Stations, which are placed on pipes, just like Pipe Plugs. We've seen these be placed on Transport Pipes and Kinesis Pipes, but it's safe to assume you can place them on Fluid Pipes also (though there are no programs that use Fluids so far). Robots also require power, so if you place one on a Transport Pipe, you'll need to have a RS on a Kinesis Pipe nearby so the Robot can recharge.
You can specify the area a Robot works in with the “Map Location” item. To do this you right click the item on a block (it'll record the location and the side) or on a Landmark, in which case it'll locate the area highlited by the Landmark. You then use the “Work in area” gate trigger to tell the Robot to only work on that area.
Using Gates it is now possible to Filter which items a Robot look for/work with.
There are currently 3 Robot “Lines”: Brown, Blue and Green. According to SpaceToad the “Blue Line” (my naming) is for Factory Robots, but he didn't name the other lines yet. You can clearly see a theme though.
These are the programs we have seen so far:
• Picker Program (Brown Line) It picks items from the ground and places them on its assigned RS (or a requesting RS).
• Carrier Program (Brown Line) Using gate triggers, this Robot can move items around.
• Lumberjack Program (Blue Line) This Robot Cuts down nearby Trees. However it does not collect the dropped items. It does require tools to cut trees (looks on nearby inventories).
• Leaf Cutter Program (Blue Line) Looks for Shears in nearby inventories, gets shears, cuts leaves.
• Planter Program (Blue Line) Plants things down randomly. It looks into nearby inventories and gets 1 item out so it can plant it somewhere.
• Farmer Program (Blue Line) Looks for Hoes and makes farmland.
• Harverster Program (Blue Line) Harvests all kinds of plants, including wildlife like Tall Grass and Flowers.
• Miner Program (Blue Line) Looks for a Pickaxe and breaks nearby Ore. It doesn't mine Stone, so it mines similarly to a player in a cave. Doesn't pick up items.
• Shovelman Program (Blue Line) Looks for a Shovel and breaks anything a shovel can break. Supposed to facilitate finding ore.
• Butcher Program (Blue Line) Kills nearby animals (hopefully doesn't kill babies but we don't know that).
• Knight Program (Green Line) Looks for a Sword and attacks nearby hostile mobs. Currently invincible but that will change for the final release.
• Bomber Program (Green Line) Requires an area to be specified, looks for TNT and bombs the selected area.
This is only an early look and we can surely expect new Programs down the line. You can also check out SpaceToad's YouTube channel for videos on the subject.