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 work with the Eureka system, which will provide the player with a book containing information and lore on all the items on the mod. This book also allows for selective restriction of items, requiring a player to craft and use an item before unlocking another, for example. Such restrictions are still up to debate on the BuildCraft forums.
Previously, there were plans to split the mod in different tiers:
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.
After the reveal of the Zoneplanner, it is not clear if this item is still going to be implemented.
In 6.1.2, it is expected that BuildCraft adopts the RF API. However how this is implemented into the mod is so far mostly unknown.
Also, there is currently development aimed at creating multiblock structures, starting with a Multiblock refinery.
Like the building machines, they have 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 “Redstone Board” item, something crafted randomly with Lasers).
Robots are placed on Docking Stations, which are placed on pipes, just like Pipe Plugs. Robots also require power, so if you place one on a Transport Pipe, you'll need to have a DS 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, or you can use a new block (the Zone Planner) to select an area using one of 16 Paintbrushes (the block shows you a map with an area of about 2Km²). 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 4 Robot “Lines”: Blue, Red Green and Yellow (these are represented by the coloring on the Redstone Boards). According to SpaceToad the “Blue Line” (my naming, in reality its probably something closer to “Blue Board Robots”) is for Factory Robots, but he didn't name the other “lines” yet. You can clearly see a theme though.
These are the robots we have seen so far:
• Picker Robot (Green Line): It picks items from the ground and places them on its assigned DS (or a requesting DS).
• Carrier Robot (Green Line): Using gate triggers, this Robot can move items around.
• Delivery Robot (Green Line): Smarter than the Carrier, this Robot provides items for requesting gates. It works particularly well with the Requester, a new block which allows you to request several items at once.
• Tank Robot (Green Line): Not yet shown in videos. Seems to be the fluid version of the Carrier/Delivery Robot.
• Lumberjack Robot (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 Robot (Blue Line): Looks for Shears in nearby inventories, gets shears, cuts leaves.
• Planter Robot (Blue Line): Plants things down randomly. It looks into nearby inventories and gets 1 item out so it can plant it somewhere.
• Farmer Robot (Blue Line): Looks for Hoes and makes farmland.
• Harverster Robot (Blue Line): Harvests all kinds of plants, including wildlife like Tall Grass and Flowers.
• Miner Robot (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.
• Crafter Robot (Blue Line): Together with a Crafting/Assembly Table or a Furnace and some gate triggers, this Robot can craft items on demand.
• Excavator Shovelman Robot (Blue Line): Looks for a Shovel and breaks anything a shovel can break. Supposed to facilitate finding ore.
• Butcher Robot (Blue Line): Kills nearby animals (hopefully doesn't kill babies but we don't know that).
• Knight Robot (Red Line): Looks for a Sword and attacks nearby hostile mobs. Currently invincible but that will change for the final release.
• Bomber Robot (Red Line): Requires an area to be specified, looks for TNT and bombs the selected area.
• Builder Robot (Yellow Line): Literally a Builder Robot. Looks for a “Construction Marker” (an item that holds a Blueprint, name subject to change) and for items in chests, subsequently building the contents of the Blueprint. And while it is very slow (carrying only one item at a time), it can work together with other robots of the same kind to speed the process, and in the future may even work with the Builder block.
This is only an early look and we can surely expect new Robots down the line. You can also check out SpaceToad's 6.1 Preview Playlist for videos on the subject.