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Hello Universe

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I figured Hello World was a bit of a cliche these days, and since I'm working on a procedural space game, I figured Hello Universe would work better.

So I'll start by introducing you to my game. I call it Pigment.

Pigment is a game in which you fly among the stars, mining asteroids, trading, building factories, upgrading your ships and meeting interesting AI. I haven't gotten anywhere near AI yet (it's still a scary blob in the future), but I hope to make characters that you'll actually want to play with and keep alive. And I'm going to try to make those procedural. We'll see what happens along the way.

I'm also very new to games programming in general. I did a course on Graphics Programming two years ago as part of my BSc in Computer Science, but it was at an unfortunate time when everybody seemed to be translating from fixed-function to shaders, and we got taught the dying art. I have a long history of loving games, I used to make amateur levels for Unreal Tournament and UT 2003, and 2004 and did a bit of level design for the mod UnWheel (if there are any really ugly levels in there - you can bet I made them). Since then I've come to realize that design just isn't my thing, and so I've set out to create a graphically simplistic universe although it will be filled to the brim with pretty shaders because I love shiny things.

So, what's the story so far? I have a system which creates approximately 10,000 stars in random positions. I'm organizing them with an octree and I calculate gravity for each of them and move them all about in relation to each other using newtonian physics. In this game, there are no static objects.

I have just finished my post processing framework so I can add and remove shaders on the fly. It's based off of this, but a little more simplistic and specialized for my engine (although so far it works incredibly well, and is fantastically flexible).

And now that the framework is finished and working, I've begun writing some nice post-process effects. Currently I have bloom and depth of field blurring in there (although I want to modify the latter to use bokeh) and I have the following on my to do list:

Motion blur
Lens flare
Color aberration

Then after that I hope to put in fog volumes to simulate atmosphere and work out a better distribution algorithm for stars. Currently my stars are just placed randomly, I need them organised into galaxies.

So, what are my influences? Dwarf Fortress, Infinity: The Quest For Earth, the X series, Minecraft, Lego, Tribes: Ascend, Freelancer and, naturally, Elite.

So I present the culmination of approximately 1 year's worth of on-off work:


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As eveything is animated maybe a video could be nice ?

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Good idea, I'm new to this screen recording stuff, got any suggestions for a good recorder? Or should I just nab fraps for a quick one-off?

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