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Interview + upcoming work

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Ysaneya

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I've finally completed an interview (with some new pictures, and a video of the space station) for the site moddb.com (they also list standalone games). It should get posted in a couple of hours or days.

In other news, i've added a sun glowing effect and some "dust" particles in space. It doesn't look very good at the moment, but i'll improve the effect later on. The idea is to be able to see how fast you're moving in space when there is no point of reference around you.

The video motion is a bit jerky and there are some slowdowns. This is due to recording in real-time, which puts a lot of stress on the hard drive and CPU. But i've also discovered a massive memory leak, which makes the whole game crash at 2.1 GB of memory usage. In theory, i was not expecting it to go higher than 1 GB, so i'll have to investigate into that.

I noticed some artefacts in the ZBuffer after i modified the setup of the scene. I moved the gas giant away so that it looks more "realistic", and also added a couple of moons. The algorithm tries to split the scene into 3 frustums, with different ZNear/ZFar values. I guess there's a bug in it, because i can sometimes see the atmosphere/clouds fight with the ground.

In the coming week(s), i'm also going to consolidate, clean up and reorganize a few things in the engine. The base is pretty well designed and robust, but some of the recent tests / changes are pretty ugly. And i'm not 100% happy with the directories structure.
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Sounds great! You will post an entry when the interview (and the vid) are online, won't you?

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Guest Anonymous Poster

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Been following this journal for a while now, it's great stuff.

The game edge of chaos had a cool way of representing your speed. The yellow lines are part of the HUD and get longer the faster you are going. Mabey you could borrow the idea if the dust dosn't work out :)

http://www.games.net/screens/105356/16304-3-2.jpg

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Ysaneya:
Have you had any thoughts about how to compess inter-planetary flight down enough to make it enjoyable? After all, nobody will want to spend a couple of days to reach high orbit, let alone several years to reach Mars.
Most games use jump to target(a la Vega Strike), or speed up the clock depending on the distance to the nearest object (planet, ship, etc.), but if Infinity is multi-player, you can't really do this, as the clocks will get out of sync.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

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Decreasing the distances has the same effect as speeding up the clock. ;P

-KaiserPanda

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Or just increase the maximum speed?
There is no reason to limit the gameplay mechanics to the real life laws.

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Quote:
Or just increase the maximum speed?

Yes, but the engine will probably have to limit your speed near the ground (can't trim the tree-tops at an orbital velocity, as may not be able to update the terrain fast enough).
Also I believe the Infinity website says that it will use Newtonian physics.
And even if the maximum speed is increased, for instance to a speed such that you can reach Mars in a week, synchronising speeds will be as great a problem as time is currently.

However, if we throw reallity out the window[grin], we can increase the maximum speed in an inverse relationship to the strength of the local gravity field (or some such critieria), and everything will work great, except that players will only be able to rendevouz with each other at Planets/Stations.

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Quote:
Or just increase the maximum speed?

Yes, but the engine will probably have to limit your speed near the ground (can't trim the tree-tops at an orbital velocity, as may not be able to update the terrain fast enough).
Also I believe the Infinity website says that it will use Newtonian physics.
And even if the maximum speed is increased, for instance to a speed such that you can reach Mars in a week, synchronising speeds will be as great a problem as time is currently.

However, if we throw reallity out the window[smile], we can increase the maximum speed in an inverse relationship to the strength of the local gravity field (or some such critieria), and everything will work great, except that players will only be able to rendevouz with each other at Planets/Stations.

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Actually I think the problem with these velocities near the ground would be solved if atmosphere density is taken as a factor that causes friction, lethal at high velocities in a dense atmosphere.

It could also be used effectively for other purposes, like making nebulae kinda like walls in space because you can't traverse them at the same speed as in the big empty void, and having different "aerodynamic" values for each ship, so there's more strategy involved.

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