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MarcusMaximus04

New Space Game

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I've started working on a new game and decided to try to both get the word out and take a measurement of community interest.

The idea came from loving older games like the Escape Velocity series and (to a somewhat lesser extent) Star Control 3. It's been a while since I've seen a new one of that genre of exploring space, dealing with a range of hostile to peaceful aliens, conquering planets, etc. and I figured those games are extremely fun and could really use an injection of more modern graphics and gameplay.

My idea is along the same lines, to have the player take on the role of a human captain, initially with a weaker ship, and roam around randomly generated solar systems with groups of randomly generated aliens to act as both helpful NPC's and enemies. There'll be a kind of stellar map, showing systems that the player has discovered and where bordering systems are(ala Escape Velocity). The player can travel, in a top-down view, around the current solar system, and then it'd switch to a first-person or 3rd person(I haven't decided yet) view when they get close enough to one of the planets. Obviously, the player will later on, through some kind of standard currency and trade/looting be able to upgrade his/her ship and equipment, with a [i]hopefully[/i] wide array of both.

For the look of the planets, I'm currently thinking of using Perlin noise to randomly generate terrain, which will be used to generate both texture and normal maps. For both the stars and weapon/exhaust effects I'm planning on heavily leaning on particle effects, likely with some post-processed refraction effects based on a heat value for the particles.

All the planets, ships, etc, are currently made with realistic values(i.e. I looked up standard ranges for masses of stars and planets, distances between them, etc) and use gravity based on the gravity equation to govern orbits and the like(I used the centripetal velocity equation in reverse to calculate the needed speed of the planets to keep them perfectly in orbit around the star).

I'm currently doing all the work on this project myself(from the code to the art assets made in blender). I [i]believe[/i] this project should enable me to do all the work myself, since most of the art assets will be procedurally generated, outside of the 3d models.

Finally, for platforms, I'm currently doing all the development in ubuntu using OpenGL(my machine is currently running version 4.1, but, at least for now, I don't believe I'm using any features beyond 2.0) with glut and targeting both standard linux and Android(obviously without GLUT and with OpenGL ES 2.0 instead of OpenGL 4.1) simultaneously. I'd also like to release a windows version, the feasibility of which will likely depend on how easy it will be to port, though I don't foresee any major problems.

Anyway, I'll try to post some screenshots as soon as I have something even remotely worthy of showing off(for the moment both my planets and ship are multicolored triangles), but thoughts?


Update: So, a lot has changed. I now have fully working refraction effects working on both PC and android versions(for android only the ship's exhaust uses the refraction effects, as turning them on for the sun slows things down WAY too much). I also have now implemented a behind-the-ship mode. Right now it can be manually switched into, though in the final version, I'll likely make it just automatically switch when you get close enough to a planet. My particle effects are looking a lot better as well. Anyway, enough talk, here's some screenshots(for bigger, better versions of these, look here: [url="https://picasaweb.google.com/116688016659241634367/SpaceGame#"]https://picasaweb.google.com/MarcusMaximus04/SpaceGame?authuser=0&feat=directlink[/url]):
[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SLBgr9Y_UfM/Tqh1OsNKjpI/AAAAAAAAC14/03Szk_Yeb_g/s144/SC20111026-135840.jpg[/img] [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LRDs7mpTMj8/Tqh5BC2eY-I/AAAAAAAAC28/BFrgvgmCB5A/s144/SC20111026-141635.jpg[/img] [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-bD-sbjeol8Q/TqmKMA2WbII/AAAAAAAAC3w/7gstxE3aRpI/s144/SC20111027-092004.jpg[/img]


[img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-3uJ8WETQWSg/Tqh1Po1Tv6I/AAAAAAAAC18/5dEgK2ZT7I0/s144/SC20111026-135815.jpg[/img] [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-8_dOkESp7AM/Tqh5Ca7mnNI/AAAAAAAAC3A/XRCFpmfwdnc/s144/SC20111026-141642.jpg[/img]


[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-spBqFkl6Tu0/Tqh4-9t3tAI/AAAAAAAAC20/iVqN42ztU7k/s144/SC20111026-141558.jpg[/img] [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7jM0vKZdjhw/Tqh5DJYKMUI/AAAAAAAAC3E/mQKYP6Y9m0Y/s144/SC20111026-141652.jpg[/img]


[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-xX7fAQHFa7U/Tqh4_7Ak6GI/AAAAAAAAC24/kRhiH7Kmin4/s144/SC20111026-141604.jpg[/img] [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ydzT7J7FzMo/TqmKKFjjMZI/AAAAAAAAC3o/k5EppHZMwh0/s144/SC20111027-094219.jpg[/img]

All of these are screenshots taken from my Droid Charge android phone, as was this (admittedly, unfortunately low quality) video:

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqFl0AFc0Vw[/media]

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VaultNews    194
Hi Marcus. I don't think you can make realistic representation of planets and distances; they're simply too big.
But do post some screenshots of you progress and I'll be happy to offer you my [color=#1C2837][size=2]thoughts. Good luck! ;)[/size][/color]

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[quote name='TheGuardian' timestamp='1313606054' post='4850424']
Hi Marcus. I don't think you can make realistic representation of planets and distances; they're simply too big.
But do post some screenshots of you progress and I'll be happy to offer you my [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]thoughts. Good luck! ;)[/size][/color]
[/quote]

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that I'm using realistic values for [i]everything[/i]. I'm just using realistic distances and masses. For the actual size of the planets and the ship, both are scaled up pretty significantly so they're actually visible in the solar system view. For the planetary view, I'll probably [i]try[/i] to scale them to realistic values, depending on how that ends up looking/playing out.

Also, for the terrain, it won't be interactive in any way, I'm just planning on using randomly generated terrain to make texture and normal maps for the planets so when you look at them, they look like real planets. This is where realistic values for size in the planetary view might end up having problems, since I obviously can't have these textures be too high of resolution. We'll see how it works out.

For the last unrealistic value I can think of that I'll be using: time. At least in the solar system view, time will be fairly massively sped up, so you can actually see the planets orbit without waiting months/years in real time. I'll probably just explain away the massive amount of in-game years that'll pass by because of this with: "It's the future. People live longer."

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I've made significant progress since last posting here so I figured I'd post an update. I now have perlin noise terrain generation for the planets working and creating randomized textures for them. I've also added a 3d model for the ship. Right now the ship is just piggybacking off one of the planet's textures until I can devote some time to making one for it. I've also tweaked the sizes of the planets and the ship. Not a big deal, just bigger planets and a smaller ship seemed right to me.

I have a screenshot of the newest build running on my android phone attached to the first post.

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