Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Lander - Dev Blog 1

I'm actually in my fourth week of development on Lander (excluding a week's holiday), but 90% of the work done so far is reworking the 3D coordinate system to work on an interplanetary scale, so there's not been much by way of shareable images.

But no more! I'm finally getting stuck in to actual gameplay mechanics, and the basic voxel engine is working:

You can walk around the surface, pick up and put down blocks, and the whole thing is correctly positioned 6371km above the centre of a spinning (though presently invisible) planet that's whipping round a distant sun every 365.25 days (hence the shadows). You'd be surprised how complicated that last bit actually is (here's the Wikipedia summary).

I'm polishing the digging/inventory/placing mechanics tonight, then for Friday's feature I need to extend the terrain model out to the horizon - using voxel nodes (like the 10x10 square you can see) out to about 1km, then a height-mapped curvature mesh out to the visible horizon, in a way that will adapt as you fly into the upper atmosphere.

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