Issues around designing a planet

Issues around designing a planet
Issues around designing a planet

While displaying a textured sphere is easy, getting to procede from high orbit to actual land fall and dynamically scale up isn't so easy.  By definition, you are defining a whole planet which is a really big place.  That means lots of memory or hardrive space to store something on that scale.  The inital answer is just use a texture and that works to a point.  The PROBLEM with that is, it really won't go down to "walking on the ground" level and it really starts to get distorted at the poles.

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Down around the equator, the distortion is so minor you don't consider it, but as you can see at the poles of the planet, the idea of a texture can get messy.  That isn't so much a problem (but still is) with a color texture wrapping a sphere, but when you try to do X and Y shifts the concepts no longer work.  Even if you simulate it with spherical coordinates (theta and phi, ie. theta being lattitude and phi being longitude), close to the poles, you are litterially running around in circles when you go along the "X" axis.

The current "solve" for this is you don't use X and Y, but a isohedral format.

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Now there are no "poles" per se.  This is based on a isohedron.  (think of a 20 sided die, although the picture is one subdivision down).   While this works, if you noticed, some triangles are layed out in a hexigonal pattern and some in a pentagonal pattern.  This creates it's own series of problems, so my original idea of just doing hexigons won't really work globally.  The isometric triangles still will, however, but now the trick is to get them to play nice.  I have an idea via linking triangles together, but again, on planetary scales, that gets very memory intensive. I have ideas for optimisation, but then things get unlinked, so there are still problems to solve.

Of  course, none of this solves the issue when you get below the original heightmap threshold, which will have to be handled by something procedural like Perlin noise.  

 

Reactor Building

Reactor Building

Modeling and texturing of the Reactor Building.

New Ships

New Ships

Just smoothing out the normals for the new Cap Ship and working on the base model for the freighter.

 

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Terrain Curved!

Terrain Curved!
Terrain Curved!
Terrain Curved!

This took a lot longer than it should have, but I have been working on other things too.  What this is showing is the normal hexigonal terrain layout is now properly curved based on distance.  You can't see that from the first picture that it's just the original hexigon.  The second picture is just showing the heightmap is working.  And the third just to show it is the hexigon (just from inside the planet so you can actually see it).  The normals aren't correct right this second, but I want to get this posted.  So next is alignment and proper approach positioning and scaling.

Typical Meeting

Typical Meeting

If you ever wanted to know what a typical meeting looked like from everyone, here is a screen shot.  We mostly talk about progress, what should be focused on until the next meeting, and other suggestions as they come up.

 

Music attached in the game

Just to give a better idea of what music can do, here is a short video with the new music with a small furball going on...

Rank: Warmaster Title Song!

Hey everyone! I am happy to share the first completed song for the game! This will be the first of many. 

https://soundcloud.com/christopher-a-kaminski/rank-warmaster-title

 

Features

  • Space Combat Simulator/First Person Shooter and Full Real-Time Strategy Engine. You can play from either method exclusively or intermix as needed.
  • Fully customizable ships from the smallest fighter to the largest capital ship. You want to put a capital ship weapon on a fighter? You can! (Just don't expect it to move well or fire often). Fully design all ship classes from the ground up. This includes weapons, engines, cockpits, thrusters, armor, etc. Fully designable ships means that you never quite know what is coming at you! Always a new experience!
  • Build cities to gain resources, build ships, and research new technologies.
  • Attack Ships in space, or on planetary surfaces. Attack fully destructible cities!
  • Explore the solar system in full scale.
  • Find, take, or research new technologies from a VASTE technology web lets you pick your path to power!
  • Assume the roles and responsibilities of any rank or delegate such responsibilities to an computer controlled AI. So anything from micromanaging to full autonomous play (or anything in-between) is possible. Roles are:
    • Space Pilot - You get called into action by the Admirals to fight a battle in a space ship. It could be a fighter, freighter or capital ship. Your skills not only are to win the day, but careful shooting can disable ships or buildings and therefore leave valuable salvage and perhaps new technology!
    • Space Marine - Board enemy ships and take them over from the inside for the best salvage. Perhaps destroy big ships with well placed bombs inside them. Defending your side's ships are buildings are important too!
    • Mayor - Build a city and defend it. Gather resources for production and manufacturing. Build research centers to advance your faction or perhaps just build warehouses to store everything you have safely. Make an orbital space station to build larger ships.
    • Admiral - Command your space fleet! Give logistical requests to a Mayor to build your fleet. Send out probes or scouting parties for intelligence on the enemy, or engage with overwhelming force. Defend your own fleets and cities!
    • Warmaster - Overarching strategist and ship designer. Decides what to research and what missions are priority. Order an Admiral to defend a city, or destroy one. "Hire" a new mayor to build a new city or base. Hire other admirals and give them budgets to follow your policies.
  • AIs have personality traits that change per game, which gives a great replay value! This includes who you hire and well as the enemies you will face!
  • Unique damage system has armor on a per facet basis with critical systems mapped out underneath. You can literally snipe out a cockpit to kill the pilot, or blow up the whole ship from hitting the reactor!
  • Blow-Thru one ship to hit another by blasting a hole in the first ship while it's still intact!
  • Shields use the same damage system as the armor, so attacks and damage are more realistic. It's no longer good enough just to hit your target, but you must do enough damage in a single area to get through.
  • Anything that isn't destroyed can be captured as salvage. This salvage can simply gain you resources, new technologies or boosts to existing ones. If the ship is intact enough, perhaps gain a fully functional ship!
  • Scores of weapons in the three different weapon Types
    • Beam - Zero Time of flight weapon. Just point and shoot, but you have to keep the beam on your target if you are going to kill them.
    • Pulse - Standard Rapid fire, lead your target weapon. Normally comes in two flavors, rapid-fire short range anti-fighter, or high damage slow moving anti-capship/building.
    • Missiles - The ole stand-by self-guiding pipe bomb. :)
  • Multiplayer mode allows players to play against each other or on the same team or anything in-between. The budgeting system allows players to handle their own resources as not to bog down the team.
  • Engaging story line for domination of the solar system. Skirmish scenarios are also available.

Storyline

The backdrop is in the future when mankind is about to discover and implement faster than light travel. A expeditionary force is sent out to Alpha-Centari to create man's first jump gate. During the time that force took to get to Alpha-Centari, the Earth based governments ran out of money to pay back their loans to the Mega-Corporations that built their military infrastructure, so they decided to do a coup. It failed, and now the defense satellites that once defended earth "just in case", were now programmed as a scorched earth policy to fire ON Earth itself, wiping out millions. Those few trapped offworld decide to make a new life with the technology they have, because approaching Earth would be suicide since the defense grid would not only firing upon the approaching ship, but fire against Earth as well.

Some settle on different moons, but the player starts on Mars with other survivors. Eventually the limited resources forces the different groups and factions to interact, sometimes diplomatically, but more often than not, by force. New technology while still able to be discovered, is a long process, and simply "taking" from your neighbor has become policy for certain groups. It is up to the player to join them, lead them, or defend against such foes.

Meanwhile, the Alpha-Centari expedition has started to implement the means to get home. Their original goal was to build a jumpgate for instant travel back to Earth, however Earth's jumpgate isn't responding. They are unaware of what has happened on Earth. However, they are able to modify their gate to send very small but larger and larger masses. Just scouts at first, but they seem themselves as the successors to the legitimate government since they were sent out by them. They decide to subdue what they see as revolutionaries and traitors. They can't bring in the forces to conquer the fledgling city-states, but as time moves forward, they can bring more equipment to bare.

So it is a race to see who can finally dominate the solar system and decide it's fate.

What it's all about...

Rank: Warmaster is a combination of many Genres. Primarily it is a Space Combat simulator, but with aspects of a First Person shooter, a Real Time Strategy, held together with a 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) gluing it all together.

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