INovae Engine - GPU Gems


I would like to collect which features are currently making the INovae Engine unique. These could also contain features also used in other engines which are just not common.
I have to admit, that I am no specialist on this topic, but it always really excites me reading about it… Understanding this stuff is simpler than coming up with it :smiley:

Here is some stuff I recall:

  • Procedural Galaxy and Planet Generation - Will vegetation and buildings be procedural too?
  • logarithmic z-buffer - So the huge distances can be handled accuratly… what else has been tweaked here?
  • physically based rendering - Thats a whole category combining the following:
  • HDR Rendering - Brightness-calculation with values which cannot be displayed by screens
  • Deferred Lighting - 3D Lights are mapped and applied to a screenspace bump-map - that allows having more lights in realtime (and introduces new issues with antialiased edges…)
  • Light reflection on materials is somehow based on physical values…
  • Atmospheric Scattering

what else do we have?

Well it’s hard to keep it focused on the engine alone without straying into game-specific aspects, but I suppose the fact it should support mods is a fairly important (though not exactly unique) selling point.

There are no longer any unique selling points for the INS engine. They have a somewhat unique combination of capabilities in that they present both a seamless universe and a realistic rendition. Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky has a seamless universe, but a rather cartoonish rendition. In fact, it reminds me of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, which had very broad appeal. Realism is not always a good thing.

Ultimately, INS will live or die not on the capabilities of their engine, but on the gameplay of Battlescape. If they can leverage the engine’s unique combination of capabilities to come up with some inspired gameplay, they may have a hit. If they just grind out another Star Citizen, EVE Online, Elite:Dangerous or No Man’s Sky, they’re toast. I look forward to seeing what they plan to do and how that plan will be received by prospective customers.

Anything that is common and unique must be procedural. If all trees are the same model, that one model can be hand built. If the texture of the bark is unique on every tree, then the texture must be procedural. If there is only one city, the city’s location can be hand-picked. If cities are common, their locations must be determined procedurally. If there is only one structure, it can be created by hand. If all structures need to be unique, they must be procedurally-defined.

Battlescape gameplay will determine which assets will be procedural, but I think it’s safe to say that vegetation is procedurally-placed. I assume that it will rely on some standard vegetation models. I also assume that the game world will be populated by hand-built structures placed primarily by players. Resource collectors, storage sites, manufacturers, communications stations, sensor relays, whatever.


Hi, actually I don’t get your point. In the first part it sounds as if you again want to say how stupid inovae is to not have any crap published yet, then please go and find a different thread to complain.
Furthermore, you are saying that other games have all these things… (physically based lighting with atmospheric scattering and logarithmic z-buffers to render real scale) … I think you are mistaking here. Other games don’t have these features. At least not in this way.

Regarding the procedural buildings and vegetation, the question is, if there is a generator for that. Its clear, that the placement is procedural, but thats nothing interesting.

Actually, the first Elite did the seamless world thing (without the realistic look) decades ago, followed by many others. No Man’s Sky isn’t doing much revolutionary, however some people pitch it.
The combination of real scale star system, seamless transitions and realistic look has been done only by Space Engine AFAICT, though, but with the accent on large-scale structures (galaxies and up) and varied astrophysical bodies - so planets themselves aren’t meant to be looked at close range. Also, Space Engine is an exploration engine, with little to no physics and gameplay.
Outerra is a game engine with a full-scale, seamless Earth meant to be looked at close range, but it is not system-wide and only partially procedural (being based on the Earth), not meant to display various alien worlds. I would expect them to have logarithmic z-buffers as well for orbital display, but don’t take my word for it.
KSP does generate a full-scale seamless star system (with mods, the original scale is 1/10 for gameplay purposes) with Unity, but it required years of intense work from Squad, and the KSP style is far simpler than what I-Novae strives for.
Elite Dangerous is trying to do all that, but its planetary gameplay is still far down the road. Additionally, I doubt they intend to licence their engine.

So this particular combination is unique indeed, along with an intended flexibility as a general purpose engine (as in, could be used for a RTS or a FPS, not just a space shooter), and what gives it a still unique niche as an engine.

That said, JB is right as the campaign is for I:B, and as such will be on I:B gameplay (and looks), not on the capabilities of the engine (outside of how it works in I:B) - it is the game that will be crowdfunded, not the engine, even if it is to ultimately help develop and credit the engine.

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I think you assume too much, I have picked up some little bits since the announcement of IBS and if my memory serves me correctly; there will be no vegetation and no player structures. We get a station for $500k, a few other POI and everything else is a stretch goal.