Planetary engine blog update

Also includes a bunch of new pics :slight_smile: Enjoy the read:


I’ll repeat the questions on Keith’s topic here.

Any chance of getting a direct download? The compression on youtube doesn’t help.

And I couldn’t help but notice that there were no asteroid belts. Are you still tweaking them or are they broken and won’t be added in time? I also couldn’t see any stars, so I hope they will be back in time too.

Anyway, the textures have indeed improved a LOT, and shadows do make a big difference.

Also, why were there no ship(the helion, maybe?) in third person like in the 2010 techdemo? I was looking forward to seeing the result of all that “physics based lighting” on a couple of planets. :smirk:

Unfortunately the original video was pretty much authored at a similar quality, due to recording it in real-time. Increasing the quality hurts the framerate ( which in the video isn’t entirely smooth, for that same reason ) so we had to find a good balance. For later videos I’m thinking of recording them off-line which will get ride of those issues.

We’ll definitely add them sooner than later. But we don’t just want to reimplement the older ones, we want to use instancing, which will allow us to increase the density of asteroids a lot more. For the same reason, stars aren’t back yet.

That’s the next step, but it requires more work; for example, dynamic image-based lighting ( the editor pics were static ), reworking the physics / camera controls, cockpit, etc… all of that is in the works but not yet at a stage that can be shown.

Instancing the belts as in the conventional sense, or are you maintaining the seemless transition?

Also, any word in trees and clouds?

No, here “instancing” refers to geometry instancing, nothing to do with gameplay, it’ll still be entirely seamless.

Not before the KS I’m afraid :frowning:

1 Like

I really enjoyed that, thank you. However, I had serious trouble getting a sense for the scale… Are those little… pyramid-like things hills or mountains? You’ve said that models aren’t in yet, which is kind of sad, because they’d help with that immensely, I think. The 2010 tech demo really showed the scale off whenever the viewer could place the ship shadow within the scene, instantly putting the scale into perspective.

I’m looking forward to what else is coming; you guys are really starting to improve your public presence quite a bit, I think. Please do keep it up! :smiley:

EDIT: So is this the official thread or the other one over here?

1 Like

The pyramid-like rocks are the size of a house. So big rocks yeah, but not hills or mountains.

1 Like

The beaches and craters look amazing. The interface between the water and the shoreline still seems very artificial, but I’ve yet to see a game that does a satisfying job of that. Moreover, once transparencies are implemented it will probably be significantly improved.

What do you mean by the gas giants not being volumetric?

1 Like

The clouds are all flat layers, so they look good from above, but will look pretty bad if you try to fly through them.

Ah. I wasn’t sure whether that was what was being said, or whether it was that gas giants were currently being faked by having a “solid body” with a thin atmosphere.

Funnily, the first thing I thought when glancing at the first shore image was : “That’s the first time they publish a reference picture in a blog…”


I thought the same thing, particularly when reading on my tablet. I thought the first two shoreline images were photographs.

Are instanced asteroids going to be different in each incarnation of an I:B solar system?
Will the planets be the same or different in each incarnation? Or the number as far as that goes. Edit Now I recall I Novae saying there would be three.
Will the star be the same in each incarnation? (I expect it will be the same, just had to ask.)

Shorelines are difficult on Earth. Waves make bubbles. Pollution will change size and life of bubbles. Sewage can make a broth with the consistency of whip cream. I think temperature would also make a difference. Too many variables.
I’ll just be pleasantly surprised every time I see something cool. :slight_smile:

Aww man, that blog post looks schweet.

Looking forward to seeing much more, those ridges look bloody fantastic though.

Hello! I have been following your Progress for a long time now, and I am extremely excited about where this game can go. I don’t have much Idea of what Game-play you have planned, but if you were to make this game mod-able So people can create their own content, I see this game being bigger than Minecraft, and Star Citizen easily.

I shall definitely be donating at kick-starter, and look forward to your progress in 2014/2015

Yes, I had a similar reaction when looking at the shore image. The illusion was destroyed when I saw it full size but the overall tone/lighting makes it seem very realistic from the outset.

I think AngryMarine might’ve been referring to the compression artifacts and such that are compounded every time a video is subjected to a lossy codec. As for how bad that’ll get on youtube, see this.

Oh and by the way… why isn’t this blog post at least linked from the front page? I mean I get that that website is more about you as a company than the game/engine itself, but until there’s a page about the game/engine it might be an idea to post news about it in a more visible location - if nothing else, putting up something dated this month will make the place seem less abandoned.

Blog post section is being hooked up and should be working soon, hopefully followed by the rest of the site shortly after.

They don’t look good from above. Volumetric rendering will help the gas giant look like it’s not a tie-dyed bowling ball.

Mod support will be a stretch goal for our Kickstarter. We’ll be releasing more information on the gameplay as we get closer to the Kickstarter but you can already find some discussion regarding it here: