jMonkeyEngine is a game development suite made especially for game developers who want to create 3D games with modern technology standards. The software is programmed entirely in Java, intended for wide accessibility and quick deployment.

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About Outlier: Open Skies with 0 comments by masternerdguy on Jun 21st, 2015

Intro
Those of you who've played Outlier know that there are some things about the universe that are pretty predictable, specifically star textures and the rotations of celestial objects. I've taken a pass at adding some variety.

Axial Tilt
In real life, planets are tilted. In Outlier, planets never have any tilt. This seemed like a problem, so I took the time to gives planets some tilt. This helps break up the spacescape by not aligning everything with the plane of the system, which adds a nice touch.


As you can see, that blue planet is not tilted the same as everything else. Although a small touch, I believe it is an important one.

Station Tilt
In space, you'd expect stations to be at arbitrary rotations. In Outlier, they were always rotated the same way. I've added some variety to station rotation so they're rotated at random. This means that docking is more interesting to watch.


Once again, a small change that adds a nice graphical touch. It was kind of stupid how every station, everywhere, had the exact same orientation.

Star Variations
Every star was the same white blob. This is unrealistic, and lame. So, I've taken the time to add support for both star color and texture variations. The star color affects the lighting in the system, so you'll get color variations and brightness variations depending on the star.


This adds a lot of variety, and makes things look less same-ey. Like the previous improvements, this is a small but important touch of variety. It has the effect of making the whole universe a little bit darker too, since it's not an all-white light source.

These new visual touches will be released along with Alpha 4. I have some other art passes in mind, and if you can think of any effects to change, let me know.

The Development Branch
New development in Outlier is being done publicly in a new branch on GitHub. This branch allows you to pull the absolute latest (which would include these changes) to modify and test. Beware that this branch is under constant revision, so it might not always be as stable or polished as a release.

Remember, Outlier is now MIT licensed. You can use it to start your own project, and do pretty much whatever you want with the code. The development branch, besides, being bleeding edge, also has a lot of code cleanup and refactoring you might be interested in.

What Next?
I want to ask you, the community, what you want to see in Alpha 4. I have some ideas in mind, but feel free to suggest your own.

  • Carriers - Ships that carry other ships and command them.
  • Campaign Scripting - Like in High Albedo, support for writing branching story arcs. Due to the universe being in heavy flux, I wouldn't write anything but a basic example myself, but there would be support for others to write their own campaigns.
  • World Building - More factions, more wares, etc.
  • More Ships / Weapons - This would add a lot of variety, but require creating a lot of new art assets.
  • Claim Space - The ability for the player to claim solar systems and (attempt) to prevent the NPC factions from reclaiming them.
  • Documentation - What can you do, and how do you do it?


Feel free to suggest more, and include a reason why. I'd also like to know what you don't want to see, including why not. Your feedback is important to the future of this project. Try to prioritize suggestions since not everything will make it.

Fly safe!

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 27)
ceiphren
ceiphren Jun 25 2012, 7:22am says:

A very short learning curve, stability, cross-plattform and a good performance made the engine my choice.

Not to forget that the community is very active and nearly every question gets a good answer.

I'm excited what they will do next.

+3 votes     reply to comment
erlend_sh Creator
erlend_sh Jun 27 2012, 5:59am replied:

Thanks! As for the "next up", the most prevalent milestones would be further improved Android support as well as finally going Stable.

Along with that, we'll be doing a lot of cool new publicity stuff now that I'm done with my education :D

+2 votes   reply to comment
Silent_Scream
Silent_Scream Apr 24 2012, 3:19am says:

This engine is why I'm going to learn Java instead of C++. It proves to me that AAA Quality graphics, excellent gameplay, good responsiveness, and stability can be had all at once with an interpreted language.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Katana_
Katana_ Jun 7 2012, 12:10am replied:

By "good responsiveness" you mean "lag galore", right?

0 votes     reply to comment
Phr00t
Phr00t Apr 20 2012, 1:51pm says:

This engine is great -- thanks guys, my 3079 game wouldn't have existed without it :)

+4 votes     reply to comment
newbie2356
newbie2356 Mar 24 2012, 11:26pm says:

Cool, bsd license. I like the sound of that.

+4 votes     reply to comment
FrenchDeath
FrenchDeath Mar 20 2012, 1:09pm says:

Nice Engine !

+3 votes     reply to comment
Waddlesticks
Waddlesticks Jan 10 2012, 7:45pm says:

Is this going to be a free engine, pay once (Cheap), pay once (expensive) or like a yearly fee?
Could you please pm me?

+2 votes     reply to comment
erlend_sh Creator
erlend_sh Jan 14 2012, 2:32pm replied:

Sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner, I gotta figure out how to turn on notifications for these comments.

To answer your question, this engine is entirely free and open source. There's nothing stopping you from visiting jmonkeyengine.org right now and downloading the latest Beta release. Have fun!

+3 votes   reply to comment
Waddlesticks
Waddlesticks Jan 15 2012, 10:03am replied:

Sweet thanks!

I'm not sure but I don't think thats supported ):

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Highest Rated (7 agree) 10/10

Developer of 3079 here -- My game wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for this engine. This engine has done so many great things for me, and knowing it is purely Java based allows it to be completely cross-platform without any extra work. Did I mention it is free? These guys deserve tons of credit. This engine is fast and full of features. It also includes a complete Software Development Kit with terrain editors and all sorts of gizmos. Highly recommend this! In response to other review comments…

Apr 20 2012, 1:45pm by Phr00t

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