Our 3DSplatz system is the basis of our planets. Think any Voxel game you’ve played, there are strata under and over the surface that designate the texture, and physics properties of that layer. For instance:
1) Snow/Mud - Overlayer example
- Mud can make better footprints, so can snow. You can even have to trudge through it if its deep enough. When your character steps on one of these types of terrain, the system knows your mass/weight, and how soft this layer is. Therefore you leave a footprint/sink into it. Wind and weather effects can then make the footprint / difficulty of travel better or worse. Frozen mud is basically ice and is harder to deform now by body weight. This allows for actually tracking animals and people.
2) Dirt/Sand - Baselayer example
- Dirt and Sand are easy to manipulate with hands and shovels. Allowing you to manipulate terrain with relative ease. This allows you to cultivate plots, and allows us to even sectionalize dirt and sand for our Plants system for trees and plants to be able to take root, have fertilizer, poison, or anything else in the ground.
3) Rock/Ores/Gems/etc - Baselayer / Underlayer example
- Rock needs a pick or other tool to break, and is much stronger. To find ores you basically need to know what you're looking for, if you look at any wiki about iron ore you can see its sometimes allot more subtle than people expect.
4) Water/Lava - Dynamic system example
- Were working on a system that will use our structures system to allow for flooding and river diversion. This system is the most intensive resource wise when you do a primary diversion of water, or when a volcano erupts. But it is quite possible to dam a river to make a hydroelectric plant or artificial lake.
5) Structure and live model/rigidbody system
- When you break off a piece of rock, it becomes its own model, with a rigidbody (its now affected by physics). This means if you want a large cube of marble for your artistic needs, you have to dig out said cube, and find a means to transport it. This also works with a mixture of the water system, and overlayer system to create mudslides, avalanches, cave ins, etc.
Our planet system starts with two options:
1) Base Heightmap
- This is mainly used for the main planet and any special events planets. As your planet you start on is a center of a multiverse the main continents are the same in every server, but they’ve evolved differently. So our procedural system and 3dSplatz will use this heightmap to outline the continents, then taper and change them to make mountain ranges, making the main planets look similar but have different features.
2) No Heightmap
- Almost every other celestial body will be completely generated via a procedural system which starts with making its own Base Heightmap at random, then manipulating it.
Planets are realistically sized in 1:1 scale, our base planet is the same size as Earth, and the same distance from the Sun as Earth. But this is where the similarity ends.
Solar System System (redundant huh?)
Now that we have a base planet, we need a Sun, and other bodies, orbiting the sun, as well as moons. Its quite possible to have a binary sun, or any other type in your server. Are you a desert planet, lush tropical, you never know till the world is generated for the first time. You also don’t know how many moons you will have, if any. Making each solar system unique and able to support full gameplay within the solar system. We currently have the plans for the following, but more to come:
2) Habitable Planets
3) Barren Planets
6) Gas Planets
7) Frozen Planets
8) Frozen Gas Planets
9) More to come.
Galaxy and Universe System
Allright, were to the fun part. You need a starfield right? But we can’t just make an entire Universe on your computer. So instead we make a Galaxy starmap, but we don’t include models, same with the universe. This is then used to create your starfield, making each server have its own star maps. When (eventually) you leave your solar system, this is the first time we use zones like other games.
Lets say our ship, leave our solar system on our first venture into space. We are now in a blank bubble zone. We have the starmap which changes as we move, but not much else. If another player's ship nears us, the dimensions of this zone changes and we enter our own zone, allowing for fights/trade/etc. If you come across an anomaly. It is added into this zone for you to work with. It is procedurally generated and now locked into being in existence.
When you finally start nearing your first solar system, it gets procedurally generated before you get there. Now you have a new zone to explore once you arrive.