Planetary is a sci-fi sandbox adventure where you build and explore the universe
Over the last week a lot has changed with the game, including completely changing the language and engine, overall the concept of the game has been expanded and we have a better idea of the direction we’re going.
Over the past week, we made a huge fundamental change to the game: we’ve switched out the engine. While originally building the game off of LWJGL (Lightweight Java Game Library), we’re now using Unity, which does most of the engine work for us. While Unity has been overused, it is a powerful engine capable of delivering great rendering quality and simplicity. Unity also opens the possibility for console support, which LWJGL could not. The change to Unity allows us to focus much more on content rather than developing a performant engine. It may have taken us a good few months to get basic planet generation working. Though, in Unity, it may just take a few weeks.
One question we’ve had to consider is the core of the gameplay: how will players interact with the world? Will be it be through cubes like Minecraft, or voxels like Space Engineers?
We decided to take a slightly different approach to both of those examples: All terrain will be built out of voxels (using the marching cubes algorithm). Although, hull blocks will also use voxels. This allows for more complex craft shapes, without creating the need for corner blocks. Elements, on the other hand, are objects like but not limited to; doors, thrusters and cockpits, which you would want to have a fixed shape for.
When in the game players will get many choices, one of these is specialization. Choosing your speciality will play a major role in multiplayer more than singleplayer. Though, it can still be valuable in singleplayer, if you love mining; you can choose to specialize in mining! You could create a mining group where you sell ores for cash to a ship builder, and the ship builder can build ships and sell those; the cycle goes on. By specializing you can improve that specific skill. You could also choose not too, and become a jack of all trades.
Scripting will play a potential extremely beneficial role in your gameplay. To control a ship you’ll need a flight control script. You could use the default, or use a custom one, whether it be bought from another player or made yourself. There are enhancements that can be made by using custom scripts. Scripting will be handled in two ways, the primary way will be raw lua code; for the people who like to get their code on, the other way will be a visual pieced together system; for those who either aren’t great with lua or aren’t interested in coding. You won’t need to go into scripting at all, anything that requires scripts there will always be a script provided by the game.
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