GameDev Diary – SpaceLife #5

Having failed miserably at getting close to planets, or having huge planets without introducing flicker through Z buffer issues, and seeing the efforts involved  in the Kerbal Space Programme (KSP), I think that for now my time is best spent elsewhere. For now my scaled down 3d skybox can still yield fantastic results, and for now the distant camera will not move. I may bring back camera movement in the 3d skybox at a later date, but I don’t want to define playable game areas nor have ugly turn around! warnings.

From memory, the game EVE (when I played it) allowed the player travel unconstrained around a system, but any planets or nebulas remain static. They can warp between jump gates, and to stations, and I don’t think planets got closer. If they did, it wasn’t massively so. You could also probe parts of the system and warp to them, still with the same scenery and it didn’t feel wrong. If I want the user to go to planets, I’ll use space stations or specific warp sequences to achieve it, and maybe like StarWars galaxies, have constrained game areas.

Regardless of whether I move or scale planets, I still need to follow the KSP floating origin mechanism and move any other game objects including my skybox allowing physics to operate cleanly by keeping my player at 0,0,0.

Well, that was pretty easy. Although if I remember, the floating origin scripts I’ve seen also do something funky with particle effects.

 

floatingorigin

I’ve had time to add one of the standard unity flare assets to make the sun look sparkly too. Although because the light is in the distant scene, it’s not illuminating my ship – a problem for another day!

Sunshine.png

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