Building the System Map: 2016–10–12 Dev Blog

Previously, I wrote that I was working on procedural (scientifically-based!) star system generation. That work is (almost) done, and so now I’m working on the star system overview / map.

The star system map is the hub you’ll see when you first arrive in a new system. You can use it to see what planets are in a system, and to travel from planet to planet. When you visit a planet, the view will zoom down to put that planet in focus.

Right now it looks like this:

As I mentioned in previous dev blogs, each planet is described by a lot of different parameters — mass, radius, mean orbital distance, orbital eccentricity, surface temperature & pressure, etc. Each one of those parameters has some effect on the models which the game generates to represent the planet.

Here’s a planet that is mostly covered in water, but does have some land:

(Bonus: gas giant hanging out in the background.)

Here’s a lonely rock & ice ball orbiting far from its star:

There’s still a good amount of work to do to consider all the planetary parameters and make each planet unique. I think I’ll be applying tweaks to this the whole way through development. Additionally, there will need to be a whole UI on top of this, so that you can actually, you know, do stuff — and I haven’t even started thinking about it really.