Cube Universe

Cube Universe

Devlog #7: Landing on the planets

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Argentium-Star Aug 14 @ 1:23pm 
Additional "auto safety" features might prevent approach in (above) biomes which are designated super-tall, to prevent your suggested "glitching through flying [floating!] islands" etc.

CLZs can only operate "below safe landing approach atitude", forcing a CLZ benefit to be *_below_* build-height-max.

Above "safe" altitude, (non-CLZ) landable "flat zones" can be detected on the 2nd auto scan pass, from "cruise altitude", by which time chunks will have hopefully loaded in.

Biomes which generate super-tall/-high elements might be flagged as "non-approach"; ANY biome where players BUILD anything that high also gets flagged this way.

Then you neatly(??) side-step / avoid having to deal with "near misses" from approaches into biomes where voxels might be in the upper e.g. 250-500m, depending how much time you need to load chunks below.

Modders who turn the flag off might lead to "glitching", but that's "not intended play", and a result of modding, so is not accountable to Beosar. :p
Argentium-Star Aug 14 @ 1:03pm 
Vertical Speed considerations:
To allow "load time" for voxel chunks, try "re-entry friction" with atmosphere; the fire can also distort / obscure the view.
Atmosphere density= excuse for "slower" atmospheric flight.

Maybe "ship's safety systems" AUTOMATICALLY go into "level cruise" after re-entry to eg:
(1) cool after hot re-entry
(2) "automatic surface scan" <-- chunk loading!!
(3) auto locate controlled "landing zones" (CLZ), which provide "guided/auto landing" (see NMS) & the benefit of preventing damage to the ship, eg "fragile undercarriage"
(4) for a planet WITHOUT CLZs, ship's systems report "no controlled landing zones", "scanning for safe locations" and pick out "flat zones", taking into account biome / foliage cover & avoiding non-hard (ie liquid) surfaces

Chunks with a CLZ ping up on HUD / radar.

AFTER all chunks are loaded & checked for CLZs, THEN non-controlled flat zones can be "scanned" for, in a "second pass".
Argentium-Star Aug 14 @ 12:25pm 
However, BUILDING (structures / craft) is "voxel-based", in that main units are cubic, though there are parts which are visually less-than-a-full-cube, and also have less-than-full-cube collision, as appropriate.
But structure "blocks" (even if not full-cube) can NOT occupy the same "cube space" as an existing / already-placed block. "Inside corners" with "wall" or "window" 'blocks' are an issue.

Thinking of DOORS in Minecraft. They are only on "one side" of their location square.
Sometimes, builders place the Door on the "outside" of the building, sometimes on the "inside".
The door opens "into" its own square, and nothing else can be placed in that square.

Structures are "required" to be built in an "attached" way to its originating anchor piece (usually a "Core", ie CPU unit), so there are no "bends" in any structure. It is grid-uniform.
This IS independent of facing in the world - you can face any incremental direction.
Argentium-Star Aug 14 @ 12:25pm 
I should add, for clarity, that EMPYRION's ENVIRONMENT is NOT "voxel" based, per se, but seems to be polygon based, AND destructible (with the right in-game tool(s)).
Grass patches & vegetation are (some animated) sprites; "trees" are "solid" tall polygons, textured. When trees are "cut down", the whole tree disappears, and wood unit drops are left, but these again are NOT "voxel" cubes, but rather small 3D objects (with no collision, oops).
Argentium-Star Aug 14 @ 12:04pm 
As for the transition from Space to Planet Surface,
take a good look at EMPYRION. (it's on Steam)

Seems they use a "cloud layer" as a transition for loading. My game lags a bit when I go through the clouds. Otherwise, it's SMOOTH in "atmosphere" (after brief re-entry burn; nice effect!), & SMOOTH in outer space.

I forget how the Moon is done; I don't recall any clouds, but can't remember any indicator of "loading" (eg lag) during approach / take-off.

I've not built a craft with super-retro-thrusters to "take off in reverse" to "witness" what happens during tansition.. There's an idea. I might have to try that.

Otherwise, for your Cube Universe, a starting assumption that a Player will be Facing the Direction they want to GO, then on:

+ Approach for Landing, they are facing "away from" space
+ Take-Off for outer space, they face "away from" planet surface

So they'd not "see" a change that would happen "behind them" during a transition / loading sequence.
Argentium-Star Aug 14 @ 11:40am 
I'm able to run it with only 1Gb VRAM; and it's "integrated graphics", using System RAM. (I have 16Gb now, which is actually "too much", so that's not even an issue.)
MY graphics? AMD Radeon R5 M330, via the A8-6410 APU!
I turned shadows OFF just to be sure, went with low settings to give it a go...
It ran without crashing.

Startup seems quite SLOW though.
As with someone else, I got a BLACK SCREEN . . . music started playing .. but I had to (click and drag my) mouse around the screen before anything appeared.

The first time, it was the Agreement text plus button screen.

After, it was the game lobby.

I left my Render Scaling to 1.0; I didn't notice any stutter.
Then again, I was either on the spaceship, or space-walking.
(See my Discussion topic.)
I never made it down to the planet.

I can't say I know at all how the Intel UHD600 compares with the Radeon R5 M330...
beosar  [developer] Jul 25 @ 12:52am 
I can't promise it will run since your graphics card seems to have 10% of the performance of a GTX 560 Ti, but I'll try to do some optimizations and add some options. The major issue is the lighting, it scales quite well with the number of light sources, but has a fixed overhead.

What happens when you reduce the render scaling to 0.5 or 0.25? Does the FPS go up to 30 or higher? It will look low-res, but if that runs at 30+ FPS, I may be able to optimize it so it will run in 30+ FPS at the full resolution. Could you test that for me since, unfortunately, I do not own a CPU with Intel UHD 600 graphics?
McBean56545 Jul 24 @ 6:49pm 
I only have one request. I want to be able to run the game on my current PC. I have an Intel Graphics 600 which I believe may be the cause of the performance issue. Even at the lowest settings, I only get 10 or so FPS. If there is any way you could optimize the game to work better on cards with only a single gigabyte of VRAM, it would really make my year!