http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRVbvG-TpJc Predestination 4X game Galaxy Map: System window demonstr

Predestination 4X game Galaxy Map: System window demonstration

Please watch fullscreen (1080p available). The video’s a bit darker and a lot blurrier than the actual game because YouTube is bloody awful at encoding videos, but you get a clear enough idea of the effect in fullscreen.

This is an update on the galaxy map. I’ve built the system window, and designed a smooth transition for opening it. When you click on a star, the star rises out of the background and its planets fade in, then the window around it fades in. When you close the window, the star shrinks again and visibly moves toward the star, even if it’s moved since the window was opened. So far all planets have terran graphics, but the distribution rules are already in.

I originally had a full solar system model with accurately modelled inner planets, gas giants, eccentric orbits etc, but for gameplay reasons I’ve had to simplify it down to a maximum of six planets. It would just be far too difficult to actually click on planets if I had proper solar systems, unless I made solar system view its own full screen and gave it zoom/scroll controls. I don’t think that would add much in terms of gameplay, and it would be irritating for people who want to quickly get to a planet. This is definitely one of those cases where I deferr to MOO2’s design, because if it’s not broken there’s no need to fix it.

After testing the system I displayed in my last video wherein the camera centers on a clicked star and the galactic plane comes up to the level of the star, I found it far too clumbsy. Trying to open the system view when you have to double click on a star that starts moving after the first click isn’t particularly fun. I’ve removed that mechanic and now instead just have the system plane right in the middle of the stars. I find it still provides enough perspective, and in terms of usability it’s a lot more friendly on the system window mechanics.

Like the system window transition effect?

About Brendan Drain

Director @ Brain and Nerd
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