Yes, you read that right.

You can now land on planets in this Starflight remake!  You can’t disembark yet, but at least you can see the planets close up now!

Getting to this point was about a week’s worth of work, and it was a lot of fun.  It is still quite incomplete – here’s a list of things that I still need to do:

  • Landing sounds (retro rockets firing, atmosphere rush, screams of “we’re gonna die!”, etc.)
  • Heat shield glow and aurora effects
  • Initialize close up clouds correctly (currently, it is using the default density and color instead of actual planet’s)
  • Fade in close up cloud transition instead of popping them on
  • Skybox transitions
  • Fade out the clouds at edges of the map
  • Make the camera field of view go wider when landing

The landing animation itself is pretty close to final.  The launch animation needs a lot of love.

In the video, I land at several places on several different planets.  I never get tired of it – it is so pretty.  Watching the cloud shadows roll across the terrain is nice and relaxing.  Just wait until I put in weather effects.  🙂

You might be wondering why I make the camera swing away from the planet.  I do this on purpose – I needed some point during the animation to pull a switcheroo on the player – the planet sphere is actually taken away and replaced with a terrain grid.  I can’t do that while the player is staring at the planet – it’d be very noticeable and look horribly wrong.  I think once I add in the heat shield glow and the audio effects, it’ll all look and sound just right.

Here are some random pictures I took while working on the planet landings.  The weird grid you see is the terrain grid, and the idea is that the resolution decreases the further out you are from the center of the terrain grid.  And of course, there is the video as well.