The Terrain Vehicle

After some discussion with team members, it was decided that I should focus my attention on adding the ability to disembark from the ship onto planets.  In order to do that, I need to build a few assets.  The first and most important asset to build is the terrain vehicle (TV for short).  Here are some pretty images of the build in process.  I kind of glossed over how I made the body of the TV because I pretty much winged it and wasn’t entirely sure how it would come out.  Basically, it started out as a sphere (the cockpit) which was then sliced, scaled, extruded, chamfered, extruded, chamfered, scaled (with soft selection), and so on… until finally, it looked halfway decent.

Additionally, there is also a short video of how it looks inside Unity.  I placed the TV in a posed position on a planet’s surface and made sure to scale everything so that it looks as close as possible to how it will actually look when playing the game.  I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail on the surface of the planet – the camera is zoomed in quite a bit.  There’s hardly maybe 50 actual texels on the whole screen; most of the detail actually comes from a tiled normal map combined with some on the fly fractals generated by my shaders.

Anyway… exciting times!  It won’t be long now before we’ll all be able to drive around on planets.  Next up, I’ll need to build some assets for the mining part of the game.  Piles of rocks and so on.  And then there are the creatures that roam the surface… I have no idea how I’ll be making all of those.

Here are some beauty shots of the TV rendered using Arnold in 3D Studio Max.  I had exported a terrain grid out of Unity and imported it into Max for these shots.

And finally here is the in-Unity video as promised!

P.S. The mud flaps in the featured image at the top isn’t actually going to be part of the TV.  It was just for giggles.  🙂

By |2019-02-07T17:42:28+00:00January 26th, 2019|Starflight|3 Comments


  1. Aaron January 26, 2019 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Looks neat. That being said, it needs a retractable mining laser mounted on the back side below the hatch. I’m a fan of the laser on the front, however I think they should be turreted, in order to provide 360 degree security for the vehicle. Fixed weapons on a land based, low speed vehicle are a death sentence. That always bothered me about the original. Of course the technology at the time wouldnt allow it.

  2. Marvin Herbold January 26, 2019 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Hey Aaron – the cannon is actually on a small turret although none of the screenshots really show it. It has room to swivel about 270 degrees side to side and 0 to 90 degrees, horizontal to straight down. Aliens beware. 🙂

  3. Colonel January 27, 2019 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Pretty sweet, nicely done. Giggles included.

Leave A Comment