Today I’ve been working on fixing some bugs relating to the planet surface shader and the Intel onboard video chipset and putting the finishing touches on the planetary landing and launching cinematics.
It’s a bit hard to explain in words what it’s like landing and taking off from planets now, so I’ll let the video do all the talking!
By the way, the main rocket sound effects came from actual SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch and landing videos.
Over the past couple of days, I continued some work on the planetary atmospheres. First, I created a special version of the skybox that can be tinted to the color of a planet’s atmosphere. Then, I updated the planet and cloud shaders so that they can be “fogged”, which means basically transitioning to a solid color to simulate haze. The color of the atmosphere is also modulated by the atmosphere thickness of the planet; it will tend towards black the thinner the atmosphere is. The atmosphere also transitions smoothly out to space and back for the launching and landing animations.
The three images below is an example of a very thin atmosphere, a moderate atmosphere, and a very thick atmosphere viewed from the same spot on the same planet, to illustrate the effect.
I think I am happy with how planetary atmospheres are working. Coming up next will be some more work done on the landing and launching animations.
I was working on planet landing and launching when I had to redo how some of the player camera cinematics worked in the game. That affected the docking bay launch sequence as well. And you know how rabbit holes go…
I was looking at the docking bay and wondered to myself why I did it using 2D sprites when the rest of the game is in 3D. So… mistake corrected. It’s now in 3D, and not only that… I threw in some fancy lighting effects as well. I hope you all like it!
Note: The video does not show the effect of the air rushing out when the docking bay decompresses… for some reason that effect is working inconsistently. Grrr, Unity… but it is there and when it works it looks really nice (the particles are now lit by the lights as they rush out).