A new engine for Planets³
This month the entire dev team focused on the new engine. We needed to take the good decision and to start migrating the game on the new engine. Indeed we finally choose the new engine: Planet³ will now use Unreal Engine from Epic Games!
Guyk and Mick investigated dozen of different engines. Some of them were even specially designed for voxel worlds. But at the end only one of them adapted to all our constraints: Unreal Engine.
The 2 important constraints we have:
- To regroup advanced technical specifications: OpenGL3+ and DirectX11 full support, access to shader model 5, advanced toolset for creating games.
- To be able to easily release the game on different platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Consoles.
The migration is not finished yet, but here is a first video of our current progress:
Obviously we focused on the migration of the world generation and the rendering aspect of the game (we cannot make a blocks’ game without blocks!). You can see that we already activated some rendering options: HDR, atmospheric fog, reflection effects, god rays, lens flare, particles effects.
The first challenge was to learn how to use this fantastic engine because nobody in the team had ever used it before. CodingMarmot, Guyk and Mick did take the challenge and successfully migrated almost half of the game in less than 3 weeks.
This month’s goal was to show you a video with multiple planets using our sub resolution engine.
The second problematic was to start « from scratch » for a major part of our code. Indeed it was most handy and clever to use Unreal Engine tools (like the UE script called BluePrints). This way we will go faster in the future and most importantly: we will use the UE Editor. The UE Editor represents all the creation power of Unreal Engine: development simplification, easier to test, to debug, real time debug and multiples possibility of configurations … We couldn’t afford to miss this tool!
For performance sake a large part of our code will still be coded in C++ but we will use Blueprints wherever suited.
Today, after 2 difficult months, we are truly happy with our choice. And we are already feeling the positive aspects of using Unreal engine, in terms of quality as well as in terms of time saving.
Next challenge: to continue the efforts and release the pre-alpha just before Christmas!
And new website functionnalities
Altalus continued to increment the number of our web space features.
This month he improved a lot the moderation forum space. This work is invisible but is essential to maintain a stable and viable environment for the community.
By the way, we will soon call on moderators from the community.
« Spam »
He also did make some modifications about spam countermeasures, against all these “evil people” or robots that post undesirable messages.
« My account » space
As we were saying in last news, “my account” space has also been improved.
Furthermore, people who supported us on Kickstarter or during the 2 months after Kickstarter have now access to new features depending on their pledges. They can now choose a name for a monster for example. These monsters that will be randomly generated among other monsters will be a little different from the others (stronger for example).
You also certainly saw that there are new features:
- RSS flow on news
- filters, options and possibilities to follow a topic on the forum
Next big feature will be the Forum Private Messaging system.