2022 Screenshot Update

Work on the game is ongoing!  Since my last posts about evolving cities, I've done a lot of work improving the game - especially the evolving cities, clouds and overall performance. 

I can now run the game in ultrawide resolution at 30fps on planet surfaces, which are the most costly scenes to render.   This is a major achievement for my game engine, and will unblock the development of many features to come.

Improvements to Evolving Cities

There are many improvements to the evolving cities simulation.   Road biomes (I haven't done road meshes yet) connect major installations, and residential / city zones are more likely to grow along these corridors.   New installations are built in proximity to the headquarters.   The roads are generated using an adaptation of the erosion code, in order to find the path-of-least-resistance.

Cities evolve along road lines connecting major installations

This city formed around a seam of crystals

The Empire UI has been tweaked to show the main capital city by default on a mini 3D view of each planet.   All of the stats are generated by the economic simulation, and you should be able to see that planets with higher populations have a larger city sprawl.

6 planets in the UI showing their capital cities, and economy stats

Planet biome cubemap, showing the new city evolution algorithm

New Headquarters Artwork

I imported an excellent mesh that I found on BlendSwap.   It has a large pyramidal structure in the centre, evoking strength and solidity appropriate to the headquarters of capital cities.   There are plenty of architectural spaces with beautiful views in which interiors can be built.  This mesh is close to how I would envisage the HQ to look in game when I finally engage an artist.

View from the HQ

Looking up at the Moon

HQ external

Lofted Thruster Trails

When profiling performance I found my particle systems to be quite expensive.  Each thruster had its own system and in order to get nice looking trails, I had to use a lot of particles.   So re-implementing thruster trails as a soft-skinned lofted mesh was a no-brainer.  The trails can now extend far further back from the ships, and this is especially useful for situational awareness when dog-fighting.

Thruster Trails in a dogfight

Thruster Trails over a planet at sunset

Atmosphere Improvements

The multi-res implementation of atmosphere and clouds is now working well.   I've added to the atomsphere editor UI and each planet now runs its own weather simulation.   The weather is drawn into a cube map using particles that represent banks of different types of clouds.  I've implemented it this way so that I'll be able to look up the weather in the game code in order to affect the spaceship's flight characteristics, spawn rain storms, thunderstorms etc.

Atmosphere Editor, with Weather Cubemap displayed bottom-right


  1. Looks beautiful.
    I would like to see some kind of timelapse of a city growing


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