Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Resources

The complete first phase for the resources bring a heavy stack of change in the resources spots, so I need to do some adjustments in the game itself.
That's the joice of complicated things you know :)
I disabled the resource exploitation of ore fields for now, I will update this part into the alpha 7.
But anyway the resources will be done today, and I will begin the biosphere today too.

Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Delays Delays...

FARC Alpha 6 will be released this long weekend (it's 3 days off here in North America), so at max at Sept 2.

Sorry for the delay, but you know...

Stay tuned.

Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status:Habitability Indexes, EMO and Resources

The habitability indexes are now implemented. They give a quick glimpse to how an orbital object fit or not fit for unprotected human beings.

The Environment Modifiers (or EMO, yeah no pun on this) are a set of modifiers for each region of any asteroid and telluric/icy planet that are used during Surveys, Constructions/Assembling/Building of infrastructures, Infrastructure Wearing and Ground Combat... and so affect them directly. These modifiers are calculated according to some of the data of each region that are sometimes also mixed with some data of the orbital object itself.

OK, what need to be done?  Here is the list:

  • Resources (first phase)
  • Biosphere
  • Orbital Object's Environment
  • Resources (final phase)
 The calculations for the Biosphere and Orbital Object's Environment are small, and for the resources...are well... less small.
The Resources are in two phase because two data are linked to the results of the calculations for the biosphere.
I always hope to complete all that until this weekend and generate this first planetary system and...
Finally upload and close this alpha 6.

That's a very tight schedule as usual :)

Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Surface Maps Generation (WIP) - The Hell with the Climates

Since the deadline come close day after day, the stress rising and the bugs are a REAL pain.

I passed days on multiple calculations bugs and also incoherencies of the Climate model to finally fix it completely only... now...

Yeah the FUG isn't really completed yet...

I had to remake entirely the calculations of the wind speed and fix the calculations for the rainfall.

Details? Yes, especially since the FUG must be finalized and completed at Beta stage even before the game itself...

But it's OK now, finally, and works whatever the environment, even if the planet has a cool ammonia or methane atmosphere and hydrosphere so healthy for us humans.

Now I can FINALLY complete the user's interface for Fractal Terrains and FINALLY pass to the last step of this 5 MONTHS of development.

Yeah I'm a bit grumpy :]

Stay tuned and pray for the release at the planned date.

Happy BDay FARC!

Today, four years of development have passed, since this iteration has started on August 16 / 2009.

So what to say?
In the past 4 years, not much has been made, compared to what I can see for most indie games.
Of course I don't work fulltime on it, and if it was the case I certainly could have reached the same state two years earlier.
But anyway, in 2 weeks the alpha 6 is released.

There are 8 major releases left until the 1.0 and certainly the same amount of minor releases (with < 2 weeks of work) to do too... and my goal is the end of 2015...
Is it a realistic goal? I don't know, maybe not, or maybe I can do it because of course a major alpha doesn't mean obligatory 8 month of work, it will not be the case for two of them at least.
Does that mean that I will stop the dev of the game after that deadline? Nope, there are some additional years of work with additional features to implement.

That's always the dark point in the open source development, and the main reason that many project doesn't reach completion or at least a mature state in an OK time frame.
Added with that, there is always some apprehension that the game couldn't work anymore in case of when a new version of Windows coming.

Without even talking about if at the end the game system will be playable and not breakable because of some flaws...

But on the positive note, some games like Dwarf Fortress continue to be developed even after 10/15 years. So anything can happen :)

So that's it, happy bday FARC and I hope that I will be able to be a little more productive in the times to come.

A word about the surface maps

I need to make this post to give you some precisions.

The custom surface maps will have three resolutions: 1024 * 512, 2048 * 1024 and 4096 * 2048.

From the alpha 6 the 1024 ones will be included in the full and assets-only packages. When I will finally put back an installer for the 1.0 version, they will be also included by default in it.
I consider the 2048 and 4096 ones as optional, and they will be available in separate downloadable packages.
I do that because, as you certainly seen already, the 3D in FARC is pretty basic and has only a function of illustration in the background, the game in this way isn't a real 3d game. So to put by default high resolution textures seem to be a waste of bandwidth and time for you. But on the other side I want to let you the choice to use them or not, so that's it. Theses maps affect the render in the 3d but also into the surface panel, where the surface of the currently selected orbital object is displayed.

So that's it. I actually put in the main design document the complete procedure of the data linking for Fractal Terrains and also the procedure to render the maps. It's a bit of work but it will make it far easier in the future when I will have to render many surface maps for many planetary systems.

PS: I will make a special package to deliver the maps to OpenGameArt.org, and contribute to this community, after the release of the alpha 6.

Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Surface Maps Generation (WIP) & Fractal Terrains (Done)

Sorry for the lack of pull of code but I finishing the Fractal Terrains procedure, for surface map generation.

I worked all this weekend for sorting and selecting climates files for FARC, among 240. These one allow generating different flavor of flora/terrain according. I sorted those I will use by star type and age classification, based on some sources I found on the net.

I also finally decided which render I will use for the maps, and it will be Image Climate instead of the too generic Gaia shader. Altitude render will be also used sometimes.
That's one problem with Fractal Terrains, because the software has been designed for topographic render not for a purpose of game development! But it's OK with the climate image one.

For example, a map with a matching Earthly climate and a G2 star looks like this:



Around an old K star:



Around a F5 star:



Around a A5 star:



and finally around a M star:



I have also custom climate files that I made for O/B stars but the statistics to have flora in worlds around such stars, even in my generator, aren't much.


The ocean color can also be changed to many flavors, with more than 100 coloration files, from a NASA/Blue planet style, as used above, toward a Venusian/Martian/Icy/Desert/Sterile one.

I know that I make free advertisement with this software since the last posts, but I like this piece of tool :)

So now, I go to finally complete the first phase of the surface maps generation, in the FUG.

It's time, because the deadline coming and I really want to NOT release the alpha 6 too late!

Stay tuned.

Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Surface Maps Generation & Fractal Terrains

OK, I have now switched to another internet provider, so the SVN pulls are back.

This weekend I worked mainly to create procedures to generate surface maps with Fractal Terrains, and explored its big addon.
The fact is this software with the addon opens the doors to nearly limitless possibilities. So I would be able to generate maps that don't resemble each other.

In the code side, I finished the design of the land and relief types' generation. It was the last step before I begin to implement the first phase of the regions generation.
Since I also explored Fractal Terrains from A to Z, I also determined which planetary data are required to generate maps that correspond, the best possible, to the generated data.

So now I begin to implement this first phase completely, including the update of the interface.

Afterward I will test, with one planet, if all is OK and I will begin the second phase the regions generation, which is finally, the last part of the FARC Universe Generator development.

I'm perhaps a bit late, because as usual I want each detail at the best, but it would be OK to release for August 31.

That's all, for now.

[no news] Connection Problems

I have no more Internet connection for now (thanks Bell and your sh*tty service).

So until I switch to another provider, you will not see anymore SVN commit, since I can only act from my job.

That doesn't change anything for the news and for the release, I can upload from here (until my work block Google one day, who know...).

Thanks.