Hello Engineers! I am Dusan Andras and for those who don’t know me I am the main programmer who is working on the development of the planets for Space Engineers.
So planets… This has been one of the most demanded features by the community since we released the game on Steam Early Access. Players have been asking for it constantly and we promised to deliver. My colleague Ondrej Petrzilka already shared the first batch of info in his previous blog-post and there have been lots of things implemented since then. Planets are getting even closer to release! At this moment, we are still not 100% sure when we will be able to release them, since it is one of the biggest features we have ever developed and we hope that you understand that this update needs proper testing before we add it in the game – even if they look complete and amazing in the screenshots. I would like to give you a sneak preview for each of the planet’s properties and also some nice screenshots that we took during development.
This is always a question of FUN vs REALITY. I can imagine that many players would like to have real life-sized planets, but for the sake of gameplay, time, and engine possibilities we decided to use a 30-50 km diameter for planets and an 8-10 km diameter for moons. Yes, some generated planets could have 0-3 moons accompanying them.
|This is a 50 km planet that is 50 km away from you.|
Planets and moons will have “natural” gravity that will affect ships, players and floating objects near them. The gravity will be scaled to the planet’s size and will decrease the further away you are from them.
There will be two types of atmosphere around the planet surfaces for now: one “hostile,” without any plants or life and one for “organic” planets with flora. Organic planets will have an atmosphere full of oxygen that you can breathe and supply your ships with and will have a blueish color like earth. Hostile planets will be without oxygen and with different colors of the atmosphere.
Vegetation (trees, bushes, grass)
We added new “organic” material types for planets. It’s only on planets with an oxygen atmosphere and existing flora. In the future you will be able to harvest this organic material – but probably not in the first planetary update. The flora (trees and bushes) has been borrowed from Medieval Engineers. The flora won't be visible from space, but will appear only when the player or ship gets closer to the planet and can be configured / disabled via the world settings.
|Organic planet from space|
|Flora at sunset|
|Flora during the day|
To simulate the day and night cycles we decided to rotate the sun around the planets/ world. The user will be able to configure the day duration from 1 minute to 24 hours or disable the rotation to keep the current static sun.
Different day cycles from the same planet:
Station voxel support
Because of the planetary gravity, we added a new option for station grids: the Station voxel support. By enabling this option, a station will be static only when touching the voxel (one block build “inside it”). So when you cut some part of the station away it will become a dynamic object and fall.
Note: Please keep in mind that everything that has been written and presented in this blog post can be changed until this feature is released.
Thank you for reading this and we hope that you liked what you’ve seen. We can’t wait to give you planets and start playing with them!
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