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Part 89: More Models

October 27, 2013

I've been putting off writing a blog entry until I have a new demo working, but it's been four weeks and there's no sign of that! I'm having a lot of trouble getting all the pieces put together and debugged.

Instead, here are some more models. A friend did a higher quality rendering of the space station. The reflections and shadows really make it stand out, but I'm not sure I can do any of that in real time on a rotating station.

Station with lighting

The next largest object in the asteroid belt is the Habitat, a cylinder with a 1500 meter radius, about 8 km long. This version doesn't show it, but I'm thinking of removing the shell under the water. This would allow people inside to see the stars through the water, and would make the thing partially transparent from the outside.

Habitat Exterior

I have tried a few variations on lighting these. The first version I did back in Part 22 had a lit cylinder down the center. This looks OK, but if I actually tried to use that lighting, there would be very few shadows and it would all look kind of flat.

I also tried lights on the ground shining up at the opposite part of the cylinder. The problem there is you can't really look at the sky without being blinded by these strips of light.

In this version, I've put three pillars at the center, holding a sun-like light source. It makes the interior look a bit snug, but I like it otherwise. This wouldn't rise or set of course, but could be dimmed to simulate a day/night cycle.

Habitat Interior

I was originally going to have a "Colony" object, which would be a hollow asteroid, but I've changed my mind. I don't see any advantages over the Habitat. Instead, I've brought back asteroids with landscape. To make these make some sense, I've put shafts down to the center of the asteroid, where you can find a little gravity generator.

I've also changed the way movement works. Instead of just in space vs. on an object, I have four modes -- walking, driving, flying or in space. Each mode is represented by a vehicle. You take your space ship somewhere and land. On a planet or asteroid, you can pick your landing spot. On a Station or Habitat, you'll automatically land in some docking bay.

Then you can pick your mode of local transport -- walk away or select the car or the jetpack. Eventually, these will all be things you build, but for now I've thrown together some models to represent each mode. My arist friend Alan Hauck contributed the human models, which I've included for scale.

Transportation Modes

Goals

That's all I have for you. I'm coming up on the three year mark on this project. My goal at this point is just to integrate all the code that I've written into a usable demo:

  • Fly around and land on the the planet, asteroids, moon and ringworld.
  • Build with blocks and summarize buildings at a distance.
  • Import Minecraft buildings.
  • A server with persistent state and chat.

I just wish I was making more progress!

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