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Planet 101 used to be a fansite/portal I organised with a few like-minded individuals for the game Planetarion, that I used to play aeons ago. After they finally put up a portal of their own I found motivation to write my own "space-game". I had been musing about creating a "better elite" ever since I played it at school on their BBC micros, and my Speccy of old.

It has been "one of those" projects... one that you pick up fiddle with for a bit and never quite get anywhere with. However hopefully putting up a page here may provide more motivation :-)

Oh if you have facebook, Like my page:

Later this week...

posted 10 Jul 2012, 02:48 by Simon Waite

Map Viewer
Later this week I should be releasing a web-player of an example star map that demonstrates a sector of the universe of planet101. 

It'll not be amazing in the first release, as you'll be able to wander around a sector map looking at the star systems.

Here's an example screenshot.

Ooops! I'm still working on it...

posted 30 Apr 2012, 06:16 by Simon Waite   [ updated 30 Apr 2012, 06:39 ]

Yes, umm ... I *am* still working on planet101.

I've also cast aside some code that I've been getting annoyed with for now. Namely planet generation, I still have to sort all that out but frankly it's rather a large chunk of code that can be replaced over and over. So back on the TODO pile it goes.

I've noted also that a couple of months after a friend tweeted about my p101 facebook page, notch announced that he'd like to do something similar. Thankfully he appears to have got stuck into writing a virtual cpu so people can code in the game. I'm not sure this has much to do with a 'space game like elite done correctly'. Still it irks me somewhat. If anything it's got me throwing more of my time and effort into this. Look even a google plus page!

Currently I have vague role playing game code with the ability to build items!

Now how to figure out how to edit them ... a game editor, or perhaps CSV from spreadsheets?

It's all about the Agents!

posted 24 Aug 2011, 10:04 by Simon Waite

After getting very frustrated with my previous attempts at devising a decent framework, I went back to basics and used a patten from the time I hacked mostly with Java, and all my game objects are now agents :)

Now I can get on with generating planets again, which are  generating just nicely thank you very much!

(And I couldn't resist with the picture opposite)

Scripting and WinPhone 7

posted 17 Jul 2011, 07:41 by Simon Waite

Hurrah. Lots of scripting stuff this weekend!

Picture Unrelated

It now has variables, scope, etc.

No looping nor anything that would allow it to be in any way be turing complete.

Now to add definitions to handle menus, splash screens, etc...

Apparently my windows phone (Samsung Omni 7) has arrived. Looking forward to playing with it! :p

XML and false starts...

posted 14 Jul 2011, 09:20 by Simon Waite

Picture Unrelated

Well, I managed to mess up the framework quite completely. 
It was just too complicated, and I wasn't happy with it.

So I scrubbed it, reimplemented it using some researched design patterns. Realised that I was essentially inventing a language, so tried using XML, and finding mono was segfaulting all over the place. If the latest mono isn't happy with XML unity's version which is a little older certainly won't.

So I've designed a parser for a simple language, much like of old. It will use classes to implement commands, and is not Turing complete (yet anyways).

This is frustrating, I want to get on with the fun stuff already.

First Post!

posted 2 Jul 2011, 06:37 by Simon Waite

So where am I ?

Well ignoring the collections of little tech demos that have disappeared into the mists of time, not really that far...

  1. A very crusty galaxy generator that was converted and heavily modified from Carl Burkes java applet (yes, it used to be on a Geocities site, so an here's another backup link to the same page).
  2. A whole heap of spaceship models, that may or may not be used in the game.
  3. A developing C# game framework that sits on top of a renderer, such as;
    • Unity 3D
      • Unity 3D is a fantastic game engine with lots of middleware built in. It sure beats building your own game engine + physics etc.
      • It targets out of the box, for free, Mac and Windows (and a web-player for both), supports iOS, and Android, and even Consoles like the Wii, 360 and the PS3 - though I expect licenses for the consoles to be prohibitive!
    • XNA
      • This targets PC, Windows 7 Phone, and XBox 360.
    • Web
      • I'm not terribly interested in implementing this, but theoretically I should be able to make a ASP.NET target
      • This is opposed to the Web player that unity targets, of course :)
    • Terminal output
      • This is what I'm concentrating on *right now* - as playing around with models and shaders is too much of a distraction to share engine development with targeting unity.

What can the engine do as of now?

It has the following types of state
  • SplashScreen
    • Everyone has to have one of those, right?
  • Menu
    • The most common UI element
  • Quit Game
    • You'll have to quit at some point, right?
  • Star System Map
    • Displays a subset of the 100LY cube box, and allows you to select the system
  • File System Abstraction
    • So you can save games, cache things, etc without worrying what is located where
So, really not very much, though that's a lot of code to write :-)

What am I developing right now?

I'm generating star systems. The crusty system generator works incredibly well, but needs work to bring it up to date, and make it maintainable in some form.

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