I had thought that I would start with the control system, but after some consideration it was going to be of more use to start with the planetary systems and generating the universe first. 

The first step was determining what types of planets I would need, which of course requires at least habitable planets which is where I would start. Of course the internet age has plenty of places to look for information about types of planets that exist, many are just images like the one to the right – these are from the game ‘Stars in Shadow’ by Ashdar Games.

So now with an idea of a start, its time to code some planets – and where better to start than with earth and the moon?

To the left is my initial system to randomly generate planets based on a seed value. The earth is quite basic, and I’m not overly happy with the results as yet (no polar ice-caps and the land is quite fragmented), but the moon looks quite good.

My final design will be more aligned to what ‘Stars in Shadow’ implemented with the 3D spheres and actually rotating textures to have a realistic planet view – but doing that will also need information about real planets. Again, Google to the rescue and in this case also thanks to Wayback Machine I found the Planetary Classification List which has detail about multiple classes of planets and even information on types of asteroids.

Researching the planets I also discovered information about types of stars with those that support could support life, those that are too hot, and of course those that are too cold. Implementation of planetary systems around suns is also something that will need thought, especially as seeing as you are planet hoping home – there will need to be habitable planets, but also those that aren’t but have resources the player requires.

Until next week, or two (life has really been hectic lately).