Etherea1 (teaser)

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Anonymous Jan 03, 2011 at 09:00

11-01-02.jpg

Description
For some time now (about 8 months) I’m spending my weekends programming this new engine + demo in C++ from scratch (using only the OpenGL API, because of the obvious hardware acceleration advantage).

All planets are 100% procedural, real sized, have their own characteristics (some are Earth like, some not), and have orbit and rotation. Planets may have moons orbiting around them as well. It is perfectly possible to land at any of them, leave the ship and walk around. You can even see sunrises and sunsets.

I am developing this demo with a Core2Duo @ 3GHZ and an ATI HD5770 with an average of 350 fps in space and 75 fps at ground level, using moderate quality (the one shown here). Quality is configurable from very low to very high quality (at below 30 fps in my 5770, though). But it runs even on integrated hardware, like some Intel chipsets (around 20 fps in low but somewhat acceptable quality mode, at ground level).

This is a “teaser” that shows some features of the engine.

Etherea1 Teaser is a preparation for my upcoming (independent) interplanetary multiplayer game that I am starting to code (expecting around 8 weekends more to release a working game prototype).

Although the engine itself already allows for full control including landing at any of the planets, the demo presented today is only semi-interactive. It won’t allow you to fully control the ship, but will allow you to look around using your mouse. Moving the mouse will look up/down and roll. Moving the mouse with left-button (or space) pressed will rotate left/right. You can change the field of view with the ‘’ keys.

There is a lot of work to be done yet, but the engine is stable enough to allow me to start the game coding.

SEMI-INTERACTIVE DEMO CONTROLS:

Mouse : roll and up/down
Mouse+left-button: left/right and up/down
‘[’ : less field of view
‘]’ : more field of view
ESC : quits demo

On this teaser, the voyage is automatically controlled by the CPU, but you need to keep looking around (use your mouse…) to find the best views.

SOME TECHNICAL INFORMATION

This is a custom spherical quadtree engine that can split indefinitely and generates GPU ridged-noise in real-time. Because of floating-point limitations (to be revisited), the teaser is currently capped at level 14. All planets and textures are procedural and real-sized. All planets have independent properties and orbit around a star. Planets can have moons. Planets can be landed on and explored.

Many sources of technical information were very useful, including Nishita, Sean Oneil, Perlin, Stefan Gustavson, Hugo Elias, DevMaster and GameDev, and others.

The chip-tune music is based on Amiga music from 1992 by Grim and Mel O’dee.

================================================== ========= = = = =
Teaser download link: http://www.imersiva.com/get.php?f=Etherea1Teaser (64 kb)
================================================== =============== = = = =

Please note that this demo executable is highly compressed and, because of the non-standard exe header, some anti-virus will falsely flag it as “malware”, as is happening with many 64k demoscene productions.

19 Replies

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vrnunes 102 Jan 03, 2011 at 16:06

Additional info:

The full game is planned to be released around march this year (8 weekends of development).

It took around 8 months (\~32 weekends and some nights) to develop the engine. As said, support for the needed game features is almost all in place. I have developed my own client-server architecture, the engine can handle terrain collisions, etc.

I won’t target perfection or absolute revolution on this 1.0. I want to finish it, and make it fun to play. It is going to have a social element on it.

The game is going to be something “simple” but I expect it to be somewhat addictive. At least I hope so.

EDIT: if you have any ideas, proposals, critics, or just want to add something useful, please feel free to contact me, here or by email. I am very open to new ideas, and will answer every contact. Thanks.

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TheNut 179 Jan 03, 2011 at 16:22

I tried to download from imersiva.com, but I get a server not found error.

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vrnunes 102 Jan 03, 2011 at 18:34

@TheNut

I tried to download from imersiva.com, but I get a server not found error.

Have you tried again? The server is answering my queries normally, and the download count is changing regularly, so it may have been some temporary thing. Please try again.

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captainigloo 101 Jan 03, 2011 at 22:37

Hi,

Your application crashes every times I try to launch the exe file.
I have a sony VAIO with Window XP, 2 Go RAM + GeForce 7400 …

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captainigloo 101 Jan 03, 2011 at 22:55

WARNING !!!
Don’t download the demo.
AVG Anti-virus detects the exe file as a Malware.

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vrnunes 102 Jan 03, 2011 at 23:29

@captainigloo

WARNING !!!
Don’t download the demo.
AVG Anti-virus detects the exe file as a Malware.

This is not malware. Most compressed executables are falsely reported as malware by these real-time anti-virus. Unfortunately, that happens because most virus developers also compress their executables.

(EDIT) Please read: http://www.pouet.net/topic.php?which=7496&page=1&x=30&y=6
(EDIT) More read: http://www.pouet.net/topic.php?which=7711

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vrnunes 102 Jan 04, 2011 at 02:20

@captainigloo

Hi, Your application crashes every times I try to launch the exe file.
I have a sony VAIO with Window XP, 2 Go RAM + GeForce 7400 …

The program creates a file called “tiny2.log”, where maybe there is a hint about what went wrong. Maybe you would take the time to post the log here? Thanks.

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Mihail121 102 Jan 04, 2011 at 16:44

Hey dude, that’s sure an interesting project you have there and I’m glad to give you some feedback:

* I really like the music, just like back in the old days :)
* The controls are somewhat weird, but it is only a demo.
* In outer space the demo runs fine, close to a planet I get serious glitches, “on” a planet everything’s normal again.
* AMD 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+, 1536 RAM, GeForce 9400 GT 512 RAM.

Keep it up the goodness!

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captainigloo 101 Jan 04, 2011 at 18:04

@vrnunes

The program creates a file called “tiny2.log”, where maybe there is a hint about what went wrong. Maybe you would take the time to post the log here? Thanks.

Sorry for the wrong alarm with my antivirus …

hereunder, the tiny.log :
[23:46:01]


[ LOG tiny2.log STARTED AT Mon Jan 03 23:46:01 2011 ]


[23:46:08] OpenGL Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
[23:46:08] OpenGL Renderer: GeForce Go 7400/PCI/SSE2
[23:46:08] OpenGL Version: 2.0.1
[23:46:09] =======[ Engine initialized ]=======
[23:46:09] Creating camera…
[23:46:09] Generating textures…
[23:46:12] Creating planets…
[23:46:12] Looping…

I don’t see any message that can explain why your app crashes …
Do you use some special opengl extension ?

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vrnunes 102 Jan 04, 2011 at 19:35

I don’t see any message that can explain why your app crashes …
Do you use some special opengl extension?

Many extensions used (vbo, fbo, pbo, fp16/fp32, others). The videocard does not support one or more of the features, and I’m not checking api resulting code at that point. I had to keep the code at a minimum to fit it under 64kb, so I’m not sure it’s really checking all possibilities at this moment.

If you have the latest NVidia drivers installed, I would say your card is missing some required hardware feature but the 64k demo is not handling the case.

  • update your drivers;
  • run in lowest quality;
  • install a software opengl driver that supports fragment/vertex shaders by software (slowwww but may work)
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TheNut 179 Jan 04, 2011 at 20:36

Nice work Vander. I get about 20 fps on highest quality with my amd hexacore + ati hd 5750 on land. About 100 fps on standard quality. Free movement would have made the demo better, but I understand you’re busy. Looking forward to your release in March. And since you said it, we can all hold you accountable to that date, :lol:

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vrnunes 102 Jan 04, 2011 at 21:43

Nice work Vander.

Very thank you, Nathaniel. Opinions from people who I respect so much like yours are a great source of energy to proceed. You know how hard it is to continue without support behind us.

I don’t know if you ran the latest version (better sun, slightly better atmosphere and synchronization). So I take the opportunity to say, as the demo is only 64kb, to always download from the original link, because it’ll probably be a newer revision.

Keep it up the goodness!

Very thank you, Mihail!

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zavie 101 Jan 04, 2011 at 22:21

Hey that’s some nice work! Especially considering you fit it in 64kB. :)
Will you release at some compo, or on Pouët?

I have a couple of glitches here (including the flickering distant textures, popping LOD, ground/sea intersection, fog coordinates), but that’s still some noteworthy work!

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vrnunes 102 Jan 05, 2011 at 08:28

Thanks!

Will you release at some compo, or on Pouët?

If I find a compo that accepts remote submissions, I’ll try. Certainly will upload the final demo on Pouet.net. =)

I have a couple of glitches here (including the flickering distant textures, popping LOD, ground/sea intersection, fog coordinates)

Yes, there are still many things to revisit, will be looking into many of those glitches while implementing the game itself.

EDIT: BUT, about the ground/sea intersection, that’s actually not z-fight!!! Those blinking pixels are water foam!!! Because of distance, you can’t see, but there are moving foams in there. Terrain popping and (lack of) mipmapping are really two problems I need to solve.

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vrnunes 102 Jan 06, 2011 at 02:41

UPDATE:

  • Mipmapping over FBO;
  • Slight tuning of bloom effect and sun;
  • Some thing I forgot now.

(same link at top)

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vrnunes 102 Jan 06, 2011 at 14:22

OK this is the last update I’m doing to this thread: a flyby video is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsaeFph4HPQ

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Luz_Reyes 101 Jan 06, 2011 at 22:22

Looks awesome, keep us posted!

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necroside 101 Jan 07, 2011 at 03:03

That video looks awesome, also nice site you have there :)

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vrnunes 102 Apr 12, 2011 at 15:40