Planet Quest 4.0

Anonymous Feb 18, 2006 at 15:00


This is from my 3D space screensaver “Planet Quest”, which has been doing well on recently. Please download from here:

The main features of this screensaver are that the visuals (textures and geometry) are 100% created procedurally on-the-fly in a worker thread. Therefore there is no repetition, and scene change is basically instantaneous. Also, no OpenGL extensions are used so it can run on reasonably low-end hardware. However, it is fillrate-bound and runs at the native desktop resolution, so doesn’t perform brilliantly on the lower-end hardware.

Visuals include: planets, clouds, moons, suns, supernovae, stars, nebulae, galaxies, planetary rings, asteroids, comets, lens flares. All procedural.

For version 4.0 I’ve done a lot of refactoring; for one thing, it dawned on me that in the previous version, memory fragmentation was a problem. I also do my own error dialog with minidumps on exceptions and advice to the user (it is a free-trial software).

Naturally I’d love any feedback!


9 Replies

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z80 101 Feb 18, 2006 at 16:25

Looks pretty good. I find the lighting a bit strange in the above screenshot though.. With a star in that position, you’d expect the planet to be very dark and a shadow on the ring system (unless we’re dealing with a binary system having the other star in a quite unlikely position causing uniform lighting).. Also the galaxy is waaaay to big and bright.. But what the hell? It looks good :D

Francois_Hamel 101 Feb 18, 2006 at 19:06

how do you know if a galaxy cannot be that big and bright or near enough in the whole universe? :blink:

z80 101 Feb 18, 2006 at 21:58

Yeah good point.. Guess you cant really.. Except you’d probably have some serious gravity issues having such a large mass so close (assuming the field-of-view is not extreme). I guess my point was that you wont see that in the milkyway.

Jufa 101 Feb 18, 2006 at 22:39

pretty neato, i admit :D
i downloaded this immediately after i saw this :)

keep up the good work!

3dwonders 101 Feb 19, 2006 at 11:40

Thanks for your comments folks. Its my universe and so I can tell you categorically that it is commonplace here to have several suns near a planet! But true, the planet and rings should shade eachother. Not done yet…


Nautilus 103 Feb 19, 2006 at 20:12

Honestly, does it really matter that the lighting is not perfect?
At first glance is a fine scene. With a nice use of colors.
And I like the subject too.
Too much realism would ruin the feel, I guess :)

Oh, almost forgot: GREAT SCREENSAVER!
(give it a try people, it’s well worth it)

Ciao ciao :)

z80 101 Feb 19, 2006 at 23:15

Yeah, I agree. Doesnt have to be super realistic to be cool :D

dlu 101 Feb 20, 2006 at 09:41

Error in file .\screensavermain.cpp on line 186:
wglCreateContext failed with error 3221684224: (null)

That’s on my dev PC, Windows XP, ATI Radeon 9800 (not the newest drivers, though :whistle: ). It’s a dual screen setup (two 17” TFT on 1280x1024).

3dwonders 101 Feb 20, 2006 at 11:15

dlu - well that is a bit of a mystery. Invalid error code so no clue there. It should be running on your primary monitor only, unless you unchecked a particular checkbox.

Maybe a driver update would fix it, or fiddling with your multimon settings…