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A sci-fi sandbox game of creation and survival on procedurally generated planets. You've crash-landed on an unforgiving world with nothing but a few tools and your imagination.

Post news Report RSS Sandy Terrain Engine - Massive Milestone for Planet Nomads

The engine for our upcoming sci-fi sandbox game got wings and a name. Sandy is now generating hundreds of square meters of procedurally generated terrain in real time. This is a big step towards having a whole universe of explorable planets.

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The technological side of Planet Nomads is catching up with our creative vision for the game.

We have finished the first major iteration of our terrain engine that produces a great looking environment using 3D models of trees, brushes and rocks scattered in a completely procedurally generated environment. Every mountain, every pit in the ground, every slope and every corner has been created by the power of mathematics. The theory we explained in one of our first blog posts has now become a reality.

We’ve loaded one of our biomes inside the engine and can confirm it not only looks great, as you can see below, but also runs smoothly and generates the terrain with the required speed fast. Taking into account the general performance, we’re looking at planets with over 100,000 square kilometers big!

Engine generated biome

This is a huge victory for us and a big milestone for Planet Nomads. It was obvious our engine needed a name and we decided to call it Sandy.

Engine generated biome

Of course we still have a long way to go, but this success takes us oh-so-many steps closer to our final goal. To create a sci-fi sandbox game with beautiful places to explore.

Our next steps are about gradually putting all the other biomes into Sandy. Here are some of those.

Deep Forrest

Green Forrest Biome

These still feel very Earth-like, but we have stranger ones coming. In the words of Planet Nomads Art Director:

What I have in mind for truly alien-looking planets will be radically different. But I wanted to start with familiar looking biomes first, in the hopes of not scaring people off, so to speak. But if they are into curious looking worlds, I can assure them good stuff is coming.

Curious about the creative process behind these natural sceneries? Read the interview with their creator.

Our achievement sparked the interest of Cobra TV and with his booming voice, he provides further details on what this means for the gameplay.

Comments
Templarfreak
Templarfreak

How much are these environments interactable? Is there underground? Are there oceans? How much of the plant-life is harvestable, if any?

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craneballs Author
craneballs

Lot's of big questions at this stage. All of it is destructible with the right tools. Harvestable as in: Will I get some resources out of it? We don't have all the materials set in stone yet, but we are thinking of some bio-resource that you can obtain from chopping down trees. With oceans, and water in general, there's one massive problem in fully destructible environments - the physics. As an example, if you have a pond and dig a channel next to it, the water should fill it and flow freely forward, by gravity itself. Even a simple thing like that is quite complicated to compute, and there are bigger issues as you further explore all the scenarios. So not at this stage, not in near future, but we have been prototyping around to see if something will work.

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Templarfreak
Templarfreak

Okay, thanks for the info. :D

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Snashky_Nilidus
Snashky_Nilidus

nice. love the art style

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RyuuKage
RyuuKage

Looking great :)

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michaelklier
michaelklier

Nice screens indeed :]! Since the planets are procedurally generated how are you going about the sound? Do you take a similar approach like Nomans Sky?

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craneballs Author
craneballs

Thanks! Yeah, that's one big feat on their side. We're staying with multiple ambient tracks, but want to put event triggered switches. So the main similarity would be that we are also going with local composer.

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michaelklier
michaelklier

I see :)! Nice! Looking forward to see/hear everything in action! Keep it up!

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craneballs Author
craneballs

Roger that :)

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taintedpyro813
taintedpyro813

Looks beautiful, tracking

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