• Register
Procedurally Generating Galaxies, Planets and Nebulae

I have been researching and programming procedural galaxy generation for Space Warfare: Infinite. Basically it places stars of different types in a galaxy type shape, generates nebular and dust and then generates what planets the star systems' contain. Players can click on a star and the UI gives some basic data of the planets in the system- and then plot FTL jumps to a new system to visit or attack.

Posted by on

All week - during my snow days! - I have been working on procedurally generating the galaxy for Space Warfare - Infinite. I have been researching a lot on the old Elite as well as my Traveler RPG core rule book to help inspire me through it. I'm also using some complicated math to generate the galaxy shape. Essentially the galaxy generates and determines what sort of stars are Red, White, Yellow or Blue as well as their sizes. It distributes nebula clouds and dust as well. Then it determines how many planets each star system has. When you investigate an individual star system, the game runs some code to figure out what planets are there and what their characteristics are. Here is a video of the system in action...

Here I've got the stars being generate and each star is a star system with a number of generated planets. The big grid sphere is my work on picking areas for various factions to control so in the one pick there is a blue faction and a yellow faction. The control spreads just out of the sphere to directly linked systems. The control zone is within a certain radius of the home star. Faction areas will name their systems with their own naming conventions - either different influences for human factions or alien languages for those factions. Also from here I can catalog the resources from each planet and determine the strength of the factions to give them bases and fleets etc. Taking over a new system would mean adding to that strength later in the game.

On the top left you can see my simple read out of planet info for the selected star. It's not super formatted for the players yet. I just wanted to get the info out so I could see what was happening.

I still have to work more on nebula regions and adding more detail to the star systems like asteroid fields and things. Once those are in, the galaxy generator will be hooked up to the actual game engine and generate the star system the player is in on the fly. Then players will be able to FTL jump to other systems as well. Below is a shot of the Galaxy map projected on the UI so the player can pick a place to jump to.