Game Development Update: Building Blocks


Game Development Update: Building Blocks

Just an update for our current development:

We’ve been focusing on the world generation aspects of the game, which are taking longer than anticipated. Mainly we have a few complex topics we’re working through prior to being able to launch first build.


(Click on the Image to Enlarge)

The three major areas we’re working through are support for “sized” blocks (blocks of varying heights of the standard 0.5m block that allow us to build rolling hills and smooth elevation changes versus having constant 0.5m increases), support for “complex” blocks (tiny blocks subdivided from a standard 0.5m block that will be using for terrain detail like stalactites/stalagmites), and the overall concept of our planet being lush and vibrant.

The main need for sized blocks is to ensure that we don’t have a situation where we either need every dynamic object jumping up to the next elevation level, or force clamp them as they’re running forward to the next elevation.  With the sized blocks, we can have a very smooth increase in elevation for situations like roads between towns, or in natural plains areas.  We would still utilize full blocks where appropriate for large increases in elevation, but this would support animal mounts and vehicles getting from place to place without workarounds.

For complex blocks, we will be using them strictly for detail in the terrain.  Rather than building a rock formation from the standard 0.5m blocks, we can use the small 0.0625m blocks (as well as a mix of the 0.25m and 0.125m sizes above that) to give them a much better look.  These can also be used for situations like roots of a tree, or larger vines hanging off the same tree.  Ultimately, complex blocks are aimed to be used by the player to build very detailed objects without being limited to the full blocks.

Finally, since we’re dealing with a finite planet, we can generate the world similar to how our own planet was formed, with the climate weathering the terrain appropriately.  We’ve stepped away from the thought process of “biomes” as seen in other games, and focused on how an individual block type (or plant, or tree, or creature) fits within a set of parameters like the climate.  When these parameters combine, we end up with the appropriate content for an area at the block level, and since the parameters are smooth, we also ensure that the transitions between areas are smooth as well (such as the transition from a jungle to plains).  Overall, the planets will generally look and feel like our own if they contain similar characteristics as Earth (which this first planet will contain), but its just as likely that you’ll run into plenty of alien planets when exploring the universe.

There’s still no ETA for first build, though we are getting much closer.  We’ve brought in some new developers to speed up the process, and should be seeing something a bit more tangible soon.  For the moment, its been a lot of working within the engine to get the content showing up appropriately, and the code itself is not very fun to look at.  As soon as we have something, we will let everyone know.

– The Imagine Nations Team




This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Mike 3 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #2894


    (Click on the Image to Enlarge)   Just an update for our current development: We’ve been focusing on the world generation aspects of the game, wh
    [See the full post at: Game Development Update: Building Blocks]

  • #2897


    Great to see progress going along, even if it’s a tad bit slow. Really looking forward for the first build of the game!

  • #2939


    Yeah, to be brutally honest. I’ve lost interest in this project as there seems to be WAY to much talk and seemingly little tangable action.

  • #2946


    Well, that’s why I am waiting for it.

  • #2949


    Yeah, to be brutally honest. I’ve lost interest in this project as there seems to be WAY to much talk and seemingly little tangable action.

    I definitely can understand that its been a long wait (been in that holding pattern for Fallout 4 for a long while now :)), and it seems like there’s a lot of talk (which we’ve been trying to keep interest up in this dead time building the engine), but you have to really understand that a lot of the voxel work we’re doing is not documented.  There are no significant reference materials or books to look up how to implement at least a base foundation.

    With a typical modern game, everything is there to build the base engine.  Its just a time commitment to get there, and then its all game logic.  With voxels, its a relatively new way to approach games, and therefore a lot of the work is pure trial and error to see what best functions for our game.  As everything is engine work at this stage, we haven’t really felt showing lines of code would be beneficial to everyone following the project, but we’re definitely open if anyone wants to get an in-house look at our daily work.  Engine work itself does not really show anything tangible as its not all graphics-related.  A lot of the world gen, for instance, is various algorithms to build a believable and realistic world.  Its not until all of these algorithms are finished that it can be hooked into rendering to actually show the world.

    We’re approaching the finish line for the first build to the backers.  The last few tasks are getting accomplished, and then the build will be available.  We’ll have a lot to show beginning in July’s update with what we’ve been working on.  I would love to give a set date, but nothing is set with game development.  We want to ensure that what we present to backers is as stable as possible.  I don’t want to lock us to a date only to release something that is bug ridden simply to satisfy the date.  And we want to commit to that approach for any subsequent milestones.  We may not give dates and builds may take longer, but when we release something, you’re getting something that has been tested and working well (within the realm of how very early pre-alpha builds can work).

    William Phelps - Lead Developer of Imagine Nations - -

  • #2959

    Gaius Julius Caesar

    I have to say that I have been following this game for at least a year now. I have never lost interest even after all this time. Although it may take a while I have a good feeling about this game. Its the game I am waiting for but I don’t mind if I have to wait long. I am a little bummed out that it did not come out before I joined the Marine Corps but I’m just glad the project isn’t dead. Keep up the good work! You are granting dreams here!

  • #2965


    @turnerman Thank you for following our game and serving our country.  Making a game like this does take time and thanks again for recognizing that.  We continue to work hard.  We continue to provide updates as quickly as we can.  The team is also excited to be able to work on this game too.  To achieve your dreams, it takes hard work, dedication and energy.



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