Transcendent - A multiplayer space sim/strategy game

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SerialVelocity
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Transcendent - A multiplayer space sim/strategy game

Post by SerialVelocity » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:28 pm

Image

Here I'd like to present a project I've been working on for some time now.

What is it?

Transcendent is a multi player orientated space simulation game combined with elements of 4X and strategy games. The player is predominantly based inside the cockpit of his or her own personal fighter-class command ship, which is completely constructed and customised by each individual player. Players can also take the role of a commander potentially controlling entire fleets of ships of various sizes, from massive capital ships to other fighter-class ships or drones, controlled by other human players or using AI.

Thanks to a seamless universe engine, battles are placed in a wide range of space environments from beautiful sunrises on the surface of a planet to harsh derelict debris fields or dog-fighting inside the ring system of a gas giant. All the game play is dictated by Newtonian physics; changing direction will require the ship to fire various thrusters accordingly to adjust it's trajectory, and explosion shock waves will be felt if you're unfortunately enough to be near one.

All in-game ships are constructed from a hierarchy of parts. There are different types of parts; ships start of as a Core part which will have a number of hard-points and navigational thrusters, and additional body or weapon parts can be attached to the hard-points on this ship. Body parts extend the core design by providing additional hard-points. Weapon parts include turrets, lasers, missiles, drones and/or artillery shells. The design of a ship is limited by mass - the more parts added on to the ship then the heavier it is so to compensate – additional engines and manoeuvring thrusters needs to be equipped to allow the ship to continue being manoeuvrable.

In all games, each player has their own command ship and can create outposts on planets or deploy mining stations to gather resources and build a fleet. Some game modes will require control of the entire solar system whilst others will have a specific target in the system to capture. In team based games, one player can elected as the commander and other players follow their orders or each player can have their own fleet but share a pool of resources. Another idea is to instead rely on an AI director to organise battles and the players simply take part with their personal command ships.

I know this project is quite ambitious but it’s come quite well so far and I’m excited to keep working on it. :)

Development

I'm aiming to support a wide range of platforms including Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.7+ and Linux (Debian and derivatives, with other distros if time permits). I'm using Ogre 1.9 for rendering, Bullet for physics, RakNet for networking, Luabind for scripting and cAudio for audio and music. I'm also making use of Particle Universe for most of the games particle effects.

I'm quite an inexperienced 3D modeller so as a result most of the models you see in the screenshots are simply un-textured place holders to make sure that the underlying code is working correctly, but I plan on updating them all very soon.

Transcendent is currently based around a client-server networking architecture where players host and join games via the use of a master server which provides matchmaking and NAT traversal. If a host leaves the game then transferral to the next best host is done automatically and the master server is informed of any changes. Data like command ship designs are also stored in the master server and as a result require a free account which can easily be set up in-game. As most people are fed up with having to register accounts all the time, I'll try to get this system integrated with other digital distribution services like Steam and Desura (assuming this game passes and gets in the stores!).

Screenshots

Screenshots are in chronological order from left to right and top to bottom, the later you click the better. :P
Click on a thumbnail to view the full resolution screenshots.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Last edited by SerialVelocity on Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:38 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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areay
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by areay » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:37 pm

Love those starscape skyboxes. Will watch your project with interest.
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Jabberwocky
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by Jabberwocky » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:25 am

Looks like you're off to a nice start!
Good luck, I have a soft spot for space games myself. ;)
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nevarim
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by nevarim » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:06 am

good luck for project^^
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i'm a noob until proven otherwise :D
used in my project ;) and thanks to everyone :D
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Nikitron
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by Nikitron » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:14 pm

Looks good!
I'd like to see how to interact arcade-component and Newtonian physics.
Good luck in your project!
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by nevarim » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:51 pm

little curiosity you are using database and a back interface for to handle all planet configuration?:)
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i'm a noob until proven otherwise :D
used in my project ;) and thanks to everyone :D
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SerialVelocity
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by SerialVelocity » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:41 pm

Thanks a lot everyone! :)

@Nikitron
What do you mean by arcade component?

@nevarim
At the moment planets and other space objects are scaled 1 to 1 with the ships. When a game is started the scene origin is broadcast to all players which is used in the engine to position and scale the planet meshes so that everything is relative to 0,0,0 to avoid floating point imprecision.I intend to limit the games playable area due to the scope of the game, using powerful weapons on capital ships to shoot down other ships which are flying too far away from the scene origin to enforce it - otherwise I'll be spending forever working on the planet terrain. :P Setting a scene origin to inside the ring system of a planet, inside a nebula cloud or in an asteroid belt would spawn objects like asteroids in the vicinity (as you can see in screenshot 1).
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Nikitron
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by Nikitron » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:42 pm

SerialVelocity wrote:@Nikitron
What do you mean by arcade component?
I'm interested in the golden mean between the size of the world, the rate of acceleration, and direct "military" actions. If you require a few hours to fly from an carrier to ​​the asteroid belt - it will be very sad...
Most likely it can be described as the dynamics of the game.
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SerialVelocity
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Re: Transcendent - An online space combat sim

Post by SerialVelocity » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Nikitron wrote:I'm interested in the golden mean between the size of the world, the rate of acceleration, and direct "military" actions. If you require a few hours to fly from an carrier to ​​the asteroid belt - it will be very sad...
Most likely it can be described as the dynamics of the game.
Oh I understand now. I've tried to give a realistic scale of astronomical objects like asteroids and planets so battles will appear to be restricted in the area you're fighting in and moving around the system to another astronomical object won't be possible unless you had FTL capable ships (sub-light will take more time). Most of the larger ships will have FTL capability so it can be possible for players to dock with the teams carrier ship and it could potentially jump to multiple environments over the course of the same game.
Last edited by SerialVelocity on Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SerialVelocity
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Re: Transcendent - A multiplayer space sim/strategy game

Post by SerialVelocity » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:08 pm

Just thought I'd start the new year by posting a massive update and showcasing my latest work on the game to date.

I have mainly spent the last 2-3 months optimising the engine by removing redundant code, fixing bugs, improving algorithms, the usual - but I have also used the time to add a bunch of exciting features and alter the design of the game a little bit. If you look at the original post at the top and at the title you can see I've decided to add more strategy to the game itself rather than just being a simple point-and-shoot dog fighting game which I've seen been done too many times. Instead I've decided to move towards a game where you are still in direct control of a ship but on top of that have the capability to control potentially a fleet of ships.

I've been working quite hard on the graphical quality of the game and in this time I have implemented deferred shading and dynamic shadow mapping, currently using basic shadow mapping but I'll be moving CSM when I have free time. :P I have also added bloom and will soon be playing around with other post-processing effects like motion blur, screen space fog and other things like that. I'd also like to clear up that every object you see in the background (except the stars) is dynamic and can be visited, including the planets and the sun.

I'm also going to try and be a bit more regular with updates, posting every 2-4 weeks on here. :)

Pictures tell a thousand words so here are some screenshots (click for full res):

Image Image
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SerialVelocity
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Re: Transcendent - A multiplayer space sim/strategy game

Post by SerialVelocity » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:35 pm

January retrospective and progress!

This month was a very successful month, consisting of plenty of code refactoring and internal improvements over new graphical improvements. I finished implementing 64 bit positions which allows entities to be placed in any point in a 100AU radius around the centre of the solar system and implemented my own version of camera relative rendering mixed with some clever scaling to get planets and stars to render properly.

Shadows have been improved a bit to use percentage-closer filtering to give much smoother edges but they still only work in a fairly limited frustum which will require cascaded shadow maps to work nicely over the scale of the game world. I also spent some time fixing some long standing bugs including a position delay bug causing muzzle flashes and engine flare effects to "lag" behind the ship currently being controlled.

Finally, I spent about a week working on a planetary surface prototype, and got some nifty terrain LoD around a sphere working. There's still a few issues with normal calculations but I'm pretty happy with it.

For Feburary I plan to:
* Progress more on the surface prototype and get it integrated into the game.
* Fix all the problems with bullets/projectiles and integrate missiles
* Allow the cruiser ships to be controllable
* Improve the deferred shading system by adding some more post process effects
* Release a video

Screenshots (click for full res):
Image Image
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durickben
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Re: Transcendent - A multiplayer space sim/strategy game

Post by durickben » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:58 am

I am a game lover. The concept sounds to be very interesting. I have played a lot of strategic game and waiting for this one eagerly.
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Re: Transcendent - A multiplayer space sim/strategy game

Post by eazrael » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:11 pm

Hey, this looks really interesting. Do you have a webpage for your project?
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SerialVelocity
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Re: Transcendent - A multiplayer space sim/strategy game

Post by SerialVelocity » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:17 pm

So it seems that I unsubscribed from my own thread by accident so I didn't realise people have posted!
durickben wrote:I am a game lover. The concept sounds to be very interesting. I have played a lot of strategic game and waiting for this one eagerly.
Thanks a lot, I look forward to deliver. :)
eazrael wrote:Hey, this looks really interesting. Do you have a webpage for your project?
Not yet. Should have something in a week or two, been meaning to create one for a while!
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