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New Indie game Planet Explorers

WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,453Member Uncommon

Not sure if has been listed but i figure a lot of people might like this type of game.

It actually seems to be ok for a low budget kickstarter game.Obviously not going to see mobs everywhere but the game will eventually do a few things that are cool and has crafting.It will eventually have Voxel like features with building and digging,the whole Minecraft idea.

It is in Alpha stage and has already had a lot of changes,so yes it is not a fake Alpha like many games call it,it is still quite a ways from finished.

Planet Explorer

Very slow download,remember this is not a Triple A developer but the game imo is better and different than many of the same old games.Too bad a dev with tons of money and state of the art game engine is not building a game like this,well i guess Next is going to be similar but will lack some of the projected features this game will have.

 

 


Samoan Diamond

Comments

  • PWN_FACEPWN_FACE SeoulPosts: 670Member

    Interesting. 

     

    Some of the structures down at the bottom had a sort of Minecraftian look to them. 

  • xaritscinxaritscin CaliPosts: 349Member
    Originally posted by PWN_FACE

    Interesting. 

     

    Some of the structures down at the bottom had a sort of Minecraftian look to them. 

    its because it uses voxels for terrain and object creation (you can design your vehicles and weapons along with the buildings). 

  • flizzerflizzer Manchester, NHPosts: 1,550Member Uncommon

    Yep, this has been mentioned on here before. I started a thread about it also awhile ago. 

     

    The page says late 2013 release but Im starting to doubt that at this point.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by xaritscin
    Originally posted by PWN_FACE

    Interesting. 

     

    Some of the structures down at the bottom had a sort of Minecraftian look to them. 

    its because it uses voxels...

    No, it's because it uses cubes.

    That aside, it's a rather fascinating game within a game kind of thing, as it has mechanics for tower defense games, questing and sandbox creations. The Kickstarter plan puts release at Feb 2014, and they seem well on their way there.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • Joker1977Joker1977 FlorencePosts: 37Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by xaritscin
    Originally posted by PWN_FACE

    Interesting. 

     

    Some of the structures down at the bottom had a sort of Minecraftian look to them. 

    its because it uses voxels...

    No, it's because it uses cubes.

    That aside, it's a rather fascinating game within a game kind of thing, as it has mechanics for tower defense games, questing and sandbox creations. The Kickstarter plan puts release at Feb 2014, and they seem well on their way there.

    LOL. Loktofeit has no idea what a voxel game is, apparently.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Joker1977
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by xaritscin
    Originally posted by PWN_FACE

    Interesting. 

    Some of the structures down at the bottom had a sort of Minecraftian look to them. 

    its because it uses voxels...

    No, it's because it uses cubes.

    That aside, it's a rather fascinating game within a game kind of thing, as it has mechanics for tower defense games, questing and sandbox creations. The Kickstarter plan puts release at Feb 2014, and they seem well on their way there.

    LOL. Loktofeit has no idea what a voxel game is, apparently.

    Voxel tech can be used for more than cube-based terraforming, Joker. The games don't have a slight similarity because of the tech, it's because of the way they chose to do world building. If the voxels were what defined the look then both games would look similar to EQ Next, no?

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • mrbreckmrbreck Huntsville, ALPosts: 24Member Uncommon
    All voxels are cubes. There are some tricks like transparency masks that can basically make part of the cube invisible so that it doesn't look like a perfect cube, which is what EQN utilizes and Planet Explorer has in the works.
  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Yeah, was gonna say... Last time I checked voxels use cubes.

    Smile

  • zastenzasten nowherePosts: 283Member
    Still in alpha, but if you want to download and try it, you need to pay for the experience!
  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member
    Originally posted by zasten
    Still in alpha, but if you want to download and try it, you need to pay for the experience!

    The minecraft model.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Joker1977
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by xaritscin
    Originally posted by PWN_FACE

    Interesting. 

    Some of the structures down at the bottom had a sort of Minecraftian look to them. 

    its because it uses voxels...

    No, it's because it uses cubes.

    That aside, it's a rather fascinating game within a game kind of thing, as it has mechanics for tower defense games, questing and sandbox creations. The Kickstarter plan puts release at Feb 2014, and they seem well on their way there.

    LOL. Loktofeit has no idea what a voxel game is, apparently.

    Voxel tech can be used for more than cube-based terraforming, Joker. The games don't have a slight similarity because of the tech, it's because of the way they chose to do world building. If the voxels were what defined the look then both games would look similar to EQ Next, no?

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voxel

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon

    I backed this game on KS. The team seems fairly well organized. They send out emails at milestones and updates. They detail what they're working on, some problems they've encountered, how they have overcome, and what their next steps are. They include a download link of the current game build if you want to play and help test.

    I'm not doing testing on this at the moment, but it's still nice to get the updates.

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by zasten
    Still in alpha, but if you want to download and try it, you need to pay for the experience!

     The game and the developers maybe great, but this new craze of paying to alpha test a game seems a bit shady

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by winter
    Originally posted by zasten
    Still in alpha, but if you want to download and try it, you need to pay for the experience!

     The game and the developers maybe great, but this new craze of paying to alpha test a game seems a bit shady

    You don't buy to get into alpha or the beta. They are selling preorders to the game and letting you play alpha and beta builds. But hey run with that wild indignation all you want. Yeah, that's shady. Buy game early and you can play early. What a ripoff.

  • salaciouscrumbssalaciouscrumbs Bellevue, WAPosts: 90Member Uncommon

    I gave this game a shot. Short review below:

     

    It's quite fun to play but a bit clunky. It's alpha, so every iteration greatly improves the mechanics.  The graphics aren't terrible considering it's an indie game, but they aren't great either - I attribute this to the budget obviously, as art assets are going to suffer most with a low-budget game. The concept behind the game is fascinating and very attractive. The roleplaying elements can be really immersive. The fear of dying is very real and monsters are diverse in their behavior.

     

    Overall I'd give it a mock score of 5/10 in the current alpha state (very high score for alpha). I think Planet Explorers could end up being a big thing if the devs continue on their current trend of improvements. If I were betting on this game for release, I'd say that it will end up a 9/10 product in my opinion.

     

    Strengths

    • Immersion
    • Mechanics
    • Story (RPG)
    • Concept
    • Risk/Fear
    • Diverse AI
    • Fun
     
    Weaknesses
    • Animations
    • Models
    • Textures
    • Difficulty (inconsistent)

     

     

     

  • TissmogiTissmogi Portland, OHPosts: 177Member

    Originally posted by mrbreck
    All voxels are cubes. There are some tricks like transparency masks that can basically make part of the cube invisible so that it doesn't look like a perfect cube, which is what EQN utilizes and Planet Explorer has in the works.

    No transparency is involved, the cubes never really exist or get rendered (except in games that want the blocky look but they can use a much more efficient methods than a voxel based approach). Based on the values at the 8 corners of every cube a polygon/polygons are created and connected. It's really very simple and smart.

     

    Originally posted by Razeekster
    Yeah, was gonna say... Last time I checked voxels use cubes.

    Voxels use an invisible cube based grid to calculate objects or terrain and that is about all they have in common with cubes. This is called a marching cubes algorithm. 

    You can create any shape from voxels. The reason to use a Voxel engine is to have real time deformable terrain, procedural terrain and morph-able terrain. Something that is almost impossible to do with a traditional mesh structure. Don't get me wrong, the result of a voxel based engine is a mesh, but the actual structure is based on cubes which are invisible.

    These pictures show a gpu based voxel terrain renderer with almost infinite detail. Notice the distinct absence of cubes:

     

    You can create absolutely stunning procedural landscapes with it. The above is a combination of a few octaves of noise added to a completely flat voxel surface. They do have similarities with fractals.

     

    On topic: I am an early backer of the game and while slowly progressing, it does seem to shape up nicely.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,214Member Uncommon

    Thanks for the post Tissmogi. I did some reading last night after I read those posts and found out some interesting information.

    For one, the wikipedia entry is really weak. They don't have any pertinent research links in the first paragraph where they define voxel, and then go on to talk about implementation in gaming.

    I found these particularly interesting: http://people.cs.uct.ac.za/~jgain/publications/voxspace.pdf

     

    http://www.everygraph.com/frame.php?contents=product&name=voxel3d

    The latter describes voxel as a "volume element analogous to a pixel". The keyword there being volume element, which isn't limited to a cube at all. Boxes don't seem to be a defining characteristic of a voxel. The grid used to map them is cubic and it seems the most common implementation is to make boxed voxels. Like you said, it's not always the most efficient way to manage that space, but seems to have advantages in procedural generation of content (the first pdf discusses this). It would be interesting to read a lay-friendly explanation of this technology. Some of the stuff I came across went way over my head.

    What is interesting is that Minecraft doesn't always use voxel calculations for what I am assuming it being costly and inefficient.

    I think some of us aren't aware or forget that everything has to be rasterized for screen display or printing, no matter what method the shape was calculated. So by the time it hits our screens or paper they aren't voxels anymore but interpreted pixels. I think there are some screens that can line draw, but I don't that has manifested itself commonly. I heard about this a few years ago as possibility for future tech, but haven't heard much about it since.

    I'm really glad to see this sort of thing affecting development of newer games. It can help shift the current design paradigm and broaden our horizons.

    The devs at Pathea (Planet Explorers) are doing a lot more than just reimplementing Minecraft or Cubeworld. I think they are taking some of those ideas and iterating on them, but they are also adding their own ideas to the game design. The game could end up offering a lot to those who like to build, or just want to adventure, or do both. It would be a blast to design and share our own campaigns.

  • richarddoylericharddoyle Tyrone, PAPosts: 82Member

    Oh man, I bought this game a few months ago, loaded it up once to play around with it then forgot about it.

    Thanks for reminding me of it.  It was still kind of clunky (not bad at all for an alpha though) but quite charming.  :)

    Played: DAoC, AC2, WoW, CoH, GW, GW2, WAR, AoC, Champions Online, Rift, Dragon Nest, Vindictus, Warframe, Neverwinter, Dungeon Fighter Online

    Currently Playing: None

    Waiting for: Landmark, Dungeon Fighter Global

  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member

    So much misinformation about Voxels going on here....lol.

     

    Voxels are mathmatical points in space that are used to calculate an item's x/y/z. A voxel can be as tiny as a penny in-game, or as large as a giant cube. They're just information about a specific item at a specific location. Get enough of these and you can create destructable landscapes, models, etc.

     

    Voxels are crap currently because we need better hardware to calculate largescale voxels so it doesn't look all blurry or washed out.

     

     

    As for EQ:N, their version of voxel use is to have voxels handle the terrain creation/destruction, but when not in use they revert to solid polygons to save on translation calculations for the client and server's hardware. A Hybrid Voxel system, and it is pretty cool. Just wish the game itself wasn't going to be a let down :(.

  • TissmogiTissmogi Portland, OHPosts: 177Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    Thanks for the post Tissmogi. I did some reading last night after I read those posts and found out some interesting information.

    For one, the wikipedia entry is really weak. They don't have any pertinent research links in the first paragraph where they define voxel, and then go on to talk about implementation in gaming.

    I found these particularly interesting: http://people.cs.uct.ac.za/~jgain/publications/voxspace.pdf

    http://www.everygraph.com/frame.php?contents=product&name=voxel3d

    The latter describes voxel as a "volume element analogous to a pixel". The keyword there being volume element, which isn't limited to a cube at all. Boxes don't seem to be a defining characteristic of a voxel. The grid used to map them is cubic and it seems the most common implementation is to make boxed voxels. Like you said, it's not always the most efficient way to manage that space, but seems to have advantages in procedural generation of content (the first pdf discusses this). It would be interesting to read a lay-friendly explanation of this technology. Some of the stuff I came across went way over my head.

     

    Think of voxels not as a physical cube but as a volume of unknown size ( it can be very small or extremely big depending on how much detail you want ). At every corner of the cubic volume there is a value.

    If the values are 0 or 255 then the cube is completely inside (underground) or outside ( air / invisible ) so we ignore it, nothing to draw here.

    But if the values of these corners are between 1 and 254 then it is part of the terrain surface and some polygons have to be created with points on one of the 12 edges.

    Exactly where a point is placed along an edge is determined by interpolation. The point should be placed where the density value is approximately zero. For example, if the density at end A of the edge is 0.1 and at end B is -0.3, the point would be placed 25 percent of the way from A to B.

    I hope that made a little more sense.

    What is interesting is that Minecraft doesn't always use voxel calculations for what I am assuming it being costly and inefficient.

    As far as i know Minecraft uses voxels only to procedurally create the landscape. After that you have polygons.

    I think some of us aren't aware or forget that everything has to be rasterized for screen display or printing, no matter what method the shape was calculated. So by the time it hits our screens or paper they aren't voxels anymore but interpreted pixels. I think there are some screens that can line draw, but I don't that has manifested itself commonly. I heard about this a few years ago as possibility for future tech, but haven't heard much about it since.

    I'm really glad to see this sort of thing affecting development of newer games. It can help shift the current design paradigm and broaden our horizons.

    The devs at Pathea (Planet Explorers) are doing a lot more than just reimplementing Minecraft or Cubeworld. I think they are taking some of those ideas and iterating on them, but they are also adding their own ideas to the game design. The game could end up offering a lot to those who like to build, or just want to adventure, or do both. It would be a blast to design and share our own campaigns.

    Planet Explorers uses a marching cubes algorithm for the landscape. I really like their approach especially since they use a real 3D version of the marching cubes that is able to create caves. Many games use simplified versions that are only able to create surfaces which makes it 2D ( yes, the surface looks 3D but it is not ).

    I have been experimenting with voxels using GPU based approaches to create more complex procedural landscapes and you can do amazing things entirely in GPU only which frees up your CPU. The problem this procedural approach has is that it is not instant and we need to find ways to "mask" the chunk loading and the level of detail subdivision. I am sure we will see a lot more voxel based solutions in the near future when GPUs become even more powerful.

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