Ok, its about time you got to see how far I got changing Dreamland over to isometric yeah? Ok here we go.
First off, just a quick mention, I'm going to go with a flurry of updates to a number of games, I'm aiming for 7 games, 7 updates for the end of the year, perhaps more if I can manage it (probably not, as Dreamland tends to get 75% of my time lately :p), expect your first one within two weeks; I'll probably make it as late as possible to see if I can squeeze anymore out.
Dreamland should be one of them, while I won't be releasing any gameplay still, I will be releasing an updated version of my version of the Universe as we know it, this time with nearby solar systems, some of which has exoplanets discovered or awaiting confirmation.
Geldonyetich has started a similar project, good luck! It will most certainly suck out most of your time for questionable amount of content, but its all about having fun!. That said, its a nice kick in the butt to get me to do stuff rather than watching my pretty solar systems dance around the screen, something I do do, quite a lot.
Alright, enough of that, back to what was promised; screenshots.
The transition to isometric has given me a good chance to introduce new features as well as improve the graphics at least slightly. Some of this stuff has been covered before, but today I give a round up of the entire "Start Game", that is the pre-life stage setting out your environment. The game starts much like the previous version did, a basic click starting the big bang:
Hardly exciting I know, but the further down you go, the more progressive the content of the game. Dreamland now allows multiple maps per level, where previously it would only allow one. This means more than one planet can be developed, more than one solar system, one galaxy etc you get the picture. You probably won't want/need to do more than one "filament", but when you get there (the next stage after the big bang) you'll be presented with a new screen for "Recombination" a new stage. Recombination is for making the Universe transparent, one of the first things it does after the big bang. For ease, it does not effect anything later on, you just have to wipe out the screen as such:
Good stuff good stuff so far. Ok, now to get onto something that matters, lets stop filling the game with repetitive no-influencing-gameplay matters! The next stage is Reionisation, yep that was in the game before, now prettied up slightly and effecting more. This plays the same as the non-isometric version and is like a reversal of Recombination you want to fill up the screen instead of emptying it:
What you do here will make a difference, what your clicking on next are Groups and Clusters. The darker orange ones are clusters, these contain more galaxies than groups; you are more likely to find elliptical galaxies in these due to the higher chance of galaxy mergers. Groups are smaller, expect to see more spirals. Galaxy formation is another new stage, previously you'd go through something of an anti-reionisation stage which didn't make any sense at all so that has been changed to this; something much prettier and meanwhile:
Much better! We can now look at what we're actually living in now! Shapes we see and recognise through our telescopes. After selecting a Galaxy, we get to see its "Solar Neighbourhoods". A structure I kind of made up for the purpose of generation, you get to see the rough design of your galaxy in a spinning, true to life level of speed. For easier recognition and to make it pretty, I make each "quadrant" a different colour:
It doesn't mean anything, and at the moment it doesn't matter which one you click. It also doesn't quite work as intended, and the spiral Galaxies in particular aren't quite the spirally look I have in mind, but it is still pretty good :p something to work on. You now get to select your actual star! Previously, you'd be limited to a minor 24 different systems to decide from, this time you can get up to 200 different designs simply from each box of your galaxy, looking something like this:
Now your really spoilt for choice! There are currently 7 different types of stars, each for a classification of the main sequence. I have also included brown and white dwarfs for the purpose of modelling our Universe, but not yet available in the generated gameplay. Still, if your lucky you can sometimes get at least one of each 7 stars from one box alone, so it ain't too bad. Your star will actually look like a star at this point, and planet generation can begin (hooray!). By the time your done, it should look a little like this...
Awesome, you now have a few planets to play with. You've already seen the basics of this stage through the model I've uploaded, each coloured "ring" includes different styles of planets based on their distance from the Sun. The Habitable zone is in brown, past the red square of the hot zone. This is followed by the blues, first the ring of gas and ice giants, and finally by deep space rock and ice dwarf planets. Plenty of work here still needed to be done, but lets get into a planet:
The final new stage you get to see today, Moon generation acts much like planet generation except a bit quicker and with less to play for. Funny enough, this one actually went well and I got 4 clean Moons out of my field. Admittedly, this is probably the stage I need to work on most, primarily because I only just got round to it a few days ago and still latching off the same code as Planetary formation. I want to change this to a kind of "ring" ability of forming planets so we can do similar things as to what we theorise about Saturn and other planets like Neptune. The idea of "Moons of Moons" has also been theorised but never proven, its an idea which is technically possible in-game, but I've decided to block it off for now.
And finally, we get to the planet! Huzzah, finally a reason to be in isometric. It is already looking cool, and that is before I've even tried to improve anything. The perspective of height is a great benefit over the previous version, which was way too blocky of single colours. I'll leave you with one more of the water levels. The final part I've got so far is raising the level of the liquid content, so far only water is available, but lava and other liquid compounds will be available, reflecting your planet's type. That is the end of the Start game in Dreamland, after that its back to forming Amino acids, something else I'll try and improve on over last time; and then its to cellular life!
I may stick some more screenshots on my wiki, when I get round to updating it a bit more. I'll let you know (with a link too) when that comes available. Hope you've enjoyed this post, you might not get another for a while :p
PS: I do intend to do something bout those ugly black triangles in the corners, they should end up as some kind of HUD.