“Natural” disasters

Hello everyone,

I’m going to talk a bit about a catastrophic effect that we have in Gemini Wars, which can be seen in the screenshots taken in sequence.

The animation is quite slow, to give a really realistic look.
I won’t say why we need this in the game (no spoilers), but we do. :)

Before we implemented this, we researched a lot on how other people are doing this in other media… in movies, to be more specific.

The only game that I know of that does this is Star Wars, but the way they blow up a planet in there is not quite what we are looking for.

Take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue3zbBu2Adw&feature=related

First it’s not an “in game” effect; it’s obviously taken in game, but they change cameras, etc.
Our planet blowing is supposed to run while the rest of the game is going on.
With this said, movies to the rescue.

Still Star Wars but now the movie, when Alderaan is blowing into pieces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDwgsZTQSyM

It’s very similar to the game; it’s obvious that the game designers based their effect on this.
But somehow, even in the movie this doesn’t look real. It’s way too fast; the planet breaks into 1000 pieces that instantly fly out of the camera.

Something like what can be seen in the Armageddon movie is much more realistic – the gigantic asteroid slowly approaching earth.

Second movie: Startrek 2009, where we see Vulcan being “eaten” by a Black hole.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wVEhafuF7A

It looks awesome. :)

But besides being a technical nightmare to do, it’s not what we were looking for.
We want the planet remains to stay in place like part of the scenario, and not just void where the planet once was.

The Third and last movie: actually series, not movie – Star Trek: Enterprise. The Xindi weapon destroying earth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHCNha9Xxas

Somehow, this looked much better when I saw the series a few years ago.
Everything looks awesome before second 0:43. The explosion is much slower than the one in Star Wars but although I believe it’s still too fast, I think this is the way to go.

Breaking the planet in gigantic pieces, and slowly move them away.

With this as an inspiration, and so many “dead planet art” all over the internet (yes,  there are a lot of people obsessed with dead planets), we came up with what you see in these screenshots.

What we haven’t decided yet, is what to do about gas giants. A gas giant cannot explode this way, so we need to come up with some cool way to deal with them.

Probably a mix of a planet shrinking with some particles in it, but not sure yet.

Signing out from the Gemini sector!

About The Author

jaket
Game developer, free thinker and amateur kickboxer. Co-owner & Producer @ Camel 101

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