Game Realism - Should it Matter?
Something I've been battling with recently when contemplating the procedural universe generation for Galliventurer. How realistic should the properties of celestial objects be? In the real world/universe, star's are visible colours because of their size & temperature, which in turn is based on: their age, elemental composition, and the type of fusion happening within. But should the universe of Galliventurer be limited to these factors? There will already be the stretching of realism with faster than light travel, more attractive and habitable planets than you can shake a laser at, not to mention alien races that you'll be able to understand, communicate & trade with.
|star forming nebula|
When playing a game about flying through the great vast emptiness of space, the idea is there shouldn't actually be too much emptiness. Emptiness is boring. Nothing happens in the empty, nothing good anyway. The fine line will be in finding the balance between not too much stuff, but also not too much empty. Before I tackle those particular hurdles, we also need to think of a coordinate system to allow for the player to navigate where they are without a point of reference. All realistic models (that I can find and have any hope of understanding) use Earth as the reference.
But Earth is a long forgotten myth in Galliventurer, we've been out amongst the stars for eons. Long enough for degradation of knowledge and technical regression. But let's leave that for another post.
So the tl;dr of it all, to begin with at least, the procedural generation will be based on a few lists of properties and randomly matched together (see other post here about that). This will undoubtedly produce some things that probably won't be strictly realistic, but it will be a start at least. As for the co-ordinate system, I had an idea to have each new celestial object have a list of the closest systems, this will allow for a triangulation (of sorts) as to where the object or system fits into the universe. This co-ordinate system should also help for displaying a map of the discovered universe - soon to be displayed on the website!