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October 31, 2014, 08:18:39 PM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityCompetitionsOld CompetitionsProcedural GenerationDyson [FINISHED] [website launched!]
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Author Topic: Dyson [FINISHED] [website launched!]  (Read 88776 times)
Alex May
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« on: May 12, 2008, 04:56:11 AM »

Visit the official site for Dyson

Download Dyson

Dyson is a colonisation game where you take a set of self-replicating mining machines and attempt to gain control of an entire asteroid belt.

The game is by Rudolf "Borsato" Kremers (web) and me, Alex "haowan" May (web). The music and sound effects are by Brian "Milieu" Grainger (web).

Got some tasty Dyson feedback? Please leave it in the feedback thread. Thanks! Beer!




If you like the music, please visit Milieu's site. He is a great chap. He also provided most of the sound effects.

Procedural elements of the game:
All of the visuals except for the font and the palettes (and the location of UI elements etc of course) are generated procedurally. The game generates a number of textures at startup, mostly based on trigonometry and inverse-square laws. The asteroids are then distributed randomly around the system, sorted so they aren't too close together, and then the players are scattered around. The trees are L-Systems, that I modified to grow in real-time. The elemental make-up of an asteroid is determined randomly, but affects the appearance of the seedlings generated on each asteroid. Leaner ships with prominent wings have a high speed rating, while the seedlings with larger noses have a higher strength rating. Energy affects overall seedling size. The root systems grow over time to become fairly interesting networks.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 05:42:42 AM by haowan » Logged

Rudolf Kremers
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008, 05:00:10 AM »

Haowan and me are having great fun with this, and without giving away too many surprises I want to share some of the inspiration for the game.

First and foremost, the title.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_dyson
I have always been fascinated by the work of Freeman Dyson (what a name) who has done some great writing and philosophising on space exploration and similar geeky goodness. There are too many great things to have sprung from his mind to mention  but check the wiki page for some choice examples like the Dyson Sphere, the Dyson Tree and specifically the Astrochickenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrochicken. (yes that is the real name)

Now this idea of space exploration aided by the astrochicken points at another mad man of science, Johann Von Neumann. His ideas led to the concept of the Von Neumann Machine, a self replicating robot built for space exploration.
Wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann

Here is a quote from the page:

Quote
“Von Neumann also created the field of cellular automata without the aid of computers, constructing the first self-replicating automata with pencil and graph paper. The concept of a universal constructor was fleshed out in his posthumous work Theory of Self Reproducing Automata.[13] Von Neumann proved that the most effective way of performing large-scale mining operations such as mining an entire moon or asteroid belt would be by using self-replicating machines, taking advantage of their exponential growth.”

Think about it, if you add procedural generation and  throw all these concept together and you have a near perfect set of game mechanics for this concept. (Well that is what we think anyway)

Oh, and also this:



Keep an eye on this thread to see how we are progressing. :-)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 05:20:06 AM by Borsato » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 05:25:16 AM »

Sounds amazing, and already looks beautiful!

Watching this one, for sure.
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Terry
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 05:26:38 AM »

This looks like it could be pretty fantastic! And that PG tree is gorgeous Kiss
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FARTRON
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 06:35:41 AM »

He also designed one hell of a vacuum cleaner.

I'm really psyched for this.
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Melly
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 06:36:12 AM »

Wants myself sum Dyson.

Damnit more and more too awesome entries, mine is gonna suck in comparison.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 08:44:25 AM »

well that looks like some good stuff,. keep at it!  interesting concepts should lead to interesting games!
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Alex May
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 09:04:11 AM »

Thanks guys! More updates soon.

well that looks like some good stuff,. keep at it!  interesting concepts should lead to interesting games!

I remember playing a similarly-themed game of yours one time, but I can't find it on your site.
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 09:06:40 AM »

 Kiss Looks cool guys, good luck!
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 09:12:32 AM »

My game also features little spherical planets. Is this becoming an indie cliché now?
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2008, 10:24:41 AM »

My game also features little spherical planets. Is this becoming an indie cliché now?

Indie cliché? No.

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Sar
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2008, 10:37:05 AM »

My game also features little spherical planets.

As opposed to all those non-spherical planets? ;-)
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2008, 10:38:31 AM »

My game also features little spherical planets.

As opposed to all those non-spherical planets? ;-)

Like the beautiful oblate spheroid on what we live called Earth?  ;-)
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2008, 10:58:54 AM »

Are you in a British sitcom? Because I think you just got served.
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Sar
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2008, 04:27:44 PM »

Are you in a British sitcom? Because I think you just got served.

I'm British, it's a start, what?

And now, some comedy, relevant to the situation:

An owner wins a big prize when his best horse comes in first at the Grand National, and resolves to spend a decent portion of his winnings wisely; he hires a biologist, an engineer and a physicist, and instructs them to return in a month with a plan to secure a win at the next Grand National in a year's time; whoever has the best plan gets hired to implement it.

A month later, his boffins return and pitch their ideas. The biologist starts:

"I've been examining nutrition, and I think I can improve the diet of your horses to give them a 5-10% edge - it should be enough to get the best of them ahead of the pack."

The owner is interested, but 5-10% is not so impressive; the engineer takes a turn:

"I've been looking at aerodynamics, and I think that by re-shaping the saddle and getting the jockey to wear a particular helmet we should be able to cut drag by 10-20%."

Intringuing, but the owner motions for the physicist to pitch:

"I've been working on simulations - I've come up with a model which should allow us to work out exactly what parameter changes we need to make to ensure your horse certainly wins the race."

"Oh? This is magnificent! Please explain!"

"Well, first we assume that the horse is a perfect sphere of unit size, moving through a vacuum..."




Thank you, you've been a wonderful audience.
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2008, 07:09:53 PM »

Sometimes I think my references are a bit too obscure.

Anyway, despite being in space and having little round planets, this game looks significantly different from my game. I was just commenting that little planets seem to be a thing these days.
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Melly
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2008, 08:42:37 PM »

Sometimes I think my references are a bit too obscure.

Anyway, despite being in space and having little round planets, this game looks significantly different from my game. I was just commenting that little planets seem to be a thing these days.

Little planets are awesome. More games need little planets.

And floating islands.
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Rudolf Kremers
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2008, 10:55:35 PM »

Sometimes I think my references are a bit too obscure.

Anyway, despite being in space and having little round planets, this game looks significantly different from my game. I was just commenting that little planets seem to be a thing these days.

The little planets are actually sylised representations of asteroids in a large asteroid belt. They are round for now as we need the scope manageable, and I have aready given Haowan a momentous amount of things to include.  :-) The player will be able to interact with all the asteroids in the belt and to make that possible we are shying away from complex shapes, at least for the moment.
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Alex May
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2008, 11:43:42 PM »

What I *really* want to do with the asteroids is have the surface of the asteroid defined procedurally, enabling different types of asteroid surface, and smooth LOD to go with it. We'll see if there's time; at this point I doubt it.

They *were* randomly generated...

... but it was considered too complex for the problems we needed to solve at this point. These asteroids look more interesting of course, so hopefully we can get something close to this in the future.
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William Broom
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2008, 12:02:44 AM »

Nice! I love Dyson spheres, and Le Petit Prince. Wasn't there someone here who likes the manga BLAME? That has Dyson spheres in it. Well, just one, really.
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