It's been awhile since I worked with Unity--been too distracted with Legend of Grimrock. I decided to try to get something done today, breaking apart the project into bite size chunks. I figured I might as well start tackling the heart of the game first, and spent the morning getting a basic system worked out for orbiting the planets around the sun. I'm not quite satisfied with this--for one thing, I can't seem to work out a way to make the planets rotate in sync with their orbit. I'm guessing there's some heavy math involved in something like that, so I might just fudge it. No reason (I can think of) why I can't just pick some textures that won't make much difference how they're angled. In other words, making a ringed planet like Saturn look right would probably drive me nuts, so I might just stick to rocky worlds and gas giants. At any rate, I'm fairly pleased with this part. Now I just need to make some ships that will rotate around their respective planets.
One thing that is already sticking in my craw, though, is screen estate. I think I'm going to have to go above the standard web resolution to make this thing playable. Otherwise, the ships and especially the missiles will just be too small to see. In my estimate, I'm going to need at least twice the present resolution to make it playable. I want the finished version to have at least a half dozen or so orbiting planets, and perhaps some moons thrown in for good measure, to make it really tricky to get the shots right.
Still lots of big hurdles ahead...I'm predicting the hardest part of the gameplay code will be the effects of gravity on the projectiles. Each planet will need to project a gravitational field, so that if a missile gets within range, it'll pull it slightly towards it. And I haven't even started thinking about the multiplayer part yet.
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