APOCALYX is a...

free Game Engine based on OpenGL (MAIL) (SITE) (FORUM) (BLOG)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It’s full of stars!

There is an advantage in developing a GPL project: you can include nearly any other open source project in it. This is of great help, because I could never find the time, the resources and the capabilities to write a speech synthetizer, a full featured physics engine or a scripting language. That wasn’t necessary, because open source libraries performing all those features (and more) already exist.
That’s why you can find in APOCALYX so uncommon functions. When I decided to move from a simple 3D engine to a more complex game engine, a lot of libraries became of some interest even if they are usually ignored in games.
For example, some time ago I had an idea for a game set up in the Mediterranean Sea, based on naval commerces and wars from the ancient Greek-Persian conflict to the more recent Venetian-Turkish naval battles. It was an ambitious project, but as every “too large task for one-man army” it produced some useful spin-off. One obvious: the code for a better ocean than the ten years old one still performed in the engine demos. I also needed a realistic sky, with recognizable stars, because pilots had to choose directions also according to the position of stars (yes, it was a very ambitious project). The natural choice was to include in the engine a simple but accurate planetarium: I found it in Stellarium 0.4, that is open source, based on OpenGL and simpler than recent developments of the same program.
I can’t imagine any other application for those stars and planets, but it’s not bad to know that a realistic sky with accurate motion is there, waiting for the moment that you need to find your route in the world.

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