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Empire in the Sky is an independently developed PC video game set in a stylized 1960s-1980s retro cartoon universe with blatant and extensive references to NASA and other "Space Race" icons. Much of the data is modeled after real life, so you might even learn something! This is the "lava lamp" of space RPG shooters! Travel the cosmos in a fully customizable spacecraft -- designed by you (or us). Fight or befriend scores of alien civilizations in your quest to rule the cosmos, while exploring a rich, procedurally generated world that includes planets, planetary bases, towns, cities and starbases. Build a nearly limitless and vast empire that stretches across hundreds of star systems, on thousands of planets! Empire in the Sky optionally lets you build your own starbases and planetary bases, and enhance your designs by crafting individual spacecraft parts.

RSS Feed Lost Astronaut's Empire in the Sky Desura Exclusive: Planetary Settings

An update to our development progress for Lost Astronaut's Empire in the Sky. This article covers beam weapons and planetary surfaces.

Posted by LostAstronaut on Oct 30th, 2012

Lost Astronaut's Empire in the Sky is a space shooter like none before.  Combing aspects of building, exploration, roleplay and combat, we've got an engine that takes retro to a whole new level.

Keeping with our theme of "lava lamp", the game has some great new animations created to enhance the space combat engine, as well as a polished procedural planet engine that has never been seen before in 2D / 2.5D games.

In space combat, beam weapons now deflect off enemy shields.  This is a key aspect to beam weapons, which effect only enemies after their shields have been brought down by other  means.  Additionally, the beams from your starship will soon effect planets as well -- great way to subjugate those annoying protesting galactic citizens.

Deflection of Beam Weapons

We tried several methods of generating planets about two years ago including tile maps, a cheap texture wrapper, and a wide area map with some pretty lame looking trees.  Flash forward  to the present, we've got a great engine being built that encompasses many features not seen since K-D Labs' Perimeter.

Using over 400 textures as source material, our game now has a wide array of unique looking planetary landscapes, which we are using to generate procedural landscapes in a way that has never been tried before.  This ended up being lighter weight than the previously attempted methods, and with great results which you can see in this article.

Our lead designer wants us to mention that the game really needs to be experienced to be understood.  Recent experiences on Steam Greenlight have proven to us that people may not really be that impressed by the game at first glance.  Screen shots don't do this one justice at all -- it really has to be seen to be appreciated.

At the bottom of this article you'll see several screenshots of planetary surfaces.  Make sure to head over to our Images page on Desura and click the "HD" button to see the tremendous detail in these terrains.

We're busily working on an advanced weather system that matches AAA expectations, complete with lightning, snow, ice, rain, acid rain, ash, static discharges, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, clouds and wind.  We're going to add rocks, crystals, alien life forms (plants and animals), civilizations and places of interest.  Some of these places of interest will lead to a 2D platformer engine, mentioned in previous posts, which will host some 2D side-scrolling mayhem, or end up in an overhead engine for a dungeon-crawling experience.

Another Planet Surface

This game is becoming an epic Frankenstein, but when it's done we hope everyone enjoys it and makes it their own.  Download the alpha support demo today to find out more about this game's core engine.

More shots:

Planetary Surfaces More Surface Samples
Screen shots

Post comment Comments
Insolent. Oct 31 2012, 9:38am said:

The procedural planet generation is quite cool! I like the way it forms convincing geological features like canyons.

+1 vote     reply to
LostAstronaut Nov 6 2012, 12:45am replied:

Newer iterations now boast more features such as precipitation, accumulation, lightning, tidal forces, drought and monsoon seasons.

+1 vote     reply to
daeo Dec 20 2012, 3:46pm said:

Haven't played the game yet, but would this also include custom lander/rovers and city building with industry?

+1 vote     reply to
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