About planetary missions and how we could possibly go about generating them

So anyway I decided to make a topic about planetary missions because there’s a lot of potential there, in my opinion.Yes, the weapons are being balanced, new wave mechanics are being added, I’m not blind. So anyway, we have these planet types:

  • Alien Worlds
  • Terran Planets
  • Gas Giants
  • Artificial Satellites
  • Barren Rock
  • Inferno

Now, of course each of these types should have their own mission styles. And so:

Now, the abomination that you see below this text is the diagram that shows the different types of missions available on a terran planet/alien world. Of course, I’m assuming that Alien Worlds are recolored Terran Planets, with a different colored atmosphere and ocean, but I’ll have to know iA’s thought process on developing those planet types.

So anyway, methinks that first you need a Heat Shield to make an entry into the planet and access missions from there. In fact, I think Heat Shields should have 3 levels, that goes something like this:

Level 1: Enter orbit around Hot Planets
Level 2: Enter atmospheres of normal planets and orbit around stars.
Level 3: Enter atmospheres of Hot Planets.

Of course, changing the UI costs keys too, so we shouldn’t devise more ways for people to spend keys. Anyway, yeah, first you have to play an Atmospheric Reentry mission to get in the planet. About clouds, they probably could obstruct vision in some areas which would be a cool mechanic.

From this point, you have two ways of approaching things:

  • Fly missions over the planet, basically, you move parallel to the surface.
  • Fly missions through the planet, which means that you move, well, through the planet.

By flying missions over the planet, you have the surface in the background while chickens make your life hell. The surface can be land or ocean. Depending on how close you are to the surface, clouds may or may not obstruct your vision. Heck, you could even swim ocean missions with the ocean floor in the background. No interaction with the surface in this type.

Flying through the planet was basically what we have been doing in CI5: directly interacting with the surface, and finding your way through the planet.

For ocean missions, there could be an item called watertight hull, that allows you to access missions below water.

And then there are the dry caves and wet caves. These are pretty self-explanatory. I think that while the generation of missions shouldn’t generate a new cave each time a new mission is played. I think that there should be a fixed system of caves, while the route and chickens spawned should vary. It would also be cool if we could transition from dry caves to wet caves.

So basically, most of the possible mission types on planets have been covered. So, some planets can only have some of these types because the Environment affects it that way, like this:

  • Inferno: Dry Cave, Atmospheric Entry, Surface. All weapons heat up 20% faster.
  • Gas Giant: Atmosphere Entry and Deep Atmosphere missions. All “physical” weapon projectiles are 10% slower, while and Energy Weapons are boosted with a 5% damage buff.
  • Artificial Satellites & Barren Rock: Only Surface Missions. No effects, but special enemies can appear on these missions.
  • Alien Worlds & Terran Planets: Atmospheric Entry, Surface, Wet and Dry caves, Underwater missions.
  • Frozen Worlds: All projectiles are 10% slower, but Overheat rate is also decreased by 25%.
  • Electromagnetic Worlds: All energy based weapons are given a 25% damage buff.

And it’s time for generation of the actual terrain itself. The first one I want to tackle is the caves, because the others are much more straightforward.

A while back @kokokokos suggested an idea for missions in caves.Planetary missions generator My suggestion for it is not to completely randomize the caves each time you go inside, but rather have a fixed system of caves, for example cave_1, cave_2, cave_flood_1, and cave_flood_2. Now, cave_1 branches off into cave_flood_2 and cave_flood_1. cave_flood_1 in turn connects to cave_2, which in turn branches off to cave_1 or cave_flood_2. Basically, this png.

It seems quite simple, but for example you could have a level that starts in cave_1, leads to flood_1, leading to cave_2 , leading to flood_2. From there, most others are straightforward. A zoomed in version of the planet’s heightmap can serve to be scrolling behind for flying over missions, while a separate surface map would need to be made for, well, surface missions.

The one problem is that while the episodes were realistic about the size of the spaceship in relation to planets, in CIU most ships are nearly a tenth of the size of a planet. And of course, the whole matter of orbital physics in the game anyway, because planets on inner rings should travel faster than those on the outside. So, what do you think?

  • More realistic size and proportions
  • Keep it the way it is
  • idk

0 voters

  • We don’t need planetary missions.
  • We need planetary missions.
  • Conflicted opinion.

0 voters


I think once we’re done rebalancing weapons, bosses, enemies, waves and all that exciting stuff, it’ll be time to start thinking about planetary missions.

I’m quite optimistic on that matter because I believe everyone wants planetary missions. I’d be really surprised if there are people against them.

Perhaps we could make something like what qbus requested a while back:

But with a twist. What if we have not only cave systems, but what you proposed as well? I.e. two types of planetary missions on the same planet?

I’m aware it might not be the best thing for the game in terms of file size, but I think it’s worth making it heavier. The possibilities for planetary missions are endless, and honestly, I’d love it if IA explores these ideas and implement them in their highest potential.

Like I said though, this has to wait. At least to be added. Meanwhile we could discuss more.


Dude, I did put that disclaimer at the top. Of course it’s meant for post-WBP.


Sorry I didn’t see again :confounded:


It’s okay, be careful next time and read carefully.

It’s not like I disregarded the whole thing at least. I just didn’t see the disclaimer, but I read the rest.


Some things have been edited in. Look at original post please.

Geezus, couldn’t you use text tool to write text instead of this horrible handwriting?


Okay, I can’t tell if this second cave system idea was edited in now or if it existed before, but I wanna talk about it. Or rather why it’s impossible to achieve.

Qbus’ original idea was simple and straight-forward - one-directional generated cave systems that are connected via code and finally there’s a boss.

What you are suggesting however is literally impossible to program. I mean, literally. There’s no way to do that in code without losing your sanity (and I’m a firm believer it’s unachievable).

First of all, you’d have to determine the ship’s angle relative to the cave system. Since they would be randomly generated, that would be impossible to achieve unless IA figures out how to rotate your ship such that it matches the direction of the tunnels - perhaps if tunnels are different parts. But then there’s another problem. Not even advanced games like Minecraft and Terraria that depend entirely on world generation have perfect cave systems. In fact, you might find connected caves in these games, but that’s entirely the result of RNG and not even an “intended” feature. A single continuous cave system created solely by random generation is impossible. There will always be dead ends, random holes in the terrain, other holes filled with water for example, etc.

That’s why IA can’t add such specialized cave generation. In CI5 it worked because planetary missions were hard-coded.

Now this isn’t supposed to be taken as offensive - not at all, I just explained why it can’t happen. But what about I do the opposite now - what about qbus’ post?

Well, number one, qbus’ cave generation would have only one direction - either left or right. That means only one angle to deal with. That eliminates 3/4 of our problems. As for how they would be connected, making straight linear caves is more than simple. It would be like a breeze in code. You arrange some parts randomly or create a per-chunk generator from scratch (whatever IA decides to do). In the first scenario, each pre-made part could simply be connected with terrain just like qbus proposed. In scenario two, chunks could be for example 128x128 pixels or 256x256 pixels and then do some dark ancient magic to make generation work. The first idea is much simpler, but idea #2 isn’t too impossible to implement.

EDIT: If you guys remember qbus’ suggestion about manual spacecraft angle control:

The second proposed cave generation system might become a tiiiiny bit more doable, especially if it controls the direction you’re flying in. In that case angles might not pose such a threat, but like I said, such cave generation might still be really really hard to make.
I’m saying manual rotation could be indigenous only to such planetary missions by the way.


Well, mine is also not randomizing them every time. It is only randomized once when the mission is created so if you favorite the mission you found it is always played the same.

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At the very early stages of development I considered if/how planetary missions could be added to CIU. I ultimately decided that it was way too much effort, because those missions work on a completely different framework on CI5.

I did, however, think about how you would randomly generate such missions and I came up with something roughly equivalent to Planetary missions generator . The main issue was few (none?) of the existing enemy formations could be used, because they don’t take account “terrain areas”. A whole new set of waves specific to each terrain would have to be created.

So the idea was shelved. It’s quite possible that it will eventually make it in CIU, but it’s definitely not going to be during Early Access.


Does this also mean we won’t get to see the 4 exclusive bosses from Ci5 until we’re out of Early Access? I mean, I don’t have many issues with it, though I believe the boss from Eta Astropelecae could potentially work out of the planetary mission. Either as an alternate Comet Chase boss (as comets are cold), or having “Ice Novas” (which would technically be Supernova missions but with the cold theming from Eta Astropelecae, along with the “frozen chick” debris/enemies showing up within the usual ice debris Eta Astropelecae offers in some of its waves) on Cold Planets.


Okay, well, I got all that. Thanks.

Yes, it does. You are correct in noting that Eta Astropelecae would be the only potential exception, but it couldn’t be a straight port since some of the attacks depend on a terrain being there. So it will just have to wait, too.


What about Fly the Coop, as mentioned before in this thread? Terrain doesn’t seem to have any role there.

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Although perhaps it’s hard to tell, Fly the Coop is implemented as a planetary mission just like all the others, and it requires the same infrastructure. So it’ll have to wait as well.


I would like to bring up one thing: Gas Giants. Since IRL they don’t have a clear surface it may be possible to integrate that though there may be a problem in matching the color of the planet to that of the atmosphere. It does have no terrain, so it could function much the same way as an open space mission as terrain is not a problem.

True. But then the planet could just be a decorative background element. If memory serves, there was an idea about that a long time ago.

:thinking: You wouldn’t be able to see it as close, though. The texture would not withstand so much zooming.


There could be the “environment” changes that I mentioned: Slower bullets for physically based weapons(UP, Corn Shotgun, Vulcan Chaingun and Co.) to make it ever so slightly immersive. Also if visibility could be affected by “thick” and “thin” clouds, that would be kinda distinctive for its environment. However, I think a separate sprite sheet should be kept for Gas Giant missions can correspond to the colors of the planet it’s being played on, though that’d be a problem as I don’t think that it is stored as one of the planet’s attributes. (I’m just guessing.)

I was thinking the lightning attacks could work without terrain, just that they no longer have an “impact zone”, but then I just remembered about the attack where it would call ice comets that could crash into the ground and split if they do. Without terrain, this attack would work similarly to one of Bossa Nova’s attack, which might make it less of a threat as opposed to its original fight. But it would still work.

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