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

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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I feel like it’s a bad idea. CIU is a game where you must fly to planets (not counting challenges) to kill chickens. And releasing it without planetary levels? Right now planets have nearly nothing to do with gameplay. They are only serving as a point where you can choose missions which you could choose everywhere. The only thing that sometimes changes are visuals (like for example frozen planets). Releasing CIU without planetary missions will feel incomplete. It could maybe (just maybe) work like a big expansion update after release, but first impression is the most important.


Yeah, I’ve got a feeling that we should go over them type by type during Early Access because we need to experiment with them separately. I’d go with Surface missions first, then descend deeper.


To elaborate what qbus meant, he thinks (and so do I) that releasing the game without planetary missions will affect first impressions of the very first post-EA new players. Giving them this content would boost ratings quite a lot, and I’m not saying this from a materialistic point of view - it’s more about how entertaining the game ends up being. To make it clear, currently the game is pretty enjoyable - although I’d love to see some sweet weapon reworks - but planetary missions would give it a whole new dimension.


To be honest, I am pretty convinced that not adding the planetary missions during the Early Access might actually be a good thing. As IA said, adding them would require a lot of effort and resources, that right now are very needed for other aspects of the game. Those missions would likely be really fun, of course, but they aren’t mandatory for the game to succeed, unlike other things that need work right now. For now, it’s better to focus on CIU’s gameplay, player progression, endgame content and monetization. “Shiny” planetary missions really can wait. (That said, I am convinced that we can come up with something else, that would expand CIU in a similar way, but without needing to spend so many resources.)

Besides that, Planetary Missions have a huge potential when it comes to supporting the game post-launch. Releasing missions for each planet type, with big post-launch updates (each big update, one type of planet?) might actually have a better effect, than releasing CIU already with them. Giant “COMING SOON” message is almost unmatched when it comes to keeping player’s attention. It creates the feeling that game is growing, is supported and says that “something very cool is coming, so don’t quit now”.

So yeah, IMO @InterAction_studios has a point here.

Edit: Making one type of planetary missions in Early Access and then adding other post-launch, seems like a reasonable option aswell.


I don’t have a strong opinion on this either way, but I think leaving EA without planetary missions is a much less crucial and impacting decision than leaving EA without multiplayer, so wanted to bring that up.

I do definitely disagree with this, I’m afraid. Developing content with the express intent of shelving it later is both an inefficient use of developer time and a sign of poor game design.