Developer Blog #4: My God, It's Full of Stars
In addition to planets, stars have a very large role in Lord of Rigel. Star colors (spectral type) are based on their temperature. That helps determine what types of planets, from rocky barren worlds to the Earth-like terran types, are in orbit. We've noticed with many games they go one of two directions: either they use very abstract star types with colors not found in reality (purple or green stars) or they tend to go with very technical models with specific spectral types and temperatures. We wanted to walk a line using intuitive types (Red, Orange, Yellow, White Blue) that reflect reality while being easy to intuit what types of planets might be round around each. Hotter stars (blue and white) will tend to have more barren or irradiated planets while Orange and Yellow stars will have a wider range of planets. Cold red stars will tend to have more Mars like desert worlds and icey tundra worlds like Jupiter's moon Europa.
Probabilities for what types of planets are around stars are handled in .json tables. These tables are planned on being available to the community so you can adjust galaxy settings, and the rates things spawn around different stars. If you want Brown Dwarf stars to spawn 10 better than Earth worlds, you can!
In the game we have two versions of each star, the first is a 3d model used in star system view which uses surface textures, a corona texture, and a lens flare effect to get the appearance seen. The second version are sprites used on strategic view. Sprites are 2d images oriented to face the camera. Below shows what happens when you don't properly assign sprite textures or align things such as planet labels quite right.
When sprites are properly assigned, aligned, and spawned in the galaxy generator the end result is a bit more pleasing to the eyes. Exploration is a major part of Lord of Rigel. When starting a new game you'll know where stars are located, but not the name of systems or planets that are present. Star colors give an intuitive sense of what type of worlds are present, and so will help you prioritize which systems to explore and colonize in the early game.
We're aiming for releasing a demo of our galaxy generation in the coming weeks. So you'll be able to see Lord of Rigel's stars and planets for yourself soon.