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Shadow Empire Dev Diary #1 - Planet Generation

Published on December 20, 2019

by Victor Reijkersz

I am going to take you along on a visit to Shadow Empire. Shadow Empire is my upcoming new game. It is a hardcore turn-based 4X game. It mixes 4X elements, role-playing, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic with traditional hex&counter wargames. Honestly there is nothing else like it on the market.

It is a tough cookie of a game to win, but it is immersive, deep and full of promise.

In this first blog we’ll start at the beginning. Before you can start playing you’ll have to generate a new Planet.

Shadow Empire is a game that has a lot of procedural content. And since you’ll be playing on a planet this planet will of course be procedurally generated as well.

That is the topic for this first dev blog.

Rolling a new Planet

Rolling? Yes.. rolling. I use this word because there is a lot of similarity with rolling a character (with dice) in a role-playing game.

The reroll button will be prominently present during planet generation. During almost all phases of generation you’ll be able to use it.

Picking a planet class

The first thing to do when generating a planet is picking a planet class.

A true aficionado of random will of course chose the Unclassified class.

Here you can choose if you want a true random planet or one that is sure to have certain features. The Seth Class for example always ensures a desert planet, much like Mars. The Cerberus planet ensures volcanos, magma lakes and rivers. The Siwa Class ensures a biosphere and atmosphere that is (mostly) compatible with humans.

Planetology phase

After a class has been selected the astrophysical planet characteristics will be rolled.

This one looks almost like Earth except that it is 8 degrees hotter and has less gravity.

If you do not like these characteristics just press the reroll button.

This planet is 3.7 billion years old, that is enough time for evolution to take place. Furthermore, I think it will have enough gravity to not have lost all its water.

Geology phase

After the planetology data has been confirmed the map will be generated.

Some oceans and a nice mild climate. What more could I want?

If you do not like the map generated just press the reroll button.

The numbers shown on the map in this phase correspond with the annual rainfall in millimetres.

Biosphere phase

After the geology data has been confirmed evolution (if any) will be simulated.

Plenty of life! And big land-dwelling predators on top of that.

If you do not like the evolution results just press the reroll button.

Note that the atmospheric composition has been impacted by the emergence of life. Almost 15% oxygen in the atmosphere will help humans living here. Though I am afraid the Sulphur Dioxide is going to require the people living here to wear some sort of breathing masks.

Note that this planet has some sizeable deserts as well. And the high mountains seem to be covered in eternal snow.


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