Quick Thorium Nova Update - 2D Universe

Alex Anderson 🚀Alex Anderson 🚀, March 6, 2024

Hey everyone. Happy Thorium Thursday!

Quick Update: I've decided to scrap/stash a lot of the work that I've done on the 3D universe. It's become incredibly daunting to make it all work with

  • Good UX for the crew and flight director
  • Good performance from the 3D rendering engine
  • AI behaviors and NPC ship movements

Cutting down one of the dimensions will make all of this much easier, and hopefully will help me break through writers programmers block and make some more progress on this project.

I'm disappointed, certainly. I want to make a super awesome 3D spaceship bridge sim. It's just really really daunting, and I'd prefer to have a 2.5D bridge sim far more.

So, what does this mean?

  • Only yaw thrusters. No pitch, roll, up, or down.
  • Everything exists on the same plane
  • It's possible that some of the 3D views, like the navigation and star map stay 3D, but it's also likely they become 2D. Haven't decided yet - depends on performance and ease of development.
  • The Flight Director screen becomes much simpler and easier to work with, since you don't have to worry about Y positions.
  • The viewscreen will remain 3D, rendering 3D models in a 3D world, but all of the objects will exist on a 2D plane. Hence 2.5D.

In other words, Thorium Nova (or at least this iteration) will become more like Artemis or Empty Epsilon.

It is possible, after everything else is built, that I reintroduce full 3D to Thorium Nova. Perhaps as an optional add-on or something. But that won't happen for a long time.

As an aside, there should be a new alpha release on Github - the last one with the 3D universe. Enjoy!