Elite Dangerous talks about Odyssey’s planetary engine updates and improvements in a livestream

    
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This past Thursday, Elite: Dangerous held a livestream with lead render programmer Dr. Kay Ross to talk about how the Odyssey expansion would change the way planets are created, as well as offer a few tidbits on what these changes mean for the game’s planetary bodies.

Through the use of a variety of different techniques, planets in Odyssey should have more accurate visual features based on things like gravitational stresses the crust goes under, the proportion of crust to magma to core, how cratered a planet would be, and whether it’s tidally locked among other things. This effectively means that planets should have features and vistas that make more sense visually as well as scientifically. This tech will be applied to every landable planet currently in-game as well as new ones being added.

Speaking of visuals, lighting will also be improved in Odyssey, which will be even more obvious on planets that have an atmosphere according to Dr. Ross, and rocky-ice worlds will have more distinct visuals than simply icy worlds. Finally, atmospheric worlds will have weather visuals, though it doesn’t sound like there will be a weather rendering system. Planets with poles will also have different biomes (or geomes as Dr. Ross puts it), and outpost and Guardian ruins sites will look a bit more natural on the surfaces that they’re placed.

You can watch the full livestream below or check out the official Q&A synopsis.

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Darkedone02

I am actually curious if they continue to support VR in this new expansion of theirs.

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PhoenixDfire

At the moment, you’ll be able to still fly and drive around the new planets in VR with no problems. The issue is when you get out of the ship, then the VR shifts to Flat screen mode. They haven’t solved the mobility issue yet (unlike NMS, which has a really nice interface IMO) but they say they’re still going to work on it.

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Darkedone02

Well that’s good, it be interesting to test everything out in VR mode.

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BalsBigBrother

I really hope they nail this and it’s well received when they release it. Given how long it’s been worked on and the content has been somewhat on the light side while they did so it feel a bit make or break to me.

Personally I hope I have managed to get a PS5 by then so I can enjoy the console version in its fullest glory when that is released towards the end of the year (all being well.)

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styopa

Nice to see the update, but considering I think they’re still quoting SPRING 2021 as release, it’s fairly light on details. (And…AFAIK we really haven’t seen IN GAME PLAY footage since Alpha….? That’s usually a bad sign for something supposedly on the verge of release….)

While I think walking about has been much demanded (plus, really a lot for ‘walking around in your ship which I totally don’t “get”), I rather suspect there’s going to be a fair amount of disappointment in the implementation.

The engine isn’t fundamentally an FPS. It’s more like a WWI flight sim with a very sophisticated costume on. I believe the fan base just “wants” without really recognizing the astonishing complexity of what they’re trying to do.