So how broken is this game? Doesn't seem to be working whatsoever. Just floating around and nothing happens. Thought I was supposed to be devouring the galaxy.
A Hole In Space
A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
This game was created for the "Brackeys Game Jam 2020.1" from 16th to 23st of February 2020. The theme for this game jam was: "Holes". Due to some real life circumstances, this project had to be done in only five days.
You can also find our other projects here.
A Game Jam is a good opportunity to learn something new. For me it was time to learn more about Unity's Data Oriented Technology Stack (DOTS) feature. This provides access to the Entity Component System (ECS), the C# Job System for multithreaded code and the mighty Burst Compiler.
With that and the Universal Render Pipeline (URP) it was possible for me to create this project with such a huge scale. Unfortunately, I was not able to build in time for Linux or Mac due to a problem with the Burst Compiler.
This is a very slow-paced space simulation game. You take control of a small black hole, which roams through a universe. The movement is slow and sluggish, because everything moves by forces. Therefore, it is not advisable to try to fly with max speed, because the time you needed to accelerate is the same time you need to decelerate.
If you are suffering from epilepsy, this game is probably not for you. This is due to the huge amount of bright stars, which flicker and rotate around you.
Also, if you don't like slow games then this game is also not for you, because to achieve the goal you have to spare some time. The amount of time depends on how many stars you want in your universe.
The goal is to absorb the whole universe. First, absorb the nearby suns to grow in mass. Second, absorb the other black holes in the universe, if you are greater in mass. Third, absorb the rest of the universe through your new added huge mass.
You lost the game, if any black hole absorbs you. This happens if you get to close to them with a lesser mass.
- Every universe is unique due to procedural generation.
- There are 6 different galaxy forms to explore (Random, Circle, Sphere, Spiral-2-Arms, Spiral-4-Arms, Spiral-8-Arms).
- Each galaxy form can have a small, medium, large or huge size.
- Small: 1.000 Stars (potato PC)
- Medium: 10.000 Stars (medium laptop)
- Large: 100.000 Stars (good PC)
- Huge: 1.000.000 Stars (High-End-PC)
- Be careful if you choose "huge". If your PC is to weak, you can end up freezing your system and you have to reboot it. My setup with a I7-4790K@4,0GHz and a GTX 1070TI gets ~10 FPS at a huge galaxy.
Latest non Steam version: Press F1 to see the controls.
Game Jam Version:
- WASD or Arrow Keys: apply force to your black hole in camera view
- Mouse: rotate the camera view
- Mouse Wheel: zoom in/out
- F: toggle FPS on/off (works everywhere)
- H: toggle HUD on/off (works everywhere)
- ESC: 1. skip video / 2. go back to main menu if you're ingame
The forces you apply to the black hole are in camera direction. This means if you press W it moves away from you, S to you, etc.
- For those who have a VR headset and a strong stomach, a VR port is easily possible.
- Icon and Title is done by Cloud-Jumper05
- Music from Zapsplat
- Videos from corresponding specified source
- Programming by Clever AI
If you have any ideas, criticism or feedback, let me know in the comments.
Last but not least, have fun and embrace the void!
Just download, unzip it and run the executeable.
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It works fine for me. So please tell me your hardware specs.
It could be that due to the Hybrid Renderer you don't see anything if your hardware is not supported. I had one guy who had a very old graphics card which couldn't handle DirectX 11.1 and he didn't see anything as it could not render the stellar objects correctly.
I think the same happens to you.
As basic as it is, I love it. There's something really satisfying about gobbling up the entire universe as an omnivorous being. If only there was a way to get better frames on the huge universes...
At first I was wondering why the Steam version was paid, thinking it would be the same as the free version. Thanks for specifying, instant purchase from me. I'd love to see more content in the future!
Thank you very much!
You can tell me, what type of new content do you wish for the future?
Oh man, so many ideas... This game has got me hooked.
Though for starters, I'm more than sure there's a great amount of optimization that can be implemented to make the game run better. Late in a game, many graphical glitches will begin occurring such as the black hole's model becoming trapped in a certain spot or huge lights appearing. This also seems to be connected to performance drops. I also feel spaghettification could be reworked to be less GPU-intensive, such as replacing some of the particles with glowing wires (representing the light being pulled in strands). This would also look much, MUCH prettier. I attached a picture to give you a visual.
It would also be cool if there was a light bending effect around the black hole Itself, such as objects behind the black hole being reflected around it (if you've seen the GIF of the Earth orbiting a black hole, you know what I'm talking about). I'm not sure how hard this would be to program, though.
I'm sure I'll end up getting more ideas soon after I post this, there's just so much potential for this game to be a smashing success.
Holy moly! I didn't expect that. Okay, let me go through it:
The feeling of trapped in a certain spot a the end of the game appears, because you have no more static focus points left. So it looks like you're not moving anymore, but you actually do.
The huge lights will become smaller and smaller the bigger you are. It should have the effect like: At the beginning some material was still able to escape from you, but later you're so heavy that this is not possible anymore. This effect is GPU bound and should have a minor effect. Keep track of your FPS if it really drops significantly as soon as a lot of stars were absorbed.
Spaghettification is handled by the same universe system which handles the whole stellar interactions. Each "particle" is an entity with 1 stellar mass and affected by other objects gravity. So it is not GPU, but CPU bound. But I can reduce the GPU resources more if I change these from a spherical to a point based mesh, because they are so tiny, you probably won't notice the difference. To get a more glowing wire look I have three ideas:
- Instead of collapsing a star into multiple little spheres, I can create long capsules. Each vertices of a capsule is a point where the gravity can pull on. -> I think this would lead to strange artifacts and clipping errors.
- Create a water-like shader, which graphically combines small spheres into one fluid object. This creates the illusion as if there is one long spaghetti. So I don't need to change the system, but only need to give these "particles" another shader. I think that's the best solution.
- Each "particle" gets a trail renderer and draws a trail behind it. It's probably the easiest, but I think not the best for performance.
The light bending effect of a black hole is also shader based. I know there are already assets, which achieved this effect, so I need to look around how to create it with my current hybrid-renderer v2. As I am not familiar with shader coding, I hope there are some Shader-Graph (visual scripting for shader) examples for it.
Thanks. I really appreciate your ideas!