Active Sketch 05 - Planets

It's been more than a year since the last one. Time for a new Active Sketch.

I made this to test out an idea my coworker suggested for indirect control through gravity wells.

In this little physics prototype, you can click to add planets and drag them around, and your little face person will zoom around, orbiting them according to Newton's laws of gravity.

Can you imagine playing with this on a touch screen?

Nothing fancy. Just a little experiment. Turns out that gravity among all these planets is a chaotic system, where it's almost impossible to predict where the orbiting face will go next. That might make this a little too confusing for a game, though who knows - maybe if you slow it down and draw motion trails showing the future paths of all the objects, it might be pretty interesting.

Still, I think springs might make a better physics-based mechanic than gravity, at least for a real-time action game.

So this Active Sketch was pretty quick to make - maybe an hour to get the basic mechanic working, and another hour to polish it up for release. This is encouraging, because it means I might be able to make more of these, even in the limited time I have now that I have a job as a game programmer.

I don't want to make any promises, but with any luck hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more of these little prototypes from me in the near future. I'm looking forward to it. :)