Development Plan: What is ReEntry?

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Development Plan: What is ReEntry?

Postby petriw » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:30 am

ReEntry is an educational space flight simulator/game. To master this game, you will need to learn how things work in zero gravity during launch and ascent, orbiting, and while performing an atmospheric reentry. It will have two modes, arcade and pro. Arcade mode will teach you how to work in space, what orbits are and how to shape them through a set of missions. In pro mode, you need to do all of that while also knowing every system and component inside the rocket to fly it properly. Doing missions will give you experience points and level ups.

My ultimate goal was to create a simulator of the Apollo Command Module, but the way there is long. To make the journey a bit easier, I'm breaking down the development of this game into 3 parts, where each part is adding a new space program to the game. This means that I don't have to add support for everything that is required for flying to the moon in one release, but instead I follow the real development of the American space program from Mercury to Apollo when it comes to engine implementation.

1) Part I, Project Mercury: The game is being developed in Unity. To be able to create a realistic space game in Unity, I had to write my own double precision math and physics engine, solve the classical orbital elements and make things go in orbit around earth. In Project Mercury, the goal was to get a man in orbit, understand how being in space affects a human and so on. This was a logical first step for my engine. I also had to learn every component of the Mercury Space Capsule and the two different Launch Vehicles used to be able to create a generic, but realistic virtual cockpit where all switches and gauges are functional, the electrical and environmental systems are working properly, rocket and capsule staging, sequencing and missions.
Part I got an interactive tutorial, as well as articles you can read to get up to speed. However, reading the full Mercury Flight Manual (can be found online) will get you further involved.

2) Part II, Project Gemini: This is where I take a look at how I solved things in Part I and re-implement what I didn't like from an architectural perspective. I make the physics engine stronger and better on issues from Part I, as well as adding support for more advanced orbital maneuvering, rendezvous and maybe even EVA. I will also, to my best effort, implement a generic but realistic Gemini Capsule with the Titan Launch Vehicle, a 3d virtual cockpit where every switch and fuse is working, as well as Gemini missions and arcade mode just like for Project Mercury.

3) Part III, Project Apollo: This is the ultimate goal. To let you enter the Apollo Command Module, operate its components, flip switches, and complete missions in a realistic 3d virtual cockpit. To do this, I will continue from Part II, adding even more advanced orbital physics enabling interplanetary trajectories for reaching the moon, launching the lunar lander and getting back to Earth.

I'm not sure if I'm able to do all this, but so far I have been developing this on my spare time for over a year, so I'm very happy to announce that Part I is feature complete, just need to solve some of the major known bugs before releasing a preview.

Part I will be FREE to download and play on Windows 10 desktop PCs, but any donations to aid me in reaching this goal is greatly appreciated. The business model of Part II and Part III is still unknown.

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