Spaceship Game Dev Day 4: Cameras and Ships

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Day 4

A spaceship building game wouldn’t be that much fun without being able to fly the ships! A lot of physics can become involved with ship flight mechanics such as momentum (both translational and rotational) that require knowing the ship’s mass distribution. However, I need to build the basics first, on which realistic flight mechanics can be added later to. Recall on Day 1 I implemented a FPS style camera just to get started. Of course this isn’t sufficient for full 3D flight, so I had to start by reviewing quaternions (a while since I used them while studying physics) to create a free camera. Having a true free moving camera I can abstract this type of motion into a general class for any objects with this type of movement. Therefore my player’s camera while piloting a ship, and their ship are both considered “free flying” objects. I probably want to use FPS-style, plane constricted, camera/movement for players or objects under the influence of gravity.


So what I did implement today?

  • Quaternion based free flight camera.
  • Basic ship flight using WASD + mouse. Ships inherit the same properties that a free flight camera does from a general free flight object class.
  • Ability to attach a camera to a ship so that it tracks with the ship’s movement. Each ship can receive a list of objects to move with them.