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Planetary Annihilation brings RTS gameplay to a new generation of players in a way that's never been seen before.
Planetary Annihilation brings RTS gameplay to a new generation of players in a way that's never been seen before.
44,162 backers pledged $2,229,344 to help bring this project to life.

In-Engine Tech Demos

Posted by Planetary Annihilation Inc (Creator)

Hello Planetary Annihilation backers!

As we continue to the march toward Alpha, more and more awesome stuff is starting to make it’s way out. If you missed our LiveStream on Friday the 22nd, you should go watch that now. It’s over an hour long, but it’s a very content rich hour, with two different in-engine demos. First, Jon Mavor and Kevin Francis revisit the planet editor, and discuss the underlying rendering technology going on in it. Get a much closer view of the editor itself, and some good discussion about what we’ll be able to do with the engine in game.

Next, we talk to Jon and Elijah Emerson about the navigation in game, and the flow field pathing going on to help units get to where they’re going as quickly as possible. Like the rendering and planet editor, this is a very technical discussion, and we recommend you check out the forum discussion after you finish watching it for more discussion about the topic.

The blog continues to get more content, and the forums are of course buzzing with conversations. If you haven’t joined us yet, you should!  

Enjoy the LiveStream and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!


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    1. Drew Castaneda on

      I love how the textures look. Square-like but yet not square-like.

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      Kurtis Ewanchuk on


      keep up the great work fellow humans.

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      Zachary Yates on

      I understand that it can be hard to justify the time for these kind of discussions when the team is deep in the development of the project, especially when the majority of customers are confused by what you are actually presenting here. I backed this project because I dearly want to play this game, but I threw in extra $ because I'm a developer too. These kinds of updates enrich the community at large, and make me glad I'm a backer. Please consider continuing them if you can fit them in.

    4. Martin Joergensen on

      Awesome tech review. Never heard of flowfields before, but i can see how it helps out the AI. The world builder looked cool to. Exciting stuff!

    5. Chuck Nelson on

      This looks to be shaping up much better than I thought it would. Excited for it to be released, but take your time!

    6. nutcrackr on

      Thanks for the video guys, very interesting background information

    7. Ben Friesen on

      This was a pretty amazing video - thanks for posting it and keeping us updated on the dev stuff, on behalf of all the programmers working on boring stuff.

    8. Cruxador on

      I like to see this tech stuff. Even if I don't understand all of it, it's still interesting and cool to see it. Seeing just gameplay can feel pretty underwhelming at early stages anyway.

    9. Keith Rome on

      I enjoy the technical algorithm discussion more than seeing gameplay (once the game is in my hands I will get plenty of gameplay). It's the problem solving and creative algorithms that I find most interesting. So please keep providing this type of content.

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      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

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      mm0zct on

      Great technical update, your pathing debug mode was spookily similar to the pathfinding debug mode I wrote into our RTS game, except we did A* on the cost field with a flood fill effect rather than an integration field and flow field. Please don't stop yourselves from doing these in future just because some people don't get it.

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      deleter on

      That was pretty awesome. As a hobbyist game programmer interested in one day making an RTS I had already had flow fields on my radar and it was awesome to hear your discussion on them. I think balancing that against the more eye-candy oriented planet generator was a good way to split it between technical and nontechnical. Keep doing that going forward, even if some people don't understand the technical stuff there are those of us who do!

    13. Tom Champion on

      Great live stream, loved the in depth discussion of the technology.

      I'm only do programming in my spare time but I understood everything you had to say in the video, please don't stop making technical discussions as it was the best video I have watched in a long time.

      Thinking about using the flow field patching made a lot of sense and I was thinking it relates too how the Internet works in routing packets around and the cost involved.

      Keep up the great work and I'm looking forward to playing the game.

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      Alex Hooi on

      I like videos like this that explain the tech, some people may be confused yes, but that's only because they don't understand how complex the backend systems are, and just how much work has to go into making a game from scratch like you guys are doing.

      Love the planet generator too, its looking awesome already!

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      Mark L Pappin on

      Keep the deep tech discussions coming, please. As others have said, we're backers because we want to be involved. (And those of us who /are/ devs can steal, uh, borrow some of your neat ideas, too.)

    16. Rand Chua TL on

      Getting closer ^_^

    17. Bobby Pollock on

      The way this game is developing and started out blew me away.

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      FriendlyFire on

      I rarely can make it for the stream live, but please keep making them as I really enjoy seeing them! As a computer science student, I also really like hearing the techie bits coming from actual developers and not just textbooks.

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      Scott on

      I'm no dev but I still enjoy seeing the great work you do on the backend.

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      Andrew Regis on

      Yeah guys, this was awesome. Some people may not understand this stuff and are vocal about it, but I thought it was a great explanation and it was incredibly interesting! I really hope you show some more of the tech side of things! Keep of the great work!

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      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    22. Chris Harwood on

      This type of information is definitely of interest. Please don't get discouraged by the small sample of people who attend the stream. Like Blizzard always says, just because the Rogue forums are full of people complaining about the class doesn't mean there aren't another million people who love it just the way it is. Not that PA is a Rogue.

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      harborpirate on

      Awesome update! I love getting the chance to see this detailed info. I realize that you're probably a bit afraid that this stuff is way too "inside baseball", but part of why I back kickstarter projects is to get exactly these kind of updates. If I wanted to buy a game from a "black box" developer, there are dozens to choose from. I choose to support developers directly through kickstarter instead, because I think this sort of direct dialog about a project is an asset for both the fans and the developers.
      Great work, I'm really liking what I see so far!

    24. StarlitGhost on

      Definitely really interested in the tech side, being a developer myself. Please do keep showing us this stuff, but perhaps not in livestreams where your average gamer is not going to understand.

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      Magnus on

      Definitely enjoyed the tech stuff about flow fields and the planet generator!

    26. Jörn Huxhorn

      I really, really loved this update. Please keep the tech stuff coming!
      Future streams will show of game play (i.e. the non-technical stuff) anyway but I'd appreciate if you'd mix in some more background info like in this one. You could probably put it at the end so people not interested could just turn it off.

    27. Matthew Jandreau on

      Maybe it'd be worth having some of the more tech-heavy updates included separately? I thought it was really great to learn about the complexities of flow fields but I do understand it could be complex or uninteresting for some.

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      Yoshimi on

      Really enjoyed the video and appreciate what you showed of the AI and flow fields. I hope you will carry on showing those things but understand if you don't always want to show them in "live" chats. It's great to show how the game might feel and play different because of the underline tech though and not just showing flashy graphics.

    29. Eero Salonen on

      This was one of my favorite streams, because you went so deep on technical level, but I undestand that such details isn't for all, but I liked them lot.

    30. boolybooly on

      Deeply fascinating, thanks for the update, I was wondering how it was going with PA :o) Planets are looking good and the innovation with wayfinding is good news, having played a few RTS games which suffered with wayfinding. Emperor Battle for Dune was one which I loved but remember for that and while I am still playing and enjoying Forged Alliance regularly I cannot count the number of times I have lost my commander because it was trapped in a tangle of T1 powerplants and engineers all bumping into each other as an enemy T4 approached. I hope this means that in PA obedient units will just get the heck out of the commanders way!

    31. Paul Downs on

      Definitely keep making these guys, that's mighty impressive and v. cool to see it at such an early stage.

    32. Daniel Rudolph on

      Awesome! Dont Stop exposing the tech. Just dont expect hardcore nerds to make it to the live stream ;)

      Thanks for the insides - sometimes it made me wonder why it wasnt dont before - crazy efficient tech.
      Was it a memory issue ?

    33. ThomasN on

      This was the best hour I spent today. Please don't stop making these.

    34. Nasan Hardcastle on

      I enjoyed this update and understood what you guys were talking about. -I guess it's because of my experience modding games and being involved with other game development.
      In any case, I think it's fascinating and would love to watch more videos in which you talk about stuff like this.

    35. Christoph Zürcher on

      Excellent update and congrats for the anniversary.

    36. Diego on

      That's very cool! While the planet generation part is more eye grabbing, it's very nice to hear about pathfinding, it's a troublesome games of many amazing RTS games and I'm glad you guys are paying close attention to it, specially since the maps are not hand crafted.