Blocks

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The world of Planets³ is composed of blocks of 25cm³ (voxels).

Each block has an associated shape and material, which determine the amount of pieces obtained when harvesting it, as well as its level. Players will be able to harvest all these blocks (using appropriate tools), and place them for construction, use them for crafting, research, or as an exchange currency to NPCs.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Shape[edit | edit source]

The 6 tetrahedrons-based block shapes

Blocks can take 6 different shapes, based on tetrahedrons:

  • Cubic (volume = 6)
  • Anti-tetrahedral (volume = 5)
  • Anti-quarter-pyramidal (volume = 4)
  • Half-cubic (volume = 3)
  • Quarter-pyramidal (volume = 2)
  • Tetrahedral (volume = 1)

In addition to these, there is a 7th shape based on cylinder.

Depending on the shape of the block, when harvesting it, player will get a different amount of pieces.

Material[edit | edit source]

Categories and kinds of materials

In Planets³ everything is made of blocks, but what are those blocks made of ? Each block has an associated material which defines its hardness and what kind of tool is required to pick it up. There’s more than 100 different materials available including wood, rocks, metals, dirt, sand, gravel, construction items, and of course…alien technology and materials !

Here is the list of material categories:

  • Rocks : Different kind of rocks. Requires a mace or pickaxe to harvest
  • Gravels : Sand, dirt, gravels. Requires a shovel to harvest
  • Woods : Wood or hard organic compounds. Requires a saw (or chainsaw), or an axe to harvest
  • Sticks : Sticks, ropes, lianas, cables. Requires scissors, shears or wire cutters to harvest

The hardness of a material represents its level and determines the level of the tool needed to harvest it when found in block form in the world. When crafting a tool using a certain material, it also defines the hardness of that tool. To be able to break a block, it will require a tool with a hardness greater or equal to the hardness of the block to be harvested.

Higher level blocks will be found in higher level zones on the planet.

Harvesting[edit | edit source]

When breaking a block, player will get pieces of the material the block was made of in his inventory. Also depending on the shape of the block he will get a different amount of pieces. For example a cubic block is composed of 6 pieces, so breaking it will produce 6 pieces. But if breaking a sloping block, it will only produce 3 pieces since it is the half of a cubic block. These pieces will be the unit in which the amount of material that the player possess is displayed. For example in the craft UI, the amount of material needed for a craft will be indicated in pieces.

Tools[edit | edit source]

Tools with different radius and depth

The statistics of tools are:

  • Hardness: Defines the maximum hardness of the blocks this tool will be able to break.
  • Durability: Defines the lifespan of the tool. Once broken it's not destroyed, you will be able to repair it by bringing the appropriate resources to a NPC.
  • Required strength: This is the strength needed to fully load the tool or weapon in 1 sec.
  • Range: Represents the maximum distance, between the character and a block, at which you can still break it.
  • Radius: Defines the radius of blocks you can destroy in one hit. This allows the player to harvest multiple blocks at the same time.
  • Depth: Defines the depth in block that a tool can “dig”. This allows the player to harvest multiple blocks at the time.
  • Damage: Defines the amount of damage the tool will do if used to strike an enemy. Weapons are efficient to strike enemies whereas tools are not.

Having relatively little blocks is a good thing for the overall quality of the graphics in the game, but when it comes to gameplay, it can be a bit annoying to have to destroy so many blocks to flatten a place for construction of houses for example. That’s why the player will have tools to facilitates this kind of things. As illustrated in the crafting UI video, when crafting a tool or a weapon, player can choose the shape and material of each subpart of the craft. These choices will have consequences on the statistics of the crafted tool or weapon.