Water on planets

Björn Eberhardt shared this feedback 3 years ago

What would happen if ice lakes were made of water?

  • Splashing down at higher speeds would be far less destructive
  • Ships would need to be buoyant... gyros, reactors and blast doors would submerge, while light armor blocks and airtight areas wouldn't
  • Airtightness... would water in the lakes be displaced if a big ship lands?
  • Mining... with an intake instead of a drill, and the water surface level per lake would change slowly
  • Water and ice could be the same material... maybe even convert in one another inside a container if you let your ship cool down, go into space or land in a desert during summer.

Happy to see your thoughts!

Replies (1)


As much as I like this idea, its just not doable. What you propose is impossible evem with modern hardware. Herer are some examples why thos won't work

Case one:

Every lake is a plane of water

-> What if you dig out a hole next to the lake and then connect it to the lake?

The lake will either stay where it is (this looks stupid) or the water will flow into the hole. If the second thing is the case you'd have to compute the following for every single voxel you dig out:

-Is that voxel connected to water

-Should water flow

-Were should water flow

-How much water should flow per second

-How much water is there to flow

Additionally there should be some type of visual effect for the flowing water. And if all the other computations wouldn't kill the engine then this would!

Additionally how would you handle something like a syphon (don't know the english word. I mean the thing keeping the water in the toilet)?

Case 2:

There's a common waterlevel for the entire planet

-> I hate it. I want to dig a cave without finding water at a specific height

Case 3:

You completely simulate the water with particles.

-> I did this for a simple waterfall in university. Took my computer 3 days to simulate 20 minutes of video


Ther is no way to add water to a voxel based game with diggable terrain like space engineers without making it completely unplayable on every single computerbon this planet!


I agree. I've seen games using Case 1, Terraria, Starbound and Oxygen Not Included. All of them sometimes lag a lot if you manage to drain an entire ocean into the caves. As a solution, I was thinking here that the water is surrounded and enclosed in a voxel shell, and if you manage to damage that shell, the water could start to flow. However all the other voxels around the water seem to suck in water infinitely, which leads to a nice flow effect still, which is easy to compute. This way, only the interior of that area will be a volume of water, and the flowing water would just go down, hit the ground somewhere and disappear on the next voxel impact.

I agree that case 2 isn't very cool, unless you play Worms. However I have seen strategy games that produce water by getting it from the air, or having pump stations with drills and just pretend to have a concept of global water. That would make the challenge too easy though. And we haven't yet talked about weather and rainfall...

Case 3 is a bit overkill, we know that. Even if we simulate case 1 and want to know how much water goes where, in the end, what the player wants to see is one or more ponds of water where he can put his proboscis/trunk with a collector into. Astroneer goes even that far to make some voxels indestructible...


Just realised how many tipos i mad. Sorry for that. I'm on my phone right now.

The thing with Terraria and Oxygen not included is that they are 2D so water physics is way easier. Other than that I'm completly against indestuctible voxels. That foes against the whole idea of SE.

The idea with infinite drainage sounds interesting but I'm still not certain wether this is doable with the VRage Engine

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