Third-Person Planet Exploration with Three.js

I should share my experiments more often on this blog, and maybe not only the 3D javascript game development that I’m just having fun with. But anyway, here is the last one in date : a third person planet exloration thing.

It’s not exactly “work in progress” since I don’t really plan on improving any of it from here, so just consider this work bare and unfinished. You can try it out here :

3D models of trees

The 3D models used, such as the trees and stones, are from Poly by Google.

The planet is generated when page loads. Noise is applied to the shere vertices length to create the terrain, and “biomes” (materials and 3D models) are set according to the elevation and latitude.

3D Planet from a Noise Sphere

Controls are the classic W, A, S, D and mouse. I had to adapt the “third-person” logic to rotate rather than translate over space.

There is a day and night cycle that depends on where the player is positionned on the globe. The sun and the moon are casting light on opposite sides while turning around.

Day and Night Cycle

The water is… just ugly. There is no collision detection. And the character is a simple cone.

Oh, and there is no server to make it a multi-player shooter, even though that was the ispiration. The idea came when a friend showed me the very entertaining Fortnite. We thought it would be fun to turn this “Battle Royale” island into a planet. Instead of a “storm” shrinking toward the gathered players, we could simply reduce the radius of the spherical terrain… That was the concept.

Maybe I could post details about the code if whoever is interested. In the meantime I have other things to focus on !