During my first year of University, we were tasked to develop an application using OpenGL. It was my first time touching anything lower level like this, and even though the requirements were fairly basic (rendering, basic lighting, scene graph), it was still challenging and interesting. For my project, I decided to go for a solar system simulator as I believed that this would be a good way to fulfill all the requirements needed for the module, as well as just being something that would be cool to work on.
Being my first time working with OpenGL, It was a challenge to figure out all the technical aspects, with one of the major challenges that I never was able to overcome being to allow Planets to orbit the Sun at their own speeds. As you will notice in the video, all the Planets move uniformly which isn’t really ideal for a solar system simulator. Other aspects though such as rendering, basic lighting, and even text rendering (Something that was not even required for the module) were implemented which I am quite happy with.
Alongside the challenge of the technical aspects, programming the application itself was quite a challenge. This was around the time that I was kind of new to C++, and needing to program something this big was confusing to say the least. Looking at the program two years later, there is quite a bit I would change mainly in terms of structure but for my first OpenGL project, I am quite happy with it.