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Author Topic: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy  (Read 30898 times)

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Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #140 on: January 27, 2010, 04:04:08 PM »
Yes, that's what I meant when I said generated - of course not entirely, that wouldn't look so well :P

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #141 on: January 28, 2010, 09:42:10 AM »
A first test of rockeater portraits:


Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #142 on: January 28, 2010, 09:54:34 AM »
Perhaps I'm colorblind but in some of them, it looks like a mix between pigs and tomatoes!!  :D

I would use dark browns instead of reds.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #143 on: January 28, 2010, 10:42:20 AM »
Hehe ;D

I've quickly tried a darker brown, I'm not quite sure if it's better. But this is work in progress, so some changes will come for sure. More variation in color could be interesting. Also I think many of the polygons need more texture. Must try and see ;)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #144 on: February 04, 2010, 01:23:16 PM »
I've put a new version online, with a few changes - this is again a quite experimental release, and things may or may not work properly.

 => [link lost]

- It has got a new title screen with a credits list.
- I tried to fix a number of UI layout and redraw problems.
- Changed font to a bigger font in some places to improve readability.
- For the very curious, a work-in-progress version of the trade screen is included, but it doesn't show more than the list of available goods. Prices and quantities are just placeholders.

Under the hood there are more changes towards space ship data, cargo, and keeping track of the players position in space, but those aren't visible yet.

Also, the portraits are not included yet, because I'm not yet decided about the way to include them. Or just call me lazy :P
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:52:38 PM by Hajo »

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #145 on: February 04, 2010, 02:22:30 PM »
When you enter in the detailed view of the solar system with stars, planets and the rest of small elements, wouldn't be possible to use zoom levels instead of scroll ? sometimes the star is very large and it's annoying to move along the solar system.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #146 on: February 04, 2010, 02:34:02 PM »
When you enter in the detailed view of the solar system with stars, planets and the rest of small elements, wouldn't be possible to use zoom levels instead of scroll ?

Yes that would be possible. But if a red giant star is zoomed to the size of an average star, the planets will only be points. Let's wait and see what the others think about the idea?

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #147 on: February 04, 2010, 02:37:09 PM »
Another possible solution would be to show a small window with a minimap, similar to Simutrans minimap.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #148 on: February 04, 2010, 02:57:43 PM »
That's definitely more work than zooming.

Offline jonasbb

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #149 on: February 04, 2010, 03:11:16 PM »
The "Commody Exchange" button in the station menu is to small.
If you are on the Commody Exchange site you cannot get back to the station menu.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #150 on: February 04, 2010, 03:34:07 PM »
Too small? You mean, the text doesn't fit in? It does for me ...
Which OS do you use, and which java version do you have?

The "Commodities Exchance" screen is work in progress. I was pondering to leave it as a dead end, but then I noticed there is the "Open system explorer" button in the bottom panel, and you can get back to the tabular system view at least, so I decided I'm too lazy to do something about it now ...

But you are right, the screen flow needs more work until this can become a game. It bothers me though that the text doesn't fit in the button, since I can only test with Windows XP, and still want to produce UIs that look alright everywhere - there could now be a whole lot of things that look different than I had seen them on my screen, and this is something that disturbs me

Edit: Buttons in the station panel will be wider in the next version. Jonasbb if you can send me a screenshot of the problem I might be able to figure exactly how much wider they need to be.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 03:41:35 PM by Hajo »

Offline jonasbb

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #151 on: February 04, 2010, 03:52:45 PM »
Ubuntu 9.10 with Java 1.6.0_15

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #152 on: February 04, 2010, 03:55:56 PM »
Thank you. It seems the font is a bit wider there on Ubuntu, but not much. I'll enlarge the buttons and it should be good next version.

If you spot more of such problems, please let me know :)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #153 on: February 06, 2010, 05:19:57 PM »
I'm working on the flight and traveling parts. So far one could instantly access planets and stations, just by clicking them.

Soon, one will have to actually fly there to find out the details.

I liked the "explore a galaxy on your desk" feature, which allowed instant access to all data. I think I'll try to keep it somehow, maybe as a sandbox mode or separate project. For the exploration and prospecting parts of the game it's important that data is not readily accessible, but must be discovered. Also the time factor involved in traveling seems to be necessary for a game.

Meanwhile I've started with a super simple stellar system navigation map. Planet orbits are shown as dotted circles, one can pan and zoom the view. The screenshots below show a little tour into a stellar system.

Rikon system overview. A white dwarf sun with some plants. Some of the planets have moons.
 
[link lost]
 

Closing in to Rikon 1, a ringed planet with several moons and space stations in orbit.
 
[link lost]
 

Finally a detail view of Outpost Cassini, orbiting the moon Rikon 1-3
[link lost]

I don't plan to implement a 3D space flight simulation. Travel will happen on this navigation map, in a more abstract fashion.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:51:38 PM by Hajo »

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #154 on: February 07, 2010, 10:40:45 AM »
I noticed that the ordering of the moons was wrong often. You can see this problem in the screenshots above. This will be fixed in the forthcoming release.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #155 on: February 07, 2010, 12:01:31 PM »
I'm looking forward to play with it.. :)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #156 on: February 07, 2010, 12:10:24 PM »
I could polish a few details and a new release candidate should be ready soon. I don't know how busy tomorrow will be, so it might be good to have it out today, but I can't say yet for sure. Depends on how many bugs I discover in the next while ;D

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #157 on: February 07, 2010, 09:31:08 PM »
I've put a new version online, with a few changes - this is again a quite experimental release, and things may or may not work properly.

[link lost]

- Added system navigation map.
- Improved naming for dual stars (alpha/beta).
- Extended goods list.

The biggest change is the new system navigation map. Well, navigation itself is still not included, but this is where you'll move your ship once the travel part of the game becomes more complete. At the moment you can see the planet and moon orbits, pan and zoom in and out. A new, more spatial view on the system data.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:50:21 PM by Hajo »

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #158 on: February 07, 2010, 10:15:51 PM »
Imho, it's the perfect way of representing it. Is it going to have movement? let me suggest a few improvements. Sometimes, the representation of system distances at nav map doesn't allow you to view the whole system. The zoom option is great, but when you zoom out, some elements which are very close, are represented as a single point while others have an image of the object. Perhaps you might reduce distances by half, something like distance scale factor equal to 0.5.

The other suggestion related with nav map is the possibility of center the viewport on a particular element or on mouse pointer, specially when you're zooming in. You click on a planet, or press C key, and the program take it as the center of the zoom process.

Just one more thing. I know space is mostly empty and dark, but I would add a stars background image at nav map. After all, some regions of space are full of light and colors.. :)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #159 on: February 08, 2010, 09:23:00 AM »
I've also been pondering about drawing the objects bigger, but I must take care that the orbits aren't suddenly inside a planet.

The centering feature I've missed, too. It might be that key presses are hard to detect, so maybe it will be a double-click on the object to center it, but the feature will be included.

I'd like nice backgrounds, too, in several places. My first try to make my own failed. Also I'm a bit concerned about memory limitations. I keep this on my list, but must first get some nice free-to-use backgrounds and also find out how much additional memory I can safely use for decorations.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #160 on: December 24, 2011, 10:49:03 PM »
It's now on Sourceforge, if someone still remembers the project:

=> http://sourceforge.net/projects/solarex/


Offline An_dz

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #161 on: January 07, 2012, 07:47:47 PM »
Someone 'stole' your game Hajo. :D

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #162 on: January 08, 2012, 12:31:15 PM »
Ah, no. Spore is very interesting, but Solarex has a much more static world. I really have problems to get any sort of dynamics or evolution into it, actually.

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #163 on: February 20, 2012, 10:57:23 PM »
I've released a new version, 0.30. The most notable changes are the backdrop images, but there have been a very few bug fixes too:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/solarex/

Quote
Changes in 0.30 since 0.29

- Backdrop images for some of the game screens.
- Some bugfixes for the ship state transitions (docked, in flight ...)
- Better display of the ship state.
- Reduced flight times.
- Improved rock planet image.
- Navigation view only shows ship location if the ship is actually in the inspected stellar system.
- Unfortunately the saved games from 0.29 won't load in 0.30

I really want to continue with this project, but there are some blockades. E.g. I can't figure out how to name ships. Or how I want them to look ... what ship upgrades I want to have/offer. I think some day soon I'll post a few questions here. Maybe someone can help me.




Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #164 on: February 22, 2012, 09:29:57 PM »
Are there any geologists or chemists on this forum?

I have read that our solar system might be an exception. It has an abundance of silicon, so rocky planet crusts are mostly made of silicon compounds. But other systems might have more carbonate. Would a planet crust differ much, if there was much more carbonate available in planet shaping, than silicon? And what minerals would be the most frequent in such a "rocky" carbonate based planet?

Offline prissi

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #165 on: February 22, 2012, 10:34:06 PM »
Carbon will be usually be carbonates, i.e. CO and CO2. I hardly doubt the could for stable rocky formations in the inner (hot) solar system before evaporating. All the carbon rich chondrites were outside of mars orbit.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #166 on: February 22, 2012, 11:28:45 PM »
I'm not an expert but have some interest and done a year of chemistry and geology at university (along with astrphysics, giving me a bit of interest in planetary formation...)

Carbonates would be unstable under heating, releasing carbon dioxide and leaving the metal oxides behind. Therefore few would survive planetary formation. The core of a silicon poor (but iron rich) planet would I'm guessing be similar to earth. You'd need a lighter element than iron to be present in large quantities for differentiation to take place and a mantle and a crust to form. So you could hypothesise something like aluminium or magnesium mostly... Conditions would probably lead to similar minerals forming as in Calcium-aluminium rich inclusions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ca-Al-rich_inclusion) - taking out silicates this means perovskite, aluminous spinel and hibonite could be common on the surface of rocky planets without atmospheres (equivalent to the Moon or Mercury).

On larger planets with atmospheric processes (that currently, or have taken place) carbonates could have then be formed.... Maybe Dolomite, Malachite, Calcite, Natron as examples (more listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonate_minerals).

*However my preferred imagining is this*
Given iron is synthesised at the end of the fusion process silicon should already be present by this point, therefore maybe a system with low silicon would also not have iron either. For various reasons this would likely mean that sodium was the heaviest element in any such nebulae formed.

So, imagine a solar system with no significant amounts of elements magnesium or heavier. Any planets formed are going to not be that dense as they would have maybe sodium cores (I'm not sure about the physics of the lighter elements under significant pressure - it's possible the core would more likely be Boron or Carbon - diamond) with a mantle and crust of lithium and berylium borates, carbides, oxides and fluorides.

Thus I imagine a very limited range of minerals could occur. Trawling wikipedia these could include:
Borates: Borax, Kernite, Hambergite, Berborite, Ameghinite, Tincalconite, Sborgite, Sassolite
Oxides: Bromellite
Carbonate: Zabuyelite, Niveolanite
Fluorides: Villiaumite, Griceite, Ferruccite

Possible other minerals which have no name I can find: Ammonium Fluoride, Lithium Borate, Boron Oxide. You may get some elemental carbon (diamond, graphite).

Given the low density a planet may have to be quite large (relative to the Earth) to keep an atmosphere, but if so it could still be Oxygen, Nitrogen, Water Vapour and Carbon Dioxide

Maybe temperatures would be cold, allowing some compounds which are liquid or gaseous on earth to form minerals on such planets. Together with other compounds not thought of as minerals on earth you might have:
Hydrogen Fluoride, Ammonia, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Water ice.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 11:35:39 PM by kierongreen »

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #167 on: February 26, 2012, 09:52:28 PM »
I guess I'll add some graphite containing planets to places where currently "ice planets" are generated. And the occasional planet size space diamond, for players to make a fortune with if they ever find one ;)

I think I also want two new central body types, brown dwarves and neuron stars, but I need to figure out if they can play some special role in the game ... brown dwarves micht have very different planet types, and neuron stars should only have planets if they "caught" one after their nova time.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #168 on: February 26, 2012, 11:26:38 PM »
Just a thought: a lower mass (as in say 10 solar masses) star going nova would produce a nebula with fewer heavy elements. Given the smaller initial stellar mass there would be less material ejected as a nebula, and therefore I'm guessing it would be more likely that brown dwarfs rather than stars would form afterwards.

So maybe you could link all these ideas together, and solar systems with brown dwarfs as there central body could have planets consisting of ice, carbon dioxide and methane. Carbon is more likely to be found as "soot", graphite or relatively small diamonds either within larger (say 10-100km diameter) bodies or free floating smaller bodies (say <10cm diameter) than as planetary sized (>1000km) diamonds in my opinion.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #169 on: February 27, 2012, 11:12:11 AM »
I was just kidding about the planet size diamonds ;) The artice where I got it from left the faint idea thoigh, that cores of gaphite rich bodies could countain rather big diamonds.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #170 on: March 29, 2012, 10:27:32 AM »
I've been working on a very simple ship equipment shop. I also did that to distract myself from the fights around Simutrans. But this way it had at least something good and the project is seeing some new features after such a long break.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #171 on: March 29, 2012, 04:34:54 PM »
Looks great - I look forward to trying this when it is playable :)