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Author Topic: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy  (Read 30902 times)

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Offline The Hood

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2009, 10:05:17 AM »
Edit 2: A question about proper English again - "Solar system" seems to be our system, other are then "Star System" or "Stellar System"? And of the latter two, which one would be preferred?
AFAIK:

A "star system" or "stellar system" (either is good) refers to a system of more than one star orbiting one another.
A "planetary system" refers to planets orbiting a star or stars. (so the solar system is a planetary system).

I'm no expert though, and I'm sure any of those would be clear - it is a game after all!

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #71 on: November 27, 2009, 10:17:42 AM »
Thanks for the help :) Wikipedia uses "star system" and "stellar system" synonymously, so I assume the meaning is very similar, but as a foreigner it's hard for me to know what is the more commonly used term. At the moment I decided for stellar system. Thanks again!

Offline MoTw

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2009, 11:40:10 AM »
Your Asteroid looks like chewing gum to me  ;D But I like it.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #73 on: November 27, 2009, 08:51:00 PM »
Now we know what the universe was made of: Chewing gum  ;D

I think we better not dive into the question what dark matter might be then ...

Something on my roadmap for the next release, a better ice planet image. Not sure if it will be this one, but it's somehow interesting :)


Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #74 on: November 27, 2009, 09:35:00 PM »
I'm curious, what are you using to create the graphics?

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #75 on: November 27, 2009, 10:15:53 PM »
I'm curious, what are you using to create the graphics?

I'm using PovRay. I've got used to it, and overall I like it much.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 10:20:02 PM by Hajo »

Offline jonasbb

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #76 on: November 27, 2009, 10:40:02 PM »
For me it looks like a ball build by granite.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #77 on: November 27, 2009, 10:51:14 PM »
Maybe the most famous icy moon in our system ... at least the most interesting to me:

http://joebuckley.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/enceledus_large.jpg

I guess it's back to the drawing board ... although I'm pretty sure I won't get very close to the real one.

Offline prissi

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #78 on: November 28, 2009, 06:57:05 PM »
If it has not to bee scientific correct:
http://dilekt.deviantart.com/art/Easy-Way-of-Creating-Planets-14256218

And just searching deviantart for planets gives much more inspirational tutorials ...

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #79 on: November 29, 2009, 10:54:03 AM »
I'll take a look. The first tutorial just moves the "hard" part into creating the texture. With a raytracer like PovRay the shading comes for free anyways, and the texture is the only real work to do.

But I think I should do something else for a while, it kills inspiration to work too long on the same problem. Currently I wonder how to automatically generate newspaper-like news.

Offline Colin

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #80 on: November 30, 2009, 12:47:00 AM »
Fascinating

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #81 on: November 30, 2009, 09:08:43 AM »
Whee :)

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #82 on: December 01, 2009, 09:56:17 AM »
This may be interesting for your project, Hajo. It's an applet that simulates how galaxies merge... http://mergers.galaxyzoo.org/

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #83 on: December 01, 2009, 11:11:40 AM »
Very interesting, but I think too big in time and space scale. Finally, I want to develop it into a space prospector game, so it will be presented from a single persons scale. And a person just doesn't live long enough to experience the flow of a galaxy merger.

In another place I had posted this yersterday - I publish it here, too, to show what I'm thinking about currently. Overall I'm in a creative slump though, slight depression, having toothache and it's unlikely that I'll do any work anytime soon ... I'm just posting here for distraction, and as one can see in the other thread about Java, my bad mood also makes me more sensitive :-[



Got to know that it has display problems on Mac OS X. I'll try to find a fix till the next release, but it seems I must do the fix "blindly" since I cannot test the results, not having a Mac at hands.

A component for the project that I'd like would be some kind of news ticker. But I'm stuck already again, not knowing how to procedurally generate interesting news ...

One thing that should work for sure are news about:
- Resources found on some planet

But what else than that? Newspapers usually have news about politics, social happenings, economy/finances and sports.

I guess a few of those could be made up easily. For sure there could be a sports league (or several) of some kind simulated in the backgrounds, and there could be news about recent matches?

Politics seems to be more difficult, since they might have influence to a space prospectors life - if the is a revolt in some stellar system, it should have some effect on the player if he travels there ... maybe some minor news like "A. Flubberla elected as station major of Wolf Depot in Eldobran IV" would work to entertain the player?

For social news, maybe a simulation of some noble families and celebrities could be kludged, and yielding news of marriages, affairs and scandals?

Any ideas for other types of news in the ticker? It's mostly meant to entertain the player, not necessarily to inform him, and to give an impression of a more vivid world.


Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #84 on: December 01, 2009, 11:50:04 AM »
I would also add news about distances, eclipses, transits, comets, planets alignments or curiosities. Mainly astronomical events. For example:
  • Planet A is at its closest distances from planet B in 100 years
  • Planets C, D and E will be aligned tomorrow for the first time in 5212 years
  • Planet a will pass in front to the main star and will be visible from 10 AM to 13 AM

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #85 on: December 01, 2009, 04:01:15 PM »
That should fit nicely in the game, thank you :)

Besides talk and planning, I'll take a break though.

Offline skreyola

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #86 on: December 07, 2009, 10:24:05 PM »
Would a list like this be correct English?

Marginal zinc deposits detected.
Minor gold deposits detected.
Small copper deposits detected.
Rich iron ore deposits detected.
Abundant bauxite depots detected.


Besides grammar, would those levels of size/richness be alright? Should I add more, should I use different words? Help is welcome :)

I would think rich would be bigger than abundant, but I could be wrong.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #87 on: December 08, 2009, 09:51:34 AM »
How could those two be named to make it more clear?

Both aren't used yet, so it's not a problem in the released version and there is no rush to correct it.

Offline skreyola

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #88 on: December 09, 2009, 07:22:21 PM »
Perhaps abundant for the second-highest level and prolific for the highest?
Rich kind of doesn't fit the paradigm, since it would normally be used to describe the density of a specific deposit, e.g., a rich vein, rather than to describe the abundance of different deposits.
Anyone else have an opinion on these words?

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #89 on: December 18, 2009, 08:15:51 PM »
I don't know if you're still developing the game, Hajo but I think this impressive video will surely inspire you to come back to work on the project...  :)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #90 on: December 18, 2009, 10:15:34 PM »
I don't know if you're still developing the game, Hajo but I think this impressive video will surely inspire you to come back to work on the project...  :)

Maybe a black hole ate my motivation ...


And now it's black like a pulsar:


But there is an afterglow like in this brown dwarf:


And some day it will shine again like a sun:


I'm thinking often about the space flight part ... and I feel that I like to work on the graphics, also the details of the star systems. I have problems to motivate myself for the game parts of it ...

I tried to write down a few sketches for space ships designs:

http://www.funkelwerk.de/forum/index.php?topic=229.0

But it didn't catch fire really.

So there was something happening, but I had stopped talking about it. And then I turned to other work.

Thank you for the youtube link, Vilvoh :) We are blessed to live on such a jewel in space.

Unfortunately in late autumn it's all dirty, gray and dead over here. This is also a problem, brings me down often to see the world so dead and dirty. Now snow arrived, kindly covering the landscape in gentle white, hiding death until spring comes. Hopefully :)

I'd say with some confidence that some day I'll continue to work on this. I've always been a big sci-fi fan, and space exploration is one of my dreams.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #91 on: December 20, 2009, 10:20:44 PM »
A new go at an earthlike planet - still, real earth looks so much better:


Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #92 on: December 20, 2009, 10:34:58 PM »
Is it composed from textures? I think it's the clouds, they are in reality a bit more detailed... maybe also making the blue more shiny could help some.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #93 on: December 20, 2009, 10:39:26 PM »
PovRay has some procedural texture generators. It's made from textures, but not bitmaps or pictures that I painted. I kind of programmed the procedural texture generators to produce something that looks like continents, sea and clouds. Since the last try the clouds got a bit more detailed, but they are very simple still - a highly random pattern of two shades of white, fading out at the borders.

I think the problem is that the clouds have no thickness, they are just flat.

Edit: Maybe clouds need shadows. I could map them on a bigger globe, and have them cast shadows. Must test and see :)

Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #94 on: December 20, 2009, 10:59:20 PM »
Hmhm... I think the clouds are unnaturally compact and opaque. As to shadows, these should be negligible since their usual altitudes don't really stand out compared to radius of Earth - it goes roughly like 50 << 3200.


Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #95 on: December 21, 2009, 09:09:12 AM »
I see. I'll try more turbulence for the clouds, and give them more transparency in some places.

... the earth that you showed has a highlight. Is that real or just for the show? I kept the highlight settings very low for all planets.

Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #96 on: December 21, 2009, 09:32:28 AM »
I don't really know, it's taken straight from flickr as first suitable find; I looked more for these clouds...

(I still use a somewhat uncommon monitor settings so I can't really comment on colours you see :( )

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #97 on: December 21, 2009, 09:56:52 AM »
Making some progress ... moved the clouds higher up (2% of planet diameter), and this already improved the look. A second cloud layer of smaller clouds also helped. Finally I made the water somewhat reflective, that also seemed to help.

Working on it. Hoping to have something presentable later the day. Thanks for the hints :)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #98 on: December 21, 2009, 10:43:36 AM »
Double post, because it's the forum lounge and I don't trust the "show edit as new" feature. New planet, definitely a whole lot better than before :)


I'm now a bit clueless about further improvements, but this certainly was a big step. Thanks to all who helped with hints and suggestions!

Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #99 on: December 21, 2009, 11:32:40 AM »
I want to land there! :)

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #100 on: December 21, 2009, 12:13:02 PM »
In relation to the pulsar image, I think you should add a beam of radiation on each side.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsar

Quote
Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars which sweep out a beam of electromagnetic radiation like a light house.

Quote
There is general agreement that what we observe as a pulse is what happens when a beam of radiation points in our direction, once for every rotation of the neutron star. The origin of the beam is related to the misalignment of the rotation axis and the axis of the magnetic field of the star. The beam is emitted from the poles of the neutron star's magnetic field, which may be offset from the rotational poles by a wide angle. The source of the power of the beam is the rotational energy of the neutron star.

To understand what I mean, check this video of the Crab nebula pulsar.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #101 on: December 21, 2009, 02:55:03 PM »
I want to land there! :)

And be welcomed by natives with flower wreaths ;)

In relation to the pulsar image, I think you should add a beam of radiation on each side.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsar

I'll look up how to do light effects in media with PovRay - I saw renders with very nice light-beam effects in dusty air, that would work well with such beams, too.

A bit like on this image (from the povray hall of fame, not mine):
http://hof.povray.org/images/bigthumb/famille_jour.jpg

Edit:

A new version that looks a little bit better than the former one again .. I hope.


I'm quite pleased with this one now. Thanks again to all who gave me inspiration, hints and advice! This is so much better now than the version from yesterday.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 04:06:17 PM by Hajo »

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #102 on: January 14, 2010, 11:14:17 AM »
Project is on halt currently because I've been busy with this:

[link lost]

I think in a while I'll pick up the space miner part again. Need to work on a space station UI and I'm pretty clueless about that - it's a real roadblock currently.

Basically it needs to server these 4 purposes:

- buy/sell goods
- upgrade ship equipment, buy new ship
- sell prospected information about resources to companies
- browse news, take missions (if there will be missions)

I guess I'll need a kind of generic "space station" screen that has icons or such to open the 4 detail screens.

Maybe a 5th is needed:

- Inspect ship

where you can access your own ship
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:53:26 PM by Hajo »

Offline vilvoh

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #103 on: January 14, 2010, 11:41:50 AM »
Cool! It's like the Ishar's saga, but I still prefer the old Moria. Seems you've returned to the roguelike development... ;D

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #104 on: January 14, 2010, 01:24:44 PM »
I hope I can do some more in this direction :) Lately I jump often between projects, but as long as I come back to them now and then it should be alright.