Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Orbital Objects Generation, Geophysical Data nearly completed

Sorry for the lack of post, but with the FUG there is not much to show you.

Things take a bit more time than planned because the ancient code of the generator I made 9 years ago is plagued by bugs and calculations errors, and besides that, step by step I also must update the design document too.
But things go at good pace and I nearly completed this part, the geophysical data.

Manual edition is entirely working and done too, and many calculations adjustments were been applied for stars and orbital data.

The geophysical data concerns the orbital object's physical data like diameter, inclination axis, gravity, escape velocity and so on.

Once it is completed, in the next days, I'll begin to implement the calculation of the ecosphere, including the atmosphere, seasons,  and hydrosphere. The interface will also be updated to allow manual edition of some of these data.

With some hope I think I will complete the FUG before the end of May, and that's a good thing because it's the biggest part of the alpha 6.

Some much job for some data :)

Stay tuned.

Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Orbital Objects Generation, Geophysical Data and Manual Edition

The basic interface to manually edit some of the parameters for each orbital object is done.
The data that can be edited concerns for now some of the orbital data and many of the geophysical data.
Geophysical data are about the object itself, so its diameter, density, mass, gravity, and escape velocity and so on. For now the calculations aren't fully implemented yet but they will be in the next days. There is some work because I also updating the main design documents with the generation rules and formulas taken from ancient (like made 8/9 years ago) documents and also from an ancient and complete source code. Because for the history, the first program that I have made in the FAR Colony project is the generator itself... in 2003.

Here's a screenshot of the orbital objects pad with manual edition:


It's not pretty but it's an internal tool that you will not see during a game, so it's not relevant.

Of course this part of interface isn't complete; in the future it will be also possible to edit part of the ecosphere, the biosphere the object's regions and its eventual satellites.

The line code count climbing exponentially and that isn't surprising because there are many calculations and the code I put in the FUG is based on the old generator, which takes itself about 14,000 lines of code, about 24% of the entire size of the alpha  5...

The manual edition will also allow me to craft entire star systems according to my liking but also physics and mathematic coherence. You will note from now that I will never use the terms realism/realistic because FARC stay a sci-fi space game and isn't an astronomy/astrophysics program nor a prediction of the future. Coherence fit better for this kind of strategy/simulation.

The repartition of the orbital objects themselves is based on 3 possible statistical models: Sol-Like, Extrasol-like and balanced. This third one is a mean of the two first ones.

Here's the example of an Extrasol-like repartition, from the main document:
There are more than 4 types of objects; these 4 are only the basic ones at the start of the generation.

Geophysical data are calculated according a mix of standard physics formulas and statistical rules taken/based from diverse sources.

So what's next?

First I completing the geophysical calculations, after that I will implement the ecosphere, the orbital periods/seasons, the surface generation which include the regions and the data link toward the fractal rendering software Fractal Terrains, the biosphere, the resources and finally the satellites.

After all that, and about 10,000 more lines of code, I will craft the first final planetary system of the game: the Alpha Centauri system, which will replace the current placeholder. It will also include its custom planetary surface maps.


PS: I would like to thanks the first direct contributor; aside the two ones that have Flattr'd the game, which made me a PayPal donation about more than 1 week ago. Thank you Blob!

Haha, that's all for now, stay tuned.

Alpha 6 [0.6.0] Dev Status: Orbits Generation

Alpha 6 [0.6.0]:
expected: before the end of August 2013
Main To-Do-List:
  • !IN DEVELOPMENT! the full completion of the FARC Universe Generator (FUG). For now only the star system and stars generation is implemented. The big step concerns the orbital objects themselves (the planets and asteroids).
  • the implementation of the first complete and definitive star and planetary system: the Alpha Centauri system (the one actually in game is only a placeholder for testing purposes). That also includes all the customized surface maps, which will be required, generated with a 3rd application: Fractal Terrains.
  • the ability to load a saved game including a 3D scene cleanup w/o put any interference in the game flow. That will include certainly some audit of the code concerning the 3d "engine" (if I can call my basic stuff like that).
  • the implementation of the automation for the planetary survey.
  • [optional] the turn-based subsystem.

First, I'm sorry to not have made a release video about the Alpha 5 features, like I said.
I'll do one once the FUG is complete, I really want to complete this tool before since that's the biggest part of the alpha 6.

One new part of the FUG is now complete: the orbits generation.
It's the basis of the generation of a planetary system: it determining if a star can have orbits by taking in account many parameters like if the stellar system is a single, binary or trinary system, the mean separations and the minimal approach distance between them.
Now I begin to update the FUG interface to enter manual parameter for orbital objects. It will be possible to design by hand some data and let the rest to be automatically generated.
It will be useful since I will use some real information about extrasolar planetary systems.
OK, you can always argue: "if there's a tool to generate entire systems, why to have pre-designed ones in game and not random ones?" Well, it's not technically possible, since the customized surface of planets are generated by a third party tool and aren't only cosmetic because the determining of the types of regions are based on it, in other term it's the only required manual part of star system generation w/ the FUG. Since all the data are linked between them, to make predetermined data sets randomly distributed isn't also possible. In other ways, I don't have skills to make a custom fractal mapping generation and a random regions distribution system.
But anyway, as I said in a previous post, some orbital object's data are randomized in FARC, like the resources, the biosphere and any "special features and artifacts" the surface can have.
Finally, the asteroids belts are reinstated; it wasn't the case before this alpha because I didn't know how to implement them. In the previous failed iterations there were present but... unplayable.
Now, they will be present and fully playable, in fact the solution was already here, right in front of me: they are treated like satellites. The belt itself is the main object, and it will be possible to browse and interact with each asteroid of a belt by browsing them like planet's satellites. So in the Alpha 6 you will certainly see at least one asteroids belt in the final generated alpha centauri system.
That's all for now.