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Space Engine

#1
Hello, so after looking through the "Games" sub-forum I was actually very surprised to have not seen Space Engine mentioned anywhere, so I figured I would mention it here.

The official description on the main page reads: "SpaceEngine - is a freeware space simulation software that lets you explore the universe in three dimensions, starting from planet Earth to the most distant galaxies. Areas of the known universe are represented using actual astronomical data, while regions uncharted by astronomy are generated procedurally. Millions of galaxies, trillions of stars, countless planets - all available for exploration."

http://en.spaceengine.org

The first thing I'll say about it is that you will need a decent graphics card to run it, I have an ATI Radeon HD 5570 with 1GB of VRAM, so not amazing, but decent enough, and I can run it on the highest graphics settings, with... Quite a bit of lag but due to the nature of the simulation that's expected honestly. (Oh and also, there are no loading screens other than the initial game startup! It's awesome.)

So anyways, more about the actual program itself. (Notice I hesitate to call it a game, it's more of a simulator.) Space Engine will use actual astronomical data and probabilities to procedurally generate an entire universe for you to explore, at a total size of 10 x 10 x 10 gigaparsec's (32,616,334,400 lightyears cubed, keep in mind the Milky Way is approximately 100,000 - 120,000 lightyears in diameter.) This universe contains millions if not billions of galaxies, each one containing hundreds of billions of stars and each one of those with up to and upwards of 20 planets, and even further each one of those planets with up to and upwards of 10 moons. The kicker is that on maximum settings... It can look like this. (Disclaimer: I do not own the video, all credit to the maker.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRyPh2isk8A

Or see the SpaceEngine screenshot gallery on the official website.

Planets: http://en.spaceengine.org/photo/planets097/8
Deep Space: http://en.spaceengine.org/photo/deepspace097/9

So now with all of that being said, I will close with the following quote taken from the man himself who created the program, SpaceEngineer.
(And yes, this program was made by ONE person!)
Anyway, I should note: as long as SE is a scientifically accurate Universe simulator, then one day it will implement ALL space objects and phenomenon that are known to modern astronomy. So you may not bother yourself with questions like "will SE one day have meteor rain implemented". I guarantee that it WILL.
EDIT: Another thing I would like to mention is that if your in the program and try to land on earth or any other bodies in the "Sol" system, the terrain will not be as visually pleasing as the procedurally generated planets, this is because it is using actual data to try and replicate the real thing, which because of the size of a planet, is fairly hard to do in excessive detail. The reason procedurally generated planets are so detailed is because the computer has free reign to create whatever it wants in as much detail as it can possibly create.
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Re: Space Engine

#4
DWMagus wrote:Whoa.

That is really pretty.
Indeed! When I first found Space Engine it took me about a week to get my jaw off the floor. xD

One thing I really like to do in Space Engine though is pick a random galaxy, then a random star system within it, and do like a complete screenshot catalogue of everything in that star system. Another cool aspect to Space Engine is that since it's procedurally generated everybody has the same "universe seed" so everybody can explore the same universe and share locations with other people.

It's awesome though to know that there are so many places to go and explore, that even if you only spent 1 second on each planet you went to, and went 24/7 with no sleep, it would still take your entire life and you only would have actually seen a sliver of everything there is to see. It's amazing, and what's even more amazing is the fact that Space Engineer was actually able to get all this to run on a desktop computer, at such a high level of detail.
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Space Engine

#5
Sorry if this has been posted before, but the search function told me my terms were too general.
Looks like a pretty cool space sim: (the website could use a redesign in my opinion, though...) http://en.spaceengine.org/
I dunno, looks like an interesting combination of procedural and astronomical content. Clearly not designed to be a game, but more of a simulator. What do you all think?
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Re: Space Engine

#6
DarkCrescent wrote:Sorry if this has been posted before, but the search function told me my terms were too general.
Looks like a pretty cool space sim: (the website could use a redesign in my opinion, though...) http://en.spaceengine.org/
I dunno, looks like an interesting combination of procedural and astronomical content. Clearly not designed to be a game, but more of a simulator. What do you all think?
I actually have this on my comp! :D it is pretty cool

~Sly
IVE BEEN OUT OF MY MIND A LONG TIME
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Re: Space Engine

#7
DarkCrescent wrote:Clearly not designed to be a game, but more of a simulator. What do you all think?
It has been used extensively by one of the authors in the Elite: Dangerous camp for making some impressive update videos. As you rightly say, allthough it can't be classed as a game it does deserve a place here. Thanks for posting DarkCrescent. :)
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Re: Space Engine

#9
Flatfingers wrote: The only thing that annoys me is that it's not being released as an engine so I can build a game around it!
That and I seem to have frequent crashes with it. :|
Image
Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Space Engine

#14
The thing is, though, it's not just "pretty" -- the darn thing just works.

Within seconds of looking at a mountain on a planet, you can zoom further and further and further out until you're looking at the web-like structure of galaxies in the universe. And it's smooth. The whole experience just feels right.

I do find Space Engine a little annoying, though (beyond not actually being available as an engine). It works so well that it makes my feeble efforts at 3D code look like the random hand spasms of a not-especially-clever infant. That's a bit embarrassing. It's the main reason why I wish SE were available as an engine, preferably with its functions exposed via an API -- I really don't enjoy the idea of having to go back to chasing stupid C++ pointer fails.

All that said, Space Engine really is a remarkable feat of programming. It's well worth picking up at its current low, low price of "free."
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Re: Space Engine

#15
Flatfingers wrote:I do find Space Engine a little annoying, though (beyond not actually being available as an engine). It works so well that it makes my feeble efforts at 3D code look like the random hand spasms of a not-especially-clever infant. That's a bit embarrassing. It's the main reason why I wish SE were available as an engine, preferably with its functions exposed via an API -- I really don't enjoy the idea of having to go back to chasing stupid C++ pointer fails.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_pointer
woops, my bad, everything & anything actually means specific and conformed

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