Re: [nbos] [AS] Suggestions for AS 2.1
Sam Orton
Tue Oct 2nd, 2007


T'Star <bedlamandmayhem-at-gmail.com> wrote: This has actually come up in commentary before. And it's been
addressed: Yes, the algorithm actually DOES take into consideration
the astronomical data (as much as is possible without running month
long simulations), including the gravitational influences on planets.
The scale is the largest impedance to the actual display.

~Heather, who is a dabbler in astronomy only. (Geology... that I know.)


Hmmm.... I think I may be taken as asking for more than I actually am. If you go to a star, you can pull up a system display. It shows planetary orbits, but not all the moons. To get satellite orbits you can go to any parent body (such as a gas giant) and pull it up there, and it shows planet and satellites, but not the parent star or other planets. There's probably a basic underlying assumption (a valid one I think) that for example, the current location of Mars isn't going to make a measurable difference in conditions on Callisto. The effects of the immediate parent body, Jupiter, will override all other factors.

Okay, so if you click on a multiple star system, allow it to bring up a single level system display, like those at planetary and satellite level. True, depending on the spread of the stellar system, a GM may want to take into account that the orbits of outer planets of a binary may be captured or slung by the other star. But a picky GM will be taking that into account anyway, and one who isn't picky is unlikely to be bothered by the logical inconsistencies. The only tough part I see about having such a display is having it orbit around system barycenter rather than a given star. If one or more of the children is a multiple itself, display the orbit of that subsystem's barycenter. Taking it to 2 levels so you can show contents of a child multiple star system would be good, but that's also probably a pretty fundamental change to how the system display works, too.

I dunno, maybe I'm just showing how ignorant I am of modern programming principles. It just seems to me that the system display code is already there, you just need a means for multiple star systems to call on it in the same way single star systems do. Assuming you can find a way to tag system barycenter as center instead of an object, the rest of the commands to call up a system display should be the same throughout. The only place I see it getting really weird is in close multiples, where objects are so deep in each others' gravity wells that tidal forces are trying to shred everything in the system.

I'm trying to see this from all sides. Yes, gamers and GMs can be like spoiled children, wanting everything. To be fair, they're creating a universe, in order for it to be complete they *have to* have EVERYTHING. And yes, programmers have no problem trying to give it to them, provided that the nights they stay up figuring out this cool new feature actually translates into money for the bills at some point. Can't say as I blame them a bit. And yes, I fully sympathize with "Oh I could write it, sure.... but your machine couldn't run it."

I'm just thinking that the less likely a GM is to try to run AS *and* Celestia AND ChView2 all at once, because AS takes care of all of it, the better AS will sell.

Sam



"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason and intellect intended us to forego their use." - Galileo Galilei

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