Re: [nbos] [AS] Suggestions for AS 2.1
"Mike Oliver"
Wed Oct 3rd, 2007
I think you may be expecting a bit much of the program. Its main purpose
is to provide users with a means of generating a galactic sector and its
entire contents. I believe the graphic displays are intended as a means
of showing players the general layout of a star system and the planetary
systems within it. I view of the distances involved, I think trying to
show the star system together with all the planetary and satellite
bodies within it would prodice such a visual muddle that it would defeat
the object.

I can't imagine the complexity of a computer programme that attempts to
replicate, visually, all the orbital perturbations of a complete star
system. Then if I try to extrapolate that to cover the thousands of
stellar systems within a galactic sector, my brain shuts down.

I may have misunderstood you or Ed my chime in and tell us he's planning
to incorporate it all into V3 of AS.

It's been a long time since I tried out Celestia and I'm not familiar
with ChView2 but I have run several SF campaigns with AS2 as my only
tool and I haven't had any problems with convincing my players that what
they see is a reasonable representation of the section of space they are
in. Generally, they are impressed with what AS2 shows them.

However, having said all that, some of the things you are suggesting
would be nice..


Mike <>

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Sam Orton
Sent: 02 October 2007 17:11
Subject: Re: [nbos] [AS] Suggestions for AS 2.1

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.


"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


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