Re: [nbos] [AS] Star density/frequency
Daniel Williamson
Mon May 28th, 2007
I don't have a complete answer for you. But I can make two observations. First, I think that if you look at the NBOS online site, which I don't have handy (NOX?) you will find some different models for populating sectors. Secondly, it is my opinion that if you looked at a 500LY sphere around Sol, you might find several times more stars than the 42,000 known ones you mention. If you take a look at the relative frequency of dim red and orange stars as you move further away, you find relatively less and less of them. Probably because they are harder to spot.

Anyway, my approach to dealing with my 300LY sphere was to break it into 27 sectors each 100LY on a side. I only have one file that contains them all and it does not have anything other than the base stars and the routes. I did not include any system contents in the uber-file. Each of the 27 sectors has full system information as well as routes. I will import trade route information into the uber-file as soon as I get around to it. I only just finished the trade route map last week and it may be some days before the trade routes go into AS.

Baltimore Maryland.


----- Original Message ----
From: Andrew Seel <>
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2007 12:21:16 PM
Subject: [nbos] [AS] Star density/frequency

Hello everyone! I'm Andreus, new on the mailing list. I'm an avid user
of AstroSynthesis 2.0 and have used it for months now. I just had a
little gripe with the system I wanted to talk about, and possibly
discuss a solution for.

Currently, when generating new sector data, the only way to control
the density of your starfields is "Star Frequency", which, in my
experience, tends to be highly arbitrary. I like using clustered star
distribution, as this tends to create interesting sectors with a lot
of variance in cluster shape, which makes for fun storytelling.

The "Star Frequency" slider seems to be broken, or at best, fairly
random. Take for example the 500 ly sphere sector I just spend the
entire night generating - it has over 400,000 systems, whereas a
500-ly sphere area around Earth only has roughly 42,000. We're looking
at an order of magnitude more stars than one would expect, and I
generated that system on the lowest setting. The sector was way too
big to be anywhere near manageable - it was 3.15 gb (!!), and even
trying to look at it in "Show hospitable systems only" lagged quite
badly. This was far from ideal.

Testing of the "Star Frequency" slider on 20/20/20 cubes produces star
frequency and density which seems to be way out of whack with known
models of space. The one I just generated for a test has 4,095 systems
on "even" distribution at the highest setting - I imagine this would
be something like what would happen close to the galactic core, but
planets probably aren't habitable there, so we would really venture
that close. "Clustered" on highest frequency produces a cube with 156
systems, still a bit high, but more acceptable.

I thought of a solution to fix this - I'm not sure how much work it
would take, but I was thinking you could change the "Star Frequency"
slider into two different ones, "Star Frequency/Amount" and "Star

"Star Frequency/Amount" would dictate the general amount of stars one
would expect to find in the sector, and thus the general amount that
whatever generation algorithm the program uses would be allowed to
create. If possible, I'd like this to have some setting which is close
to the star distribution we'd get around Sol.

"Star Density" would dictate the general distance one would find
between stars (which, depending on your star distribution template,
would still vary widely). This would further modify the star frequency
by only allowing a certain area of space to contain a certain number
of stars. Again, I'd like this to have some setting that's close to
what we'd find around Sol.

Failing that, does anyone have any tips that I could use to make
500-ly spheres that don't have an unmanageably large number of stars?

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