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written by Alex on Oct 13, 2003 02:44

Noctis IV build 3.1

A dreamable space simulation
written by Fottifoh between 1996 and 2001
manual: Ryan J. Bury, background: Shmerm

cd/zips/Alex/noctis (1817 Kb)
Table of contents:
Noctis description
This current section, read on to find out what Noctis is all about - how you install and use it on your machine, and also the basic rules for the starmap and guide.

The Past of Noctis
Take a look at the very first versions of Noctis as they appeared in 2000-2002

Noctis Companion Programs
Read about and download companion programs to Noctis; from NoctisMapper to a Felisian Desktop Clock!

The Future
Take a "sneak-peek" at what hides in the future of the Noctis simulator; includes all screenshots released so far from the new version.

Latest Inbox
Download the latest Inbox - an update to Noctis' starmap and guide, which provides the latest entries from other stardrifters. By using inboxes, the mapped parts of the galaxy can grow with new discoveries. Note: If you have just downloaded Noctis for the first time you do not need the inbox, Alex updates the Noctis zip to include the most recent inbox when he makes them.

Modified Versions
If you are a programmer and would like to release a modified version of Noctis IV or its source code, you must first agree to the conditions written here.

Noctis: the latin word for "night", and the title of this simulator. Night, after all, is just the word we use to describe the absence of light while the Earth is turned away from the sun, and in space, there is no light but the distant pinpricks of ancient stars. Space is a lonely place, but it harbours some truly spectacular secrets; eerily glowing pulsars, enormous red giants, glittering, beautiful nebulae, and deadly, all-consuming singularities to name but a few. For most people, the thought of going into space and exploring such sights is an impossible dream. But no longer; Noctis allows you to do just that. In technical terms, it is a fully 3D galaxy, which allows you to explore thousands of stars, their planets and moons. From the moment you first play Noctis, you'll be hooked.

Ryan J. Bury

Installation: download the ZIP archive from the link above, unzip it to a folder of your choice, launch the icon called "GO!", and you'll be running Noctis. To quit at any time, press the Esc key. Now that curiosity might be satisfied, if you still like the program, you might read this page and the instructions manual, for important informations about this simulator (or game? or whatever?).

The ZIP archive, apart from the GO! launcher, contains a few folders: the MODULES folder, holding the program and the GOES COMMAND NET modules; the GALLERY folder, where the program saves photographs you can take at any time while exploring the galaxy; the FILES folder, containing pictures for the instruction manual; and finally there's the DATA folder. This last folder holds three very important files: STARMAP, GUIDE and CURRENT. The STARMAP is a file containing the official names, given by me and other explorers, to discovered stars and planets. Because the starmap can be extended by assigning names to "unknown stars", you can start a funny career of "galactic cartographer". You can give a name to all the stars and planets which don't already have an "official name": the new names will be added to STARMAP.BIN on your local machine. Then, if you want your contribute to be added to the official starmap I'm keeping on this server, it's easy as pie:

  • Place in front of the GOES screen, type OUTBOX and press ENTER.
  • A file called "OUTBOX.ZIP" will be created in your DATA folder.
  • Via the "tell me" link of the site navigation bar, send OUTBOX.ZIP to me for approval.

I have a program which scans your file searching for the stars and planets you have given a name to, and automatically signals any assignments to entities which were already discovered by others before you. If there are no recurrences of this kind, the program adds the names to the official starmap, which is periodically uploaded to this server, for any other players to see.

The guide holds a collection of short notes about planets and stars. As for the STARMAP, the notes are written by explorers all around the world, and everyone can contribute by sending the GUIDE file for approval. Any new contents you write to the guide are included in the OUTBOX file, and processed in the same way. To keep your STARMAP and GUIDE files always up to date, visit THIS PAGE once per week or so, and download the file containing the most recent additions, which will be posted as the last message of this thread. That file will need to be renamed INBOX.ZIP and you'll need placing it into the DATA folder. Then, another GOES module, called INBOX, will take care of extracting the informations from that file, in a totally automated way.

CURRENT.BIN is the file where the program saves the actual situation: your current position, the on-board computer's configuration, the amount of lithium you have, and so on. This file is updated each time you quit Noctis by pressing the ESCAPE key. An additional file, called SURFACE.BIN, will also be saved whenever you quit while you're on the surface of a planet.

Taking photographs is funny. You can take a lot of photographs (upto ten thousands), because each of them takes only 64 Kb. To take one (at any time during your exploration), press the asterisk key on the numeric keypad. All photographs will be saved as Windows Bitmaps, and progressively numbered from SNAP0000 to SNAP9999, inside the "gallery" folder.

Rules for assigning names and writing comments:

  1. The NOCTIS' GALAXY IS NOT THE MILKY WAY GALAXY. The names of stars and planets cannot reflect the names of the objects found in the Milky Way. You can't, for short, call a star Arcturus, Lalande 21185, Fomalhaut... as well as you can't call a planet Mars, Neptune, Jupiter, etc.
  2. The guide's comments must be written in English. Apart from the fact that you cannot write them, for instance, in French, because the guide doesn't support for accents and language-specific signs, the GOES network decided that there must be a standard language for explorers to understand each other. That said, star names may be also given in any other languages.
  3. Both star names and comments should not contain rough language and/or offensive words, because the guide and the starmap are open to explorers of any age. If you don't respect those rules, the names and comments won't be accepted as part of the official database.
  4. You're discouraged from reporting about imaginary alien races. They're not in any parts of the galaxy (have proofs) and such reports may generate senseless hopes and confusion between other explorers. The Felisians are currently the only sentient lifeform in the Noctis galaxy.
└> last changed by Neuzd on March 09, 2015 at 21:26
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