|written by Kynreeve on Apr 06, 2011 04:53|
|Space Engine is a new space simutor focused entirely on exploration (kinda like Celestia), made by a single-person developer from Russia. Here's what the official site says (i'll just translate it roughly):|
|SpaceEngine - is a free space simulator that lets you explore the universe in three dimensions, starting from the home planet to the most distant galaxies. The known part of the universe is represented by the actual astronomical data, while the unknown areas are represented by procedural generation. Millions of galaxies, trillions of stars, an infinite number of planets...|
Features:All basic types of space objects: planets and moons, stars, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies.Free movement of the observer. Seamless transition between any bodies, any scale.WASD controls, with optional inertia.Autopilot: just select the object and press 'G', to automatically fly towards it.Search by name, map of planetary systems, saving of locations [?], autopilot journal.Real time planet movement, with possible acceleration, deceleration and reversal of time.Visible planet orbits, labels and grid.Auto binding to the moving object with optimum flight speed.Known objects: the galaxy (NGC/ IC), stars (HIPPARCOS), star clusters, nebulae, planets (solar system and extrasolar planets).Procedural generation of objects in unknown regions of space: star clusters, nebulae, planetary systems.Volumetric 3D models of galaxies and nebulae (sprites) with consideration of light-absorbing dust clouds, optimized render to skybox and "impostery" [imposters?].3D topography of the planets and the stars. Real data from space probes is used for most of solar system bodies. Procedural landscape generation for everyting else.Lighting effects: corona, solar eclipses, ring shadows, inter-planetary illuminaton [rough].Exact model of the Earth atmosphere (by Eric Bruneton) adapted for other planets.Ability to add models, catalogs and textures.
|Some direct links to screenshots.|
* Procedurally generated planets(gallery):
Inhabited terrestrial planet
Uninhabited terrestrial planet 1
Uninhabited terrestrial planet 2
Habitable terrestrial moon
Warm planet with huge lakes
Airless planet in nebula
Blue star planet
Planet near a globular cluster
Moon in turbid sky
Gas giant clouds
Gas giant with rings
Double sunset from orbit
Terrestrial planet with two suns
* Solar system(gallery):
Venus, under clouds
Earth, North America
Mars, Olympus Mons
Mars, sunrise over Valles Marineris
*Outer space (gallery):
M51 galaxy 1
M51 galaxy 2
M51 galaxy 3
M51 galaxy 4
Distribution of galaxies in NGC/IC catalogue
|So, basically, it's a very promising procedural universe engine.|
OK, not quite so. The thing is, Space Engine is one mean videocard-chewing monstrosity. Just look at the system requirements:
CPU 3.0 GHz
RAM 2 Gb
Video ATI 3850 GeForce 9800 GTX, ATI 4870
vRAM 1024 Mb
Minimum vRAM supported is 512 Mb. Move aside, SpaceWay.
Also it seems that there are some complications with configuring the game properly. For example to run it you NEED to specify your videocard memory in config/main.cfg first, or else.
So, if any of you guys still willing to try it out, here's two download links (IF they'll work for you -- it's a russian hosting, and in soviet russia files host you... well, you just need to enter a captcha and hit the green button):
- Full version (with Solar System textures):
http://narod.ru/disk/2547117001/SpaceEngine%200.84b.zip.html -- 342 Mb
- Mini version (without Solar System textures):
http://narod.ru/disk/6902298001/SpaceEngine%200.90%20mini.rar.html -- 42.95 Mb
Fortunately, there's a readme in english.
Me, I can't even get it past a splash screen on my friggin GF7300 toaster.
|└> last changed by Kynreeve on April 06, 2011 at 05:09|
|written by Kynreeve on Apr 06, 2011 05:56|
|written by 4616599 on Apr 06, 2011 11:15|
|Looks interesting; I'll have a dowload, But does it have procedurally generated bipedal hopping floppy creatures going around pyramids?|
|This is actually really quite awesome. : D|
It runs pretty decently on my system. (At least until it started acting up and then crashed. : P)
According to the official documentation, these are the minimum requirements...
CPU 2.0 GHz
RAM 2 Gb
Video GeForce 8800, ATI 3850
Video RAM 512 Mb
CPU 3.0 GHz
RAM 2 Gb
Video GeForce 9800 GTX, ATI 4870
Video RAM 1024 Mb
|The video card requirements do look a bit high for something like this, but I think it could run on somewhat lower-end hardware as well. I have an HD 4670 (which now might be considered lower mid-range) which is similar in performance to an HD 3850. From what I've seen of the program so far, it appears to perform quite well, so a moderately slower graphics card could easily be usable, so long as it has the necessary pixel shaders and video memory. I also have just 1.5 GB RAM (running XP) and an Athlon 3500+, which isn't particularly fast nowadays. The program did seem to be maxing out my CPU, and there was some occasional stuttering when approaching planets, but overall things performed fairly well.|
As for the program itself, it's quite impressive. The main controls are well done, using WASD with the mouse to move around. You can smoothly accelerate from planetary to galactic speeds with the scroll wheel, and can approach an object by clicking it and pressing G. Right-clicking and dragging to circle around a selected object looks very neat. While the program does still have some rough edges here and there, overall things are looking really nice.
It's not Noctis, and surface-level features more detailed than lakes and mountains are more or less nonexistent, but I wouldn't mind if a future Noctis had a space engine that was something like that. : )
|My PC isn't too bad, I'll give this a whirl assuming I can figure out how to download this thing..|
|written by Kynreeve on Apr 06, 2011 20:44|
|Just enter the number above the green button and hit enter, the download will start automatically.|
I think it mostly depends on how much video memory you have. I guess if your videocard has 512 Mb or more, it should run on you PC.
|written by Kristos on Apr 20, 2011 10:18|
My thoughts exactly!
|But does it have procedurally generated bipedal hopping floppy creatures going around pyramids?|
|So tried this out. I really like it, except there's a few things bugging me:|
1) It crashes all the time.
2) Getting close to gas giants/ice giants == have fun waiting for it to load/generate the atmo/planet for the next 45 minutes.
3) You really can't get all that close to the words, and they don't look very detailed.
It is rather serene to hop on a moon and speed up time to watch the sunrise planetrise and their respective sets.
|Yep, it does tend to crash a lot, and I noticed performance issues with gas giants as well. It definitely could use improvement, but what's there looks rather nice much of the time. Hopefully, it will continue to be improved.|
The last time I was playing I did take a handful of screenshots. One thing to note is that the in-game screenshot feature seems to flip images vertically and horizontally, so you have to flip them back to normal afterward...
Viewing a nearby globular cluster from above a planetary surface:
The planet's parent star, overlooking a mountain range:
In orbit, with an arm of the galaxy visible in the distance:
|written by Kynreeve on Sep 01, 2011 20:39|
|So I finally brought home some of the shots I made during my "coffee-break flights" at work. Dark ones look best in fullscreen.|
And also, a 16 sec. video of a sunrise on some terra!
Don't blame me, it's my first on youtube... It was put together in phortoshop from half a dozen jpegs — courtesy of SE's built-in movie maker. Ach!
|written by Valorin on Sep 02, 2011 01:24|
|written by 4616599 on Sep 02, 2011 15:14|
|I've just downloaded it. My first target of choice was an asteroid moon(as you can tell I'm quite fond of minor objects), which crashed my computer shortly after. |
Liking it so far though!
|written by Valorin on Sep 02, 2011 15:21|
|#'s, did you configure your video card's memory?|
|written by 4616599 on Sep 02, 2011 18:06|
|I'll have a glance at it. The framerate counter reached 0.04 at one point.|
Anyway, headed for the Large Magellanic Cloud's Tarantula Nebula region. The results were gorgeous...
(and if you think this looks good, you should've seen the surface shot I was going to take...until my computer crashed the 4th time)
|written by Kynreeve on Sep 02, 2011 18:50|
|WHOA. I'd like to pay this system a visit. The sky at night on this little moon must be really a sight to behold.|