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View Full Version : How big is really really big - ViewingDale universe



Redrobes
02-28-2009, 10:35 PM
Icohedron was asking about doing sci fi maps and whether ViewingDale had large units like light years. It has got them and parsecs too but it was always a bit experimental and not very well tested. He also wanted astronomical units and light seconds added to the scales list which I have done.

Well I tested it and it seems that the maximum extents that the app can handle is about +/- 50 AU's. I have done a test in the past and remembered that the scales involved in space maps to scale are just silly.

So I thought id make up a bit of our solar system to show how silly it is. Here is a movie of it (http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/Temp/CG/VD_Demo5/Universe.avi). Its 15Mb and using XviD codec as usual to keep it down so sorry about the poor quality.

It shows that unless you have arrows with arrows on the tips of the arrows then you will miss your planet when zooming around. Its not really a sensible option. It can do it, but I don't think its worth doing any map to scale beyond planetary size. After that, make a chart and put in jump hot spots to your planets.

töff
03-06-2009, 03:26 PM
I love it!

Have you ever used Starry Night? http://www.starrynight.com/

trevor
03-06-2009, 03:40 PM
As always, VD's zooming is very impressive.

I agree with you, realistic scales do not always lend themselves to practical play (especially when we talk about space travel!)

Redrobes
03-06-2009, 03:43 PM
No. I am afraid I don't do a lot of sci-fi gaming. In fact not a lot of real gaming at all these days but I used to do a lot of fantasy instead. Icohedron was asking about doing Traveller maps with it and about whether he could put all the planets about in real scale and I didn't think it was a good idea and I didn't know how big the app could do anyways. I have got parsecs and lightyears in there but it was always a bit experimental. They seem a bit pointless now so I have added AU's and light-seconds instead. I'll probably change lightyears and parsecs into nano lightyears and nano parsecs instead so that the app can cope better with them.

He uses Celestia too which I have no experience with either. It appears tho that with a little batch file you can start the app and make it run the pre-programmed fly past so I said its probably that we can put hot links down on the map to start it and do flyby's of certain areas. That's still uncertain but it would be cool if it allowed it.

Edit -- Oh hello Trevor. Crossed time line post there. Thanks and I must add to your rep score - its not at all describing your achievements currently.

töff
03-06-2009, 03:46 PM
... realistic scales do not always lend themselves to practical play (especially when we talk about space travel!)On the contrary. In my gameworld, you accelerate up to the speed of light, and then you can make one lightyear's distance in a year. It only takes 112 years to get from Earth to the Lattice! No problem ... esp. when you have medical tech that lets you stay young forever.

Redrobes
03-06-2009, 03:48 PM
No alien tech for FTL then ? Shocking !

töff
03-06-2009, 03:52 PM
Jusrt because you asked ... yeh, there's alien FTL, but humanity hasn't figured out how it works, and all the teleporters are in the middle of the artificial planets, rigged to to go one neighbor world at a time.

Meanwhile, everywhere else ... it's lightspeed, baby!

I think it really enhances the sense of scale, which with FTL is minimized, sadly.

jfrazierjr
03-06-2009, 03:57 PM
On the contrary. In my gameworld, you accelerate up to the speed of light, and then you can make one lightyear's distance in a year. It only takes 112 years to get from Earth to the Lattice! No problem ... esp. when you have medical tech that lets you stay young forever.


I think he is talking about the practicality of navigation at that scale as RR alluded to in his original post. The basic issue is that the tiniest of bearing changes and you totally miss your destination. Of course, if there was a database with coordinates (in x,y,z dimensions), for each celestial body and you as the player could say "go here" then that solves that problem.

RPMiller
03-07-2009, 01:55 AM
Edit -- Oh hello Trevor. Crossed time line post there. Thanks and I must add to your rep score - its not at all describing your achievements currently.

Absolutely! Feel the thunder of my +9 boom stick. ;)

icosahedron
03-07-2009, 03:28 AM
Hi guys, I've just found this thread.
Yeah, VD is great for its scale capability, but as Redrobes demonstrated, it doesn't make much sense to map more than a couple of light-seconds. Once your planets vanish to dots, there's nothing left to map! After this, you just use a false-scale hex map to show star/planet locations.

Lightspeed has other problems attached from a scientific angle. Travelling that fast raises all sorts of nasties around time-dilation. That's why Sci-fi writers invented warp/hyper/jump drive. It soothes the headaches. :)

trevor
04-01-2009, 01:52 PM
It only takes 112 years to get from Earth to the Lattice! No problem ... esp. when you have medical tech that lets you stay young forever.[/QUOTE]

Whew, I hope you bring some reeeeeeaaaaallllly good reading material :)

guyanonymous
04-01-2009, 02:20 PM
The Viewingdale capabilities are, really, quite impressive!

jfrazierjr
04-01-2009, 02:22 PM
It only takes 112 years to get from Earth to the Lattice! No problem ... esp. when you have medical tech that lets you stay young forever.

Whew, I hope you bring some reeeeeeaaaaallllly good reading material :)[/quote]

LotR and The Silmarillion should cover most of the time, with Douglass Adams's HGttG when you need a good chuckle.....

Steel General
04-01-2009, 04:13 PM
Should probably take War & Peace along as well...

RPMiller
04-01-2009, 05:27 PM
I would suggest an unabridged Websters dictionary, and perhaps a few others from different languages. Make it educational as well. ;)

Oh, and probably a copy of PhotoShop CS 52 or Campaign Cartographer 26 so that you can map the cosmos as you zoom along. ;)

ravells
04-01-2009, 05:31 PM
That was mindblowing! Fantastic video Redrobes!

Toff: Don't the people in your universe go mad having to spend 112 years with each other on a ship? :)

RPMiller
04-01-2009, 05:33 PM
They're probably too busy working on the next generation... ;)

ravells
04-01-2009, 05:34 PM
And by the end of the trip they can all play 'duelling banjos' !!

torstan
04-01-2009, 05:36 PM
If I'm remembering my relativity correctly, the people on earth would measure the time it takes for the ship to travel a light year at light speed to be 1 year. However for the people on the ship it would be very little time indeed - vanishing to zero as they reach the speed of light. However you can never reach the speed of light, so really the perceived time would merely get smaller and smaller depending on how close to the speed of light you managed to get.

So actually, forget war and peace - if your tech is really good, you'd best pack a few dvds and then you're there.

This also avoids the ageing issue (apart from the fact that when you arrive back at earth you'll be answering to your former commander's great grandchildren).

RPMiller
04-01-2009, 06:05 PM
Always have to bring hard science in don't ya?! ;) And that is why you are cool! That and the awesome artistic abilities.

torstan
04-01-2009, 06:24 PM
:)

For the original interest in this stuff, check out the twin paradox. Also, Iain M Banks does this very well in the Algebraist with soldiers being a separate class that age differently due to the amount of time they spend close to light speed.

Redrobes
04-02-2009, 09:31 PM
I am reading Banks books now too. I have two more before I get Algebraist tho.

Just wanted to say that V1.07 of the app has been released, details of up-reving / patching can be found on the main site (http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/viewingdale.pl?category=version). I thought id mail that news here instead of the news section like I usually do cos it would knock off the FUMcon event which I still hope to get online for, if i can find two seconds to rub together in my unusually busy time right now. The Easter w/e should help out a bit there I hope. So you can play with AU's and lightseconds whilst reading war and peace...

RPMiller
04-03-2009, 01:46 AM
Hey, RR, I'll sticky the FUMcon announcement so that you can announce your new version on the News forum whenever you get a chance. This is the perfect time to announce too.