View Full Version : [unpaid]Care to create a universe creation site?

04-12-2009, 10:26 PM
I was going through some old notes I'd made about a website idea I had.

I'm copy and pasting them here from a small site I run for my friends locally where a few of us were discussing it.


I've been reminded, working with children as of late, of how much fun it is to create your own worlds. Some of us draw houses, others maps, and still others new creatures and worlds.

As a way to keep my creative juices flowing and to provide a scaffold for my own creations, I've setup a place to, well, create a universe.

Essentially, the idea is for this to be a place to create your own worlds. These worlds are, of course, always yours to do with as you please, though others may also create within your framework, provided they do not modify the "Canon" of your solar system, star fleet, or household on a planet. They must always give way to the "higher" laws.

As such, right now, I'm just starting to define The Universe. That, is, I'm trying to define the highest creative element on the basis of physical rules under which all creates will fall. So far, a basic co-ordinate system to define the physical and temporal locations of your creations.

This is a fluid entity with no real defined rules, though anything that goes on it is "fair game" for use in the creations of others (open-source in that sense)...though you have the rights to do anything you want with your own creations outside the website as well.

Anyway, just a place to play. I'm thinking that some of you may like to create solar systems, while others may like to populate the worlds created with nature, cities, or desolate wastelands. Perhaps one of you is a stickler for details and wants to simply recreate our Solar system while plugging in information about our planet, and defining periods of history etc, in which to create historical fiction.

Problems I foresee - people may want to create multiple stories on Earth in the same time and place, or change periods of "established" history. How could we describe (and track) multiple dimensions here? etc...be creative...tell anyone you want. It's there for fun and freedom. And if you want to "mod" or "admin", let me know, and I'll set you up...I'm open to ideas.

As well, if you know of a better infrastructure to base this setup on, please let me know. I just put this up this morning so that I had a place to start tracking my thoughts. Ideally, we'd be able to setup basic templates for some creations (i.e., solar system -> class of star, number of orbits, what is in each orbit; or for a planet -> mass, radius, Class, etc)....


How do I physically and temporally locate something in The Universe?

To facilitate understanding of location at the universal level, physical locations of stars, black holes, etc, are identified using the following co-ordinate system.

This will allow, for example, a given creator to identify a star's location specifically, such that another creator will not mistakenly place a star at that location.

Within individual creations, of course, inhabitants will not likely use this co-ordinate system, as its purpose is to be used at the creative level for organizational reasons.


The Universe, while in motion, is relatively static in the relative distances between its phsyical entities. That is to say, given star systems will typically remain in the same co-ordinate location for all time; an exception to this may be if your creation involves a roving galactic fleet, or some strange roving black hole, for example.


The co-ordinate system used is measured in light years and can be contained in a cube 10 000 000 cubic light years. This cube, 1000 light years to a side uses a coordinate system begining at 0 on the x,y, and z axis in the back lefthand, lower corner, such that all locations are positive coordinates.

We also use an indication of time, called "UT" to represent the period in which a creation takes place.



An era is a period of 1 000 000 000 Earth years, thus allowing our Universe to span a very great deal of time.

1UT is 1 000 000 Earth years.

1.500001UT represents 1 billion and 500 million Earth Years.


Co-ordinates are reported in the following format:


xxx represents the coordinate along the horizontal axis and may be a value between 0 and 999.

yyy represents the coordinate along the vertical axis and may be a value between 0 and 999.

zzz represents the coordinate along the dimensional axis that runs perpendicular to the other two, and may be a value between 0 and 999.

era represents the period in universal history in which the creation exists.

A co-ordinate of 000-000-000:000 would be in the lower back left corner of our imaginary cube. Temporally, we are speaking of the instant the universe was created.

A co-ordinate of 999-000-000:500 would be in the lower back right corner of our imaginary cube. Temporally, we are speaking of the 500 billionth year of The Univserse.

A co-ordinate of 000-999-000:9109339 would be in the upper back left corner of our imaginary cube. Temporall, we are speaking of the 9109339 billionth year of The Univserse.

A co-ordinate of 000-000-999:500 would be in the lower front left corner of our imaginary cube. Temporally, we are speaking of the 500 billionth year of The Univserse.

A co-ordinate of 500-500-500:500 would be in the approximate center of our of our imaginary cube. Temporally, we are speaking of the 500 billionth year of The Universe.


What sort of breakdown for creation would we need to define?

Universe - think of as 10 000 light years diameter - 1 000 000 000 sectors for creation

UT - Universal time unit = 1 billion years?


Co-ordinate standard (1000 units x,y,z, with each unit = 10 light years?)

Physical Entities

Black Hole

Solar System





Life span (in UT)

Oribits (1-x?)

Force of Gravity
described orbit?
Moons (1-x)


Anyone feel like helping figure this out?

If someone was into doing some of the tech stuff to make templates, even better!

Think the Star Wars Universe or the Tolkien Universe or... your universe as detailed as you want to make it. Or get help making it.

04-12-2009, 10:27 PM
NOTE: the setup place is nixed, as I just don't have the technical expertise.

Really, that's what I'm looking for here. Anyone interested in helping a not-for-profit venture that may be useful to many.


04-13-2009, 07:23 AM
Hi Guy,

Interesting and, er, optimistic project you have there. :)

Just a couple of things: firstly, I can't help plugging it, so before Redrobes beats me to it, you might find Viewingdale could help you create your universe - it'll create mine.

Secondly, about your measurements:
the current age of the real universe in your units is about 15 UT. If the universe ends in a 'Big Crunch' that's likely to take place in about 50 UT, or if the universe expands forever perhaps it'll last 10,000 UT before the last stars die. Just to put a few limits in there.

I wouldn't count on the universe being 'static' for more than a few UT. Those are rather long periods of time you have there, stars and clusters move about more than you'd think, in fact a yellow star star will only live for ten or so UT.

If your universe is to have creatures that are recognisably 'human', your time period will need to be between 4.5 and 5.5 UT after the Big Bang even at the most optimistic.

You have mentioned a cube 1000 ly side-length and a sphere 10,000 ly across for the 'universe'.
Our galaxy is over 100,000 ly across, so even your 10k ly 'universe' will just be a small zone within a single galaxy.

Of course, if your 'universe' is magical fantasy, all bets are off, but realistically, if I were you I'd greatly increase your distance range and greatly reduce your time range.

04-13-2009, 11:43 AM
You're right on all counts!

Part of the challenge is creating something manageable...

1000x1000x1000, even, is 1,000,000,000 sectors....which brings my computer to a crawl just trying to manage the "sector" coordinates list...

My thoughts tend to be on the lines of a 100x100x100 blocks, that then fit into a larger coordinate system, as necessary.

p.s., for those interested, apparently the current thinking is that the universe is actually expanding at an accelerating rate - not slowing down and ready to collapse again, as I was taught many many years ago. Apparently cosmology has, well, changed and learned a lot in only the last 15 years....

04-13-2009, 11:47 AM
And thank you for reading through my notes! I appreciate any suggestions...now I don't suppose you want to help with the technical side? I'm thinking that, basically, a wiki with predefined templates is what's needed :D

04-13-2009, 03:05 PM
Sorry, astronomy I can help with (to some extent) but computer hardware and software is over my head - remember Oddball's famous quote? Well, I'm a bit shaky at driving them too. :)

Sounds like you don't need the astronomy help either, so I'll just lurk and maybe pitch in later if something comes up that I do know about.

04-13-2009, 03:30 PM
no, please help! My full knowledge was found trying to figure out the math of world creation, and a lecture from last week at the Imax from some "name" in research from the local university.

Greason Wolfe
04-13-2009, 05:09 PM
As a suggestion, you might look at how the ISDB (Internet Stellar Database) sets up their pages as far as a template might go. The "template" I use is similar to theirs, but geared specifically towards personal use. You could also look at a few gaming systems (Space Masters from GURPS, if it is still around), Traveler or the MechWarrior/Battletech systems.

A few extra things you might want to consider, particularly for those that don't have any kind of astronomy background, is that some stars are simply not suited towards the development of life or sustaining it for great lengths of time. This comes from their size, temperatures, luminosity and lifespans. And those stars that can develop and/or sustain life (short of terraforming) have specific regions in which life can exist, assuming carbon based life forms.

A few good links;

ISDB - http://www.stellar-database.com/
Zoom Astronomy - http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/
All Experts - http://en.allexperts.com/e/a/as/ (scroll down to the astronomy selections)
Cosmobrain - http://www.cosmobrain.com/index.html

Also, you might want to check into Astrosynthesis from NBOS. Icos mentioned Viewingdale, but I'm not familiar with it, so can't speak on its capabilities. I have/do use Astrosynthesis, however, and it can be handy for generating large numbers of stars (with their children) fairly quickly.

Oh, and one last thing you might want to look at is WinStarGen. I've found it to be invaluable when trying to get more detail about the planets orbiting a star. ( http://www.eldacur.com/~brons/NerdCorner/StarGen/StarGen.html )


04-13-2009, 05:26 PM
Fantastic! Thank you.

The last two programs you mention are ones I've played with. They were both contributors to the generation of the above idea. Great little programs.

Greason Wolfe
04-13-2009, 05:34 PM
Not a problem, and hope the links help with your project. The only downside to Astrosynthesis is when generating the sector report. Sometimes the web page it produces is absolutely huge. I did a report strictly for Sol with all its planets and moons and it was (I think) 17 pages long. I don't even remember what the size was as far as memory, but I've generated pages measuring in the 10s to 100s of megabytes for a full sector report that lists all stars and their children.


04-16-2009, 05:31 AM
no, please help! My full knowledge was found trying to figure out the math of world creation, and a lecture from last week at the Imax from some "name" in research from the local university.

Well, I'm here, but I don't know that I can help at this stage - sounds like you need a computer expert/webdesigner at the moment and that's waaay out of my league. :)

Those are useful links, GW, thanks, I'll see if I can bonk your rep for that. :)