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DCIRogue System
Dev Entry 4/25/13

Okay, so you may have noticed one item on the public pre-Alpha to-do list has turned green. I now have ships using the new orbital mechanics system as well as celestial objects. This is what was required for this stage of development, so I can check it off the list.

In the prototype, it was a big challenge to get everything synchronized (planet orbiting sun, station orbiting planet, and ship docked within the station) without suffering from floating-point errors and such. In the worst cases the station could sometimes jump around by several hundred meters before I got it all working. That is no longer the case now that everything is calculating its own orbit locally. Without any fuss everything just works :) I can even put stations in orbit around moons, which I couldn’t do before at all. So, overall, a MUCH better implementation.

As a test I set up a situation where I parked the station in orbit, at 100km orbital altitude, around a moon that was about the same size and mass as our Moon. The simulation calculated the orbit velocity. I let it run and timed how long it took to do one orbit (as close as I could get it)–it was 105 minutes give or take. The Apollo Command Module, orbiting our Moon at this same altitude, completed one orbit about every 117 minutes or so. So, this new system is pretty damned close–close enough to make me very happy anyway. Almost makes me want to do an Apollo simulator ;)

Even better, I also have First-Person mode back up and running, and I can walk around in the old station’s hangar again. So, the next step is to allow the player to get into the docked ship, and then I can begin implementing the “final” ship system designs. These revisions pretty much forced me to rip the entire prototype apart, and then put it all together again piece by piece. It’s all for the good though–I’m quite confident the base code will support anything I add on to it from here out.

Once I clean up a few more things I might upload a SHORT video on Sunday or so showing the new orbital system in action…

Otherwise, I’m also trying to make progress in other areas when and where I can. In fact, I might actually start working on the front-end UI system a bit in the coming days. A BIG show-stopper for the first test-release is NOT having an easy way to set up controls, so I really need to get this started sooner rather than later. The design won’t be anything fancy–the important part right now is getting the management system coded up. I can make it look pretty later…

So, all is going well. I only wish I had more time to work on RogSys. All I can do is try to get as much mileage as I can out of my evening hours. Oh well, we’ll get there…

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At 0256 UTC on the 21st of July, an estimated 500 million people watch as Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on a world other than the Earth.
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Michael JulianoSome information on development status, thoughts and thanks as we head into Early Access development of Rogue System.
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