Separating Nav Station from Star System

Hey Folks! It's a code day today, and most of my day looked something like the screenshot above (taken from the Navigation Console UI).

The main thrust of today's effort was getting the star system simulation to be a separate thing from the navigation console's simulation. There's a lot of overlap between what the navigation station and star system need to do. Things like keeping track of ship positions, planets, moons, gravity, and updating all of this over time.

The difference is that the star system needs to keep track of where things [i]are/[i], while the nav station needs to show either where things are or will be.

So most of the work was moving all of the position updating and physical calculations to the star system, and leaving the UI drawing in the nav station. Then, make the nav station point to the star system to get its info (and maybe make copies if it needs to fast-forward into the future).

It was a lot of tedious work, and also a lot of challenging work, as I tried to keep all of this stuff in my head. And almost certainly I've broken something in that orbital plotter that took months to refine. I've got backups of the old code if I need it, of course. But I think they should be solvable with some test runs.

It's actually displaying almost normally when the AI raises it already, except the ship and planet positions haven't been loaded into it yet. I have some code to load it in already, and tomorrow, I just need to find the appropriate time and place to do so when the AI raises the UI. (Ideally, immediately after the UI appears and before its first render pass.)

Not much to see, unfortunately, but a pretty big step nonetheless!

Tags: Ostranauts


Marc13Bautista's picture


Free Elusive Skill = Athletic x4 in ATN Enclave encounter

Malacodor's picture

Evil Hungarian spotted!

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture

@Marc, funny story: when I first saw Flight of the Navigator as a kid, I kept trying to pause and transcribe all of the screen readouts in the background when they attach that device to David's brain. I thought that if I could just copy down that data, I would be able to build a spaceship and navigate to an alien world.

@Malacodor, good thing I didn't show you my braces and indentation!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

Hey, I did something similar with obviously nonsensical ayylmao runes in The Critters, I think. Just copied them over with no real idea of how to translate them later or anything.
Man, I was a dumb kid.

PS. What was the stuff in Flight of the Navigator actually? Some source code or something?

dcfedor's picture

Yeah. Come to think of it, there were a couple movies where I did that. The Explorers was another. And though it wasn't exactly the same, I probably watched Aliens a few hundred times trying to map out the complex on graph paper for an RPG session.

Re: FotN, the screens showed a lot of star charts, system maps, and model renderings. It was the charts and maps that got me, though. I thought they were actual alien systems.

It was misguided, for sure. But then again, there's something about diligently plodding through something because you think it matters. Humans can do some pretty incredible stuff if they're properly motivated!

And some pretty dumb stuff, too :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

>star charts, system maps, and model renderings
Is that where you got the inspiration for space game? You only mentioned Alien in your devblog as far as I remember, which wasn't huge about different systems, it was more about the onboard drama and, well, a homicidal killing machine with acid for blood.

dcfedor's picture

Alien is definitely one big inspiration for the style and tone of the game world. A sort of "low-fantasy, working Joes in space" combined with Ron Cobb's utilitarian design. Blade Runner, too, for it's similarly cold-yet-glittery dystopia.

The onboard drama stems more from my love of Firefly and Cowboy Bebop. And some Spelljammer pen and paper sessions in my distant past, where it was more about role-playing with crew than action.

I'd be remiss in omitting GDW's Traveller for it's hard(er) science and world, as well as Car Wars for the build 'n' battle machines.

And the sort of "jury-rigging rust buckets" aspect of the game comes from every space movie/show since 1977 :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games