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The ultimate collection of links related to space


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#1 Ysaneya   Members   -  Reputation: 1231

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 11:12 AM

Post your links that might be helpful for the development of games based in space - whether it is for art, procedural generation or just informations about our universe. I'll keep the original post updated as more people post their links, and try to categorize them. I'll start with mines.

 

Resources: textures/models/concept art or useful photos

Concept art on Star Trek's spaceships Astronomical images: lots of photos.. you have to dig.

NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project Art: concepts about distortions due to propulsion

Global Topographic Data: to get very detailed heightmaps of a region of Earth.

Planetary maps: textures to map on planets. It has a few moons textures (Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto).. which are hard to find.

Space and technology Generators: to generate descriptions randomly. Funny for 5 mins.

Being an Informal Examination of Offensive Systems for Use in Deep-space Combat: a review of popular space weapons and how realistic they are.

Creating 3D planets in photoshop: a short tutorial to create a planet background.

Making a realistic starfield: the best photoshop tutorial to make a good space background, ever.

Texture maps of Earth and Planets: 2500x1250 textures of some planets

Blue Marble (NASA Earth dataset): 8192x4096 textures of Earth

Celestia Earth textures: 43200x21600 textures of Earth (HUGE downloads!)

Astronomy picture of the day: every day an image/photo

Science and nature: space (BBC site): a lot of interesting/comprehensible infos for the amateur

Planetary image maps: generally 1024x512 textures, bumps, specular and cloud maps of most planets. NEW

sci.astro.research: a newsgroup for astrophysics research NEW

A collection of space links: a lot of useful links but you have to dig NEW

Space Art: a good inspiration NEW

Solar Voyager Tutorials: very useful from the artist's point of view. Be sure to check out the How to make a planet tutorial. NEW

The NASA's Bluemarble ftp site (direct link): This is the ULTIMATE link if you're looking for high-resolution Earth datasets. The ftp site is slow to connect but works. You can get heightmaps, texture maps, cloud maps, normal maps and light maps of the full Earth at a resolution of 1 km (43200x21600 texels). 

 

NEW About books, movies or games

Logos for spaceships: related to the Empire in Foundation by I. Asimov

Known Spacer worlds: the worlds found in Foundation by I. Asimov

The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Clichés: worth a read (and a laugh) if you design a space-based game

Sirroco Station: fan site for the game serie "Elite" of D. Braben

A list of space-based games.. commercial or not: one of the biggest list i know speaking of the "competition".

Watch the Elegant universe: a serie of videos explaining space and astrophysics NEW

 

Astrophysics

Is the speed of light constant? NEW

Frequently Asked Questions in Cosmology NEW

Astronomical Constants and Tables: a table with the value of important constants, as well as planetary orbital elements, all summed up in a single page NEW

 

Galaxies/Universe

A list of nearby galaxy groups (within 100 millions LY)

Atlas of the universe: infos about our universe and its structure

A galactic model

 

Nebulas

Volume visualization of the Orion Nebula: if you wondered how a nebula looks in 3D, this is an absolute "must see".

Making a nebula texture in photoshop: extremely interesting if you plan to generate nebulas procedurally.

The Orion Nebula (photoshop tutorial): another tutorial to make a very realistic nebula texture in photoshop

 

Stars/Stars systems

A scale model of the solar system: with a nice applet showing orbits.

Wikipedia: what's a binary star How to compute planetary positions:

 

The ultimate link for the programmer: how to generate the positions of the planets in our solar system given a specific date

Globular Clusters: a list of known stars clusters.

The Magnitude System: nagivate the other pages on the same site, you'll find tons of infos, often understandable for the amateur, about stars properties (not only magnitude)

JPL Solar System Simulator: or the NASA's own simulator. Can render our solar system from any viewpoint. Uses a web interface.

ARVAL Catalog of Guide Stars: a list of "common" names for known stars.

The 100 nearest star systems: data for the.. the 100 nearest star systems (what did you expect?).

Data for important stars: 333 stars, and one page of description with data for each.

How Stars are Named: stellar nomenclature.

A solar system generator with RPG rules: extremely useful but uncomplete

Notable Nearby Stars: a mine of informations about nearby systems NEW

Computing planetary positions, a tutorial with worked examples NEW

 

Planets

Keplerian/Orbital elements and orbits: interesting.. for its diagrams.. or for the expert.

The living Earth: a short description of how colors are affected by the atmosphere for aerial views.

Fractal Models of Natural Phenomena: some infos on how to use fractals/procedural noise to generate planet's heightmaps

Earth rendering in Maya: has very good infos on how to apply different layers of textures and to blend them to make a realistic Earth.

Guide to extrasolar planets: infos (and VRML presentations) of extrasolar planets/systems. NEW

Computing planet positions using mean orbital elements: equations and code to compute planetary positions in 3D NEW

Use defined astronomical functions in Excel: VBA code for computing planetary positions too NEW

An applet to visualize orbits: with more on the same site NEW

The Nine Planets: important data and infos about planets, and harder to find, their satellites! NEW

 

3D Engines or software

Magrathea Simulation Engine Geofusion: looking very good but hem.. you need the satellite photos that go with it smile.png

Celestia: an astronomy software that contains a large set of accurate space objects.

Hallo Northern Sky software page: a free planetarium for Windows NEW

Stellarium: a competitor of Celestia NEW

 

Y.

 

PS.: i still have more at work but i'm currently in vacation.. you'll have to wait 2 weeks before i can update this list with my other links.

[edit by dwarfsoft] fixed the first link in the "Planets" section ... one too many <a href=" 's ;) [/edit]

 

 


Edited by dwarfsoft, 17 February 2013 - 03:19 AM.
Fixed up the Formatting for the new forums


Sponsor:

#2 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 12:02 PM

Hey, nice list!

Do you know where can I find free decent planet textures of at least the 9 planets of our solar system?

#3 Ysaneya   Members   -  Reputation: 1231

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 08:25 PM

I updated the first section with 3 more links about planets textures..

Y.


#4 markdeaton   Members   -  Reputation: 163

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 04:08 PM

Celestia

Celestia is a free real-time space simulation that lets you experience our universe in three dimensions. Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All travel in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A 'point-and-goto' interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit.

#5 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 14683

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 02:16 AM

I dont have any links right now, but I like this idea for a thread, and I'd just like to suggest that if you're planning to update the original post with the additional links that you somehow mark the latest additions to save people reading through the whole list to find the new links.

#6 Fingers_   Members   -  Reputation: 410

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 09:17 AM

One link: Astronomy Picture Of The Day. I've amassed such a large number of great images just from this page over the last 5 years that I'll never need other art sources :)

(Note: images credited to NASA are OK to use in commercial games as is, but most others aren't.. so check the credits)

#7 Ysaneya   Members   -  Reputation: 1231

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 05:11 AM

I have updated the OP with many more items.

Y.


#8 RazorsKiss   Members   -  Reputation: 168

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 10:09 AM

The listing for:

"A list of space-based games.. commercial or not:"

Is a link to "Space and Technology Generators" at this present time.

Joystick Required has a list of Joystick-enabled Space sims that you could use, though. I don't know where such a list is "findable", though I've thought about making one before.

Is that a typo, or did the link change?

Anyway, I've thought about making this a "project", and this may give me the excuse.

#9 CoffeeMug   Members   -  Reputation: 852

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 10:27 AM

Don't know what made you go through the trouble of posting all these links, but thank you very very much.

#10 Ysaneya   Members   -  Reputation: 1231

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 11:04 AM

Thanks, that was a mistake, i incorrectly linked to the site that is exactly the previous one in my favorites list.

The link was supposed to lead here: GamerHell's Space Sim Category. It has 75 games listed.

Y.

#11 RazorsKiss   Members   -  Reputation: 168

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 08:26 PM

Cool. Glad I could help.

They're still missing a few "historical" ones, though.

#12 Flarelocke   Members   -  Reputation: 410

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 05:17 PM

First link in the planets category is broken (HTML syntax error, it seems. But I still can't connect to the site manually, either)

#13 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1209

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 05:48 PM

Quote:
Original post by Flarelocke
First link in the planets category is broken (HTML syntax error, it seems. But I still can't connect to the site manually, either)


Fixed

#14 Ajare   Members   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 10:33 AM

These Flaming Pear photoshop plugins are must-haves:

LunarCell - Generates amazing planet maps.

Glitterato - Does pretty decent starry backgrounds.




#15 Viper173   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 11:02 PM

something concerning Star Trek...

one thing I never understood about Star Trek is the 'USS' in front of every ship's name.
so.... what does it stand for ? United States Ship maybe? yeeeessssss, of course. Why not painting an US Flag on every ship?

Why not 'FS' or just 'SS'?



#16 SGreth   Members   -  Reputation: 218

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 01:26 AM

Quote:
Original post by Ajare
These Flaming Pear photoshop plugins are must-haves:

LunarCell - Generates amazing planet maps.

Glitterato - Does pretty decent starry backgrounds.


Awesome link. I just finished coding up my planet shaders & D3D code. Perfect timing for this link! I've been looking for a good source for color maps for other planets.

Another link that I've been using for imagemaps of all the planets in our solar system is here.

http://gw.marketingden.com/planets/planets.html

The nice part is that he's broken down most planets into color map, specular map, bump map, and planetary rings (if present).



#17 Ryan Clark   Members   -  Reputation: 212

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 02:40 PM

The Game Programming Wiki has the source code, graphics, and sound for a space-based action/adventure game called Galaxy. Might be useful to some people!

Also available is the source code for fleet-based spaceship combat, with good AI and aiming algorithms.


Ryan
--Visit the Game Programming Wiki!

#18 ShawnCowles   Members   -  Reputation: 295

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:46 AM


For information on designing realistic rockets / space ships:
http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/

A bunch of realistic designs, information about engines, life support, even weapons and sidearms.

#19 SweetyS   Members   -  Reputation: 173

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:53 PM

Thanks a lot...

This is very useful.

Here a one more link:

http://www.stuff.tv/news/past-and-future/gaming-greats/25-best-space-games-ever?page=0,0


Edited by SweetyS, 20 January 2013 - 11:55 PM.


#20 John Judnich   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:53 PM

I think SpaceEngine belongs in the "3D engines and software":

 

SpaceEngine - http://en.spaceengine.org/

Very well done IMO. Unfortunately it's Windows-only, and requires a very powerful CPU and GPU. You can explore the entire known universe it seems, complete with billions of galaxies, stars, planets, etc. with a combination of real and procedurally generated data.

 

Also, I'd like to plug my own project here (if that's okay) in case anyone finds it useful: It's not an astronomically correct simulation, but it's a 100% open-source 3D universe engine in WebGL/HTML5. It supports trillions of stars and procedurally generated (concurrent, so everything is seamless) planets. IT does not support: atmospheric scattering, galaxy visualization, nebulae, ground level detail like cities/forests -- however all of these are major goals I want to accomplish with Kosmos 2.0 (my next spare time project).

 

Kosmos - A 3D universe in your browser - https://github.com/judnich/Kosmos

A live demo is also hosted in Mozilla DemoStudio: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/demos/detail/kosmos

 

I post this here in case any of the code from Kosmos is helpful to others working on space-related 3D engines, as I solved a lot of misc. problems during its development that are common to large space game environments (128 bit coordinate systems, layered rendering due to zbuffer precision issues, planet terrain LOD, etc.) Kosmos doesn't have super high resolution planets though because it's targeted at laptops (not extremely powerful GPUs), but I'm working on a more efficient engine in C/C++/OpenGL in my spare time that hopefully should allow cities, forests, etc. for ground level detail. (I found WebGL/JavaScript to be too performance limiting, though still impressive how far browsers have progressed so far.)


Edited by John Judnich, 09 June 2013 - 03:57 PM.





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