So I want to make a game where you build an galactic empire, sorta like gal civ 2, but more accurate to scale, never ending, and online...
Ignoring the problem of online and never ending... I'm having a bit of a problem with "accuracy"
Basically...I want the (accelerated) time and scale to be accurate...
It's impossible to calculate all the positions of all the planets/moons/etc every second (as far as i know) so it seems that I'm at an impasse with what to do as far as the planets (at least not on my PC I can only calc up to around 20,000 orbits at once without noticeable bad slow down)
the accelerated time is 1 day = 4 minutes. This also means that if you travel at the speed of light it would take 4 minutes to cross the solar system. Ships have the ability to do more than this and less than this.
So the problem is what to do with the planets...
I can just have it there sorta as an aesthetic for the player... where when the player goes to the system the planets are displayed to be moving but really aren't which forces all the ships to have an averaged set traveling time.
I can also just not have the planets move but that's sorta boring and again, takes away the realistic accuracy because the travel time doesn't change as it would as the planets orbit.
i can use some sort combination where if a player isn't watching it uses an averaged time but if the player is watching the system works as it would if i could calculate all the planets for each star.
Another solution would be to somehow offset the processing onto other PCs so that when a player logs in they get assigned several stars to calculate and keep track of... but that has all sorts of problems and doesn't solve the problem if not enough players.
So any thoughts on this? My current thinking is possibly to just go with the non-moving planets, even though i don't like that solution, it does seem the best.