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Old 07-11-2007, 01:32 PM   #11
Shrale
 
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

I wrote a character generator for Rifts by using XML for each character database and automating MSIE for the screens. I used XSL files to take XML and then produce datascreens and for exports. it was my first attempt at XML/XSL and while it looks clunky now, it works and was decent for my first shot at it.

automating MSIE allowed me to do things like have clickable columns in HTML display tables, such that if I needed to "add all first level spells" I could double-click the column header and the program would add everything. Same with deleting, as it saved having to make 30 or 40+ clicks just to add or delete a group of items. HTML tables also allow you to disable portions like if a certain skill or power isn't available you can disable that particular item (or entire column) and work from there. You can pickup COM objects that do this, but then they have to be installed, etc, which may or may not be a pain.

HTML also allows dynamic sizing of DIVs and placing and hiding things very easily. CSS allows easy formatting.

The other thing was that at certain points, I had what amounted to a spreadsheet displayed on screen as it had 30+ rows, and 15 columns (representing each level) and a certain row (say saving throw vs Horror Factor) gets a 1 at 1st level, 1 at 5th level and 1 and 9th level and so on. This way you could enter a particular item freehand "Save vs Little Green Men" and then enter the bonuses as needed. Then the script would grab the HTML from the display, I'd run it thru HTMLTidy, turn it into XML and then query the 300+ inputs very quickly, to update the character database. Turning HTML into XML means you can do some impressive things, like only grab rows that don't contain all zeroes and not have to bother with inventoring each and every one every single time. HTMLTidy is a single DLL and my scripts could peek at the registry, tell if it wasn't already installed, to use regsvr32 and register it silently and then proceed to use it, all transparent to the user.

Sorry I could go on for hours. Anyway, MSIE is on most windows PC, and even if your user doesn't use it, you're only using it locally, not for Web-use and you can reap all the nice font and display uses from it. DHTML is pretty simple.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Quote:
And don't forget about 'final frontier' campaigns: scouts and explorers with a spaceship. Being able to present them with system data including bits & bobs like Jupiter, valuable asteroid belts and so forth has its place.
I plan on having the program generate the entire system, including moons of all planets, including gas giant moons and ring systems, as well as asteroid belts. I also intend on giving the user the ability to toggle on/off certain aspects, such as brown dwarf stars and artifacts.

You bring up a good point about PDFs. I'll have to give it some thought, but an easily editable output format would probably be best.
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

make sure you look this post over thoroughly

Web-based Automatic Sector Data / Map pdf Generator

while you might not be interested in the Traveller aspects, the author/coder has done an awesome job with the project. I think it's for Mac, but she might have some Windows insights for you.
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

There is a script for astro synthesis 2. It added typical gurps statistics to world description (like TL etc.)
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

I read this thread last week, weeks after I started writing my own generator for star systems based on the GURPS Space rules.

Thanks for the wonderful ideas. And especially to Exxar. I was writing it in an obscure scripting language, but I've started learning JavaScript since it looks like it can do everything I need and is much more portable.

Not meaning to hijack your thread or anything. But once I've got stuff that I've done so far converted to Javascript, I can post it here for you or anyone to use. And if you happen to know the arcane scripting language of awk, I can post what I have done already. It's looking good so far, but still far to go. But I'll probably have to write a java applet or something to do the graphing of the orbits that I want to do.

Plus, knowing me, I'll probably add inclination of orbits as well. Many of you guys sound like you know way more about the star system mechanics than I do. So, I'll check back periodically for ideas and answers.

If I should have started a new thread for this, please be kind and just let me know. I've never used forums much so any unpoliteness on my part just means I'm ignorant of etiquette.

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Old 07-17-2007, 09:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

I can't even tell you all how excited I am that a utility like this could be out. Mmm mmm goood!
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

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Originally Posted by Fnordianslip
I can't even tell you all how excited I am that a utility like this could be out. Mmm mmm goood!
No kidding. I wrote a bunch of AppleScripts that access various AppleWorks spreadsheets. They will, in fact, generate complete random star systems. Infortunately, I'm sure they're of good to no one but GURPS players with G3 Macs--that is to say, me. :)

Are you sure you'll be able to provide us the finished product when you're done?
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:12 AM   #18
Crakkerjakk
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Tulonsae: I don't mind at all, I figure if it's all in one place it's easier for everyone, right?

You sound like you're much further along than me. Thats not very hard, as I'm in the middle of midterms, so progress has slowed considerably.

My only real comment is that most planets are going to be pretty much in the plane of the elliptical. Anything with a highly eccentric(or significantly out of plane) orbit is much more likely to be an Oort Cloud/Kuiper Belt Object (like Pluto,) with the exception of any asteroid belts, as they'll tend to be much more scattered. Also, although it's not mentioned in any of the system generation tables(I think) asteroid distribution is gonna be a bit wonky(If you're actually concerned with where the asteroids are in the belt, as opposed to there just being a belt) due to the gravitational effects of any gas giants in the system. Basically there's huge holes in the belts due to certain parts of an orbit being more stable than others. Also, said gas giants are likely to have clumps of asteroids in their L4 and L5 orbits(60 degrees forward of the gas giants orbit and 60 degrees behind the orbit.)

I digress. I'm an asteroid geek. Anywho, like I said, not very likely that most planets will have highly eccentric orbits, but anything is possible. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:17 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulonsae
I'll probably add inclination of orbits as well.
It seems natural to me that planets with high eccentricities will likely have high inclinations. My reasoning is that circular low-inclination orbits are normal, and perturbations might change the eccentricity and inclination, but not just one or the other. To that end I plotted the inclination and eccentricity data for our solar system. For lack of anything better, I choose a linear fit to the data and determined that for a planet in our solar system, the

Inclination (in degrees) = 50.274 * Eccentricity with an R-squared value of 0.7519 when you include Pluto
or
Inclination (in degrees) = 31.621 * Eccentricity with an R-squared value of 0.5629 when you don't include Pluto.

If you're really serious about adding inclination data, let me know and I'll be happy to work with you on it. (I have an M.S. in Astronomy.)
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Yeah. I am a GURPS player with a G4 Mac.
I'm another GURPS player with a G4 Mac. (Woot!)
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