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Old 07-26-2007, 11:17 AM   #31
Captain Joy
 
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
What outputs should I display?
The 4th ed. Planetary Record Sheet displays the following: Planet #, Name, Orbital Radius, Type, Diameter, Density, Gravity, Atmosphere, and Notes all on one row for each planet in a system. You might start with that just to be consistent with SJGames. You could then add other options. E.g. my spreadsheet gives the Star Trek class of the planet--Earth is M class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
What about eccentricity?
I'd mention it in the "Notes" column if it's more than 0.1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
World type is essential.
Agreed. I'm surprised this isn't in the official 4th ed. Planetary Record Sheet, but "Density" is. (Agreed, get rid of "Density".)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
World diameter is essential, and Earth diameters are more useful than kilometres or miles.
More useful, but not cooler. Use miles or km. (You and you players will have Earth's diameter memorized in no time and will enjoy looking at a Galactic Survey Report that has real life units and understand what they're looking at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Atmospheric composition class is essential, as is either the pressure in bars or the pressure category but not both.
Agreed. The trick is including this and still have all the data fit on one row. I opted for listing the primary constituents and the pressure category. E.g. N2, CO2, dense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Hydrographic percentage and composition are essential.
I think you'll find they're not. Most planets will have 0%. Any planet that isn't 0% will likely be interesting enough to have it's own record sheet and you can provide that information there. In practice, most systems will have only one (if that) planet worthy of a proper Planetary Record Sheet. In my game, a typical Galactic Survey Report gives all the info for the most habitable planet (which would include Hydrographic coverage) and then the row-by-row list of info for all the other bodies in the system (which usually all have 0% Hydrographic percentage anyway).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Surface temperature is essential but black-body temperature is quite unimportant. I don't think we need climate type if we list temperature.
It's not on the 4th ed. Planetary Record Sheet; but I agree, and it's something I added to my read-outs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Tidal locking? I'm tempted to note this on the system table.
I know you're aware, the errata for GURPS: Space is woefully incomplete. Others who are reading this thread should be aware of a better list of GURPS: Space errata

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Habitabilty belongs on the system table. RVM and Affinity I'm not sure about.
Since these are simple numbers, you might adopt a convention like H(R,A)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Axial tilt?
You might include it in a "Notes" column for any Axial Tilt greater than 45%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
I can effectively colour-code four categories.
Ah, I love colour-coding.

If you want my conditions for converting GURPS stats to Star Trek (actually, PRIME DIRECTIVE) planetary classes, let me know. (It will take me a few weeks to get them to you as I'm on holiday right now.)

Last edited by Captain Joy; 07-26-2007 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:22 PM   #32
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Overall it looks pretty good. It does seem to be printing the number of moonlets twice though. Also, if there's a spot to squeeze in rotational period so we know how long a day/year is, that'd be cool as well. Otherwise, looks good. Oh, is the size in earths?
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:04 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
...had to axe [the units] to narrow the columns. I guess I could put them back in in about 4-point type.
No, just include the units in the top row like you did for temperature: temp (C).
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:35 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
My spreadsheet is producing output like this PDF file.

If I want to get much more on I'll have to (a) use even tinier type, (b) go to landscape layout, or (c) take a couple of lines per object. Either (b) or (c) would have many systems wrapping over onto the second page.
I caved and went with a landscape layout. I don't see any way around this if you decide to add further info. More of my suggestions follow.

As far as the stellar data goes, nobody says gigayears; use 10^9 years or billion years. Of course, if computer geeks took over and formed a meritocracy, then stay with gigayears. :) Also, "K4 V" is how a stellar class is usually given, as opposed to writing out "K4 main sequence"; but this deviation from the norm is not an egregious as using the prefix "giga".

The mass and class of the companion star did not get printed. Also, the units for the periapsis and apapsis aren't given. Btw, I like the idea of giving periapsis and apapsis as opposed to the semi-major axis and eccentricity for the stellar companions.

The first column(s) should give the planet number and/or name. E.g. 3, Earth or Sol 3.

Consider using things like "N2, O2" or "CO2" instead of "breathable" or "suffocating". I think your planetologist PC will enjoy looking at a Survey report, seeing a more raw from of the data, and coming to the conclusion him/herself that the atmosphere of the 2nd planet is probably breathable.

Unless hydrocarbon oceans are of importance to your campaign, the hydrographics column could be done away with. As I said, most people really only care about surface water, and any planet that has significant surface water will be worth a dedicated planetary recordsheet anyway. For the quick survey list of all the system bodies, the world type, Habitability Index, and colour coding are plenty enough to decide what planets are worth a more detailed look.

I see you didn't include the length of a day or year. People seem to want to know that, but I'm thinking now it's only important if they intend to land on the planet; in which case they'll want the full Planetary Record Sheet for that planet anyway. So now I'm thinking leave it off, especially since you're already including the interesting case of tidelocked on the system overview.

Consider at least adding the RVM to the Habitability Index. Something like HI(RVM) wouldn't take up much for space, and is at least as important as knowing what the liquid hydrocarbon coverage is.

Agemegos, this looks great!
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:50 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

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Originally Posted by Fnordianslip
Oh, is the size in earths?
I don't like the sizes being in earth units. If that's just me, don't change it; as I have to admit, having them in earth units does make the data table nice and tidy.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:40 PM   #36
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Joy
As far as the stellar data goes, nobody says gigayears; use 10^9 years or billion years. Of course, if computer geeks took over and formed a meritocracy, then stay with gigayears. :)
I've seen gigayears (Gy) in a number of places, including scientific texts and rpg products. I'd say it's less geeky than using the 'Y x 10^9' notation, which only seems non-geeky if you're a maths geek or engineer. :)

Quote:
Also, "K4 V" is how a stellar class is usually given, as opposed to writing out "K4 main sequence"; but this deviation from the norm is not an egregious as using the prefix "giga".
I think it's more, not less, egregious. It's also a space-waster.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:32 PM   #37
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

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Originally Posted by Agemegos
And compact! Don't forget compact!

I wish Excel formats allowed me to fix the number of significant figures displayed instead of only the number of decimal places.
Most defintely would be welcome. You are aware, however, that you can do this with a formula? Makes the sheet's disk usage a little higher if you have to do it a lot, but it's doable.

Alternately, you could create your own user function.

In this thread, starting at post 9, DaltonS gave me some code for creating my own functions, one of which was a tool to round to significant digits. (While I haven't finished work on the new sheet yet, I did incorporate most of his ideas in some form or another. The downside of this approach is that the sheet will claim you're using macros, and that seems to be something you were trying desperately to avoid, meaning you'll either have to use the formula in each cell or just live with Excel's limitation.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:50 PM   #38
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

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I wish Excel formats allowed me to fix the number of significant figures displayed instead of only the number of decimal places.
That's a niggle I come up against almost every time I do an spreadsheet work. It drives me nuts (or nuttier, perhaps).
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:00 PM   #39
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

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Using the caret because your font doesn't handle superscripts, in particular, is a programmer's kludge, and an ugly one. I use it by habit in places like e-mail and these forums, where I don't have access to proper mathematical notation. I picked the habit up programming in FORTRAN, and stick with it because of the difficulty f being compact and unambiguous without superscripts. But it is ugly and un-mathematical notation, and I don't like it.
I don't either, but it's what you get in spreadsheets, many monospaced fonts, and so on. Were I writing something up on a word processor, or by hand, for presentation I'd use proper superscript exponents. For forums and such I can't be bothered, 'cause I'm lazy.

Quote:
Would you prefer 'dwarf'?
I would, but I suspect some, maybe many, gamers won't know that 'normal' main sequence stars are dwarfs.

Quote:
I'm not keen to go with brightness classes, because I don't want to have to sort out the subgiants, giants, and supergiants into classes IV, III, II, Ia, Ib, Io etc.
Fair enough.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:03 PM   #40
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Default Re: [Space] System Generator

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Besides: you can't export macros as SYLK and run port the sheets to other spreadsheet programs. I avoid macros to guard my chances of forwards and cross-platform compatibility.
And I think you (in advance) for it. I don't know how well Open Office deals with Excel macros these days, but in the past I was unable to use a number of spreadsheets that I found rather useful because they were written for Excel and used lots of macros.
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