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Old 09-24-2009, 01:18 PM   #1
MichaelK
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Default Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

I've been tinkering around with the world creation system in Gurps: Space, which is a lot of fun but takes forever.

I've been working on two approaches to make it easier which I wanted to share.

Using Calc, the Open Office version of Excel I've been creating a spreadsheet which automatically builds a system. I'm up to step 23 of the advanced worldbuilding system.

The question I wanted to ask is whether I can give this spreadsheet away here on the forums or if that has copyright issues. (It just gives raw data without interpretation so you really do need a copy of Space for it to make sense).



Also, after noticing some patterns emerging with the spreadsheet, I've created a much simpler version of the advanced worldbuilding system, which creates an entire solar system of planets that you can develop using the basic worldbuilding system.

It's not as accurate or detailed as the advanced system, but if you prefer the ease of the basic system you can use this to build an entire star system with just the basic system (steps 1-14).

This is still a work in progress, so any feedback is welcome so that I can improve this system.

The Simpler System

Each star has 12 orbital slots. If it's a main sequence star with its inner radius determined by mass then this is what you'd get if you automatically selected 1.7 for each orbital ratio. You may lose some of these slots based on companion stars.

For each step, select an option either deliberately or using whatever random chance method seems best.

Step 1: Select Number of Stars and Companion Type.

Single Star

One star without any companions. Generate a set of planets with a full set of orbital slots.

Close Binary

Two stars that are quite close to eachother. There are no planets nearby due to the forbidden zone, but a set of objects can orbit the pair at a greater distance. Only generate one set of planets and remove the first 1d6 slots.

Distant Companion

Two stars that orbit eachother at quite a distance. Their Forbidden Zones have no effect upon each other. Generate two full sets of planets.

Medium-range Companion

Two stars orbit eachother with their planets in between. Their Forbidden Zones prevent outer planets from forming in each system. Generate two sets of planets but subtract 1d6 of the outer slots from each.

Close Binary with Distant Companion

Generate one set of planets, subtracting the first 1d6 slots, for the close binary pair. Create a complete second set of planets for the distant companion.

Close Binary with Medium-range Companion

Generate one set of planets, subtracting the first 1d6 slots, for the close binary pair and 1d6 of the outer slots from the forbidden zone of the nearby companion. Create a second set of planets for the medium companion but subtract 1d6 of the outer slots.

Medium Trinary

Three stars circle eachother at medium distance. They each develop their own set of planets but the outer ones tend to be missing. Generate three sets of planets but subtract 1d6 of the outer slots from each.

Distant Trinary

Three stars that are close neighbours, but don't interfere in eachother's business. Generate three sets of planets.

Step 2: Select Temperature for each Star

Hot

High luminosity as compared to its mass. This is typically seen with older stars or with F type stars.

Medium

A medium system enjoys a nice ratio between luminosity and mass. It provides a spectrum going from warmer worlds nearer the sun out to cold planets in the far orbits. You tend to see this more with G type stars. Basically it's an Earth/Sol like system.

Cold

High mass compared to luminosity. You'll generally have colder planets. This is typically seen with younger stars or M type stars.

Step 3: Fill the Orbital Slots

Pick a planet type, empty slot or asteroid belt to go in each slot.

If it's a terrestrial world, then you can select from the following options.

Slot 1

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian), Large (Chthonian)
Medium: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian), Large (Chthonian)
Cold: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian), Large (Chthonian)

Slot 2

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian), Large (Chthonian)
Medium: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian), Large (Chthonian)
Cold: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian)*, Large (Chthonian)*

Slot 3

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian), Large (Chthonian)
Medium: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Chthonian)*, Large (Chthonian)*
Cold: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Greenhouse)*, Large (Greenhouse)*

Slot 4

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Greenhouse)*, Large (Greenhouse)*
Medium: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Greenhouse)*, Large (Greenhouse)*
Cold: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Greenhouse)*, Large (Greenhouse)*

Slot 5

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Greenhouse)*, Large (Greenhouse)*
Medium: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Garden/Ocean), Large (Garden/Ocean)
Cold: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Garden/Ocean), Large (Garden/Ocean)

Slot 6

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Garden/Ocean), Large (Garden/Ocean)
Medium: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Ice)*, Large (Ice)*
Cold: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Ammonia or Ice)*, Large (Ammonia or Ice)*

Slot 7

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Ice)*, Large (Ice)*
Medium: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)
Cold: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Ammonia or Ice), Large (Ammonia or Ice)

Slot 8

Hot: Tiny (Rock), Small (Rock), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)
Medium: Tiny (Ice/Sulfur), Small (Ice), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)
Cold: Tiny (Ice/Sulfur), Small (Ice), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)

Slot 9

Hot: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Ice), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)
Medium: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Ice), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)
Cold: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Ice), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)

Slot 10

Hot: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Ice), Standard (Ice), Large (Ice)
Medium: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)
Cold: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)

Slot 11

Hot: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)
Medium: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)
Cold: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)

Slot 12

Hot: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)
Medium: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)
Cold: Tiny (Ice or Sulfur), Small (Hadean), Standard (Hadean), Large (Ice)

*Can be terraformed to Standard or Large (Garden)

Step 4: Develop the planets

Develop each of the planets using the basic worldbuilding system. (Steps 1-14)
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:30 PM   #2
Gigermann
 
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

There are a couple of these already out there; from http://www.sjgames.com/general/gm-aids.html
Quote:
  • Solar System Constructor (73K) (Marcus L. Hulings).File for Microsoft Excel and Corel Quattro Pro 9 to allow you to completely design solar systems down to the smallest detail.
  • StarGen for MS-DOS (102K PKZIP archive) (Timothy Cain). A really great program for creating whole star sectors and zooming in to generate individual stellar systems.
  • StarGen for Mac (144K Stuffit archive) (Timothy Cain). The same thing, for you Mac users.
I've found that the first one works quite well.

Last edited by Gigermann; 09-24-2009 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:07 PM   #3
derendel
 
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

I'd certainly be interested in an updated version (I was building something similar myself). I believe all the versions mentioned are for 3rd edition. The 4th edition Space is built differently, so a new version would be nice.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
There are a couple of these already out there; from http://www.sjgames.com/general/gm-aids.html
I've found that the first one works quite well.
It doesn't seem to be an implementation of GURPS Space fourth edition, though. And if StarGen is the same as the Stargen I have had for years, it isn't either.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
I've been tinkering around with the world creation system in Gurps: Space, which is a lot of fun but takes forever.

I've been working on two approaches to make it easier which I wanted to share.

Using Calc, the Open Office version of Excel I've been creating a spreadsheet which automatically builds a system. I'm up to step 23 of the advanced worldbuilding system.
This is eminently practical. I did the same (using standard Excel, entirely without macros).

Quote:
The question I wanted to ask is whether I can give this spreadsheet away here on the forums or if that has copyright issues.
SJ Games has an online policy. On the subject of computer game aids it says this:
Create a character generator or other game aid?

Yes, as long as you include the appropriate notices. We want to ENCOURAGE our fans to create these programs, share them with the community, and have fun doing it. If you want to charge money for a game aid based on our work, the Online Policy does NOT apply . . . you must either get a license from us, or sell us the game aid for distribution as a regular product, and either way we'll hold you to professional standards. Email licensing@sjgames.com with a formal proposal letter.

We do, however, have some advice for creators of game aid programs. First, provide documentation. Some simple instructions on how to use the most basic features will be a big help to users. Second, support your creation. We've set up a forum for feedback; plan on being aware and active in these discussions.
The forum referred to no longer exists.

Finally, one of the rights of an author under copyright law is not to have his work distributed in a garbled form. This is why I do not distribute my Excel instantiation of the GURPS Space starsystem generator. I couldn't get the spacing on moons to come out right, I corrected some acknowledged but officially uncorrected errata, and I added a few calculations (such as the level of visible illumination) that are not in the original. So I would legally need explicit permission to distribute mine. The above permission only seems to me to apply to a faithful and complete instantiation.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by derendel View Post
I'd certainly be interested in an updated version (I was building something similar myself). I believe all the versions mentioned are for 3rd edition. The 4th edition Space is built differently, so a new version would be nice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett View Post
It doesn't seem to be an implementation of GURPS Space fourth edition, though. And if StarGen is the same as the Stargen I have had for years, it isn't either.
Guess I never looked that closely—didn't realize they'd changed anything. Didn't think it really needed it. Now I'll have to look at it…
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
Guess I never looked that closely—didn't realize they'd changed anything. Didn't think it really needed it. Now I'll have to look at it…
Do. The planet and system generation sequence in GURPS Space 4th ed. is fantastic. It has this really clever forwards-or-backwards feature that allows you to either start with a planet and establish its context, or start with the context and generate the planet. And its scientific detail and accuracy are unparallelled (except for a few uncorrected errata concerning tides and rotation, on p. 117).
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:47 PM   #8
MichaelK
 
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett View Post
SJ Games has an online policy. On the subject of computer game aids it says this:
Ah, excellent. That's exactly what I wanted to know. Thankyou.

Quote:
Finally, one of the rights of an author under copyright law is not to have his work distributed in a garbled form.
Well, I'm building it to follow the step by step instructions from the book exactly. So far (as far as I can see) it works the same as a human doing it by hand with a set of dice... just much, much faster.

I'll remember that though and keep any 'personal touches' out of the version for distribution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigermann
There are a couple of these already out there
That first one you've linked to is nice, (and looks similar enough to what I've been making to give me a creepy sense of deja vu). However it does seem to use 3rd edition. Fourth edition has some extra features which I think justify a new program.

I've also purchased Astrosynthesis recently, which is an amazing program. It has its own internal star system generator, which with the right plug-ins provides its results in GURPS statistics.

However, as good as all of these are, no one so far seems to have made and distributed just an automation of the 4th edition Space System.
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

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Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
Well, I'm building it to follow the step by step instructions from the book exactly. So far (as far as I can see) it works the same as a human doing it by hand with a set of dice... just much, much faster.
Mine will do a thousand systems in two minutes. But as I said, I couldn't manage the rules for placing of lunar orbits without using macros, and I chose to correct some errata.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:13 AM   #10
MichaelK
 
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Default Re: Simplifying Gurps Space world creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett View Post
Mine will do a thousand systems in two minutes. But as I said, I couldn't manage the rules for placing of lunar orbits without using macros, and I chose to correct some errata.
I'm not up to the lunar orbits yet, sounds like it may be a daunting prospect. So far the hardest part I found was placing the planetary orbits. I hope the satellites aren't much more difficult.
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