Universe Sandbox


This kept me up waaaaaay past my bedtime. I’m posting this at a quarter to three!

That’s pretty neat, especially the overview of the solar system with all the planets moving in their proper orbits. Uranus sure is a long way out!

That’s what happens when you strain too hard while ‘making a universe’.

It won’t work for me. Dammit!

Which installer did you use? For some reason, the OneClick installer (the one that downloads the program on its own) works for me while the normal installer doesn’t.


Also, Dan Dixon seems like a really nice guy. His pay-what-you-can price is generous, so when I bought a license for much less than I thought it was worth and shot him a message telling him that I would be sending him more money next month to make up for what little I can afford at the moment, he replied and thanked me for the note and asked what I thought about a few things. I think that’s pretty above and beyond what most people would do for someone who only gave them a dollar (yea, it’s a really tough month), but it only strengthened my resolve to give them man more money later.

I’m kind of oblivious, but I don’t think the meaning behind the name of this site really clicked until you posted this. I realized how much everyone here loves complicated strategy games that tend to keep one up all night, noticed the bleary eyeball, etc.

I’m really dense sometimes.

The normal installer seemed to install the game, then it utterly locked up.

I used the normal installer - installed fine.

Crashes upon launch.

Sucks. Looks like a fun toy.

That’s the problem I had. Did you try the OneClick installer?

I finally tried the 1-click, and it works fine. It’s really cool, though I don’t really get it quite yet.

The tutorials/guides in the program are really helpful. Definitely check out the Fun Stuff section as well. I’ve been having a blast crashing Neptune into Saturn and watching Saturn’s rings go nuts. The one where you give the moon some rings and watch what Earth does to them is extremely cool too. Also, make sure and listen to some recording of Holst’s The Planets while doing all of this.

Unfortunately, it looks like creating your own system involves editing xml files at the moment, but I think I’m going to try and make a binary system.

Also, check out the galaxy collisions.

I’d say the galaxy collision is possibly the single most awesome thing you could witness as a human being. It was cool seeing it pre-rendered on Discovery channels and Youtube videos, but being able to really look at the action was amazing.

Warning though, don’t turn the speed up too high on any system or the calculations will not get integrated correctly, resulting in some linearization of orbits and as such particles being spit out into space.

I also recommend setting the default collision mode to make objects join together as opposed to bouncing. Bouncing by default is kind of stupid :(

As for crashes, the game seems to be picky about having .net 2.0 and DirectX. I used a normal install and it gave me an error but the program kept working after that.

That fixed it. Guess there’s a bad build on the downloadable version.

I made a star that has the mass of the sun with the surface area of probably our entire solar system. Then I made a black hole that was tiny, and a star that mad the mass of 400 suns, and watched as they spun each other around.

You don’t necessarily need to make an XML file for the new systems. You can always start a blank one, and add in whatever you want.

Seeing a graphical representation of how small our sun is compared to some of the other stars in the galaxy is just… wow. I’m paying this Dan guy right now.

The bit with the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies colliding is really cool. I didn’t notice at first that it has the Sun. It’s really interesting to let it run for several hundred million years and watch our Sun kind of wander around between the two galaxies, and then watch as the galaxies both reverse direction and come back a few times before settling into a very tumultuous larger galaxy.

I let Mr. Dixon know about the crash on startup from the normal install and he has already posted a fix. Apparently running it again will download the fix and everything should be gravy.

Have you seen this?

The stars at the end, Mu and W Cephei are both over 1400 times the diameter of our own sun. Absolutely astonishingly huge.

I simulated a foreign star passing through our system, and man was it cool. All the inner planets just shot out, in a matter of days, even hours! (sim time)
Earth shot out to over 10 AUs from the son in just a couple days.

Curious: according to this simulation (“Our Solar System”), Mercury will shoot out of our solar system in 2033. Glad I’ll be alive to see it!