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working on asteroids
#1
For version 0.25 we're planning to open up the outer solar system, including the main asteroid belt (and probably the Trojans too).

So we're going to need some asteroids!  We started today working on generating these procedurally, so that there would be an essentially limitless supply of unique asteroids.  Here's what our first afternoon of work has produced...


[Image: c51iXSH.gif]

There's a lot more work to do, of course, but it seems like a decent start.  What do you think?

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#2
Cool!
so, basically it will be possible to hollow out asteroids?
If i had to choose an asteroid class, i would probably pick class M asteroid, since they are the more common and the most structurally strong.

Now, how to actually dig asteroid made entirely from aggregated metal?
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#3
No, you won't be able to hollow out asteroids — you'll be able to mine them for materials, and turn them into habitats.

I'm very skeptical that most (any?) asteroids would be strong enough to stay together if you spun them up to 1G (or even much less).  Most of them are loose aggregates, as you said.  Gravity holds them together, and pseudogravity in the other direction would tear them apart.

If it were a very metal-rich asteroid and you melted it (perhaps with a giant parabolic mirror), and then inflated the molten metal like blowing a glass bubble, then maybe you could get it to hold together... but I still think you'd be better off just turning it into beams, girders, and other parts with which to build a standard colony.

(Note that in the game, all this mining activity happens in the background — we'll just apply it to the local cost of materials, which will be cheap for anything you can get from the asteroid.  This is the same sort of thing we do when you build around a planet or moon.)

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#4
Incidentally, here's the latest incarnation of the procedurally-generated asteroids...


[Image: ZBlUUqx.gif]

(Switching to a different asteroid every 3 seconds.)  What do you think?


Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#5
Nice work!
They are very realistic!
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#6
Main asteroid belt is done.  Every colony built gets a unique, pseudorandom asteroid.

[Image: AQVxw21.png]

The same code will be used for colonies around minor moons of the gas giants (though of course in that case, you'll also have a gas giant to look at!).

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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#7
Some of those appear to be spinning on the wrong axis. Otherwise very good.
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#8
(10-28-2016, 10:39 PM)hanelyp Wrote: Some of those appear to be spinning on the wrong axis.  Otherwise very good.

The early prototypes above were spinning just for a better view.  The ones in-game always spin around a more sensible axis.

(And props to you for noticing! Big Grin)

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

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