It's Full of Stars is a utility program for creating star maps and solar systems. Using 3D graphics it displays both starmaps and the solar systems with planets and moons in orbit around the star. A quick and easy to use point-and-click interface, room for lots of data, as well as several 3D rendered objects. Animation of orbits, placing of routes, generation of random systems, as well as guides and other functions make this a very useful utility for astronomer, writer and gamer alike.
You can place your stars at any coordinate you would like, and have almost as many stars as you want. Size and color differs depending on what spectral type and stellar type you select. You can have a large white, O class super giant, a yellow G class main sequence star, or a F class dwarf. There are several classes and types to select from, and in addition to those you can create black holes and neutron stars. In addition to systems with a single stellar mass you can create binary or trinary systems.
Planets and moons have textures showing the type of planet they are, from barren rock worlds to huge gas-giants with rings. Barren, earthlike, forest, desert, inferno, gas-giant and other planet types are available. Planets, moons and stations can also be animated to rotate in their orbit. All sorts of information can be registered and stored, ranging from equatorial radius and orbit inclination to temperatures, biosphere, atmosphere and much more. Every planet can also have several orbital stations and moons, each complete with its own data as detailed as for the primary planet. Also every planet and moon can have its own civilization.
In addition to planets and moons you can add asteroid fields to your systems. You can have dense asteroid fields spanning only a few thousand kilometers, to fields spanning several AU. As with planets and moons, asteroid fields can be populated with their own civilizations of any kind.
and Giant Constructs
There are three types of stations. First there are outstations placed deep in the void of space, not orbiting any star or planet. Second there are those which orbit a stellar primary, and last but not least those like Miir which orbit a planetary body. There are several types of stations to choose from ranging from Miir-class stations without any gravity, to large hub-wheels, tubes or spheres. Every station has its own information about crew, civilians and more.
Giant constructs are those incredible creations many of us have come to love in works of science fiction. There are three types available. A ringworld, known by most from Larry Niven's Ringworld Saga, and two types of Dyson Spheres. Each construct is built around the sun, and as much information as any planet, can be registered on each type, making it possible to populate it with your own civilization.
Planets, moons, asteroid fields and giant constructs can all have a civilization of their own. Select government, military, technology level and much more to create a unique civilization fast, or allow the computer to generate one for you. Alternatively you can use one of the premade civilizations, like Humans, Kzin, Moties, Vorlons or Klingons.
There are several possibilities for allowing the computer to do the dirty work. You can generate a single planet, a complete system or even an entire star map with the click of a button. Tired of calculating escape velocities and surface gravity or just need a world in a hurry, let the computer generate a world for you. Also a special button for generating our beloved Sol-system using data from NASA.
Also included is a guide which not only calculates distances between star systems, but allows you to filter out those stars which doesn't have the wanted requirements. You want to know all the main sequence, class G stars within 10 light years of earth, it's no problem for the guide. Also from the guide you can create routes between systems.
Since all planets are rendered with textures, gas-giant rings are partly transparent and animation takes CPU power you might need a powerful computer to view star systems smoothly. However, all these features and several others like sound and grid-bars can be turned off to increase the rendering speed of the systems. In addition to the regular 3D graphics used to view the system like it might appear in real life, you can also view systems in a 2D side-view for a quick overview of a system.
Several other Features
Not every feature is listed here. Features like save and load starmaps, making it possible to swap maps with other users is of course possible. As well as several other functions. It's Full of Stars is always evolving, and as it evolves new functions become available and old ones are improved. The only way to know for sure what is possible with this program is to download it and try it. It is also worth mentioning that there is a complete help file explaining every function available and more.
I have been told that my program runs fine on a 25 mhz SX 486 computer, although slow, so there is no minimum requirement. A pentium is preferable, and the faster the better (obviously). The features that require most CPU power are textures and animation and both can be turned off. 800x600 pixels is the minimum resolution I would recommend for use with It's Full of Stars, but 640x480 will run and function reasonably well. As for operative system, its been tested on Windows 95 and Windows NT. It may run on other systems, but I doubt it very much.
Last but not least, this program is
free, so don't pay anybody to use it.
Feel free to ask questions, report bugs or tell me what you like / dislike about my program, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any constructive feedback is greatly appreciated.
I cannot be responsible for any problems you may have because of my program, and I make no guaranties. However, if you have a problem send me a mail, and I'll see what I can do.
Copyright © 1998 Claus BÝrnich. All rights reserved.