For a while now the ASN project has had three major planned phases. Atomic Space Navy itself, the full war-game in all its glory, sold as a for real PC game. Before ASN can come to fruition, there will be Atomic Space Race, an orbit puzzle game about trying to maneuver your spacecraft to achieve certain objectives under certain constraints. ASR is most likely to be treated as a free portal game, serving to teach me things about both orbital maneuvers and the interface required for them, and to generate some interest in ASN. And before ASR, there is the stage I’m in now, working on tools and data structures and making these things available for free to people who will get use out of them. I’ve struggled for a while with what to call these things. In retrospect it seems obvious, but both Orbit Toy and System Builder will in the future be part of the Atomic Space Tools package. The individual tools will still have their descriptive names of course, but since they are fairly intertwined it makes sense to me to update and release them together. Saves work in a lot of places.
So that’s names, here’s updates. Orbit Toy and System Builder have a lot of issues, and many of them I’m aware of and have either already fixed or am planning on fixing before the next release. Let me list a few.
- Both of them have their cameras below the solar system instead of above, so they appear mirrored from how they should look
- Orbit Toy’s primitive line rendering makes it impossible to see detail in many situations
- The ‘orbital phase’ parameter is mishandled by System Builder
There are a lot more display and interface things I can do to make the tools more usable too, but I’ll keep those under my hat for now as I’m not yet fully decided on which ones will get into the next round of changes and which won’t.