Saturday, January 15, 2011

The formation of solar systems

Most starship combat scenarios don't take into account the planetary space in which the battles are set, or if they do, the action usually takes place around a single planet.  For those who desire more real estate for their ships to play in, this web-based star system generator makes coming up with new solar systems a snap. 

Screen capture of a randomly created star system.
It automatically generates a random number of heavenly bodies--planets and maybe even a companion star--in orbit around the primary.  The generator, among other things, give the system a name and lists the type and luminosity of the main star and the type, orbital radius, period, and gravity of its planets.  If you're using a particlular setting, the site even offers game-specific Star Wars and Traveller system generators. 

Once you have the system down, you can get more details on a planet by using the sci-fi world generator, which gives size, composition, atmosphere, biosphere, and civilization details, or just use the fractal world generator (creating planets without all the geophysical, biological and sociological data).  Need a name for a person, place or spaceship in your game?  The site also has a generator for names of characters and locations (generic, cyberpunk, and various franchises).

The website also has a number of similar creation tools for fantasy role playing games, so even if you don't see a need for this in your science fiction gaming, it might come in handy.  If nothing else, it can provide a few minutes of entertainment, creating a new world for your enjoyment at the click of a button.

Hat tip: This thread at Star Ranger.


Porky said...

What a website! Thanks for the link - it probably has something for most gamers.

ckutalik said...

I made a sector's worth of Traveller planets at one sitting using these generators. (Yes being sick has made me that bored.)

What a cool find.