"So, You want to build a ***HUGE*** Universe?" by Donjon - 10 Apr 2008
According to the documentation, stars! allows universe sizes of:
0: Tiny width 400 ly
1: Small width 800 ly
2: Medium width 1200 ly
3: Large width 1600 ly
4: Huge width 2000 ly
However, with little dos utility stretch one can extend this size to:
5: Huge(5) width 2400ly
6: Huge(6) width 2800ly
7: Huge(7) width 3200ly
Now, beyond this realm of sizes two things appear to happen...
- There is a strip at the top of the map in the viewer which is devoid of any stars.
- The top border of the universe gets a crowded line of stars.
However, with a little forethought, the universe can look good and be usable.
These are some of the universe sizes one can get by stretching beyond the limits of the documentation:
8: Huge depth 3200 ly width 3600 ly
9: Huge(9) depth 3200 ly width 4000 ly
10: Huge(10) depth 3200 ly width 4400 ly
11: Huge(11) depth 3200 ly width 4800 ly
12: Huge(12) depth 3200 ly width 5200 ly
13: Huge(13) depth 3200 ly width 5600 ly
14: Huge(14) depth 3200 ly width 6000 ly (and so on!!!)
I am certain this list could be extended, for how long I am not certain.
The blank band at the top of the universe viewscreen is due to the fact that stars! wishes to have a square universe but since the engine doesn't allow a depth exceeding 3200 ly it will instead place space at the top. So in a Huge universe the height is 400ly for the blank space, and in a Huge(14) universe
the height is 2800ly.
Now we come to fixup... Universe Creator is another cute little tool which can be used for massaging star positions, however it does have some limitations... It cannot handle blanket remapping of any but the standard universe sizes (tiny, small, medium, large and huge,) although is can handle placement of individual stars in any size of universe
If we generate a set of game files with a huge definition we can remap the universe for stretching to a Huge universe by using a 400*400 bitmap picture of the universe with 400/3600 (which is 1/9,) the top 45 rows of the bitmap black and the bottom white... then run the stretch utility, stretching it out to Huge...
Similarily, we can create a Huge(14) universe by remapping the generated universe with a 400*400 bitmap with 2800/6000 (7/15,) the top 187 rows black, then the rest white.