SpaceEngine – free space simulation with procedurally generated planets – Version Released

Space fans, get ready for a treat as a new version of SpaceEngine has just been released. SpaceEngine is a free space simulation software that lets you explore the universe in three dimensions, starting from planet Earth to the most distant galaxies.

As its description reads, areas of the known universe are represented using actual astronomical data, while regions uncharted by astronomy are generated procedurally.

According to its changelog, this new version adds animated water specular reflections and underwater fog, as well as debris rings around planets, 25 original soundtracks made by many authors, fast multi-threaded Star Browser and new landforms (pseudo rivers, shield volcanoes).

Those interested can download SpaceEngine from here.

Enjoy and here is the changelog for this new version of SpaceEngine:

Major updates:
-3D water: animated water specular reflections, underwater fog
-Improved procedural moon system generator
-Debris rings around planets
-New landforms: pseudo rivers, shield volcanoes
-Music player with smooth mixing, context switching of soundtracks, repeat options and other capabilities
-25 original soundtracks made by many authors
-Smart blending of terrain detail textures
-Detail noise textures on the planetary surface
-New types of worlds with life, improved lifeform classifications
-Many improvements with space ships
-Built-in avi video recorder
-Fast multi-threaded Star Browser: it uses all CPU cores to generate systems and does not reduce FPS
-Added Czech, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish and Turkish localizations
-Installer for SpaceEngine distribution with automatic selection of localization

Space ships:
-Supporting of emission textures
-Supporting of modular models
-Updated Ships Manager: ability to build, rename and destroy spacecrafts, sorting tables by any column
-Easy installing of ships addons: just copy files into SpaceEngine folder, and new ships become available in the Ships Manager’s build menu
-Some old ships models changed to modular models
-New “SS Basic”, “SS Cargo”, “SS Science”, “Fire Dragonfly” and “Skylone” ships
-Computing the Keplerian orbital elements and rendering the Keplerian orbit of the ship
-Atmospheric flight physics
-Spaceship Control Panel with Autopilot buttons
-Spaceship HUD (Head-Up Display) for atmospheric and space flight modes
-Ships may have Main engines, Retro (Braking) engines, Hover engines and Correction engines that can be controlled separately
-New ship control system: rotation with mouse, changing Main Engines and Hover Engines thrust with mouse wheel or by Control Panel, WASD keys controls correction engines only
-Additional parameters in the spaceship config file (engine thrust, hyperdrive, aerodynamics)
-Improved autopilot: orientation commands (Prograde, Retrograde etc), and automatic hyperjump to selected body
-Simulation and Orbital physics modes for spaceships (unfinished, switch modes on the Spaceship Control panel)
-Static Keplerian orbit mode for space stations artifical satellites
-Improved warp bubble effect

-Improved life classification: new types of lifeforms and biomes, various types of worlds to handle life, new script parameters
-Reduced density of stellar remnants (black holes, neutron stars and white dwarves)
-Updated exoplanets catalog
-Improved star calculator (computing of required parameters based on some parameters given in the script)
-New parameter Msini (M*sin(i)) in the planet script – used instead of Mass for exoplanets with only M*sin(i) known
-Procedural generation of orbital inclination in the catalog system for planets with unknown inclination, based on planets with known inclination
-Computing of actual mass of a planet based on given M*sin(i) and generated orbital inclination
-New parameters in the planet script – discovery method, discovery date and date of last data update
-New lines in the planet info table – discovery method, discovery date and M*sin(i)
-Implemented “HH MM SS” or “DEG MM SS” format for RA and Dec for galaxies, star clusters and nebulae
-New Vesta, Mercury and Saturn textures and landscape
-New galaxy and nebula models
-Increased turbulence on clouds of procedural gas giants

-Updated GUI tables appearance
-Updated Display Settings menu: options for toggle to fullscreen, choosing fullscreen and windowed mode resolution, VSync, anisotropy level
-Variable column width in the Star Browser’s table
-Green text in the Solar System Browser indicates that an object has life or satellites with life
-Updated localizations and added new ones
-FPS counter is enabled or disabled via console command “FPS”
-Changed color of orbits, markers and labels for dwarf planets and dwarf moons
-Onscreen keyboard help info in the Edit mode
-Some improvements in the Planet Editor

-Capturing video with GUI by pressing [Ctrl]+[F9]
-Sliders in the planet editor are not scrolled with mouse wheel
-Close button on the Solar System Browser window
-FOV is taken into account when choosing the camera position behind the ship in the Game mode
-“Look around” by holding the middle mouse button; on release, camera returns to original view
-Improved Controls settings menu: binding keys and mouse axis, independant bindings for planetarium and spaceship controls modes

-Terrain detail texture atlases are merged into a single atlas
-Configurable color palettes for procedural planets
-Automatic calculation of the offset of the ship model to make it perfectly centered
-SpaceEngine’s window saves its size, position and fullscreen state in the config and restores them in the next launch
-New magnitude function in the Map Mode: easy to find dim stellar objects
-Supporting RGBA diffuse textures for ships with per-pixel specular power in the alpha channel
-Supporting RGBA color specular textures for ships with per-pixel specular power in the alpha channel
-Supporting RGB color emissive textures for ships
-Experimental support of the logarithmic Z-buffer
-Exit screen texture saved to the config folder
-The stars120k.txt file is renamed to stars120k.cfg

Bug fixes:
-Fixed a “poor terrain textures” bug (incorrect indices of detail textures on procedural planets)
-Fixed a bug with generating worlds with life only in multiple star systems
-Fixed a bug with setting “StarProcBifurcation false” in the config disables procedural binary and multiple stars
-Fixed a “boring planets” bug and “deserted terra with life” bug
-Fixed too low and too high altitude of clouds on some planets
-Fixed a bug with impossibility to disable the VSync
-Fixed a bug with moons counter in the Wiki’s General info tab
-Fixed a bug with moons with life counter in the planet’s info table
-Fixed a bug with incorrect star multiplicity counter
-Fixed a bugs with the nearest star searcher (in star clusters and galactic halo)
-In the Map Mode, the Star Browser performs search around the map center, not around the current camera position
-Removed double slash in the message “Saving screensots//”
-Removed duplicate of Fomalhaut
-Removed “Fomalhaut B” name of star TW PsA/Gliese 879
-Fixed some other mistakes in catalogs
-Fixed wrong luminosity (0.9) of the Sun in the info table and in the Wiki
-Fixed artifacts when window is stretched on a bigger or a secondary monitor
-Fixed bugs with fish eye projection
-Fixed various bugs in the Star Browser
-Fixed a rendering slow-down after using the Star Browser
-Fixed a crash in Search By Name menu when entered a name of non existing star in a star cluster
-Fixed wrong axial tilt info of Earth and other barycenter-orbiting planets
-Fixed wrong obliquity parameter in exporting of the planetary system script
-Fixed the absolute magnitude of the Halley’s comet
-Fixed a crash when turning on rendering of a spacecraft trajectory
-Fixed a bug where “Warm ice world” was printed as “Warm ice giant”
-Controls settings menu and right-click context menu changes localization properly
-Fixed a typo on the coordinate grid labels
-Fixed incorrect camera orientation on start if the last bound object was a spaceship
-Fixed some VRAM cache issues (blinking stars, etc)
-Fixed the music player
-Fixed small blurriness of font and GUI
-Fixed galaxy orientation problems
-Restored clouds bump
-Fixed a bug with no cyclones on gas giants
-Fixed asynchronous loading of shaders
-Fixed a bug with a black dot rendered above the star in the “Points” mode
-Fixed a bug with bright blue stripes in evaporating planet tail
-Fixed appearance of wrong textures on planets during loading/generation
-Fixed a bug with wrong positioning of the camera relative the ship during hyperjump
-Fixed inability to select a moons inside the planet’s shadow
-Fixed discontinuity in normal map lighting on a ship models

John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities.Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email