Random Sphere Generator

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Random Sphere Generator

Postby Birchbeer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:35 am

Hey Folks,

I made a custom sphere generator!

This is based on one I found here

I tried to incorporate a few things into it, here's a quick summary of changes from the one on Peter's tribe:
  1. Sphere generation tends to favor planets determining their own rotation
  2. Planet generation is tweaked to match real-world sizes (super earths/water cap out at F, Ai at H, Fire is still )
  3. Enhanced the terrain per planet to make them applicable (but I think I can add more options in)
  4. Planets that are the size A or B don't create moons anymore (I figure if an A or B has a moon it's so small it should be a cluster... not in the generator yet though).
  5. Planets tend to create more moons than other generators, but the distribution favors more B,C and D sized moons.
  6. Rings are generated more often as well.
  7. I enhanced the groundling option that he had. I added to it a tech level and culture.
  8. I also added in imports and export based upon Mystara's Known World list (added gunpowder and chocolate too)
  9. Lastly added a Crystal Sphere Portal Anomly section for quirks with the crystal sphere, like it only opens if at least 1 member of a certain race is present.

Please review and let me know the any cool or weird combinations you find :) (it may have bugs still too :( )
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Re: Random Sphere Generator

Postby Big Mac » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:59 pm

This is an awesome tool! :cool:

It looks like you might be using a frameset to put the primary on the left side of the screen and the celestial bodies orbiting it on the right side of the screen. That burns up a ton of white space (as you scroll down the page) and also makes it a bit harder to copy and paste information into a separate document.

The main thing is obviously to make sure the random generator programming is working, but when you have that done, it would be nice to have export options, so that people can get the data as text or maybe as a pretty PDF they can print and use as a player handout.

If you have a look at the Medieval Demographics generator, put up by donjon, you will see that they have a few variables that users can select. You might want to consider if it would be viable to have a number of drop-down options that either give people random choices or user-defined choices. I think that would make your project more complicated, but it would allow people to use your tool alongside their pre-written Spelljammer fanon.

Donjon also has a Fantasy World Generator, that could make planets for sperical earth bodies. If you are good at making generators, I wonder if you could one day use the demographics genertor and the fantasy world generator to build a couple of extra Spelljammer generators that dovetail with your main crystal sphere generator and allow people to flesh out the planets and moons.
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Re: Random Sphere Generator

Postby Birchbeer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:53 pm

I can work on the layout, that will be easy to fix. Also, I can review a way to export or save the info as text.

My next steps were to implement some more of the World Builders guide - water percentage for earth worlds, and some more descriptive text for the non-earth planets.

I could build a planetary Demographics calculator, though some of my cultures would be different eras so they'd have different numbers to work with. I'd also have to change the main program to list out the various cultures present... not impossible but a bit more work.

As for the fantasy world generation... that's a bit more graphic than I can do currently. I'd like to do a randomized Phlo map at some point... just something that lays out a new section of the Phlo that's not been found yet.

I should get back to this within 2 weeks... unfortunately need to focus on some other things.
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Re: Random Sphere Generator

Postby Big Mac » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:50 am

Birchbeer wrote:I can work on the layout, that will be easy to fix. Also, I can review a way to export or save the info as text.


Thanks. I should ping Ashtagon and ask her to take a look at this.

She is a real wizz with CSS coding and might be able to help you make something that looks very similar to the official Spelljammer house style.

Birchbeer wrote:My next steps were to implement some more of the World Builders guide - water percentage for earth worlds, and some more descriptive text for the non-earth planets.


Here is a thing. I'm not sure that it would make sense to integrate all of this into a single generator. If you look at what the Donjon generators are doing, they are all focusing on one specific type of content generation. Trying to get that to all link together would make something really complex.

I actually think that if you created a related suite of generators, that all did different parts of the process, and made some sort of way that people can pull the names off of your Random Sphere Generator and put them into other generators, they would be able to get an overview of the sphere with this generator and then generate worlds or moons with other generators.

Birchbeer wrote:I could build a planetary Demographics calculator, though some of my cultures would be different eras so they'd have different numbers to work with. I'd also have to change the main program to list out the various cultures present... not impossible but a bit more work.


Hmm. How about if you keep this thing, as it is, but get celestial bodies to present the viewer with a button that will open an appropriate world/moon generator on a separate browser tab?

Birchbeer wrote:As for the fantasy world generation... that's a bit more graphic than I can do currently. I'd like to do a randomized Phlo map at some point... just something that lays out a new section of the Phlo that's not been found yet.


I realise that sort of thing is tricky, I'm still trying to work out how to create maps for Spelljammer planets myself. What I don't want to do is churn out maps in bulk that can not be edited. That would just force a later person to spend ages creating clones of non-canon maps at higher resolutions.

Mmm. The Phlogiston is a weird thing as most of it has not been mapped. I've been saying for years that I'd quite like to see diagrammatic maps (like the ones used on the London Underground) but there is also Nerik's map out there.

Another sort of map that would be useful...and something that would fit very very will into this generator that you are working on, would be the sidebar sphere maps, that have circles for the inner planet orbits, arcs for the outer planet orbits and the worlds stuck over the top of the circles and arcs. While I am not convinced it would be good to add in the other sort of generators I was talking about, I think it would make perfect sense to both generate the text for the celestal bodies in a crystal sphere and the sidebar map that goes with it.

I actually think that this Random Sphere Generator would be ideal for GMs who want a basic overview only, and that a collection of add-on tools would be good for people who want to add more detail.

Birchbeer wrote:I should get back to this within 2 weeks... unfortunately need to focus on some other things.


Hopefully some other people will have had a chance to search for bugs or make suggestions by then.
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Re: Random Sphere Generator

Postby Birchbeer » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:32 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Birchbeer wrote:I can work on the layout, that will be easy to fix. Also, I can review a way to export or save the info as text.


Thanks. I should ping Ashtagon and ask her to take a look at this.

She is a real wizz with CSS coding and might be able to help you make something that looks very similar to the official Spelljammer house style.

The page I cloned and updated has no CSS coding in it. I can recode it for that, but it'll take a little while. I'm rusty when it comes to CSS.
Big Mac wrote:
Birchbeer wrote:My next steps were to implement some more of the World Builders guide - water percentage for earth worlds, and some more descriptive text for the non-earth planets.


Here is a thing. I'm not sure that it would make sense to integrate all of this into a single generator. If you look at what the Donjon generators are doing, they are all focusing on one specific type of content generation. Trying to get that to all link together would make something really complex.

I actually think that if you created a related suite of generators, that all did different parts of the process, and made some sort of way that people can pull the names off of your Random Sphere Generator and put them into other generators, they would be able to get an overview of the sphere with this generator and then generate worlds or moons with other generators.




Birchbeer wrote:I could build a planetary Demographics calculator, though some of my cultures would be different eras so they'd have different numbers to work with. I'd also have to change the main program to list out the various cultures present... not impossible but a bit more work.


Hmm. How about if you keep this thing, as it is, but get celestial bodies to present the viewer with a button that will open an appropriate world/moon generator on a separate browser tab?


Yeah, I was thinking if I added too much to the generator, it would become unwieldy. As it is, you could generate 20 planets with 30 moons each... that's a lot of text space (and be one action packed sphere!). I'm more so favoring either passing parameters to different pages to triggered customized scripts or, I could have the main page overloaded to only show the generator you pick based upon a parameter. I'm not favoring the second option as the page is a bit much to code, and if I have to isolate out a bug I have to hunt around for the right line more than I'd like to.

Big Mac wrote:
Birchbeer wrote:As for the fantasy world generation... that's a bit more graphic than I can do currently. I'd like to do a randomized Phlo map at some point... just something that lays out a new section of the Phlo that's not been found yet.


I realise that sort of thing is tricky, I'm still trying to work out how to create maps for Spelljammer planets myself. What I don't want to do is churn out maps in bulk that can not be edited. That would just force a later person to spend ages creating clones of non-canon maps at higher resolutions.

Mmm. The Phlogiston is a weird thing as most of it has not been mapped. I've been saying for years that I'd quite like to see diagrammatic maps (like the ones used on the London Underground) but there is also Nerik's map out there.

Another sort of map that would be useful...and something that would fit very very will into this generator that you are working on, would be the sidebar sphere maps, that have circles for the inner planet orbits, arcs for the outer planet orbits and the worlds stuck over the top of the circles and arcs. While I am not convinced it would be good to add in the other sort of generators I was talking about, I think it would make perfect sense to both generate the text for the celestal bodies in a crystal sphere and the sidebar map that goes with it.

I actually think that this Random Sphere Generator would be ideal for GMs who want a basic overview only, and that a collection of add-on tools would be good for people who want to add more detail.

I have a program written in Java that was written which does side bar map, inner trakcs map and outer tracks map. I don't have access to the source code, and unfortunately it isn't running well in the most recent version of Java. If I could figure out how he wrote the crystal sphere maps, I'd recreate it and then import my logic into it. I'd also probably write it outside of Java, maybe in C#. I'm not sure I could write something like that in Javascript (or rather, I'm not sure Javascript could do it without a lot of pushing/bending).

As for the Phlo mapping, here is my idea: Have a database with a list of spheres, then list out the Phlo rivers which connect to which sphere. So for Realmspace, it connects to Krynnspace, Greyhawk, etc... The cool part is when it renders, it could either show it as text or as a colored map. I had to look up London Underground map to see what that is... I always thought they were just called subway maps :) And yeah, I'd to do that style. Nerik's map is cool looking, but I don't think it's as readable as a normal subway map is.

So my next steps will be to simplify the column structure, implement CSS, implement easy printing. I'm thinking of removing the notable groundlings and trading out just because it's kind of a simplification at best. It would work okay for Size B through C. Anything above that and the world is is too massive to be limited to only 1 notable groundling culture.
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Re: Random Sphere Generator

Postby Big Mac » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:22 am

Birchbeer wrote:Yeah, I was thinking if I added too much to the generator, it would become unwieldy. As it is, you could generate 20 planets with 30 moons each... that's a lot of text space (and be one action packed sphere!). I'm more so favoring either passing parameters to different pages to triggered customized scripts or, I could have the main page overloaded to only show the generator you pick based upon a parameter. I'm not favoring the second option as the page is a bit much to code, and if I have to isolate out a bug I have to hunt around for the right line more than I'd like to.


I think that being able to interact with one or more generators, so that people can output data or input their own data, might be something to consider.

You could leave the generator pretty much as it is, but have a way for people to use other generators to expand on any part of a crystal sphere that they want to add more detail to.

Birchbeer wrote:I have a program written in Java that was written which does side bar map, inner trakcs map and outer tracks map. I don't have access to the source code, and unfortunately it isn't running well in the most recent version of Java. If I could figure out how he wrote the crystal sphere maps, I'd recreate it and then import my logic into it. I'd also probably write it outside of Java, maybe in C#. I'm not sure I could write something like that in Javascript (or rather, I'm not sure Javascript could do it without a lot of pushing/bending).


Data entry support would definitely allow this sort of thing to be done separately. Although a server-side script could create pictures that get added into documents as a sidebar.

Birchbeer wrote:As for the Phlo mapping, here is my idea: Have a database with a list of spheres, then list out the Phlo rivers which connect to which sphere. So for Realmspace, it connects to Krynnspace, Greyhawk, etc... The cool part is when it renders, it could either show it as text or as a colored map. I had to look up London Underground map to see what that is... I always thought they were just called subway maps :) And yeah, I'd to do that style. Nerik's map is cool looking, but I don't think it's as readable as a normal subway map is.


There is another way of describing phlogiston rivers (from the original boxed set) that doesn't involve maps. Jeff Grubb made some tiny tables where he listed the percentage chance of travelling from Greyspace, Krynnspace and Realmspace to the other two spheres or an alternative destination.

Most people in the SJ community seem to like the idea of maps now, but if people are trying to run an adventure that involves the PC going to a specific area and a canon (or fanon) map shows the two crystal spheres as being a long way away from each other, that's actually a map that makes things harder for the GM, rather than easier.

I've been thinking for a while that Jeff Grubb's original concept could actually be turned into a bespoke random phlogiston river destination table that could be used when the PC's ship leaves a sphere and travels into the flow. I've not totally figured it out yet, but I was thinking that phlogiston navigation and magical and mundane navigation tools would make it more likely for PCs to get to where they want to go.

Birchbeer wrote:So my next steps will be to simplify the column structure, implement CSS, implement easy printing. I'm thinking of removing the notable groundlings and trading out just because it's kind of a simplification at best. It would work okay for Size B through C. Anything above that and the world is is too massive to be limited to only 1 notable groundling culture.


You could always shunt the stuff you don't like into a child generator, rather than totally dump them.

A "Random World/Moon Generator" would be a place to add in notable culture(s).

I think it's valid for a world larger than size D to only have one notable groundling culture, but then I've assumed, for a long time, that the stuff in SJR2, SJR6 and SJR7 was written about the people that spacefarers were most likely to interact with. I've been thinking that someone would look at traditional world-based D&D settings and "write between the lines" of vague outlines.
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