A new update, version 0.990.42.1830, is now available for public beta testing (how to join the beta). It features new exoplanets discovered since SE’s initial release on Steam, new/updated textures for Mars, Pluto, and Iapetus, and some fixes and improvements.

Updates:

  • Updated exoplanets catalog
  • Added new names of 112 exoplanets and their host stars
  • Updated Mars texture
  • New Pluto texture
  • New Iapetus texture and elevation map
  • New soundtrack by Lokijar
  • Context music playback config file is updated to the new planet classification, small manual is added to it
  • Some updates in the Wiki
  • Added ability to directly specify planet palette preset in a planet’s script
  • Probabilities of equatorial ridge generation are added to the config
  • Terrain shader mods are automatically disabled if they cause problems with SE startup
  • Added note to spacecraft manager that ships can be piloted in simulator mode, and a button to switch to it
  • Added buttons binds and help texture for Vive Cosmos controllers
  • Fixes:

  • Fixed giant scarps (cliffs) artifact near rift valleys
  • Fixed distance to Maffei 1 and 2 galaxies
  • Fixed a typo in the main config which caused duplication of the VR section
  • Fixed bug with stars not illuminating other stars in the same system (caused black brown dwarfs)
  • Fixed saturation of planet shine lighting in real exposure modes
  • Fixed crash when using telescopic zoom on galaxy clusters
  • Fixed baseline of subscript text
  • Fixed broken loading of RLE-compressed TGA files
  • Updated planet maps

    A few new and updated planet textures are included in this update. The surface (diffuse, color albedo) maps of Mars and Pluto have been updated with more accurate versions. The Pluto map was made by FarGetaNik, while the Mars map is the same as the old one, with improvements to color and contrast accuracy. Saturn’s moon Iapetus has been updated with a totally new set of textures, created by Kexitt, which combine real data with artistic interpretation for a much more consistent appearance while still being pretty accurate. You can see screenshots below of Mars, Pluto, and Iapetus respectively (open the links in a new tab to view them at full resolution):



    Current Work and 0.991 Beta

    Some progress has been made recently on implementing 3D planetary rings with rocks 😉 We will make a more detailed post with screenshots in the future. Other important work being done is updating the procedural planetary system generator. This includes fixing issues and bugs, and implementing modern knowledge about exoplanets into the generator. Since this will change the procedural generation algorithms, it will destroy user saves (locations), so it is pending for version 0.991. Speaking of which, a 0.991_beta branch has been added to Steam for those who want to test the new planetary system generator. Note that this, and a fix to globular cluster generation in large galaxies, are the only differences between the current 0.991 beta and today’s update 0.990.42.1830.

    0.991 changes:

  • Calibrated mass-radius distribution of terrestrial planets
  • Calibrated iron core mass distribution in terrestrial planets
  • Fixed giant-terra-giant-terra meander sequence in procedural planetary systems
  • Fixed bug with incorrect procedural metallicity of stars
  • Fixed giant galaxies having no globular clusters
  • You can opt into the 0.991_beta in the same way as the regular beta branch. Right-click on SpaceEngine in your Steam library, choose “Properties…”, and go to the “BETAS” tab. Select 0.991_beta in the drop-down menu: