Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Countless millions of stars

I have been thinking of the problems with the 'huge galaxy' idea. To make this work, I decided it would be necessary for the game to support thousands or even a million stars. Of course most computers these days will not handle the amount of AI in such a galaxy well, but it could still be useful for an MMO version, or at least to future-proof the game.

My star name generator could previously only generate about 6000 names before reporting errors, if I recall correctly. This is a problem when there are a million stars.

The new generator can generate three kinds of names.

For the first ten attempts, it chooses randomly between a name sounding like a Bayer designation (e.g. Alpha Centauri) or a traditional name (e.g. Rigel). The Bayer-like name is created by choosing from a list of prefixes and of suffixes and combining the two (13200 possible combinations), while the traditional names are just chosen randomly from a list of 352.

If it does not find an unused name in these first ten attempts, it generates a random name that sounds like a traditional name.

Examples of Bayer-like names:
Octa Aurigae
Zeta Crucis
Aleph Polli
Wau Lacertae
San Cancri
Rubix Vidi
Nona Jordani
Octa Velorum
Omicron Bo├Âtis
Rosa Lupi
Chi Sagittarii
Heta Sceptra
Orochi Cygni
Trio Hippopotami
Kappa Gruis
Blu Indi
Ichi Sculptoris
Aleph Roburem

Examples of traditional names:
Kuma
Pherkad
Acrux
Algol
Aldebaran
Regulus
Nash
Deneb

Examples of random names:
Arkad
Polava
Menchirdun
Kajam
Lucidus
Kochamali
Alfim
Rukhr
Sadfar
Birhanab
Mekbuda
Rukhl
Praecipua
Situla
Gieba
Braqu
Alnash
Birdun
Arneb

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