Language Localization in Universe Sandbox ²

One of our goals is to make Universe Sandbox ² accessible to a wide range of users. No matter your age, scientific background, or experience with other simulators or video games, you should be able to pick up Universe Sandbox ² and let your curiosity drive your exploration of the universe.

One obstacle that may stand in the way is language. Right now, if English is not your first language, you may have a somewhat difficult time navigating Universe Sandbox ².

The good news is that we’re making progress on language localization. This makes it possible to switch on-the-fly between a bunch of languages beyond English.  Right now we’re working on German and Danish, thanks to the native speakers on our team. Below is an early screenshot showing most of the UI text translated to German. (Note: we used Google Translate simply for demonstration purposes.)

Universe Sandbox ² - Localization

Also on our shortlist is French and Spanish. After that, there’s no shortage of languages we’d like to support, including Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, etc.  It’s possible we’ll open up the translation process to the public community at a future date.

If you do not yet own Universe Sandbox ², you can buy it now to get instant access to the alpha, as well as free updates up to and including the final release: universesandbox.com/2.

 

 

Watch a Demo of Atmospheric Scattering

In this video, Chad, our technical artist, demos his recent work on shaders which simulate atmospheric scattering (in real-time, of course).

Atmospheric scattering is a process in which particles in a planet’s atmosphere scatter sunlight. It is the reason why the sky is blue, and why the setting sun is red.

Please note: This video is a demo created by Chad; it is not from Universe Sandbox ². Atmospheric scattering is an experimental feature still in its early stages. Do not expect to see this implemented in an alpha release anytime too soon.

More information on atmospheric scattering:

If you do not yet own Universe Sandbox ², you can buy it now to get instant access to the alpha, as well as free updates up to and including the final release: universesandbox.com/2.

Black Hole Rings in Universe Sandbox ²

Have you seen Interstellar? Without revealing too much of the plot… the sci-fi film follows a group of astronauts who search the depths of space in hopes of finding a new home for the human race.

The film’s special effects team worked with astrophysicist Kip Thorne in order to create visual effects that were not only beautiful representations of our universe, but were also founded on accurate science (Wired article).

One phenomenon they wanted to simulate was a massive black hole with an accretion disk. What they ended up with is certainly impressive:Interstellar_Black_Hole

 

Turns out, if you add rings to a black hole in Universe Sandbox ², you get something that looks pretty similar:

Universe Sandbox ² - Black Hole Rings

Of course, you’ll notice a few differences between these images. But that might be because the first image is from a pre-rendered animation made for a film with a $165 million budget, and the second is from a real-time, interactive simulation that can run on your home computer.

If you don’t yet own Universe Sandbox ², buy it now to get instant access to the Alpha through Steam as well as free updates up to and including the final release: universesandbox.com/2

 

 

Watch a Demo of Exoplanet Detection in Universe Sandbox ²

The video below was created by Eric, an astronomer working on Universe Sandbox ².

He explains how we calculate both radial velocity and normalized light curves, two key components in methods of detecting exoplanets.

You will be able to try out these new features for yourself in an upcoming alpha of Universe Sandbox ².

If you do not yet own Universe Sandbox ², you can buy it now to get instant access to the alpha, as well as free updates up to and including the final release: universesandbox.com/2.

 

 

Hiring a Planetary Scientist

Giant Army is looking for a planetary scientist or astronomer with a strong scientific computing background to join our team. You should be interested in helping us extend, improve, and develop the physical simulations at the heart of Universe Sandbox ². This is a contract position, but has the potential to become more permanent.

You will work closely with Giant Army’s current astronomer, as well as the creator of Universe Sandbox, in addition to our climate scientist, core game architect, numerical physics developer, graphics programmer, and technical artist.

Join us… we’re making something incredible that’s never been done before.

Universe-Sandbox-²---20141203-124530

Your Role

  • Help design, improve, and code the real-time simulation, which merges the gravity simulator with other simulated systems and incorporates as much realistic science as possible
  • Help discover simulation edge cases and develop solutions to solve them
  • Advise the team on how to best make the simulation, data, and visuals more realistic
  • Some potential areas for development include connecting composition and physical properties, gas giant atmospheres, habitability, major impact aftermath, and your favorite project.

 Ideal Candidate

  • Loves physics simulations and fantastical what-if scenarios: https://what-if.xkcd.com/
  • Is a self-driven and talented programmer with experience developing numerical models in a compiled language using modern developer best-practices
  • Writes clean code that is comprehensible to teammates
  • Is excited about developing a tool that allows users to experiment with simulations, pushing the boundaries of what has been done in real-time for public consumption
  • Can envision what makes the best interactive experience with physical concepts, and how best to crunch the numbers to make it happen

Mandatory Qualifications

  • Planetary science || (astronomy && (physics || chemistry)) background
  • Simulation design and coding experience
  • Strong enthusiasm for using models to explore both realistic and fantastical what-if scenarios
  • Strong interest in helping change the way the world perceives our universe and fragile planet
  • Good communication skills and proficiency in English, both writing and speaking

Preferred Qualifications

  • (Strong C# && Unity Engine experience) || (Experience with an entity component model && object-oriented programing)
  • M.S. or PhD in relevant field
  • Ability to meet in person at least once a month in Seattle, WA, United States, but will consider outstanding candidates from anywhere in the world

Company Overview

Giant Army is the company behind Universe Sandbox, a space simulator that’s sold hundreds of thousands of copies on Steam. Our headquarters are in Seattle, Washington, USA, with team members in Montana, Florida, Germany, and Denmark.

Team members enjoy a flexible, collaborative environment. We strive for work-life balance, and we pursue the features that get us excited about science. We do the work so that we can share that with others. We’re also committed to creating an accessible experience that can’t be found elsewhere.

Science is for everyone, and we welcome all qualified applicants.

Product Overview

Universe Sandbox ² is our core product that lets the user explore and learn about our amazing universe and fragile planet while creating and destroying on a scale they’ve never before imagined. It’s more than a game; it’s a way of experiencing and learning about reality in a way that’s never been done before. Early alpha access now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

How to Apply

Email us: jobs at universesandbox.com

In the email please include:

  • Relevant email subject
  • Link to or copy of your resume or CV
  • Answer to these two questions:
    - What is the most appealing part of this opportunity?
    - What feature would you be most interested in adding or helping make better?
  • Where you originally heard about this job posting

Alpha 13 Preview

Alpha 13 is just around the corner.

Here are a few of the features we’re excited to introduce in this next update:

1. Planetary Cutaways

Cutaways can now be seen for any planetary body, which offers a nice visual representation of its material composition. Below you can see the cutaway for Jupiter’s moon, Europa.Universe Sandbox ² - Cutaway

2. Mars Climate Simulation

Our climate scientist has been working on expanding the climate model beyond Earth. Mars brings a whole new set of challenges. It’s not just a matter of plugging in Mars’s values into the existing calculations; there are fundamental differences which change the basic parameters of the model. For example, unlike Earth, so much carbon dioxide in Mars’ atmosphere freezes out every year that the atmospheric pressure drops and rises seasonally.Universe Sandbox ² - Mars Climate

3. Collision Rewrite

Major improvements to the underlying physics will bring performance boosts and better collisions more of the time, as well as pave the way for some future improvements and features. Take a look behind the scenes of collisions in Universe Sandbox ² in the video below, made by Thomas, our numerical physicist.

4. Radial Velocity & Light Curves

It’s now possible to graph both radial velocity and simulated light curves, two key components in methods used for detecting exoplanetsUniverse Sandbox ² - Light Curves

And we have a few more updates and fixes in the works.

We will post an announcement on the forum when Alpha 13 is available in Universe Sandbox ² Alpha Discussion. Steam will automatically download the update.

If you do not already own Universe Sandbox ², you can buy it now to get instant access to the alpha and receive free updates up to and including the final release.

Interviews From PAX Prime 2014

PAX Prime 2014 is long gone now, but we thought we’d share with you these interviews with Dan, creator and lead on Universe Sandbox ², in case you didn’t catch them back in September.

In the backgrounds of these videos from TimmyTechTV and GeekGamer.TV, you can see our booth and demos of Alpha 10 of Universe Sandbox ².

TimmyTechTV’s YouTube Channel

GeekGamer.TV’s YouTube Channel

We are now up to Alpha 12.1 of Universe Sandbox ².

Buy it now to get instant access to the Alpha through Steam as well as free updates up to and including the final release: universesandbox.com/2

Alpha 12 of Universe Sandbox ² Now Available

Jupiters, Sun, and New UI

The new look for the Add panel / Jupiters orbiting two Suns

If you already own Universe Sandbox ², run Steam to update to the latest version.

Or buy it now to get instant access to the Alpha through Steam as well as free updates up to and including the final release: universesandbox.com/2

What’s New in Alpha 12?

There’s a brand new look for the Create, Add, and Chart panels, which now use thumbnail tiles instead of long text lists.

We’ve introduced a few new Create tools, including rogue-planet encounters, randomized solar systems, material grids, and over 200 new choreographies.

This update also has reworked collision fragments, improved supernovas, and overhauled planetoid rendering.

Complete List of Updates

Earth, Supernova, and New UI

Supernova in our Solar System

Screenshots from Universe Sandbox ² Users

While you patiently wait for Alpha 12 (available by the end of October), here’s a round of awesome screenshots from Universe Sandbox ² alpha testers.

Earth & 2000 Moons

Earth & 2000 Moons

High-Impact Collision

High-Impact Collision

Gas Giants, Planets, & Moons

Gas Giants, Planets, & Moons

US² - Terraformed Mars

Terraformed Mars

US² - Rocky Planet with Rings

Rocky Planet with Rings

US² - Heated Planet After Collision

Heated Planet After Collision

Thanks to all those who have shared screenshots from their simulations in Universe Sandbox ².  You can see more on our forum.

For a preview of Alpha 12′s features, check out our previous blog post.

If you do not yet own Universe Sandbox ², buy it now to get instant access to the alpha and receive free updates up to and including the final release: universesandbox.com/2.

 

Alpha 12 Preview

In the next week or two we will release Alpha 12 of Universe Sandbox ².

Here are some of the features you can look forward to:

  1. A whole lot more choreography
    • We now have around 200 presets for you to experiment with, including a bunch of 3D patterns.
  2. Improved supernovas
    • The supernova blast itself won’t look too different, but we’ve improved their interactions so they more accurately destroy the nearby planets and moons.
  3. Better visuals for bodies and particles
    • We’ve improved the consistency between materials and visual representations – for example, you’ll no longer see fragments of hydrogen that look like chunks of rock.
  4. Random solar system tool
    • You can now generate an entire solar system based on a set of customizable parameters, such as the number of gas giants and moons, and the distances between the bodies.  See the screenshot below for a peek at this new tool.

 

Universe Sandbox ² - Random Solar System

 

As always, we will post an announcement on the forum when Alpha 12 is available: Universe Sandbox ² Alpha Discussion. Steam will automatically download the update.

If you do not already own Universe Sandbox ², you can buy it now to get instant access to the alpha and receive free updates up to and including the final release: Buy Universe Sandbox ².