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I Like My Heat Tidal | Update 25

Run Steam to download Update 25, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 25 brings significant improvements to our temperature and surface simulation, adding stability and accuracy, drastically improving speed, new object properties, and a rewrite to our tidal heating model. We’ve also added some often-requested features such as “Replace Object” and graph data export, as well as relocating save data associated with removing the “²” from “Universe Sandbox”.

Major Surface Simulation Performance Improvements
Moving from Shader Model 3 to 5, a feature of most modern graphics cards, allowed us to utilize new technology (compute shaders), lowering the video memory requirements of the surface simulation by almost half and increasing performance substantially. Moving forward, this will allow us to add additional complexity to surface grids, better collisions (using smoothed-particle hydrodynamics), and gorgeous graphical features. Because of this change, we have updated our minimum system requirements.

Temperature & Atmosphere Rewrite
Tidal heating and temperature calculations have just received a major rewrite. This includes significant improvements to vapor flow, atmosphere energy retention, and overall object energy absorption and radiation. You can see these properties in action in the new Energy Flow section in an object’s Surface tab, and in our new Energy and Heating guides.

Hot-swappable Celestial Object
A “Replace Object” button has been added to the Properties panel. This will allow you to hot-swap any object in the simulation for any other object, enabling a bunch of fun scenarios that were hard to do in the past.

The “²” is Silent
Just call us “Universe Sandbox”, we’ve gotten rid of the “²”. When loading the update for the first time, you may notice a “Migrating Data” message. We’re automatically reorganizing settings and saved files to reflect the name change.

 

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 25

 


City on Caterpillar Tracks

This has nothing to do with astronomy or Universe Sandbox, but as a LEGO fan, I’m incredibly inspired by this creation:
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2010/02/19/crawler-town-brings-the-city-to-you/

Which seems to be directly inspired by fictional Traction Cities from Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet series of books:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traction_City

I think the idea of massive, movable cities is fascinating to think about.

Source: Brother’s Brick, an excellent LEGO blog.