Update

Small moons colliding with a planet

Codename: Fire Ring | Update 28 | September 22, 2021

Run Steam to download Update 28, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 28

Fire Ring introduces a collision model that simulates an impact shockwave across the surface of an object, as part of our work to continuously improve collisions. In addition, there are improvements to object trails, additional object information, bug fixes, and more.

Shocking Collisions

Object heating from impacts now realistically moves over the impacted object as a shockwave. Fragments are ejected from the edge of the shockwave at more realistic angles. Learn more in our Collisions guides:
Guides > Tutorials > Planetary Collisions
Guides > Science > Collisions: Energy, Mass, and Speed

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Impactor Heating

Both objects involved in a collision now experience collisional heating on their surfaces, instead of just the larger object.

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More Highlights

  • Grazing collisions now look more realistic with shockwaves and surface dragging
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  • Object trails are now projected back in time to show their full past trajectory
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  • Objects now have additional information (like, planet, moon, rogue object) in the property panel based on their relative motion around other objects
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  • As we work toward making our simulations more deterministic, seeds for randomized simulations are now easier to find, allowing you to recall previous random scenarios
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This update includes 6+ additions and 22+ fixes and improvements.

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 28

Please report any issues on our Steam forum, on Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Atmospheric Adjustments | Update 27.2

Run Steam to download Update 27.2, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 27.2

You can now change specific simulation interactions, like gravity and collisions, on a per-object basis! This minor update also includes simulated atmosphere opacity (a measure of how hard it is to see through the atmosphere), bug fixes, and more.

Individual Object Simulation Manipulation

The ability to turn off specific simulation interactions on a per-object basis has been added to all objects in Properties > Overview. We plan to add to this over time, and we hope you enjoy creating all kinds of crazy scenarios with these options as much as we do!

Opaque Atmospheres

Atmosphere Opacity is now simulated based on an object’s properties, like Radius and Atmosphere Mass. Learn more about this new feature in our Atmospheres guide under Guides > Science > Atmospheres.

More Highlights

  • Polar ice caps on random rocky planets are now informed by the water depth around the poles and are no longer circles
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  • Opening multiple surface data views no longer causes a noticeable reduction in performance


Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 27.2

Please report any issues on our Steam forum, on Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

The feature image shows a laser heating up the Earth to speed up the cloud rotation with no planetary rim lighting.

Clouds in Motion | Update 27.1

Run Steam to download Update 27.1, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 27.1

Cloud speed is now simulated based on an object’s temperature and rotation speed. Surface simulation performance improvements, an Appearance interface redesign, adjustable planetary rim lighting, and more round out this minor update.

The feature image shows a laser heating up the Earth to speed up the cloud rotation and our new atmosphere opacity property.

Simulated Cloud Speed

Cloud speed is now simulated based on an object’s temperature and rotation speed as part of our continued incremental improvements of clouds. Check out our new Clouds guide for a tour through our entire cloud system: Guides > Science > Clouds.

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Easier Appearance Editing

As part of our continued user interface improvements, the Properties > Appearance tab has been redesigned to combine color customization with visibility and other options to make changing the appearance of an object even easier.

More Highlights

  • Surface Simulation has been improved to update only objects that are changing each frame, improving performance for simulations with many objects
  • Created simulation of NASA’s Juno spacecraft flyby of Ganymede in June 2021: Open > Historical > Juno Flyby of Ganymede in 2021
  • Star glows correctly fade as you get farther away from them when Object Visibility is set to Realistic again
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  • Added Atmosphere Density and Speed of Sound Properties to Properties > Surface > Atmosphere
  • Rim Lighting can now be adjusted under View > Object Visibility > Rim Lighting

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 27.1

You can also check out our 2021 Roadmap to learn more about what we’re currently working on!

Please report any issues on our Steam forum, on Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Fast & Flurrious | Update 27

Run Steam to download Update 27, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 27

Snow simulation improvements, more detailed temperature maps, better performance, new cloud visuals, and more are rolled up into Update 27.

The featured image shows what would happen if the Earth was tidally locked, where one side of the planet always faces the Sun.

Superior Snow Simulation

We’re now keeping track of snow so that it falls and melts more realistically. Previously it disappeared immediately if the water vapor got too low. There’s also more accurate snow and ice formations on newly-created random rocky planets!

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Taking the (Surface) Temperature

Temperature maps have gotten a facelift with the addition of temperature calculations adjusted by elevation. Previously temperature maps were only shown at sea level, even if the elevation data was above sea level.

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Downscaling to Benefit Non-gaming Hardware

Render Scale has been added as a new graphics setting. This allows you to run the simulation at a lower resolution while keeping the interface looking crisp. The automatic settings have also been updated for improved performance on lower-end hardware.

More Highlights

  • More customization for cloud visuals on rocky planets, including adjustable coverage and opacity
  • We’ve added new shapes to our Human Scale Objects
  • …and Human Scale Objects can now have custom colors
  • View > Object Visibility has been added so that you can see all objects that would normally be impossible to see at realistic scales. You can also really blow them up with advanced settings!
  • The Add Panel has been restyled to accommodate smaller screens and to prepare the panel for future plans
  • Heating from stars and supernovae is now smoother at high simulation speeds for all spinning objects
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  • Our guide system now provides better assistance to new users with Guide Rails
  • Curved trails are now more precisely rendered as at high simulation speeds
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  • Dyslexia-friendly font options have been added under Settings > General > Accessibility

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 27

Please report any issues on our Steam forumon Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Splish, Splash, Filling a Bath | Update 26.3

Three Earths with varying sea levels, one being impacted by a stray moon.
Run Steam to download Update 26.3, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 26.3

Drastically increased collision fragments and framerates, overhauled planetary water distribution, plus dozens of improvements come together in Update 26.3.

Oceans Filling Like a Bathtub

Water fills a tub from its lowest point – why not on a planet? Oceans now start at the lowest elevations and fill valleys like you would a bathtub, creating more realistic-looking continents and oceans. (Previously liquid water would “precipitate” evenly across the surface.)

Buttery Smooth Collisions & Particles Aplenty

Major performance improvements have resulted in epic collisions with double the particles. Fragment generation is substantially more consistent across various simulation speeds. Collisions now perform much more smoothly: in many cases, we’re seeing as much as triple framerate increases.

More Highlights

  • Fixed the “annoying bug” that darkened customized planet surfaces
  • Ice & Snow, which are simulated separately, now have color options
  • Avast, Matey! Change an object’s Sea Level in the properties panel
  • Cleaned up the object property panel and added new action buttons

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 26.3

 

Please report any issues on our Steam forumon Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Ending 2020 with a Bang | Update 26.2

Run Steam to download Update 26.2, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 26.2

Craters from impacts, lasting surface damage, and voluminous explosions all come together in Update 26.2 to close out the year!

Surface Damage & Craters

Molten and heated areas on an object’s surface will appear scorched after cooling, with visible craters in the aftermath of collisions.

Explosions

Rocky objects more accurately vaporize into hot, dense gas clouds when exploded. The simulation of gas particles, which slowly expand over time, is more realistic, and results in dramatic debris clouds after impacts. We’ve also added a Detonation Delay setting to the Explode tool.

Two-Handed Gestures in VR

Move, scale, and rotate the universe using intuitive gestures with both hands and the grip buttons.

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 26.2

 

Please report any issues on our Steam forumon Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Star Fusion & the Brown Dwarfs | Update 26.1

Run Steam to download Update 26.1, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Brown Dwarf Transitions

We’ve made significant improvements to the simulated transitions of gas giants into brown dwarfs and stars, driven by a newly simulated Fusion Power energy property. Learn more about fusion power and brown dwarfs in our new guide: Guides > Science > Are Gas Giants Failed Stars? 

More Color Customization

The color of water on all planets, and the color of vegetation on Earth, are now customizable via Properties > Appearance.

Laser Improvements

Laser presets have been reorganized, and we’ve added a new Push Water setting in the Laser panel. While not entirely realistic, this is a fun way to play with the water simulation on an object’s surface. Try out the “Wave Maker” laser preset to create massive waves in a planet’s oceans..

Please report any issues on our Steam forum, on Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 26.1

Reimagined Experience – Unified VR & Desktop | Update 26

Run Steam to download Update 26, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store.

Update 26 brings the full Universe Sandbox desktop experience to virtual reality (VR). We redesigned the bottom bar and made visual improvements to collision fragments, rocky planets, and liquid water.

Full Desktop Experience in VR

Universe Sandbox VR now matches the desktop experience and will maintain feature parity moving forward. You can now use virtual hands to manipulate planets, edit properties, or use separate tools in each hand.

Reimagined User Interface

Featuring a customizable bottom bar, our improved user interface makes Universe Sandbox easier to use, more discoverable, and improves support for extra small screens.

Improved Visuals

Collision fragments have new, high-definition graphics and lighting. Elevation maps for rocky planets have more detail. Water graphics now show waves and better light reflection. Asteroids and collision fragments have new highly-detailed dynamic models with better lighting.

This update includes 20+ additions and 50+ fixes and improvements.

Please report any issues on our Steam forum, on Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.


Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 26

Even More Color in Space | Update 25.2

Run Steam to download Update 25.2, or buy Universe Sandbox via our website or the Steam Store, where it’s 33% off until July 9th, 2020.

Update 25.2

Update 25.2 is a minor update that brings even more appearance options, this time to clouds, galaxies, and asteroids. We’ve also improved energy transfer calculations, laser settings, asteroid visuals, and provided various other bug fixes.

Most of the team has been hard at work on our upcoming major updates, but we didn’t want you to wait for these features and bug fixes. Keep an eye out for Update 26 (Coming Soon™) which will bring major improvements to our user interface and VR implementation.

Cloudy with a Chance of Purple

Change the color of clouds, galaxies, city lights, and asteroids. Toggle snow visuals on or off to help distinguish snow from sea ice. 

Asteroid Makeover

Asteroids received a complete visual overhaul and color correction.

Improved Energy Simulation

Energy Flow calculations now including lasers, explosions, and impacts. Learn more about Energy Flow from Home > Guides > Science > Energy and Heating in Depth.

Featured Fixes

  • Simulations with broken surface data can now be opened
  • City Lights no longer appearing incorrectly on some rocky objects
  • Black hole radius can now be manually changed as expected

Please report any issues on our Steam forum, on Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 25.2

Light It Up | Update 25.1


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

Update 25.1 includes a host of bug fixes and lighting improvements, as well as a fun oft-requested feature to add customizable city lights to any rocky planet or large moon.

City Lights on Any Planet
You can now enable City Lights on any rocky planet or large moon by going to Object Properties > Appearance > City Lights. Select from Earth’s city map or a randomized procedural map, and define whether the lights will turn off if the surface is deemed uninhabitable. 

Lighting Improvements
The interaction of multiple light sources has been reworked, particularly with how they reflect off an atmosphere.

General Fixes
We fixed a bunch of miscellaneous issues, including improving how supernova clouds impact objects, star temperature instability, orbit previews, shadows, and more.

Please report any issues on our forum, on Discord, or in-game via Home > Send Feedback.

Check out the full list of What’s New in Update 25.1