SpaceEngine - a free space simulation program that lets you explore the universe in three dimensions, from planet Earth to the most distant galaxies. Areas of the known universe are represented using actual astronomical data, while regions uncharted by astronomy are generated procedurally. Millions of galaxies, trillions of stars, countless planets - all available for exploration. You can land any planet, moon or asteroid and watch alien landscapes and celestial phenomena. You can even pilot starships and atmospheric shuttles.

Post news Report RSS Dusting Off This Page (Update Time!)

Sorry it's been so long since the last update, SpaceEngineer has had his hands full with life and developing SE, so he hasn't had time to post on all the social media he maintains. I'm here to write on his behalf, so read on for a massive update!

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A lot has happened since the last time anything was posted on this page. Version 0.9.7.3 - a patch for 0.9.7.2 - was released, which had the following major updates:

  • Fixed Windows XP compatibility issue
  • Oculus Rift DK2 support: positional tracking and Direct mode
  • Shadows on planetary rings from other planets and moons
  • Fixed texture tiling on planets
  • Updated the exoplanets catalog; unconfirmed Kepler candidates are included in a separate file (more than 5000 planets total)
  • Added many binary and multiple star systems, including all with discovered exoplanets
  • Implemented an interface skin system with controllable from the Player menu

0.9.7.3 can be downloaded here. Remember, this is a PATCH for 0.9.7.2, not a full standalone version, so you must have 0.9.7.2 installed before installing 0.9.7.3 on top of it.

After 0.9.7.3 was released, work started on version 0.9.7.4, which has been available during development as an open beta test. I'll summarize the work that's been done so far below, and you can read the full changelog and download the beta here.

Version 0.9.7.4 will be the next major version, and will add numerous new features and fix a wide array of bugs. I'll highlight some of these features and bugfixes in the list below. Remember, you can see the full list and get the beta version at the link in the previous paragraph.

New Features

  • Added aurora quality switch to the Graphics settings
  • Added faint (Jupiter-like) rings generation with probability parameters in universe.cfg
  • Smooth switching of many rendering options (labels, eclipse shadows, clouds etc)
  • Added loader time slider to the Graphics settings menu (configures how many milliseconds per frame are allowed for loading landscape textures)
  • Raytraced ship engine exhaust rendering
  • Smooth camera movement for ships
  • Space ships are now rendered in interstellar space
  • Space ships are now showed in the Wiki
  • Implemented a simple ship editor (mostly for editing and debugging models)
  • Updated default ships with new engine exhaust
  • Implemented Wiki database description editor, with support for standard shortcuts like Ctrl-Left, Ctrl-Shift-PgDn etc., text selection, and copy/paste
  • Optimized GUI rendering
  • Optimized labels and markers rendering
  • Newly built ships spawn with the same speed as the currently selected one
  • Ship autopilot "Sync velocity" button now works
  • Equirectangular spherical projection rendering (allows recording of 360° videos)
  • Alien vegetation on titans with terrestrial life
  • Random global reddish tints for planets (to produce worlds like Pluto and Sedna)
  • Polar caps on cold selenas and iceworlds (Ganymede-like and Pluto-like thin frost deposit)
  • Implemented animated dithering to fix banding artefacts
  • Improved quality of elliptical galaxies rendering
  • Improved ship manager
  • "Pack" and "Faction" filters for ships
  • All shaders are moved to OpenGL 3.3 core profile
  • Separate files for saving default and user locations
  • Restored possibility of selection of the reference body for ship
  • Sync velocity command works with target ships
  • Upgraded ship controls and HUD
  • After collision with a planet, ships become fixed on the surface (can now land ships)
  • Docking functionality for space ships
  • Implemented reversed floating point z-buffer:
    - Rendering orbital paths with proper order with planets and ships
    - Fixed z-fighting issues on water and clouds
    - Allows camera placement up to a few centimeters from a planet's surface or space ship
  • Improved stability at extreme screen resolutions
  • New physically accurate rendering of black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs with accretion disks
  • Added Y-class brown dwarfs
  • Implemented correct orientation of extrasolar systems (RefPlane "Extrasolar" for inclination and ascending node)
  • Improved rendering of late M-dwarfs
  • Smoother sunspots
  • Added new atmosphere model "Pluto"
  • Atmosphere models are included in the memory manager
  • Added exoplanet names approved by IAU
  • Integrated some community shader mods
  • New object selection method in Oculus Rift

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed planetary rings brightness in the "real planet brightness" mode
  • Fixed holes in planetary surface where lava flows should be
  • Fixed wrong terrain LOD calculation on small screens
  • Fixed Pluto system orientation
  • Fixed some bugs in planet script exporting
  • Fixed black stain artifact on a planet surface
  • Reduced cyclone cutting probability
  • Fixed lags when changing FOV
  • Fixed clouds lighting in thin atmospheres
  • Fixed change of the display mode and refresh rate at SE startup
  • Fixed climate smoothing on a planets with a thick atmosphere
  • Fixed a lot of stars with wrong/error stellar class in the catalog
  • Fixed camera velocity indicator
  • Fixed star motion blur when changing distance with left + right mouse drag
  • Fixed star motion blur for ships in hyperspace
  • Fixed some bugs with automatic ships hyperjump
  • Wiki descriptions display tabulations
  • Fixed specular spot on ships
  • Fixed atmosphere height on tidally heated worlds
  • Fixed sudden stopping of ship rotation when changing orbital orientation mode
  • Fixed visual artifacts with atmosphere and water on oceanias
  • Fixed blinking LOD of a planet when Wiki for it is opened
  • Fixed Overbright slider initialization in the Magnitude/brightness settings menu
  • Fixed blurring of slider handles
  • Fixed bug with invisible velocity pointer text
  • Fixed too small height of atmospheres of gas giants
  • Fixed crash on opening Chart mode for the not currently visible system
  • Fixed wrong animation of the currently followed planet in the Chart mode
  • Fixed continuous execution of ship's autopilot command "Retrograde"
  • Hyperbolic orbits of ships are now displayed
  • Fixed render of orbits in the Map mode
  • Fixed bug with infinite radius of black holes, neutron stars and white dwarves
  • Fixed wrong camera positioning at program startup
  • Fixed artifacts with black hole and ship warp effect in stereo modes
  • Fixed wrong calculation of orbital period of catalog binary stars
  • Fixed interstellar ships magnitude calculation
  • Fixed crash on building a ship in interstellar space
  • Fixed sprites rendering order in nebulae
  • Fixed pushing camera up while loading location on a planet by disabling collision detection for some amount of time
  • Fixed crash on rebuilding the pak files data cache
  • Fixed ship hyperjump to galaxy, star cluster or nebula
  • Fixed extreme apparent magnitude of a comet nucleus if camera or ship is close to it
  • Fixed joystick throttle and correction engines control
  • Fixed switching ship's behind camera when planet is selected
  • Fixed smooth fade in of the selection pointer
  • Fixed orientation of the ship's orbit relative to moons
  • Fixed ship's orbital position calculation
  • Fixed selected object's info table in Oculus Rift
  • Fixed ship's "Horizon" orientation command
  • Fixed bug with phase calculation for planets and ships
  • Fixed inability to change ship's hyperfactor if engines are off
  • Fixed autopilot warp to stars
  • Fixed "rotate to ship" command
  • Fixed ship's gravity acceleration display
  • Fixed procedural stars generation in dwarf galaxies
  • Fixed rings blending with clouds and atmosphere
  • Fixed seam artifact in rings
  • Fixed star sprite in barycenters
  • Fixed star density in Milky Way
  • Fixed inability to select a deepspace object as a refbody/target for a ship using GUI buttons
  • Fixed bug with star particle visible through black hole
  • Fixed various rendering bugs in the Map Mode
  • Fixed planet particles rendering in front of water/clouds
  • Fixed foreground labels rendering in front of planets
  • Fixed instability in hyperbolic orbits solver
  • Fixed bug with sun shining through ocean
  • Fixed camera pushing when landing on planet with Left+Right mouse drag
  • Fixed too many cloud layers on planets with thin atmosphere
  • Fixed localization change in the Chart Mode
  • Fixed offsetting of a landed ship when time flow is accelerated
  • Fixed bug with camera velocity display
  • Fixed bug with sudden camera rotation when collide with terrain
  • Fixed specular spot on Oceanias

Whew! That was a mouthful! Development of this version is still ongoing, and there will be more features added as it gets closer to release. After that, the next big event is the Steam release (finally)! Version 0.9.7.4 will be the first version of SpaceEngine to release on Steam.

Look for more updates in the coming weeks and months. Until then, happy exploring!

Comments
☦BalkanB☢y☦
☦BalkanB☢y☦

"-Fixed z-fighting issues on water and clouds"
Finally, I was waiting so long for solution for water flickering!
And Alien vegetation will also be interesting to see.
This sure will be a lovely update!

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