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Work in Progress / MPL3D Solar System

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Morcilla
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Posted: 5th Apr 2006 19:14 Edited at: 5th Apr 2006 19:25
Thank you very much, Poker Guy. I really appreciate your encouragement.

In fact, I have plans to sell it from the very beginning. I think that a price around 10 Eur would be fair and marketable.

I'm waiting for having it registered before releasing any demo. It will be soon anyway.
indi
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Posted: 7th Apr 2006 03:22
sell it to the boys at google, call it google verse, im not kidding!

congratulations, that work insipired my day.

If no-one gives your an answer to a question you have asked, consider:- Is your question clear.- Did you ask nicely.- Are you showing any effort to solve the problem yourself 
Morcilla
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Posted: 7th Apr 2006 17:36 Edited at: 7th Apr 2006 17:37
Thanks indi. It is difficult to find a good name, since there are many "solar system" programs out there.

I hope you meant you got inspired and not "insipided", lol
Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Apr 2006 19:48 Edited at: 12th Apr 2006 19:51
These are the configuration options, more or less definitive:



Ups, I guess "languaje" is misspelled.

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Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Apr 2006 19:57 Edited at: 12th Apr 2006 19:57
And this is the "Star selector":



It allows to discriminate which stars you will visit when doing single click on mouse buttons at orbital camera.

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Poker_Guy
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Posted: 12th Apr 2006 20:03
This has got to be the coolest project ever. There is some seriously good work here and it seems to only be getting better. Now I don't know if this was in the plan or not, but one suggestion is to have someone do voice acting to narrate as you orbit around certain things telling the user important facts about the specific object(in one of those cool deep voice like the discovery channel solar system episodes). Though this project is simple amazing sir, keep up the great work.

Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Apr 2006 20:35 Edited at: 12th Apr 2006 20:38
Thank you again Poker Guy! You make me feel like I'm moving in the right direction!

Great suggestion, although it would be great to have a narrator, I'm afraid that it would be a little bit expensive in terms of media size. I'm already spending a lot of disk space with music and textures... Besides I'd need an english narrator! It can be a great idea for future updates.

I hope the music is going to mark a difference at least.
Morcilla
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Posted: 20th Apr 2006 18:50 Edited at: 20th Apr 2006 18:50
I have updated the images at the web (http://www.mpl3d.com/photogal.htm), here is a mosaic of the newest ones:



Please, visit the web for full size images.

Links at the web were offline. I have found a new site for hosting the files, and now they are working, although I don't know if it will last. Also, the videos are not available at the moment, but you can still download them at the first page of this thread.

I also updated the functions of the program (http://www.mpl3d.com/solar.htm), now offering new:

Quote: "· Visit the enormous existing variety of known stars with a single mouse click.

· Enjoy the hypnotic and everchanging surface of the stars.

· Enter inside the nebulae and contemplate outerworld views.

· The planet gallery will allow you to easily compare all planets within a star system.

· The star selector has an options menu that will help you to visit the most interesting stars. "


Please notice that planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, etc. now have a more nicer and definitive look.
Also there are previously unpublished images of Phobos over Mars, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, the Large Magellanic Cloud and the final protoplanetary rings.

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Philip
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Posted: 21st Apr 2006 01:26
Its all looking excellent and very professional to me.

How do you do the gas giant's rings? Is it a plane with a texture on it, or have you create a special ring object for this instead?

Cheer if you like bears! Cheer if you like jam sandwiches!
Quote of the week: "I highly recommend Philip's Vector Tutorials" (RiiDii)
Balid
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Posted: 21st Apr 2006 13:58
Morcilla,

That looks fantastic.

Morcilla
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Posted: 21st Apr 2006 14:15 Edited at: 21st Apr 2006 14:17
Thanks Philip, still having problems with rings?

I didn't want to confess, but gas giant's rings are made with the same custom shape that is used for protoplanetary rings.

So they are made with a custom ring mesh, made with 3ds, textured and just ghosted, without transparencies.
You can use a torus, make it plane (scaling y to 0) and remove duplicate vertex, then export. Also, don't use planar uv map if you can, I mean texture is not a circle or ring, but a band of colours.

If you take a look at the wip image with the wireframe galaxy (page 1 of this thread), you'll see the custom ring at bottom-right.

I use several sizes and different number of polys to have some variation and better results for the hi and extra quality mode.

They look fine to me, although I have to live with a couple of issues:

- They hardly can cast or receive any shadows... Specially if the shape gets parallel to the light casting the shadows. Too bad, I'm loosing realism and maybe only a very good shader effect can help this. If anybody has any idea about how to solve it just let me know. Anyway I'm still pending of DGSDK update to make final shadow tests, but 5.8 shadows never made the job.

- Brightness must be adjusted very well to give them a faint look, so I think it is better to disable ambient light for them.

Hope that helps

[Edit] Thanks a lot Balid! I don't get tired of that kind of comments
Morcilla
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Posted: 25th May 2006 20:20 Edited at: 25th May 2006 20:20
Well, user interface is completed along with its spanish translation.
I show you here the other "selectors", they help the user to travel among the selected objects chosen from 31 nebulae , 201 clusters and 6 galaxies:



There are some more interface screens, but I though you'd find the selectors the more interesting ones.

The program is more and more finished each day, but I'm still waiting for DGSDK shader support. Once it is available, I think MPL3D Solar System could be released during the following month from the upgrade date.

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CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 26th May 2006 12:34 Edited at: 26th May 2006 12:36
first of all, it looks wonderful from the images, the only downside i could see is the specular mapping of earth, and if you use water on any other planet you should pay attention to specularity on them as well.
i dont know what image size you are using on the planets but attachment is a 1000x500 earth specular map, if you like it i can send you not all but most of the solar system planets high-res image maps, bump maps (retouched but realistic) and normal maps.

also some links here to help your project:
Galaxies Imageshigh resolution)
http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/galaxies.php
Earth Close up Imagesveeeeeeeeery high resolutions, you can zoom into regions on earth)
http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/earthcloseup.php
Real solar system data:
http://www.nineplanets.org/data1.html
Lunar cell: (creates instant planets (photoshop plugin))
http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html
Solar cell: (creates instant suns and stars(photoshop plugin))
http://www.flamingpear.com/solarcell.html
Glitterado: (creates instant nebulas and star background(photoshop plugin))
http://www.flamingpear.com/glitterato.html

Too Sexy

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Morcilla
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Posted: 26th May 2006 20:07
Hi CuCuMBeR, thanks a lot

So what do you dislike about current sea specularity? Do you find it poor or something?

Thanks for the attachment, althoug I'm using object material properties rather than specular maps, because I think the maps need a shader to work, right? And I want it to be specular on any videocard, or at least that's what I wanted when I started.
I tried to make some shader to work properly for this, but it was giving me headaches instead of something worthy.

I now I should be using specular maps nowadays, but as I said, right now I use material properties.

I use 1024x768 maps at the highest quality. I think they would became sluggy if they were bigger. Don't you think so?
The earth maps are great in detail, but I think they won't run on a real-time rendering, they are too huge.

Also, I'm using only free for commercial use media. Thanks for the map offer, but are those for free?

It is the same thing about the galaxy maps. I made my own maps for all, or used absolutely free media. If I want to use the maps at the link, I have to start talking and sending emails to every author. Maybe it would be a good idea, although I don't have time at the moment and of course some of them may refuse.
Remember that Celestia is for free, so they can use almost any media! That's one of my major backdraws.

Thanks a lot also for the Lunar cell, Solar cell and Glitterado links, I didn't know about them, and they are a must for anyone making a space game or something like that. They work fine with Corel Photopaint too (the tool I use to work with).

I'll post a little mosaic of the different planets the simulation has, so everybody can take a look. Maybe they can be improved with Lunar cell.

As for the real data, all that has been already taken into account. For example, when the program opens, it shows the Earth at its current orbit position and rotation (date & time, no matter where you are around the world)

Thanks again, please tell me what you think.
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 26th May 2006 23:28 Edited at: 27th May 2006 00:32
you dont need a shader for specularity, all you need is a correct blending, which i think i found a good solution here
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=80008&b=1
havent tried it with specular maps though but a correct blending of earth texture with the specular map would give you better lighting and reflections i believe as long as the planet sphere is high enough poly.
Or on the second thought..i think a shader would be better

about the images of celestia, i dont think they will mind you to use couple images from them. even professional developers steal from others works nowadays.
anyways good luck


EDIT: okay i tested this thing with blend mapping and thats really not a solution, you have to make your planet sphere with more than 256x256 rings and rows which is more 65000 polys
good luck with the shaders

Too Sexy
Morcilla
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Posted: 27th May 2006 17:21 Edited at: 27th May 2006 17:22
Thank you, I'll make some test anyway if I have time. Main problem is time too. Lots of thing to do and some of them are complicated.
I have to adapt a little every shader, because I maintain camera always at 0,0,0 and this causes some shader nominated (and automatically feeded) matrix not to work properly.

Here is a picture of the different kind of planets we can encounter. The final look depends on the kind of star it is orbiting and some other factors, trying to keep all of them a little bit different from each other:



Types are:

1 - Gas giant
2 - Blue giant
3 - Water giant
4 - Hot jupiter
5 - Sulfur giant
6 - Brown dwarf
7 - Hot super earth

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CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 5th Jun 2006 17:56
would you give tips about texturing planets on close ups if you have any?
by the way, are you going to make this open source, or is it already open source that i cant find?
Morcilla
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Posted: 6th Jun 2006 14:51 Edited at: 6th Jun 2006 14:53
I'm glad if I can help. Although I don't have any special technique on close ups, I do this:

- Turn off mipmapping, so textures retain maximum quality.
- Manual mipmap: Texture the objects with a low res image when they are far enough, and apply the high res images when you get closer.

As for the source question, I'm afraid I don't have plans about let the code opened.
These are the ms word statistics for the whole project:

Pages: 962
Lines: 56138

I have done a lot of effort and I think I deserve to go for profit, although I don't know how much it will be.

However, if you still want some code, remember that celestia is open source.
I don't know how it works, but it has something to do.
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 6th Jun 2006 18:55
well i examined celestia, and that makes me dizzy with all the non-basic language code
Anyways, good luck..Hope you will get the compensation for your hard work.
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 14th Jun 2006 14:41
oh well, i think i finally managed this specular mapping thingy if you wanna check out:
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=81540&b=1
3Ton
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Posted: 15th Jun 2006 10:57
Hi Morcilla!

It's very nice soft!

how to make this realistic 3D space?
Morcilla
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Posted: 15th Jun 2006 16:21
CuCuMBeR, thanks a lot for letting me know. I've done some testing and I'll post some results at your thread, It works !


3Ton, Thanks!
That's a short but complex question. I think there are a couple of points:

- Plan and code how your 'space' program is going to be handled and how does it handle itself.
- Textures and media used are veeery important. Always affect the results.

One thing cannot live without the other. During the way, I've done lots and lots of testings to find the right command or to fine tune the look of every object, in a reasonable time.

You'll need some free time also
3Ton
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Posted: 15th Jun 2006 19:22
sorry for my english.

where do you take media for this space?

or you make it by yourself?
Morcilla
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Posted: 16th Jun 2006 21:29 Edited at: 22nd Jun 2006 13:08
3Ton,
I took main solar system pictures from James Hastings - Trew's
http://gw.marketingden.com/planets/
Anyone can use his images as far as they are not distributed directly (for sale or not).
[note]: That server seems to be down rigth now, but it was working yesterday.

I made the rest by myself using Corel Photopaint with a wacom pencil-mouse. Nebulae textures are based on the real ones, while the rest is mainly artistic work since no one has been there to tell how it really looks like.
If you want to know some tips for making your own space textures, just visit:
http://www.solarvoyager.com/tutorials.asp

Now time for the news:

The project is finally packed with its own file format. I'm not getting into any major changes and all functionality is performing as intended.
It needs around 65Mb once installed, and zips into 50Mb for e-distribution.

Therefore, now I'm waiting for DGSDK's update.

Once it is updated, I'll have to apply and test:

Shader effects
CPU/GPU shadows
"Exclude objects"
.dbo file format changes
Save image
Blend mapping
Any other command changed or improved


All these things won't be available at the demo version, which I'll try to get into the next week.
There might be very little improvements here and there, but I can count them with a couple of fingers.
Steve J
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Posted: 17th Jun 2006 08:20
Wow morcilla, I used to take some astronomy in high school, and am a sci-fi fanatic, and I do admit, that is a most excellent project. You could easily sell this. I own a few astronomy books, and an old telescope in my attic, but North America is the giant light output of the Earth. If you need any media, planet textures, or so on, I would be happy to help, and I must say, great work

Wii rules.
Morcilla
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Posted: 17th Jun 2006 12:43
Thanks a lot Steve.
I really appreciate your offer, but I guess I already have all the media that I need. Thank you anyway. Also, good luck with your Star Fleet, it looks like a big challenge.
Thanks again.
Morcilla
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Posted: 22nd Jun 2006 13:13 Edited at: 22nd Jun 2006 13:14
I want to thank CuCuMBeR and his specular mapping.
I have been able to have night lights at the earth, using blend mapping and no shader as he described in his thread.

While not yet integrated into the simulation, this is how it could look like:



One more thing pending of the DGSDK update

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Natflash Games
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2006 01:44
Man this looks so cool! Its lookin really good, and educational a mix that you don't get very often, Exellent Visuals, really well done. Good Work!

Visit http://www.natsam.co.uk to find out about my games.
[href][/href]
Steve J
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2006 04:00
Thanks morcilla! It is looking better every second, only issue I have with the earth is that it is all blurry. Maybe try and find higher res images?


Team Artist, and Storyline Designer. [Team: Steve, Saikoro, and help from Megaton Cat]
Morcilla
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2006 14:00
Natflash, thanks a lot! With everybody doing games, I thought it was worthy to do somethign different

Steve J, perhaps the DBPro mipmapping is a little bit agressive.
Try loading the images without mipmapping (with a ",1" at the end, after the image number). That should soften the blurry sensation.

Although there are very high resolution images for Earth, I guess it is insane to go higher than 1024 pixels for real-time rendering.
Morcilla
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Posted: 4th Jul 2006 15:11
@CuCuMBeR, I can't find your email address.

Since I'm about to release my program MPL3D Solar System, I think you deserve to be credited for your know-how contribution.

If you want to appear with your REAL name, just email it to me.
If not, you are currently appearing as:

"CuCuMBeR : Blend and specular mapping"

Under the "Know-how contributors" section.
If you have any URL or web page, you can also tell me so I can add it.

Please, tell me what you think.
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 5th Jul 2006 13:41 Edited at: 5th Jul 2006 13:51
Thanks Morcilla, i really appreciate.
And i dont think that deserves credits but if you really want to, cucumber is okay.
I am looking forward to see your program in action, its the only different program ive seen in here.
Gil Galvanti
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Posted: 5th Jul 2006 21:04
Awesome, when will you release a demo? Do you know?

Pirates of Port Royale
Live the life of a pirate.
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 5th Jul 2006 21:10
oh yes, id like to see a demo too.
Morcilla
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Posted: 6th Jul 2006 17:44
Yes, definitively there is going to be a demo or trial version.
But I have not decided yet whether to:

1 - Relase a trial based on the full version.
That means to wait for the DGSDK update.

or,

2 - Release a very limited and reduced demo version with its own protection system.
That means I'm fully finished and with a lot of time, and I don't know if that will happen, because I rather prefer to use that time for improving the final version with more media, for example.

Right now I'm writing the User Manual...
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 6th Jul 2006 19:28
how about a video showing different environments?
it may just give us a better idea about the software rather than a still image..
Morcilla
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Posted: 17th Jul 2006 19:31 Edited at: 16th Mar 2009 19:56
Ok, there are new videos available.

I tried to post them here, but I get an error (what a surprise ).

I udated the web and you'll find them there along with:

- Low quality versions of them. There are also improved quality versions of the two videos already released.
http://www.mpl3d.com/videogal.htm

- 10 Pictures including all the main controls besides the ones already posted.
http://www.mpl3d.com/old/controlgal.htm

- 4 new pictures, including multiple or binary star systems.
http://www.mpl3d.com/photogal.htm

[edit] Download problems seems to be fixed...

[edit2] I would like to see more interest around here, but it is ok. Meanwhile I'm going to promote it somewhere else...
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 20th Jul 2006 14:26
i watched those videos..all i can say is terrific and im jealous on your talent.
Looks way better than Celestia! congratulations
Morcilla
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Posted: 20th Jul 2006 17:53
Thanks CuCuMBeR, I was thinking that nobody was watching them!

Don't be jealous, lol, the program is not perfect, and it took me a looong time to make it look nice

Thanks again for your encouragement
Philip
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Posted: 7th Sep 2006 15:31
I'm hugely impressed by Morcilla's work on this project. Its really really good.

@Morcilla

A couple more questions:

1. how did you do the galaxy milky way picture? Is that a billboard or are you actually rendering lots of spots of light to create a galaxy appearance?

2. how do you get such incredible detail on the planet textures? Are you using ultra-high poly models and really large texture files? I can't find anything even close to the quality of those textures on the web.

Cheer if you like bears! Cheer if you like jam sandwiches!
"I highly recommend Philip's Vector Tutorials" (RiiDii)
Carrier Command remake project
Morcilla
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Posted: 8th Sep 2006 21:00
Philip, thanks a lot for your comments

1. The milky way is made of several objects: The main object is textured and ghosted. There is a group of objects to make the halo and another group of objects to make the stars. That makes a very high poly count at the end, but lots of spots were slower for me.

2. I use no mipmapping when loading and texturing the objects. I just don't like that blurry effect that can be seen even at the closest distance. I use 1024 textures (not that hard to find, but you have to make sure that you can use them freely. Also you can use the plugin that Cucumber posted to make your own ones) and around 3000k poly count spheres for planets.
Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Oct 2006 13:03 Edited at: 12th Oct 2006 13:03
Hi everybody,

I'm finishing a 3d starfield tech demo, that will be available for download the next week.

It will include real data and travels between 10,000 stars, so please stay tuned

I attach a picture as an advance:

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Steve J
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Posted: 12th Oct 2006 17:57
How do you do the actual star? Is it billboarded, or a sphere? How about the rings? Only reason I am asking is that I am making a space game, and those effects are amazing in comparison to what I have.

http://phoenixophelia.com

Steve J, less, and less Controversial!
Morcilla
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Posted: 17th Oct 2006 13:08
Steve, for the stars I use billboarding as well as a sphere, both.
Rings are just ghosted, I wish they could be better.

Tech demo will be ready in a couple of days, if not today.
Morcilla
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Posted: 18th Oct 2006 21:43 Edited at: 4th Nov 2006 17:41
All right, the demo is ready!!!

MPL3D Solar System Starfield Tech Demo

(the download button below has spanish intro and should be now obsolete).

This demo will take a random trip around 10,000 stars of our galaxy, so it will be different each time you run it.

Trips will orbit stars at a 5 light years of distance from them, increasing then to 100 light years away from them.

As the demo runs, it will take you to further stars, including famous stars, stars with planets, multiple systems and variable stars with real data. Each frame in the simulation equals to one day of time.

Although camera is automatic, you still can control it with mouse movement, but only when orbiting a star (that is when not "travelling" to a star).

Other controls are:

"L" - Changes language between english and spanish.
"M" - Turns music on/off.
"F" - Shows maximum frames per second at screen top-left.

Names and data will appear randomly.

It needs DirectX 9.0c installed, and it is better run with 1024x768 resolution.

"MPL3D Solar System - Starfield Tech Demo" is a executable preview of "MPL3D Solar System" itself.

Turn out the lights and enjoy!

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Morcilla
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Posted: 19th Oct 2006 18:23 Edited at: 19th Oct 2006 18:24
Please guys tell me, do you see the initial screen in spanish (like me) or can you see it in english (or in your o.s. language)?

I'm talking about this one:



Thanks.

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JosephB
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Posted: 20th Oct 2006 06:28
@Morcilla,

I have tried to download several times, but keep receiving a "timed out" error at around 5.98 MB, so I am unable to provide any information.
Morcilla
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Posted: 20th Oct 2006 12:45 Edited at: 4th Nov 2006 17:40
Thanks JosephB, here is an external link:

http://www.4shared.com/file/4752024/9510caec/installer_mpl3d_solar_system_-_starfield_tech_demo.html

EDIT: This link is now obsolete. Please look below for a whole english version.
JosephB
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Posted: 21st Oct 2006 11:04
Morcilla,

Thank you, the external link works great. I see the initial screen in Spanish as you posted. This "unpacks" the installer. Everything seems to install properly and the demo runs as you indicated. The "ESC" key works to exit, but a bit slow. Very nice demo. It might be helpful if the demo included a closer visit to a planetary system.
Morcilla
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Joined: 1st Dec 2002
Location: Spain
Posted: 23rd Oct 2006 13:12
Thanks again JosephB, I was suspecting the spanish issue.

I re-packed it and this time it should be in english (I cannot manage it to show in local language but I guess english should be fine) :

http://www.4shared.com/file/4785398/18531d5d/Installer_MPL3D_Solar_System_-_Starfield_Tech_Demo.html

Well, the escape key shows some advertising at the end, that's why it is slow. I didn't include any closer visit to systems, so people still wants to see the whole program.

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