Author Topic: SpaceEngine (your machine will cry) PART DEUX  (Read 261 times)

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Offline Kopachris

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SpaceEngine (your machine will cry) PART DEUX
The SpaceEngine thread on here hasn't been touched since 2015, but SpaceEngine itself has made a lot of progress since then.

If you're unfamiliar with SpaceEngine, here's the primer from their website:

SpaceEngine is a realistic virtual Universe you can explore on your computer. You can travel from star to star, from galaxy to galaxy, landing on any planet, moon, or asteroid with the ability to explore its alien landscape. You can alter the speed of time and observe any celestial phenomena you please. All transitions are completely seamless, and this virtual universe has a size of billions of light-years across and contains trillions upon trillions of planetary systems. The procedural generation is based on real scientific knowledge, so SpaceEngine depicts the universe the way it is thought to be by modern science. Real celestial objects are also present if you want to visit them, including the planets and moons of our Solar system, thousands of nearby stars with newly discovered exoplanets, and thousands of galaxies that are currently known.

There is still a free version, but the Steam version does run better in my experience and of course has more features. Besides completely overhauling most of the game's systems, major new features since the last post in our thread in 2015 include:

  • Volumetric nebulae with raymarching
  • Volumetric rings with quadrillions of particles
  • Better terrain, textures, shaders, and rendering all around
  • VR support
  • More camera/video capture options, as well as more texture and skybox export options (and even more for the Pro version)
  • 64-bit support

A bigger list of changes (but still not everything because this was already 3 years ago!) is available here: SpaceEngine 0.990 release and changelog

And one upcoming change in particular is part of what prompted me to make this post. The last post on the old thread mentions:

This rendering system correctly portrays the temperature gradient within the disk, its effective temperature, orbital velocity, and both the special and general relativistic effects on the appearance of the disk.  The only thing that's really missing is that this is using the Schwarzschild metric, whereas in reality these would be Kerr black holes.

Well guess what? Kerr black holes are coming! The video of an extreme Kerr-Newman black hole is particularly fascinating to me:

All right, so let's continue with some screenshots more recent than 2015...

You still with me?

Okay, so I've also got something special. I saw a reddit post asking if it was possible to search an entire galaxy at once. That's obviously too many stars, but could I increase the 10,000 system limit in the Star Browser at all? Turns out, yes. Sort of. It involved opening SpaceEngine in Ghidra and finding where that limit was set and used, and then modifying the code. Here is my original response to that post on reddit: Reddit Post

I expanded upon that and created versions of the SpaceEngine.exe file to increase the Star Browser limit to:
  • 65,535 (0xFFFF, max unsigned 16-bit integer)
  • 250,000 (nice, round number)
  • 1,000,000 (nice, round number)
  • 16,777,215 (0xFFFFFF, max unsigned 24-bit integer)
  • 100,000,000 (nice, round number)
  • 1,000,000,000 (nice, round number)
  • 4,294,967,295 (0xFFFFFFFF, max unsigned 32-bit integer, absolute max for SpaceEngine without further rewriting the code, and a completely absurd number)


This is completely unofficial and unsupported. I am unaffiliated with SpaceEngine or anyone on the SpaceEngine team. The highest number I tested was 1,000,000 and it took about 15 minutes to iterate through and search that many stars on my (admittedly kind of old) Intel Core i7 4770k, and it took upwards of 15 GB of RAM, much of which had to swap to disk because I've only got 16 GB. However, SpaceEngine did not crash or become unresponsive and the rest of my Windows 10 desktop remained usable even with CPU usage pegged at 100%. But I make no claims that any of these will be stable on any computer. This is purely an experiment. I would not recommend going up to or higher than 1,000,000 unless you have at least 32 GB of RAM and the same amount of page file space on an SSD. By my rough back-of-the-napkin math, if 1,000,000 stars takes 15 GB of total memory, then 4,294,967,295 stars will take about 64.5 TB of memory. So yeah, good luck with that...

Additionally: This will only work with the 0.990 PC/Steam version of SpaceEngine, and specifically build 43.1890. Steam will overwrite the patched file next time you update SpaceEngine, and I will have to make a new patch for new versions of SpaceEngine. So this isn't anything close to a permanent mod.

I am still considering making further patches for other versions of SpaceEngine, but I make no promises. Within the README for the download, though, there should be enough details on how it's made for someone who's familiar with reverse engineering to do it themselves.

The download

Here is the download link: Dropbox Link

Dropbox conveniently should allow you to download specific files from the .zip instead of having to download the whole thing, but it's not that big anyway so whatever.



File verification

I'm not gonna provide hashes and stuff for every file in the zip, but here's the size and hash of the zip itself.

  • File size: 25.28 MiB (26,507,343 bytes, 26.51 MB)
  • MD5 hash: ACC0AE9F0364F74B89BE99B0BB63C56C
  • SHA-1 hash: 9B326233B2E29DE95689272BEB5B52DCEE14AE30
My Bandcamp | Discord: Kopachris#0001 | My GitHub

Re: SpaceEngine (your machine will cry) PART DEUX
I've always been interested in the game(?), but never really did anything with it for more than a few minutes, several years ago. It's on my wishlist now, I'll pick it up if it goes on sale; everything looks so cool...