StarStrider v2.0 : What's New
There are so many new features and improvements that it would be very tedious to enumerate them all.
Here are only some of the main points:
- Now includes all the planets of the solar system, plus all the major satellites! All i glorious real-time 3D of course! Special effects include atmospheric shadings, ray-cast ring shadows (on Saturn and Uranus), ocean high-lights and moving clouds shadows (on Tellus) and more!
- Now includes deep-sky objects: Galaxies, nebulae and star clusters!
- A nice background of the starry field of the milky way has been added.
- Stars are extented (as opposed to pointlike) when you stride close enough.
- New 'on-screen' menu system.
- Right click on any object to a view information about it. It is possible to add comments for all objects (some already included).
- A new 'scripting engine' allows the crafty person to make presentations and automated planetarium shows. Two 'tutorials' that helps you learn about StarStrider and two that teaches you about astronomy have been made using this scripting engine and are included with the program. More are expected in the future (possibly made by *you*!). Script language documentation included in the program manual.
- The graphics engine has been rewritten for DirectX 8. This alone gives you a 0-30% speed boost - depending on video card and selected options. Other optimisations have been done as well to improve performance (then of course, many of the new features are CPU hungry too - so the difference may not be so noticeable!). Compiler improvements give another 5-8% speed boost.
- DirectX 8 'action maps' are now used for controllers. This means that not only is the keyboard and the mouse available for navigation, you can use *any device* (joysticks et c) that is compatible with DirectInput. You can configure the function of every key, button, axis, or hat switch yourself! See the 'Configure controls' option in the menu.
- Added support for 'color anaglyph stereo' giving you a true depth stereo view in colour with no special hardware (Orange/Blue and Red/Cyan anaglyph glasses, often provided in amusement parks and IMAX cinemas that show 3D-movies, are supported).
- All names now fade in and out nicely instead of abruptly popping up or disappearing.
- Constellation lines are now drawn anti-aliased.
- The 'sol map' display is different - and hopefully easier to understand.
- Added an info->'hide info' option that allows you to quickly toggle texts and controls on and off.
- You can now rotate the viewpoint without halting in orbit by holding down the numeric keypad 0 key.
- 'Travel To' starts out and ends more slowly, travelling faster in between.
- There's a new web-site: http://www.starstrider.com/ and a new user discussion forum as well!
What was new in v1.5