I've always loved the idea of a computer simulation program encompassing the entire Universe. I think that is the simple reason I love Space Engine.
Things have come a long way since the days I first played around with a cassette tape recorder and a Radio Shack TRS-80 MC-10 produced by Tandy in the early 80s. I couldn't wait to be able to fly through the Solar System exploring each planet someday. So the first chance I got, I created my own! The Unreal Tournament game was released in December 1999. It was an arena styled first person shooter game. It was a doorway to a new universe for me.
Unreal Editor, also called UnrealEd, was the level editor used to create levels for the series. All Unreal games on the PC had the level editor included for free. Amateur level designers from all corners of the world created their own levels for the game and uploaded them to various forums, providing a near endless amount of additional content for the game. In addition, the built-in scripting language called UnrealScript (similar to Java) allowed for editors to customize game content. So, that's what I did!
The arena or level had limitations, especially the size of them. I had to stay within a certain sized box basically. I maxed out the area and placed all the orbits (perfect circles) of the planets, including Pluto. I found out though, if I kept the scale of the planet inline with the scale of the orbit, they would be way way too small to ever see from anywhere. I had to enlarge them all, except the sun, which stayed in scale with the orbits. The final result was a playable map with all the game play elements and a chance to finally see textured spheres rotating and orbiting all at their correct speeds while I could fly around and day dream.
It is almost laughable now at the horrible graphics and clunky movements, but I share it with you now in hopes that you can fully appreciate the shear awesomeness of Space Engine.
Release date: 11-23-2002 with 1,124 Downloads (I just CANNOT believe it but someone actually downloaded it around 8 hours ago! LOLOL)
Version 3 was re-writen by someone else in 2014 to fix OpenGL issues
You can check it out at:http://www.mapraider.com/profiles/Gnargenox http://www.mapraider.com/maps/unreal-to ... olarSystem
CPU: AMD FX-8350 8 core processor 4GHz / GPU: GeForce GT 730 @ 1920x1080, 60Hz with 1GB adapter RAM / RAM: Patriot Signature 4GB 1600MHz 240-Pin DDR3 (only 2GB work, don't buy it) / Motherboard: MSI 970 Gaming MS-7693