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Tacogeddon
May 6th, 2009, 05:19 PM
Noctis is really something else, a tiny freeware game that manages to simulate an entire galaxy, and yet only be 1,621 Kb in size. There are 70+ billion stars in the entire galaxy, each and every one can be visited, most of which have planets and moons orbiting them. The planets can be landed on, so long as they aren't gas giants or dangerous volcanic worlds (the latter can be landed on in a mod however) and a rare few support little polygonal lifeforms and trees. Noctis has a small bit of background story, telling a short tale of the Felisians, sentient felines who built a peaceful spacefaring society, until one day they vanish for parts unknown, leaving their explorers, the stardrifters, stranded.

Noctis lacks any goal, unless you set one, like finding amazing ring systems or interesting life supporting worlds, other than things like that, you're totally alone with a whole galaxy ahead of you.

It's possible to name planets and stars and write notes about them in the Guide, the stardrifter encyclopedia, these used to be released as downloadable updates, but this doesn't happen anymore sadly. This is the reason you'll find some named systems and worlds in the game though.

The amount of detail is amazing, planets orbit, atmospheric storms shift about, and moons also orbit their planets, even when you aren't playing, thanks to your system clock.

Some pictures I've taken while exploring:

A vivid pinkish gas giant world, orbiting either a Blue Dwarf or a Blue Giant star, I can't really tell from the pic. The graphics have an aged but oddly charming quality to them.

Some things to notice about Noctis snapshots, the numbers in the upper left corner are Noctis' unique but rather confusing time keeping system. The bottom numbers are the Parsis Coordinates, a system you can use to jump to any point in the galaxy, if you have enough fuel. The current year in Noctis is EPOC 6011, and it will continue to be so...for a while...Felisians have long years.


http://i44.tinypic.com/2q8rs6q.jpg

The MASSIVE rings of a planet in the Palette system. The system wasn't named by me though, somebody found it long ago, but never left any guide notes about the system. These are still the biggest rings I've seen in Noctis to date. Pretty impressive lighting for such an old game.

http://i42.tinypic.com/2yy34op.jpg

The surface of some far-off barren world with no name, binary star though!

http://i42.tinypic.com/2drv1ps.jpg

The extremely bright colors of a life bearing world, once again not named by myself.

http://i40.tinypic.com/2s9f9z9.jpg

WARNING! Noctis is pretty old, as the website banner says, it was "written by Fottifoh between 1996 and 2001" and as such, you may not have the easiest time getting it to run on your PC, but I can always help as I've seen just about all the common problems it can throw at you, so just ask! :)

The site: http://www.anywherebb.com/noctis.html

The download is right on the front page.

Morkula
May 6th, 2009, 09:37 PM
This actually doesn't sound so much like a game as it does a nifty internet gadget, so I'm going to move this to LUE.
*Thread moved*

Tacogeddon
May 8th, 2009, 04:52 PM
Some more pictures to show off planet variety.

Life supporting worlds always have spiral storms streaking across the surface, it's just some weird quality of the Noctis universe. The life bearing world in this picture is actually a moon of the ringed world in the distance.

http://www.neuzd.org/noctis/img/rgal/reg/Q3uC05fN.png

A big panorama shot of a mountain on a thin atmosphere world.

http://www.neuzd.org/noctis/img/rgal/pan/p159_0997.png

A curious pyramid object on a life supporting world, most likely one of the very rare Felisian ruins that are extremely difficult to find, it's pretty easy to notice their symmetrical build among the usual terrain though. Note that ruins only appear on life bearing worlds, should you go off searching for them. Small pyramids sometimes crop up on quartz worlds, but nobody is too sure if they are ruins or just quirks of procedural generation. Felysia, the Felisian homeworld, and many Felisian colony worlds nearby are covered in the remains of their society, finding them outside those worlds is tough though.

http://www.neuzd.org/noctis/img/rgal/reg/r159_1052.png

Noctis also has a wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctis

Spearow
May 8th, 2009, 04:56 PM
That looks extremely cool. Too bad I don't run Windows. :(