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Ann: ShortHike, the space settlement simulation guild

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:27 pm
by Kai-Peter
(This first part is from a announcement post I made at the Indiegame Developer Forums here.)

When I released Space Station Manager in February 2003 I could never have imagined I would meet so many interesting and fascinating people. Almost overnight there sprang up a community around the simulation. After 6 months enthusiastic modders had produced more modules than I had ever done. Suggestions, feedback and just plain goodwill flooded my humble email box. Listening to these suggestion paid off and in March 2004 Space Station Manager was finalist in the Independent Games Festival. But while I continued improving and developing the program, it became clear that we needed to find a form more suitable for the community.

I'm happy to announce ShortHike, the space settlement simulation guild. A guild is a group of people with similar interests. Our system is very simple. As long as you pay your yearly membership fee, currently $50USD, everything is included. The ShortHike simulator, all add-ons, extras, any platform, all online services (SVN space for modders, any future cooperative online stuff). Everything. One fee, one service.

At the same time we release version 2.0 of the ShortHike simulator. It is an integration of Space Station Manager and the Mars Surface simulation Chris and I have been working on during 2004. The simulator comes in two flavors: stable and unstable. The stable branch is updated every six months while the unstable branch is updated weekly or semiweekly. Keeping up to date is just a click of the button. And you can install and run both on the same machine.

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The Mars surface part is probably the most interesting for Ogre developers. It uses Ogre for rendering and CEGUI for the UI. Both are based on pretty old versions (Ogre 0.14.1 and some CVS CEGUI). Which just underlines the point that these two projects have been stable for quite a while. I have been working fulltime on this project for a bit less than 3 years (this is my day job ..). Our plans for the next release is to fully integrate the rest of the Earth orbit code and port everything to Ogre/CEGUI. :D

You can find more information and try it out at:

A big thank you to the Ogre development team for making this possible! You know who you are! :D

I'm happy to answer any questions you have about the project.

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:22 pm
by sinbad
Excellent news Kai-Peter! I'm downloading the demo version to have a play, can you get to the Ogre-powered part from there?

I'm very pleased Ogre is underpinning your future projects :)

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:51 am
by Kai-Peter
The Ogre part (Mars Surface) currently has no demo limits as it is in early stages anyway .. :)

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:44 pm
by TobascoSpam
That's pretty cool, I like those space stations.

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:41 pm
by sinbad
I played with it and it's looking pretty nice, although I had absolutely no idea what I was doing ;)

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:28 am
by Kai-Peter
:D The codebase is in a huge flux at the moment. I'm porting all of the old stuff over to Ogre/CEGUI and have been able to reduce the total line count to about 35k lines. But almost all of that is pure sim code and other dense stuff .. The refactoring is taking up my time and when it's done I'll start working on making the sim more accessible again .. :)

I'll keep you posted.. And thanks again. Ogre helped me loose about 20k-30k lines of code .. :)