Exploring the New Features of I, Voyager 0.0.10-alpha
I, Voyager, a free and open-source software planetarium, has recently released its 0.0.10-alpha update, bringing exciting new features and improvements to its core mechanics and content. Built on Godot Engine 3.5.2, this update is considered a major milestone before the big port to Godot 4.0. In this blog post, we will explore the highlights of this update and discuss the potential impact it may have on the gaming and educational software development community.
Introducing the Planetarium as a Progressive Web App
One of the key features of the 0.0.10-alpha release is the introduction of the Planetarium as a Progressive Web App (PWA). This means that users can now access the Planetarium through a web browser, providing faster revisits due to better browser caching. Additionally, users have the option to install the app from the web page, which offers a super fast start time, automatic updates, and easier app distribution through a simple URL link. This PWA functionality is made possible by the underlying Godot Engine, which introduced this feature in November. While the PWA functionality is not yet fully supported in official Godot releases, the I, Voyager team has managed to implement it through a custom Godot build. This is a significant achievement and demonstrates the dedication of the Godot community in supporting the development of I, Voyager.
Improved Modularity and Extensibility for Developers
Developers will be pleased to find that the 0.0.10-alpha update brings modularity and extensibility improvements to I, Voyager. While the API is still in the alpha stage and subject to further refinement, it is already showing great potential. The core code of I, Voyager is highly modular and extensible, allowing developers to customize and enhance the behavior and appearance of celestial bodies within the simulator. The introduction of GUI widgets and mods further simplifies the development process, enabling developers to easily add interactive elements to their projects. However, it is worth noting that building a planetary system using the Godot Editor is currently not supported in I, Voyager, as the system is primarily built through code using data tables. This limitation may be addressed in future updates, providing developers with more flexibility in creating their own celestial environments.
Future Plans and Roadmap
The I, Voyager team has ambitious plans for future development. Some of the features they hope to implement include the ability to select and visit explored asteroids, the inclusion of comets as orbital points and traces, and the addition of real spacecraft on their historical flight paths within the Planetarium. These additions would greatly enhance the educational and gaming potential of I, Voyager, allowing users to explore and interact with various celestial objects in our Solar System. The team also aims to stabilize the API by the time Godot 4.0 is released, ensuring compatibility and minimizing potential disruptions for developers.
Community Engagement and Nonprofit Endeavors
The I, Voyager project is designed to be a collaborative effort, and the team encourages users, testers, and developers to join the community and contribute to its growth. The recent registration of the I, Voyager trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reflects the team’s commitment to establishing a nonprofit entity in the future. By fostering a strong community and embracing open-source principles, I, Voyager aims to reach its full potential as a powerful tool for game and educational software development.
The 0.0.10-alpha update of I, Voyager brings significant improvements and new features to the software planetarium. With its PWA functionality, improved modularity and extensibility, and ambitious roadmap for future development, I, Voyager is poised to become a valuable resource for developers and enthusiasts interested in exploring and simulating celestial objects in our Solar System. The dedication of the I, Voyager team and the support of the Godot community demonstrate the power of open-source collaboration and the potential for innovative software development in the field of astronomy and education.
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Open-Source Software Planetarium