Custom Systems

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Pioneer defines systems in JSON format (as of 2024, definitions in Lua are deprecated), edited using the editor provided with the game. Youtube-demonstration here. The goal of the editor is to make contributing custom systems as easy as possible, so Pioneer can have more custom systems. Ideally, all core systems should be custom made.

Design philosophy

A designed system can always be shared with the community (e.g. SpaceSimCentral) for feedback, but of course it is much more rewarding to see your custom designed system included in the game, and this is one of the easiest contributions you can make, and also easy for maintaners to test and merge.

Please load current custom systems as guide for the style we want for inclusion in master branch, but in short:

  • Do not infringe on trademarks: no Star Wars, Star Trek, Elite/Frontier, Nintendo, references
  • No aliens please. There can be alien life forms, like fauna, animals, but in general, we do not want "grays", or "E.T.". However, there can be tasteful hints to mysteries in system description, e.g. think of the writings of Arthur C. Clarke.
  • If you include some history of the system in the description, then make sure it fits with the lore/time line of Pioneer_Universe.
  • No "non-physical" systems: meaning, all systems should be "sane", from an astronomical stand point.
  • If your system is an existing star, model it as closely as possible to real astronomical data, e.g. star size, temperature, color, does it have known exo-plantes? Does it have multiple names, e.g. propper name, and star catalouge name? If so, use other_names() property to overload it (e.g. see source for wolf_359-system for code example)
  • In general: consider space is a vast black void of nothingness, and Pioneer is a game of lonely space adventure, where travel between Earth-like systems are long and far between. For instance, try to not put Terrestial planets too close, keep a few tens of ly between them.

Running the Editor

Launch the editor from where the editory binary is located with:

   ./editor --system

Note (2024-02): If Microsoft Windows flags the binary as malicious software, it's not. You can always inspect the source and compile your own.