Microsoft Space Simulator

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Microsoft Space Simulator
Microsoft space simulator cover.jpg
Developer(s)Bruce Artwick Organization Ltd.
Publisher(s)Microsoft
Designer(s)Charles Guy
Platform(s)MS-DOS
Release1994; 26 years ago (1994)[1]
Genre(s)Space flight simulator
Mode(s)Single player

Microsoft Space Simulator is a space flight simulator program, based on Microsoft Flight Simulator for MS-DOS. It was one of the first general-purpose space flight simulators and it incorporated concepts from astrodynamics and celestial mechanics.

Development[edit]

Microsoft Space Simulator was released under the Microsoft Home line in 1994. It was developed by BAO Ltd., a company run by Bruce Artwick (who was also behind the development of Microsoft Flight Simulator) with Charles Guy as lead developer.

It provided support for 256-color graphics on three resolutions: 320x400, 640x400, and 800x600. The graphics featured dithered gouraud shading 3D vessels, with texture mapped planets, moons, and deep sky objects.[2]

Physics engine[edit]

Microsoft Space Simulator uses Newton's laws of motion but takes account of relativistic effects by decreasing a spacecraft's acceleration as its speed approaches the speed of light.[3] It does not take account of time dilation.

Atmospheric effect are not modeled and all planetary surfaces are treated as flat spheres. A limited collision detection between vessels is implemented by using docking ports.

Features[edit]

The simulator featured 14 different spacecraft, most of them futuristic. Historical or current tech craft include the Space Shuttle (with its Manned Maneuvering Unit) and Apollo Command/Service Module and Lunar Module.

Reception[edit]

PC Gamer gave the simulator a score of 84% in its March 1995 issue, praising its graphics and realistic approach to space travel, while criticizing the poor or non-existent sound and the interface.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee Buchanan (November 1994). "The Final Frontier". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "MICROSOFT SPACE SIMULATOR by BAO (Bruce Artwick Organization)". www.ibiblio.org.
  3. ^ "Media : Microsoft Space Simulator : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia". www.sf-encyclopedia.com.
  4. ^ "MS Space Simulator - March 1995 PC Gamer Review". www.planetmic.com.

External links[edit]