Thanks for the reference with MINDJAMMER. I tend to have an aversion to anything D&D like - but if the material there is reasonably accurate or strives to be, might be worth picking up. I picked up a book titled WORLD-BUILDING: A writer's guide to constructing star systems and life-supporting planets - by Stephen L. Gillett with an eye towards trying to work with formulas that made sense and were (as of the time the book was written) accurate or reasonably so.
One has to wonder why chlorophyll is green instead of purple or pink or red or what have you. On the other hand, if it has to do with green light being reflected because it is the one frequency of energy that doesn't suit photosynthesis in a G2 V class star, then that's that.
I saw the other home brew earlier in this thread area, that I may take a try to program into a VB.NET application.
For what it is worth - I had not been aware of this forum's existence until I spoke with someone who is a member, saying "I want to try to code something that includes the ability to determine if the system is stable or not." I also mentioned that for a 2D vector system of space ship manuevering, that I had found a methodology I rather liked. What set of coordinates best describes a vector? Answer: Polar. What is the one flaw with Polar Coordinates? It doesn't (to my knowledge at least!) allow for direct addition of vectors. To do that, you have to convert to rectangular coordinates, add the x's together, y's together etc etc - and when done, reconvert it back to polar coordinates.
The theory was, I could track any missile, any ship, or even any planetary body using those values. Where I came up short was how to calculate the position of a planet on any orbit with any "eccentricity" over time.
So I asked him "do you know anyone who'd know how to do that, and he said "Join the SFRPG forum, they usually have or know someone who has enough knowledge to answer questions like that".
Presto. I'm here. *teasing grin*
If I EVER get the part on being able to calculate where a planet will be in any given time span - then I will have the basics for allowing ANY GM to run ANY version of TRAVELLER (or any sci-fi game using vector movement) and be able to track the location of any thing that moves within a star system. How FANCY such an application might get would depend on the time and interest and even the desires of people who'd want to use it. But imagine if you will, having to interact over the net such that the only thing you knew was what your ship sensors tell you. Imagine being a GM and having one player in command of a Mongoose Traveller destroyer, going up against five Mongoose Traveller designed Corsairs. Sub hunter scenario or all hands at battlestations style scenario - you'd finally have a tool that would permit it to be done.
So, that's why the interest in Planetary Star system generation. Ships floating in empty space are boring. Ships trying to get to a nearby gas giant, and knowing that the planet is a moving target might be an interesting scenario to put forth for a destroyer captain trying to engage in an anti-piracy patrol.
Ah well, little things one thing at a time right? This "project" that I've had on and off, has been in motion since about 2002. I actually coded a polar to rectangular coordinate application until I got it working. I started to work on the vector addition issues and worked that through, so in theory? Just that last bit with planets in eccentric orbits defies me. I could simply cheat and use perfect circular orbits, but that seems like such a let down.