A topic to discuss the research into the dark side of the Universe
Yes, I call them shadow systems, about 4,000 systems in every galaxy region you can not normally get to. They are invisible on the Galaxy Map and will error when trying to portal to. I wanted to do some research on those systems hiding in the darkness
I’ll show you the data collected so far. Main region has 236 actually valid systems, with any system after, up to 4095, being an actual perfectly normal system, but invisible on the GM.
By using this data and comparison elsewhere, I have already learned quite a bit. It is also fun to be hiding in the shadows
Interesting. So how do you discover and travel to one of these?
I wonder if these thousands of currently undiscoverable systems are planned for future game expansion and even more variety. Wouldn’t that be nice!
Good question. If impossible to portal to and can’t see them on the map I don’t understand how. And i’m also curious about what you learned
I presume you change your location in the savegame…
Correct, the only way to get to these systems is by save editing, or using a teleport you somehow received, created by someone who did.
I plan on posting about this some time soon All the more reason to turn this into a separate topic.
That would be nice, but I have a hunch that all the math and data involved in this virtual galaxy is pushing the limits of what Windoze and our PCs and game consoles are capable of handling. To generate a galaxy of 18 quintillion planets for real, might require a supercomputer and supercomputing servers. This is way outside of my realm of understanding, but consider what it means if just 256 systems out of 4096 are visitable. That’s still roughly 377 quadrillion star systems in each galaxy with an average of three planets! Assuming my sleep deprived math is right.
I have two guesses. Given the number 236, they could have limited the count to 1 byte (+ 20 special values) for convenience performance somewhere along the generation pipeline. Though if we have 4095 unique systems in a region now then that isn’t it (or the engine changed sometime in the last 5 years ) The other is artistic. The galaxy map with 16 times the stars may not be as interesting looking as the one we have with the [just] perceptible pattern through the noise function. The stars should be close enough for players on new saves to be able to warp through it, but sparse enough to look like vast open space.
Of course, they could now add new systems with different generators in the future for more variety, without anyone (except @DevilinPixy ) noticing.
True, it would, but luckily the game never has to show 18quintillion of them at the same time to us.
I‘m rather wondering how unique they are. Could there be pairs of planets that distinguish themselves only by one property, just so far apart that we would practically never notice? Same planet but different sky colours, or same landscape but different climates, or same landscape but different ocean depths, etc. Objectively that still counts as unique.
DevlinPixy, when they say 18 quintillion, does that number include the hidden ones or not?
You mean like the full number of star systems would look like a solidly filled galaxy
............ ............ ............ ............
But they limited themselves to an artistic looking subset like this?
. . . . . . . . . . .. .
That seems the most likely explanation, as we know from talks that system seeds are derived from galactic position (and also because it’s the natural thing to do. It solves the problem of avoiding seed duplication very efficiently). I mentioned it at some point in the past, but no idea where that post is burried.
Well done, now my curiosity is at max level
The amount of valid/visible systems in a region appears to vary, even with the same region value in a different Galaxy. In Hilbert the same initial region I fully explored (for the visible part at least), has 549 valid/visible systems to visit.
As for the reason why such a large amount is hidden, I have no idea yet other than guesses. Possibly a way to allow for an interesting selection, perhaps a way to have different distributions, maybe just to allow possible future growth, hard to say on such a large scale without seeing the generation code.
I would think that should include the hidden ones, and in all honesty, likely exclude any additional limits that have been implemented. Just trying some basic math, on amount of galaxies, regions per galaxy, systems per region, planets per system, I think it will be pretty hard getting to 18 quintillion (2^64 = FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF hex)
|Galaxies||Region X||Region Y||Region Z||Systems||Planets|
As you can see with the ‘actual’ values, the amount of systems is including the hidden systems, it would also include all the hidden regions near the core, and likely a lot of possibly hidden regions near the outer edge of a galaxy? You can also see how this would leave us with FFF = 4096 planets per system, which we know is far from true. So unless I am missing something, we’re not getting 18 quintillion planets.
Still a huge amount for sure and a lot left for us to discover
Aha, so their algorithm could generate so many, but they are just not using all of the capacity.
When they (not HG ) invented IP addresses they reserved certain ones for certain purposes (like, if it starts with 9. then it’s IBM or so). Is it like that, do you see any such pattern? That would allow them to release a few more star systems (or planets) over time in a controlled way if they were to add new biomes— wait a second.
Hasn’t this already happened when they have added new biomes? E.g. exotic planets and those low-gravity airless planets and volcano planets etc.? They appeared in existing systems.
And some of these changes “shifted” existing planets, so they are similar overall, but get a new name and we lose our discoveries, and new animals and plants appeared. Is that related?
Likely not related to shadow systems, no. This is a natural result of changing the procgen algorithm. Here’s how that happens:
Let’s say you have a short list of biomes:
What a naive procgen would do is to generate a number between 1 and 4, and the one it lands on is the biome for that planet. So far so well. But now you have the bright idea to add to the bloody list, so it now looks like this:
Ok, that’s nice. But now the procgen has to generate a random number between 1 and 5! That’s a larger range to spread your probability over, meaning some of the results will end up with a +1 when compared to before. So a planet that before the change might have rolled a 2 on its biome table is now suddenly rolling a 3, and whoops, the whole planet turns out somewhat differently.
That’s the simple case. The even more unpredictable case is when you have to insert new rolls to generate certain features. That completely breaks the random number sequence you rely on to generate the planet, and everything generated after the inserted roll will end up completely different than it was before.
That’s basically why certain changes in the procgen lead to what we commonly refer to as a “universe reset”. They avoided the worst of this the last time around by simply adding a couple more planets to systems that use different tables. Adding more rolls at the end of a random number sequence is not a problem, since everything before that stays consistent. It’s insertions that screw you over.
So given our mod mod DevilinPixy’s actual values, that gives us
17,592,186,044,416 visitable star systems. And since one planet systems seem to be rare while six planet systems show up fairly often, the average is likely four worlds per system. so that gives us
70,368,744,177,664 visitable worlds.
More than 70 trillion of them. Which we still couldn’t visit them all without all of Planet Earth’s citizen scientists helping with the endeavor. And would still make Nijol’s Truth hunt a fool’s errand, if he lived in this universe. Which reminds me, I still have a bit to go…
Well all of this is very interesting and leads me to think that if we want to set up a base that no one will ever mess with , in a shadow system would be the place to be. Maybe even a whole shadow society.
If by noone you include the procgen, then no, I don’t think that would keep you save…
Also, I guess you might still get featured.
I have also been curious about the variations in the valid SSI values so I look forward to seeing what you have discovered.
Regions with a high SSI are interesting because higher maximum valid SSI means more stars in that region and this may give some insight into the clumpiness of stars as seen in the GM.
Here’s a few things I observed:
When I researched this in Beyond, I noticed that the valid values of SSI follow a tri-modal distribution. In Beyond, there was a main group of maximum SSI in the range of 120 to 1E0 (hex). There was a lower group of B0 to C0 and an upper group of 640 to 660. Maybe a region gets a small, medium, or large amount of stars depending on how many “clumpification” processes affected your region. This has changed somewhat since Beyond but I have not studied this in detail lately.
In Origins, many regions have several more or less systems as compared to Beyond. Emergence has only a few regions having either one more or one less systems as compared to Origins. It does make me wonder what that one extra star is up to!
Possibly related to this, in the Google Sheets data mentioned above, the system at 013D:0084:0675:00EC is no longer valid and the next lower SSI system at 013D:0084:0675:00EB is now the highest valid SSI for that region.
High SSI values are not isolated - they vary gradually from one region to adjacent regions. Finding a relatively high maximum SSI and then “hill-climbing” to the local maximum in the x, y, z directions will often find an even higher SSI region nearby. This may relate to large-scale structures in the GM that span multiple regions.