A Game That Lets You Build — Or Destroy — Your Own Solar System

Illustration for article titled A Game That Lets You Build — Or Destroy — Your Own Solar System

If you've ever wondered just how skillful you might be at designing a solar system, here's your chance to try your hand at it. A new game lets you build a solar system — and then see it in action.


The game is the work of Stefano Meschiari, a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Austin in the McDonald Observatory. As a student, he worked on Systemic Console, an application designed to deal with the data from real-life planets, the mechanics of which inspired the game.

You can add up to 12 different kinds of objects into your DIY solar system, ranging from stacking a universe with multiple Earths to dropping in a dwarf star. Extra points are awarded for the inclusion of more massive objects in space, though they also up the potential to destabilize the whole thing into an interstellar crash.

The goal, says Meschiari, is to build a solar system with the stability to last for at least 500 years. Though there's also something curiously satisfying about building a solar system that's destined to crash and burn out much quicker than that, as the name of the game, Super Planet Crash, suggests.

You can go play the game here — and let us know how you did in the comments!



McCoy: Dear Lord. You think we're intelligent enough to... suppose... what if this thing were used where life already exists?

Spock: It would destroy such life in favor of its new matrix.

McCoy: Its "new matrix"? Do you have any idea what you're saying?

Spock: I was not attempting to evaluate its moral implications, Doctor. As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.

McCoy: Not anymore; now we can do both at the same time! According to myth, the Earth was created in six days. Now, watch out! Here comes Genesis! We'll do it for you in six minutes!

Spock: Really, Dr. McCoy. You must learn to govern your passions; they will be your undoing. Logic suggests...

McCoy: Logic? My God, the man's talking about logic; we're talking about universal Armageddon! You green-blooded, inhuman...