It's been awhile since I worked with Unity--been too distracted with Legend of Grimrock. I decided to try to get something done today, breaking apart the project into bite size chunks. I figured I might as well start tackling the heart of the game first, and spent the morning getting a basic system worked out for orbiting the planets around the sun. I'm not quite satisfied with this--for one thing, I can't seem to work out a way to make the planets rotate in sync with their orbit. I'm guessing there's some heavy math involved in something like that, so I might just fudge it. No reason (I can think of) why I can't just pick some textures that won't make much difference how they're angled. In other words, making a ringed planet like Saturn look right would probably drive me nuts, so I might just stick to rocky worlds and gas giants. At any rate, I'm fairly pleased with this part. Now I just need to make some ships that will rotate around their respective planets.
Well, the final decision has been handed down and Pluto is no longer a planet to the chagrin of many and to the relief of others. It was an exciting several days in the world of anstronomy and science when we could have had as many as 12 planets, but in actuality ended up losing one of the 9 we've known for roughly the last century. It actually saddens me that the 12 planet resolution didn't pass, as it seemed to make the solar system a bit more interesting, but based on the science of it all, it's better to reclassify Pluto and its pivotal twin, Charon. Full story here. A rather agressive blog entry here (8/24/2006 entry).