Hi Ed & Forum!
First, let me say that I really love Astrosynthesis. As a GM and a sci-fi author who tries to make things realistic and has an obsession with consistency and attention to detail AS is amazing.
But, I have a question, and some suggestions for possible updates in the furture.
Question: I've been making a star-map for my sci-fi universe. Somehow I just noticed the downloads files and saw all of the nifty plug-ins and existing data. Since my universe takes place in the REAL universe, this is amazing.
Especially the plugin that will auto-generate system contents for every star. Woot!
But...therein poses my problem. Is there a way to "port" my existing systems out of my current map and into the existing one? I tried to "merge" my map with the 20LY star data file, but the stars didn't quite line up and it didn't seem to work. I'd hate to have to re-enter more than 1,000 bodies data by hand... O_o
Planet Creation Process: Often times after having AS generate a system with random contents I find that I don't quite like some of the results. Sometimes I will tweak a planet to fit my liking. For example, I might take a planet and adjust it's orbit distance in or out. It would be fantastic if AS would recalculate the planetary conditions once that happens. If we were to move Earth out to the orbit of Mars, for example, it still wouldn't be 16C as the mean temperature. Currently I have to move the planet, then open a few other tools I have to copy the data from AS into that program to calculate the new temperature, and then re-enter that temp back into AS. Even if I had to click a "recalculate" button, that would still save me lots of time.
Also, on the topic of planet creation: (maybe this is more of a question) it would be really interesting to see temperature maps for each of the planets. I mean, sure, AS calculates the "mean" temperature, but what are the temperature ranges on that world? How hot is "hot" and cold is "cold"? etc. Earth's extremes are well outside the 16C "mean" range. If my people are living on this world it would be great to see what kind of surface temperatures they could expect. Not sure if that's a feature now. If it is, I haven't seen it.
Last suggestion; back in the day (way back in the day) my program of choice was a Windows 95 Freeware app called "It's full of Stars" by Klaus B. It was great. One of the features that I really liked about it was not only would it generate random populations, it would also generate some other random facts about that population; tech level, government type, religion, etc. And, it would also indicate other notes about the planet, including how advanced/dangerous the animals were, whether or not the planet was tidally locked, and what types of environmental features it had; meteor showers, active volcanoes, hurricanes, etc. Sometimes I still open IFOS and port some of that type of content into AS. It would be super-awesome if you could include something like that on a future update. I'd be happy to provide you with some examples from IFOS if you wish.