Galaxy Explorer: Nearly there
Although I lost a few days last week to other tasks, I’m back on Galaxy Explorer and it’s nearly complete, just a few UI issues, some testing, create an icon, and it’ll be ready for release.
Importing is working well now – I’ve decided to restrict the app to the 15,000 of the closest nearby stars, taken from a modified version of the XHIP database, because it has a lot more information than the HYGXYZ database.
As mentioned previously, the reason for the limit is that low-end devices don’t have enough RAM to handle the full dataset. I’d estimate that a 1GB device can manage about 100,000 stars, and still offer reasonable performance.
I could offer the option to activate the full 60,000 stars in the XHIP database, but if I did that, a significant portion of users are just going to turn it on immediately, crash their devices, and blame me for it.
To give you an idea of performance, I installed the app for the first time on my craptastic tablet today. Amazingly, it worked fine with 15,000 stars, and even ran at a reasonable 15fps, all on a $35 tablet that only has about 350MB of RAM.
For those that really want to use the full XHIP or HYGXYZ database, or to create their own data file, there’s always the unlock option, which also gets rid of the ads.
The main outstanding issue is that I need to figure out some way of blocking input on “background” windows. This can crash the app because a user can start an import, the progress bar appears, and then they can close the window behind the progress dialog. I’m thinking of creating a translucent panel that fills the screen (and has a box collider attached) and moving it up the Z order so that it’s always underneath the topmost panel. This would intercept touches so that the user would have to close the current window, or wait for the current process to complete. The only issue I have is that I don’t know of any NGUI function that returns the topmost panel, so I’ll have to try and figure out a way of doing it myself.