Active member
You are sure one dedicated astronaut! :) There is no way I could have stuck with such an involved project as this like you have. Thanks for the updates.


My hope was that I could eventually reverse engineer how the planets are generated.

If we assume that the first letter designates difficulty, the remaining six letters allow 26**6 = 308,915,776 different planets at that difficulty. That is 28.2 bits of information.

If I wanted anomalous plants + anomalous animals at difficulty G, how many of those 308 million planets have both? It's not a common combination; the Wiki knows of none, but my database contains 6 examples, out of 2766 known planets. (152 of which are unvisited by me, yet, and hence unverified). That is .21%, so I'd expect to find more than 670,000 such planets at G difficulty. How many of those have no other life? How can I generate (a set of) coordinates to select such a planet?

Reverse Engineering is a daunting prospect, so I am continuing to collect data until I feel like trying some strategies.

I note that taltimir has, apparently, discovered a correlation between which hostile alien trophy is generated by hostile aliences with particular images (sgalienbX.gif):

spear: 1, 2
blowgun: 3,4
loincloth: 5,6
totem: 7,8
necklace: 9,10

So, that is two planet attributes which draw from the same part of the bitspace. There are only a handful of planets that have been publicly shared that contain trophies. Considering that we know planets for all 5 trophies, there is no competitive advantage to NOT sharing such coordinates, but I suspect that most people are not obsessing on Spacegate like I am. The fact that built in support for it into VMF probably accounts for some of those. :)

Reverse engineering will consist of saying "76 of the 2767 validated planets (and 5 of the 152 unvalidated planets) contain anomalous animals. What do all of those coordinates have in common?" Not sure how to do that, yet. If I generate a code from 0 to 26**6-1 (or 26**7-1), perhaps they are all divisible by XXXX? Or perhaps they all have bits X,Y,Z set?

[color=green]> ashq print( 26 ** 7 )[/color]

ASH has no problem handling numbers as small as 8 billion. Depending on the complexity of the algorithms, I wouldn't even need to code my experiments in Java - although I could certainly build in ASH Runtime support for prime factorization, if that would be useful. :)


Revision 293 includes planet data for all remaining planets from the public spreadsheet (and new RANDOM planets).
My five characters have now personally visited 2956 planets.

Gonna be all RANDOM, all the time, from now on.