Solar System Constructor Benchmark

Brian Williams


The Solar System Constructor is an application to enable the creation of animated models of solar systems. User can drag pre-rendered animations of planets, stars and moons and drop them into orbit in the solar system. Each of these objects has their individual properties that can be edited via forms based dialog box and by a demonstrational interface. Once in place, the user may run the simulation and the objects will orbit, overlap (maintain Z order) and spin according to their properties. In order to construct the simulation the user will drag objects off the planet pallet and "throw" them in to the solar system display area. The trajectory on which the planet is thrown will determine it's orbit. The user can select planets by clicking in the display area and edit their properties via menu options. This interaction primarily utilizes the demonstrational interface style. Additionally the property manipulation requires the menu and dialog box style of interaction. This benchmark's interaction style is similar to many simulation games like the SimCity series and real-time battle simulation games like Warcraft. These games involve selecting units from a pallet and setting properties. This benchmark tests a toolkits ability to handle sprite and path based animation, the object-oriented nature of direct manipulation, "real time" interface response and ability to dynamically create objects at run time.


This benchmark consists of five main elements: