More Simulators and Thorium

I have some resources to share with the community:

I recently discovered Thorium, a set of open-source bridge simulator controls!

These are all links to locations that have full-fledged spaceship simulators for educational or commercial purposes:

This is an education company that converts school computer labs into simulators and provides curriculum-based missions for students:


  • I also found the Thorium sim software a few days ago. Been meaning to post it but haven't much free time lately.

    The source code is out on GitHub and I've managed to download and get it running but there's not really any details on how to use it.
  • Is anyone going to make a windows compiled version? I was trying but ran into some issues.
  • Hey guys, Thorium developer here.

    The space center links you listed above are all located in Utah, USA. They operate slightly differently than other bridge simulators in that they are more like Dungeons and Dragons with a dedicated game master (called a flight director) that uses a voice changer to play different characters, controls the lighting, and plays music and sound effects. I think videos are much better at demonstrating what I mean.

    As for Thorium, it is designed to work in the same paradigm that those space centers work in. My goal is to make it incredibly easy to use for the 5th and 6th grade field trips these space centers are doing. The controls are very much in alpha status, which means there may be bugs and the controls might be a little bland. I'm continually working on them, though, and hope to be able to create some really interesting interactions in the future.

    Also, these controls are mainly designed for use in dedicated simulators with trained Flight Directors, but I wanted to see what the personal bridge simulation community would do with them. I'm glad to see you found them and hope I can make the controls into something you'd be happy to use for your groups.

    @kwadroke Sorry you couldn't get it to compile on Windows. I'm a Mac developer and have never tried to compile it on any other hardware. I'll see what I can do to get it working.

  • I was able to get it to compile on Linux for the 3 Electron clients. It just didn't like the missing assets when starting.
  • Hi there, my name is Isaac, I'm the assistant director of the Farpoint Space Center. It has only recently been brought to my attention that we were being observed on this website from afar ;)

    Pretty awesome community here! If any of you are interested in additional pictures/videos/whatever from the space center just let me know!
  • @kwadroke: would you elaborate which steps did you do to compile?
    I have no experience with npm or node.js in general, so I might have done something wrong - but when I do an npm install within the cloned thorium directory, it throws tons of error messages to me; e.g. type errors, untar errors and 404s.
    would I need some distinct version of npm.

    I tried mx linux and siduction (both debian based, but based on different branches) and am not sure if sharing the logfile would make much sense, as it is pretty huge.
  • @BlueShadow It might have something to do with the assets directory which is required but not included in the git repository. I haven't tried to do a clean install of the controls for a long time, so there might be a lot of bugs and errors. Plus I don't have a Windows or Linux computer to test it on, so I haven't worked out all the bugs. If you manage to figure it out, let me know what you did so I can add instructions or fix bugs.
  • If I remember correctly, this is what I did on Debian Linux 8 (Jessie) (should be the same/similar for Ubuntu)

    Follow the instructions here to install Node.JS:

    Don't use nodejs in the repositories as it's pretty old.

    Then follow the instructions from the Thorium Github project
    npm install
    npm run start

  • @kwadroke
    Thanks, that worked!
    I used npm and node.js from the debian repo before, and it seems that even the ones of debian unstable were too old.
    Now with 8.0 it worked.

    @ralex1993 Thanks for your information.

    I played around with it a bit, and have to agree with kwadroke, there is not many info on how to actually use it. So it took me a bit to figure things out.

    But so far I have too say kudos, you seem to have made a pretty cool and complex project. Also the tutorial vids are nice, but as there are all pretty low-level, some general info would be nice for newcomers.

    Basically, how thorium actually works, e.g. how to asign clients, start flights, configure missions, what does each core control, etc..
    Of course that info don't have to be made as videos, wiki text will be fine.

    And maybe something along the lines of your forum post to clarify what thorium actually is (I have to admit, after reading your website I was not sure if it was some kind of simulator or just a framework to build one. As of now i would say, it is both)

    Don't get this as a some sort of demanding critique, just suggestions. Maybe I can contribute on the info part a bit at some point, but right now, i am still figuring things out.

    Also, some questions appeared while trying thorium (some might be bugs, some just me not understanding how things work, some about contributing,and some came just up out of curiousity), but I guess I will sort and post them somewhat later if that'd be okay.

  • @BlueShadow Thanks for the feedback! I'll take any info and critiques you have to share. I'll be sure to make some tutorial text and videos and I'll spruce up the description on the website to clarify. This hasn't been a huge priority for me since the people I'm developing this for in the first place can be trained on how to use it in person. I wasn't expecting the greater bridge simulator community to find Thorium so quickly. ;)
  • @ralex1993
    Okay, so here are some things I was wondering about when testing it. As mentioned, some might be features not yet impemented, some just me doing things wrong, some came up just out of curiousity:

    -How do sensor contacts work? It took me a while to figure out how to add new contacts (dragging and dropping contacts does not seem to work that well on firefox), but there still remain some questions. e.G.: What is "Begin Scan" supposed to to? The contacts does show up by just selecting a scan method or "pinging". Is the scan related to those drop-down selections that sho up when right-clicking at the contacts in the SnsorsGrid core module? I tried some of them, but that don't seem to have any effect.

    - What are the reasons why the asset directory is not included? I did not figure out a pattern yet regarding which assets are in the assets dir and wich aren't. Is it about licensing issues? If so, it would be great if there will be a easy way to contribute some free alternative assets via github at some point in the future. Or is is already possible to use a source folder that is used to fill the assets dir while building the app?

    - the stars on the viewscreen are moving at warp and impulse (well actually, impulse should'nt cause that realistically ;-) but I get it why it does), but not when the ship is rotating. I guess that is not yet implemented?

    - When using impulse, there is always only the 0.25 column filled, no matter wich impulse amount was issued. Similarly, when using warp, all impulse columns are highlighted, but only the first warp-column, regardless of the selected warp speed.

  • @BlueShadow I haven't tested the controls in Firefox much. They are designed for Chrome, so no cross browser support as of right now.

    Sensors does two things. You have the grid, which shows contacts around the ship, and scanning, which is where you can type a query in and get a response. For example: 'Heat of star' or 'Lifeforms on planet'. This sends the query to the core, where the Flight Director can type in a response and send it back. It allows the crew to get more information about their surroundings that aren't necessarily available through the sensor grid itself.

    The asset directory is not included for a few reasons:

    1. It makes it easier to not have to worry about licensing issues. You can use licensed assets on your own computer, but I will try not to distribute them.

    2. Storing static assets on Git is awful and I try to avoid it.

    3. It encourages people to donate. The assets are one of the rewards for donating.

    All that said, I do have the assets released publicly. Rather, they are in a public Google Drive folder, but I don't have that folder linked anywhere. Since you asked, here's the link:

    When building the app, you can create an assets folder in the root directory of the project and that will be copied to the built server.

    The stars are just a simple representation of speed, not rotation. It's not super accurate, as you mentioned, and I'm fine with that for now.

    As far as only being able to go 0.25 speed and Warp 1, that's a feature! Engine speeds are determined by the power applied to the system. There is a power distribution card which is assigned to the Operations station on the Voyager simulator. You can use that to increase the power to the Warp and Impulse engines to make it so you can go faster.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  • are any of these programs available to download for educational and non financial purposes?
  • @Tony12321 Yes they are. Thorium could be used for personal flights with a small group in your living room! Currently there is a $5 purchase/donation required.

    That said, Thorium is open-source software, so if you don't mind getting a little messy with NodeJS, you can compile Thorium on your own.

    You can hit me up on the Thorium Discord channel if you have any additional questions.
  • @ralex1993 are there any gameplay pictures of the program available?
  • I'm still working on the documentation website at That will have screenshots of all of the screens.

    That said, the screenshots are uploaded, just not included in the website. Here's where they are in my code repository. You can open up the images to view them.

    Screens for the crew are prefixed 'card_'.
  • I'm pleased to announce the release of Thorium 1.0!

    The info and download link are available at the website: Check it out!

    I also want to thank this community for finding and posting about Thorium. I wasn't expecting to get noticed, but you guys still managed fo find me.

    I hope you enjoy Thorium!
  • Saw the tag over at Github earlier today. Congrats on 1.0
  • Congrats on the 1.0 release.
  • Wow.. it wasn't even saturday ;-)
    Congratulations. It was already an interesting project when this thread started, but you have done a lot of more work and polishing since then.
  • I just became aware of Thorium today (yea, continually playing catch-up, ha). I've been reading up at the site - looks really cool. Am looking forward to downloading and trying out. Quick question though - and perhaps this is already addressed and I just haven't seen it yet. It appears that Thorium is focused on providing a high fidelity experience for a single ship crew. Can there be multiple ship crews interacting in the same "flight"?
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