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Date 3.png

Oolite game time

The ship's clock is started at a defined value (PLAYER_SHIP_CLOCK_START) plus the current time of day. It is stored as a double precision number.

PLAYER_SHIP_CLOCK_START is defined as 2084004 * 86400

86400 is the number of seconds in a day, so the clock itself stores seconds since a (presumably arbitrary) epoch. 2084004 is the number of days since this  epoch. This means the epoch starts 5705 (Earth) years before Oolite starts. Winston
2084004 is 1st Jan 3015

So.. 0000000 is sometime around 2690BC

2690BC Standout moments:-

Chinese begin silk manufacture.
Egyptians construct the great pyramid of Cheops.
Ibusaki volcano erupts in Japan creating enormous caldera (VEI 5).

But I think I'll plump for the great Pyramid. Aegidian

The above quotes are from The Clock (2006)

First view

Aegidian's above: the date indicated by your ship's clock (2084004 * 86400) is 1st Jan 3015

Second view

Selezen's: the date is 21st March 3142 (based on dates given in The Space Traders Flight Training Manual) and others culled from Frontier etc. One major determinant is Commander Jameson from Classic Elite gifting a ship to his grandson in Frontier (which is dated at 3200).

 3015 is too early though - the Cobra Mk 3 doesn't enter service until 3100. Selezen's critique of Aegidian - see "The Clock" link above.

Third view

Cim's: the date is 5709 years after the Birds & Frogs of Galaxy 6 first communicated with each other! Based on his reasoning in "Not in the manual" - setting and canon in the eight charts.

Fourth view

Disembodied's: Time is relative to the system you are in:

You could put the every year/every four years thing down to an inevitable confusion about what "year" means to a Tiaredi. Common parlance in the Co-operative defines "year" as being one orbit of a planet around its star; however, to the average Tiaredi, a "year" actually means four orbits, due to the synodic cycle of the planet Tiared and the system's major gas giant. To avoid confusion, a four-orbit period should be called a Year, with a capital Y, or (better) a Great Year. Naturally, this does not actually avoid confusion.
(Disembodied on the 4-yearly or annual Zero-G hockey Galactic Cup)

Time in Hyperspace/Witchspace Tunnels

Since the ship's energy banks & shields do not recharge in the tunnel - and neither do the laser or cabin temperatures change, it has been argued that this proves that time does not pass there - even though it may take a couple of days to journey 7ly from an external perspective (and hence the ship clock has to re-adjust). There are arguments against this, that time passes normally and one thus avails oneself of the ship facilities in this time. See the links to the Oolite BB below for more details.

Time in Stations

  • It would seem that docking and launching are instantaneous. Whilst docking is, launching silently adds 10 minutes to your clock! And using the waltzless setting on the Docking Computer adds yet another 20 minutes...
  • Work in the ship's chandlery also adds time, as displayed there.
  • Loading/unloading cargo does not do so in the Vanilla game, but the Cargo_Handling.oxp takes care of that.
  • Various of the activities offered by Life in the Frontier also take time.


  • Useful MFDs shows the time in the more usual format, but starting from 21st March 3142 (to fit in with Selezen's timelines!). It can be tweaked.
  • Diplomancy by Commander Day - buy time-limited visas for visiting system stations

Meta-gaming OXP's


  • HUD - to see where the ship's clock is on the viewscreen!
  • Debate on time passing in witchspace tunnels (2021).
  • Debate on time passing in witchspace tunnels (2011).
  • Stranger's Essay on Economics & Trade contains some notes on the time needed for docking and loading cargo (see the Volume of Trade section).

The Dark Side