Dan Dixon, escaped former This is Vegas producer now working on improving his galaxy and planet-smashing sim, Universe Sandbox, told me at PAX that he's working on a significant update to his terrific not-quite-a-game. He expects will be out next year.
The new version, built for the Unity engine, will expand Universe Sandbox to Macs instead of just PCs, will be easier to use (presumably thanks to a better interface), and will feature better explosions. Plus: It will feature more of the life cycle of stars. Because what's a Universe Sandbox without more moons smashing impressively into planets and a bunch of supernovas lighting up your monitor?
Universe Sandbox was cool enough already, but it is getting better. It's nice to hear it will be improving, and it was nice to hear from Dixon that, since Universe Sandbox launched on Steam several months ago, it's been profitable for him.
Dixon has other ideas for improving US, but he didn't want to over-promise. So just keep the faith in this intergalactic endeavor. And trust that, as he told me, he's not going to add many, if any, game-y aspects to it. This is a universe experimentation set. That's fun enough.