# 3D Maps

have they been done before?

I just thought of a completely useless yet surprisingly cool way to arrange systems on the map: put them in a framework like the nodes of monkey bars, with jump lines as the bars. Make it fully perspectivized, so that the map appears to be a "picture" taken from a particular point in space, with the "monkey bars" getting smaller as they get farther away. I'm not sure I'm explaining this very well, so I've included 2 (very crappy) images (that I threw together in about 20 seconds using MS Paint).

From there, you could make some systems "inside" the space bounded by a given grid cube. That way, for long-distance travel, the player would tend to use the framework of what might be mostly uninhabited systems (with perhaps a refueling post now and again), but to get to specific destinations they'd have to leave the ordered grid.

...hmm, if you wanted to get really evil, you could make two seperate frameworks where the systems of one are at the centers of the empty cubes of the other, and there would be very few ways to switch which grid you're on...

Three dimensional space. That is all.

I actually experimented with something like this by using all stars within a 30 LY radius, with the only links going to stars that were within 7 LY of each other. They were positioned in such a way there would be the fewest cross-over links possible for legibility.

It was impossible to tell where you were going.

So I limited the links to the closest four within 7 LY.

It was impossible to tell where you were going.

So that killed that experiment.

Otherwise, I love the idea.

Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.

It takes some getting used to as far as navigating the map, but as long as you use regular geometric shapes it's not too bad.

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Ow my brain.

That would be neat, but sadly would not be truly 3D.

I might try that if I ever get around to a TC.

Dash_Merc, on Jun 3 2005, 12:19 AM, said:

That would be neat, but sadly would not be truly 3D.

I might try that if I ever get around to a TC.
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The screen is assumed flat, so its never gonna get 'truly 3d'.

Does look neat, but even squares are kind of boring. I can see how any more than that would be completely innavicable. Im just using the philosophy that the map isnt to scale, and it is topologically reorganised to minimise overlaps.

Then you could make galaxies that looked like systems with jump routes, but actually weren't. If they were interspersed enough throughout your escher-esque map of craziness you plot, the player may actually be annoyed enough to stop playing your game.

It's brilliant.

I like what you've done, Arturo.

Hamster, on Jun 2 2005, 11:35 PM, said:

Then you could make galaxies that looked like systems with jump routes, but actually weren't. If they were interspersed enough throughout your escher-esque map of craziness you plot, the player may actually be annoyed enough to stop playing your game.

It's brilliant.
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Wait, you mean making nebulae on the map that look like jumplines to unexplored systems, but are really just nebulae? Heheheh, that's awesome!

Very nice idea.

Could work if you really make an effort to not make it messy.

Yeah...the problem is that, unless you have more control over the color, or if you could rotate the map around, it'll be hard to get the 3D perspective down very well. I think it could still work decently, but I've seen some pretty neat implementationof 3D maps that would make an EV-based implementation look silly.

Check this one out:
http://www.solstation.com/

Arturo, on Jun 2 2005, 09:22 PM, said:

Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.

It takes some getting used to as far as navigating the map, but as long as you use regular geometric shapes it's not too bad.
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Oh...so I just got what you were getting at. I guess this could work, so that you keep a bunch of inaccessible systems around, but use them in a grid anyway so that you could tell where the actual systems were.

That's a neat idea, but unless someone programmed a tool to specifically do that, I could see that becoming cumbersome really fast.

Arturo, on Jun 3 2005, 02:22 AM, said:

Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.

It takes some getting used to as far as navigating the map, but as long as you use regular geometric shapes it's not too bad.
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Hm, it doesn't look too difficult to navigate that. Provided it doesn't get any bigger. Ow.

Uncle Twitchy, how exactly did your method work? Do you have a screenshot?

I have an idea. What if you could somehow implement in a flash or some other format, maybe interactive quicktime to the nova engine. This way you could make a 3d unierse that you can actually twist and navigate through. Truely 3d. I'm sure it's possible, but it would be really hard. It would be awesome; it would make the concept of 3d maps you guys were saying much easier to follow. They could get enormous.

Impossible with this game engine. And don't even THINK of suggesting it be redone. Matt Burch has had enough already.

I think it's been tried before. The interactive flash didn't work though - it just played like a normal movie.

Qaanol, on Jun 3 2005, 06:12 PM, said:

Wait, you mean making nebulae on the map that look like jumplines to unexplored systems, but are really just nebulae? Heheheh, that's awesome!
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Yes, that's exactly what I mean. You could even just have 1 planet, with a 'supermap' outfit on it, that would actually just set visibility for a massive nebulae, which looked like it had all sorts of interesting systems on it.

Then, then the maddened shift-clicking would begin.

Firebird, on Jun 4 2005, 12:54 AM, said:

Yeah...the problem is that, unless you have more control over the color, or if you could rotate the map around, it'll be hard to get the 3D perspective down very well. I think it could still work decently, but I've seen some pretty neat implementationof 3D maps that would make an EV-based implementation look silly.

Check this one out:
http://www.solstation.com/
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This is way better.
I used the maps in there as a basis for my Arpia novel map (which is 2D of course, but it's probably the best 2D map you'll find (based on real data and distances)).

Guy, on Jun 4 2005, 12:20 AM, said:

Hm, it doesn't look too difficult to navigate that. Provided it doesn't get any bigger. Ow.

Uncle Twitchy, how exactly did your method work? Do you have a screenshot?
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How did it work? In theory. In practice it was like looking at a broken dreamcatcher that had just had sex with a spirograph. No screenshot, but that shuld give you an idea.

Okay, how about this: keep the grid isometric, and only have two "layers" of systems on the framework. The result thereof is a tesselation of cubes in two dimensions, which is particularly useful for mapping something relatively flat, such as the accretion disk of the Milky Way. The inhabited systems would all be "inside" space cubes.

I still think Hamster's idea is the best. :wub:

In that case, you're both evil.