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Spinward Marches Mapping


Intro
I am using AstroSynthesis (AS) as the mapping software for my Traveller game. For those who do not know, Traveller uses a flat map of its star systems. I take this to be an artifact of when the game was made, 1977. At that time, personal computing was not so available and sophistcated as what AS offers us now. I have choosen to set the game in  the Spinward Marches.  These have been a lot of false starts and a lot of decisions made along the way. I will cover the pitfalls and their escapes a bit later. 

Assumptions
First to decsions and assumptions behind what I have done. I am trying as much as possible to keep the econimics and feel of the Traveller game. 
I am using spherical subsectors. The arrangement is called Face Centred Cubic (FCC). I am dividing up space by placing a series of points in space. The points are placed in accordance to FCC. Each point is the centre of a subsector. Each star is judged to be a member of which ever subsector centre it is closest to. My subsector centres are about 33 light years away from each other. To move from 2-D jump space to 3-D jump space required some scaling of the jump distances. Your average Traveller Spinward Marches subsector has 20 to 30 systems in it. I am maintaining this.

PitFalls
I have had multiple times of  scrapping everything and starting from the beginning once again. The best thing I can say is save versions of what you do. Don't be afraid to throw it all away and start again. It took me a while to work through the problems of the geometry of Close Packing. I had to re-learn a fair bit of trigonometry. Initially I used Hexagonal Close Packing (HCP). I abaondoned it when I discovered that I needed 2 different sets of spatial relations between the subsectors depending on whether or not the subsector was in 1 layer of space or the other. I set up a decent size Excel spreadsheet that deterimnes which stars fall into which subsectors. 

Techniques
to move star locations so that jump distances are preserved decide how far a system is going to be from it's partner. Maneuver the camera angle so that you are "looking at it" from the direction you want the second system to be. Roll the mouse in until you are the right distance away. Then write down the camera position. That is the location to set the second system at from the properties screen.

Subsector Locations are here.


Last edited by JustinAkkerman on 2007-11-20 17:00:59
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