PDA

View Full Version : The Aresian Cluster



elemental_elf
05-18-2011, 09:03 PM
This is a map for a setting that I am just starting to flesh out, tentatively called the Aresian Cluster. The map is centered on Ares Prime, which is the central system of the human-dominated Aresian Federation. The map is roughly 70 light years wide and about as much tall. The stars do not have labels, yet, because (as I said) I am still fleshing out the basics of the setting. However, my next update will most likely contain codename/stand-in-names.

I'm looking for any feedback (good or bad!) you may have :)

35901

mearrin69
05-18-2011, 11:48 PM
It's quite nice. Some sort of vertical scale would be good as would a stellar class/size chart of some sort. Also, depending on travel tech in your setting, some notation for distance between major systems, jump routes, etc. would be cool for GMs and players.

Is this going to cover just habitable/explored stars? I don't immediately see any of the less-hospitable stellar classes and don't see any special features like black holes, pulsars, and whateverelseinhabitsspace. Always good to have some sort of "mystery" world somewhere in there.

I expect you'll get to some of these things but thought I'd point them out. I loves me some star maps so looking forward to seeng this one develop.
M

Edit: Oh, yeah, some indication of where this falls in your galaxy and its orientation (viz. galactic north, spinward, coreward, whatever)

elemental_elf
05-20-2011, 03:19 AM
Thank you so much for all the great ideas! :)

I added a codename/stand-in-name for every system. I happened upon a list of the largest UK Metros and decided to use those as the fill-in names. In retrospect I probably should have given each star type a city name from a different country but c'est la vie. I've added a few black holes and super giant stars to spice things up a bit (will add more as I continue). I also added a galactic map to give the viewer/reader a point of reference as to where the cluster is. I added a vertical scale (though I may have to extend it a bit so "Barry" is included :) ).

I'm undecided about travel. On the one hand, Jumpgates/portals/Mass Relays/etc. are great and really easy to explain but they are becoming quite popular (I want to be different!). At the same time, just traveling through space with FTL is so cliche... Oh hum, what to do. I was thinking I might make Ares Prime the nexus point for all Jump Gates (i.e. every system has a gate but they all funnel back to Ares Prime but Ares Prime's gate(s) can be used to travel to any other system). That way FTL is still important, especially if you want to avoid the heart of the Aresian Federation but, its just slower/not-as-easy.

I tried making a few "FTL Trade Routes" on the map but it instantly becomes weird because I am representing a 3 dimensional area on a 2 dimensional plane (thus routs often crossed and made it appear as if one could "hop off one route and jump on the next." Any ideas/suggestions would be most helpful! :)

elemental_elf
05-20-2011, 05:13 PM
Ok, here's a map with the interstellar Commerce Lanes shown. I'm not sure if I like it or not.

Ghostman
05-21-2011, 06:11 AM
The shape of the commerce lanes doesn't fit this kind of map IMO. They seem to be curving and meandering as if they were roads built over natural terrain, which they of course are not. I think they'd be much better represented as straight lines, or even elliptical curves. It's not like the 2D map is capable of accurately displaying the courses of spacecraft anyway.

I'd prefer using long dashes over dots myself, but that's just a matter of taste.

Hungry Donner
05-23-2011, 01:12 PM
I love the placeholder names, it gives the map a wonderful humor to it. :)

I'm having a difficult time following many of the vertical height lines, it may help to have a second image with a lighter background and a higher contrast grid.

Are Pontypool and Yorkshire black holes?

elemental_elf
05-24-2011, 02:52 AM
Thank you both for posting, I really appreciate it! :)


The shape of the commerce lanes doesn't fit this kind of map IMO. They seem to be curving and meandering as if they were roads built over natural terrain, which they of course are not. I think they'd be much better represented as straight lines, or even elliptical curves. It's not like the 2D map is capable of accurately displaying the courses of spacecraft anyway.

I'd prefer using long dashes over dots myself, but that's just a matter of taste.

Yeah I dislike the meandering as well, looking back on it. I'm not sure a single dashed line would look good either. I think the FTL Commerce Lanes clutter the map a bit too much but, maybe that's just me? Having said that, straight lines would be far more preferable to the meandering lines. :)


I love the placeholder names, it gives the map a wonderful humor to it. :)

I'm having a difficult time following many of the vertical height lines, it may help to have a second image with a lighter background and a higher contrast grid.

Are Pontypool and Yorkshire black holes?

I agree, the place holder names have quite the charm to them (I may just keep them) :)

I've updated the map, this time with a lighter (more black-brown background) and increased the intensity of the red lines. Hopefully that helps (I can go further if need be, the map has to be easy to see after all).

Yes Pontypool and Yorkshire are supposed to be Black holes. I wasn't sure how to make a good image for them (you can't well see a black hole against a black background). I added a star to each black hole, to give the impression that its actually a, for a lack of a better term, big hole.

Hungry Donner
05-25-2011, 06:56 PM
That is more legible, and I like that the galaxy insert in the bottom corner is brighter as well.

The names are fun, I half expect to see the HMS Camden Lock scooting around here. :)

elemental_elf
08-03-2011, 05:09 AM
Sorry about my long absence (been busy). I've been trying to figure out how to display countries on the map, its quite difficult actually. This is my latest attempt (be thankful you didn't have to see the horrors I made prior to this).I removed the system's names to give everyone a better look at the aesthetic.

Hope you enjoy :)

37504

selden
08-03-2011, 09:26 AM
I think you mean "aesthetic". An ascetic is a person who practices self-denial.

Representing a 3D starmap in 2D is really hard. Maybe shading the 3D political regions as if they were lit by an external light source would help. Right now they look rather flat. Could you make the star objects dimmer when they're more distant from the viewpoint, perhaps?

Haseri
08-05-2011, 11:23 AM
It is so damn weird seeing places you know as stars. Especially one's own town as what I assume as a K-Class. Keep the names, I say.

elemental_elf
09-02-2011, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry I haven't been regular, life just seems to keep getting in the way :(

Here's a new map for the updated vision for the setting. I changed the emphasis from concentrating on a single large cluster of stars to several densely populated clusters. The average speed vessels can achieve is only 10 times the speed of light, so most exploration and colonization is very localized. Massive rings, surrounding Class-A and some White dwarf stars, built by aliens unknown, allow for the near instantaneous transportation between clusters. Small satellites located around target stars allow for return voyages. Most clusters are separated by hundreds of light years, so the Alien Technology is utilized to its fullest potential by the denizens of the various Clusters.

This is a rough draft and the non-english names are simply place holders (they lack the charm of the English ones).

3821038210

zaffu
09-02-2011, 01:43 AM
Looks good! Is "Zues Cluster" a typo?

elemental_elf
09-02-2011, 02:48 AM
Looks good! Is "Zues Cluster" a typo?

:o Definitely, typo.

Thanks for the catch! :)

Relic Kimah
07-17-2013, 11:23 AM
I can't pretend to understand how to use digital systems for drawing star charts, or therefore how to make them represent three dimensions on a two-dimensional space. But the lines of travel between star systems should be straight lines from point of departure point to destination. Traveling to the orbital plane of another set of stars doesn't make much sense to me unless it is to avoid unknown or dangerous parts. Doing straight trajectories from each possible source to each possible destination would make it too cluttered, surely, but the red lines as posted as of February 2008 don't serve expedited interstellar travel as well as they could.

As to the idea of using unconventional means of travel, I hope I am not too late in manifesting and suggesting this. I know FTL and gates are overdone. Hyperspace jumping is not necessarily the same concept, so you could tinker with it. But have you thought about trans-phasic drives? They could shorten travel time without using hyperspace itself, be influenced by physical properties of the universe (rather unlike most representations of FTL or equivalent drives) or going at greatly accelerated speeds. I can't come up with much else besides teleportation or warp travel- both of which depend upon precision and complete knowledge of the route and destination. I would prefer a longer way to accidentally manifesting inside a star.