View Full Version : TAS Form 6 - Subsector Map Grid
05-11-2012, 02:27 AM
I had a hard time finding a blank form for this on the Internet so I made one. Here's a blank JPG of the form. Feel free to use it as desired...no credit required, since I didn't exactly design the thing.
I'm working on the PSD file with placeholder text, symbols, placement guide, etc. - all in layers so colors, fonts, etc. can be changed. One thing that'll enable is, for instance, making the background black and using colors on the symbols. If anybody's interested in the PSD I can try to post it...though it'll probably be too big for the forum so I'll have to host it elsewhere.
05-11-2012, 11:48 AM
Still working on symbols but here a black version and one with a starry background.
05-11-2012, 02:34 PM
... but my printer and wallet shudder at the thought of printing out a sector's worth of mostly black "color" images. ;)
05-11-2012, 02:51 PM
Thanks. Yeah. I intended the white blank one for printing. The other two will probably only end up on my iPad during games!
05-11-2012, 03:25 PM
I understand that you are just reproducing the 'official' forms, but I always thought that a sub-sector should be Hexagonal, composed of a smaller hex grid, and fitting together with other hexagonal sub-sectors ... more of a 'sphere' of influence than a Section-Township-Range in space.
... but that's what I like best about Traveller - the player's unalienable right to tinker.
05-12-2012, 08:35 AM
Heh. I always thought that space should be, well, space-like...instead of page-like! :) I first saw and perused the Traveller LBBs (I was babysitting for my parent's geek friend who had Traveller and an amazing collection of WWII vehicle models) when I was in about 6th grade (around 1980, but that's telling) and I was amazed. The Spinward Marches book and the maps in there were so cool but, even then, I wondered how you could map space as flat. Even so, I still can't look at a subsector map without going, "Oh!" and starting to come up with stories about the worlds there...
05-12-2012, 11:49 AM
Here's a test map (on white) of the Jewell subsector in the Spinward Marches. This is based on the data shown on the Traveller Map (http://www.travellermap.com/)site. It doesn't *quite* match the data in my old Spinward Marches supplement but I'll take it they've done their research.
I kinda want to put the UPP in there, which is why the world names are so small. Still figuring out what I want to show...hard to balance providing a lot of info with keeping it simple. The early maps put very little on there but seem to grow more complex as the years went on. Still, I don't want to load it up too much.
Edit: And one on black for good measure. This one needs some tweaking.
05-17-2012, 02:59 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I for one would LOVE a psd of this. I've done some little tinkering with the set-up of the maps, but for now I've been working with hand-drawn hexes on 1cm graph paper. It's a little...time consuming, to say the least. And I've yet to come up with a good way to draw in the various connecting routes without making the map completely illegible.
I'm also still tinkering with what I can/want to show on the subsector maps, but I can show some of what I've got, if people are interested.
05-17-2012, 04:17 PM
Do you mean the .jpg at the start won't work?
05-17-2012, 05:24 PM
I'll try to post up a link to the PSD, but might not get to it until Saturday or so. Right now, I've got the base white, black, and starry sheets in a bottom layer and then layers with mapping symbols and text so you can just get them and copy-move them to where you want for your own custom maps. The jump-routes are just a long piece of graphic that you can copy, move, and rotate into place and then trim to fit. In the PSD, I'll leave a sample map in there so you can see how it's all used...at least in my formulation, though you can do what you like with the pieces. I've done passable symbols for the white and black maps but was hoping to add some detail to the color map (maybe world type by color or something) so there's some more information.
05-26-2012, 03:41 AM
It has been a while since I've written any code but I decided to try writing a little 3D viewer that will read in a Traveller sub-sector and display the details interactively. It's just dummy data right now but the idea is that you'd see the main planet, gas giant, bases, jump routes, etc. and be able to click or mouse over to get additional details on the world/system in question. It'll read in a text file with information like sub-sector name, adjoining sectors (to be printed along the border of the grid), hex contents, etc. and then display that data. You can move the camera around, zoom, etc. Anyway, it's mostly just a mock-up now but might be fun if I ever finish it.
05-28-2012, 02:47 PM
Now it reads in a sector from a file, scales the world according to size, and adds gas giants if present. Will get to bases, texture based on world type, etc. eventually. This is the Sol subsector, of course.
05-29-2012, 03:49 PM
That's pretty cool. I'm not sure what the application would be, but you don't need to be practical to be cool.
05-29-2012, 05:36 PM
Thanks. It's not terribly practical but I will likely find it useful while running a game. It'll essentially be a pretty map with more info behind it than you could stick onto a 2D page and keep track of what's going on.
05-30-2012, 01:39 PM
Now the program selects a texture at random for each planet and gas giant. There are 40+ planet textures and about 30 gas giant textures. The bases and such are just colored objects at the moment but I'll fix that at some point.
If there's a planet named "Earth" or "Terra" it gets its own custom texture. I should probably do the same for the gas giant, using a texture map of Jupiter...right now it's still just a random texture.
I'll probably make it so it saves its random choices back out to the file so the textures are all the same next time you load it up. Be a little confusing for a GM if it looks different every time. Also, the selection is completely random, but I plan to pick from maps that match hydro/atmo ratings of the world.
I haven't abandoned the subsector map PSD thing. Still working on it. I'd actually, however, like this app to eventually create a sector randomly (or read one in) and then output a nice 2D map. We'll see if it comes to that.
Edit: Oh, it also does travel zones now too. The two at lower left are supposed to be amber zones...though I've made them too transparent and they just look sort of brown.
05-31-2012, 02:22 AM
A bit more. Jupiter now gets a custom texture. Also, planetary textures are assigned based on atmosphere and hydrographic coverage. I need some more watery worlds, however.
There are now better stand-ins for naval and scout bases and depots. Terra has a navy and scout depot. The deserty orange/black planet has a naval base. The green and brown one has a scout base. I'm sure I can make better models for these at some point but these are my first take.
I'm wondering whether to try to do something similar for starports. Only, I think the lower-rated ones don't have high-ports so shouldn't show up in this view I guess. Maybe I'll just save it for the info pop-up you get when you right-click a world.
05-31-2012, 12:29 PM
This is starting to look really slick!
05-31-2012, 02:23 PM
Thanks! In the meantime I've broken the whole thing while I try to figure out how to apply planet textures based on all of a world's particulars. The maps in there now (which look awesome!) were all from guys on the Internet and are static textures. I'm trying to make multilayered maps with land, water, atmosphere, and clouds and it's not coming out quite the way I want it to. The existing rendered maps are so nice and it's hard to beat them for pretty.
BTW, there's not a size 0 (asteroids/planetoids) world in the Sol subsector but that's in the program too. Next screenshot I'll dummy up an extra system with a size 0 world and throw it in.
I haven't a clue how I'm going to do jump routes...
06-02-2012, 07:40 PM
A little more work, not so much on visuals (which have actually degraded since last post), more on functionality. Now each entity has a name and that, along with its hex number, pops up when you mouse over the entity. If you right-click on a world the app opens a pop-up with system details.
Now back to work on texture maps. I've downloaded a trial of LunarCell and am hoping to figure out how to make that work for me here. I've done some tests and its output is really designed to be used with real rendering apps, not my crummy programming language that won't even do bump maps.
06-03-2012, 10:12 AM
That's brilliant, Mearrin! I can't wait to see where you take this next. Have you shared this with the traveller boards at Citizens of the Imperium? (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/index.php) I have a feeling they would love it.
06-03-2012, 10:45 AM
Thanks! I haven't yet but plan to put it up for upload somewhere when it's done. There's definitely a long list of items to fix before I'll call it truly useable. There are about 20 items on my to do list.
The biggest of these may be a rendering glitch that's happening between the planet texture layer and the cloud (masked texture) and atmosphere (transluscent sphere) that overlay that. If it's a problem I might have to rewrite it using Dark Basic or something...I'm not sure if it's the programming language (Blitz 3D) I'm using or my graphics card or something else.
Also, I'd like to have it read in sectors generated by existing random sector generators. Do you happen to know the popular ones?
06-03-2012, 11:37 PM
I'd have to check, because I do my sector-generating the old-fashioned way with dice, pen, and paper. I know there have been several discussions of similar at COTI. There was also a very popular generator for a while that output PDFs in classic LBB style, but it was Mac/Linux-dependent and never got a Windows port of the ground that I know of.
I can do some digging, if you'd like.
06-04-2012, 11:02 AM
Don't put yourself out over it, was just wondering if you knew any of the key ones off the top of your head. I can't get Heaven and Earth to work on my machine...I thought maybe that was a popular one but don't see how if it won't function on current hardware! Maybe I'm just doing something wrong. :)
For you, this would be easy to use. The data just lives in a simple text file:
Sol (ss name)
Vega (ss to coreward)
Arcturus (ss to trailing)
Gemini (ss to rimward)
Dingir (ss to spinward)
12354 (random seed so that the subsector uses the same textures, etc. every time)
18 (number of worlds)
0202 (start of world entry - hex location)
Nusku (world name)
A569943 (world UPP)
F (world tech level)
X (world bases - as in Solomani Rim supplement: N, D, S, W, A, B)
X (travel zone - A, R, or X if none)
G (gas giant present - G if yes, X if none)
--------- (just a visual separator between world entries so you don't get lost)
0204 (next world entry and so on)
06-04-2012, 01:01 PM
I know there have been several discussions of similar at COTI. There was also a very popular generator for a while that output PDFs in classic LBB style, but it was Mac/Linux-dependent and never got a Windows port of the ground that I know of.
I can do some digging, if you'd like.
I would be interested about the generator you are speaking about. I am on Mac and it would be very useful for me. Do you have any precision?
06-05-2012, 09:47 PM
Been working on jump routes. What a pain.
06-05-2012, 11:23 PM
Just testing robustness. Entered the Jewell subsector (the one mapped at the start of this thread). I've got J1-J2 routes working J3 and longer and routes that end up off of the map aren't dealt with (so you can see them sort of hanging there). I've introduced 'allegiances'. Imperial routes are colored blue (for now) and there will be a toggle to show world allegiances. Non-Imperial are all red right now but I'll eventually create a user-configurable settings file with allegiances and their display color. Now I have to go back to real work...enough of a break.
06-06-2012, 03:57 AM
For Bhoritz and any others curious about the aforementioned Mac-based generator: http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=10806&highlight=generator
I haven't looked into this in a while, and as I have little/no experience with Mac or Linux, I don't know how finished/stable the current version is.
06-09-2012, 02:49 PM
Eh, programming is such a pain. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to do the jump routes and had 500+ lines of code for each special case through J-4 routes...and would have needed probably double that to handle J-5 through J-6 and routes that ended in another subsector. Then I took a break and reexamined the situation and realized there were some built-in functions and some long-forgotten trig that would help me do it more easily. Now it handles all jump routes, including those that end in another subsector...with only about 50 lines of code. Whatever. Learning experience, I guess.
So, pretty much all functionality is in there. I've got some cleaning up and enhancing to do before I put it up for download somewhere for 'beta testing' but you can see the output for Sol and Jewell below.
FYI, the routes (and, later, allegiance symbols on the map) are colored according to a user-editable config file. It notes the allegiance and color that should be used for each. I'll include the major races polities as well as Sword Worlds and so on, but the user will be able to add custom allegiances if they want...or change the colors of existing ones if they think the Consulate should be blue instead of green.
06-09-2012, 03:50 PM
Now I've got allegiances showing up. Looked cool so I wanted to show it off. :)
06-12-2012, 12:49 AM
It's getting close to being ready to share for testing. Still some things to do when I get some time...and I've been sick so haven't had much of that. I've got a nice little slide-up menu in there and you can now load new subsectors. Also got bordering subsector names in...though they're white on black instead of white on transparent.
Still have the flicker problem I mentioned, with close transparent surfaces fighting to be rendered on top. I'm told by some Blitz3D/DX7 experts that not much can be done about it. I may re-engineer this in another programming language at some point. The flicker is quite distracting.
06-13-2012, 10:11 AM
I don't have much experience with Blitz3D/DX7 but maybe you should try putting some separation between the layers. With this sort of map it might not be a problem.
06-13-2012, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the reply. I've got the layers separated by a bit, and I've tried larger and smaller amounts to resolve the issue to no avail. I've checked in on the B3D forums and was told the B3D/DX7 has a problem sorting alpha'd polygons. This is especially true when the objects are co-located...and all of my spheres share the same pivot as a parent object. Some of the jump routes have the same problem as they share the starting world's pivot.
I'm told the solution might be to shift the sphere centers progressively toward the camera a tiny bit, with the outermost being closest. This would have to be done dynamically, each time the camera moves...or at least moves a great deal. Sounds like a real pain in the behind, frankly, and I'll have to consider whether doing that work is more worthwhile than just rebuilding the thing in something like DBPro...or just C++ with OpenGL.
Who can say? :) In the meantime I've been working, slowly, on building a bit of a UI for the thing and lots of minor details. I hope to be largely done with it by this weekend, work and continuing sickness willing.
06-14-2012, 09:30 PM
Here’s a link to my viewer app on Dropbox if anyone wants to try it out. It mostly works now, though there’s more to do.
Download, unzip, and double-click TSV.exe to run the app. Roll over the “Menu” tab at the bottom of the screen to open the menu. The “Load” button will open up a little dialog requesting the name of the sector to open. The “Options” button does nothing for now. “Exit” will close the program, as advertised. The buttons to the right are view toggles, they don’t do anything unless you’ve got a subsector loaded.
You can move the view around using:
W – Forward
X – Backward
A – Left
D – Right
Z – Down
C – Up
Q – Turn left
E – Turn right
S – Reset camera
Up Arrow – Camera pitch up
Down Arrow – Camera pitch down
The controls are hinkey and I’ll improve them at some point before I’m done.
Ctrl-R – Toggle display of jump routes
Ctrl-A – Toggle display of allegiances
Ctrl-Z – Toggle display of travel zones
Ctrl-L – Load subsector
F1 – Help (not yet implemented)
F2 – Credits
ESC - End program
Ctrl-W – Toggle wireframe
Ctrl-D – Toggle debug display
Subsectors are stored in text files in the "subsectors" directory. You can probably figure out what's what from looking at the file. If you do play with the files be aware that changing something outside of expected bounds (i.e. changing the "starport" digit of the UPP to something other than A-E) will likely cause strange behavior or even cause the app to crash. There is no strong error-checking at this point.
Feel free to critique...and please let me know if you get any major errors. Thanks!
10-04-2012, 10:42 AM
Hi! Nice work!
Do you have that link to the .psd file for the subsection map from the first post of this thread?
10-04-2012, 12:56 PM
The blank one?
10-04-2012, 01:02 PM
Yep, the one from your initial post.
10-04-2012, 01:21 PM
This one has a bit more than that. It includes the white blank, a black one, one with stars, plus the labels for the form and some symbols for mapping. It's not "finished" but all of the components are there. To use the jumplines, just move them into place over the starting world and then scale them out to the destination world or the edge of the map. Please let me know what you think.
Really cool Mearrin, didn't expect 3D programming when I swung by the thread :)
10-07-2012, 01:48 PM
Thanks, Tilt. I didn't expect it when I started the thread! :) I should really finish this little project...it's largely done, just needs some tuning.
BTW, did anybody download the map template I posted above? Curious to see if anybody was able to use it effectively.
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