Current WIP, cropped and saved as JPEG.
- Made the "Skull Nebula" less dominant
- Changed sector titles. The two "Beyond" sectors have different styles, upper one has a drop shadow, lower one a solid outline - not really noticable, so I may go with the solid outline simply because it is easier on my PC
- Added a bunch of systems and a few routes
I do think the shadow on the sector titles helps, but not lots, so if it's really hurting your machine then I guess it will do.
Do you have a plan for handling the way system names overlay the sector titles? I think you should consider maybe using a MUCH larger font size for the sector titles -- that way they'll endure the overlay a bit better. Right now the difficulty in reading feels unfinished. Or maybe just really tedious repositioning? I don't think it's great as is, anyway.
But the map itself is GORGEOUS. Holy amazing.
Thanks for the compliment - and cool nickname, by the way. Big ERB fan here.
As for the sector names, I have been pondering the problem. I am coming to the conclusion that adding so many star system AND sector names simply is going to be a mess. In theory, every square ought to have a sector name in it. There's no way I can do that and have overlaps.
Instead, I think what I should probably do is add "region" labels. I can get away with far fewer of those, which will make for a cleaner map.
And since this is all organized in layers in inscape, I can create an alternative map which has just a few key systems - and a lot of sector names.
New Year's Update, so to speak...
I decided to omit regional or sector labels; there are a few left, and they are sort of "squeezed in" in places, but I do think this works.
I've also added some preliminary borders, and a LOT of new star systems.
Current WIPs are attached; one is a massively downscaled full view, the other a tiny, tiny section of the map in original resolution; both had to be saved as JPGs with compression, so there's some minor loss of quality.
Oh and... if anybody wants a star system named on this map - let me know - but they need to be "serious" names.
Current WIP attached, as always downsampled due to filesize limitations.
The map now contains just over 400 named systems. I've also added more regional labels, transport routes, and some special stuff. This includes a new Terran Federation logo in the lower right corner, next to the Seal of the Empire.
I think one or two more evenings and I'll be done with this baby.
I'll put a name up for a star system, Golter. I love Iain M. Banks. It would fit nicely in the void. Great map. Love all the references to sci-fi novels and authors.
Thanks! - Actually, there aren't that many sci-fi references, just a few minor ones... well - with the exception of H. Beam Piper from whom I've borrowed liberally (as his works are in the public domain). Plus some authors, of course, and a few "generic" names. I'll put Golter in for the next update though. I must admit that I never read anything by Ian Banks, though I love his variation on the Ringworld concept (the Banks Orbitals) who are definitely part of my universes.
For the references, I've actually avoided anything that's famous - so for example no Trantor, Vulcan, or Endor. There is a Hoth, but that's because it's in Space Viking, plus it's a Norse god. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoth_%28disambiguation%29
So what, Zelazny is just a minor reference?;) I cut my teeth on the Amber Chronicles when I was a young lad, so sooo long ago ... wistful sigh. I also love Niven's Ringworld and much of his other work. I will say that what made me pop in with a comment was the Yellowstone star system which I thought was a nod to Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space. After wiki'ing the term though, and reading your reply I'm not so sure now.
Zelazny of course was named after the author, same deal with del Rey, de Camp, Heinlein. I, too, am a huge Amber fan. As a completely off-topic aside, you don't happen to know a source for the unabridged Amber audiobooks, read by Zelazny himself? My understanding is that these should exist, at least for the first series, but I was only able to obtain the abridged ones (with the sound effects mixed in).
Anyway, back to planets: Yellowstone was named after the North American national park. I have to out myself in that I never read Revelation Space stuff.
I could have of course put every planet name from every sci-fi show ever on the map, and that might be a cool project some day, just for the nostalgia value. There are two reasons why I did not want to do this: One, this is MY science fiction universe and if I use too many worlds borrowed from other sci fi universes - even if it's just the names - that will distract from the setting and also hurt suspension of disbelief.
Second, there are legal reasons. Now, clearly you can't claim a copyright on a planet's name - that's trademark law. So if I put Coruscant or Bespin on there George Lucas could theoretically try to sue over it. They could try for Hoth or Endor or whatever, but since those are not their own creations, they may have a harder time (trademarking a god's name? Doubt it). Now if my Hoth is an ice planet and there's a battle with giant dog like robots.... we get into the realm of copyright law again.