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Thread: Milky Way Galaxy

  1. #41
      A R Frost is offline
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    Looks good, just need to move the ship lane lines below your text level. Can't read most of your text now.
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  2. #42
      bartmoss is offline
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    Oooops! Thanks! That was dumb of me. I've fixed it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Milky Way Galaxy-starmap2-colonial.png  

  3. #43
      bartmoss is offline
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    Update time again. As you can see, things got a lot livelier: I've added about a zillion human colonies to the map.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Milky Way Galaxy-starmap2g..png  

  4. #44
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    I've been thinking about this lately, especially about the suggestions to make this map somehow 3d, and I just can't come up with a workable solution. Indeed, I have arrived at a crisis point in my universe building: The space-volume covered by this map should contain several dozen millions of stellar systems. That's not only way too many to map, it makes micro-managing the setting utterly impossible.

    I could drastically decrease the volume of the setting; a sphere of roughly 100 light years (averaging 1200 stars) should be fairly managable. Of course, this loses any sort of "galactic empire" feeling.

    I could just do what I do now, live in an imperfect fictional world and just map "important" systems, then treat all the other systems with narrator's fiat. The downside is that I won't be able to provide "complete" maps of the setting.

    I could "cheat". Traveller quite successfully used abstract 2d maps. Some other settings use "jump lane maps" of one sort or another. The problem with this is that it's hardly "realistic" at all.

    I am a bit stumped. I guess I#d like a "complete" map that is "realistic", and a "galactic empire" type setting, and I just can't work out how to combine the three.

    Anybody got any smart ideas, or even just opinions on a good solution?
    Last edited by bartmoss; 11-05-2010 at 05:50 PM.

  5. #45
      mearrin69 is offline
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    Eh. No. LOL. Trying to provide complete maps for a galactic-sized setting will just make you insane. You can't even do it if you reduce the size of the setting to a 100ly sphere, IMHO. Take a look at the Alternity Star*Drive campaign setting. It took a relatively small volume of space but was only able to detail a small number of the systems in a fairly large setting book. I say keep it big and focus on the most interesting systems, hinting at the others. Can't see how you, as a human, can do much more than that.

    I personally love your map. 3D's a gimmick and nobody is presently capable of viewing and referencing a true 3D map in a useful way yet...even if you did bother to make it.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mearrin69 View Post
    3D's a gimmick and nobody is presently capable of viewing and referencing a true 3D map in a useful way yet...
    M
    Not unless you got your 3D GLASSES!!!!!!
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  7. #47
      tovette is offline
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    I make galactic maps for my science fiction universe and what I did to solve that is just show the systems that have colonies and omit the ones that don't. Problem solved.

  8. #48
      bartmoss is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by mearrin69 View Post
    Eh. No. LOL. Trying to provide complete maps for a galactic-sized setting will just make you insane. You can't even do it if you reduce the size of the setting to a 100ly sphere, IMHO. Take a look at the Alternity Star*Drive campaign setting. It took a relatively small volume of space but was only able to detail a small number of the systems in a fairly large setting book. I say keep it big and focus on the most interesting systems, hinting at the others. Can't see how you, as a human, can do much more than that.
    A 100-light-year sphere is a daunting task, yes, but do-able. Most of the worlds would be very, very sketchy, for sure, and you'd likely have to use random generation for most systems, but that in itself is not really a bad thing.

    To add to the problem - Did I mention I will, overall, cover about 5000 years of human history? Stars shift quite significantly relative to each other during such time spans. ;-)

    I guess don't I really mind to cheat, since I know I have to for this type of setting. At the same time I am creating a setting, and not a novel. I can't just have spaceships travel at the speed of plot to convenient places, I have to deal, somehow, with the space in between too.

    And I just can't figure out what compromise might work best.

  9. #49
      barrataria is offline
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    Default the project that won't die!

    I think you and I are going to outlive our respective sci-fi mapping projects! And mine foundered on similar problems. I ended up working with Traveller-style quadrant maps but found some CC3/Cosmographer templates I like too. And ended up running a d6 Star Wars game when I realized I liked that universe better anyway. Which brings me to...

    Quote Originally Posted by bartmoss View Post
    I could just do what I do now, live in an imperfect fictional world and just map "important" systems, then treat all the other systems with narrator's fiat. The downside is that I won't be able to provide "complete" maps of the setting.
    Reading this thread and others here made me appreciate the Traveller flat maps. But as I said I ended up back with Star Wars anyway, and conveniently enough they just released a fantastic atlas. Which does just what you say, including "important systems" on the galactic map. I pasted that into my CC3 and hotlinked to zoomed images of quadrants of the galaxy, and then hotlinked to smaller maps of various "important" sectors. Which in SW isn't saying much because the sectors are composed of jillions of systems, many of which are assumed to be uninhabited.

    SciFi mapping has made me acknowledge the limitatiions of human knowledge and more importantly human ability to express a giant universe. Hand-waving may be lazy, but it's sure fun.

  10. #50
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    Can you do what I am going to do on my galaxy map? Add small icons or bubbles on the galaxy map that have several travel lines entering it at various points, that bubble is a composite representing 10s, 100s, 1000s, or millions of stars that aren't "major" stars. You can modify the size or color of the bubble, perhaps with some single-digit code inside it that points out an important feature.

    It's almost like an adventure "nugget" from Megatraveller, you have some generic thing set up for when the players get to a specific point in space. You can have a series of things made up that you run when they get to that bubble.

    Just an idea.

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