I love it!
Have you ever used Starry Night? http://www.starrynight.com/
Icohedron was asking about doing sci fi maps and whether ViewingDale had large units like light years. It has got them and parsecs too but it was always a bit experimental and not very well tested. He also wanted astronomical units and light seconds added to the scales list which I have done.
Well I tested it and it seems that the maximum extents that the app can handle is about +/- 50 AU's. I have done a test in the past and remembered that the scales involved in space maps to scale are just silly.
So I thought id make up a bit of our solar system to show how silly it is. Here is a movie of it. Its 15Mb and using XviD codec as usual to keep it down so sorry about the poor quality.
It shows that unless you have arrows with arrows on the tips of the arrows then you will miss your planet when zooming around. Its not really a sensible option. It can do it, but I don't think its worth doing any map to scale beyond planetary size. After that, make a chart and put in jump hot spots to your planets.
As always, VD's zooming is very impressive.
I agree with you, realistic scales do not always lend themselves to practical play (especially when we talk about space travel!)
No. I am afraid I don't do a lot of sci-fi gaming. In fact not a lot of real gaming at all these days but I used to do a lot of fantasy instead. Icohedron was asking about doing Traveller maps with it and about whether he could put all the planets about in real scale and I didn't think it was a good idea and I didn't know how big the app could do anyways. I have got parsecs and lightyears in there but it was always a bit experimental. They seem a bit pointless now so I have added AU's and light-seconds instead. I'll probably change lightyears and parsecs into nano lightyears and nano parsecs instead so that the app can cope better with them.
He uses Celestia too which I have no experience with either. It appears tho that with a little batch file you can start the app and make it run the pre-programmed fly past so I said its probably that we can put hot links down on the map to start it and do flyby's of certain areas. That's still uncertain but it would be cool if it allowed it.
Edit -- Oh hello Trevor. Crossed time line post there. Thanks and I must add to your rep score - its not at all describing your achievements currently.
Jusrt because you asked ... yeh, there's alien FTL, but humanity hasn't figured out how it works, and all the teleporters are in the middle of the artificial planets, rigged to to go one neighbor world at a time.
Meanwhile, everywhere else ... it's lightspeed, baby!
I think it really enhances the sense of scale, which with FTL is minimized, sadly.
I think he is talking about the practicality of navigation at that scale as RR alluded to in his original post. The basic issue is that the tiniest of bearing changes and you totally miss your destination. Of course, if there was a database with coordinates (in x,y,z dimensions), for each celestial body and you as the player could say "go here" then that solves that problem.
My Finished Maps
Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Hi guys, I've just found this thread.
Yeah, VD is great for its scale capability, but as Redrobes demonstrated, it doesn't make much sense to map more than a couple of light-seconds. Once your planets vanish to dots, there's nothing left to map! After this, you just use a false-scale hex map to show star/planet locations.
Lightspeed has other problems attached from a scientific angle. Travelling that fast raises all sorts of nasties around time-dilation. That's why Sci-fi writers invented warp/hyper/jump drive. It soothes the headaches.
Mapping a Traveller ATU.
See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:
Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.