Author Topic: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question  (Read 14122 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« on: September 05, 2011, 03:39:34 PM »
I am starting to think about how the galactic map will be laid out. Bear in mind there will be no jump points so systems will have a fixed location on the map, although non-primary stars will orbit. The first question is whether I use real stars or random stars. In recent Aurora games I have always used real stars because it felt more realistic. For Newtonian Aurora, which is intended to be a little more realistic than standard Aurora, real stars seems an obvious choice. However, there is a problem.

The locations of real stars are in three dimensions, so they won't work out well on a 2D map. One option is a 3D galactic map, although I am not sure how useful that would be as 2D is usually a lot easier to handle. Even then, with a 3D galactic map and a 2D tactical map, translating from one to the other wouldn't be very easy. Which part of the system do you fly to before entering FTL if the destination system is above you? I don't even want to contemplate a 3D tactical map. BTW, I think FTL will involve something along the lines of Weber's honorverse where FTL speed depends on different bands of hyperspace, with higher tech FTL engines able to lift you into higher (and faster) hyperspace bands. Ships won't be able to enter FTL within the gravity well of a star or a planet. More on that in later posts.

Obviously with random stars then a 2D map is fine as systems would only have x,y coordinates and every game would be very different. However, then realism becomes an issue. Would it detract significantly from suspension of disbelief if Sol was surrounded by random stars. Or do I also generate a random home system too?

I suppose another factor that would be in favour of a random galaxy would be that players would have a degree of flexibility in how the galaxy was generated. High density, low density, spiral arm, ellipitcal, more useful stars such as type G or more realistic with a lot of red dwarfs

So I guess the question is: How important is having real stars in Newtonian Aurora?

Steve
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 03:58:49 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 04:27:14 PM »
Personally I don't think real stars are needed. Also if you are using fixed star locations then you end up with a bit more of a challenge on replayability. If I play ten games I'm going to pretty quickly have an idea ofwhich stars to head for first to get access to more distant stars etc.

I like the idea of being able to randomly generate a map and provide some parameters to that generation as you mentioned. Keeping it in 2D is also better than trying to battle with 2D v 3D from my perspective.
 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 04:38:31 PM »
For me, since you introduced real stars I've never played anything else, for the same reason you mentioned it feels much more real and personally I'd like to keep them.  Personally I don't think the shift between 3 axis strategic and 2 axis tactical would be too jarring (2300 basically had that and I've never found a game I love more, though Newtonian Aurora would probably hit that sweet spot for me)  Something you may want to consider is a maximum distance allowed in hyperspace to allow it to be more of a terrain (like 2300 having the hard 7.7ly range due to radiation build up), it gives you chokepoints and means you can't simply bypass enemy defences

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Offline schroeam

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 05:18:38 PM »
Two Cents...

How about two options...

1) Earth start using real stars and Milky Way

2) Random start using random stars random or selected type of galaxy

Adam.
 

Offline Brian Neumann

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 05:26:33 PM »
For transiting from strategic to tactical use a little handwavium and say that ships only translate in on the plane of the system.  If you want you could also say that they could only translate to hyperspace when on the same plane.  This makes the 3D to 2D fairly easy.

As for the real stars vs random stars I would try both.  One of the things I remember about 2300 was the star map was a piece of paper.  If you use the xyz coordinates then have an arrow indicating how far from the stellar ecliptic plane the system is it should work.  The representation does not need to be perfect if the computer has the exact coordinates in memory.  It can calculate the time and distance at that point for you.  For the random map you wouldn't even need to go that far as you could just use the xy coordinates and leave out z entirely.

Just my two cents worth.

Brian
 

Offline schroeam

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 06:02:42 PM »
As for simulating 3D on a 2D you could use different colors to represent whether the adjacent system is above or below the plane of the originating system.
 

Offline Thiosk

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 06:29:58 PM »
Given limitations of the engine, I see no reason to object to a 2d represenation of 3d space.  I find the 3d represenation of SoTS to be more trouble than its worth. 

Unless of course you can license the engine that spore runs on, and build the game directly into the spore galaxy.
 

Offline ardem

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 06:32:49 PM »
I prefer random stars, mainly cause I do not know what to expect. The realism for me is always in my imagination.

Replay ability is a big thing, fixed systems would make the game a little boring after first run through.

Also a 3D system is more trouble then it worth, look at 3D space games, the majority of the time you sort of run on a similar 2D plane anyway
 

Offline voknaar

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 11:13:03 PM »
I would use a 2D randomly generated map. The only thing i would keep is Sol and its planets, moons, asteroids etc... as for the realism I would keep the real stars names in, but have them generated randomly with closer ones being closer etc. I don't think many people know or care enough about the locations of all the named stars in our galaxy to be offended by mistakes. So the locations being wildly off shouldn't be a issue for fans. Just keep some basic consistency with the stars themselves if you must.
 

Offline Gidoran

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 01:07:42 AM »
I would say that doing a 2D Representation with a shade difference (I. E.  Darker is Deeper) would probably work best.  You might encounter some difficulties with systems where the stars are immediately above/below each other, and I sadly don't have a suggestion that might fix that.
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Offline jRides

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2011, 05:30:56 AM »
Might be easy to just flatten into 2D - here's a fine example:

http://www.classicamiga.com/images/stories/jreviews/games/F/manuals/Frontier_Elite2(map)(scan).jpg

I agree with voknaar above - a pseudo random system with real stars.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 05:34:22 AM by jRides »
 

Offline Napoleon XIX

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 05:45:34 AM »
Yes, I agree with jRides: a good idea for real stars would be to use a projection onto the galactic plane.

Personally, though, I would probably play more with a random option to improve re-playability.

An option might be to start with a 2-D random map, and add a real stars map in a later version.
 

Offline waresky

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 05:56:19 AM »
Might be easy to just flatten into 2D - here's a fine example:

http://www.classicamiga.com/images/stories/jreviews/games/F/manuals/Frontier_Elite2(map)(scan).jpg

I agree with voknaar above - a pseudo random system with real stars.

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Offline dannyfresh

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2011, 08:39:30 AM »
Would be cool to start on a random galaxy imo.  Randomness makes the game more of an adventure - You don't know what awaits!
 

Offline Doug

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Galactic Map Question
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2011, 09:31:48 AM »
I'm going to join the Both! category.
I think there are ways to fake the 3d part of it adequately.

Doug
 

 

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