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May we please have a 3D starmap option for T5?

It is very easy to make a 2-D star map 3-D. All you have to do is note at each map location a +X or -X showing how far abouv or below the "plane" that the star is. The old FGU game Space Opera did this. Of course you have to use good old Pythgoras every time you plot a jump.

I really don;t think its necessary and prefer the subsecotr grids the way they are. But if you want to convert for your own use, that's how to do it.

By the way, speaking of maps, I much prefer the Subsector by Subsector mapping format to the single page sector format. I know it blows a lot of paper, but if for example, a standard campaign is to be set in the Antares Sector, I'd like to see the subsector maps. Maybe I just need new glasses. Obviously I don't think that the Grand Surverys should be subsector mapped, but a focussed campaign area should be.

Dave "Dr. Skull" Nelson
A 3-D map seems a good idea that dies in the game logistics. Our galaxy is basically a disk with 100.000 Light Yers (LY) of diameter and abou 400 LY of thicknes.
Converting to the parsecs used in traveller this is s huge 33.000 pcs diameter by 130 pcs of thickness.
THis means the whole map in old traveller would have to be a sort brick. The 3rd imperium is something like 200 pcs long and 160 pcs wide (roughly from memory). If it became also 130 pcs high this would make it a brick.
I think this would make a change so big it would destroy the cannon. The old Jump capabilities woul simply noy be enough to hold the imperium together. There's could be political entities both up and down the galatic plane.
Also if you want to have a more realistic map, You need to take into account the galactic arms. Basically earth in in the end of Orion arm, and there's would be only one way to expand with jumps lesser than 15.
The whole thing seens nice, but doesn't feel like traveller.
Best regards

My private universe, now in existence for 21 years and counting, was 3D from its inception, so I would love to have a standard mapping system. Nevertheless, if I did not already have a 3D universe, and my few remaining old players did not have a stated preference for it, I'd go for flat. 3D is a lot of work.
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by thrash:
Your response is overly simplistic and not to the point. First, I did not ask for a method for converting two-dimensional maps to three dimensions -- I asked to use three dimensional maps ab initio. Second, simply adding a random z-component to a 2D map changes the distance relationships among the existing systems, and does not account for the additional systems that should be present in the same projected area in a 3D universe.

The fact is that the universe is three-dimensional, not flat: the flat starmap will always be an inaccurate representation of real space. The question remains, will Traveller continue to turn a blind eye to reality, or will T5 address this glaring discrepency, either to dismiss it (the "jumpspace is flat" answer) or correct it, at least as an option?


Things to bear in mind with a 3D starmap.

1) You wind up with either *a lot* more destinations at high jump numbers or *a lot* fewer destinations at low jump numbers for every world. Going with the first option keeps the feel of J1 traders plying the mains but functionally eradicates strategic choke holds that are so usefull for defining natural boundaries between interstellar polities. Going with the second option preserves the strategic feel while making J1 (and even J2) ships next to worthless (hope your at TL 14-15)

2) For any given number of planets the 3D map will be more compact than the 2D map with the result that the kind of communication delays that charecterize the 3rd Imperium just won't happen without a much greater number of planets. This is not necesarily a problem but you'll have to think through the implications of the quicker communication times and generally more homogenous society likely to emerge or deal with the much larger population (at least of planets.)

3) Even when created/displayed on a computer 3D maps will be difficult to use in the kind of intuitive way that 2D maps can be used. Regardless of which viewpoint is selected there will be destinations/locations that are hidden behind other locations. Routes that wander tortuously amongst the stars that won't be immediately apparent to the naked eye.

David Shayne

[This message has been edited by DaveShayne (edited 26 February 2001).]
Ever Play Traveller 2300/2300 AD?

This was a game that had much stronger roots in reality and had a 3D map.

It worked splendidly for a 50 light year sphere of influence but you start dealing with 3D maps on the scale of the Imperium and your better prepare for a lot of pointless work.

I recall that even with 2300's small area players tended to depend on tabulated charts rather than the map for working out the solution to nav computations....killing the whole map idea.

While I love the idea of 3D space navigation It is a great deal easier to think your way round travel without the need for cartesian maths.

Mark Lucas
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by thrash:
Easiest approach is to reduce the number of "interesting" planets accordingly, most likely by taking a more realistic approach to what worlds are considered habitable and desireable. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Every planet is interesting. Even if uninhabitable (as in for instance Io) it will form a focus for activity in the area.
And most stars should have a few bodies that are at least marginally habitable (people on or under the surface using hydroponics or some other greenhouse agriculture to provide food and breathable air) allowing for outposts at least. Otherwise marginal planets can become quite important to, and therefore colonized by, an interstellar society just by being in a usefull location.

David Shayne
Computers as Game Playing Aids - especially for Traveller makes sense. As for 3D starmaps - definitely would ad some kick!

Using a curved (wavy) space for the existing canon could maintian existing distances within a resonable number of jumps (the same within a subsector -its the multi sector jumps that would see a shortening, but this could be very desireable) - the distances are allready +/- half a parsec (is a system allways in the center of a hex?).

As for playing offline (and online for us oldtimers) - 'stack' eight subsector maps together (viewed at an orthographic angle - this is intuitive and would fit on one page - the TAS Form 6 is only half a page!) and viola you have 3D subsectors! (NOTE: stagger hexes - i.e. mirror the form every other layer - actually hexes may need to go, but they look soo cool!).

Does this drastically change the size of the universe - you betcha!

Do the distribution formulas change - yeah - just another dimension though.

I see know reason why this could not be eminently practical for play in the normal limited jump domain of the game - and for sector to sector play (in which distances could be shortened somewhat) it seems reasonable that at least one person in any group has access to a computer!
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vicente:
...Our galaxy is basically a disk with 100.000 Light Yers (LY) of diameter and abou 400 LY of thicknes. ...
THis means the whole map in old traveller would have to be a sort brick. The 3rd imperium is something like 200 pcs long and 160 pcs wide (roughly from memory). If it became also 130 pcs high this would make it a brick....
You need to take into account the galactic arms. ...

Just a few things...
The Milky Way (our galaxy) is est at least 100,000 ly dia and 2600 ly at the extremis of the lenticular portion expanding to 10,000 ly in the central peanut shaped core (~23,000 ly dia) (where'd 400ly come from?)

Assuming the emperium is in more of an arm location (due to density/seperation) where the ratio of thickness to 'length' is something like 25 to 1 a 3D Emperium map would look more like a paver stone than a brick!
In fact I would recommend a 'thickness' of 4 subsector size widths (making a sector a brick 8x8x10 pcs <grin> ). This would accommodate weaving the existing emperium within while maintaining jump distances within ~2 subsector widths and only slightly reducing farther trips. The rational behind this area could be a simply older clustering - clustering happens all over the galazy - in the globular clusters star seperation can average .1 ly!

The second survey could be limited to this region of space by shere practicality - the nearest outlying stars from the Emperium cluster could be 18+ parsecs - certainly a discouragement for commerce and scouting!

Next week I'll try to work up some demos to illustrate weaving exisiting subsectors and the display of 3D subsectors. Also to illustrate calculating jump distances without fancy maths/tables!
Haven't had a chance to workup a 3D demo yet...

Recently ran across a program for fixed Grand Survey info (think it was associated with BeRKA?) - anybody know what I'm referring to, since I failed to bookmark it!?

Do have a 3D planet demo working, and hope to have a hex world map version soon at my temp site: http://www.geocities.com/bitknot/

Keep on Travell'n!