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Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:47 am
by Ellis Dee
Hi there, I'm new here. I just started writing a map tool for Star Control 2, and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for features they'd like to see. Once finished I'll release it as freeware, along with complete source code.

It's only been 2 or 3 days, but so far the map draws the stars. It works like an image viewer, where you zoom in and out with the mouse wheel and drag scroll the whole map. So far I have about a third of the constellation line connections. Here's a screenshot:

Starmap Proof of Concept

Anyone have any ideas for features to add?

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:26 am
by Alvarin
In the layers you could add designation names in the constellations (alpha, delta, zeta etc.)
I do not know if feasible, being a viewer, but some interactivity could be useful.
For instance -
Name / coordinate search
Radial measuring tool in AU or fuel pips
Route way-points fuel calculator

Welcome to the forums and good luck with the project!

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:21 am
by Ellis Dee
Yep on all that.

Originally I started doing the constellation line connections by hand, typing lists of star initials (eg: ab,bg,ga) but now I think it makes more sense to make the map interactive first. Then it would be quicker to add the ability to "draw" the constellations by clicking stars. Also interactive would be to click a star on the map and it brings up a list of planets orbiting that star, along with their mineral and bio unit totals. (EDIT: As well as hazard info.)

While doing that I started thinking about automating the positioning of text information relative to their stars and clusters. 502 stars total is a lot to manually figure out and type in location and alignment numbers. I think I have a way to bulk calculate good guesses on where to put text. If so, all I have to do is manually override to fix any exceptions and done. Not just names ("alpha" or "a" when small) but the ability to toggle that text to show alternate info like mineral totals, bio units, game items or events, etc...

In terms of features, ideally I'd like a trip simulator, so I could set some parameters, choose the route, choose which planets to mine (and if I have a minimum value mineral I'll collect, eg: nothing worth less than 3) and then the program would tell you how much time and fuel to expect on that trip, and the total minerals and bio units you brought back. (Accounting for refueling from the melnorme as well.) I can also envision how to include quasi-warping.

I figure a week or two, maybe. Maybe a month if we can think of more cool features that haven't occurred to me...

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:42 pm
by Alvarin
If you are planning on mining information, you'll have to plug in the lander fuel consumption, which varies by planet's gravity...

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:12 pm
by Ellis Dee
Yep, good thought. That's part of the Planetary Database, which is the data I'm going with, so I have that already. (There's a downloadable version of the P.D. linked at the top of the chart on this page.)

I just now finished the feature where I can draw constellation lines just by clicking two stars. (Remove line if I right click.) I expect the remaining 2/3rds of the constellations will be much faster than the first 1/3rd was where I was typing planet codes manually with the keyboard. That was full of yuck; this will be much easier.

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:21 pm
by Draxas
I like that you are planning to make this map feature rich, so my suggestion is that there be a toggle for spoilers vs. spoiler-free. This way players of any experience level (or memory) can use the tools that they want without being spoiled on info they would rather keep secret.

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:27 pm
by Ellis Dee
Now, see, that's an excellent thought and it would never have occurred to me. Thanks much!

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:01 pm
by Maloo Oture
Oh Man, I got really excited that this was going to generate starmaps similar to star control, rather than being a tool for the game itself.

Maybe I can build something like that... I've been wanting to learn how to code. This may be what gets me into it.

Re: Ideas for a map tool (also introduction)

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:45 am
by Dyandod
Maloo Oture wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:01 pm
Oh Man, I got really excited that this was going to generate starmaps similar to star control, rather than being a tool for the game itself.
I'd also love to see a starmap generator with these options! I drew plenty of my own starmaps as a kid on paper and in MSPaint. But I won't let that overshadow how cool your original idea is too.