I thought I should try a variation on the big hex style. This time for an important star system in the Spinward Marches.
All planets (except Cipango) was made with GIMP plug-ins. The Cipango ring system was made with the planet rings GIMP plug-in. The planet Cipango was made from an old texture that I have used for other maps of Cipango.
The distances for the planets from their “sun” Cipango-Taiyoo is calculated using a modified Titius-Bode law. Using the formula below for the Cipango system:
- a = 0.7 + 0.2 · 2 m
For our solar system the formula is:
- a = 0.4 + 0.3 · 2 m
Where a is the distance in AU, and m is the orbit number. (Where m is 1 for Earth.) The modification of the Titius-Bode law was needed to fit two planet orbits into the habitable zone. This gives the Cipango system a total of 3 garden worlds.
Travelling between different places in a solar system takes time. Sometimes it will even be faster to make a micro (in-system) jump than using the M-drive.
When jumping to a system, it might be important to know where to get free fuel. If you have a cargo or passengers for the main planet, then it might not be economical to go to a gas giant (to get free fuel) in the outer system as well. Even if the main planet has oceans, you might not be allowed to refuel in these. If you don’t have any cargo or passengers or any other business to the main planet, then you might want to jump directly to the gas giant instead. There you can refuel and jump to the next destination.
How can you plot all the relevant information for a system in a hex on the subsector map? My idea is to divide the hex in six triangles, and show the most important planets with the important moons in each triangle. If there aren’t enough important planets, just leave some triangles empty. But as a minimum 2-3 triangles should have planets. I have put the gas giants in the right part of the hex, just like where the gas giant icon is usually placed.
This is my example for the Terra system. What do you think?
I have now made a program that can generate good-looking hex maps in (almost) any size You like. Try it out here.