I’m back from my short excursion to lands unknown (or rather, well known – I was just in Paris) and I spent most of my day off yesterday working on my near stars map. I’ve now added a total of over 300 stars (including multiple star systems) out of the 2600 on my list. It’s getting crowded:
Not all of that is connected to one jump rout network yet. To make navigating this map a little easier, I’ve also created the following relational map:
As you can see, there are two large chunks that are unconnected, plus a whole lot of smaller ones. Earth/Sol is on the larger group; it’s the square-shape fairly to the center of the image, on the lower-right “arm” of the left, larger, group.
And yes, I am creating this by hand. It’s an interesting exercise, and helps me “understand” the map. It’s kind of exciting work too, in a way, since with every star I place I hope to connect up more of these chunks, especially the second largest one.
I’m also happy about the 7.7 light years jump route limit that I picked (thanks to the 2300AD developers), since it does work out really well. In a few places, the stars are unfortunately just a little too far apart, but if I end up locking myself in, I can always fudge it (for example by adding “undiscovered” brown dwarfs, but there are other ways). I do love that space is being “structured” by the jump distance limit. It provides choke points and natural traffic routes – in short, a geography of sorts, and geography is great fuel for plots and conflict.