Hi everybody,

Today we have some very exciting stuff to show you. Finally, we have the proper constellations in! (With placeholder names, as you might have guessed – Ed.) The game is really starting to look like the concept images we showed you last year. Check it out:

astrography_main-interface
Here’s Pavlos’ mockup from February last year…
constellations-zoomed-map
… And here’s what we’ve got in the game right now

Constellations are geographically (or astrographically) vital to the game – not only do they set the placement of the stars, they act as the boundaries of Imperial provinces – the highest-level administrative units in the Empire. If you’ve got a character you want to promote to the highest levels of government, and you can’t or daren’t replace any of your existing province governors, you’ll have to secure some territory in a fresh constellation.

Bear in mind, too, that as cool as this looks, it’s only the start. As you can see, the system can still get a little unruly:

Constellations whole map.png
That dragon drank five litres of concentrated squash before it was recaptured.

We need to do more passes on the look of the grid (it’s a bit busy in the middle at the moment, and could do with some subtle decorations), the way constellation names are displayed, and implement internal divisions within the constellations so we can colour them by parts according to who controls which systems. We’re also still working on the algorithms for generating the right distributions and alignments of constellations – we need to ensure that every star is accessible and that all the constellations are roughly oriented towards the centre of the map, to reinforce the impression that Neo-Sirius, New Terra and you the Emperor are at the centre of Human Space. And we have longer-range plans to replace the 2D nebulae with 3D volumetric ones. Not to mention the effect the onslaught of the Xyl will have on the map…

Until next time, Ave Imperator!

Oliver

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