June 25, 2011

The Universe is a Diamond

Now that I've got the websocket server working I've got the itch to write a space rpg inspired by the classic BBS game Tradewars.

I especially liked the spatial system they used where sectors formed these baffling, mole-tunnel chains. Lucky exploration might find you a highly profitable port or, better yet, a nice dead-end sector to hide your ships and planets in.

Let's say we want each sector to link up to six others, proving a movement pattern like hex paper;

Internally, I plan on using a bog-standard XY array. Why? Because it feels like it would make things like pathfinding and NPC distribution easier. We'll see.

So let's say we're in Sector 54 (yellow) and can move to six adjacent sectors (blue):

I'm thinking that if I rotate the player's orientation slightly and omit Northeast and Southwest movement, I can fit the hex over the grid like so;

To the player's perspective, he's flying around a diamond-shaped space. Here's an example of moving from Sector 53 to 01. It was important to me that the sector you came from retain the proper orientation.
Virtual hex paper. Next step is to break all the links into twisty little passages -- not alike.

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