Space Map in 3D

Here is a real treat for those of you who enjoyed my space map of the 32 nearby stars. The independent developer Loren Schmidt whom I’ve met at the Independent Games Festival recently did experiments with a very similar map. Now he managed to James Cameron it. Get your 3D glasses out!

3D Starmap

I love it. I have been playing with that idea for some time and now he beat me to the punch. I enjoy that we do have slightly different approaches on the information design of our maps. It is an inspiring experiment. I might go ahead and do a 3D version of my own map. That puppy is ripe for an update.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

6 responses to “Space Map in 3D”

  1. sirleto


    one thing that puzzles me is still this: you can zoom out quite a lot of this map (so there is some similarity to my old experiment

    and what puzzles me, is that i just expected (one being viewing from the outside) to see the spiral galaxy we reside in …

    i mean, if it is true that our spiral galaxy has a good distance to the next one and the data we use is quite good shouldn’t one be able to see the spiral form or atleast a clumped bunch someway zooming out?

    i am not able to see it with my tool and still expect a data bug in my implementation (reading it wrongly, i.e. misinterpreting something, read the data docs wrong, swapping bytes wrongly, etc.).

    any idea?

    1. sirleto

      ignore my link above – it is not working because the crap did take the brackets into account =)

      here it is again – but its not much to see there as i only have some screeshots up

  2. Krystian Majewski

    Yeah I was reminded of that old experiment of yours.

    And as for why you can’t see the structure of the galaxy – it’s pretty easy, you should have found out yourself. It’s because even though that region of space is huge (200ly diameter) it’s only one-fifth of the thickness of the galaxy.

    The stellar disk of the Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 100,000 light-years (9×1017 km) (6×1017 mi) in diameter, and is considered to be, on average, about 1,000 ly thick.

    So this map shows only a tiny sliver of space from the much, much larger Galaxy.

  3. sirleto

    okay, i gotta check what my data actually is – but it feels like millions of lightyears when floating through it …

    i just don’t have any idea what to do with it, which is because i never tried to fix it / ramp it up …

    its just sooooo many stars :-)

  4. Loren Schmidt

    I also enjoyed the differences between our two approaches. It was really fun to come across your map a few days into development- it was very encouraging. I’d love to see a revisited version of yours!

  5. sirleto

    btw guys, i like this:

    its hell of a complicated application – but actually its funny because you can just “stick every data source” together into one view.

    i like those quantitative aproaches.
    now the only thing i need to do is study astronomy to understand that thing in detail :)


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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