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Zomgbie

Minimap in large space game

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Hello people!

I'm currently working on a 2D space game. The player is a small ship drawn in the middle of the screen (8x8 pixels), and planets are draw at their location in space (Around 1024x768 pixels). As you might notice by just reading this, the player is very small compared to the planets. The applications window has a size of 1024x768 with a viewport of 2048x1536, which basicly means that a larg planet can take up half of the screen. Planets are seperated in space by vast distances. The idea is that you have to travel into the unknown to discover new planets.

The peoblem i'm facing at the moment is how to navigate? Currently i have a wold map, which has a viewport ten times larger the the normal one. This is still not sufficent to naviage with, cause of the planet's size and distances. And if i make it bigger, small planets become too small, and it's even harder to navigate.

To solve this i want a minimap. What would be the smartest way to do this?

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I don't know about a minimap. How about locking into some coordinates and using some sort of hyper warp to do the travelling?

Or

You don't have to make the smaller planets smaller in the map screen. The ship's got a radar that tells the pilot about any information nearby. Then the map screen shows lighted leds in those places that supposedly have planets there. They could be large planets or small ones or just asteroids.

What do you say about that? Maybe if you explain a bit further what you want to achieve and make the player do...

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What about a schematic style map ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schematic ), like they use in train/subway/bus stations?

It wouldbe an interesting way of displaying the data, and the actual distances between the planets would not matter in such a layout.

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