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What would be the easiest and most maintainable way to create (or use an already existing technology) a sort of Google Maps in 3D for a galaxy? Its not the main focus of my game, but I would like it to look polished to keep the player immersed.

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closed as not a real question by Byte56, Anko, msell, Trevor Powell, Nate Apr 30 '13 at 22:07

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'd say this is a bit too broad. This is on the same level as "how to create an entire game" in my opinion. Galaxies are so short compared to how wide they are, the likely using 2D and Google maps API would work fairly well. – Byte56 Apr 23 '13 at 14:23
@Byte56, I'm looking to create a sort of "cube" (let's say 10x10x10) which would represent the galaxy and give me a coordinate system to work with. The alternative is for me to figure out a way to represent a 3d space in 2d without it looking bad. – n0pe Apr 23 '13 at 14:37
I think you could benefit from whatever answers arise on this question too. – Byte56 Apr 23 '13 at 18:40
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It depends on how accurate you want it to be. It took scientists years of different camera angles and calculations to get the visible stuff mapped in 3D.

I recommend you take a shortcut. especially if it's not the main focus of your game. Parallax Scrolling (if done correctly) can give you a nifty 3d effect without the 3d.

Esentially, you have multiple planes that scroll in each direction, like a background, but at different speeds. The faster you scroll the plane, the closer it is to the camera.

Keep in mind this doesn't work if your camera is able to turn/rotate. You'd have to figure out a different system.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, if you have 3D space, all you really need is to place the planes at different depths in space and when you pan the camera it'll parallax automatically. Still won't work if you turn/rotate the camera though.

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