How should I design my local star systems?
My idea is to keep everything centered at y=0.0f to facilitate navigation and to make creating trade routes much simpler. My solar system designer will be a simple MFC-based tool that will allow you to place objects, planets, suns, nodes for trade routes, etc. By keeping everything centered at y=0.0f this essentially breaks my tool into a top-down 2D editor and is much simpler and easier to use.
Is there any real reason to place anything at locations other than y=0.0f? I could easily allow the user to place objects anywhere but displaying that using MFC is going to be a pain.
In my experience with X2: The Threat, Freelancer, X3: Reunion, and now Space Force it seems that placing stations and objects of interest at y=0.0f is much eaiser on the player.
Space Force tends to place their objects at weird angles to one another and makes it very hard to navigate and keep your bearings. Freelancer, X2, and X3 all do it the right way IMO and keep all items of interest at y=0.0f and keep the objects upright - or 0 degrees Z rotation. In the editor you will also be able to set auto-docking waypoint nodes around dockable objects and it is much simpler to keep everything on a 0 degree Z rotation. Granted I could use any orientation but my goal here is simplicity and I'm not purposely trying to disorient the player. My autopilot system (from a previous thread) can handle any type of orientation so this is not a matter of being limited mathematically but rather forcing limits for playability.