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Old 09-30-2013, 08:03 AM   #31
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

The green text is quite readable, but why do you actually use it, instead of black? Currently I have a B&W laser printer, but I expect to buy a colour inkjet next year, or next year again, and one with separate cartridges for each colour.

I were to print out some of your planets, I'd be mildly annoyed at the use of green ink instead of cheaper black ink. Even if the green ink isn't more expensive than the black ink, I'd be much more likely to have a spare black cartridge lying around, than a reserve green one.

Also, have you checked paper readability? Your green colour is quite readable on a TFT screen, and you say you've tested it on your tablet too, but what about paper printout. That nice green text may suddenly turn out to be downright evilly difficult to read (and that wasn't orginally meant as a pun, at least not consciously).

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Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
TI have always thought that Traveller's UPPs were a singularly bad way of presenting data: arcane and opaque. Which variable is which? What do the values mean?. Their sole virtue was saving paper and ink, which is hardly an issue any more. World Information Sheets presented here to be what UPPs ought to have been: a succinct but accessible summary of the essential minimum information about a world. The fact that I have 128 items to Traveller's six ought to give you the hint that I think as poorly of UPPs' content as of their presentation.
They cannot stand alone, true, but might well be a nice tool to have, to use when appropriate, where you have a 3- or maybe 4-block Dense Profile that summarizes the most important 15-35 items.

And it'd also be of use when indicating Earth-relative values, e.g. Gravity 0.6g (2), where the "2" denotes that 0.6g is 1 step below Earth gravity on the Gravity Scale. It just requires you to know that it is 3 that means average, in every case. Which you'd know if you were a Sagatafl GM. Or that 7 is average, which you'd know if you were a Traveller GM.

If you're not going to allow for a compact format, you can just use 1 as average, on a zero-to-infinite scale.

Personally, I might end up leaving out the 0.6g part entirely, for my (eventual) project, and just say "Gravity 2". Then if you need to know how many gs 2 means (which may be relevant in rare cases), you look it up in a table.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:24 PM   #32
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

I use coloured text to make the actual information stand out from the labels, signposts, and formatting. I find it very helpful which facing 128 data buried in a page or so of glyphs.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:52 PM   #33
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

The period of low orbit doesn't vary terribly much from planet to planet: it's proportional to 1/cuberoot(density), and the densities of habitable planets don't vary much. Ought I to add it to the world information sheet?
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:26 AM   #34
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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The period of low orbit doesn't vary terribly much from planet to planet: it's proportional to 1/cuberoot(density), and the densities of habitable planets don't vary much. Ought I to add it to the world information sheet?
Depending on your tech it (actually orbital speed so maybe this is different...) can be important for delta-V calculations for orbital shuttles.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:47 AM   #35
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Depending on your tech it (actually orbital speed so maybe this is different...) can be important for delta-V calculations for orbital shuttles.
It also determines how often a launch window recurrs for re-entries to a given drop zone and launches to rendezvous with a given orbiting ship or orbital port facility. And where observation satellites are rare, the timing of gaps in coverage.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:53 AM   #36
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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It also determines how often a launch window recurrs for re-entries to a given drop zone and launches to rendezvous with a given orbiting shop or orbital port facility. And where observation satellites are rare, the timing of gaps in coverage.
So yeah, if it varies by more than (say) 10% I guess you should list it. It's not like you are going to have short list of stats at this point either way. ;)
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:17 AM   #37
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So yeah, if it varies by more than (say) 10% I guess you should list it. It's not like you are going to have short list of stats at this point either way. ;)
I'm up to 128. ;(
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:05 PM   #38
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

Huh. A point in the other thread made me consider: what about use of graphics for visual information? To give examples:
Class of Primary: you can set the background color to the color of the primary. I like this for star colors, so Tau Ceti would be
HTML Code:
<span style="background:#fff1df">  G8.5 V </span>
Mean Size: well, you could probably put a compact two-circle graphic showing apparent size relative to the sun (either external graphics or embedded svg); something like a circle overlay on an image of the sun.
Mean Distance, Perihelion, Aphelion: draw an ellipse (side point: by mean distance, do you mean semi-major axis? I can think of several ways of interpreting mean distance with different results, though they won't differ beyond the margin of error until eccentricity gets fairly high).
Axial Tilt: a circle with a line going up/down at the given number of degrees.
Diameter: a circle overlay on an image of the earth.
Visible Illumination: not doable unless you set the base background to gray; otherwise there's no way to make it brighter than sunlight.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:40 PM   #39
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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side point: by mean distance, do you mean semi-major axis?
Yes. I would much prefer to say "semi-major axis of orbit", but I chose "mean distance" as conveying immediate (if not precise) information to most readers.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:32 AM   #40
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

I've added the period of low orbit. Partial pressure and percentage of oxygen. Half height of the atmosphere. Boiling point of water at the surface (median sea level).
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