Show the galaxy without player colours/shapes before a game starts


I would love to be able to see the “shape” of games before I join them. I understand that showing the player colours/shapes opens it up to cheating (or at least, unfair starting position picking), but if it showed all the stars without player graphics, then you can see the layout of the galaxy without giving away player locations.


That’s exactly the one feature missing! Love that.

As for now, people who set up custom game designs would have to make two games, one with visibility enabled, to let others see the universe’s shape, and other one with disabled starting visibility, which is then actually played.




I like it, but I’m sure Brian could use this info to immediately find his starting position.


Well, yes, probably, but I like the idea Rubberband is suggesting.

Rather than Dark Start, show the blank map, with no home worlds highlighted. Once you pick a color, have it show you only your color on the map until the game actually starts. In a Dark Start game, it only hides things until you start the game, this would just be Semi-Dark Start. In a true dark game, you shouldn’t see anything until you join anyway.


Would it be sufficient to show the home star positions, without showing the other stars, that would make it more difficult to work out where you where until a few days in when you find some other home stars.


Why would he have to find his starting position? By picking a colour he would be placed on the map.


Oops, Im still in dark mode.


I don’t think it needs to show home worlds, just the gray circles of all the stars. Once you join the game and pick a shape/color, you get your spot. the same as you normally would. The other players don’t appear until the game starts. This could be used to replace Dark Start, as you either like where you are, or you leave. Those are your options in a Dark Start game, but this would allow everyone to see the shape of the map without being able to pick their location.


I like this idea but I also like figuring out where other players are. If all the star locations are revealed, you wouldn’t be guessing where anyone is. How things are now, you find out where other players are by communicating with other players. If you see a green player to your north and another player sees green to his east and yellow to his north, that would mean that yellow is somewhere to the northwest of your location. You can find out where other players are by communicating without knowing their exact star locations. Also knowing the exact star locations ruins the element of surprise on you or your enemies. You can see stars to your north but might be behind on your scanning levels and don’t expect an attack from the south. You might see their ships attacking but never see their stars. You can also use this surprise against your enemies. Replacing the dark start would ruin a lot of the surprise elements with this style of play.


I am not sure I follow. This was apparently suggested as for starts only, so you get the idea of the shape, but you don’t actually know where others are until the game starts. It’s best as a precaution against cheaters and multiaccounters.

Anyway as you say about the players figuring out the positions on their own, I find that rather positive. It encourages player-to-player interaction and diplomacy.


I guess he meant that when you select a colour/shape but before the game starts, the map is essentially like dark galaxy. Of course as soon as the game actually starts, no more guess work is needed, so I don’t really see it as an issue.

However, it could be an option in custom games: normal, dark galaxy, dark start?

But really, my use case for this request is to get an idea as to what the map looks like before I decide if I want to play or not - especially in custom games with custom maps. There are other ways that use case could be fulfilled: show the map (without start locations) but revert to dark when you actually join; show a minimap of the galaxy; show an outline drawing showing the shape of star clusters (but not the location of individual stars)… etc


Yes, in my suggestion, you see the whole map with no player start info. When you select your color/shape, you get placed on the map, just as you would in a normal game, but you can’t see anyone else until the game starts. No one else could see you until the game starts either.

That way, everyone can see the shape of the galaxy, but not the starting locations, nor which ones have been filled. It would be a replacement type option for Dark Start. And, like in Dark Start, as soon as the game starts, you can see everything a Normal game would show you. The difference here is you see the whole star field up front, which if making a custom map game, can be very important.

Scanning should be same as Range for dark start

I agree this might be needed if we see a bunch unplayable maps being created using the new tools.


I would be fine if the map is shown without any start info. When the game begins, only your stars should be shown. The point should be to get an idea of what the galaxy looks like, not to find out where you will start in the galaxy. If other stars are shown, it will ruin the surprise when someone attacks you and your scanning level isn’t high enough, You will expect an attack from that side or expect to meet a neighbor if all the stars are shown. I agree to a map overlay without starting locations but I am against a map overlay with your starting location also revealed.




A flaw in dark starts is if scan distance < range distance, which is the case in standard games.

Upon joining a game, I like to pre-set my initial moves. When scan distance < range distance, there could be stars that I couldn’t see, but I could reach and would prefer to get to tactically. I have to log in and re-set my waypoints. I suppose that encourages logging in immediately, but just a thought.