Last night I sat down and realised that the setting I was coming up with wasn't working quite as planned. Basically, travel times between locations (potentially, I've not fleshed them out yet) would just be too short. You jump in your spaceship and even though something is just miles and miles away - you get there fairly quickly. I thought that a smooth 10m/s^2 acceleration (slightly higher than Earth-standard, but makes for easier calculation! Call it "metric gravity" maybe...) as a baseline would mean that it would still take days of travel for adventurers - not because I want things to be boring and tedious, but because I want some semblance of realism.
(I don't want Star Trek style space travel, where the ship moves at the speed of plot)
So what to do? I came to realise that, basically, the local area of space I was considering was just too small. So I scaled up. I started with a square that was about two light minutes across, and have now scaled up to a ten light minute square. For those who don't know: the Earth is approx eight light minutes out from the Sun; the region of space I'm setting this in is approximately 400,000 light minutes out from the Sun.
A ten light minute square might not be big enough, but I have to add the numbers etc to my tables and see what it does to travel times. My basic generation table starts off with a ten-by-ten Grid of single squares; roll two d10s for each square and any 1s indicate that there is a place of interest in the Grid - then refer to tables to generate those. Double 1s mean there is something alien there. Am considering tweaking it very slightly (possibly if any 2s are rolled these indicate something else about the square: a problem? A hazard?)
Enough maths for today! Two good things about progress with prep for all of this: first I have typed up a list of the traits for chargen, along with their effects. Chargen will have the option for three player selected traits or four random ones (should keep things interesting). Second, I've found the notes I had for chargen, so now I can type those up and hopefully streamline the process for players.
Next up, making weapon and armour selection simple!
(if anyone wants to see my maths for any of this, let me know, I'll see what I can do)