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How to Organize It All
When getting started, remember the Golden Rule of SuperNova: you don't need everything.

If you want to record every bit of information you receive, you can... but start with the essential info and stop when you're satisfied. For your first several turns, you need the six key pieces of your system and production information, detailed in the thread of Your First Three Turns.

Then to organize all your info, it really helps to maintain three spreadsheets for
  • listing planets and Way Points for each system
  • calculating production at your homeworld
  • planning your turns

I actually combine these last two into a single document, on different pages ('sheets'). Use Excel, Numbers, Open Office, or Google Spreadsheets.

The first, 'Exploration' spreadsheet, is handy for seeing where your fleets can go. Mine looks like this:
[Image: Exploration-Sample.png]
If you're a completionist, you could add in information about Astronomical Distance and Diameter of each planet, plus which have been covered with PMAP, ORB, and EXPL orders.

A spreadsheet is great for planning orders, too. Most players ultimately submit their orders with the SNRote program (see Your First Three Turns), but it's easier to plan and edit them on spreadsheet first, like this:
[Image: Orders-Sample.png]

And you'll need access to the rules. In each of my turn folders (01, 02, etc), I have alias links to a Rules folder which holds the
  • Orders Supplement
  • Installation Supplement
  • Convoy Route Supplement
This last one won't be needed for the first few turns. Note that the SuperNova Rules pdf isn't really a rulebook as much as a description of the game, and as such, it isn't needed on a regular basis. The Orders Supplement is the 'real' rulebook.

That's it for essential info!

If you want further handy records, you might also like spreadsheets for homeworld production, planet resources, fleet locations, and research priorities. Examples below, followed by a sample ship design and maps.
The above spreadsheets are the most important. But if you'd like to keep more information at hand, you may also find it useful to make a spreadsheet for
  • homeworld production
  • planet resources
  • fleet locations
  • research priorities
The first is extremely helpful in maximizing your Industrial Capacity (for details on what this means, see the second post in Your First Three Turns), like this:

[Image: Production-Example.png]

Planet Resources I record on a sheet for each star system, with one page for each planet to record the GEO & CSV results for each. Here's info from a planet I just surveyed, with Max Installations (5 x Yield) calculated. While this is handy, it's also optional. You could reduce record-keeping by just noting any planets you'd like to colonize and what resources you want there.

[Image: Resource-Sample.png]

A sheet of Fleet locations, orders, and future plans can also be helpful:
[Image: Fleet-sample.png]

Again, it isn't essential - you could spare yourself the recording and just check the Fleet Report each turn - but I find this sheet very useful when planning my turn.

Finally, a spreadsheet is ideal for keeping Research Plans. I actually keep mine as part of my Turn Plans, on a separate 'sheet' (page). That way, when I note the order for Set Research Priority, I don't write out everything I'm researching. Instead, I use Sheet 2 to record my 25 slots, so when I enter my orders, I can just glance at it and update anything new (usually Slot 1, plus anything else just completed):
[Image: Research-Example.png]

All of this I organize in three folders
  • Rules
  • Empire Info
  • Turns (holding Turn 01, Turn 02, etc)
Each turn folder has an alias link to the first two, so I can access the rules and update spreadsheets for Exploration, Fleets, and each star system. The only new document is my Turn Plans, where I draft the orders for each turn.

I also like recording my Ship Designs and putting system information into a map. In case you do, too, there are examples in the post below.
Here's a sample spreadsheet for a colony ship.

[Image: Colonizer-Sample.png]

Note that this is just an example. The figures aren't precise, and this doesn't list all the available early tech. Raven includes them in his original spreadsheet, on which this is based, but I simplified here for clarity.

The blue text is for tech available at start. Black-text tech is for upgrades. You could also calculate Thrust and Structural Integrity, but these aren't likely to matter for early turns.

See Expanding Your Empire for suggestions on early ship designs.
Finally, you may like having a map of worlds you've discovered. It isn't essential - you can get all the info from the kind of Exploration spreadsheet described in the first post - but it can be easier to read. And maps are cool.

Many SN players map with a couple programs. The first, SNFindPath (see the link in the first post), calculates the fuel needed for multi-step jumps across systems. It is NOT essential for play (especially early on), so don't feel obligated to use it. But if you do, you can use a second program, Graphviz, to generate a map, then viewing it with a third program (in this thread, Hobknob explains the steps and uses ZGRViewer to view it). There are alternative viewers, including a web-based one, Webgraphviz. I haven't used any of these.

The maps they make are simple, and as Hobknob explains, they don't include planets, and when you update it for a new turn, the positions of star systems may change. Here's a sample Graphviz map (not from SN):
[Image: fetch.php?tok=80a046&media=http%3A%2F%2F...2Fdotb.png]

An alternative is draw your own map. I started with Keynote (Mac's Powerpoint), with an overall map like this
[Image: Keynote-map-2.png]

and system maps like this

[Image: Keynote-map-1.png]

But as my empire grew, it became easier to keep one overall map, with simpler lines. I like Raven's example from OmniGraffle
(used with permission, also with fictional system info):

[Image: example-omnigraffle.png]

I used the free program (which works great) to do a variation. Note that I don't include suns or ships in mine, at least not yet.

[Image: SN-Drawio-map-sample.png]
If you like mapping, you can have good fun with it in SuperNova. If not, you can try the SNFindPath/ Graphviz combination, or you could skip mapping and just refer to the information listed for the above Exploration sheet.
Greetings All,

There are to two identical players and no single method that is the best to keep track of it all.  I will add to this excellent thread with a few of my own observations;

1) A production spreadsheet can be invaluable and I have created one for that purpose.  However it is also a pain to update so I only use it when my production really needs an overhaul or the first time I set up production on  new world, not a colony.  (been playing along time and know what I am doing but still make mistakes)

2) What I do find important is a spreadsheet of system/planet information.  I spend hours doing data entry to get my turn results into my spreadsheet.  My sheet tracks the following;
system name, planet orbit, planet order, planet type, distance from sun, diameter (I keep hoping it matters), Stellar Phenomena, temp, tilt, gravity, oceans, microbes, pollution, radiation, CSV if I do them, all the yields in a table format so it is easy to see what is there and what is missing.  I also have a column for distance from the HW so I can sort it that way.

3) For each empire I also do a map in excel.  I have used other formats, but my primary is Excel.  I also use mapping as described above but my primary map for a single empire is my excel sheet.

There are a lot of formats that work very well in the beginning but fall apart in the long term.  I know somebody who uses Visio and it is great, until you have explored out to 3 on all directions.  Others similarly fail as you get further out.  I love using findpath and graphviz, but I can't add notations so it is of limited use.  It is by far the best I have seen when combining  multiple empires, but that is a different discussion.

4) I don't find it to be of much value to track when something happened, just that it did.  

5) It uses paper, but I found it best to print out my turn and just make annotations on it as to what I wanted to do.  I think this is the best way to look at it and most all the info is right there.  After a while you can give up the paper and just go from a few notes and your system spreadsheet know that a blank is something to be done.

6) Ship designs are fun and I have a spreadsheet for that too.  

7) I use convoy routes as much as possible. It saves $$, lets me do more stuff beyond the mundane and tends to eliminate mistakes.  I stat using them by turn 3 or 4 if for nothing else to skim and OC fuel.

I have a spreadsheet for about anything.  I am normally willing to share.  However, I find that most folks wind up making their own to suit their own style after seeing others examples


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