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Overmap (question)
While I was on the test server I saw something called view overmap. What is the overmap? Is it how traveling to multiple planets is made possible because I remember seeing something like that. 

So questions:

1. What is the overmap

2. How does it work
Sorry about the late reply. There's a couple of parts to it and the terminology is a little bit confusing (especially when you start flying ships around). Firstly the default view when you see yourself like normal is the sector or zlevel view. A sector is a discrete area of interest such as a planet, capital ship or space station. Sectors can be multiple zlevels in height, with the other levels accessible at any time by building stairs or ladders.

The overmap represents a grid layout of the "star system" (not to scale... our star system is 162.5km from one side to the other but it's fully traversible). Each tile on the overmap represents a corresponding sector (or zlevel) which players can go and visit. Most of it is empty space, but things like space stations and ships have corresponding objects on the overmap (again, not to scale). By travelling from sector to sector in space, you can travel from one thing (like a starship) over to another (like a space station) but you might have to cross multiple deep space zlevels - a whole zlevel for each tile on the overmap.

Larger ships and stations with more zlevels will show up as larger on the overmap. The UNSC Pillar of Autumn (the main player map) is a cruiser class vessel which we have mapped out over 5 zlevels. It's corresponding overmap object is 4x4 tiles in size. A smaller starship or space station which only covers 1 or 2 zlevels might be 1x1 tile on the overmap, whereas a starship which covers 3 or 4 zlevels might have an overmap object which is 2x2 or 3x3.

A simpler way to explain it is that the overmap is basically your fast travel map or star system map. You can see the ship, station or fighter you are in as well as other stuff in a distance of about 9k around you. To view the overmap you need to be near space (ie, at a window) or piloting a ship (in which case you look out of "cameras" with a longer view range and a navigational HUD).

At the moment our star systems (the overmap) is a little bland because nothing spawns by default except the hidden Insurrection base, the UNSC cruiser and some asteroid fields which are largely cosmetic (except for shooting meteors at you if you go near them). I'm still waiting on some art assets, but once I've got those and I start making headway on the neverending list of critical issues to address I'm going to setup PRG mining asteroids spawning in the asteroid fields which can be visited and mined, and I'm going to do some NPC space stations and trade ships. Later on I'm also going to tweak the radio code and have ambient chatter between various NPCs just like the game Freelancer which players can tune into and listen to, with stuff like police cargo checks, docking requests, navigational broadcasts etc all happening in the background. Colony planets are a lot further down the line.
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