So my jump gates work! The solution was simple... at first I was trying to end the current level or empty out all the scenegraphs, but the end result is that you just have to load the next level, and all the rest is taken care of. The result is...
... another world!
There are still some funny bugs (or lacks of features) with jumping, like loading all the defaults for your ship (weapons, upgrades, cargo, etc.) I'll get around to fixing that kinda stuff eventually. Like probably a week before release date (ha!)
Another accomplishment for this last week was jumping from Idaho Falls, ID, back to Provo, UT. I worked in an internship at Idaho National Laboratory for 5 months, and now it's back to PhD fishing in school. Although only a 4 hour drive, the move is still happening, as I type amidst towers of unpacked boxes.
Back to the game, another accomplishment is getting the first draft of a design doc done. It's not so much a design doc as a "core vision" document, but that's my method of game design. I like to work out the details when they are ready to be implemented. This game is already going to be hard to balance, so I don't want to try to balance it on paper and do a poor job of it on paper.
So the next step is making a map/navigation gui to show you where all the cities and jump gates are in your current region. The same gui will be used to see how jump gates connect different regions on a planet. These features will make it possible to give some life to missions... I can describe what city to go to, and then the player can look up where it is on the nav gui.
Don't get lost!