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Opinions about maps


Obsttorte

  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think FM's should give the player a map.

    • Yes, preferable at mission start.
      16
    • Yes, but preferable buyable through the shop.
      14
    • I don't care. I don't need a map.
      5
    • No. Never. Draw your own, you taffer.
      2
  2. 2. What kind of map do you prefer?

    • Classic ones like some FM's have now.
      11
    • Automaps that are filled while proceeding.
      2
    • Automaps like in T2, with the area I'm in highlighted.
      5


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There has been some discussions about whether a map is needed or not in different threads. It seems that some mappers are unsure if they are worth the effort.

 

I guess the best way to find that out is a poll. :smile:

Edited by Obsttorte

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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There are players who need a map and players who don't. So to reward the ones who need a map, they should get it - and to reward those who don't need it they shouldn't have to get it but get another item instead. So the best way imho is to make it buyable in the shop. The people can buy it or save the money for some extra items. I think that is fair :)

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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I have said yes but buying one if you need it

The number of missions where I would have like a map can be counted on the fingers of one hand - with some left over

In my opinion there are only two reasons for a map

First is that the layout is very complex with many stairs between floors and a lot of the access blocked off or when, because of the plot, you have to backtrack to a specific room and you can't remember where it is

Second is where the map is big and sprawling and you have to trek all over it to find a specific area - actually a readable would do that as well giving an indication as to where it is

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Gaming is a situation where the player makes series of meaningful decisions that dictate the outcome of his game.

 

Stealth gaming is a game of risk/reward: is the risk getting into a certain place worth the reward it gives? Give a map, and the player can do meaningful decisions. Without a map the game reduces into wandering without a clear idea where to go. This is bad, since the player should have some info to base their decisions on.

 

A person with map can look at the map an decide whether or not it is worth the trouble to pass 2 guards to reach a toilet. Without the map, the player has no choice as he is exploring blindly: he sees the trouble to get to the area only to realize it is a toilet there is only crap in here. This does not hamper players who save/load a lot because they can just reload: "I'm not going there, it is a silly place." Those who want to have an ironman experience and deal with the consequences of getting caught have a bigger penalty. Dealing with the consequences is important part of stealgh gaming.

 

Putting a map to the shop is a great idea, because it gives the player the possibility to make a meaningful decision even before the mission starts! Buy a map or don't? I'd always buy one. It is just important to have the maps price to be right. It must not be too expensive.

 

Yeah, always an optional buyable map, please!

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I think it makes sense, in most cases, for a the player to have a map. We assume that part of the pre-heist activity a thief does is getting information, and a map would be part of that. It also increases the ability to make meaningful choices, as Sotha said. There are some situations where a map might not make sense for the story, but I think maps should be the default choice. I don't have a lot of preference between putting them in the shop or not. But if they are there, then they should be worth the price...if I give up buying a flashbomb for a map, it better not just be a few scrawled squares and an arrow pointing north.

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So the best way imho is to make it buyable in the shop. The people can buy it or save the money for some extra items. I think that is fair :)

Putting a map to the shop is a great idea, because it gives the player the possibility to make a meaningful decision even before the mission starts! Buy a map or don't?

Well, I never thought of it in that way. I guess it is a good point here, as long as the tools/weapons you can buy make sense at all. It sometimes happen that you can for example buy a holy water potion and think, damn god, there are haunts in that mission, just to recognize later on there aren't (I barely remember one mission were I saw this, but maybe I just missed the haunted place. Nevemind, didn'T bought it anyways). Or you get moss arrows without even needing them. In fact I only used those in two missions so far (the one with the bank, can't remember its name, and my own :P ).

 

So I guess putting the map into the shop is really the best choice, as long as the player has enough informations given by the briefing to evaluate the use of it, not just of the map but all the other stuff (are there lots of electrical lights in there so buying water arrows don't make much sense? in a mansion are there carpets on the floor everywhere so I don't need moss arrows? How "3D" is the level so I may not need flashbombs to escape the guards once I've alerted them? and so one and so forth ...)

 

Another point may be to put the map in the shop and in game. So if the player don't buy it, he has at least the opportunity to find it (and therefore may has to use the equipment he bought from the money saved by not buying the map).

 

The most important point to me personally is the size/complexety of a mission. If it reaches a specific (obviously player dependent) scale, a map is a must. I just replayed business as usual (as many of you, too I guess :D ) and I got lost quite often although I already played it before. This is always very frustrating. -_- Obviously I don't need a map for too late. (These are just examples and I really like both missions a lot :rolleyes: )

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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I kinda want to have my cake and eat it with this - most of the time I'm quite happy to bumble around cluelessly carefully explore the environment and see where I end up, but if I do get lost/stuck, then by heck there'd better be a map or else. So I think option 2 is the right one for me.

It seems that some mappers are unsure if they are worth the effort.

In case any mappers are reading this and thinking, "Oh great, now I've got ANOTHER thing to add to the to-do list", a hopefully encouraging suggestion: this is a job that someone else could help with. I made up some (fairly basic) maps for Deceptive Shadows - my approach was to open the map in DR, take screenshots of each level on its own, open them in Fireworks and trace over them on a separate layer. IIRC, it took an hour or two (I'm not a fast worker), but in some ways Deceptive Shadows was a fairly straightforward map - one location, three floors, done. (In other ways it wasn't at all straightforward, which is why I made the maps in the first place. :smile:)

 

If a mapper had an FM that was at the stage where all the structures were in place and he was focusing more on details, grime, AI etc, he could send that map to someone (the mapmaker? This could get confusing) who could start putting something together using the above method, ideally with some direction from the mapper on what kind of map he'd like (level of detail, any particular style, etc). Maybe there could be two versions for sale - a low detail map (cheaper) and a high detail one (dearer).

 

Anyways. Jussan idea. :smile:

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Depends. If navigation is not supposed to be the main challenge then give the player a map, otherwise you might end up overwhelming the player with a maze filled with guards. If the player is meant to get lost, like exploratory missions, then don't give the player a map :P

 

I think I prefer with a map, since exploratory missions are not my thing.

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One other thing...I'm less likely to KO people when I have a map and know where I'm going. If I'm exploring, I'm far more inclined to clear the area of obstacles so I have more freedom, in case I have to backtrack through the area.

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I voted "draw your own" as a joke, because thats basicly what I would do, if I used maps in any way... But of course I understand the strategic side involved for people who really like to plan or have problems with space navigation, and I know they are useful and desirable to many, its just that never use them and find the exploration side to be part of the fun.

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I think it's highly situational but in most cases I like to have a map.

 

Agree, it shouldn't be a purchase in the store if it's very simple.

 

Most small maps don't really need it. depends on clues/objectives. maybe an objective is to rob so and so's house on Hill street. You can have street signs to let the player know they are on Hill, etc..

 

Maybe a higher security place would be hard for a thief to get an accurate map of. Possibly only showing places that certain servants have access too.

 

Automaps in t2 were awesome, but i don't think we can do that. maybe??/

 

-----

 

I like the idea of sketching a map as I go, but i play in the dark so that's hard to do/look at.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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Maps are fun. They're another thing for the player's inventory, so they have the "feelie" aspect (something for the player to look at & play with in the game) and they help flesh out the world.

 

As for giving the player information ... all mappers IMO should think about building expectation as part of their level design, and a map is one part of that. You don't have to give the player much information and can have a vague map, but even then you can cue them to think about certain areas with little notes or how you draw it, or just to have some areas inaccessible to them now but they know they have more to look forward to and can build expectation or interest in it, and then you can play around with those expectations for gameplay or plot reasons. That makes it another tool in the mapper's kit for level and plot design, which is a good thing.

 

There are situations when not having a map makes sense too, but then you lose that tool, so if you can have it, I think a mapper should try.

 

And they are not hard to make. Open up the blank parchment in Photoshop, stick a screenshot of your DR map in a 50% transparent layer, and use the line or pen tool to sketch the lines on the parchment with something like the "parchment" or "orange peel" texture under it (whatever looks good), and a good scripty font.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Automaps in t2 were awesome, but i don't think we can do that. maybe??/

If it is possible to change the content of the map (=the actual picture loaded) one could use the zone system for such an approach, but would then had to have an image for every possible way the map is drawn.

If it is or would be (don't know if it is) possible to have like several layers, you would just had to have a basic map with for example the basic shape of the building your are in and then a layer for every single room which could be added via script once entering a zone.

As we have like seveeral layers on the loading screen and in readables (title + body) this should work.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Just taking a look into the wiki

windowDef Desktop
{
   rect 0,0,640,480
   nocursor 1

   windowDef background_map
   {
		   rect 64,48, 512, 384
		   background "guis/assets/game_maps/map_of_sewer"
		   visible 1
   }
}

This is a standard gui for a map. Some questions:

  1. Is it possible to have several windowDefs inside windowDef desktop
  2. can the argument "visible" be changed during game

If both questions can be answered with a "Yes, we can" (no joke intented), an automap would just be such a definition with several windowDefs, one for each part of the map, which is (except for the rough shape of the area - maybe) set to "visible" "0" at default and is set visible via a script called by the zones. :smile:

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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I know the answer to #1 is yes. I would assume #2 as well though it's been a long time since I was involved with .guis.

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I have just looked it up and found out, that in doom 3 it was possible to add something like

onTrigger {
  //some code here
}

into the gui definition. The code in between the brackets should then be executed when the "entity the gui is attached to" gets triggered. (http://www.iddevnet.com/doom3/guis.php). Actually this does not seem to work anymore. Anyways this may not prove very helpful if the game cannot interact with the guis. :unsure:

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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The HUD is a GUI, so obviously the game can interact with them in some ways. It's more a question of how readables work...they may have certain restrictions regular GUIs don't (maps use the same codes as readables, I believe).

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Actually I've found another way to implement auto-maps (at least I think so :smile:). I will see if I find the time to post an example map (=mission, confusing :blink: ) in my mapping thread tomorrow.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Maps and diagrams are pretty cool, as long as they aid in navigation or give suggestions to investigate different areas you come across. As demagogue wrote, they are immersive. They don't have to be detailed; the main purpose is to give the player a visual idea of the area's layout. Here is how the map for my first (extra-large) Thief mission looked like:

post-2023-0-85847700-1358978289_thumb.jpg

The basic street network of a city district, some hints about your targets and other areas, but not so detailed that the challenge of navigation and investigation are lost.

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Kinda back on topic :P

 

Nice looking map by the way.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Automaps for TDM are possible one way or another.

It's just a question of how much effort it would take.

I recall things about dynamic GUI (like computer consoles or a PDA), but I don't know how all that fits in with the readable gui setup we currently have -- as opposed to just starting from scratch. But I think if someone rigged up a prototype, it'd be much easier to just build off of that, so it'd be work worth doing.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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It depends, if its a city mission (or any other public place) i think you should get a map at start. if its a mansion, warehouse or castle etc i believe the player should find it in the mission or in the previous mission (Campaign)

 

The whole "My friend drew me a rough map" is getting old imo, but thats just me.

Edited by Theothesnopp
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It depends, if its a city mission (or any other public place) i think you should get a map at start. if its a mansion, warehouse or castle etc i believe the player should find it in the mission or in the previous mission (Campaign)

 

The whole "My friend drew me a rough map" is getting old imo, but thats just me.

 

Instead of using that trope, just say that the player cased the joint (if the story allows that much time).

 

Another possibility would be to include a map as an object you can find somewhere in the mission.

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