ADRIFT Forum


The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Does anyone else care what the map looks like?

This forum is the place to discuss the older ADRIFT versions 3.9 and 4.0.

Please refer to the ADRIFT 4 Manual for more information.

Postby Dannymac247 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:19 am

As my label says, I am still very new to ADRIFT. I only have a couple of "finished" products worth talking about, and a number of unfinished ideas that might, at some time, morph into projects.

But am I alone in wanting the map to make sense to the player?

I have redesigned game maps to make the map easily readable, and when a map is defined by an in-game building, I want the map to architecturally make sense.

Does anyone else do that?
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Postby Cowboy » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:07 am

I don't...
In the "old" days I used to draw my own map as I went along playing the game, and now that Adrift has a built-in map option I guess that people will use it if they feel for it.
To me the Adrift map if pretty much what I need... A room name, and the exits.
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Postby Ren » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:38 am

Yes. Though this often results in me turning the auto-mapping function off, on the grounds it won't do what I want it to.
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Postby Beanless » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:10 pm

Just wondering...what exactly is wrong with the current mapping system?
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Postby Ren » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:30 pm

Beanless wrote:Just wondering...what exactly is wrong with the current mapping system?

It is fine as long as you work to a grid, but if you want to do anything else. . .

Sometimes I've wanted to have in/north as options (say for going north into a specific building), sometimes I've wanted to vary the length of distances between rooms. ADRIFT's auto-mapping can't really deal with that.
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Postby dswxyz » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:16 am

It would be to ADRIFT's advantage to give the author more control over the in-game maps. The automapping is good when it works, but there's lots of times when it doesn't. If the author could specify things like which map a room appears on, and which relative grid position it occupies, that would be a good start.

For extra map goodness, let the author add a title to each map, change their background colours, let the author make some of the rooms on the map a little wider or taller than the standard, and add a control point or two to the room connection lines so the author can drag them and make angled connections between rooms.

Currently, in some games, the map goes nuts whenever the player takes a step. It would be saner if the map layout was approved and fixed by the author ahead of time, and then all that messy re-re-recalculating of the map in the Runner can be bypassed because it doesn't need to be recalculated.
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Postby Skulkraken » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:21 am

Would it be possible to add the ability to set map grid distances for exits? By this, I mean having an exit go "East-2", which would cause the editor to place the map point for the next room two grid spaces east instead of just one. Using such a system, it would be possible to combine multiple directions for finer control of diagonals; to do stuff like "East-1, North 3"... or even have a map where the lines go zig-zag (North-2,East-2; South-2,East-2). :p

Err...Does Adrift use an actual grid system for mapping? I must confess I haven't used it enough to know. :blush:
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Postby Zeta » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:32 pm

yes, it does use a bit of a grid for the maps. the problem comes in with it assuming that the distance between each room is as close to 1 unit as possible (which your suggestion would fix)
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Postby djchallis » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:43 pm

If the author could design the map to be shown then you could also do things like make big rooms.
Say you had a 2-by-3 map and wanted one room to be two blocks, making a rectangular loop of 5 rooms. The current map system would put a long line between two of the rooms, when you really want it to display a bigger box.
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Postby Campbell » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:23 pm

Yeah, was thinking about that for v5. Which is why I am leaving the map until last I guess...
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Postby djchallis » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:39 pm

Glad to hear you're already on top of it! :)
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Postby Batwing » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:23 pm

The problem with the current mapping system is that many of the places I have mapped out are too complex for Adrift to handle. They work on paper, but in Adrift. I get the too complex to display message in both the generator and the runner.
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Postby Lumin » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:54 am

I pretty much never use the automap, it crashes sometimes and I rarely need it anyway. Most ADRIFT games (and IF games in general) are small enough that once I get to the point where I'm just skimming familiar room descriptions I already have the layout memorized and can type n, n, w, etc. faster than it would take me to look at a map.

And if an area is big or particularly complicated, I'd almost rather make my own map than rely on default ugly yellow boxes, especially considering the author could have thrown something far prettier together with MSPaint in five minutes.

...actually come to think of it I've always thought hand drawn maps were pretty neat, more games should include them.




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Postby djchallis » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:58 pm

To clarify, are we talking about the map a visual aid or as a click-to-jump tool.
I'm disabling the "goto" function on my work-in-progress because I'm overriding the direction commands, but I'd still like my map to look nice and be helpful to look at.
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Postby J. J. Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:56 pm

It sounds like what's wanted is a separate map creating program, with the option to import your own room icons and use your own fonts, and maybe a title image, that would allow you to export it and import it into ADRIFT. Then you'd need a bit of code in the runner to reveal each room as the player explores, as before, but the look of the map would be pre-set by the author. The map program would also allow you to export the complete map as a PDF or whatever to print out or for a solutions archive.

There you go, Campbell, a nice headache for you. ;)
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