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Vilem Otte

Maps - showing player?

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For one of the hobby projects of mine (on which I work extremely irregularly), I'm about to add maps and possibly also a minimap. Now I'm still somehow undecided whether to add a minimap or not, and whether to add player into the map or not. While it doesn't seem so important, this may have quite important impact on the actual final gameplay.

Not including a player on the map, makes him look at the environment surrounding him, and determine where he is in the map. Which is useful - yet in case he is forced to find something placed on the map, it may be frustrating (again, this depends on what he searches for and how hard it is to find). Also this means that there shouldn't be a minimap, as it would clearly show exactly where he is.

On the other hand, adding a player into map will make searching a lot easier, and possibly adding minimap could help him locate things of interest around him - therefore removing frustrating searches of items/places. Although this may make searching surrounding area a lot easier and force player to go straight to the target.

So, just out of curiosity - what is your opinions/thoughts on this - can you think off any other pros/cons?

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always expect, want, and yes need, a "U R here" dot at least. If you want to make the players think and observe their surroundings, I have a thought. You could make the map always north at the top (and not rotate it depending on direction of travel). The player definitely has to correlate map features with world features then.

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You didn't mention what kind of a game it is. If orienteering and looking at the environment is a core part of the game, then an unmarked map could be a good idea. If the map is "just" a navigational aid (which is... all other games), trying to figure out where on the map you are is just an inconvenience standing between the player and "getting where they want to go so they can do the stuff they wanted to do", which is the purpose of the map in the first place :) 

If you are making a game about reading the map, it could be useful to let the player draw on the map, or put markers on the map, or something like that. Forcing the player to remember their position on the map at all times without writing it down somehow can also be frustrating.

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this thing about wheter including a map or not reminds me of Counter Strike. They put a minimap on the left up corner and it is usually to know not only where you are, but also where your enemies are and so the mission point. I find it really important but I guess that game demands it for gameplay. It is all based in your main idea: if you want players to look at the map or maybe prefer to hide it in order to make players know what to do in the battlefield.

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