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I'm the map, I'm the map...

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Absolute Zero, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
    (Spinarak)
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    Most video games that have character movement in an area give you, the player, the benefit of a map. It's usually automatically filled/uncovered/drawn for you as you explore, tells you exactly where you are and where interesting things are. The door you came in by? The location is this wandering quest-giver? Every shop in every town in the whole world? All are there, right at your fingertips. It's really convenient. How heavily do you rely on the map? Do you ever turn it off to experiment, and do you get frustrated if it's not available? Do you think it's weird how everything you might need to find always has a live GPS marker broadcasting its location at all times?

    ---

    I had two experiences lately that reminded me just how map-dependent I am. First, there's Far Cry 5. Every other Far Cry (since 3 at least) has had an active mini map in the corner. You can see terrain, collectibles, bad guys and which direction they're facing, everything. I admit, I got super dependent on it: I noticed sometimes I would look at the mini map more than the world in front of me. Then in Far Cry 5, no more mini-map. You still have your compass, but you're again forced to look at the world around you like some kind of human. It took a lot of adjusting, but ultimately I learned to appreciate it. I can get by with a full map menu and the world in front of me.

    The other experience was a short-ish game called Echo. It mostly involves a somewhat linear exploration progression through an endless(seeming) mansion with stairs and doors and walls and obstacles oh my. It's usually pretty easy to get by, since you spend a lot of time following way-points in your field of view, at least until the end of each section. Suddenly you're in a room the size the entire Versailles palace and are told to reach several dozen orbs with no guidance at all. No hud marker, no compass, no full or mini map, no linear path: just you and the enemies and walls and stairs and flickering lights to ruin your orientation. I admit, this was the most frustrating feature of an otherwise beautiful game, all because my sense of virtual direction is bad.
     
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  2. HeroofFire101

    HeroofFire101 Stirlingite

    Ember
    (Quilava)
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    Okay, I like a map. I am most familiar with Zelda maps, so I have a general idea where things are and general layouts. Heck, I sometimes draw my own maps for fun and for myself that serve no other purpose than to amuse myself. There actually is a game series that has you drawing the maps yourself, and that is Entrian Odyssey, along with the Persona crossover Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth which just came out in Japan. Thanks Atlus
     
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  3. Moonstruck-Mist

    HoverBoots
    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    In truth, I'm not all that dependent on the map itself. It's helpful, but not so much so that I use it. I've been playing Monster Hunter: World recently, and the only reason I'd use it is to keep track of a monster that I'm trying to find but don't have the scout flies already chasing after. Other than that, I don't really want to use maps. And games that put them in slightly annoy me. I turn them off as soon as I can, and just play without them. It's only when searching for objectives that I've lost track of do I use it.
    So, yeah. Not really important or welcome, but useful in its own way is the map.
     
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  4. Wizard

    Wizard Do you feel it? The moon's power!

    Pansage
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    Maps are super important right now for me, seeing as I'm playing through Breath of the Wild. I find them optional in most games, but essential in open worlds. I've never used a town map in Pokémon, for example. Interactive maps are best, and I feel Breath of the Wild did a great job with that.
     
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  5. ChocoChicken

    Krysmus Azelv (lol)
    (Krysmus Azelv)
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    Misty's EmblemLegendary Triforce ★★
    *sees title* Oh.

    Anyway, on the topic of maps, I find maps really helpful, mostly because I suck at navigating. Knowing where to go and the objective really helps with getting around a world. In Earthbound, I get terribly lost pretty quickly, and looking up maps - whether they be in-game or fan-made - really help with not dying.
     
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  6. Momo Kiseki

    Riolu
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    *Laughs* Sorry...*takes breath and tries not to giggle* sorry again...that title made me think of dora the explorer.*Sighs since the title has brought up the map song in her mind now*
    Anyway, I suck at reading maps so...they don't help me. At all. Unless they let me fast travel so I don't have to walk the whole way then I love them.
     
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  7. RadEmpoleon

    RadEmpoleon certified EPIC Gamer™ (they/them)

    Bondo
    (Sobble)
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    Comet Shard ★★★★Poké Doll ★★
    I thought of Dora the explorer too lol

    The only games I can think of that include the map are Pokémon and LoZ. I rarely use it in Pokémon, but when I play Legend of Zelda (rn the only one I’ve played is the OG NES version) I always find an image of the overworld map online... which means I’m cheating at the game I guess...
     
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  8. Dawn

    Dawn La vie est drôle

    Cresselia
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    As someone who plays RPGs almost exclusively I am VERY reliant on maps, and I am often frustrated by them...both for showing me too little and too much.

    Really, we need more maps like those that feature in Dragon Quest XI and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, to name two 2018 titles that have done this: ones that show sidequests and points of interests, as well as major locations and main quest objectives. Maybe that defeats the point of exploration, but I see the map as a tool to make sure that I see all that there is to see: I really do not have the time these days to go wandering around large areas without a map trying to find the things developers have hidden away. It's very much like an in-game guide to me, except for it only shows me where, rather than instructing me as to how...which is exactly what I want out of game guides, actually.

    But play an old Dragon Quest game - say, IV - and compare that to XI, and see how little information it provides you by comparison. In times past all we got was a blob of a landmass and an icon showing our current position on it...IF we were lucky. I have yet to decide if this is a good or bad thing, really. For me it is absolutely a good thing, because I don't have time to get lost and I don't particularly enjoy it, but at the same time modern games do an awful lot of hand-holding. What would be ideal would be if you could toggle how much information a map shows, but unfortunately with most it's all-or-nothing...perhaps the design of maps could use a little more work, rather than the amount of information they display.
     
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  9. Neb

    Neb Cosmog Enthusiast

    AZ
    (Flabébé (O))
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    Unless I’m playing Mario Kart 8 (it covers too much of the screen), I always rely on game maps. It’s lowers the chance of getting lost and they can be cool to look at. Maps you can fill in yourself, like in Etrian Oddesey or Breath of the Wild, are especially neat. It makes you feel like you’re discovering the world rather than going through a procedurally generated game level.
     
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