Compass rose?

I’m thinking about doing a new Glimmr tutorial. There seems to be perennial interest in graphical compass roses, and a compass rose is also nicely self-contained and portable, so it seems like a good focus for a tutorial.

My reason for posting is to sample specific interests: Is there anything you’d like to see in a graphical compass rose that you haven’t seen yet? Any particular style that might appeal? Any must-have features? Anything you don’t want to see?


Must-have: which room(s) leading off in those directions that have/haven’t been visited.

I found that essential when playing Bronze.

Thanks, Ron. That was definitely one of the possibilities I was thinking about, since this means that there are three possible states for any compass direction: absent (no exit that way), present/visited, or present/unvisited. I will include this feature.


Remember that games can re-wire what directions lead from a room at run-time, so ensure it handles that too.

I guess I’m not sure what you mean. The directions available would be reevaluated every time the compass rose updates, which ought to catch any map connection that was changed at run time. (I’m not sure how else one would code it, to be honest; I mean, I could think of other ways, but they’d represent more work for dubious gain).

If you mean using something like the Hypothetical Actions extension to check what would actually result if the player goes in each compass direction, e.g. to catch things like this:

Instead of going north from the Confusion Room:
move the player to the Cold Comfort Room.

…well, I’m not going to do that. (This sort of thing shouldn’t be handled by a compass, I don’t think.)


I would personally love to see some sort of Compass tutorial, especially after my experience with trying to make one myself.

I’m not sure what would happen though if there was a room that simply led out to all directions to a random other room. Would that direction be visited, not visited, etc? On the other hand, I’m not even sure making such a room is possible.

Also, would new directions be supported?

It depends on how you handle that room’s exits. If you set the exits to random rooms at the beginning of play, say, or reset them each time the player reenters the room, then the compass would handle it just fine, and the exit lister would indicate a visited or unvisited connection as normal (i.e., depending on whether the player has already visited the destination room). If, on the other hand, you change the map connections after the player has type “go”, or if you bypass the connection altogether (e.g. with a “move the player to a random room”), then the compass exit lister will just use the connection that was defined when the player entered the room.

Glimmr could certainly handle (fairly easily, actually) a completely custom compass, even one that changed during play (say from standard compass directions to shipboard directions). However, I see that as terrain for an extension rather than a tutorial, so I think I’ll stick to something pretty basic.



I’ve finally posted this tutorial: … -tutorial/

Thanks for the thoughts and encouragement!


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Very nice, Erik. I have to say, though I haven’t had enough time to actually use GLIMMR for the project I have in mind, I’ve been really impressed by the thoroughness of your materials and tutorials. I enjoy just reading through the how-to stuff. Thanks for doing this!

Thanks, Emily! That’s nice feedback to hear!

On another note, I’ve updated the tutorial to mention that the image and design files for the tutorial are in the public domain–anyone is free to use and alter them in any game (incl. commercial), with or without attribution.