Compass vs nautical directions - story is on a ship

#1

My story occurs 99% on a ship. I’m trying to decide if I should use nautical directions (port, starboard, etc.) or stick with regular compass directions (west, east, etc.).

I’ve switched to nautical directions (easy enough in Inform using an extension called Shipboard Directions and a few modifications to my code) and although it works well and makes sense for the story, I find myself wanting to type E W N S regularly. I would switch back, but using compass directions really doesn’t make sense for the setting.

I’m torn. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

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(Daniel Stelzer) #2

You could make the compass directions aliases for the shipboard ones: have “n” be fore, “s” be aft, and so on.

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#3

Except, starboard and south both start with S.

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(Daniel Stelzer) #4

True. Do you anticipate people abbreviating the nautical directions like that? (I’d personally be comfortable with “long names are nautical, abbreviations are compass” but I’ve only played one game on a ship.)

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#5

Interesting idea.

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#6

The usual abbreviation for starboard is SB.

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#7

“You’re on a ship that will be traveling north for the duration of this story…” :slight_smile:

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#8

Believe it or not, that was an idea I had just a moment ago. Hmmmmm.

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(Andrew Plotkin) #9

The usual joke is to keep the ship going east for the whole game, so that South and Starboard are the same direction. :confused:

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#10

Ha!

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