Geography with cardinal directions only

#1

How would you feel about a game that involved only the four cardinal directions N S E W, and not the “diagonal” directions NE NW SE SW? I’m wondering if it would feel too grid like, especially outdoors.

(Motivation: thinking about a gesture interface with a limited number of options; 8 slots are available for directions, which would ideally be: N S E W up down in out).

1 Like
(Marshal Tenner Winter) #2

Didn’t Wishbringer only offer the four cardinal directions? I think it was done to further simplify things for a younger audience.

I don’t think anyone would feel too constricted in a game that only has 4 cardinal directions so long as the game is engaging.

(matt w) #3

I wouldn’t even notice that diagonal directions were missing if they weren’t offered as options! I just follow the map.

#4

For me, personally, it is much more difficult to navigate a game with ordinal directions. I constantly confuse them with one another and they make it a lot harder for me to form a mental map, so much so that they’ve spoiled my enjoyment of otherwise excellent titles. That may just be me, but I am not convinced it is, so I don’t ever use them in my own writing.
N, E, S, W, in, out, up and down are plenty, by the way, and when I find myself tempted to use any of the others, it is always a sure sign of me wanting to stuff too many exits into a single location.

(Hanon Ondricek) #5

I wouldn’t mind at all. The map is the map and I personally have no attachment to diagonals. I actually simulated a compass rose in Alice Aforethought (a choice game where there wasn’t even any formal “map” and one of the gimmicks was the ordinal directions moved you through time instead of space.

My personal problem is I have a weird sort of dyslexia specifically with east and west. I always confuse them. This was even more of a problem when I made Alice because the entire psuedo-map flips and mirrors when you go through a looking glass. I actually spent several months of that game imagining the actual map the wrong way around in my head because of my east-west confusion and the general insanity of flipping them throughout the game.

#6

I’ve moved away from diagonal directions. While it is neat to have a bunch of directions, they can be overwhelming. Unless there’s a good reason to have everything totally connected (e.g. you’re enclosed in a pretty clear octagon,) or you want a room as a main hub, it’s best to look for another way.

I put in diagonal directions for an EctoComp game, but that was because it was on a pentagram, so it couldn’t be helped. Also, I thought of t he idea for a pentagram game years ago.

Up/down in/out are also useful & often I have them map to the 4 main directions.

#7

Same here.
-Wade