Mapping [Srsly, use!]

Your wife would be right.

Yes, just you. I imagine that it would take up too much room and it’s just temporary, anyway.

If you’re looking for ideas, I’d suggest paying a trip to your local Chinatown and buy a bag of Go stones. You get 181 black stones and 180 white stones and they’re cheap. You could use black for dark rooms and white for lit rooms. You could even use a Go board to lay out your map.


This sounds like it could be a unique comp prize. “3D fan art: I will build a model of your game map and send you pictures.” If it was an outdoorsy game you could use sticks and rocks and things. Probably not trash, though. :slight_smile:


Presumably, the visually challenged people do it that way.


Hmmm… That is a good point. How do folks using screen readers map geographically intense IF games? Do they simply keep a mental map? I would imagine a classical graphical map may be of limited utility.

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Huh, I like this. I would totally be willing to try this.



I’ve been working on-and-off on my own mapper, named zmap. Instead of positioning rooms, you specify connections in a text file and the mapper lays them out with a spring simulation layout.

It’s on github: GitHub - rileypb/zmap: An interactive fiction mapper

Still a lot to do on it.


Sounds great. It would be nice if the if community could agree on some sort of standard for instance a GLK based Auto-mapper so it could be implemented in all multi-interpreters. It should probably look something like Trizbort-maps but I think it would be a good idea to survey all the available auto-mappers, including yours, before starting such a project.

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Yes, I’ve always been a mental mapper. In fact, I particularly enjoy large, sprawling games with complicated layouts where I can wander around until I’ve gotten a good idea of how everything is connected. I do think that creating a physical/tactile map could be fun, but also rather impractical for actual gameplay. You’d have to be constantly hands-on with your map, which means being extra careful not to knock your rooms out of place. You’d probably also want a reliable way to label your locations, unless you have a variety of materials to work with and can remember, for instance, that the fuzzy sock represents the soft room.


Legos don’t get knocked off, do they? Multicolored as well. They can even do Braille!

Another point: if you set it on multiple lego plates, you can shift/stack them easy.


I took this approach initially when I was doing it on the fly, but I now just plop a sticky note onto the room. It’s really the connections that I want easily revisable and shiftable, as the room name and any relevant notes are not as slippery or prone to change.

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I’ve never tried using legos before. In theory I can understand how they could potentially work, but I think trying to put together exactly the representation I want would be too much of a distraction. Also, at this point in time Braille legos are unfortunately not accessible to the general public.


Back when I was big into Second Life I had always wondered if that might be a resource to build models of your characters and locations and snap screenshots for use in a game as still images.

Success probably would depend on how much time and money you wanted to invest to gather resources and build in-game. Detailed realistic characters would require some expensive character meshes and skins and clothing/costumes which are likely available somewhere, so you’d have to go on a Second Life pre-production world tour of free and bargain resource shops to gather enough media and props and textures unless you spent a lot of time modeling them yourself. It’d probably be not superbly difficult if someone just wanted environment images for a dungeon crawl or a city with no NPCs since a lot of those environments already exist and you could just take touristy screenshots.

I did experiment with DAZ3D to make some character models and portraits for a potential game, but soon realized how much time, money, and experimentation it would take to make what I wanted. I had better success just commissioning and paying an artist who already had much of what I needed and knows quickly how to find and purchase what they didn’t have.

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I fiddled with this for a while but couldn’t get it to run… I guessed and searched for packages that seemed like they might provide the things it wanted, but I couldn’t find anything that provided antlr4.


Thanks. I haven’t tested running it from source on other machines, so thanks for giving it a shot. I’ll see if I can put a QuickStart together.


Surprised no one has mentioned as a desktop alternative:

Works on MacOS, Windows, Linux, and ChromeOS. And it’s free.

They’ve also got browser-based versions. Best Ever mapping app IMHO.