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<  How do I...?  ~  MUD MAP Making

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 02 Dec 2007 Posts: 220 Location: ...somewhere outside the asylum
I am often asked "how do I find my way around?" and I think one way of doing this is MAPPING.

this need not be as complicated as you might think, the actual places in the game are modeled fairly faithfully on the REAL geography so in simple terms, north is towards Gregory Terrace, south towards Roger Street, west is towards Victoria Street and east towards Rogers Street on the main campus.

EVERY area in TMUX has been mapped before it was built - detailed maps of what leads to what, what is placed where and so on are a vital part of the planning of an area. As a player you too can use mapping skills to keep track of what you have found. Remembering what is where is beyond most normal brains so drawing a MUD MAP is one way to annotate as you go.

Here's how:
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Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 02 Dec 2007 Posts: 220 Location: ...somewhere outside the asylum
First, decide on a key and conventions.

I usually orient my map so that NORTH is towards the TOP of the page, south bottom and so on, that way the map is sort of intuitive as you look at it. This is not always the case - I remember when I designed the "Commune" all my planning was drawn facing water street (the reverse of north convention) and this played merry hell with my descriptions later (to the west you see, dang, no east, dang ...).

Your key can contain symbols that make sense to you - remember, no one cares what you use, so long as it makes sense to you - anything is ok.

I start somewhere - it actually does not matter where you start, but would suggest you start at a landmark you can name or relatively easily locate.

In the above map, I started in a room that had exits NORTH, EAST and SOUTH. When I tried to go east, it was LOCKED (so there is a key I need to find somewhere). I then went NORTH and discovered an exit to the EAST and another back SOUTH to where I started.

As I explore more, I discover doors that lead back to rooms I have already been in (double headed arrows) and doors that have no return (single headed arrows) and I build up as I explore.

It _never_ fits on a page properly, because you are not privy to the original design nor do you know how much geography surrounds you until you explore it. You are bound to head off in a direction and then run out of room. _One_ way of solving this is to have map segments that connect to others. In this example, I travelled DOWN to a room and discovered exits that I had no room for, so labelled the room "1".

I continue my "1" map elsewhere on the page, maybe colour code the jump/break with a highlighter or something, or re-draw later when I have explored more.

You can use dotty lines for "hidden" or "Invisible" stuff, add words and other symbols that make sense to you to encode extra useful details until it becomes a resource that is useful to you.

Mapping can make sense of areas and you should consider it, particularly if you find yourself getting lost or forgetting where a particular monster is, key fits or trap lurks.

I use a program called "Visual Thought" to computerise my maps - it is freeware and allows me to move stuff around as I am designing so it fits prettily on a page. [http://www.freedownloads.be/downloaddetail/440-Visual-Thought] but hand-drawn is also cool (and prolly quicker).

_Some_ MUD clients have mappers in-built, but I have had little success with them on muds that have exits named anything other than compass directions ... and yes, tmux uses many oddly named exits.

What are your thoughts on mapping?

[*some assembler required]
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Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:41 pm Reply with quote
Member Joined: 05 Dec 2007 Posts: 230
I just mapped the b-arc tonight and i suggest everyone does the same because you can right down unsolved things on your map which may link to the next stage of it. I write down all the important bits next to the map in a key for future reference. If i find a locked exit and discover the key for it, i right down how to get the key and what its called.

Also because most areas are based on real life places, i write down what it relates to so i can visualize where i would be in real life which helps me know exactly where i am and where what is.

Knowing where you are in real life on mud is a HUGE advantage because you know there's a room somewhere and logically it would be either visible, hidden, or invisible.

I tend not to make maps because of this, but they are handy to have as a record that you can consolidate in case you forget where something is or what does what.
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