TorilMUD is a big place. It can be hard to find your way around in the more than 325 zones and 60,000 rooms that make up our world. Traveling in a text-based world can be hard to visualize, resulting in memorization based travel rather than moving around by visualizing your surroundings.
Today we're introducing a new feature to help with that: in-game text maps.
Let's go through a series of maps and point out the key features, starting with a map of Havenport:
There's a few things going on in this map:
Maps are created and rendered dynamically, by typing
The map is centered on you, the player, represented by the green
Maps have a pre-set size. Within the generated map, you can see the structure of all the rooms. That means walls, doors, and terrain types.
You can see some details of rooms that you have line of sight to. In this example, we can see that there are NPCs (represented by the yellow !) in adjoining rooms that we can see. Though there are also NPCs in the hallways to the east, we don't have line of sight to any of them so they don't show up on the map.
Rooms with a black - represent a room where we can't see. No room content items (mobs, up/down exits, etc) will show up here until we move into line of sight.
Here's another example. This time, we're in Jotunheim:
On this map, we can see varied sector types - fields, hills and mountains. We can also see some up exits (
>) as well as some aggressive mobs in adjacent rooms.
Aggressive mobs are marked with a red
!- but only when you are in a room right next to them. Any farther away, and it's hard to make out their intentions so they just appear as regular mobs.
Here's another colorful example with some varied terrain. This one is taken from Skeldrach Lake.
- Plus signs (+) indicate that there is a transition from outdoors to indoors. The transitions to the southwest here indicate an enclosed landing just to the south of Skeldrach Island.
In addition to the big map that you can bring up at any time by typing
map, there's also a new mini-map. This map is much smaller, but displays every time you move rooms. This can be useful when exploring an area, or when you just want to be able to visualize where you are.
The mini-map can be shown either before or after the room title and contents.
toggle minimap-top will show it before the room, and
toggle minimap-bottom will show it below. Here's an example of the
Here's a few more key aspects of the maps feature:
Intent: The idea behind these maps is to promote exploration and increase immersion by helping players visualize the areas they're in. The intent is not to replace client-side maps such as the ones found in zMud and Mudlet but to complement then.
Optional: The map is totally optional. If you'd prefer to stick to room titles and descriptions, just leave the minimap toggled off.
Spatial distortion: The MUD's room layout doesn't always make spatial sense. The method that we use to create the maps tries to account for the fact that some rooms can overlap one another, but it's not perfect. You will find areas in your travel where the map doesn't quite look right, or where some rooms seem to shift around on the map as you move around. We'll work to identify and fix areas that are particularly bad in this regard, and your help identifying them is welcome.
Helpfiles: Check out
help mapto see the full legend of map symbols and terrain types.
LOS: Line of sight is pretty straightforward. To start, the max LOS is 3 rooms away. You can't see around corners, but you can see diagonally through open areas.
Map types: The standard map type shown in the examples above is the preferred map, but you can experiment with a few other visualizations and see if they suit you better. Type
map ?for a list of other types.
Unicode: If you use the web client, you'll notice that we use some special unicode characters to make the walls in the map look more continuous. We're still working on full Unicode support and we may roll this out to other clients in the future.
Maps are a work in progress, and a feature that we expect to be supporting for a long time to come. Your feedback is important as always, so please make use of GitHub to report bugs and suggest new features for the map.
Up next, we'll be returning from this little detour back to the class overhaul project.