29 Slides

Have done a massive amount of research and presentation building today, have jumped from Alternate reality map making artists to tolkien and the transmedia map making of warcraft, through to the way dungeons and dragons has taken it’s franchise that is essentially made up of maps and baked it into games that use map building to create adventures for others. Am still working on all the connections and transitions, but so far i’ve got my plan sorted for how most of it shall relate to one another. Should be a fun presentation, I just hope I haven’t added too many slides for the time I have.


Jerry Gretzinger

Whilst browsing the world of alternate reality Map Making I stumbled across this Gentleman.


Jerry Has devoted around 50 years of his life to creating an alternate reality map that is forever evolving and changing depending on what card he picks from his custom made deck daily. It’s amazing to just listen to him discussing the world in the video below, in a way that actually makes it feel like an actual living world. Every detail he adds, every change he makes, it’s like an almost endless god game for him, and in a way it is. He seems to genuinely care about the imaginary peoples that live on this map, that’s why he puts in the fail safe to protect them from the void card. But it all makes sense, he has created this living changing world and even goes by the rules of play for what he can and can’t do, he has in effect created a game for himself that will only end with himself.

I shall definately be using him in my presentation.


After looking into all of the area’s to research and form a presentation on I have found that the one that Maps is still my major Interest, and is probably the area I have looked into the most.

My proposal is to investigate the different use of maps within games, and the way they help to create the world and add to it’s overall immersion. I shall also look into the reasons and inspiration for the maps with reference to Historical and cultural influences.

Key Points:

  • I want to examine what works and what doesn’t work, in both Aesthetic and also functionality.
  • Discuss the use of maps throughout the history of gaming, and how the maps work.
  • Talk about how maps could be used in future to form even more cohesive worlds.

I also want to look at how maps also cross over out of the games and can become a part of the Trans-media subject as well, such as Maps not just being used to map out the levels in creation, and in navigation in game, but also as collectables and status symbols in special editions of games, that is similar to the status symbols of  the merchants of old.

After receiving feedback on my proposal (seen below) I now feel I have a greater unsderstanding of where to take my research.

“Dear Neal

thank you for your email, I think your structure is very clear, and although it is in the paragraph at the end, the content about how maps form part of a transmedia world is very interesting: perhaps you could look at the use of maps in Alternate Reality Games, which create a fictional world inside the real world, often operating as a closed, secretive ‘magic circle’ (Huizinga, Homo Ludens). This would add to the cross over element in your presentation between the areas we covered. It will mean editing carefully – there is a lot of content to cover and you need to be able to make your points clearly without trying to cover too much.
Best wishes

Today’s Notes

Bit late as the Pills I had for my Migraine knocked me out for several hours, but better late than never.

Today’s Lecture was on Trans-Media Story Telling, which was a really interesting subject. Using different media and the comunity to enrich and add to the world’s we create is facinating, and it reminded me of several franchises that have done this in the past.

  • Dungeon’s and Dragon’s have done this in numerous ways, Starting off as a pen and paper table top RPG game, it has taken what players have made and created these ideas of worlds into a wonderful cornicopia of Multiversity. The Forgotten Realms and Eberon worlds for instance are an example of how players helped shape the world, and how the story telling in books based on characters that were played in this world through books by such Authors like R A Salvatore have enriched and added to the experience, spawning computer games, comics, figurines, replica weapons, and much more.
  • Warcraft has also done this, in almost the same way, spawning books, manga, board games, figurines, comics, card games and even a table top game to flip the above example on it’s head. Thus one makes a computer game from a table top game and the other makes a table top game from a computer game. it’s madness. Characters from the Manga and Comics have even worked their way into key story arcs in the game itself. Kalec of the Blue dragon flight is a great example of this.
  • Peter Pan was another that sprang to mind, years after the first peter pan stories were told, Peter Pan in scarlet was released by the trust that owns the franchise, telling a later and much darker tale to peter’s adventures. The book adds a lot more dimension to characters such as the lost boys and also examines Peter’s own changing personality as he strays ever closer to becoming the one thing he has been fighting all his life.

Neverwinter_PCDL_v2 WarcraftRPGPeter_Pan_In_Scarlet

More Maps

As I kind of know what route I want to take with this Project now, I thought I’d upload some images of different maps from games I have been researching and looking at over the past few weeks, and the different ways that games use maps to evoke the adventure in players. I would like to look further into the ways we as Game designers can use the maps we design in fun and inventive ways that can have a much more interactive process with the player that that of just a screen that they look at from time to time to see where they are.

  • How does the Player use the map?
  • What are the features of the map?
  • How does the Map’s style effect the overall look and feel of the game?
  • Is the Map Easy to read, and if not is that itself part of the game?

I may add to these Questions to get a better Idea of what the outcome will lead to.

Below: Maps I found interesting or well designed.

14994714199_76c2c97463_zVelocity has a clear and well laid out map, that both compliments the game style and is easy for the player to use.

fe13map_full double_risenworld_ss1connect-img4 Fire Emblem Awakening is Made up of 3 Different Maps, the First represented Above is the general overview of the world map, the next that is also above is the world map as used for traveling, generally the overview is on the bottom screen while you move about in the navigation map on the top screen of the 3DS.

FireEmblemAwakening2 fire-emblem-awakening-batallaThe 3rd map is the actual in level map that makes up the almost chess like board of the main core game design. This both effects how the players are allowed to act and move around the game world/board in a grid like way, with different tiles adding hazards and obsticles in between the battles that happen. For instance sand makes certain units move slower, which effects how far they can move each turn, and some areas of the map can only be traversed by flying units. walls can obstruct melee units, and high ground can give damage advantages. and impressive way of using maps in many ways in one game.

EndlessSpace1 endless_space_disharmony_newinvasionuiThe Game endless space is Practically made up of one huge network of planets that once discovered make up an expansive interlocking and beautifully colourful space map that can be zoomed in and out to exceptionally high amounts. The Game it’self is based around exploration, and although it leads the player down a lot of set path ways, the player is still in control of which pathway to choose in the maze like space scape, and even in some cases is able to jump from pathway to pathway.

mariolandMario Is another game that use an overview of the world in map for for travel between levels, in fact it’s something that has stayed with the 2D mario games for as long as I can remember. Although Mario 64 seemed to break the mold on this rule a little, later mario games went back to using it, you could even say that the game board from mario party uses a similar layout.

FxgMM  Zelda is an interesting series of games, many of them making up the game world in the form of a map, everything you see above is a wonderfully realised overview of the entire overland map of one of the Zelda games, and although this doesn;t include the various dungeons that litter the landscape you can see, it is still a substantial part of hte game mapped out from the in game areas.

pokemon-map-zztdaebaPokemon is another that uses maps in a similar way, the world itself is seen much like Zelda from the overhead position, and when you piece together the different areas it makes up a perfect representation of the layout of the land that is portrayed in the art posters that come alongside the games. This kind of attention to detail with mapping really helps to solidify emersion for the player into the game world.

pokemon-fl-kanto Although Both of these pokemon maps are from different versions of Pokemon, it’s clear to see from both the art poster and the in game poster how Nintendo like to map out all the pokemon games.