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Maps, ore, and player input


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So I thought it might be useful to have some discussion on how maps might work.  I'm mainly interested it might relate to ores.   Right now you go around propicking, and you have to make hand notes, or take a screenshot, or place a sign, to remember the coords and results.  None of these are ideal.   Presumably the game is going to have a mini-map at some point, and I would hope perhaps waypoint options.  But I wanted to toss out some ideas on how ore might relate.  I think maps are going to be important to making the propicking mechanic as it stands tolerable for more people.


So one option, perhaps the easiest, is to just let the player put waypoint on their minimap.  If one wanted to make it more involved, I think it'd be interesting if the waypoints only show up if the player has a map object and compass on them.   Perhaps even the minimap only adds new chunks if the player is carrying writing materials (paper, pen/pencil).  For every chunk mapped, material is used up.  I think you could also add some surveying tools to the mix (spyglass etc).  The chunks are added when a player enters them, so early on you can't use the map to see into chunks you haven't visited.  But later the player can make better surveying instruments, which will add the chunks at a greater distance, so the player does not have to manually traverse every chunk.  If quality of instrument were in play, it could instead be a block radius, with better quality increasing the radius.  It's be pretty neat if you could copy your map, give it to another player, and it would add all your info to their map.


Waypoints are all well and good, but sometimes there's 8+ ores in a spot.  That's a lot of typing.   Perhaps the player can also make a mineral map, one they put in their hotbar and right click to look at.  They carry this, plus the paper/writing instruments, and as long as the writing instrument is in their hotbar when they get a propick result, that result is added to the ore map.  I could be added as a single dot, and the player mouses over to see a list of the results there.  Or, there could be a different sheet for each ore.  This would be nice as a spot could appear with the ppm, so you don't have to mouse over, and can get a quick read just by looking.  Maybe color based dots and number, depending on density.  Even though each ore has it's own map, they're all part of one map object.  I'm not asking the player to carry dozens of maps on them.  This ore map might only indicate general geography (water, mountains, etc) so that the marks stand out easier.  The player could also perhaps add text notes of their own making.

Ore specific maps could also simply show the gradated color map like what the game generates to represent density, rather than text.   I suppose one chunk at a time.  Only thing about this is results can vary a pretty good amount even within a chunk.  But maybe for mapping purposes that's close enough. 

I'm imagining for ore specific maps, when you're viewing the map you'd simply have a row of ore icons across the top of the map, and clicking the icon shows you the map for that ore.

So that's a couple thoughts I had on mapping in general, and how it might relate to ores.  Curious what other players might think.

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I like physical landmarks because it's more natural(when people ask for directions you don't tell them latitude and longitude unless they are flying or on a boat) and it tells other players that someone has been there before and maybe what they found. For instance, I'm currently looking for tin in the multiplayer server and I find it very helpful when I come across other peoples signs because it tells me everything of worth might already be gone and saves me the trouble of needing to propick that area.

I really like the ideas of requiring materials to update your map, spyglass auto recording an area around you depending on quality and elevation. I love the idea of trading for maps that someone has already taken the time to go out and survey. For instance, say you had a map and your friend was on. Being able then to update their map with yours would be awesome. Say someone wanted to buy your map information for a specific area. Being able to share that specific area and toggle on and off propick results and private notes would be fantastic. That way you could just buy the map data to fill in missing parts of your map or just buy their propick results because you don't care about what the area looks like. In the future if players are allowed to claim land, that would also be useful if an outline of the claimed area automatically showed up on everyone's map

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Ya I don't know if anyone else leaves signs on the official server, but leave them almost everywhere.   It is indeed helpful, and especially as you say, for denoting which caves are already explored.  This is, however, a friendly server.  In a larger, more adversarial server where resource competition is a thing, people are not going to be wanting to help others by leaving signs about, so a notated map would be very good.  

This page lists a lot of medieval time period navigational and surveying instruments.  Aside from the obvious compass, I think the most appropriate instruments listed on that page are the Astrolabe/Backstaff/quadrant (all find longitude), and reflecting circle (latitude).  Marine chronometers and sextants are more recent inventions, but could also be included.

This page talks about a few Egyptian surveying techniques, including the machet and groma.  Maybe too ancient for VS though and too simple honestly.

So, I think perhaps an appropriate tiering would be compass, astrolabe, spyglass, reflecting circle.   It would be interesting if the astrolabe only worked at night, and the backstaff during the day.  That would be 5 total in that case.  I put the reflecting circle last because historically it was invented more recently I think, but if the astrolabe/backstaff are a pair, it might make more sense for them to be final tier.  I put the spyglass next to final tier (rather than perhaps second) because it would also be a desirable tool in it's own right, aside from surveying.  They may not need to be strictly tiered either.  It could simply be the fact that the player has to choose how many slots of inventory they want to devote to increasing their surveying radius, and if they want to do it both day and night.

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It would be nice to have mapping more fleshed out.  If VS gives us enough reason to explore (biome specific items, unique artifacts only spawning in dungeons, etc)  in the future then mapping should be a fun and important part of gameplay.  The idea of climbing a mountain to survey an area with a spyglass and map the loaded chunks is a very interesting one.  In Minecraft when I wanted to mark a way point on a map, I'd put a copy of the map in the item frame in the location I wanted to mark.  I would do this to mark villages and personal bases, etc.  Thats more of a trick than a feature though.  I like the idea of placing physical waypoints in the world and having it appear on the map automatically.  This could be marked with a symbol that you can select from a list depending on what you want to mark.  Village, , cave, dungeon, portal, etc.  I wouldn't mind seeing my place of death marked on the map so I could retrieve my items.  Also it would be cool if villages sold maps of the surrounding chunks.  People who don't have any interest in mapping can buy maps and piece them together into bigger maps.  This would at least get you from village to village and anything along a road but would leave much of the wilderness up to you to explore.  

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  • 4 months later...

Lately I got dragged back to MC through some friends and we had to use the "Antique Atlas" for mapping in the beginner stages. I think it would be quite nice to make extra equipslot for a Map which provides then a minimap of the area where you ve been before, just that it is rough and might need some polishing from the player. Like "waypoints" in the form of a village, ore, really high mountains, lakes, streets and that maybe sizable to it fits the actual thing.

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I think many ideas here are really good, but is a point about personal preference and gameplay style. 
It's weird, for me, because I am the first to always insist on realism and having a map with a bird's eye view magically self-populate is not very realistic.

Even though, I have to admit, that I got used to it and would prefer the map to follow a system similar to "Journey Map". 
Yeahh, I know, and I always ended up with hundreds of waypoints, so management of waypoints was an issue in itself. But it worked for me, in a way that left me free to concentrate on the other aspects of the game.


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  • 2 months later...


here some of my ideas about maps.

In order to have more fun, and more durability of the game, would be nice to obtain map in steps, maybe related to some "quests".

At beginning you are, ofcourse, without a map.

To start you need animal leather and a carchoal to build first one, that would be in 2 colors (b/n). You can add limited waypoints (eg. max 5 waypoints and only predefined icons - no text). Of course at beginning your map is empty/covered with fog of war except for areas you already visited.

Later you can get some plant to obtain paper and various items to obtain colors, so you can build a new map. Still limited waypoint but with text now, and in different colors (for wypoint and for text).

Then you can find "sun stone" (icelandic spavin) and learn how to practically use a map, maybe you have to reach some specified waypoint on the map. That unlocks a big point on the map that indicates your position.

Then you can build a magnet and then build a compass to add to a map. That unlocks cursor shape on the map, so you can understand in wich direction you are looking. And maybe also a visible compass on your UI?

Then you can build glass so you can build spyglass to add to a map to extend range to uncover fog of war.

Optional, you can build a sextant to make cursor on your map smaller and more precise.

Optional, you can buil balloons, to fly hight and uncover fog of war in a very big area all in once.

Then, if you want to reach technology level, you can build circuit to build a GPS. That adds always visible map (top right corner of the screen), always visible compass, possibility to add waypoint you can see directly on your UI, estimated arrival time, and maybe best way to reach it.

All of this if you don't want to involve magic. But is easy to find some steps in this case too.

Can be interesting possibility to share maps between players. Maybe i can make a copy of my actual map and give to another player, that can use some table/instrument to merge his copy with new one to obtain a new map with more visible territory and waypoins.

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  • 1 month later...

Seems nice, but i think is too much complicated, too many stats. I was thinking something more balanced, something in between building something with 1 click and building something in real time putting piece by piece. And to give a meaning to steps nedded to build something i was thinking to major discoveries made during centuries needed to buil something, and ofcourse something that has some inpact (other than extending skill tree) on gameplay.

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Too many stats? I'm talking about just the first 30 seconds of that trailer. Using a map and sighting equipment to fill in the map.

If I were designing the map. The first map would be blank and you'd be allowed to make waypoints and mark them with different symbols. By using different tools you'd be able to do things like triangulate your location on the map, fill the map in with more detail, add layers and overlays, etc. No GPS features. If the feature can't be done using pen and paper then it isn't added. 

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