Why compass, no map?

S3ZB0NS3ZB0N Members Join Date: 2020-10-15 Member: 264719Posts: 6 Fully active user
Just some personal rant first, read on if you like this kind of stuff, otherwise skip it completely or go take a look further down when I get back to topic. :smile:

I am a veteran gamer from the days of first pc games, even before doom etc. In the beginning it was a combination of text and graphics mainly. Those text rpg's were actually quite good sometimes. But I remember them just faintly. First game I remember playing had just 4 lines on it or something, two to define a road, one to define the horizon and another one just for the heck of it.

But I stopped playing games around 2010-2012 or so, because I started feeling too old. And also, not sure if it was me or the gaming industry, but there was a phase when not one single game could catch my attention. It was all commercial, console-port drivel. And it didn't look as if things would get any better. And I have other hobbies, you know, like reading, mainly.

Anyway, then in 2019 my old work-horse pc broke down, so I decided to build a new pc. In the older times I used to buy custom built gaming pc's from a local shop which I know was doing a very good job. So even though I was a dedicated gamer way way back, I had never built my on pc. But now in 2019 I just built one for fun. Also this shop had gone bankrupt and I didn't like any ready-made options, so I had to make my own. I mainly do photography editing, so it was again a pc built mainly for work. But then I decided to throw in a fairly good graphics card and, BLAMMO! I had a very good gaming pc, built by myself. And even though I didn't want to go playing games again, I decided to just try out a few, to see how my pc was doing and to also to test its limits.

I tried a few games, one really expensive AAA title, which I refunded in just 30mins. A few other games I was like: ok, that's quite creative. Though I did not refund those, I didn't finish them or I used some cheats to be doen asap. But then I decided for some reason to check out Subnautica. MY GOD, it's just pure genius, pure enjoyment and pure gaming excellence. I just don't understand why the gaming industry has been dominated by games like Doom for so long. There were some funny games like the older Lucas Arts adventure games, but those didn't have a lot of movement. It was static screens with static movement. But games like Doom and Quake and clones were all just grim, dark, filled with demons and enemies and everything. Even though I played those back in the days, I always wondered why there wasn't more fun in gaming. Duke Nukem 3d was quite funny and colorful, which was actually the exception.

Subnautica is such a lovely, colorful, creative game, it made me love gaming again. And since I'm addicted.

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Though I have always had one major problem with Subnautica: the lack of a map. In later playthroughs I have used the map mod, but I also sometimes re-play without using it. Playing without a map is perhaps the first time a big challenge, but after playing the game a dozen times or so, it really doesn't matter much anymore. Whereas having a definite compass is actually much much more convenient in my view.

I don't understand how one can have all that technology and a compass and still can't map the world oneself. I understand that a map would make the game a bit too easy perhaps, but a little bit of creativity would have solved that problem.

So here is my suggestion for how to add this feature or perhaps use it in a future iteration on another planet or something.

I am not sure if having a north pole, which also corresponds to the magnetic pole is something unique to our planet earth, or something that is common to all planets. Anyway, what if:

1. the use of a standard compass that always points towards the north or something like that is actually not possible, because the magnetic field is erratic on this planet.
2. one can build a custom compass that points to a zero-point the player chooses. This can be your lifepod or your base or whatever. And also, you can reset this zero-point. So stuff would not be relative to a definite point outside your world, but to a relative point within your world. Which would make it a bit more confusing, but also fun I think.
3. one could create 2 kinds of beacons, one kind to define a spot, like the ones we already have, and another one for creating a grid.
4. every 100 and 250 meters one needs to place these new kinds of beacons and once one puts beacons in 4 spots, one can create a map of that partion of the game world in a rectangle. If the beacons are too far apart, this does not work. So placement is of big importance. This map would not work like the maps we know, which are very precise, but would work with triangulations.
5. the 100m beacons would need one battery to work and would give you certain limited info. If the battery runs out, you would need to go replace it, or leave it be, because one is not interested in that part of the world at that moment, but than one would loose info on the map for that grid due to that.
6. the 250m beacons would work with a power cell and like the 100m beacons could run out of energy. These 250m beacons would give you more info, also on resources and really big fish etc. but also terrain and stuff.

This all wold make the map a part of discovering the world, it would be something one builds up bit by bit. And still it would not be definite, like a ready made map. It would make the game even more challenging I believe, as a perfectly working compass is actually a very powerfull device. A compass that only points towards your base though, doesn't give you definite info on the locations of two other landmarks relative to each other. So either one goes to ones base and then goes to another location, or one goes to another location directly, but without precies info. Challenging and fun I believe.

Anyway, just my two cents, just give us a map of some sort, darn it. :smiley:


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