Saturday, January 05, 2008

Right Tool For The Right Job

I made this map of the maze in an old game called The Lurking Horror. One of the particularly difficult aspects of the maze was that conventional directions (North, South, East, West, Up, Down) were unreliable. As the game explains, you are lost. Therefore, just because you travel north from room #1 to room #2, doesn't mean you can go south and end up back in room #1 (in fact, you must go east).

Therefore, in addition to the normal mapping you might do, I had to add labels to indicate which direction led where. What I ended up with on my first couple attempts to map it (MS Paint, then drawing by hand) was a twisted jumble that would be no use to anyone.

In order to be able to map, and simultaneously untwist the lines connecting the rooms easily, I decided to try Dia. Since I can connect a pathway from one room to another, this allows me to rearrange the rooms in whatever position I want without losing those paths. So, it was easy for me to create a map where no paths crossed, making the final product (convoluted as it is) much easier to read.

I exported it to JPEG format with Dia, then resized it with GIMP.