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5fivefifteen15 @ 08:47 pm: mapping in zork
Does anyone understand how to map in zork? The compass directions just make absolutely no sense. You go east. Then you go west. You should be back where you started, but you're not. You go in the same direction twice and you end up where you started. Sometimes.

The online maps I've viewed look fairly reasonable, but I can't figure out how to navigate from them, since if I try to go south in the game there's only about a 50/50 chance that I will end up going south on the map. Really all it's good for is giving me a general idea of what's around me.

Honestly, I feel like I'm constantly in the room in which my compass stops working. I wish I could just drop my compass to lighten my load. It's not like it does me any good at all.


P.S. I've started a new community, bankofzork -- for all you zork fans, join at bankofzork. I'm pretty sure this is the only community dedicated solely to zork, although I could be wrong...

Current Location: university of chicago dorm
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: the lion sleeps tonight -- beach boys


Date:February 28th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
One of the best references I found to the Infocom games was A Shortcut Through Adventure Land Volume II - Infocom. It has a meticulous and accurate map of the maze in Zork I. It's a very difficult book to find nowadays, as it was published back in 1984. I have a copy, but I'm not parting with it. You might luck out in finding one on Amazon or ebay, though.

As for the whole issue of going north then not being able to get back to where you were by going south, I tend to look at it this way: You've gone north from one room, and the path curves off to the right, for example. That would mean that when you enter the next room, to go back, you'd have to go west instead of south, following the same curve of the path. I find it gives the games a more "real world" feel, as not everything is connected by laser-straight passageways.

Heck, the passageway could ascend into another area, too, and the only way out of it might be down instead of south. Though, in that case, unless you've gone straight up a ladder or a set of spiral stairs, it should be possible to move in a compass direction, as normal stairs or a slope would point off in a particular direction.
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Date:March 1st, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
I can't believe I didn't think of it that way before. I'm such a spatial idiot, I embarass myself.

> I find it gives the games a more "real world" feel, as not everything is connected by laser-straight passageways.

Agreed. But the real world is damned annoying sometimes...

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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Date:March 2nd, 2007 05:14 am (UTC)
I wish you had written the code. Would've saved me a lot of confusion. :P
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Date:March 2nd, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
Ideally it would always explain the twists:

Shattered Stalagmites
The rough and uneven floor is litteed with stalagmite fragments.
A tiny crawlway leading north looks as though it was carved out 
of the rock with a chisel, one tiny chip of rock at a time.

The rough passage bends slightly to your right as you ascend.

Marble Oubliette
The walls, floor and ceiling of this room are flat slabs of
white marble with thin pale grey veins.  The slabs are cracked
in the southwest corner of the room, where a rough-hewn passage 
leads slightly downward.

> SW
As you descend, the rough-hewn passage turns to the south.

Shattered Stalagmites
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