Indiepocalypse Double Feature: The Maps of Our Mind
Maps! As crucial a part of the game world as they are our own. The spaces we inhabit, visit, and create are vast and aided immensely by maps. Whether they are constructed formally, casually, or simply exist within our heads are a way we come to understanding our surroundings.
The RPG often casts us into a vast multi-continental world far apart from our own. Though world maps would become an increasing fixture of games, there still exist many worlds where we rely on our own navigation skills and the helpful directions of townsfolk. LanVodis by Sraëka-Lillian provides no map and immerses you one layer deeper by limiting your line of sight in the way the terrain naturally would. You visions breaks at the start of a mountain range and within a forest you see nothing more the trees in front of you.
This is experience is bewildering at first. You only stumble upon new territory by virtue of having not traveled very far. But with time you begin to double back on familiar towns and landscapes as all sense of progress seems to vanish. Or does it? The realization that these towns and landscapes are familiar and that you are slowly beginning to piece together the shape of world in your minds opens you up to the beauty of becoming familiar with a wholly fictional space.
And the maps we make are themselves bound by no strict laws or rules and By the World’s Wind by Leonardo Price is a game centered around exploring a world and creating its map. A handmade map is an exploration of a person as much as it is a place. What are the landmarks? How are they visually represented? In By the World’s Wind you are placed in a water covered world, given a blank map to draw, and provided no direction with how to chart your course.
The world is dotted in landmarks with little secrets scattered throughout. There is no main quest line and no important spaces outside the ones you yourself designate. How do you then represent it? What is your map of the world?