Scarecrow’s First Nightmare

Not so much the map of a place as it is the map of an event. I though it’d be interesting, ampoule seeing as you never actually go anywhere new, but your perception of the world changes drastically as you fall deeper into Scarecrow’s influence.

I found the Scarecrow events to be by far the best parts of the game, and in fact, some of the most exciting and unexpected things to happen in any game.

Interesting.  Puts me in mind of the same sort of one-place-with-multiple-faces thing that the Silent Hill series has made some good use of at times — the way that assumed familiarity with a location can make subtle (or often not-so-subtle) changes an effective way to disturb or disorient the player.

first screen

This is the opening scene in Starwars: KOTOR, site as far as I can remember. You’re in a space ship and stuff is sparking and warning beeps are going off because bad stuff is happening! You wake up with no idea who you are and no one else seems to know either (plot point!). The gray circle is the select tool, and most of this scene is just a tutorial on how to select and equip. You’re naked because you have to put clothes on, obviously. I put some sort of health display in too because I’m pretty sure there was one. Great memories!

Ha!  Totally great, yeah; very nice First Screen entry.

And you immediately get the awkward “boy you sure must have been rattled by us being attacked by spaceships if you need me to explain to you how to move the mouse and use the inventory and put some damn clothes on!” NPC tutorial speech that tries to pretend it’s not blatant metagame knowledge but of course is inescapably just that indeed.  Manages to be far more ridiculous than an actual tutorial overlay without being really any less intrusive or immersion-breaking.

Vault 13

There’s not too much to this map, and I couldn’t remember the locations of the various NPCs on Level Two. But this site needs more Fallout and it was a fun way to kill an hour on a Sunday morning :)

Maybe I’ll try something more ambitious sometime, like Junktown or the Hub.

Woo!  At this rate we’ll end up with an entire map of the Fallout games.  This is not a bad thing.

first screen

Hi there!  I don’t know if you would want to use this for your starting screen thing or not.  This area is the very first screen, but it’s seen from a behind-the-back view, which is, of course, not how I’ve done it. 

This is the garage area of Jet Set Radio Future for the original Xbox.  It’s completely from memory, and this game likes to throw a lot of details at you, so there’s plenty missing.  And I can’t be 100% sure of the exits to the other areas in the game, but it’s pretty close.  I just finished this game and loved it, and this area serves as a safe space and the hub world throughout the adventure.

Thailand

I was on the QA team for Tomb Raider: Underworld. This meant that I played the game upwards of 40 hours a week for 6 or 7 months. So you’d think I’d remember all the levels perfectly, right? Wrong. XD

This is what I recall of Chapter 2’s Thailand level, one of the most visually impressive areas in the game.

Some of the details I’ve left out due to lack of space, others due to lack of memory. The area just outside the temple (with the waterfall and the tigers) is especially fuzzy in my mind, and I can’t for the life of me remember what the puzzles to lower Shiva’s arms involved. However, I DO remember that there used to be a separate path back to the main room from the “climbing and lizards” area. It was eventually cut from the game because going through it triggered some sort of memory issue that caused the “reflecty gems” to disappear.

Totally great.  Iconographic maps like this make me think that it’d be really fantastic (if pretty time-intensive) to play a game of “telephone” with game maps and walkthroughs: start with someone’s map of a game you’ve never played; implement a small game that fits that map; have someone else play that game for a while and then draw their own map of it; have someone further use that map as the blueprint to implement a small game; and so on, mutating a game world through a chain of people like a myth carried on as oral tradition.

Maybe something for folks to do next time Ludum Dare rolls around?

The Den (west)

The first time you play Fallout 2 is usually quite difficult, generic because there isn’t an obvious early game progression in equipment (you start off with a spear and don’t get good guns or armor until well through the Vault City portion of the game, unless you get lucky and come across a well-equipped dead person).

One way to sidestep that difficulty is by visiting The Den, a town mostly populated by drug addicts and the local slaver’s guild. There are two “merchants” (read: drug dealers) here, Tubby and Floyd, who have a significant amount of good equipment that you can buy. Alternatively, you can kill them and take their stuff, which will kit you out through the middle of the game. Since The Den is essentially lawless, there are no real repercussions for doing so, though you’re liable to sit through an endless procession of speed-freak addicts shuffling away from you in turn-based terror. Also, watch out for the children standing by doorways – they will steal random shit from you. Better to steal it back than blow them away.

Tubby and Floyd.  Never liked those guys.  I can’t remember if I ever had the patience and kit to properly do a sneaky heist or if I just thought about it a lot.

First Screen details

In the First Screen Challenge, prostate do you mean the first screen like the start screen or main menu of the game or the first thing you see when you start the game?

Yes!  It’s open to interpretation.  If the menu for a given game is more memorable for you than the actual “I just started, drugstore there’s my guy!” screen that starts game play, feel free to draw the menu.  Heck, draw both!