and talking about maps!!

I realized why the idea of constellations has always swayed me. constellations are so very human.

our wonder of the stars is bone-sunk; we’ve been thinking and dreaming and watching and watching and watching since the beginning of time, and we looked for so long that we started making connections. 

we played a celestial game of connect-the-dots; trying to find order in something so vast and trying to show that the stars are in everything and everything is in the stars.

we plucked pictures out of the infinite; there’s a dog, there’s a bear, there’s a lion, see? look, right there; the stars hold and mirror back everything. 

but then it went a step further. instead of everyday things, we stopped picking out the cups and the bears, and instead we saw stories. 

look, there’s Andromeda, chained to a rock and waiting to be devoured by Cetus. there’s Orion, and Hercules, and do you see Orpheus’ lyre? Zeus sent an eagle to retrieve it after Orpheus’ death and he placed it in the sky. 

we did the most human thing imaginable: we wrote our stories into the stars. we filled the night sky; previously so vast, so unknowable; with our history. we forged connections to the stars and made it so our children will always know where they come from. 

SPOILERS AHEAD: SOMBRA’S NAME

Zarya learns Sombra’s true name in the new comics.


I know why.


In-game on the Dorado map, Sombra talks about “stopping by the bakery”. The same bakery from Soldier 76’s animated short.


The girl in it, Alejandra, her mom OWNS the bakery. One Sombra has been going to for more than likely all her life. So they know her.


Alejandra knows her.


Sombra has been ratted out by a kid.

it gets easier to talk about but it also gets harder to talk about. i have to unfold things carefully, but the map shows better. here’s the first time i got hit by a parent, here’s the first time i got hit by a partner. they’re around the corner from each other, mirror images or hands holding or two sides of a blade. the look on people’s faces always is the same when they find out. like the words hurt them in the pit of their stomach. i feel bad when it does that; i know what it’s like to be suckerpunched. often i comfort people right after: oh, no, it’s okay, i’m okay now, it’s fine, i’m all in one piece, i got out, i’m a resilience child, i learned kindness, i found inner peace, i meditate twice a day, i do yoga and drink kale shakes and eat as if nobody ever made my teeth bleed. some of these are lies, but that is fine too, because it’s better that people don’t know an ugly truth.

sometimes i forget who in the room knows. i laugh about what happened like a punchline (get it) and people stare at me with mouths open like moons. oh my god, did that really happen to you? i don’t know. sometimes it feels like it happened to someone else, out on a distant planet. sometimes it feels like it never happened at all. sometimes it feels like it’s still happening. how can you laugh at that? and is that true? how do i say “because if i don’t laugh it’s serious” because of course it’s true. for proof: raise your hand a fraction too smooth. watch the shadow pass over my face. watch me curl away. watch me change. like a chameleon girl, i shift my shape. someone who doesn’t know laughs. you’re certainly jumpy. the girl at the table who helped me cover the bruise stares at me, watching my chest, trying to figure out if i’m panicking. he’s confused when quiet are you okay questions touch my skin - only those who know, only those who are watching.

and i smile, because it’s easier to talk about but it’s harder to admit it still effects me. memories should be left in the kingdom of dreams. sometimes i feel like i should be done with it already. i stare at a picture of cartoons that says if you don’t know these, you didn’t have a childhood. i know all but two of them. some of them i watched after it happened. i really liked scooby doo. in the end, the mask comes off and the bad guy is revealed and he goes to jail. in real life, i wait for someone to come take his mask off. it just makes him mean. the blue lights of the law never show up on the green of our lawn. i had a pretty good childhood, i think. it made me interesting, at least. i picked blueberries.

i laugh about it a lot. talk about how it’s funny that if you got abused there’s just, like, a second round of partner abuse, sitting out there, waiting for you. that you’re the most likely to pick an abuser from the crowd - or worse, like beauty and the beast, watch yourself become her. see your rotten hands and think of your father. isn’t that funny! that i can take a hit and i’d rather take a lifetime of them than be the one doing the giving just once. i talk about how you walk in the eclipse of it. that it confuses you when the sun comes out. that when you find someone who won’t hurt you, you still walk on eggshells, waiting for them to hurt you. i say it through a smile, because if you bend yourself the right way, your life looks more like comedy-drama than just plain tragedy. i watch fantastic beasts and where to find them and when the abused child turns out to be beyond saving, i hear myself laugh in a bark. or it was a sob. i can’t tell. it doesn’t matter. in my world, children like me learned about magic early, and how our own actions can turn a man from a gentle person into a savage beast. 

okay, i say, smiling, maybe if you put it that way, yeah, i was abused and it wasn’t funny. but come on. think of the puns! you could say my life was really a hit! now don’t be upset. it’s funny. it’s funny. it’s funny.

Dungeon Design: Guiding Player Movement Part I

This is a guide to influencing your players to go where you want them to go. It’s like railroading, but more calculated and nearly invisible during a game. Here in Part 1 I am talking about purely visual properties and composition of a dungeon map. Throughout this post I am using a map from a previous dungeon my players went through. For context, it’s an ice cavern made into a lair for a clan of frost giants. Hidden somewhere within is a secret entrance to the lost tomb of a hero, which is their goal to find for this floor. Check out Part II here.


Leading the Players

Leading lines are lines that lead the players from one point of the map to another, much like in the composition of a photo or painting. Use them to less-than-subtly direct players in the direction you wish. Strong leading lines start from a large shape and end at a small shape, subconsciously simulating depth. Imagine someone pointing at a faraway object. You start at the person’s body, then arm, then finger, and finally at the direction they are pointing.

In the above image I’ve drawn out the leading lines. They are formed by the lines denoting elevated areas in the northwest room, the barrels in the northern room, the stone pillars in the eastern room, and miscellaneous objects in the southern room.

The stars on the map indicate the end goals that lead to the next level (there were two possible places in case they found one area before the other). The leading lines try to funnel players towards these goals.

Ways to create leading lines:

Actual lines: walls, barriers, elevation changes (marked by a line), floor tiling, rugs, long tables, etc.

Repeating Pattern: repeated objects that form a sequence can create a leading line.

Keep reading

I love Reinhardt so much because he’s like this huge buff intimidating old man in a steel armor with a giant hammer that he rams into his opponents… but he’s also a fan of D.Va and shyly asks her to say her catchphrase, he calls his teammates “my friends”, he shouts “wait for me!” when he respawns, he talks about his tan in the map Watchpoint: Gibraltar, he tells Ana she’s as lovely as ever, he often says “I’m not as young as I used to be” when he charges into an obstacle, and when Pharah tells him she used to have posters of him in her room when she was little, he says “I remember the poster! I had good hair in it!”

Tl;dr: Reinhardt is amazing and I’m growing so fond of him

Jungle Inferno’s New Maps!

With only Day 1 out of 4 for the Jungle Inferno update, we’ve had a lovely introduction to Saxton Hale and his theme park - which is actually also a map packaged in this update. 

But that’s not the only map that’s shipping with this update. Let’s also talk about not one, but FIVE more maps that were brought out of the workshop and brought over to the jungle, complete with some words from their authors about what we can expect from each map!


1. Mercenary Park

After a decade of dustbowls and gravel pits, it’s time to pack your snorkel, find your flip-flops, and endure a series of painful yellow fever vaccinations to your abdomen, because Team Fortress is heading to the tropics! Introducing Mercenary Park, a new jungle-themed disease-ridden 3-control point map, made in-house by us!

2. Lazarus

Lazarus is a compact 90-degree mirrored symmetry King of the Hill map designed for consideration for the upcoming Jungle Update. Lazarus is a Jungle map set on a volcanic island in Southeast Asia, revolving around RED & BLU’s island bases and the archaeological dig site they’re fighting over in search of the Fountain of Youth! 

3. Mossrock

Mossrock is a 2CP Attack/Defend map (Gorge-Like) jungle map, with deathpits, trains and mind-controlling radio broadcast stations.

4. Banana Bay

A chaotic payload race taking place along the cliffs of a tropical cove. This is a rotationally symmetrical map designed around a rail bridge with a train that acts as a hazard, flow redirector, and finale. Think last stage of Cactus Canyon, but PLR. Also more vertical. 

5. Enclosure

Welcome, to Charles Darling’s Triassic Preserve! The past - today! Enclosure is a three-stage payload map inspired by your favorite dinosaur movie.

6. Brazil

Koth_brazil, a King of the Hill map that takes place in a secret base in the jungle, where players fight for radar control.  


Congratulations to all the mappers, asset designers, art pass artists, coffee lackeys, and any additional roles we missed out who were involved in the creation of these maps and had them accepted into the game! Which map are you most excited to play for Jungle Inferno? 

4

Admiral Konstantine, deploy your fleet to these coordinates

We will join you shortly

D&D Dungeon Design: Flow, Rhythm, and Pacing

image source: World of Warcraft instance map of the Naxxramas dungeon

My last post talked about the concepts of contrast relating to dungeon design. Here I want to explore how sequencing of contrast builds anticipation and then later resolves that anticipation. It’s basically a study in how to create drama in your dungeon. Let’s define a few things first:

Flow: The emotional movement of dungeon encounters/spaces in sequence.

Rhythm: Variation or lack thereof in the sequencing of dungeon encounters/spaces.

Pacing: The changes in tempo/emotion of the rhythm and flow of a dungeon.

When I say dungeon encounters/spaces, I mean that these can refer to encounter difficulty, encounter type, room design, monster types, or anything else in your dungeon that can be put into sequence. Use rhythm, flow, and pacing as abstract concepts when planning out all parts of your dungeon. Now let’s see how these can be used:

Keep reading

A Couple Updates On My Mom and GW2

My mom, with 4 100% map completed characters, has just now decided she’s brave enough to go into Heart of Thorns. She died to pocket raptors.

She’s filled her materials storage (wood, cloth/leather, and ores) 4 times and still refuses to buy the storage expansion.

Despite having played for a full year now, I’m still woken up in the middle of the night with “Stacy, do something about my inventory.”

She engaged in map chat once because someone was talking about dogs and she got really excited about it. She talked about it for a week.

After watching the PoF release she’s excited for the jackal mount. “I can go so fast. Those darned tiny dinosaurs from hell will never see me.”

Every time the announcement showed one of the devs we met at last year’s PAX West afterparty she said “Hey! We met them!” She hoping we can go this year too.

She made an Asura last night after putting it off for a year because “I’ll lose my little lady on the screen”.

Guild Wars 2 has made my mom more southern. Every few minutes while she’s in a high level map I hear “Gawd bless it”, the accent growing thicker each time.

Her elementalist, the first character she made, is currently still in DR from Wintersday. I asked why and apparently she’s still working off the drinks? My mom’s decided that her ele is a “lush” and it will take months for the drinking effects to disappear. She refused to listen to why that’s not how it works by claiming that I’m ruining her canon.

She wants to be a pirate queen and doesn’t like that we kill Taidha.

 Her favorite class so far is the Ranger, and she’s very, very proud of having every pet unlocked (except the HoM ones. I may get a second gw1 account so i can get her those too)

She still questions why we can’t choose what our swimsuits look like. Also, she’s almost done with the diving goggles achievement.

please ban game theory

game series with history of having a theme of corrupt cops has a game with corrupt cops more at 11

JAPANESE DEVELOPED VIDEO GAME HAS A MAP BASED ON A JAPANESE CITY, TALK ABOUT A CULTURE SHOCK

this one speaks for itself honestly

bogeyman = furry confirmed

now this is some discourse

mario is crazy, what an edgy ableist theory

“i think i’m smarter than the people who literally created zelda”

this one isnt even a theory did you fucking play earthbound you stupid asshole?

???????????

“i think i’m smarter than the game creator, part 2″

Book maps: love ‘em or hate 'em?

I was talking on twitter the other day about how I wish book maps would fold out so you could see it while reading. I think that’s be pretty cool as a standard for the genre, at least for hardcovers (paperbacks would probably be a bit trickier) 

What do y'all think?

there’s a lot of MAP discourse on my dash right now and while, speaking from experience, it’s exhausting to deal with pedophiles and pedophile supporters, I’m also glad that there’s so many people speaking against it.


MAP positivity and pedophiles being open about their pedophilia has definitely grown astronomically in the last couple of years but that doesn’t mean that pedophiles all suddenly came online at once.


they were always there, inviting themselves into the rp groups of young teenagers and using their influence to groom kids into dangerous situations. and no one talked about it.


they were always there, offering kids advice on their blogs and repeating “age is just a number” over and over, sharing those images that have two people, labeled with 16 and 31, captioned with “love is love.” and no one talked about it.


and in my opinion that’s why pedophiles grew bolder, knowing that no one talked about it. and in my opinion that’s why it’s important we started talking about it now.

i’m not over how remus lupin talked about the marauders to harry
“yeah the guys who made this map are so dark, edgy, and mysterious. they wanted to lure you out of the castle cause it’s funny. ha! they were that cool and mysterious and you should be scared of them harry.”
as if the four of them didn’t make that map because they got lost in that stupid castle maze one too many times.