Created By: xnamkcor on September 13, 2012
Nuked

Asteroids Map

Look At That Arrow.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A game can be as beautiful as it wants to, but you often find yourself staring at the Map overlay and navigating the little arrow around the map, completely ignoring the actual landscape.
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • September 13, 2012
    StarValkyrie
    So is this about when gamers are so busy navigating that they get tunnel vision or is it about space games where you have to navigate through asteroid fields with your ship represented as an arrow? The former is definitely not a trope. Not sure about the latter.
  • September 13, 2012
    spacemarine50
    If Asteroids is the Trope Namer, it is not an example. Is this when blindingly following the arrow is not the best way to navigate?
  • September 13, 2012
    xnamkcor
    It's when looking at the arrow is sufficient or even more convenient way of navigating.
  • September 14, 2012
    Arivne
    So is this a Video Game trope?

    Anyone have any examples?
  • September 14, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • September 14, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Grandia III, Valkyrie Profile 2(Maybe 1), Shining Force EXA, Dark Cloud.

    The maps exist within the game, it's not strictly a reaction of the audience.
  • September 14, 2012
    DracMonster
    Diablo, big time.

    I think this is legit, but I cant think of a good name (Too Busy Navigating The Map To Look At The Scenery?), and it's kind of hard to describe succinctly to someone who hasn't played one of these games.

    Map Navigation Tunnel Vision?
  • September 14, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Succinct description: The main view is pretty, but the mini-map is efficient. Players end up navigating by looking only at the mini-map and don't see the pretty landscape in the main view.

    Real phenomenon, certainly, but Not A Trope.
  • September 14, 2012
    xnamkcor
    If you assume that only writing can yield tropes, yes this is not a trope. But tropes transcend writing. "Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations." Replace "writer" with "developer" and there is not reason this does not fit.
  • September 14, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    I do not assume that. This describes something players do, not something developers do. The player is the audience; Audience Reactions are not tropes.
  • September 14, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Just because an audience member is participating, does not mean it was not done by the developers. If this were true we would need to purge all video game related tropes that aren't strictly part of the dialogue. The map system is not a reaction, The map system is part of the game.
  • September 14, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    I agree this is not a trope.
  • September 14, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    ^^ "If this were true we would need to purge all video game related tropes that aren't strictly part of the dialogue."

    Incorrect. There are many things that are done deliberately by the developers, which are valid video game tropes, but this is not one of them.

    The map system is part of the game. How it is used may not be, especially when using it this way means the player misses out on content.
  • September 14, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Are you saying developers don't deliberately make the maps easy to use?
  • September 14, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Obviously not. Please spend a similar amount of energy on trying to understand, as is being spent on arguing.

    You are not making a distinction between how something is designed to be used and how it is actually used. That one-sentence description is about how something is actually used. Something players do. A creator is unlikely to intentionally spend time designing a feature whose purpose is to cause their audience to miss other stuff they spent time designing. If you disagree, please give an example.

    (Note that Game Breaker is very similar. Ostensibly the developer meant to make the sword strong, but not that strong. It is an Audience Reaction.)
  • September 14, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Have you played RP Gs(Oh god, that kerning) before? Hiding things is a major element. Even kid games like Pokemon and Mystic Quest have hidden things.
  • September 14, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    That is a false analogy. Hidden things are usually meant to be found. Imagine a game where something is hidden and not meant to be found. Players would assume the decision to hide it was made after it was created. The burden of proof would be on the person who claimed that it was designed from the beginning to be hidden and not found, because that's ridiculous.

    A creator is unlikely to intentionally spend time designing a feature whose purpose is to cause their audience to (permanently) miss other stuff they spent time designing. If you disagree, please give an example.
  • September 14, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Just because they can or are meant to be found does not mean the developers won't make an effort to hide them. If you make it too easy to find everything just because you're too vain to risk something of your creation will never be seen, then your game might become dull or too easy.
  • September 14, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    :)
  • September 15, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Could we at least admit that the map system itself is at least Tropish?
  • September 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ I think we already have it covered. Look up Map Tropes and see if one does.
  • September 15, 2012
    Stratadrake
    How so? Minimaps can generally be classified by:

    • Visualization (how accurately it reflects player-traversible space)
    • Orientation (whether the minimap rotates with the camera so that "up" represents forward)
    • Overall scale

    For example, a simple track map in a racing game probably isn't sufficient for the player to navigate by, because it's too large-scale.

  • September 15, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Level Map Display is the closest, but goes into no detail about its similarity to playing Asteroids. Or even mentioning arrows, rotating or otherwise.
  • September 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ What does the similarity to a game have to do with a trope? A lot of minimaps just happen to look like that, but that's merely an incident of design.

    Now I think a map that's part of the in-game HUD should be a Sub Trope.
  • September 15, 2012
    xnamkcor
    The similarity has to do with the naming, but the mechanics go beyond that.
  • September 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ The name isn't even an example. It's a bad name. Seriously. It doesn't work.

    For one thing, had it occurred to you that some of use might think of the word "asteroids" in the context of actual asteroids, and not the game? That means some might think this is something like a map of an asteroid belt.

    EDIT: Hope that doesn't sound rude, but names based on Fridge Logic or Fridge Brilliance of a trope (as in "hey, I just realized those maps look and function like the game Asteroids") is just a bad naming convention.
  • September 15, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Then why haven't you set that flag?
  • September 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ I forgot to. And it's already on the ykttw.
  • September 15, 2012
    Generality
    I've noticed this in a lot of games. The minimap tends to be of supreme usefulness when navigating. Once one gets into combat or some other plot event, though attention shunts back to the main screen.

    That said, the current title has nothing to do with the proposed trope. I'd suggest something like Looking At The Map Not The Visuals, if that can be condensed into something less clunky.
  • September 15, 2012
    xnamkcor
    Playing The HUD?
  • September 16, 2012
    MorganWick
    In order for this to be a proper trope and not an Audience Reaction, it would need to be "a game where it is possible to navigate using the map as opposed to the scenery". Even that might be subjective.
  • September 16, 2012
    xnamkcor
    If all we needed for this to be a trope is for the concept to exist then it would be an article by now.
  • September 16, 2012
    Stratadrake
    But thankfully, "it exists" is not enough reason to automatically be a trope.
  • September 16, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Because there has to be a purpose. Although a map on the HUD has a purpose in most games that use it.
  • November 11, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Motion to discard.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=b7in62bmedmqkl3c52dudf3k&trope=DiscardedYKTTW