Median is the working title of an MMO (massively-multiplayer online) game I'm designing, largely as a portfolio exercise. It's also an excuse to get myself mapping again, as I've gleefully given myself whole worlds to design! As this progresses I will be generating gameplay flow diagrams on top of these (such as where a character can travel to find appropriate challenges), but I hope I can borrow your experienced eyes over what lays beneath. It's worth noting that while the maps will help me organise levels and help players navigate large spaces, this is a third-person game involving single characters. It's not a strategy game, and so the map won't guide the play too much.
I've started with Earth as it is a familiar place; this is before I delve into complete fantasy for mapping a sample alien world. As is probably customary for a science fiction interpretation of the world, the sea levels and ice sheets have altered a bit! Chunks of the planet have also been the victims of extraterrestrial collisions and man-made catastrophes, causing some regions to flood or be sunk into new lakes.
- Earth as seen in Median has endured a sea level rise of around 100m. This isn't reflected with great accuracy on my map, but its changes are informed by projections from the University of Sydney.
- Some areas of the 'western world' have managed to restrict flooding from a sea level rise of around 100 metres. Since the game is a retro-futuristic sci-fi one with rayguns, jetpacks and more, I'm going to put this scientific impossibility down to force fields for now!
- Since humanity has ventured quite far into the cosmos by now, only a few distinct nations remain on the Earth, formed mostly of economic alliances; I'll come to political boundaries once the geography's sorted.
- Despite the British government's fevered attempts to stem the flooding of Great Britain's coast, London has been lost with Birmingham becoming a new model city for the island. This has happened all over the world, but of these, only Birmingham is an active level.
- Many cities, including playable regions in Panama and Tokyo, have been rebuilt upon the sea's surface rather than relocating to dry land.
- The Falkland islands have essentially become one landmass under encroachment from the Antarctic ice sheet; Antarctica itself is simply left off as it's not visited.
- The cities I've marked here are simply those which stood out to me as distinctive zones in which to play; a few of these are likely to be culled as I work out the details, such as how long the player will spend on Earth before venturing out into Median's galaxy.
I'm sure I missed a few points off, but oh well. Mostly what I'm trying to achieve in this map is something believable, but not necessarily accurate and not very detailed. When a player visits a planet they'll be looking to get down to a spaceport and get on with the game. If the ice sheets look drastically improper, or if I have vast regions of desert wrong, then I'd love to fix those before I start adding depth to the map. I only had Google Earth to go by when determining all this, and satellite photo colouring can be misleading!
Lastly, I apologise if I've nuked or flooded your house in this imagined future. It's nothing personal.
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