I always enjoy the maps in fantasy and science fiction novels. I’ll often peruse a map in detail before reading the book, to help set the stage. So I’ve worked up a map for the first floor of NooSpace’s OldWorld dimension. It ain’t pretty yet — the idea is to have a real artist create a nicer version one day.

But first, some background.

NooSpace is a virtual world where each player owns an area (or group of areas) within which they can create their own 3D environments, characters, objects and programming. Surrounding each person’s space is a community environment where players can interact, participate in events, go shopping, or just travel around.

Axon and Miranda, who you might have met in the first chapters, handle tech support in this world, helping players create and maintain their spaces. And stopping break-ins too, of course.

Each player space has two parts: an external facade, and an internal private area. The facade is public and can be seen by everyone. The internal space is private, and accessible by invitation only unless the owner decides to make it public (as many owners have).

The dimensions of a standard player space.
The dimensions of a standard player space.

The player can create their own 3D facade — within the design and decency guidelines of the NooSpace floor they are on — though most choose to use stock templates like Western Store, Victorian Home, Art Deco Office, and so on.

The interior of each space can be set to a different scale than the outside, so players can create huge interior environments if they want. Whereas a standard space is 20 meters wide, the interior of that space can be up to 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) wide, a 1:100 scale. Each facade has a door, and when a player steps through the door their visual scale changes, and they see the huge interior space at normal size. Players who purchase adjacent spaces can create virtual worlds that are many kilometers in each direction.

NooSpace began with a single “floor” with a pre-planned layout. The following image shows a central section of the floor map where some of the early action happens in the NooSpace novel.

Map of the Market Square area on Floor 1
Map of the Market Square area on Floor 1

The white areas are roads that are kept clear for players to travel around. There is a height limit too, with a “ceiling” upon which is projected a sky image that follows 24 hour day/night and weather cycles.

Here’s the full map layout of Floor 1:

Map of Floor 1 of NooSpace, OldWorld (click for larger version)

The green areas are community spaces. Many are open space parks, but some include art exhibits. Space owners (and holders of the NooCash cryptocurrency) can vote on which art projects will be shown in these spaces.

From the beginning, the developers anticipated adding new floors “above” this one. Each additional floors can be a clone of the original Floor 1 or can have a new layout, and design and decency guidelines can be altered. For example, later floors have been dedicated to themes like Futuristic Sci-Fi, Dickensian London, ¬†and even Adult Entertainment. The Elevator shown on the map lets players travel between floors nearly instantaneously.

That’s a brief overview of the initial design. In the next post I’ll talk about some of the ideas that drove this design, and how they affect the NooSpace characters and their story.


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