Minimaps and similar things to aid in map navigation/awareness

Many games make use of minimaps which are 2d representations, in whole and/or in part, to give an overview of the map you are playing in for aiding in navigation and situational awareness.

Besides showing the layout of a map, minimaps can be helpful to know where your teammates and bases/forwards are on the map as well as their status for coordinating attacks, defense, and building. I do not think that enemy players/buildables should be shown on minimaps, but indicating if a team base/forward is under attack can be good.

The minimaps in NS2 (Natural Selection 2) are an example:


There is a significant difference in the design of many Tremulous maps from the design of NS2 maps. It is my understanding that the maps in NS2 all have 2d layouts. That is, regardless of where you stand in map, there isn’t another playable level above nor below the floor you are standing. While there are many Tremulous maps that are multileveled.

The multileveled aspect of many trem maps presents an issue with 2d minimaps:

  • How can you easily tell if multiple levels overlap?

  • Where multiple levels overlap, how can you easily tell which level you are on?

  • Where multiple levels overlap, how can you easily tell if a friendly is on your level, or above/below you by X number of levels?

Are there ways we can implement a 2d minimap that addresses those issues with multileveled maps? What if there was a mini 3d representation of the map that you could rotate and overall view around? Are there other alternative features/systems we can consider that would satisfy most/all of the purposes of minimaps?


Maybe if you go up a level, the level below it will vanish unless going down again? What if like NS2 upper levels were different colors.


NS2 does have maps with overlapping multiple upper/lower levels? Could you show an example screenshot of a minimap in such a situation from NS2?


The vents are colored different, they are mostly in places above the map.

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I see. Would game entities (like players/buildables) that might be in those vents show up differently in the minimap than if they were below the vent? Also, are there examples of larger overlapping “levels”, besides a vent passing over a room, like a room over a room?


Minimaps are static images, generated from a .map from *radiant. Multiple images could be used to represent different ‘floors’ or height variations, and swap them out when the player moves into new areas. The individual images could be edited to highlight any special ‘features’ of an area as well as edit out the parts of the map on ‘other floors’.


I haven’t seen anything built in vents, my guess is nothing can fit in vents NS2 wise.

I was brainstorming on minimaps and I thought that having multiple images for the different levels and automatically switching on the minimap when you move levels would be fine though it would require work with the editor that would be more complicated I believe to really work. When you pull up the map you could have two additional keys to swap the map level being viewed. For me the real question is how long do enemies and their structures stay on map when they are out of an allies line of sight. For this I figured structures could change icon to indicate the possibility they are there (like different color from red to yellow) and enemies could become question marks that persist for 5 seconds or so.

A simple best approximation map for rotation maps could be done relatively quickly even if they were flawed ans I think it could make the bigger less frequently played maps much more excessible. Idiots like me get lost on any map more complicated than ATCS.