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PnP News Bot
05-04-2009, 11:11 PM
Check out this new article Catalyst Game Labs posted on Monday 05-04-2009 09:22 PM:

Seattle 2072: Working in the Future?s Past (http://www.shadowrun4.com/wordpress/2009/05/seattle-2072-working-in-the-futures-past/)

I’m deep in Seattle 2072 right now. The text is written and at the editor, I’ve done a mock layout so we know just how much art is going to be in the book, and now I’ve turned my attention towards the one thing that most gamers love: maps.

I don’t want to talk too much about my plans for the Seattle 2072 maps, because they’re still in that experimentation phase … but part of that phase, today, was taking the most recent digital version of the Downtown Seattle map [From FASA's New Seattle (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=1866&it=1&affiliate_i d=77000)] and update it to the rough look-and-feel that I want for this maps, playing off the North American map in the Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition.

So I’m looking at the map, taking some mental notes, and then I realized something …


http://www.shadowrun4.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/newseattle-roadends1.jpg
Just to be sure, I checked the date of the file, to see if it had been accidentally modified at some point. Nope; 22nd of December, 1998, and the image looks just like that in the copies of New Seattle I have. So, for over 10 years, that map has been floating around with a) an unlabeled road on it and b) an unlabeled road that runs into a river with no explanation. Guess what? Take a look at p. 166-167 of the original Seattle Sourcebook. That road dead-ends into the river on that map, too. What a bummer. High speed chases on this road can only end in pain.

So I pulled out the map of each District from Runner Havens, and then compared it to the one in New Seattle, and they told me something: that road is 99, and it goes North through Downtown, roughly parallel to I5, and continues North through Snohomish and into Everett.

So I drew the road back in. After it goes through the Downtown core and curls around Lake Union, it’s pretty much a straight shot, so that’s no big deal.

But then I take another look at the various district maps, and I notice a discrepancy in them:


http://www.shadowrun4.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/rh-seattle-districts.jpg
Notice how 99 appears to just disappear somewhere in that tangle of roads, and then reappear later south of 509? Craziness. So, I compare that to a real life map of Seattle, and I think I’ve figured it out: North of Seattle Tacoma International Airport [marked as D on the map], 99 breaks into 509, which heads south to the airport, and also continues on as 99, to the Southeast. At some point, 99 then splits again, continuing on as 99 to the South, and 509 to the Southeast. As mentioned, 509 heads to SeaTac, and then continues South, although much smaller, and 99 curves Southwest, running just by the airport. It continues to run south, occasionally being numbered as 509, but a brand new 509 springs up west of 99 in Northern Tacoma. It’s like magic. In the end, the map just needs 509 to properly connect SeaTac to 99/Downtown; a relatively easy fix.

Now, I’m sure someone reading this lives in the neighborhood and is thinking “Adam, you’re a fool. Those roads make perfect sense.” — and you’re right. I bet they make perfect sense if you drive them every day. However, I don’t, and most Shadowrun players don’t either. Most Shadowrun players have never set foot in Seattle and the number-soup of those roads rarely if ever concerns them. Being accurate to real world Seattle is far less important than presenting the things that gamers need to successfully use the setting; more detail is not necessarily better.

And here’s something else: Today, parts of 99 are falling apart, and there are a few different ideas for how it should be upgraded/replaced. Sixth World Seattle, being largely defined 20 years ago, doesn’t reflect this at all — how could it? However, some research shows that 99 really hasn’t been talked about at all … so it could be “fixed” without actually needing a retcon.

Playing in a future that was “forked” from the real world so many years ago is full of design challenges like that; blending the past and the future, fixing mistakes in the game’s canon, and distilling down complicated things into simpler units that GMs and players can then layer their own experiences on top of.

With all that said, here’s a snippet of the in-progress new map:


http://www.shadowrun4.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/seattle2072-theroadgoes.jpg