Monday, August 20, 2012

What asshole decided The Witcher 2 shouldn't have a compass?

at 2:07 AM
Yes okay it's a minor abuse of blog but COME ON WHY ISN'T THERE A COMPASS. It's like, a really great game. With all kinds of cool hidden stuff and fun combat. So which dick was like "we just don't have the two cents in our budget for the letter n"? Message for ya, sucker, ya used the letter n multiple times in that sentence. You have the money. You have the technology. You have played a game before or lived in the world of human beings I mean good lord this is beyond video games. It's like, hey, welcome to society. We have directions. They have names. USE THEM. How else am I supposed to get fucking anywhere?

And don't go on about "The Witcher 2 is set in medieval times and navigational technologies would be primitive", because that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The minimap is already there. It's just rendered completely useless by the absence of NSEW.

Yeah I use it IRL
This actually brings up an interesting point about modifiability, where it's hard to take a side. I guess I could discuss mods and the way they make an interactive art form interactiver, but it's past 1 AM. I don't feel like it. If I had the PC version of the game, I could either find or myself code a mod which would add a compass pointer. But I'm on a console, so I have to play the game the way it comes in the box. PC gamers would mock this as a flaw of consoling (because somehow hardware loyalists still exist. Go team...?), but I'd rather not have to do the developers' work for them. 

Are they just being lazy assholes? Probably. PC games are expected to communally fix themselves in a million other ways. "I'm sure someone can throw in a compass too." So enjoy your mostly finished PC game, we've rounded off the corners and got most of our ideas down, you can fill in the details!

The compass is a piece of interface, something that doesn't much reflect on the quality of the game. What it does is make the game easier to comprehend and experience. Garbage interfaces have turned good games into nightmare experiences. It's like, kinda important to get that element right.

So give me my fucking compass unless you're going to provide a roadside map.


  1. If the Polish developers of The Witcher 2 do not think about cardinal directions too hard they can delude themselves into thinking that they live in civilized society instead of Eastern Europe. They tried to code a compass into their game, but all of their programmers were rendered catatonic by the shattering of the lies upon which they had built their lives.