Umbriel has identified a limitation to the mapping algorithm that may not ever go away. Visibility range is limited by the cell you're currently in, not by those that surround you. This was a concession made necessary for speed: calculating lines of sight and obstruction for each cell in a 9x9 matrix takes more out of the server than simply saying that you can see a certain distance from each cell that you're in.
Once other features are in place, I will revisit this decision and improve on it a bit, but don't expect ray-tracing algorithms any time soon. I might need to upgrade the server hardware before I can do more. In either event, the current visibility rules are at least consistent for all players, so they work for purposes of hiding and surprises.
This seems like a good place to explain the map a bit. Each cell is currently depicted with two lines of text. The first two characters on the top line indicate what terrain type the cell is. The second two give an idea of the height of the cell relative to the one you're in. Postive numbers are higher than your cell, and negative numbers are lower. "++" and "--" cells are much higher or lower than your current position. Altitude difference also plays a role in determining cell color, with lighter cells being higher and darker cells being lower.
The second line is currently just four dashes. It will eventually show The number of people, the number of objects, the number of events, and the number of animals. In all cases, a plus sign will indicate more than nine.
All of the above will eventually be included as a link on the RPG page for reference.
Psidonia is, if you haven't guessed by now, huge. I started everyone off on one of two minor islands in the hope that some would never venture into the water and "discover" the mainland a few steps away. Ichiban had a taste of what I was shooting for when he crossed the ocean. A sense of awe as the full enormity of the landscape is realized. This isn't Scott Adams, baby! There are currently fourteen terrain types, each with unique properties that will become more apparent once the Interaction Engine is in place and you have limits to your movement. It will be harder to move uphill, than down, for example, and some terrains are harder to move into or climb than others. Deep waters are dangerous, and yes, there are places inhabited by Groos.
I am the only person with accurate maps at this point, basically because I had to create the maps to build the terrain. I've considered breaking the maps into several smaller pieces and scattering them as objects that can be found in the ruins. Obviously, this implies that the maps will be damaged and somewhat inaccurate...like one you might find in the trunk of your car under old Turtle Wax and broken Frisbees. As objects, you will be able to trade maps with other players or try to steal them.
For now, you may wander around as much as you like until you get bored. Meanwhile, I'm working on two new features that will turn this into a genuine RPG. First, is the Interaction Engine that combines stats and a player messaging system so that Citizens will be able to interact, have limits on their movement and actions, and be able to pick up and drop objects.
Second is the Construction Engine that will allow the terrain to be modified. Forest spaces can be cut down to make roads, buildings can be added, crops can be planted, etc. The Construction Engine has rules for entropy, so every once in a while, it checks the amount of time since something was last maintained and degrades it if enough time has passed. For example, if one cuts down a forest to make a road, that road will eventually weather away to grassland and then back into a forest.
This might seem like a frivolous use of my time, but it's actually necessary. With the current map having over one million cells, maintaining a database of construction for every location would place prohibitive demands on my home server. Rather, the entropy effect in the Construction Engine will help to prune the size of the structures database and keep it from becoming too large. Only the most permanent of buildings will last forever -- and those will be in the Capital.
Once both of those features are in place, I'll then drop people in random locations around the Capital. Interesting things will be placed on the map and at that point, the game will be a genuine multi-player RPG. Everything after that will be refinement.