Game developer finds map of New Orleans too fantastical for fantasy world

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NEW ORLEANS – Game developer and author James L. Sutter doesn’t think New Orleans looks real enough for gaming.

Sutter took to Twitter to express his disbelief about the way the Crescent City looks on Google Maps.

“WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON WITH THIS CITY?!” Sutter wrote in the first in a series of tweets. “If this came in from a freelancer, there are half a dozen things that would raise my eyebrows.”

Sutter, who co-created the Pathfinder and Starfinder role playing games, has spent his career crafting detailed maps of make believe places.

But the real map of New Orleans, Sutter says, looks so fake it would never cut muster in an RPG he was developing.

Tweeting sarcastically as if he were critiquing a gaming map of a made up place submitted by a freelancer, Sutter keys in on oddities in the local landscape that he sees as too far fetched for the gaming world.

The winding Mississippi River apparently behaves in a way Sutter just wouldn’t approve of if he was building the world for a game.

“Like, look at this river,” Sutter wrote. “All these different places it could enter the lake or the sea, but no, it goes ALL THE WAY to the very tip of the land to enter the water. Artificial? Maybe, but who would bother? Totally unrealistic.”

Sutter goes on to question why people would build houses along a narrow strip of land barely wide enough to fit a road, why Lake Borgne is called a lake when it’s clearly attached to the Gulf of Mexico on the map, and why anyone would build a bridge across the widest part of Lake Pontchartrain.

“I’m sure there are many more things I could critique, but I don’t want to be too harsh. It *is* a really interesting-looking design, but in the end, it’s just not believable,” Sutter wrote. “Anyway, big props to the South for convincing me that New Orleans was a real place—you really had me going there for a while. Please clean up your map and resubmit when it follows the rules of a real-world city.”

A Twitter follower quickly pointed out that the West Bank is actually on the East side of the river.

“THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING!” Sutter replied.

Switching to the actual real world, Sutter said his tongue in cheek critique of the layout of New Orleans actually made him want to visit the city more.

“All joking aside, it seems awesome and I really want to go check it out now!” he wrote.


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