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Mafia 3's World Maps

by Nathan Cheever on 04/13/18 09:30:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


This is the first in a series of articles discussing gameworlds I've designed and worked on.

Ever since Wizardry and Bard's Tale I've loved discovering and making world maps!  Mafia 3's New Bordeaux was the biggest world I've ever been part of.  I must have gone through several hundred iterations and updates for the city layout and ecologies.

With the help of Petr Záveský and others we were able to create a fantastic top-down render of the city.  The next thing to do was getting 2K Games on board in creating a foldout map for the game.  Paul Pierce was the talented artist who stylized the Road Atlas.  I originally proposed it as a bonus item in the Collector's Edition.  Then 2K Games took it to the next level and made it available in every game case!  Paul later updated it to include all DLC information too (see below).

World Maps

  • Aerial − a satellite view of the city!
  • Stylized − a stylized version of the city!
  • Game UI − an updated UI map from the game!


BONUS maps!

  • CIA − Before Donovan showed up he grabbed the latest CIA photos of the region.
  • Height Map − For developers and hikers, here's a heightmap.
  • Road Atlas − Visiting New Bordeaux? Pull out that map for all your tourist needs!

Road Atlas

This 1967 street guide was something I'm real happy with getting into fan's hands. Paul did a fantastic job making it look authentic.  He went through several styles with publishing's Art Director Rob Clarke.  Once all DLC was known, an updated version was created for all future copies of the game.

One of the other reasons the Road Atlas is special − it allowed us to showcase a lot of the names and locations that weren't mentioned or used heavily in the story.  Study the map and you'll discover lots of new material such as...

Tourist Spots
All those famous landmarks and city areas you visited had names!

Handwritten Notes
Both Lincoln & Donovan scribbled notes on the map, like where all the entrances to the tunnels were. Even though Donovan choose to write his in red, I've no idea who's blood is on the map... 

Special Locations
Did you find the sinking Bayou cemetery? This was made for a scene cut from the start of the game. Other trivia, the row of cabins along Bourbon Digs' canal was made for a crossfire encounter which was never used.

Comparing Game Worlds

A fun thing to do with these HUGE world maps... they're the same scale as the official GTA5 maps.

Mafia Series

And for those curious, here's all three Mafia game worlds next to one another.  While the first Mafia game looks fairly big, remember the player didn't get to explore most of the areas outside the city.

Interactive Map

I also experimented with using these like a Google Map to find lost airplanes or secret routes.  It'd be fun to take other gameworlds and add them as layers you can flip through for comparison.

When you look at the huge 3D rendered map, you can see all the hours and talented people who made each cityblock a believable, tangible place for Mafia's third chapter.  I hope anyone who ventured into New Bordeaux felt it captured the Louisiana heat of 1968.

This post also appears on my website at

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