thanks SniperSAS, that actually does help. it's more about the history of text adventure games, but i got a link and downloaded a couple different examples of some mapping systems, where the map was laid out in a text format, which helps me out a lot as far as designing the mapping system. mine will obviously be original, but the concept of having the map stored in a txt or dat file is what i'll probably use.
so thanks, now i can sleep... knowing i can figure out how to do the mapping system