WORLD MAP OR NOT?

Posts

Pages: first 12 next last
Rave
Even newspapers have those nowadays.
290
IMO world map in RPG games is lazy design for me. When I see worldmap in RM game that isn't fan game of some jRPG which is known for having world maps (like e.g. Chrono Trigger), I always imagine his creator thinking this: "Oh, I am too lazy to map properly all areas in game's world, so I have an idea: I'll just throw world map so I want have to map those spoony forests, plains and mountains, only towns".

What are YOUR thoughts on the subject?
unity
You're magical to me.
12403
I personally like making a game without a world map and everything is connected directly. Reminds me of Earthbound and how much fun it was to explore that world.

That said, even though it may be overused, the world map is a tool, and a useful one for making your world seem bigger than it is. If a game is meant to be world-spanning, I'm not sure I'd accuse the designer of being lazy for including a world map, more that its a necessary evil.

While you want your game to feel polished and well designed, I think you can still do that with a world map. You mentioned Chrono Trigger: Now here's a game that actually has you navigate some towns on the world map rather than going into a big city map all the time. You go directly to stores and buildings from the world map in some cases. Yet I wouldn't accuse Chrono Trigger of being lazy, instead they're merely making their world map work for them and putting the time and resources in other areas.
author=unity
Yet I wouldn't accuse Chrono Trigger of being lazy, instead they're merely making their world map work for them and putting the time and resources in other areas.


Also more importantly, they're putting the time and resources of the player in other areas. The player's POV is essential to consider in every situation here. And in the player's case, if they like world maps, then world maps will be good for them. It allows for an easier case of level selection in RPGs than the blatant set of levels in other genres.

In my opinion trekking across various maps with nothing in them doesn't always have a point to it. If you want the player to feel like they've trekked across a large area without sacrificing pacing (trudging through 50 hand-made forests doesn't always == fun, especially when there's tons of monsters present), then maybe an abstraction will make sense, especially when you need to get to the next point quickly. That's where world maps can be that abstraction.

If you think world maps make bad games, just list the number of games, both modern and recent, that employ overworlds. I think it's bad that people are so used to realism in their games when an abstraction will often do.
In a way the world map is so you don't have a bunch of uninteresting connecter maps. World maps are a fast travel system, but I guess no world maps could have a teleport device.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
I guess part of the question is also what you're getting from a traditional world map that you aren't getting from a menu-style world map like Super Mario World or Final Fantasy Tactics.



Like thatbennyguy said, it's essentially a fast travel system - it lets the player skip the month-long journey by foot between Midgar and the Chocobo Ranch (why did you leave the car in Midgar!?). But it's a fast travel system with random battles! That's weird, right? Why not just have a list of destinations? You're only ever gonna get in 1-2 battles before getting to your destination; it wouldn't be a big deal to remove them.

...But I guess that's part of the point. It lets the game have a few battles outside of dungeons. When you're walking across the world map, the battles will actually break up what's going on, but in dungeons they're the main thing that's going on. So it helps with pacing, I suppose. Helps make sure not everything you fight is inside an hour-long string of fights.


speaking from a very different perspective, it's also weird as hell when a game has all the maps directly connected to each-other, but then has a desert, a snow area, a forest and a volcano all seemingly within walking distance of each-other
Rave
Even newspapers have those nowadays.
290
World maps in old RPGs (chrono trigger first few Final Fantasies, etc.) was made because of size constraints (cartridges were often smaller than floppies). Now there is no excuse for making those other than "I failed to make interesting world player want to go through".

As for fast travel, it is sick concept. It's like watching a movie, but skipping like 15 minutes every so often. It just doesn't work and lessens game's immersion.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
...No, it's like watching a movie, and having the movie cut from one scene to the next instead of playing out the uninteresting 20 hours in betweeen them.

The Lord of the Rings movies are long enough already at ten and a half hours. Imagine if Lord of the Rings literally took six months to watch, because no part of it was cut out and it showed every single moment of their journey. You had to watch all the weeks of uneventful travel, eight hours a night of sleep, the characters cooking breakfast and going to the toilet, etc. That's stupid. The director skips the parts that are unrelated to the plot, even if they theoretically must have happened.

The same thing happens in a video game. In any journey or story, you have parts that are related to the game, and then you have parts that would just take up the player's time without providing any kind of gameplay, plot, or meaning. Don't include those parts! Why are you putting useless filler into your game?
unity
You're magical to me.
12403
author=Rave
World maps in old RPGs (chrono trigger first few Final Fantasies, etc.) was made because of size constraints (cartridges were often smaller than floppies). Now there is no excuse for making those other than "I failed to make interesting world player want to go through".


thatbennyguy already made a great point about abstraction. If a game's not about showing every step of your journey through detailed environments, then it doesn't need to do so. It also causes realism problems, like LockeZ said, with the desert being minutes from the iceland, etc.

I'm working on a game right now where everything is connected and there is no world map. But the game takes place on a series of small islands, so its feasible. Size constraints aren't the issue: If you're making a globe-spanning game, you can't literally make an entire world interconnected like that without it feeling very small. Traveling in the real world on foot takes forever. You can't exactly replicate that in a game across an entire world without it getting boring or the world being tiny.

author=Rave
As for fast travel, it is sick concept. It's like watching a movie, but skipping like 15 minutes every so often. It just doesn't work and lessens game's immersion.


I don't find that analogy convincing. Movies and books skip to the interesting parts of stories all of the time. They don't spend tedious time showing the characters walking from one location to another with nothing interesting. They skip time to the parts that propel the plot. In a sense, fast travel is doing the same thing.
I love maps. World maps are okay. But I'd like there to be more maps of different kinds. There's just so much information in maps but they always just seem to be modern maps.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
Example, shinan?
As a player, I'm neutral toward world maps. As a designer, a world map is far more appealing than the thought of building dozens of location maps that are likely going to feel samey, especially as the size of the game world increases. What you call "lazy", I call "economical". Then again, I'm pretty sure there isn't a rule saying your game must take up the entire planet, perhaps you can get by with a small enough setting that you don't need a world map anyway.

Now that I think about it, my favorite approach is to use location maps, but later on provide players a flying airship/creature/whatever that travels via world map, a la Secret of Mana.

And an original game with a world map is lazy, but a fangame isn't?
author=LockeZ
Example, shinan?

Well before we had proper measurement tools and whatnot maps could take all kinds of shapes and sizes. Like treasure maps. "walk x steps in the direction of the evening sun". I mean a compass wasn't something that was always available. I'd like games that have more inaccurate maps or different kind of maps for different areas.

I just remember an article in some RPG magazine ages ago that talked about old roadmaps and how a roadmap doesn't really have to have every curve in it, it really only have to have the crossroads and an approximation of the distance between the crossroads. So a map from one place to another could be a straight line with lines to the sides saying where the sideroads lead to. I've actually taken to making these kinds of maps in my daily life. When not having a GPS I tend to look up a location on a map and draw a line to it with offshoots with the names of the roads I don't have to take (for example how many roads to the left are there going to be until I have to take a left)

I know these are not the maps the original poster was referring to. But I just love maps you know. Real maps.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
Oh man, you made me think of the treasure maps in Assassin's Creed 4.


They were sort of inaccurate sometimes, left out a lot of stuff, and pretty hard to read pretty much all the time, but it was great. Even if I had to look up a few of them online.

Chocographs in FF9 were kind of like this! Like little screenshots of the world map that you had to hunt down. Can you imagine hunting down chocographs in a massive game like Skyrim or World of Warcraft? It would sooooo not work.
author=Shinan
Well before we had proper measurement tools and whatnot maps could take all kinds of shapes and sizes. Like treasure maps. "walk x steps in the direction of the evening sun". I mean a compass wasn't something that was always available. I'd like games that have more inaccurate maps or different kind of maps for different areas.

I just remember an article in some RPG magazine ages ago that talked about old roadmaps and how a roadmap doesn't really have to have every curve in it, it really only have to have the crossroads and an approximation of the distance between the crossroads. So a map from one place to another could be a straight line with lines to the sides saying where the sideroads lead to. I've actually taken to making these kinds of maps in my daily life. When not having a GPS I tend to look up a location on a map and draw a line to it with offshoots with the names of the roads I don't have to take (for example how many roads to the left are there going to be until I have to take a left)

I know these are not the maps the original poster was referring to. But I just love maps you know. Real maps.

That sounds a lot like... this Korean map from 1402!

It has the smallest Africa this side of Mercerator projection!

World maps own. In fact, have my favorite!


nah just kidding it's actually this:


nah just kidding it's actually this:


nah just kidding it's actually this:


nah just kdiding it's actually this:



As a kid I loved looking at the world maps included in old SNES games as part of the manual: Checking out the places you'll go and what adventures you'll have. Spying on a future dungeon across the sea. Huge and expansive and maybe you'll find a hut around the bend. The in-area maps never caught that sense of wonder I get from world maps except maybe U6 due to its seamless nature. Still love world maps.
Isrieri
"My father told me this would happen."
6155
That British worldmap is the goddamn best. Totally racist, and the best.

I love the HUGE BRIDGE separating England from Scotland.

And Malaysia is just "Don't know" "Who cares?" "Got me there." XD

Germany is "Foreign But Can Ski In It"

Scandanavia is made up of "Holland" "Lapland" "Finland" "Denmark" and "The Other One"

The real Denmark's "Porno Land"

But Kenya? Just "Kenya"

And there's some dot above Fuzzy Wuzzy Land called "Begins with T"
author=LockeZ
speaking from a very different perspective, it's also weird as hell when a game has all the maps directly connected to each-other, but then has a desert, a snow area, a forest and a volcano all seemingly within walking distance of each-other


This is always a really big deal to me. I can go either way, but for me, it usually boils down to the question, "which makes the world feel bigger and more developed?"

Final Fantasy X, the first Final Fantasy game to do away with the World Map, has a tiny game world. Seriously, the distance from Besaid to Zanarkand is like the distance from lower Brooklyn to the Bronx. The lack of an abstraction to deliver the point that "this interval represents a large distance being traveled" makes the whole environment feel depressingly puny.

On the other hand, Earthbound does away with the World Map in a similar manner, and the world doesn't feel small at all, because there's no implication that the locations that the players travel through represent a significant portion of the entire world, and some of the locations are implied by the means of travel to be much more distant from each other than the characters could feasibly traverse on foot.

I generally prefer overworld maps which aren't actually world maps, like the ones used in the Suikoden series which represent whatever part of the world that installment happens to take place in. It's more realistic, and helps me take the setting more seriously.

I think that a good overworld map design can make the setting seem geographically interesting and realistic, but not many game designers put that level of thought into the layout of their world maps, and absent that level of effort it may be better if they simply don't bother. The "list of destinations" style maps of Final Fantasy Tactics, Suikoden 3, etc. do a good job of making their settings seem developed and expansive, and if you do want to employ a walkable world map, you should think about what you're going to accomplish with it that a list-of-destinations type wouldn't.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
29202
I agree that a world map really isn't necessary, and I've started getting into the idea of mapping individual regions so that the character has to go from map to map. I'm experimenting with this in a game in my files based on an old Arthurian legend. On the other hand, I've also been working on and off on a Forgotten Realms game, and have decided it would be better to map Faerun as world map, however, it is broken into individual sections (like Baldur's Gate).
author=Isrieri
That British worldmap is the goddamn best. Totally racist, and the best.

I love the HUGE BRIDGE separating England from Scotland.

And Malaysia is just "Don't know" "Who cares?" "Got me there." XD

Germany is "Foreign But Can Ski In It"

Scandanavia is made up of "Holland" "Lapland" "Finland" "Denmark" and "The Other One"

The real Denmark's "Porno Land"

But Kenya? Just "Kenya"

And there's some dot above Fuzzy Wuzzy Land called "Begins with T"


The map is amazing, every time I look at it I find something new with it. Like when I posted it I found a third Portugal near Saudi Arabia Something Really Horrible Can't Remember What.
Rave
Even newspapers have those nowadays.
290
This is by far best "real" map

Hah, dreams...
charblar
"wait you made this a career?"
3574
I believe it all depends on which game you are going for but I personally enjoy removing of a world map but it's all personal preference. But making a world map totally does not make one lazy and great visuals doesn't make a game great.
Pages: first 12 next last