BENEFITS OF A WORLD MAP?

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I can't decide if I should make it a Tos or a Zelda
Style World.
What do you think are the benefits of having a world map?
Although I always liked things like Zelda's Hyrule field etc as a form of exploring the world. In an RM game it would be a load easier to navigate with a standard TOS/ FF style World Map, especially if you include things like an airship for speedy travel. It would probably be easier to make too.
author=meavor link=topic=2576.msg47668#msg47668 date=1227907764
I can't decide if I should make it a Tos or a Zelda
Style World.
What do you think are the benefits of having a world map?


The Zelda style world would be really cool, but I can imagine it'd take a LONG time ... since you have make a huge map and you must detail everything, whereas in World maps you don't have to detail it as much and can have small simple town icons on the map.
I've done this in ZC. And it takes a VERY long time. You would need alot of detail aswel. I think making it like FF would make it seem more like a whole world then just bits of it. Because in Zelda Ocarina of time, it never felt like a full world to me, just a bit of land. But FF6 or FF9 felt a lot like i was walking around in a full world because of the world map. But maybe you could just make it a alot more detailed world map.
I'm torn between the two. On one hand I like the Zelda/Secret of Mana maps because its all nice and zoomed in letting you see the detail of the surrounding areas. Open fields usually look/play terrible on 2D engines though and it feels like there's a lot fewer places to explore since you can't check out that string of islands since there's no map for that area (although I don't know why you'd want to unless you have "Must Find EVERYTHING without GameFAQs" ). Plus stuff like airships tend to suck in most of these games. See FF10, FF12, Zelda teleportation, ect. against Secret of Mana's Flammie.

The (pre-FF10) world maps feel more like you're going places in a grand scale unlike the above example. You don't see as much detail though and the scenery doesn't change as much as it does when you're zoomed in. Maybe its part nostalgia, but I miss these kinds of world maps.

A third option that I don't like is list->teleportation maps like in Disgaea. Disgaea doesn't have a world map or anything, its just a list of locations that you instantly go to. Persona 3 did it right though: Its a list but there is a map and you can still see where everything is (and you even see your avatar go onto the train to go places!). Plus each 'macro' area had its own places you could check out and explore.

(What's Tos?)
What I think you should do (I don't know if this was done in SoM or not, and would take twice as much work) is have a wrold map you can fly around in airships ect. But when you land you could warp to a much more detailed map. This would make the world seem alot bigger. But this would be alot of work.
author=Lifelessangel link=topic=2576.msg47692#msg47692 date=1227915520
What I think you should do (I don't know if this was done in SoM or not, and would take twice as much work) is have a wrold map you can fly around in airships ect. But when you land you could warp to a much more detailed map. This would make the world seem alot bigger. But this would be alot of work.

That sounds like an awesome idea, but yes it would be a lot of work, but I do like the idea
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14893
I prefer the zoomed in Zelda approach, but then again, I've never had the need for a massive hub area that could be considered a world map. All my games have been set in single locations, so all the exploration is of the world around you, rather than the entire globe.

I never liked world maps much. They tend to be dull to wander through, and hero walk speed is almost always reduced, and then you get games like FF2 where you can only tell where not to go by how badly the enemies beat you up. They're just not my thing.
I like Lifeless angels idea.
I am going to try that out.
I really like the zelda style world map. As for having a world map it is good and it can make it easier for the player to move around the world.
I really think ppl should explain their examples when they ask questions. I played too little from post PS1 games (and the bits I played for most bored me, at least in RPGs) so I assume ToS is Tales of Symphonia, but no idea what the game is like. For Zelda... Snes Zelda only here.

Anyway, I like Chrono Trigger´s World maps the best: No battles, a decent sence of proportion for what the game gives you and an interesting navigation concept (you only entry a place after reading its name and pressing confirm).

Arc the Lad II was actually similar and better: you did have a HUGE world, but you explored sections of it in mini CT style world maps, then with airships you could travel from one mini world map to the other.

This last one is similar to my game´s concept: I first have a huge space map, navigable by starship only, no ramdom encounters, but you do have event encounters on certain points. Then when you reach a planet, you can chose a landing area either in the surface or one of its moons.

This area is a mini world map, limited to a certain extent. Those area maps work much like the space ones, just that you don´t use spaceships on then and event encounters might happen in hostile areas.
Ocean
Resident foodmonster
11243
Secret of Mana is probably the best for me. All the maps are connected, and there's an overworld you can go with Flammie where you can even notice all of the areas you've been to, or to go to some new ones.

The problem I have with regular overworlds are that they are so dull. You walk through the same 5 tiles, Water, Grass, Forest, Mountain, and destinations. I don't think there's ever been a non-airship time where I was impressed with a specific location in an overworld. That combined with random encounters and I tend to dread going to the overworld more than anything, and getting lost frustrates me then.

I don't even care if they do an overworld like a list choice, I'd prefer that to a traditional overworld. The only time I do really like an overworld is if you get a nice airship, that you can go lower/higher/faster/slower and things like that, just for the fun of flying.

You could have a world map that you could refer to while you are travelling to specific places. At least let there be recall points/transportation so you don't have to constantly walk through the same areas over and over. Speaking of flying, I think it'd be nice to have an overworld that looked like you were actually on a plane flying over some area, like this:
http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/3884/3248729487bc1d57ee7oly4.jpg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffUtJulYNig

Not only is that the best map design I've seen, but look at the over world at 0:58. It's really detailed and dosen't look dull at all. You could do it like that.
World maps and maps in general are great for overview. If you have a bunch of connected places and no overview you'll most likely be lost and a bit frustrated. My favorite overview/worldmaps are those that you can put your own notes in. I know a couple of games did something like this. Where you'd click on a part of your map and you could add a note to the place (such as "here's awesome treasure I couldn't carry." or "Character I need to talk to later about xxx.")

I think that one good way of having the whole world map issue is making it an ingame thing. You can buy maps from some shopkeeper or have a cartography skill that lets you draw up your maps. I think something like this could be awesome for larger scale areas. Or even buying maps of a dungeon and there's several different ones to get. Some have secret treasure locations in them and others do not... Oh yeah, but that was tangential again.
I'll have to be honest and say no world-map system has ever really bothered me, but I don't think you can pull off a 3D Zelda-style "Hyrule Field" map in a 2D game system. The reason it works in the 3D Zelda games is because of the viewpoint you have of the world and I think it would look pretty bland from above in 2D.

Think about the earlier Zelda games, though, and you've got a system that would work a lot better in an RPGMaker game. You still have to walk everywhere, but the "routes" between different places are far more detailed and involve more actual thinking and gameplay to get around. They're similar to the way its done in Pokémon, and if you're looking for something that isn't a Final Fantasy style world-map then that is the way to go I think.

As for teleport systems, if you want to use one then you should probably implement it like Final Fantasy 12. As in, make it so the player has to explore and find places they can "teleport" to before letting them do it. I actually loved how Final Fantasy 12 handled its environment, given how monumentally epic the scale of it was.
author=Lifelessangel link=topic=2576.msg47785#msg47785 date=1227950849
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffUtJulYNig

Not only is that the best map design I've seen, but look at the over world at 0:58. It's really detailed and dosen't look dull at all. You could do it like that.

0_0;; What's that doing there? That's pretty generic anyway. Trees and mountains, just like all the others.
Hrm...personally, I'd say it depends on how much travel time you're going to be spending going between places. Are you going to be doing a lot of backtracking, criss-crossing, and general travel? Then I'd go with a teleport/overworld type, simply so the player doesn't get fed up with travelling over the same map for the nth time.

However, if things are fairly streamlined, and you won't be having to go back to map X every six seconds, then it can be done to incredible effect. It gives more of a real feeling to the game, rather than just travel...of course, having the same teleport system Zelda gave you to get you into a -general- area can't hurt either.

But personally? I'd much rather go with the first...
I've done both styles of game before, and I think personally I would recommend the world map style better. It's just a lot less hassle to use, since we're not really designing professional games with this system anyway, and designing 5-6 different fields, if not more, can get pretty old and fast.
Dragon Destiny by Rast works incredibly well. It has a huge map that is filled with towns and whatnot. No world map.

One thing you must make sure of when you aren't using world maps is to make sure the player doesn't get lost. Include in game maps that the player can check when they need to. Main paths towards towns and dungeons are necessary, as are signs that point them towards towns, like in The Elder Scrolls games. In those games, even if you stray off path and you can only manage to find a completely different path, you are also easily able to find a sign that will help you find your destination.
It takes too much time to implement some of the ideas here into an RPG. That's why we don't see it ever done. Most of us here work alone, and to make a large world map like Secret of Mana is a lot of work. Half the reason that even works for that game is because of the battle system and gameplay. But if you're going to try that, then make it interesting. Nobody wants a point A to point B world map if you're doing it this way. There should be secrets and other things hidden throughout the maps, otherwise it's just boring and is basically like going through Generic Dungeon #3495. The same approach can be applied to traditional world maps like Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy.

The best approach is to take an idea that is simple and easy to implement into a game, and apply your own unique twist to it. Dragon Destiny does a good job of a large world with lots of secrets, while Tara's Adventure does a good job of making a traditional world map with the exact same elements applied as above, but trimmed down. Just rememeber your world map has to complement your other areas. Sometimes it's better to work with one method than another, despite how cliché it may be.
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