Our original thoughts on the environments for project2 is that they would be similar to MW, that is, a serries of large interconnected maps, only our thought was to have fewer maps and make them larger.
This posed a few problems, both technically and design-wise.
Take for instance an island, our thought was to have an entire island be a single map.
Since we live in a world where things are continuous it makes a lot of sense that we would want that.
However, in an adventure game setting, you ususaly need to visit places many times.
and who wants to hoof-it across your glorious map 20 or so times?
In RPG games you can somewhat get away with this if there are enemies along the way, however you need to make sure the battle doesn't get repetitive.
In an Adventure the only solution is to have meaningful content all over the map, while this would be the best case scenario, it is unattainable for our small team.
We need our game world to seem true-to-life big, however we don't have the resources to mimic an entire island-worth of things to do. Not to mention the technical feat of resource management to insure the entire state can be managed.
Thankfully one doesn't need to look far for a solution, game developers have had a solution to this problem way back when.
In keeping with our 2D Adventure game roots, we will use a Map/Region arrangement.
In the game there are many 'maps' a map is either a small isometric or hand-drawn (most likely) overland map.
The map has a bunch of destinations on it, which can be turned on and off (as you progress).
Each destination connects to a point on a Region; a Region is an isometric map, ususaly small or medium in size, that represents an area on the map.
Connections can also be made between Regions, this facilities walking into a house on a region, and arriving in a region that represents the house.
At the developer's discression these connections can be set up as one-way or two-way; two-way connections are most common, but one way connections are helpful if you wish to arrive in a region and you must take another way back.
In this manner the player is able to see the over-view of where they are, and they can get to the places of interest that are important to the story.
This saves the player lots of 'wasted' time trecking over your hyper-realistic landscape, and it saves you time by not having to develop the hyper-realistic landscape which does not directly contribute to the story.
Any additional thoughts on this method's function are welcome.