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Paul Cunningham

Small maps = jewel like - rpg

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I know that if i was to buy an rpg today the size of the map would by relativly high on my desire list. Hidden behind this desire is the want for interacting with the map and having a broad variety of graphics. But if you sit down to make an rpg you will realise that the application of large maps is no menial task, especially for a small group. So I''m thinking, instead of worrying about having to develop a massive map (cutting down the work load) how about making a small map but having it a lot more interesting than you average rpg map. (easier said than done) Now i''ve got to work out how to do this. Making the npc''s a lot more interesting would be a good start. Having detailed societies will also help. Also since rpg''s are highly story oriented games then this will also have to be a key factor in making up for the lack of map space. I don''t think it''s a bad idea myself but as you people tend to make me realise things that i don''t more often than not, i thought i''d put it to you''s to see what you''s think. "So you're the one that designed that game are you?" *Gulp* "Umm, yeah"

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void*    292
Also, more abundant varieties in items and/or magic can make a small map seem much larger, since there are more ways to interact with your environment. For instance, the player would have to go back to the same spot several times, with different purposes in mind, based on the items or abilities that the player has gained between visits.

Having NPC''s change over time is also good... basically anything that lets you interact with your environment more will lead to more depth, even though the size of the map will be smaller.

Personally, I''d rather see a world with more things to do than places to go.

"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be."
        --William Hazlitt

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MadKeithV    992
Thinking of ways to not let a small map obstruct play artificially:
How about being stranded in a place you can''t leave, and leaving is the final object of the game?

For instance:
- Robinson Crusoe, stranded on a small island.
- Any number of Horror Movies: Get out of the haunted house.
- Being stuck on a broken ship in the middle of the ocean / spaceship in the outer reaches of known space.

All these would result in relatively small maps, with the ability to cram a lot of events and ideas into those maps. High level of detail, and a great story to guide!



People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
You could also ''save'' space by stacking vertically. The space station idea for example, would be a 3d environment (even if you only built a 2D or iso game).

Or a city - add vertical levels so you don;t end up with broad empty areas like most countryside RPGs.

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Dak Lozar    122
Paul,

How about keeping your small maps and incorporating a way to add the next map?

Let me explain.

You create a character (saved to disk) and go out on a journey. This journey consist of the map that is shiped with the game. By the time the player has completed this "map" you can have another ready for download or purchase. This allows a player to continue playing the same character over several different campains.

There was and old game on the Amiga designed by Peter Molyneux(sp) that allowed you to campaing like this... don''t remeber the name but "interlocking puzzle game" was the slogan that they used on one of the splash screens.

I, for one, like the ability to take a character (or a group of characters) from one scenario to the next.



Dave "Dak Lozar"Loeser

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Spyder    122
Paul, the problems with a small team and a small map, should be expanded by giving dedicated players and talented map builders tools to expand the world. Think about this from the start and you can more easily add what is crucial for this to work. If your game is online, allow players to expand online. If your game is run on the harddrive allow expansion packs to be downloaded from the net. Like new continents/islands etc. Study how MUDs develop their worlds and how players contribute. As a RPG player large maps is important to me. Your desire to create quality in a small map is something that is important even when creating a large map so there is no conflict. Cheers,

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void*    292
I agree with Spyder... even if the map you include with the game is a single small map, as long as you make room for expansion by the player you can ensure that eventually you will have a large (and fairly detailed) map.

Plus, just think of the replay value that is added when people are encouraged to make their own world (as many of us are fond of doing, obviously), or download extensions of the world made by other people.

"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be."
        --William Hazlitt

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This has been most helpful, shall i reply one by one:
quote:
By MadKeithV
Thinking of ways to not let a small map obstruct play artificially:
How about being stranded in a place you can''t leave, and leaving is the final object of the game?


Wow, shall i just say that the movie "Screamers" was an influence to this game If you haven''t seen it then i recommend it!

Annon 1: What you said has been considered but it''s really no different to having one large map so it really doesn''t matter. Yes, it is iso.

quote:
By Dave Loeser
There was and old game on the Amiga designed by Peter Molyneux(sp) that allowed you to campaing like this... don''t remeber the name but "interlocking puzzle game" was the slogan that they used on one of the splash screens.


God that rings a bell. What the hell was it, ahhhh. Was it an RPG? It seems like i heard the surname Molyneux yesterday.

quote:
By Spyder
should be expanded by giving dedicated players and talented map builders tools to expand the world.


Void/Spyder: This is a little out of my control atm. As you can imagine, it''s a huge effort just to make a fun crpg these days. I have thought of what you said and i definity agree that it would go down well. I''ve just got to play it by ear for now but i''ll shall pass it on when the time comes

-----------------------

Ok, the game is iso, allowing the player to make images for it is pretty pointless because they''d have to have 3DsMax to do so, same as new characters. But we could do it ourselves and give players mapbuilding tools to construct their own levels. This won''t be that difficult an i think it''s already available.

When you look at some games like resident evil you realise that a game can easily be done with a small map. The thing i noticed about that game is that the map was designed so that it would be hard to remember where rooms and positions where. This increased the replability of the maps. Maybe this could be applied to an iso map aswell. Not an easy call but its possible i guess.

I hope i replied thoughtfully enough to your respones, if not then please don''t hesitate to clarify. Thanks again




"So you're the one that designed that game are you?"
*Gulp* "Umm, yeah"

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Dak Lozar    122
I just thought of the name of that game by Molyneux! Breach II the publisher was Omnitrend or something like that... It was a small squad based game much like the X-COM stuff. I suppose it had some role playing involved since your goal was to finish the mission and keep your squad in tact The members could get promoted (I think) etc... It was a fun game.

It even had a level editor too. It was isometric but the engine was wierd from what I can tell. The tiles were not diamond shapped


/\
/ \
/ \
\ /
\ /
\/

they were shaped like this


I---/ /I
I / / I
I / / I
I/ /---I





Later,

Dave "Dak Lozar"Loeser

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SeanHowe    142
If you want to see an example of small maps but big gameplay, check out Kings Quest 6. Albeit an adventure game as opposed to an RPG, it is still the perfect example of making giant worlds out of small maps. I can''t think of a part of it you didn''t have to revisit and do something different in at least 5 times. It was incredible. If you haven''t played it, check it out.

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