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How to define mmo world size?

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Hello i'm new to this forum and learning various things to do game design. i've read few books that related to game design. but i don't understand how to measure the world size in numerical value. like Starwars Galaxies says their world size is 45 km2 and Dark and Light says their world size is 45,000 km2 , how can they measure correct size? what's the base of those output? on the other hand, i would like to ask that what should i write on design document? since forum search is disabled atm, i could not found please convince me about the basics, i'm just a student of development. Thanks in advance.

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When things are rendered in 3d everything is measured in units..

as in

"I am 5 units away from my car."

"My car moves at 60 units per minute"

How big a unit is is left for the game to define. The standard is 1 unit = 1 meter. But games can define it however they want. If I did my math right SWG is claiming they have 45,000 square units of space (assuming their units are meters).

Of course there's nothing to stop you from saying one unit is 1,000 km in which case you could claim your game was as large as you want. :) So when games claim a world size it doesn't have any real meaning.

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