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I need some advice on land size

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Hello, Alright I have started a game design using the blitz3d language, were still in the design stages, and I have decided I would love a huge world in it, but just how much is too much? Well allow me to give you some more information, it's your typical fantasy game, nothing speical, its my first big project. It is going to be like a single player game but a mmorpg feel, but with a much more intense questing system. Such examples of games like this is darkstone for the PS1 console. It is built of 2 continents, one being 3 times as large as the other. Special tribes live in a divided 4 area's, and the entire world is open for exploration, with most of the aspects of an mmorpg, such as gathering minerals or other objects to make money, but a more detailed storyline is involved. I've had a blast making it so far, but I am ready to get into some more long term design. Lately I have gotten into the world design, and I really do want to have a large world. Now, even though this is single player, just pretend it was an mmorpg game, how much land would you consider too much? To get to one corner of the map to the other, should it take: 20 minutes? 30 minutes? 2 hours? Any advice? Keep in mind, I am designing it exactly like it were an mmrpg, so dont let the single player factor change your oppionion please. Also, any idea's how big it should be in Kilometers's? Something else that would help me in this decision is, How long does it take to cross World of Warcraft? EQ2, or even runescape? Oh and also may I remind you, this is a high resolution 3d game...(Apart from the directx 7 limitation). All comments or advice are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Since you are using Blitz3d, it sounds as if you are doing this by yourself as a hobby project just for fun, and that you don't have much of any experience in making games. I forget who said it originally, but the quote that gets tossed around is that your first 10 games WILL suck. My advice to someone just starting out is to make small games, so that you get those 10 out of the way as soon as possible :)

Don't think your Big Idea(tm) is impossible, but realize that it is "Big" and you will need to take smaller steps to get there.

The other bit I might add is that if it is "your typical fantasy game, nothing speical", then why make it? Take advantage of the fact that you don't need to please marketting or a publisher with your game. This gives you an advantage over the big companies and all their resources. Why waste that opportunity to copy what they are already making?

But to actualy address your question, the size of the world depends on a lot of things, like how long you want the player to spend playing it, whether exploration is a big part of it, how fast you can travel, how often they would need or want to travel from one end to the other, etc.. In any case, I think we can't really know what the best size is until you're actually seeing it in game.

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If I were you, I would think of all of the interesting locations that you want to include in your game and destribute them around. Make your map just big enough to comfortably accommodate these features. That way, no matter where the player goes they will find something interesting.
I would say that if the player has to walk through long stretches of featureless landscape, then the game map is too big.

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Well technical issues aside, I say the bigger the better, as long as you don't ever HAVE to go to all parts of the world. The nice thing is that it is always out there and you can go some place new if you so desire. It's like having more content at your disposal if you choose to take advantage of it.

From an MMORPG standpoint (server issues aside) a big world (without teleportation of course!) makes for realistic local-economies and lets players spread out for a time if they want to get something going away from the entrenched local scene. This way things could be spread out that need to be, or places could become populous if that was found to be desirable for whatever reasons (Like trade).

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Thank you for the replies.

This is kind of like a hobbyist game, made by me and 4 other's, and various different 3d modeller's. I know it'll have a high chance of being bad, I have made 7 other simple games but this is 100% free, and it's good practice. We are not making a website or anything, all of us have decided we'll distribute it around some places, it'll be 100% free, and there is always the chance of it not getting completed.

After re-reading, I can see that it really is hard for you to give advice, when I havn't explained any of the transportation methods. Large birds are a big part of this game(They represent a lot for the tribes/cultures that belong to each territory), they are used for transportation once you advancce furthur in the game. There are other ways, such as Horse riding, and a few creatures we have made up. This is purly an experiemental game, and I realise your only trying to hep but i'd appreciate it if we could keep it on-topic for the sizing. I am having a diffacult time with it, I dont want to over-strain ourselves, but I do want to have a very large amount of land, I have been thinking that perhaps 1 hour(running) to cross wouldnt be bad, but would anyone else thing against it? There will never be a time where you must get to the other side in one journey, usually as the quests go on, you'll make your way throughout the land gradually.

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Kelly G was right on the money. Don't think of kilometers or hectares as a good measurement. Use time and fun to decide how big the world should be.

Is travelling going to be a big part of the game? Will flying on the birds be a lot of fun? If so, a three or four minute trip between zones of interest is fine. Just multiply to top speed of the bird by how long you want the trip to take and that's how far apart your places should be. Distribute them at about that distance, and that's how big the world should be.

Watch out for problems like getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. In GTA:SA I once jumped out of my supersonic jet and found myself on foot in the middle of the desert with a good mile or so to the nearest car. That's not fun. That sucks. So does not being able to find a freaking town when you're flying on the dragon in Secret of Mana.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Kelly G was right on the money. Don't think of kilometers or hectares as a good measurement. Use time and fun to decide how big the world should be.

Is travelling going to be a big part of the game? Will flying on the birds be a lot of fun? If so, a three or four minute trip between zones of interest is fine. Just multiply to top speed of the bird by how long you want the trip to take and that's how far apart your places should be. Distribute them at about that distance, and that's how big the world should be.

Watch out for problems like getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. In GTA:SA I once jumped out of my supersonic jet and found myself on foot in the middle of the desert with a good mile or so to the nearest car. That's not fun. That sucks. So does not being able to find a freaking town when you're flying on the dragon in Secret of Mana.



You got some really good points, and that has cleared my mind better, I shouldnt be thinking how big it should be straight away, it should be how long I need it take to do the various tasks and build from there.

I too have always hated how things are sometimes done that way, also another incident in GTA: SA, is sometimes you fall into the water, and you have to swim for like 10 minutes just to get out.

Basically, your not going to have access to the birds or any faster methods until you make your way furthur to the end of the map. After the completion of the quest you'll need to use them to go furthur places, plus they are handy if you need to get around, after all, it is being set up like a mmo. Well thank you very much, I think you have just givin me a good idea, I think Im done here :)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
1) large maps = lots of borring running around sparsly detailed and repetative areas
2) small maps = interesting landscapes with lots of details and variation

generally speaking

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