Large map advice/tips

genghis_rabbit

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Hey people, so basically I'm starting a my first large scale project in mv. I'm looking to make a large map that's broken into 9/10 big areas, that will have quest item to find, puzzles to that progress the main story, upgrade items, etc. Where is a good place to start? I've done some drawings to get the layout of the areas but could do with some input from people with more experience. Below are a few other questions I have if anyone can help.

What size maps would you recommend? I want to have enough packed in that the player wants to spend time looking for hidden item but at the same time I don't want it to look or feel to over crowded.

Whe it come to building a map Where's a good place to start?

Any tips on how to make the different areas feel different from each other?

Any tips or advice would be welcome, thank you
 

Wavelength

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I'm certainly no map-making maven, but in my years of experience with different RPG Makers, I've found that the ideal size for a map is generally much smaller than you would think.

Even in a "wide-open" environment like a wide city avenue or a grassy savannah, three to four tiles or so of width in walking space is usually sufficient - that's the space between buildings in a city or the space of a fully walkable column/row across the screen, with rocks or trees obstacling the other columns in a savannah setting.

Except for truly grand landmarks, your buildings/structures can be a little smaller than you expect. Remember that you only have 20x15 tiles worth of screen space, so a one-story home can be three tiles tall (with an extra 2-3 tiles of height for the roof) and 5-7 tiles wide, and it will look plenty big against a one-tile-in-height character.

One final thing to remember is that the more events that are on a map (and the more pages that are in those events), the laggier the map will become. This limitation is not that bad - running on a PC, you can usually get away with about 100 3-page events before lag starts to rear its ugly head. But if you have a large map with a lot of events, or very complex events with many pages, then it's smart to split that map into several smaller maps so that each map has fewer events on it.
 

genghis_rabbit

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Hey, thanks for the advice I had a map already at 150 x 150, but after reading you post I plotted out the roads and side walks and you were right, with the roads and side walks on both sides it comes to 12 tiles long. So I've re-sized the map down to 80 x 80 and this seems like a much more appropriate size, the map I'm making is a city setting and im using the pop! horror city tile sets and want be grateful for any over advice you might have.
 

LinkDrako

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Hey cool, something I know about!

So, map design is about two things:
plot awareness - (keeping the map on point with the story/objectives). This means if your character needs to travel on foot you have to balance distance with how much you want your player to trudge (think the difference between how Final Fantasy 1-3 and Final Fantasy 6-10 map sizes versus feel occurs)
details - This one can be tough because you want your map to be detailed and beautiful, but you don't want to overdo it so much that it takes away from the actual gameplay. And you want your gameplay to work well within the mapping structure.

To start, I would say your map size should be roughly 35x25 to start, and then edit the size up/down as you need to. You said 9-10 maps total so Im assuming no overworld style map, just area configurations.

(EDIT)
You can also find an amazing amount of cheap and free resources within the RMMV community as well so you can easily get what you need.
 

genghis_rabbit

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Hello, No I'm not planning on a overworld map maybe a map like the old zelda games that just show the different areas. I've played with some map sizes and 35x25 seems to small, I aiming for the maps to be big enough that players can look around to find hidden items etc. I also plan to have a few quest that require players to go to 1 area and the have to go to another to find an item to gain access to that area.
 

Veno

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I did a bunch of testing years ago on map sizes with tons of plugins running, and in the end I settled for 100/60. 100 width 60 height for my largest maps. That's as high as I'm comfortable going. Most gamers and their PCs seem to do okay with this. I wouldn't go much higher personally due to slowdowns caused by more events/effects/etc (also depends on how heavy you go with special effect plugins like fog/lights).
 

LinkDrako

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my current overworld map is a 200x160 and I will be increasing the size a bit for detail purposes. so dont be afraid to go big if thats what you need to do. I just mentioned the smaller scale to start from and build up. Thats just my process tho, I start small and then increase the size and detail from there.
 

avimage1

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Just a suggestion I'd like to throw in here, since I finally had some time to read some forum posts. Take a character on a test play and walk the distance of your map. Big maps are great, but they should have a purpose, and if the player is getting bored walking from point A to point B due to no zone transitions, you could lose a players interest really fast. I found for my larger maps they looked a decent size in the software itself, but once I started walking around with the characters they just felt TOO big, and I had to trim down the sizes to something that wouldn't bore people. And don't be afraid to look at old school games that might sit similar to what you are looking to accomplish as a good resource. Personally, I based a great deal of my map designs on Final Fantasy 4 in terms of structure, up to and including max map sizes. Maybe looking at similar layouts for a game that has some types of designs like this, Link to the Past comes to mind, and see how they actually structure the maps and zones. If you take a look at classic games that work similarly to what you want to accomplish, you should be able to get a really good idea for how to create your maps with the proper ambience and design scale.
 

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