Map Building: To Edge or not to Edge

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by l8rose, Nov 11, 2019.

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To Edge or not to Edge?

  1. Teleporting at the edge of the map

    25.0%
  2. I like to give a little room to make it seem bigger

    75.0%
  1. l8rose

    l8rose Neeeeerd Veteran

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    So as the title asks, when you build a map, do you go to the edge or do you leave a little room?


    Personally, I've always been the type to go to the edge of the map for my transitions to a new map or edge of the "view". I've had a few people comment on that being a negative thing which always seemed a little strange to me. I've always done my maps with the whole KISS mentality, if it doesn't need to be there, then it's not there.

    If you're unsure what I mean, this block would be the teleporting at the edge.
    edge1.png

    While this one would leave some room to give the idea of a bigger cave.
    edge2.png
     
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  2. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    This isn't really a game mechanic, so I'm moving it to General Discussion.


    Personally I think it depends on the type of map. If the area is supposed to feel large or open to the player, then I'd expect the transfer to be a bit away from the edge, to make it seem like the world just keeps on going. For something like a cave where things would be cramped and possibly claustrophobic, then going to the edge of the map is fine.
     
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  3. doriantoki

    doriantoki Enjoying the Ritual Veteran

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    I think another consideration is keeping the "camera" centered on the player avatar as much as possible. When your screen has a very obvious cut-off edge, the "camera" stops at a certain point, while the character keeps going. From a visual perspective, I've always found that very odd. It signals to the player that they're nearing the edge of the visible screen, and for some people, can really break the immersion. That's just my thoughts on it though. If you're wanting to go for a more cinematic feel, where the player avatar is always the center of the action, I would probably add a few extra tiles of "edge".
     
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  4. caethyril

    caethyril ^_^ Veteran

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    I feel the most important factor here is the "affordance" aspect, i.e. how does the player recognise map transition points? A few examples:
    • A map surrounded by cliffs/trees/walls/whatever except for a few openings: those openings naturally seem like entrances/exits.
    • A map that's open all round, but has a clear road leading out: exit by following the road to the map edge?
    • A map that's open all round with no clear indication of an exit: just move to the map edge?
    I'd suggest simply making sure transitions are consistently positioned, e.g. always on the map edge, or always 1 tile removed (my personal preference), etc. Consistency makes the game's mechanics easier to understand for the player, and can make things easier to debug for the developer~

    (I prefer leaving a 1-tile gap because I like to make the player walk forward 1 tile as the screen fades for transfer. :kaothx:)
     
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  5. 8bitBartabas

    8bitBartabas Villager Member

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    I'm going to have to agree with hiddenone. If it makes sense to edge then edge if not then don't.

    If you're leaving a walled in city, then at the gate I wouldn't really see anything but the gate, but if I were transitioning from one field to the other having the maps flow together with some overlap might be nice. I don't know, those are kinda silly examples.
     
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  6. M.I.A.

    M.I.A. Goofball Extraordinaire Veteran

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    My personal style is to always "edge" transitional/transfer locations... and to make it visibly clear to the player that this is the place to go to a new map. Such as a trail.. narrowing ledges.. charting a water source.. etc.

    By doing is this way, consistently, anytime a player sees an edge of a map, it could queue them to explore around and maybe find a way to get there. It may be a secret! Also, I try to make it very clear by blocking the other parts of the edge of maps off. It can be a bit tricky to do, especially without overcrowding or over decorating a map.. but.. I find if you are consistent with your selecting style, players will catch on. :)

    -MIA
     
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  7. CraneSoft

    CraneSoft Filthy Degenerate Veteran

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    For maps that took place inside a open city with cars moving and pedestrians walking around, I don't include edges so the player don't actually get to see NPCs appear/disappear off the edges of the map. The extra "off-screen" space are also useful for me to place color-coded autorun events when necessary without them actually being visible to the player yet are easy to identify over the course of development. I do mark all transition points with directional arrows (excluding secret paths) however as IMO they are useful regardless of the method you use.
     
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  8. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    To me, it's about building expectations. As in, you (the player) know that touching a door or a staircase is going to transition you to another map. I try to set things up so that touching the very edge of the map feels the same way. If the player can reach the edge of a map, I want them to think, "yeah, I'm going to enter a new area or return to the overworld."

    By transitioning the player a few tiles before the edge, it seems like accomplishing that feeling would be more difficult.
     
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  9. Punamaagi

    Punamaagi Hero on their own terms Veteran

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    Most maps in my game are the same size, so I use edge transfers to link them together and allow players to move from any tile on the edge as long as it's not blocked. While I can see the aesthetic value of leaving space, it feels easier and more logical to link maps straight from their edges (especially since there's a plugin for that and I don't have to make a million events).

    In any case, the worst case for me is having open maps where only certain points/tiles lead to the adjacent area; like Aesica and M.I.A., I want the player to get excited when they reach the edge of a map.
     
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  10. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I don't have a strong opinion either way on this one, but I feel that consistency and clarity are really important. When the player walks onto a tile, they should know whether that tile is going to warp them to another map or not (either because of its visual appearance, or because it's in a certain position such as the edge).
     
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