Map Layout Advice & Opinions

Parallax Panda

Got into VxAce ~2014 and never stopped...
Veteran
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
1,330
First Language
Swedish
Primarily Uses
RMMV
This will be a rather lengthy explanation so bear with me!

I've run into a little bit of a problem with the mapping style I've chosen, and I rather not change the style because I've put a lot of time and effort into it (and I think it looks good). The problem is that it's difficult to map rooms that connects to a corridor/another room/etc to the north.

Here's an example of how my maps would work.

* The green tiles are all walk-able.
* The player walks behind the walls (and becomes semi-transparent in doing so).
* Since the walls are 3 tiles high, the player can walk behind 3 tiles of wall (or whatever) to the south of every room as well.

There wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that I use a kind of fog of war to hide the the rooms not visible to the player. It's not easily displayed in a screenshot though, but generally speaking the player won't see any rooms unless the entrance is in his field of vision. There is a problem with this though, and that's that the fog of war layer completely covers the player sprite when it's supposed to be semi-transparent, UNLESS the top of the northern wall of the room to the south begins one tile underneath where the player can walk (look at the room to the right to see and example of this).

Both rooms in the screenshot above works with my fog of war and semi-transparency effects. However the room to the right looks iffy, right? This is because the entrance to the room to the left is 2 tiles deep (which I think is okay for this style). The entrance to the room to the right however is 4(!) tiles deep which of course makes the wall look/feel super thick! And the entrance itself feels more like a tunnel than a doorway.

That's the problem, and I've no real solution since I'd like to keep both the fog of war and the semi-transparency. Technically I've tried everything I could to make it work so I'm at my wits end.

So here's some questions: Should I sacrifice the mapping advantage of having rooms with entrances to the north completely? How would such a game feel to you? Do you think good mapping can make people not think about the fact that you can only enter rooms from the south, left and right - but never from the north? What if I only made a few rooms where you could enter from the north in places where a thicker wall would fit the mapping, would that give mixed signals to the player?

Thanks for reading all that!:kaoluv:
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
22,299
Reaction score
11,714
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
My first thought is that having the player go behind all 3 wall tiles is both unnecessary and somewhat against the 2.5 perspective of RPGMaker. Being completely hidden works if it's a totally front view; being completely visible works if it's a totally top down view. However, with a 2.5 view, being partially hidden makes more sense. This, btw, is what I do with my walls and cliffs.
 

Parallax Panda

Got into VxAce ~2014 and never stopped...
Veteran
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
1,330
First Language
Swedish
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Kes
Thanks for your opinion. I actually despise the standard way that RPG maker (or should I say standard JRPG's in general) presents the southern walls as something you can't walk behind at all. The standard RPG perspective is already broken as is and unless a lot of time and effort is put into the mapping it just feels wrong (to me) to not be able to walk behind the wall. This style to me feel more logic.

That being said I do agree that it's not necessary for the player to be able to walk behind 3 tiles. But as you can see with my tileset and style of mapping if I restricted it to 2 or 1 tile the doorway to the south would have the same "tunnel-syndrome" as the doorway to the north currently has.
I guess I (maybe) could reduce the 3 tile rule to 2 tiles if I did some heavy tileset edits to to make it so the outer and inner walls got squeezed into one tile instead of two. I'm not sure if it's possible for all tiles I'm using though, or if it's worth the effort and time. Because the problem with doorways to the north would still persist.

Do you have any additional feedback on this?
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
22,299
Reaction score
11,714
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I agree with you about the default way with walls. Fortunately for Ace there is a script using regions which turns auto tiles into the equivalent of star setting, so mapping takes no longer than normal.

What I was wondering was whether you might give a better signal to the player by the shape of the walls to signify the presence of a door. Here are a couple of example, south and east. I don't change the shape for north, as I have no need to. Sorry for the slight blurryness, they were done with the snipping tool.
doorways.png

Perhaps you could find a shape which fits your aesthetic to signal to the player what is there?
 

mlogan

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
15,525
Reaction score
8,609
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I guess I don't understand why a player would need to walk behind northern walls in an interior setting. I mean, if they are walking back there, from what I gather from what you are saying, they are technically in another room/hall/corridor. So, why have them walking back there at all, and not just in the new map of that room/hall/whatever?
 

Parallax Panda

Got into VxAce ~2014 and never stopped...
Veteran
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
1,330
First Language
Swedish
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Kes
I see what you did there. Actually I'm planning to do this kind of indenting into the walls to indicate rooms unless they're hidden rooms. The sewer map I'm using as an example does not have those because it's part of a dungeon where I want to hide some rooms for the player. Like secret rooms that you'll notice if you happen to walk close by. :kaopride:

@mlogan
That is actually a fair point. I didn't think about it before but I guess doorways to the south could be entrances to a new maps, I'll consider that as one way to solve the problem. But I'm a little worried that while that would work, it might send mixed signals if the player can enter other rooms to the west and east and north on the same map but every doorway to the south takes you to another map. Making every room and corridor it's own map in the entire game would make my fog of war effect obsolete and drastically change the style of the game.

If I were to use your solution however, I'd also probably need to use some kind of arrow indicators on every map indicating transfer points to other maps. Otherwise the player might even miss the doorways on the southern walls because they're different from the others? Not that transfer indicators are a bad idea.

As for why the player would want to walk behind northern walls. Well, it's not something that would be necessary on every map of course. The above example was taken from a larger dungeon map that's more like a maze. And I wanted the exploration of this part of the dungeon to be more free and fluent and not chopped into many smaller maps. I believe that map transitions (when the screen goes black for a second) can take the player out of the experience a little.

I'm not sure if I'm able to explain my thoughts very well. It's a bit early and I've not had breakfast. I hope you can read though my messy writings.:kaoslp:

Anyway, here's another example of the problem that my semi-transparency and fog of war causes. This time I used several in game print screens to clearly show of what the problem is with my northern walls.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Profile Posts

aww these times when you feel alone, abandonned and lack the self awareness you don't even read anymore your favorite of all forum. Sorry all!
Oh wow, just got word the police are looking for an armed suspect within a 2 block radius of my office. Super glad I'm not there right now. :kaoswt:
Sheila Nagase

same caption as before. :3
"Be as honest as you possibly can as often as you can. It makes your lies much easier to believe."
Each new game means new ways to survive and you need to adapt when you have 10 different stores with lots of items for your adventure

Forum statistics

Threads
107,378
Messages
1,029,215
Members
139,474
Latest member
neotek7
Top