Maps - Big vs Many

MerlinCross

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I keep doing this. Eh mainly cause I'm trying to catch up on missing a couple years of discussion.

I wonder which is better or more usable. Many maps or one big one. Is a huge map with small rooms that warp you from block to block better than moving to different maps entirely? Some instances might be better to have big sprawling maps to work with but I'm wondering how people decide what works better for them.
 

TheoAllen

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Many maps > One big map

Because of these reasons
  1. The most obvious one is, it produces less lag.
  2. Less walking simulator.
  3. Segmentation. By transferring to a different map, I know where I'm right now. West part of the castle, or east part of it.
 

Kupotepo

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I just like to combine mapping like many of people here. Some are big and some are small depending on how big locations need to be.
If you are feel that the location is too big for you to look around to find different events you place, I think you have sectionment it to place into different maps.

The comfort level is up to you. Who cares is your game? You are happy and do not get stressed that what I want.
 
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Shikamon

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many small maps are easier to work for sure
 

bgillisp

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Many small maps. The bigger the map the harder it is to keep lag down. Plus I remember the one 140 x 140 map I made for my last game, and I hated myself for deciding to do a map that big all the time due to how long it took to map (1 week roughly) and event, and test and...
 

MerlinCross

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Many small maps. The bigger the map the harder it is to keep lag down. Plus I remember the one 140 x 140 map I made for my last game, and I hated myself for deciding to do a map that big all the time due to how long it took to map (1 week roughly) and event, and test and...
I mean the biggest I have is about 50x50
 

Andar

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it depends on a lot of things, including functions of the map and size of the game.

Any single map shoud be as small as possible without cluttering it up, and as large as needed to have its intended function.
The problem comes from bad maps where the developer messed themselves up. large and empty maps are one of the common causes for bad games, which generates the answers above. But small and cluttered maps where the player has problems finding the way from one side of the screen to the next are as bad as well.

if your game has a world map, that should be as large as needed - having a world map split is a bad idea.
And if you map every single hut in your game in its own map, then you might get against the maximum map limit.

So you need to plan your maps instead of just guessing how much space you need where.
 

Aesica

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I guess I'm the oddball here in that I prefer larger maps that are segmented. As in, one map to contain all of my town's house interiors instead of 1 map per interior, because that feels just wasteful. However with dungeons, I like them to have all of, say, Floor 1 on one map, Floor 2 on another, Basement 1 on another, etc even though each area might have multiple segments on that same floor.
 

Zeriab

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@Aesica Yet you are actually being more wasteful in regard to processing requirements since you need to keep more in memory at the same time, and the default scripts don't really scale very well.

Some very old games had a different way of representing maps in memory where having multiple interiors on the same map had an actually performance benefit. This is not the case for RPG Maker, here you pay a performance penalty.

You can still do it if you like to create your maps that way. Doing so can also allow you to see neighboring interiors. Achieving that effect is easier when having multiple interiors on one map.

*hugs*
- Zeriab
 

Aesica

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@Aesica Yet you are actually being more wasteful in regard to processing requirements since you need to keep more in memory at the same time, and the default scripts don't really scale very well.

Some very old games had a different way of representing maps in memory where having multiple interiors on the same map had an actually performance benefit. This is not the case for RPG Maker, here you pay a performance penalty.

You can still do it if you like to create your maps that way. Doing so can also allow you to see neighboring interiors. Achieving that effect is easier when having multiple interiors on one map.

*hugs*
- Zeriab
Oh I'm aware, however interiors generally don't have a lot going on, so performance hasn't been a huge deal in any of the testing I've done. As for seeing nearby interiors, I space them apart far enough so the player will (hopefully) never see neighboring house interiors. :)

I guess I mostly just do it because it makes me far less likely to hit the map count limit, plus I like to break up what would be one huge map into several smaller ones, including several small side-rooms. Using a unique map per segment/side room is a quick way to hit the cap.
 

ADMtn

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Also voting for smaller maps, and my reasoning is similar to some other folks above:

Manageability for the designer
It's easier to juggle events if they're localized in smaller maps. With a large map, you either have to do a lot more juggling with a high quantity of events, or you simply have to minimize the number of events. With smaller maps, it's easier to manage events which allows for...

More organic/dynamic world
Having more complex events throughout the game (and not only in main story events) helps make the world feel more dynamic (e.g., PCs respond to more stimuli, NPCs do more than say one sentence for the whole game). Having a large world map with minimal events makes the game feel lifeless. Splitting maps into smaller ones makes it easier to create, keep track of, and QC events which give the game life.

Avoid lag
Supposedly, having a large map (particularly with additional effects, like a parallax background, weather effects, etc.) causes lag. I've seen this when playing some other folks' games. The map is large and "busy," utilizing every plugin the designer could get their hands on, with NPCs all over the place--and there's obvious lag.

Avoid memory leak freezing the game
I'm not exactly sure how it works, but what I've read seems to indicate that if the player sits in one map for too long, the game is more likely to freeze from memory leaks (or a faulty plugin or event). In contrast, when the player goes from one map to another, the memory cache seems to be cleared to some extent and prevents the game from freezing.

As a player...
I prefer maps broken up as a player. It makes exploration feel more manageable and minimizes the feeling of a "walking simulator" (for me, having a screen scroll for a long time creates that walking simulator feeling; I know old school JRPGs did this all the time with their dungeons to simulate a kind of fog of war in exploration, but I'm not a fan).
 

Raths Rants

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Normally I have a few medium-sized maps and smaller maps for individual areas. Town and open area maps can be very tricky. Breaking large maps up into smaller areas seems to work best for me.
 

Hudell

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Depends on what you have on your game. If you get to ride a horse that runs super fast but needs to change maps after every 5 steps, it would be super annoying. If your character is a slow walker then large maps would be even more annoying.
 

ADMtn

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Depends on what you have on your game. If you get to ride a horse that runs super fast but needs to change maps after every 5 steps, it would be super annoying. If your character is a slow walker then large maps would be even more annoying.
Great point. I guess, like every other design decision, you need to look at the big picture.

Farming sims and MMOs generally have large maps (or maps that require a lot of back and forth), but providing mounts relatively close to the start of the game helps to alleviate the "walking simulator" problem. The mount (and maybe subsequent mounts with higher speeds) gives the player something to look forward to and work toward.
 

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