Methods of travel? Pokemon/Zelda Vs Final Fantasy

What method of travel between areas do you prefer?

  • Constant World (like Pokemon, or Zelda games)

    Votes: 15 48.4%
  • World Maps (like Classic Final Fantasy games)

    Votes: 10 32.3%
  • Transporters (Choose your destination from a list)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • I don't really care.

    Votes: 5 16.1%

  • Total voters
    31

William MC

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Hey there guys, today I come to you all with an interesting question on opinions. You see I was just thinking about how there are different ways to get around in different games. I've divided these into 3 groups, Constant World, World Maps, & Transporters.

Now let me explain the differences that I've discovered between the three.

Constant World: Essentially, a constant world game is something like unto the Pokemon series, or the classic Zelda games, aka you walk everywhere, and the whole world is at the same size/scale. For example, in the Pokemon games you as the player walk town to town, and other key areas by walking through different "routes" or "caves" where random encounters with enemies may occur. Along the way you may encounter hidden items, you may solve puzzles, etc.

The old NES or SNES/GBA Zelda games are like unto it, you travel through a consistently sized world, from place to place fighting the enemies you find along the way. You may end up traveling over the same areas from time to time as you seek to travel to new dungeons that may have been previously unaccessible due to lack of completing certain requirements. Along the way you can find random NPC's to talk to, as well as their houses, and shops etc. Though the Zelda games tend to display an environment that is less encompassing (aka not the whole world, they focus on a region, and typically 1-3 towns, the concept is basically the same.

Here I've included some examples of areas used for travel between main cities/dungeons:

As you can see, everything stays a consistent size.

World Maps: Take a moment to look back at the early days, when Final Fantasy was still in it's early stages. Remember how when you'd leave town you'd suddenly be as tall as that big mountain over there? Or how you'd stomp across entire forests, only to find that one secret area in the forest that brought you back to a normal size scale (aka to explore it in more detail)? This is the style of travel I call the World Map style. It's probably considered the default or standard method of travel between areas in a "typical rpg", if nothing else it's what the "Field" tileset of the RTP is typically used for.

Often in this style of travel, you're faced with endless battles as you try to travel your way to that next little town or dungeon icon on the map, so that the real sight seeing or exploration may occur. This style of travel can include certain puzzles of it's own, though most of a different nature to those of a Constant World. For example take a look at this world map of Final Fantasy 1:

Take a look at areas 13-15 in the bottom right corner. Seems to me that there is a puzzle of sorts going on there to navigate that labarinth of mountains to reach those areas that can only be entered from 3 small rivers. There's also quite the abundance of water to help get you lost for some time if you're not careful. There's no doubt that this style definitely makes your game seem like an all encompassing world on a large scale. But do you enjoy traveling in this way as you get attacked by endless hordes of enemies? Is this fun?

Transporters: Transporters are the type of rpg/game that gives you a route of possible options of areas you may explore, they often take the look of a tree in nature, as you progress to new possible routes, more possible routes extend from that one area, typically branching off into two options or more. These games are all about constantly being in the action, who wants to travel at all? I just want to explore the "level" or dungeon at hand. Some examples of games that use this style of travel between areas would be Kingdom Hearts, Darkiders, and or even stuff like Star Fox 64, and Super Mario Bros 3.

Example images:

Kingdom Hearts:


DarkSiders:



StarFox 64:



Super Mario Bros 3:



So of these three types, which do you like the best? Which would you prefer in an RPG? What other pros and/or cons are there to the different types of travel methods?

Share your thoughts and feelings please, I think this could be most interesting.
 

Sharm

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I prefer constant world combined with transporters. So you can walk anywhere through all the awesome locations but as you get further into the game you unlock warping points or spells to make jumping around the map easier. Zelda: Link Between Worlds and Secret of Mana did it that way, I'm sure there are more but I can't remember at the moment. I find this style more immersive and I feel like I get to actually explore the world and by adding the transporter it negates all the negatives of having to travel and re-travel over a large series of maps.
 
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Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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constant world, but if I'm gonna include the developer side of the choice: not like pokemon or zelda where there's no transition..


and as Sharm said, add teleporters/waygates
 
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TheRiotInside

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It should be noted that Pokemon allowed you to travel to previously visited areas once you found the Fly HM. Besides that note I'll just echo what Sharm said (again, haha).
 

Milennin

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I prefer constant worlds. It gives you a better connection to the world. But I can understand the need for an overworld if a story takes place over an entire continent, or makes the party travel to places all across the world.
 

Mouser

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Constant world would be me least favorite of the three (unless it also include 'fast travel' mechanisms a la Morrowind).

Final Fantasy X-2 did a nice job with the airship hub: it was a nice change from the standard FF fare, at any rate.

My 'favorite' though would be world map. I think that fits the 2D RPG genre the best.
 

whitesphere

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I like what Dragon Quest IX did.  They had the World Map combined with a Transporter.

So, you had to explore via the World Map, but once you found an area, you could use Zoom or a Chimera Wing to instantly transport to it again.  I liked how you both had exploring, and when you already knew the area, could avoid redundant battles.  Also, by that time in game, the battles were merely annoyances to my party anyways.

I also liked that, in Dragon Quest IX, if you were obviously MUCH higher leveled than your opponents, they would run from you so you don't have the silliness of an Epic Level 90 party being attacked by lots of Slimes as they wander an early game area.

My favorite opponent there were the Metal Slime and their kin.  So, I'm making sure to add in a very rare opponent.  Think Metal Slime meets Vorpal Bunny (Monty Python reference)....
 

Deleted

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I totally agree with Sharm on this one Constant world with transporter mixed in to avoid replaying areas you don't want to revisit. That's what i'm going to do with my game.
 

Ksi

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Depends on the scale of the world but I personally prefer World Maps as seen in Chrono Trigger and Suikoden. Also, there's a difference between a warp spell and Transporter, guys. Just because you can teleport between areas doesn't mean that they're the same type as the Transporter - from the start Transporter allows you to travel. Sometimes areas are blocked off by other areas or can be accessed but are deadly to go to - think Final Fantasy Tactics. Teleport just allows you to move to an area you've already been. You can choose from a list a name.

That said, it really depends on the game. If there's a huge world then I feel world map or transponder is the best way to go. You just can't get the feel of epic travel across nations from Constant maps - there's huge jumps and they feel like you're missing large parts of the areas because of that.

Don't forget about Hub worlds, too. They're different to the other categories because they open up new areas not necessarily on story. Ones like this aren't usually an RPG staple but they have been used in the past.

And there have been a few that are board maps - as in board games, yes.
 

William MC

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Hub worlds? Could you give an example game? I'm not sure if this is one, but the phrase made me think of Diablo 2 or 3. In those games you go from one large area to another large area as you progress through "acts". So you can explore everything around you, find mini side dungeons, etc. But once you beat the big boss you go to town and travel with the caravan to access the next huge area or act as they're called. In effect, this creates a large constant world, that also occupies an entire world as the traveling from one act to another increases the feel for the size of the world. It's a little different but similar to the others.

Thanks for sharing your opinions guys, it's interesting to see what everyone thinks.

Chrono Trigger's World map is interesting because you go directly to houses from the world map, but it's cool and detailed looking. Golden Sun is an example of another cool world map based game.

It seems like many of you prefer the constant world stuff, but it also seems interesting to me that everyone wants a way to at least "retravel" faster than the initial travel.

I think of Final Fantasy XII when it comes to that aspect. You could explore anywhere in a constant world, sometimes to areas that were even too strong for you, but as you traveled you found warp crystals that allowed for easy travel back and forth between areas.
 

MMO

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I dislike Pokemon's/Zelda's ways of travel. I personally like Transporter's the most, but World can also work. Final Fantasy's way of travel(A.K.A World) was actually unique, which I liked, but transporting is easier in my opinion)
 

William MC

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Thanks for your opinion Student.

So I'd like to try a constant world for my game, but as I play through Pokemon Yellow to get an idea of how it flowed, I can never feel a break in the world. It feels consistent because the camera never jumps.

For example my experience in trying to map a world like this is that the map/camera jumps.

Say I make a map like so.

 _________   _________

|                   ||                   |

|        1       A||B        2       |

|_________ ||_________ |

A and B are the points of transfer from one map to another. The maps are the same size. But when I move from map 1 to map 2, the 'camera' jumps from one map to the other, even if I set it to no transition effect such as fading out and then back in. So essentially my character that was on the right side of the screen is now suddenly on the left side of the screen.

Is there any way to make it flow better so that I can see half and half of both maps when I'm at the crossing point? The only way I can think of is making both maps oversized to show the "overlapping" map in the one and then warping them to the actual starting point of the next map without a transition effect so it seems fluid.

Am I over thinking this or is it not that important?
 

Sharm

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The oversized method is the only one I know of but it works really well.
 

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