Should a developer use big maps?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ElOtario, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. ElOtario

    ElOtario Villager Member

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    Playing around with VX Ace, I discovered that the tile limit is 500x500. In my opinion it is more than enough, in a lot of cases, and maybe no sane developer would want to make maps that big. But then I thought of something. When I was thinking about big maps, I mostly thought about world maps. But maybe that's not the only use for them. Imagine I wanted a map with a massive building. A colossal structure, where the players would look like ants next to it. Could a big map be used to simbolize the size of buildings in relation to a player? Or could various separated maps be used to achieve this?
     
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  2. AfroKat

    AfroKat Villager Member

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    What you could do is make the building on a separate map, and when the player enters the map their Sprite changed to be alot smaller and disable sprinting. To get the full effect while walking by.

    Also change the music too
     
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  3. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @AfroKat Please note that 'General Discussion' is not about implementation, which always belongs in the appropriate Support forum.
     
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  4. Aoi Ninami

    Aoi Ninami Veteran Veteran

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    Whatever the size of the map, you can only see 17x13 on screen at once. Sure, you can make the building feel massive by making it take a very long time to walk around, but that's just boring for the player, unless you give them something to do (make the journey around the building a dungeon in itself) -- but 500 in either width or height is way too big for a single dungeon.

    The best way to make a building seem massive is to map only a small part of it, and show that it continues far off-screen.
     
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  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Having made a few big maps, there are a few problems that will occur that you will need to consider:

    1: Lag. Ace renders the entire map and events every frame, even for off-screen events. So those large maps got more events which = more to render and will slow the game down. You'll need an anti-lag script to prevent this issue.

    2: Players can and will get lost. My first demo had a 90 x 90 house as I wanted it to feel massive. Players constantly either got lost, or complained about how long it took just to walk from one end to the other. My final version was 36 x 28 which still gets the point across with much less needless walking.

    3: Screenshots for strategy guides. I found out the hard way that those big maps, when you take a mapshot to show the map for your strategy guide, do not fit on normal paper, at least at any size the player can actually see the map and what is on it. So that 140 x 140 map may look like a good idea on paper, but on your strategy guide the player will have to squint to read that mapshot of it and tell if that is a tree or a smear on their monitor.

    Also you don't need big maps to get the points across. Even the FF games didn't use as huge a world map as you think they did. Someone counted the tiles for ff6's world map, and I believe they came up with 127 x 127.

    To better show you what I mean, here's a video of me wandering my world map. It is 83 x 72 tiles. Note how long it takes me to walk around it.

    The music is kinda sad too in the video, but to stay why is a spoiler. Note this is from Chapter 9, which is when you get access to the boat and can go anywhere.

     
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