shadefoundry

Is Sinistar
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So normally my mapping style is pretty condensed. I like to start with the small 17x13 map and slowly expand it in size as needed rather than start with a big map and then force myself to fill in space. I feel this makes my maps look a bit more organic and they work better on a conception level for it.

My problem now though is that my project has been stripped down to be more manageable and that has left it basically taking place entirely in a big city, with one of the core mechanics being that the player has to investigate the overarching plot as it unfolds and try to stop the big bad. I like the idea of having my city act as an overworld map almost, as it's allowed me to have tons of locations that a normal RPG city might not have. Of course the map I've got was made using my style of mapping so it's pretty small to work as an overworld. I feel I could probably put together a large city that actually feels like one if I took the time to, but I wanted to know people's thoughts on this.

So, in a game that takes place all in one city, would you prefer a map that actually requires in game directions to navigate (you'd be given a map) or a smaller scale map that's very easy to get from point a to point b in (what I currently have now)

Thoughts guys?

Edit: Forgot to mention my current map spans around 4, maybe 5 screens give or take.
 

bustedradio

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To me, it depends on what kind of city it is.

If it's a city that's cluttered and overly detailed with no distinct areas/districts, then I prefer to have the map broken up. Having the city in chunks make's it easier for me to remember where everything should be. When I enter one chunk, I know where everything should be and once I leave it, I can put away that memory and bring up my memory for the next chunk. Eventually I'll be familiar enough with the city, but it'd take a long time.

If the city has a simple layout with clear, distinct areas/districts, then I don't mind having a big map. For example, if there is merchant district, I expect there to be general good shops and bars. In the blacksmith district, I expect shops that sell weapons, armor, shields, and tools. If there is a residential area, I expect people to be living there, perhaps around a school or church. It makes it a lot easier for me to figure out and remember where everything without breaking up the map.
 

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