World map?


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SGHarlekin

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So I'm currently working on a linear story RPG and I was pondering whether or not to have a world map. Personally, I lean more towards having no world map, mostly because I never really liked wandering around on them, fighting random encounters and generally just looking for "where the hell do I need to go?!"
I also feel like having no world map makes the "travel" more worth it. By having distinguished maps that are ready to explore instead of having this huge world map for the player to zoom around in.

Another reason being me only having the rtp world tileset. Not the best looking thing tbh.

I'd like to hear peoples pros/cons of world maps as well as why they would prefer one over the other.

Let's go! :D
 
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Finnuval

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Worldmap Pro : sense of grander scale, being part of a larger world which in some stories is a necessary sensation.
Con : well you mentioned most xD

No worldmap Pro : more intimate and linear sensation, higher exploration and adventurous feel on a smaller scale.
Con : easy to mess up and feel tedious or repetitive when done wrong.

I didn't vote as I firmly believe both to be valid options depending on the story you are telling, the scale of that story and what feeling you want your players to have.
 

JohnDoeNews

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I only can think of 1 reason why not have an overworld map: Cause it is too much work.

Specially with a story driven game, but also with a leveled game, world maps are just a nice visual addition to show the players which part of the games are completed and what is still to be expected.

World maps are specially great for RPG's, but many side scrollers use them already since the 80's. Think about Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario RPG and Super Mario World. (Okay, that is a lot of Super Mario...) After that only mare and more games have been using overworld maps, and I think there is a reason for that: Overworld maps are great! :p

(So even though my answer is yes, always use an overworld map, I don't use them myself in my main game... My overworld map is just a large city map, which I have cut in pieces to use in the scenes)

Map008.png
 

123edc

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maybe a "in between" would be an option for you?

like there are some games out there, who have ... for example ... a map on the bridge of the ship ... and that takes you to a drawn "worldmap", where you don't realy wander around, but just select the destinations ...

youre journey starts and you "walk" part of the road (where the action happens) on a normal map ... something like that
 

SGHarlekin

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Thank you guys for the replies so far. The game's scale would be spanning a country at best I would say. So no classical ships and airships needed.

I'm still unsure as I don't really see the benefit of having one (besides the subjective "nice thing to look at"). I can easily make side areas for exploration without having a world map connecting them I think.

So if anyone wants to chime in and bring up some distinct advantages of having the "classic" world map type thing over not having one, I'm all ears!

@123edc I'd count that towards not having a world map, since it's essentially just a fast travel screen.
 

Andar

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it largely depends on what kind of game you're making.

if it is a game with exploration content a worldmap is almost a must. On the other hand for a very strict, linear story there is no need for a worldmap in itself.
 

Cymaiden

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I get the appeal of the world map from an exploratory point of view, but at the same time, I feel like a world map necessarily makes a game world feel smaller even if one restricts the scope of said game to a singular region. I honestly don't blame Square for doing away with it in Final Fantasy X.
 

SGHarlekin

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it largely depends on what kind of game you're making.

if it is a game with exploration content a worldmap is almost a must. On the other hand for a very strict, linear story there is no need for a worldmap in itself.
Aye, it's going to be linear. No branching paths or anything. I can include some side dungeons or whatever of course (no world map needed for that), but other than that, it's this path and none other.

I feel like it would be much more amazing when walking from city to city and you got actual maps to explore. Lush forest, frozen mountains and everything inbetween, rather than having this rtp tileset world map that looks pretty bad no matter what I do. (I'm having this poll to see if there's someone out there that's like "But Harlekin, a world map has THIS, and you can't have "this" without a world map."

A feature so great it would make me consider using one essentially.
 

DrBuni

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I guess a world map can help towards increased immersion, but personally I never saw the point. To be fair, I can get lost easily in games, so world maps tend to frustrate me, but that is just me. I never dropped a RPG because it had a world map.

If I add a "world map" to my game, it will be more akin to the level select from Super Mario Bros. 3 than a big open map like in retro RPGs.
 

sugarcr4sh

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I voted nay as I don't have one in my game, but I would've rather voted for an in-between / it depends option instead!

Although, I don't think world maps necessarily have to be the default wander around type... sometimes you can add some variation like showing an animated arrow stretching across a world map to demonstrate where you're headed next (ex: the map usage in Drakengard 3).
 

bgillisp

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Honest answer is: Add it if your game needs it. My first game needed one as it had like 22 cities in it. My 2nd game takes place entirely on an island and my 3rd game takes place entirely in one huge city (and surrounding area), and as such neither have world maps in them.
 

KawaiiKid

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If it's a regular JRPG I'd go big with a world map. I personally think they add so much to a game. Making a great world map is really hard though, and definitely adds a lot of time for not only art, but programming. You need to think of creative ways to make the environment block areas in a non invasive way that you aren't supposed to go to yet, or program ways around it. Like mist covering areas that turn you back, construction, a bridge out, military occupation, etc.
 

gstv87

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the "world map" at design level is just another map like any other, at the same level as interior scenes or cinematic scenarios.
the only difference is, it has another tileset style, and connects parts of the world otherwise disconnected.
why is that? because maps take space and if you won't have a world map, you'd have to connect the space from point A to point B with actual tiles.
the world map lets you cheat that by adding a superior level (or, under level.... Nether anyone? from Minecraft?) linking the maps together.

would be nice to have a game that instead of "world map" has a "subspace" style link, like in Star Trek: you move faster through subspace than normal space.
 

Shikamon

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World map can also work within a nation wide scale like from suikoden series which mostly to show how distance between places or how different geography, climates or etc. a field map ( a map between place and others ) can make everything detail and more immersive but you will not expect what beyond "there", like you know from a far when you see a town in the middle of desert or some ruin. you can't get this feeling without world map exploration.
 

SGHarlekin

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I voted nay as I don't have one in my game, but I would've rather voted for an in-between / it depends option instead!

Although, I don't think world maps necessarily have to be the default wander around type... sometimes you can add some variation like showing an animated arrow stretching across a world map to demonstrate where you're headed next (ex: the map usage in Drakengard 3).
I left the "It depends option out on purpose. "It depends" is the answer to almost all questions in gamedesign I would say. Of course it depends.

So most people are pro world map huh. Interesting. Thank y'all for your insights!
 

KawaiiKid

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I left the "It depends option out on purpose. "It depends" is the answer to almost all questions in gamedesign I would say. Of course it depends.

So most people are pro world map huh. Interesting. Thank y'all for your insights!
I remember when FFX came out, and I finally got my ps2 and played it only to learn there was no world map. I was so bummed, and thus the long line of hallway simulator rpgs began T_T
 

SGHarlekin

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I remember when FFX came out, and I finally got my ps2 and played it only to learn there was no world map. I was so bummed, and thus the long line of hallway simulator rpgs began T_T
Looks like we're complete opposites. I never liked world maps. I think they're boring, empty places that offer no joy. I was also never thinking "Oh, so that's where this town is located in the world!" Like, yeah no, don't care... OH MY GOD ANOTHER RANDOM ENCOUNTER.
 

KawaiiKid

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Looks like we're complete opposites. I never liked world maps. I think they're boring, empty places that offer no joy. I was also never thinking "Oh, so that's where this town is located in the world!" Like, yeah no, don't care... OH MY GOD ANOTHER RANDOM ENCOUNTER.
I think for me world maps give me a sense of scale. You can see things off in the distance and wonder what's over there, and it's fun to find hidden areas, and to explore. Games that don't have world maps to me just feel very small.

This is excluding open world games of course. That is basically the natural progression of world maps as technology has allowed it. Even interesting "world maps" like those you build yourself like in legend of mana, or dark cloud are fun as well to me.

Games like FFXII where you just teleport around by interacting with the save crystals just take away a lot for me.
 

SGHarlekin

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Games like FFXII where you just teleport around by interacting with the save crystals just take away a lot for me.
The thing with many games that do have a world map is you'll still teleport around from town to town regardless because going back and forth is still annoying.

But of course there's nuance to everything. I'll see what I can come up with.
 

KawaiiKid

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The thing with many games that do have a world map is you'll still teleport around from town to town regardless because going back and forth is still annoying.

But of course there's nuance to everything. I'll see what I can come up with.
I'd just go with what you personally like, because there are tons of successful games using world maps, and tons that don't. If you start introducing things into your game that you don't really like as a player, it might mess with your vision for the game in other ways.
 

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