While I've been planning out my game I got myself into a small but hard decision: what kind of world map/hub should i go for my game. And the more i thought about I just started analyzing the pros and cons of most types of maps that you can find in an RPG game. I made a short list showing the overall points of each common map type. The list I made is not exhaustive but it would be interesting to see what other people also think about this and add their own ideas. (This will be Teal Deer by the way) World Map: The classic JRPG map, the maps are divided between "Town/Dungeon" and "World". Games that have this kind of map: Final Fantasy (up to FFX) Chrono Trigger Phantasy Star I-IV Tales series Golden Sun [*]Pros You can make expansive maps and worlds so much easier They take up less memory space They can make the world feel more realistic with towns out of the way Players can have more freedom to where they would go [*]Cons The big amount of nothing can make going from from A and B annoying (even more so with random encounters) Easier to get lost and waste time trying to find where to go next Continuous Map: It's all one big map, except for some areas such as buildings, dungeons, terrains that are as big as the whole map, etc. Games that have this kind of map: 2D Zelda(except Zelda II) Pokemon Mana Series Mother Series [*]Pros Can invite a sense of exploration, specially when the game is non-linear or has abilities that encourage you to return to an old place Can be very immersive as everything for the most part flows more naturally Makes the world feel more like a cohesive whole Towns can be used to add to the pacing of the story [*]Cons Can be very slow paced and tiring to get from point A to B Broken bridges can be obnoxiously obvious (A broken bridge is when you can't progress throught the story Without a teleportation ability moving long distances can be a chore Unless it's a very small map you can't make it wraparound Towns with no direct story importance can feel like padding Checkpoint Map: You progress by ending a section which opens up the next in the map. These can also include chapter by chapter games like Fire Emblem where once a section of the story is done you progress to the next on a map. Games that have this kind of map: 2D Mario games Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Fire Emblem [*]Pros Fast travelling from point to point Simple to understand With the addition of alternative routes adds some level of replay value, specially if its a "one time per level" style ("one-way games") [*]Cons The simplicity can remove the challenge or feel tedious In "one way games", being unable to revisit earlier areas can really be frustrating specially with limited or once-per-file items Hub Map: The player often returns to one area from where they can access to the next as the story progresses. Games that have this kind of map: Mario and Sonic 3D games Paper Mario (somewhat...the first town of the first two games, which you return to after almost every chapter) Many of the post-Megaman X games (Legends, Battle Network, Zero, ZX, that space one) [*]Pros Seeing the world slowly expand as we play can feel rewarding Seeing areas that are blocked encourages you to want to open them even if just out of curiosity [*]Cons The world can feel very small and limited Returning to the same place, over and over can run its charm real fast Open Sandbox: Very similar to a continuous map except that these tend to have little roadblocks and avoid being strictly linear. In other words, instead of going from point A to point B, you can very well go from Point A to D to Z and then get to point B. Games that have this kind of map: Yo-kai Watch Series Grand Theft Auto Series Dark Souls Fallout Series [*]Pros A lot freedom on where to go and what to do. While this is mostly a design wise reason, they tend to rarely be actually closed off Size and open end invite exploration and with a good designer they can be great for hiding secrets Because it's non linear, it can make the player insterested when they see the "building-that-very-obviously-may-matter-later-in-the-game" earlier in the game [*]Cons Too much freedom on where to go and what to do Easy to get sidetracked If there is no way to scale the gameplay and enemies to the player's level, there is no real reason or benefit to return to earlier parts of the game. Metroidvania: A little similar to continuous map too, except exploration is THE main point. Very often the player returns to an early area once they have acquired a new skill to proceed to the next. Games that have this kind of map: Metroid Series (Duh) Castlevania Series (Once again, Duh) Shantae Series [*]Pros Speedruning! Finding alternative routes and applying new equipment in As with the open sandbox and continuous map, it gives the player a feeling of adventure. [*]Cons Can be confusing and frustrating if you don't know where to go. Some of the alternative routes can seem like waste of time, specially when the end result doesn't feel worth it (i.e. A complicated puzzle that required 7 tries to get right for yet another missile expansion) All of these are really subjective and if you can think of ideas for why or things to add it would be nice to see them.