World map/kingdoms/regions

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Talaroc
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World map/kingdoms/regions

Post by Talaroc » Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:14 am

Perusing the wiki, I just noticed the map Kyokai placed on the World Development page (http://themanaworld.sourceforge.net/wik ... evelopment). I really think that laying things out that way is a bad idea. Two reasons, both based around realism; first, it's too simple. Not in that it's undetailed, which is to be expected for a basic overview of a world map, but in that it's far too neatly laid out. Abstract, geometrical patterns work in some parts of these sorts of games (for example, the magic system), but for a world map they just convey an artificiality that doesn't read well. The second issue is transport. Laying out a round, flat map with a definite center and opposing magical centers at opposite ends means that a player will eventually reach a point where the legendary land of Nar (the blackness outside a game map) shows it's presence, either explicitly or implicitly (say, an impassable wall containing the whole world). Having to travel from one end to the other suddenly becomes a much more difficult and time-consuming proposition.

The world map, in my opinion, should be laid out realistically; landforms conform to some sort of natural law in that they seem to have been formed by natural proceses, so things are grouped around resource centers, major roadway corridors, and landforms that don't conform to any particular abstract pattern. Also, the map should be laid out as a square, with no "ends." What I mean by this is that, should a player come to the edge of the map as it is displayed, and keep going, they appear at the opposite edge. Rather than walking around on a flat plane, the players are on a sphere. The old SNES RPGs accomplished this quite nicely, although the effect could only be noted when using overmap travel (the Epoch in Chrono Trigger, Flammie in SoM).
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Re: World map/kingdoms/regions

Post by Kyokai » Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:47 am

Talaroc wrote:The world map, in my opinion, should be laid out realistically; landforms conform to some sort of natural law in that they seem to have been formed by natural proceses, so things are grouped around resource centers, major roadway corridors, and landforms that don't conform to any particular abstract pattern. Also, the map should be laid out as a square, with no "ends." What I mean by this is that, should a player come to the edge of the map as it is displayed, and keep going, they appear at the opposite edge. Rather than walking around on a flat plane, the players are on a sphere. The old SNES RPGs accomplished this quite nicely, although the effect could only be noted when using overmap travel (the Epoch in Chrono Trigger, Flammie in SoM).
Rotonen and I already talked about this, and we decided that a flat map seemed to fit the backstory a bit better. It really doesn't affect gameplay a whole lot. As for the placement of land masses, of course they would be placed arbitrarily beneath the design. This layout just shows how areas connect to one another, and makes it fairer to players to choose a path regardless of where they start (no one is isolated from the elemental temples or from other cities, etc.)
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Post by Talaroc » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:10 am

It really doesn't affect gameplay a whole lot.
Well, that's all well and good, except for the fact that it isn't true in the slightest.

A flat map is a major restriction on characters. It means that suddenly, getting from place to place is a whole lot more irritating; a player essentially has one decent route that they can take to get from one end to the other, that being straight through the center. introduce a wraparound world map, and suddenly a whole lot of possibilities open up; if I need to get to the opposite end of the world, I can take any number of routes, depending on what I want to deal with in terms of kingdoms, monsters, and landforms, and not expect any route to be substantially longer than any other.

At the same time, though you're talking about putting landforms naturally on top of this map, it's going to be extremely obvious that it's based on a set geometrical pattern, unless you make the map unbelievably huge (thus exacerbating the transport problems).

As for player fairness, arbitrary placement does not mean people will be isolated. It means you have to choose the locations of player entry carefully. It also means it would probably be a good thing for the player to decide which of the specified locations their character starts out in. And I mean, hell, this map isn't exactly fair to incoming players anyway, unless the only starting point you're planning on having is in the center of "The Pure Land" (bad idea).
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Post by imorgado » Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:26 am

I prefer a more realistic map (round world, not flat), where all cities are created aside resoures, routes are established naturaly, cause the resources and the merchants must be sent to others cities and places.

Connect one side of map with the other side is a good thing.

I didn't like the way of RO maps are created.

There is some maps as Mjolnir03, that is stupid, there is a ring river without any connectioons with others rivers or the sea. But prt_fild05/04 open in a bay going to sea (geffen fields).

We are nerds, as a nerd I like to play RPG, and all worlds that I play I give reasons to the things happen. Not (you reach the end of the world, please didn't go any further). Only if there is a reason for that as 13o. Floor


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Post by WakkaCraft » Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:22 am

I like the circle idea, but I don't like the temples being the extremities of the world. Put the temples in the smaller circle, and make that whole area a newbie zone for the most part. This way, players can collect the types of magic they want to use without having to worry about being raped by monsters much stronger than them.

In the interest of expandability, I'd propose we start with a continent. Extemities of the map we start out with will have impassabilities such as mountains or ocean. Later, we can have a tunnel made and docks to go other places. That's all I have at the moment.
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Post by Pajarico » Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:55 am

The cities and temples will be randomly placed or not?

:wink:
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Post by WakkaCraft » Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:29 am

Randomly placed? I guarantee that would cause all sorts of confustion/silliness/frustration.

It would probably be a lot of work to write a program to randomly place the cities and temples for just the one time use, more than it would be to actually plan out where things will be. The things to account for that you wouldn't want happening are too numerous.
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Post by imorgado » Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:25 am

I will create a map.. wait for responses in two weeks
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Post by Talaroc » Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:10 am

I'm going to as well, for purposes of illustrating my ideas on the subject if nothing else.
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Post by Talaroc » Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:05 am

Mmm, cartography... :wink:
Anyway, I managed to scrap together something I think is pretty decent (for a pencil sketch), and illustrates my thoughts on the world map quite nicely.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/daajenai/map.jpg
And, since pencil is somewhat difficult to see when photographed (damn I need a scanner), a handy little crappy colorized version!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/ ... olored.jpg

Here's what I'm thinking: first off, check the scale. Yes, that does say what you think it does; the continent I drew there is roughly the length of Australia. As such, only major landforms are visible at this scale. Now, what I'd like to see happen is, this (or something of the kind) gets set down on a giant (think Earth-size) square map that consists of nothing but water, and is capable of wraparound (ie, there are no edges of the world). For the time being, this continent is the only playable area; however, as the need arises (crowding, players demanding expansion), new islands and continents can be "discovered," which amounts to dropping another land mass onto the water map and introducing a travel service between them. Given the sheer size of the global map, this means expansion is possible to such a degree as we'll probably never need it to be--but we might.

Now, about the map itself. I started with landforms, taking into consideration what I know about geography to make them as realistic overall as possible, while retaining a good variety of climate areas for gameplay. Major cities, roads, and such were then set up naturally, according to where settlement would be likely. For example, the cities in the desert to the south would be founded as stopping points for caravans crossing the sands back and forth between the coastal cities and the inland ones.

I placed the temples in a loose circular arrangement, each with a city nearby. In this case, the cities (the main ones of this particular civilization) were founded where they were both due to the landforms around them and the mana power flooding the areas around the temples. The idea here, in terms of gameplay, is that new characters only enter in one of those nine cities; which one is their own decision. This way, nobody will start out distanced from the temple they want to start with. Also, the area within and closely around the circle is the most newbie-friendly area of the map; the easiest monsters dwell there. As one progresses farther out towards the northern and southern shores, especially once departing from the main roads, the monsters get progressively tougher and tougher. This not only gives people an incentive to explore, but keeps the newbies in a place where they can learn and start leveling without worrying about encountering stuff way out of their league.

In terms of the dynamic political/war system, with this map, there are four different kingdoms: the central wheel (although the temples keep out of it), the northern cities, those to the southeast, and those to the southwest. It's not quite as simplistic as it seems from this map, because, as I said, this continent is rather large, and as such only major cities are shown.

Anyway, um, yeah. That's about all I can think of to say about this right now.
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Post by Pajarico » Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:40 am

I like the idea.
Here's what I'm thinking: first off, check the scale. Yes, that does say what you think it does; the continent I drew there is roughly the length of Australia.
What i read on the map is 500 km / 1000 km, that means that the drawing is one half of the real continent... that doesn't seem right.

Apart from that we need to set where is each city and extend the description (i think taht the descriptions on the wiki are very lacking).

:wink:
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Post by Talaroc » Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:06 pm

What i read on the map is 500 km / 1000 km, that means that the drawing is one half of the real continent... that doesn't seem right.
Australia is approximately 4000km long E-W, which is about what this continent is N-S.
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Post by Bjørn » Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:27 pm

Pajarico wrote:What i read on the map is 500 km / 1000 km, that means that the drawing is one half of the real continent... that doesn't seem right.
Uhm, you know how to read map scales, right? That actually meant that the little bar on the paper is actually 1000 km in real size, and half of the little bar was 500 km. By my measures (I used GIMP distance/angle tool) the continent it about 5500-5700 km long in that picture. :-)

The map initially reminded me of England, but I think it's a nice map.
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Post by Pajarico » Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:10 pm

Ok my bad. I thought it was a fraction, there is a way of representing scales with a fraction that's way i got confused... long time since i read a map :lol:
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Post by Talaroc » Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:15 pm

By my measures (I used GIMP distance/angle tool) the continent it about 5500-5700 km long in that picture.
Ah, cool. Couldn't tell exactly; I'm working without a ruler in the immediate vicinity. :P
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