Oh, one more thing if you're planning on making a long quest: take a page out of Super Metroid and OoT's design (maybe LttP's too? I'm not as familiar with that one). Start the game (well, after the tutorial, but Zelda quests shouldn't need those unless there's new mechanics) with a "world tour" - take the player on a surface-level trip around the whole map so they're able to orient themselves later (especially when the story says "now you need to go <here>"), then unlock deeper layers in those regions as the game/story progresses.
So-Called "Overworld Designers"...
Posted 26 January 2024 - 11:45 AM
So, in regards to this topic:
Making an overworld is, in many ways to me, a lot like making a landscape painting - ultimately, you desire to create something your eyes can explore, even if not in an actual quest (though it helps)
Being able to project and imagine yourself in the created environment is paramount to building an overworld, because it is ultimately the player that is going to want to see what's on the next screen, or the edge of the map.
On a more practical note, one good pointer I can give you is that the further you go from the starting point, the more different the environment should look. After all, you're exploring to the ends of the earth. Be it sandy beaches, craggy peaks, or even something as exotic as an iceberg or cloudtops, it should be enough for the player to stop and think "wow... all this started in a field"
Another thing I can say is to think ahead, regarding the late-game. A late-game area that borders an early-game area might have an exit to it that the player will see hundreds of times and wonder "how do I get up there? What's out beyond that obstacle?" Then, late in the game, they'll reapproach this obstacle from the other side and say "AAhhh, I see now!"
Regarding towns, the best advice I can offer is that you should build with consideration to facilities. jRPGs always reliably have an inn, item shop, weapons, etc, and while you don't necessarily need those same, every town should have *something* in common besides "there's buildings". In real life, these are built up from trading posts - imagine them growing and evolving into bustling ports and common crossroads.
Edited by Old-Skool, 26 January 2024 - 11:53 AM.
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