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Article - 'Effective Towns' by hebobbit

An item about Game Design posted on Aug 8, 2003

Blurb

An article on effective town creation, ranging from sizes to inhabitants. Very nice read.

Body

EFFECTIVE TOWNS
Towns, cities, villages...theyre where most of
the action in an RPG takes place. The town is
home to mini games, important people, sometimes
the heros home and more, so why do some towns
suck so much?

INTRODUCTION
This tutorial is designed to be able to help most RPG
creators not just RM2Kers, but if i will be referring to
RM2K the most often.

GRAPHICS
Lets be honest here, most RM2Kers are not graphic
buffs, but even the biggest non-graphic buffs, cant fail
to notice bad town graphics. What I mean exactly is
not neccesarily the chipsets but how you use them and
other elements you use in the graphics such as fog. Do
not make the fog too overwhelming but make it blend
in to look somewhat homey depending on the town.
And try to be original for creating each house. Too many
times I have seen towns with 5 houses in it and 4 of the 5
houses are not only out of proportion with the size of
the houses intrerior but all happen to look exactly the same!

Towns are also more then just houses, they need other
elements too such as trees wells children playing, maybe
birds soaring overhead, pretty much anything that gives
the town a little more character.

ORIGINALITY
A village in South Africa obviously differs very much so then
a America city. Likewise in RM2K different places should
mean different sorts of towns, maybe some people live in
mountains then adding cliffs and maybe dugouts are a good
idea, maybe one town is more technologically advanced then
another, there is some many possible differences for different
towns, the lighting, maybe a lake, snow, ice, sand, it can
be broken right down to the basic elements of the earth!

ATMOSPHERE
When you create a dungeon you try to give it an eery dark
feel. Like wise when creating a town it needs a certain feel.
Most often use is the homely feel, where towns are warm
happy places. Most people try to achieve this by giving
a bright feel with nice happy music, but lets be honest for
a moment, not everyplace can be happy not ever place can
be bright (ie: originality) so in order to achieve dark feels, to
gothic towns or water towns a feel elements should be added:
Ambience Sound
Sound of dogs barking the wind bristling and the odd child
laughing can honestly pick up the atmosphere very well.
Music
An obvious element music can set the tone as happy
dark or mellow, choose it wisely.
NPCS
Non-playeable-characters should blend with the town, happier
people in happy towns and pissed people in darker towns, but this
doesnt mean each NPC in a happy town is happy there can be
grumps too.
Graphics
Brightness for nice happ places and darkness for gloomy places
pretty obvious.

CLOSING
This ends another tutorial by hebobbit, this is my 3rd one my second
one in the "Effective" series. You can view all the "Creatig Effect _ " at
www.tnrstudios.com. You can also email me at doctorhebert@hotmail.com