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Tutorial - 'How to Build a Better Map' by      

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on

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Mizuki-Chan will guide you on how to make a better map!

Body

Hi there! I've been playing a ton of RM2K games lately, and noticed... some maps are poor in quality. Let me help you out in making a map, so you will want to go to every map!

A) Interiors

1) Decide the room size
Ok, first off we want a roomsize that works well. A small house, about 4 chips wide, with an interior of 40x30 is not great. It makes you think: why does this house have more space than it looks? So basically, work your maps to the proper size first.

2) Construction of the interior
We are ready to start the beginning of map making ^.^ Placed in the interior chipset before you, you have the ceiling set. Its got a single color in the middle, if you dont know what I mean, play a few RPGs and RM2K games to know what I mean. This will basically cover excess space so you have the interior sized even more correctly. Also, every room has a floor and a wall! Don't forget that, and now you have a room... but it looks like theres no light. Use windows as well, but take care not to use a ton of them.

3) Use the space efficiently
Now that you have your space set up, use it efficiently now. Beds, shelves, fireplace, stairs, all the goodies in an interior. This is the hardest if you make a room out of RTP, I find using Mac and Blue VERY easy, because the possibilities for a room are ENDLESS. Make your room decorated, and alive, which includes plant life. Shelves should not be relatively close together. And if it has to have an NPC, put them in there. But make sure they don't move too
much! It becomes too unrealistic.

Overview: Interiors can be a pain sometimes, but once you make a few, you'll get used to it, and have a living room ^^


B) Towns

1) Decide the town size
Towns are usually large, I'd say around at LEAST 30x30. And remember, the size should be a large one, in order to spring life into the town.

2) Construction of the town
We are ready to start the beginning of map making ^.^ Placed in the town chipset before you, you will notice SEVERAL parts. First, make a wall, or a fence if you want, for the town so that way the player finds the shortest route out. Now that you have your barrier, lets place some shops in the town. Again, the chipset before you, will have house parts. Make a few shops with these things. Make sure you will have enough room for the buildings, otherwise, your town will be small, and less living, and breathing.

3) Use the space efficiently
Now that you have the space set up, use it efficiently now. Place a path that goes from building to building to exit to exit. Usually a dirt walkway is used, but a stone walkway works fine! After the walkway, make your trees. Be sure that there are enough, but not too many. Don't have trees block anything like NPCs, your walkway, or a house. Also, a town wouldn't be a town with NPCs! Use NPCs of all ages, but make sure they're properly used.

Overview - Towns are probably the easiest maps to make. Once you make them, you will feel like you are in the town.


C) World Map

1) Decide the world size
Now it gets serious. At least have a map at 100x100. This should be your largest map in the game. Decide on where the islands will be placed.

2) Construction of the world
We are ready to start the beginning of map making ^.^ Placed in the world chipset before you, you have many terrain types: Grass, desert, snow, wasteland, mountains, and forest. Do NOT confuse the wasteland and the desert the same! The wasteland is brown, the desert is a yellow shade. Make the islands of the world, and decide on what the terrains will be. Now that you have the basic layout of your world map ready, let us be moving on!

3) Use the space efficiently
Now that you have your space set up, use it efficiently. Do not throw down things at random in your world. Place towns where you wish to have them set up. The world needs to have a large population and life. Do not place NPCs on the map. If there is a boat rental place, place it near a bridge! Be sure to place a castle and dungeon in relatively good places, trying not to get too close to each other.

Overview - These kind of maps are hard to make. You cannot really agree with where you want what, because you are open to many things.


D) Caves (This applies for forests as well)

1)Decide the cave map number, and sizes.
Caves with 1 map: sux0r caves unless you can manage to fit the entire cave on one whole map ^^; Size is VERY important for each part of the cave, and the map count.

2)Construction of the cave
We are ready to start the beginning of map making ^.^ Placed in the cave chipset before you, it seems very brown, or green if you use a forest. You set it up the way that you would the interior of a house. This is the only interior where you can really use water. Once again, if you seek help, try the many RPGs available to you!

3)Use the space efficiently
Now that you have your space set up, use it efficiently. Do not make it all empty like! Usually a maze setting will work for this, but make sure each map does not look the same. Keep some variety in the maps. Make sure you have treasure too! This is something everyone wants. Remember, it is supposed to be dark, damp, and scary.

(MrY: Hello, I thought I'd add something here. I like adding puzzles to dungeons, and try to include at least one with every dungeon. Puzzles can vary gameplay, shifting focus from battling to thinking. If you use puzzles, Id recommend you vary the types of puzzles from dungeon to dungeon. And if you have questions on making certain puzzles, try opening a game like Bobs Big Adventure in RM2K, that should help :P)

Overview - These can give you problems. Use plenty of cliffs (Trees if forest) so you have a very nice cave (forest if so).

What I find a problem with maps:
Badly sized sets (Suikoden rips), it makes the people look like babies (^.^;)
Bland, and lifeless (something seems missing in the map...)
No room to move (Bad use of space.)
No walls (No, this is not directed to RPG Creator, I have seen people make maps without walls.)
Caves and forests are too short (Not enough maps.)
Caves and forests have no life (Come on, I cannot stand going in caves or forests that have nothing much in them.) (MrY: I think puzzles can add life, :D)

Hopefully, you will find this tutorial to be helpful. If you need some examples, take a look at the 2 screenshots of my game for examples.

Mizuki-Chan.