Open or Confined? - Making a RP Town Map

I have plans to start working on a RP game with another developer, but we have both come to a standstill with the main logistics of the map. We know we roughly want to make a social game, with customisable houses and job roles, similar to games such as Bloxburg and Adopt Me, however…

The main question we keep asking ourselves is:
“should we make the map more open, allowing for more exploration or should we confine the user within one spot, forcing them to create social experiences with other users.”

Both maps allow for different experiences, open maps will mean players may spend longer time in the game as there is more present in the map, but you can still offer the same features within a more restricted map. We would like to ideally focus on users socialising with other users, will a bigger map restrict this or encourage it?


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Similar to Jailbreak, Mad City, etc.

It would be nice to know what type of map is better for a roleplaying experience, or if you have any pointers and tips with making something like this. Are there certain things I should stay clear of, and is there anything I should definitely include.

Anything to make sure the game is as fun as possible I guess! :wink:


It really depends on your “budget”, making a large open game but with not-so great building can decrease in quality but making a confined game could give it a cramped and sometimes boring feel seeing the same things but a more higher quality due to the fact everything is near and there’s less things to work on rather than an open world.


If its an town rp game i would make it open world because the player would want to be in a small place rp as you’re also restricting their rp creativity.

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It depends on your budget although a larger map is better so when the game starts out the players won’t socialize with NPCs.

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Assuming the best case scenario here, which is that you have the budget to do either a small or large map that keeps consistency in its builds and a decent enough standard: I think a larger map would work best. I’m not a person that plays Town RP games, but I think that it would just feel easier to RP in a map that simulates what you’re trying to RP (i.e. if you’re RPing in a city, ideally you want a city).

Ultimately it comes down to the game itself; if there’s enough functions within the game to keep players occupied then a more confined map isn’t much different to an open map since people will just stick close to where the game functions lie (e.g. a pizza place you work at or something).


Alright, this is a great topic! Got some ideas for ya here!

Approaching it
To make your game as fun as possible, you should look at what defines the most engaging experience a player can have. Roleplaying games should also aim to fulfill a lifelike setting. The map size is entirely based on your style and aim of execution.

A large map will be time consuming and difficult to get running at first, but it has a lot of potential for exploration and player engagement.

A small map will be the inverse. Easy to manage and less time consuming, but more difficult to promote player engagement.

My suggestion is that you and your codeveloper find a compromise on a medium sized map, ideally with 3 unique regions.

  • Set a certain level of detail consistent throughout the map. The setting should have the feel of a setting. Food trucks, parks, monuments, geographic differences will all go a long way in creating a lifelike, cultural, and engaging setting.

  • Fill the map; NPCS or a large server (you can go up to 200 if enrolled in beta program, however I recommend a server size around 24-32) The player to NPC ratio should be equal or greater than 2:3

  • The map should have different regions that contrast the rest of the map but are consistent in detail. These areas should also be defined as independent. An example would be local shops on main street that merges with a downtown area, a residential area ideally around a geographical difference (houses on hills, or venice style on rivers), and a quiet spot like a beach, strawberry farm, forrest, etc.


@3rdhoan123 @RipperGFX @TheGuyThatScripts @EggYolked @greatgavin
Thank you all for your fantastic responses, it seems that a larger map allows for more exploration from your great feedback. Budget isn’t a problem for us since we’re both building the map together but we appreciate it nonetheless.


I heard that you build and you do seem like a pretty great builder! :+1:

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