The last game I finished before I started working on Future Proof was also a puzzle adventure game. It was 5-6 hours long and featured many different maps and areas. It was like an adventure around the world. BUT there was a big problem with having all these maps and areas and only me working on the game. That is they were bland and empty most of the time. I did not have the time and energy to fill them with detail, so I didn’t bother. I was also new to mapping so they were not sophisticated in any way.
That was biggest lesson from the last game to get away from that and focus a few maps and make them as dense and detailed as possible. This game is restricted to part of a fictional, edge of the woods, town set in the US. I initially drew the design of the town I wanted (shown below). I wanted it to be a neat square and most importantly all areas interconnected. Areas #1 to #4 create a loop and with 1 large area at the top. I eventually needed to add an extra area which I appended to the bottom. I tried to restrict size of the town as much as possible so I would be forced to utilize all the existing space to the best of my ability.
I think this has helped also make the project manageable in terms of scope. Every time I have gotten it to a stage where I was happy with how complete it was I would add a new puzzle woven into the world. I have finally stopped adding and am looking to polish what is already there now.
5 separate maps and the top right hand corner is not an explorable area but included in drawing to compare sizes. I named important things and numbered each house from 1 to 6. This is nothing amazing but helped me get a feel for it before I started making the maps.
Areas do not line up perfectly when splicing them all together but not noticeable at all when playing. Overall makes it a easy to navigate and learn the layout.
Paths around town