Advice on room layout and printed name of rooms

This is more me seeking advice than running into any technical issues. I just want to know if there are any pitfalls in making a too expansive world, i.e. advice on steering the player in the right direction.

I have also noted that it’s possible to have rooms with printed names that are different from the rooms’ names. I’m wondering about this, because I had in mind making an rpg world where the player could explore dungeons, nature etc. and I wanted to have many rooms named one thing. Like “Forest”, or “Great Chamber”, “Corridor” etc.

Is that a good idea?

The main drawbacks of a too-expansive world:

  • Players get lost
  • Mapping takes time, distracting from the actual gameplay (assuming your game isn’t about making a map)
  • Navigation takes time, bogging down the story every time the player needs to go from one place to another

It’s tempting to implement a city with 100 or more different locations for different intersections and such, but in practice most players won’t find it fun to try to navigate that (or to find the hidden item in one particular unmarked room).

For rooms with the same printed name, the main drawback is that it confuses automappers like Trizbort, but if you have different descriptions I think modern automappers can deal with that. If they have the same name and the same description, that’ll confuse players too; that’s the classic way to make a maze.


The layout matters also in the expensiveness, I have a major aerea of 19 rooms and currently I’m working around a major event in one of those (currently dealing with library issues in imp’ing said major event), and its layout allows not few variations in zoning story-wise.

For example, currently I’m actually assessing the option of partitioning said major aerea in two halves, one explorable from the start, the other half accessible after the major event, and what follows.

a large map can be reined if you put barriers between areas, but where the art and craft lies is in balancing the barriers, giving the right quantum of elbow space to players. (for example, at the start the player can be move only between two or three locations, until s/he does well-hinted actions whose opens a significant portion of the map, let’s say between 1/3 and half, and later, well in the game, the rest of the map is opened)

HTH and
Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

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