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Creative Geography Vs Realism

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Mister Pink
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#1

Posted 09 June 2017 - 02:59 PM Edited by Mister Pink, 09 June 2017 - 03:01 PM.

While I love Rockstar's meticulous attention to detail when scaling down some of the worlds most iconic cities, do you think going too realistic will stifle opportunity to create something more fun and imaginative for the player?

 

For example, I would love the next GTA to be set in two cities, Boston and Baltimore. I could spend hours telling you why I think they're ideal cities but I'll try keep to the point. They're miles away from each other and to make it somewhat realistic, even to make another city in a GTA realistic distance would require considerable distance between the cities, ie countryside. 

 

I used to think that if Rockstar did a San Andreas now, it might be too unrealistic and it might be.. I mean Vegas being so close to L.A. But then I was thinking, hang on, it's a videogame, they make concessions all the time in the name of fun and constraints with technology. That's why we don't have to spend 15 minutes trawling through samey looking suburbs to get from point A to point B. Rockstar is great at condensing down large cities and giving us post-card looking reimaginations of those cities on a much smaller scale. 

 

My question is; could you play a game that puts Chicago and New York in the same GTA even though they there would be a little leap in suspending your disbelief in the knowing the actual distance from New York to Chicago isn't anywhere near to scale as it might be in GTA or would you be happy that you have the chance to play two awesome cities in the one GTA.

 

Anecdotal but I don't remember anyone complaining that San Fierro and Las Venturas were in the same game, quite close etc. Can you get away with it now? Bear in mind San Andreas is 13 years old.. With technology today we could have more realistic, diverse, countryside, towns, villages, forests in between that could give the illusion that there's greater distance. A mountain range could separate two parts of the map, blocking sight of the other city in the distance and windy, hilly roads can separate the two cities and a freeway that's fast but actually goes "the long way" a bit like from Los Santos to San Fierro. 

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Shade04rek
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#2

Posted 09 June 2017 - 03:48 PM

It could work. They'd just take those 2 cities, rename them and have them just be their own thing in the canon of the universe. As for the cities in particular, they'd still most likely be based on two that are in a bordering state at the very most.

As for the scale, ive always thought empty "fodder" land was a good idea to build up distance and map size. An example would be using the environment to its advantages, like say if v had an actual barren desert in the middle of the whole map separating sandyshore even more from ls. It wouldn't take anything to render and have there, while also building distance, I imagine same could be true for fields with crops trees and plants. I guess I'm saying imagine rdr, it does this a bit.
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Mister Pink
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#3

Posted 09 June 2017 - 05:21 PM Edited by Mister Pink, 09 June 2017 - 06:06 PM.

It could work. They'd just take those 2 cities, rename them and have them just be their own thing in the canon of the universe. As for the cities in particular, they'd still most likely be based on two that are in a bordering state at the very most.

As for the scale, ive always thought empty "fodder" land was a good idea to build up distance and map size. An example would be using the environment to its advantages, like say if v had an actual barren desert in the middle of the whole map separating sandyshore even more from ls. It wouldn't take anything to render and have there, while also building distance, I imagine same could be true for fields with crops trees and plants. I guess I'm saying imagine rdr, it does this a bit.

 

Yes, that's a good point about having empty fodder land in between but I would hope for a game where the land is useful, scenic and there are things to do, even if it's just owning the odd safehouse in it. But I do get what you mean. I would also worry that people will think it's a waste of space and not see it as a prop to give illusion of size etc and distance traveled. 

 

I wouldn't be bothered if the cities aren't next state over to be honest. I would only care in terms of large regions. We've only had a handful of cities so I think it's only right that we can be vague in terms of size of USA in a GTA world, also given the fact that the GTA cities are super-scaled down, we could assume GTA's USA is much much smaller for argument's sake.  For example, Baltimore and Boston being East Coast.  Los Santos, Las Vegas and San Fierro and on the west. 

 

I'm thinking that once it may have bothered me but weighing up the options,  the opportunity to have Boston and Baltimore in one GTA game is more exciting to me than say feeling a little like my suspension of disbelief is a little rattled due to knowing the distance of the cities was brought together in what I would call, taking artistic licence. It's done in TV, film and other media a lot and it's like videogames over the last gen were struggling to be taken seriously and there was a huge shift to realism, games became movie-life, film directors worked on movies, actors played roles, motion capture etc. Something was kind of lost in all of that for me and that's taking liberties or artistic licence to deliver something on a grander scale at the expense of realism in some aspects.

 

Basically, I'm hypothesizing that the pay-off of matching 2 cities that may seem to far from each other to be paired in a GTA game will far exceed the feeling of people going.. "oh that's unrealistic, Chicago and New York in a single GTA." 

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#4

Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:42 PM

It's funny you mention two cities - because I want the next game to be San Francisco and Washington DC, geographically distant but vastly divergent in terms of the values of each city.

I think the more realistic city planning works with the mature storytelling they've attempted since Grand Theft Auto IV, and to go in a more fantastical direction would first require a return to the more anarchic and irreverent feel of Grand Theft Auto III, which they don't seem keen on revisiting.

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the consigliere
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#5

Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:24 PM

I think creative geography is best. If we're hoping for realisitc large scale maps then we're never going to get maps with say for example los santos, san fierro and las venturas all in one map again because realisitcally there would be so much stuff to put in between these areas the map would just take up too much data and be repetitive. I think grouping general areas together is still realistic enough for a video game, for example like mister pink said Baltimore and Boston in a map would be great, if it's an east coast map there's quite a few areas to choose from, new York, new jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, boston, Washington d.c even some further away areas like Chicago, Detroit or further south like Miami or west Virginia.

 

My point being if rockstar could come up with some decent looking way of connecting whichever of these areas they used i'd be more than happy with that.

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#6

Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:48 PM

I don't care about how many cities are how far apart from one another, as long as they aren't all stuck on a goddamn Island like a polar bear I'm a happy camper.

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#7

Posted 10 June 2017 - 12:53 PM

It's funny you mention two cities - because I want the next game to be San Francisco and Washington DC, geographically distant but vastly divergent in terms of the values of each city.

I think the more realistic city planning works with the mature storytelling they've attempted since Grand Theft Auto IV, and to go in a more fantastical direction would first require a return to the more anarchic and irreverent feel of Grand Theft Auto III, which they don't seem keen on revisiting.

 

I see your point. Do you think Rockstar can take creative licence with the map but keep for a more serious and dramatic game? I think so. I guess San Francisco and Washington DC are beyond being on the same side of the country and it might be a stretch even for my imagination but I definitely wouldn't want to to rule out the possibility for the sake of pairing a winning combination of two great US cities.Could be like the Scarface game or Skyrim/Solstheim where you are in an open world and the other location is in another open world but there is a loading screen in between. 

 

For example, say you are flying around San Francisco the flying distance around San Francisco is infinite like it is in GTA V but to travel to DC, would require you to accept a button prompt which would bring you to next open world with and a different time of the day. So it wont feel restricted or really boxed off.

 

@the Consigliere: I agree man. I'm glad someone else agrees that general grouping together of cities based on north/south/east/west isn't too far fetched. 

 

Would love to see the creative ways Rockstar deals with multiple cities. While I love just one open world unlocked, I realize that travelling to the islands in Scarface from Miami felt thrilling. Firstly, it was a surprise. I thought Miami was the only location. Next thing you know, your being set to some Caribbean islands somewhere off the map. You drive your boat off the map out to see and a loading screen happens and then you end up miles and miles away. 

 

I would be more than happy to use a system like that if it meant that Rockstar didn't have to be so strict on themselves that if they ever did two cities again that they would have to be neighboring cities, geographically. 

 

I kind of miss the creativity and variety of a San Andreas style map. 

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#8

Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:33 PM

As much as I love the meticulous attention to detail shown by IV and V, I agree it's about time we saw maps with varied cities and anachronistic geographical features.

Perhaps maybe two different cities could be combined to allow for multiple varied kinds of culture, people and gangs and better represent the idea of a living megalopolis.

Chicago and Atlanta, for example, would go really great in my opinion as both cities suffer from traffic congestion and there's corruption in both cities.

I'd also bank on a re-imagined Anywhere City as it could explore all fringes of American society. The societies of the east coast, west coast, Midwest/Mideast, South, etc.,

would be like colours on an artist's palette and nothing would be sacred. This has a lot of potential in my honest opinion.

Of course, that happens to be the exact kind of Anywhere City I have in mind for the map project I have on here as well as the whole cyberpunk thing. 

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#9

Posted 10 June 2017 - 10:01 PM Edited by TheHolyNZF, 10 June 2017 - 10:02 PM.

I think they should focus on interiors. Accesible interiors.

 

After that we can talk about the other parts of the map.

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#10

Posted 11 June 2017 - 12:10 AM

I think they should focus on interiors. Accesible interiors.
 
After that we can talk about the other parts of the map.


Actually I agree with this. If having two cities in the same game means the same level of interiors in v, then I don't think it'd be that special anyway. I'd put interiors and a larger wildlife area over a second city without interiors. So much of v map feels wasted because of too few interiors in many practical buildings, even ones that exist and are locked.
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#11

Posted 11 June 2017 - 01:29 AM

 

I think they should focus on interiors. Accesible interiors.
 
After that we can talk about the other parts of the map.


Actually I agree with this. If having two cities in the same game means the same level of interiors in v, then I don't think it'd be that special anyway. I'd put interiors and a larger wildlife area over a second city without interiors. So much of v map feels wasted because of too few interiors in many practical buildings, even ones that exist and are locked.

 

I still think they meant a bigger role for eating and eating-related stuff in GTAV. All those hot dog vans and vegetable markets *sigh*. Also the presence of all the fast food chains (some restaurants even have half finished interiors!) It's sad how it turned out: Bars sell excactly the same products as the 24/7's.

 

I've also heard they had some bigger plans on how to utilize the mass transport aka Los Santos Transit. Plus IIRC they had some staircases for some Online Apt buildings ready.

 

I hope they have enough "spare time" to finish things when developing GTA6.


Mister Pink
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#12

Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:34 AM Edited by Mister Pink, 11 June 2017 - 10:40 AM.

If you want to talk about interiors, make a topic about interiors.;) I'm talking about something else. It's pretty rude to waltz in to on topic and then say, "I think we should talk about something else." and completely derail the topic. :D

 

BTW, when I make a topic hoping for discussing something it's to add to the game, it's not to take away from something else. I want interiors too. I want a deeper level of living, breathing cities. I also want 2 cities. And this topic is about Rockstar taking creative licence with  geography vs sticking to realism.

 

Far from interiors fellas. 

 

@Dimitri: I've really warmed to the idea of an Anywhere City too. Because when you don't have to stick to a city realistically you can be as creative as you want. Building a city up from scratch but maybe that could work wit one other real city. Going off topic again. 

 

I think including Baltimore with Boston could work if they worked out decent separation between cities. 

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#13

Posted 11 June 2017 - 11:07 AM Edited by Mr. Fartenhate, 11 June 2017 - 11:29 AM.

one of my biggest gripes with the idea of putting these two cities together is from a cultural and, indeed, geographical standpoint. san andreas is a pretty decent example of this actually, and why i think a modern adaption of this idea would be a detriment to the game. in san andreas, you have three pretty good representations of the three main cities in the game, and a huge countryside alongside it so the distance sort of feels real. it creates this illusion, with the winding roads and weird highways, that you really are driving three hours to another city, that you really are in the middle of nowhere when you're stuck in red county. but the problem is that aside from the three big cities, the small towns have no personality, no flair. apart from the town with a giant chicken, they all just feel like generic small towns.

 

now look at gta v. there are five big areas in the game: paleto bay, sandy shores, chumash, grapeseed, and of course los santos. los santos is los santos, with it's plastic people and pretty buildings. chumash is a coastal resort town where the celebrities and hipsters live, a catalyst of gentrification. sandy shores is the world gone by, a place past it's prime with sad people and run down hotels. grapeseed and paleto bay both act as a statement on the collapse of american industry, the shuttered storefronts of paleto and the meth farms and drug gangs stationed in grapeseed. all of these locations act as an extension and a summary of the game's themes and it's views on american society, and at the same time all of it feels very southern californian.

 

one thing that did geography really well was new vegas. they could've just as easily put the two big settlements in both los angeles and las vegas, but the dev team opted to use real locations and towns in the mojave area to flesh out the setting, and at the end of the day this heavily benefited the game. you got a real idea of a thriving place, a real world with long distances, and it helped the game's actual story. hell, if you're the type of person i am, it also made you curious of the real history of the area

 

what would a gta do with these two far away places? with chicago and new york, with boston and baltimore, with miami and f*cking albuquerque? you dont get this idea of a region's culture, and the distance between the two big cities acts less as an interesting place to explore, with real history and relevance, with actual relevance to the story being told, and it turns into a buffering point, a glorified loading screen between the two cities.

 

there are tons of really interesting locations outside of these cities. baltimore has washington dc (a much better second city) and the weirdness of a very southern feeling state with a very east coast city. in boston, you have providence, quincy, new england as a whole to explore with it's lovecraftian undertones and wealth of colonial history. they're very different locations that just dont feel like they match, and if you put them together none of it feels cohesive.

 

Spoiler

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#14

Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:15 PM

@Dimitri: I've really warmed to the idea of an Anywhere City too. Because when you don't have to stick to a city realistically you can be as creative as you want. Building a city up from scratch but maybe that could work wit one other real city. Going off topic again. 

 

I think including Baltimore with Boston could work if they worked out decent separation between cities. 

I don't think you were going off-topic there, though. If anything, your post further emphasized the whole point of this topic in that being creative further allows Rockstar to explore new and bold

opportunities for settings and potential characters the protagonist(s) can work/deal with and meet.

For what it's worth, the Anywhere City in GTA 2 always struck me as a Midwest/Mideast city as much as it could've been East and West Coast. It feels like Cincinnati/Cleveland, Memphis/Nashville and Dallas/Houston

rolled up in one living realm with elements of other major American cities.

There was a Disney film (don't remember the name of it though) that had a nice fusion of San Francisco and Tokyo as they're similar in some ways.

If anything, the fact that there are multiple cities with a persona of their own is one of San Andreas' biggest advantages as it truly grasped early 1990s West Coast life. The geography blended beautifully with the

societies shown at hand.

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#15

Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:57 PM

What I really want from the next map is just a variety of features, I still think san andreas was the best map for variety and feeling like you're going from one area with a certain culture to a completely new area/culture.

 

You go from gang culture los santos exiled to the countryside then travelling past mountains and forests to san Fierro which has a totally different vibe, different gangs, different look then over bridges, through deserts to las venturas with large Italian American influence and corrupt casino businesses.

 

Whether they accomplish this by creating an anywhere city which creates endless possibilities or by combining various cities albeit sacrificing some geographical accuracy I just hope there's variety and a feeling of exploration and progression as you play through the next story.

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#16

Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:09 AM

What I really want from the next map is just a variety of features, I still think san andreas was the best map for variety and feeling like you're going from one area with a certain culture to a completely new area/culture.
 
You go from gang culture los santos exiled to the countryside then travelling past mountains and forests to san Fierro which has a totally different vibe, different gangs, different look then over bridges, through deserts to las venturas with large Italian American influence and corrupt casino businesses.
 
Whether they accomplish this by creating an anywhere city which creates endless possibilities or by combining various cities albeit sacrificing some geographical accuracy I just hope there's variety and a feeling of exploration and progression as you play through the next story.


Well said. I like SA's map the most because of the variety and the tricky road layout which makes it feel bigger than it is. Ultimately fun is more important than realism. The next GTA should go back to the multiple island formula instead of one joint map like V. Travelling from one city to another felt great in SA.
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#17

Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:02 PM

I'd kill for Baltimore anyway. That is if the greater area is there too. 

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#18

Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:58 PM

 

What I really want from the next map is just a variety of features, I still think san andreas was the best map for variety and feeling like you're going from one area with a certain culture to a completely new area/culture.
 
You go from gang culture los santos exiled to the countryside then travelling past mountains and forests to san Fierro which has a totally different vibe, different gangs, different look then over bridges, through deserts to las venturas with large Italian American influence and corrupt casino businesses.
 
Whether they accomplish this by creating an anywhere city which creates endless possibilities or by combining various cities albeit sacrificing some geographical accuracy I just hope there's variety and a feeling of exploration and progression as you play through the next story.


Well said. I like SA's map the most because of the variety and the tricky road layout which makes it feel bigger than it is. Ultimately fun is more important than realism. The next GTA should go back to the multiple island formula instead of one joint map like V. Travelling from one city to another felt great in SA.

 

Another great thing SA is they had forests, mountains and deserts all in one game, i'm not sure how you would achieve that again without taking creative liberties.

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#19

Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:25 AM Edited by Official General, 13 June 2017 - 10:25 AM.

What I really want from the next map is just a variety of features, I still think san andreas was the best map for variety and feeling like you're going from one area with a certain culture to a completely new area/culture.

 

You go from gang culture los santos exiled to the countryside then travelling past mountains and forests to san Fierro which has a totally different vibe, different gangs, different look then over bridges, through deserts to las venturas with large Italian American influence and corrupt casino businesses.

 

Whether they accomplish this by creating an anywhere city which creates endless possibilities or by combining various cities albeit sacrificing some geographical accuracy I just hope there's variety and a feeling of exploration and progression as you play through the next story.

 

My thoughts exactly too  :^:

 

I've had enough of having just one big urban centre to explore, I wanna map where I can travel to multiple different cities, each with its own distinct, unique atmosphere and character, and lots of places to explore in between. That's what keeps me playing SA, it's brilliant map design and variety. No other GTA yet has matched SA in this area. 

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#20

Posted 13 June 2017 - 12:58 PM

I still want the map to retain its suspension of belief. Even though GTA IV's Liberty City/Alderney is an island out in the middle of the ocean it still feels believable enough that it's based on NYC/New Jersey.

I would not get that feeling if I could just drive a few miles/kms away and end up in GTA's version of Chicago for example.

I don't have anything against the idea of another city (even though I would rather R* concentrate on one city) another compromise I think they could make to retain geographical integrity is to have another map of an additional city, but the only way to get there is to fly in a passenger jet to each city's airport with a cutscene like how Michael flys to North Yankton during Bury The Hatchet.

That way you could have cities like Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia or whatever other cities that are geographically distant in real life in the same game without awkwardly condensing them on one map.

I liked this method in The Godfather II. The only obvious drawback to this approach is you wouldn't get the sensation of driving from city to city, but I think it would be good to please the crowd who want to change environments/landscapes when they get tired of one and the crowd who enjoy the more believable scale of the HD era maps.
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#21

Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:31 PM

I still want the map to retain its suspension of belief. Even though GTA IV's Liberty City/Alderney is an island out in the middle of the ocean it still feels believable enough that it's based on NYC/New Jersey.

I would not get that feeling if I could just drive a few miles/kms away and end up in GTA's version of Chicago for example.

I don't have anything against the idea of another city (even though I would rather R* concentrate on one city) another compromise I think they could make to retain geographical integrity is to have another map of an additional city, but the only way to get there is to fly in a passenger jet to each city's airport with a cutscene like how Michael flys to North Yankton during Bury The Hatchet.

That way you could have cities like Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia or whatever other cities that are geographically distant in real life in the same game without awkwardly condensing them on one map.

I liked this method in The Godfather II. The only obvious drawback to this approach is you wouldn't get the sensation of driving from city to city, but I think it would be good to please the crowd who want to change environments/landscapes when they get tired of one and the crowd who enjoy the more believable scale of the HD era maps.

 

That's why I liked SA's map a lot - not just because of it's variety and size, but also to do with the fact that it was a geographically a very plausible and believable re-creation of that real-life region of the USA. Ok, Las Vegas is not in California, but it's only a 2 hour drive away from Los Angeles, which of course is in California. San Francisco is of course also in California, so it made perfect sense to include SF and LV on the same map as LS. I'd want something along those lines in the next GTA, but well thought out geographically as was seen in SA. 

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#22

Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:01 PM

 

I still want the map to retain its suspension of belief. Even though GTA IV's Liberty City/Alderney is an island out in the middle of the ocean it still feels believable enough that it's based on NYC/New Jersey.

I would not get that feeling if I could just drive a few miles/kms away and end up in GTA's version of Chicago for example.

I don't have anything against the idea of another city (even though I would rather R* concentrate on one city) another compromise I think they could make to retain geographical integrity is to have another map of an additional city, but the only way to get there is to fly in a passenger jet to each city's airport with a cutscene like how Michael flys to North Yankton during Bury The Hatchet.

That way you could have cities like Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia or whatever other cities that are geographically distant in real life in the same game without awkwardly condensing them on one map.

I liked this method in The Godfather II. The only obvious drawback to this approach is you wouldn't get the sensation of driving from city to city, but I think it would be good to please the crowd who want to change environments/landscapes when they get tired of one and the crowd who enjoy the more believable scale of the HD era maps.

 

That's why I liked SA's map a lot - not just because of it's variety and size, but also to do with the fact that it was a geographically a very plausible and believable re-creation of that real-life region of the USA. Ok, Las Vegas is not in California, but it's only a 2 hour drive away from Los Angeles, which of course is in California. San Francisco is of course also in California, so it made perfect sense to include SF and LV on the same map as LS. I'd want something along those lines in the next GTA, but well thought out geographically as was seen in SA. 

 

Agreed, maybe Chicago being near new york would be a bit of a stretch but Chicago in a map with Detroit I think would be good or something south west like vegas in a map with Albuquerque. Obviously at other ends of the map is what I meant with outskirts, suburbs, countryside and small towns between two cities to make it seem far apart. 

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BrownBear
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#23

Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:12 PM

I think a degree of artistic license is always necessary, but the cities need to have a relevance. I think it's important the cities are culturally linked in the real world, so a mash up of Southern Florida; Baltimore, DC, Philly; Chicago, Detroit; could all work I think, but I don't see the connection between cities like Baltimore and Boston, they have entirely different cultures, communities and issues, I don't think they would fit together coherently in a story. 

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the consigliere
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#24

Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:11 PM

I think a degree of artistic license is always necessary, but the cities need to have a relevance. I think it's important the cities are culturally linked in the real world, so a mash up of Southern Florida; Baltimore, DC, Philly; Chicago, Detroit; could all work I think, but I don't see the connection between cities like Baltimore and Boston, they have entirely different cultures, communities and issues, I don't think they would fit together coherently in a story. 

I see what you're saying but do you not think going from an area to somewhere with a completely different vibe, different criminal opportunities, different gangs and different issues creates a sense of exploration and keeps things fresh.

 

Granted all I know about these places is from what I've seen in movies.

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killdrivetheftvehicle
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#25

Posted 15 June 2017 - 11:00 PM

I think that all the gtas have been creative, because while they have some buildings and references from real settings, there has always been that artistic look at everything. They want to capture a setting, that feel of the setting, But they only have space for a single borough on their map, because it's always thying to fit into constraints of the weakest platform that they make the game.

 

I think R* never wanted to create a block for block recreation anyways, but still they do their maps artistically, trying to capture vistas that are out there in the real setting. I think that making something out of their own heads is just as artistic as their recreations of known settings. They are capable of creating something that doesn't exist out there, but making it with some quality is more time consuming. Quicker way of being creative is to take a setting and edit it, until it's something completely new.

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#26

Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:10 AM Edited by Journey_95, 21 July 2017 - 02:11 AM.

Definitely don't care about realism in this case. In fact I already wanted Las Venturas in GTA V, it would have fitted perfectly to the heist theme the game had/was supposed to have.

 

Instead they just added a useless countryside and desert..if there was another city it would have a better purpose & it would really feel like you are progressing.

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rebeldevil
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#27

Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:01 AM

Well to be honest, having Los Santos and Las Venturas relatively close to each other wouldn't be unrealistic. Vegas is only a 4-hour drive from LA.  You can get to San Francisco from LA in about 6 hours or so, so they're not THAT far away from each other. (According to Google. I know traffic can make these travel times longer, but bear with me here)

 

That said, I think R* does a good job with suspension of disbelief.  Los Angeles is much, MUCH bigger than Los Santos is. Like a couple orders of magnitude bigger. (I can cross from one end of town to the other in a minute or two depending on how much stuff I hit).

 

Concessions have to be made for the sake of gameplay and I'm fine with that.

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ivarblaauw
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#28

Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:17 PM Edited by ivarblaauw, 27 July 2017 - 01:30 PM.

I am actually working on a state of San Andreas fan map (near finished) and I think the way I did it, it would work. Multiple cities, mountains which you need to go around (with the car) and an intetesting countryside could literally fix all the problems.

For example: a map of 35 by 30 miles is in real distance not so much. You drive from one side to the other 20 minutes. However, make some natural barriers (rivers, lakes, mountains etc.) and interesting locations to visit, and the 30 minute drive will suddenly become one hour or more (while doing the things we love, playing the game).

In GTA cars can easily go 200 mph, which means that any distance is quickly surpassed. This is why GTA V feels so incredibly small. However Mafia 3 feels the same size (lots of dirtroads etc) although it is only 1/3th of GTA V.


*a map of 35 by 30 isn't that far fetched, there are already games which have larger and still very detailed maps. Especially in the current generation.
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rebeldevil
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#29

Posted 27 July 2017 - 05:35 PM

Well you look at the map in Just Cause 3. It's about 400 square miles total.  That number is a little bit deceptive though, since a large portion of that 400 square miles is nothing but empty space--either empty countryside and mountains where there's nothing interesting, or open sea (where there is also nothing of interest). If we're going to have a larger map, it needs to be filled with interesting things to see and do. Having large expanses of nothing is boring, and irritating to most players--especially in a game like GTAV, which has very limited fast-travel options (even moreso in Online)

 

For reference: a 30x35 mile map would be over ONE THOUSAND square miles of territory. More than double the size of Just Cause 3.  While you could make a case for it, I think that's going way too far. I think you could reasonably fit LV and SF into San Andreas with a total map size of about double what we have now--roughly 15x15 miles. (225 square miles). GTAV's map is just under 50 square miles, so that's more than four times larger.


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#30

Posted 27 July 2017 - 05:35 PM

I am actually working on a state of San Andreas fan map (near finished) and I think the way I did it, it would work. Multiple cities, mountains which you need to go around (with the car) and an intetesting countryside could literally fix all the problems.

For example: a map of 35 by 30 miles is in real distance not so much. You drive from one side to the other 20 minutes. However, make some natural barriers (rivers, lakes, mountains etc.) and interesting locations to visit, and the 30 minute drive will suddenly become one hour or more (while doing the things we love, playing the game).

In GTA cars can easily go 200 mph, which means that any distance is quickly surpassed. This is why GTA V feels so incredibly small. However Mafia 3 feels the same size (lots of dirtroads etc) although it is only 1/3th of GTA V.


*a map of 35 by 30 isn't that far fetched, there are already games which have larger and still very detailed maps. Especially in the current generation.

 

Interesting. 

 

San Andreas was great at having those natural barriers. Some cross-country "shortcuts" would send you in to a river or off a cliff and in to a dividing river adding considerably to your journey. Taking the windy roads was preferable even if it felt like there was a better shortcut to take. 

 

The best example I like using for San Andreas and I don't know if this was intelligent design to make it feel bigger or just coincidence but I like to think it was intelligent design. Starting at Los Santos and traversing to San Fierro gave you 2, possibly 3 main ways but I'll focus on 2. The long, high-speed route and the windy, lower-speed, shorter route. The long/fast route was the freeway around the outside of Chilliad and the shorter, lower-speed route brought you through the tunnel in the mountain. I always thought this was great as some times I liked the idea of traversing across the map and feeling I was really travelling from one place to another. When I was in the mood I woul take the longer route but the pay off was that I got to drive at high-speed on a freeway. If I just want to get their quick, I would take the short route through the mountain. But the winding roads that take you up the to the shortcut up the mountain really compensated for the short distance. I still felt I traveled a considerable amount to justify distance traveled between two cities. 

 

If Rockstar are considering joining two cities for the next GTA I hope they consider this. I'm sure they do think of these things. I hope if they are connecting two cities (assuming there's some sort of mountain range dividing the landscapes where each city sits) that they vary the routes. For example: the long scenic route where high speeds can be made or the shorter maybe more mainstream/obvious route, but there maybe more traffic and a 3rd and 4th option both with winding roads, that may seem shorter as the crow flies but by car takes you on a series of thrilling twists and turns through more isolated areas with forests and big towering trees trees and small mountains blocking you from seeing too far ahead. 

 

Basically some routes that are slow that are longer around a mountain range with coastal views but with high speeds, some route that's quick and easy but may run to traffic (heavily roadblocked during police chases) and other routes that appear shorter but take you "off the the beaten track" and you may think it's shorter at first but there could be rivers, lakes and things obstructing your way - the type of routes you'd use if you are an experienced player and you know where you are going. 

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