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How the map should have been

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ViceOfLiberty
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#1

Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:08 PM Edited by ViceOfLiberty, 25 August 2017 - 10:26 AM.

I think the map should have carried on the tradition of three islands. I lived in Los Angeles for awhile and the map simply just does not capture the essence of the sprawl. The different cities that make up the LA metro area include a wide range of atmospheres and I think this feeling could have been captured better if the city was divided between them. Los Angeles is not just a city, it's a metropolitan area that is comprised of many cities that have in time grown to the point the boundaries have become very fine lines. 

It would have been set up like this. 

Island 1: South LA, Compton, Long beach

[This would have been Franklin's island, where his character is fleshed out in a series of missions to solidify his past, as well as his vision of the future. These would include making contacts with gangland figures who could be used as backup, heist crew members, and also offer a canvas for some nostalgic SA freeroam content. The oceanside would be the location for the port and industrial area.]

 

Island 2: Downtown, Korea Town, Little Tokyo

[This is where things would have had to really change. This would be my ideal area to introduce Trevor's character. Rather than being a rendition of "redneck" trash living out in the boonies, Trevor could have been an alcoholic bum who lives in a downtown or E. LA sh*thole apartment. This area would be more dense, similar to Liberty City. This would have opened our possibilities up to involvement with some E. LA cholo's, Triads/Korean Mobsters, and Yakuza as well. All of these could have contributed to fleshing out the city of Los Santos' underworld, as well as be worked into the robbery plots. Trevor could have kept his backstory with Michael, and would have been easier to integrate into Franklin's story.]

 

Island 3: Hollywood, San Fernando, Santa Monica

[This is where it gets a bit classy. This would be Michael's part of town. Hollywood blvd, the grime covered in glitter. Could include a rendition of the PCH and Malibu. Could be blended into a less than lavish San Fernando Valley type area with the Armenian Mafia turf.]

The Islands could be divided by the LS river and some hilly terrain, so that we would not have to travel over water between them.

The airport could be on its own island somewhere, and there is no reason why the countryside couldn't exist a ways past the Vinewood sign, although not at the ridiculous scale it does on the real map. I don't think it would be missed if we had a bigger Los Santos to get lost in. I think that with a design similar to this, Los Santos would have had a more Los Angeles feel to it. The areas would have been able to maintain a more effective identity rather than meshing together in the space dedicated for the city to exist at the bottom of the map. As much as the countryside and Chiliad is an accomplishment, I'm not convinced that it was necessary or implemented well given the scope and focus of V. 

This isn't to complain or say that V's map is mediocre. It is just to bring my vision of LS to the table, and possibly raise awareness as to what the ideal methods for conceptualizing a GTA city are. 

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VoodooVibez
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#2

Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:44 PM

It should have just been the San Andreas map but completely revamped... the map we have is boring after exploring it once (at a push)

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ViceOfLiberty
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#3

Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:52 PM

It should have just been the San Andreas map but completely revamped... the map we have is boring after exploring it once (at a push)

I think three cities would have forced too many compromises and would have forced the content to be spread even thinner than it already is. Some day, though. 


VoodooVibez
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#4

Posted 23 August 2017 - 07:34 PM

 

It should have just been the San Andreas map but completely revamped... the map we have is boring after exploring it once (at a push)

I think three cities would have forced too many compromises and would have forced the content to be spread even thinner than it already is. Some day, though. 

 

I don't think it would have if they had genuinely thought it out properly... tbh the detailed FAR too much of the ocean and GTA V and there is just no point to most of it cause no one explores the water.

 

With the GTA V map, people stay in Los Santos... it is very rare people leave the city unless its for crate runs etc... Whereas if you had LS, SF and LV, you would have had people all around the map. 

 

We would have had 3 airports that wouldn't be pointless like the one in Sandy Shores and Grapeseed... both of which are pointless. Who's going to fly to those airports just to get to that part when you can drive there in a matter of minutes. 

 

I could guarantee the storyline would probably be better with 3 islands... you can't do much when you're stuck on 1 island, and the ODD (2) appearances to North Yankton

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ChiroVette
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#5

Posted 24 August 2017 - 01:23 AM Edited by ChiroVette, 24 August 2017 - 01:25 AM.

Voodoo, speak for yourself. I have very often explored the water, and I know for a fact that a lot of people have as well. There are a ton of collectibles there, plus the beautiful underwater scenery, the sunken wrecks with goodies and packages to find, and on and on.

 

As for the airports, I am very happy having the one large airport in Los Santos, and the two smaller ones, which you would expect in a rural, desert area. Large, mainstream airports in that area would have been a complete eyesore and would not have even come close to fitting in with the terrain.

 

I also disagree about three Islands with the size and scope of the map as it is. Of course, I would love it if they ADDED square miles in addition to Los Santos and Blaine County so that the whole map we have now was one huge island, with another two islands as well. But not to break up what we already have into three islands in the same square footage. That would feel too forced for the story and scope of the game.

 

On the topic of this thread:

 

 

How the map should have been

 

I say the map is incredible just the way it is. Could there be tweaks to improve on an already amazing map, that would make all the Monday Morning Quarterbacks happy? Sure. But while obviously NO GAME is perfect, and no map is either, V's map is gorgeous, functional, and filled with activities and eye candy.


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#6

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:40 PM Edited by CGFforLife, 24 August 2017 - 02:56 PM.

The map should have been LIKE IT WAS. Case Closed

 

 

Voodoo, speak for yourself. I have very often explored the water, and I know for a fact that a lot of people have as well. There are a ton of collectibles there, plus the beautiful underwater scenery, the sunken wrecks with goodies and packages to find, and on and on.

 

As for the airports, I am very happy having the one large airport in Los Santos, and the two smaller ones, which you would expect in a rural, desert area. Large, mainstream airports in that area would have been a complete eyesore and would not have even come close to fitting in with the terrain.

 

I also disagree about three Islands with the size and scope of the map as it is. Of course, I would love it if they ADDED square miles in addition to Los Santos and Blaine County so that the whole map we have now was one huge island, with another two islands as well. But not to break up what we already have into three islands in the same square footage. That would feel too forced for the story and scope of the game.

 

On the topic of this thread:

 

 

How the map should have been

 

I say the map is incredible just the way it is. Could there be tweaks to improve on an already amazing map, that would make all the Monday Morning Quarterbacks happy? Sure. But while obviously NO GAME is perfect, and no map is either, V's map is gorgeous, functional, and filled with activities and eye candy.

Exactly, and tbh, GTA V pretty balanced the map size, if you go to Los Angeles and drive from the airport to Hollywood, you will realize and will be thankful that GTA V compressed the map size.

 

Also I think 3 island is not going to work, the S.S.A island appear natural and adding bridges to another island is not just work and feels forced

 

Besides if R* really makes the map very large, then I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of bitching and complaining about the "Map too big...To far......R* sucks" and many other. So R* has make a perfect, incredible, beautiful, well-craften masterpiece type of map so there's no need to improve it at all :p

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ChiroVette
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#7

Posted 24 August 2017 - 10:57 PM

 

Exactly, and tbh, GTA V pretty balanced the map size, if you go to Los Angeles and drive from the airport to Hollywood, you will realize and will be thankful that GTA V compressed the map size.

 

Also I think 3 island is not going to work, the S.S.A island appear natural and adding bridges to another island is not just work and feels forced

 

Besides if R* really makes the map very large, then I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of bitching and complaining about the "Map too big...To far......R* sucks" and many other. So R* has make a perfect, incredible, beautiful, well-craften masterpiece type of map so there's no need to improve it at all :p

 

 

I have been to the West coast MANY times, and love it there. Anyone who says that GTA V should have been 3 Islands, representing LA and its outlying suburbs, is just desperately trying to hammer a round peg into a square hole.

 

First off, LA is not an Island. It is part of the Mainland. Like the map of GTA V, it is a sprawling metropolis, surrounded by desert and some wooded areas.

 

The only reason that the game's map has water to the East and North, even though LA only has water to the West, is because water is necessary in a game where you have no invisible walls halting your travel. GTA always has islands, so it makes sense that the entire map of V is an island, even though LA isn't.

 

 

But to try and turn LA and its suburbs into three islands, instead of one, makes no sense. The ONLY reason that San Andreas was three Islands is because in that game, San Andreas was a STATE, which consisted of LA + suburbs, San Francisco + forest, and Las Vegas + desert. The island separation was necessary to give the illusion of three separate cities.

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Cutter De Blanc
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#8

Posted 24 August 2017 - 11:14 PM Edited by Cutter De Blanc, 24 August 2017 - 11:15 PM.

All's I'm saying is you fly all the way up real high in the sky and look at the island, it looks weird as f*ck, man. Landmasses don't form like that in real life, not on this planet, not that I'm aware of.

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DOUGL4S1
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#9

Posted 24 August 2017 - 11:20 PM

It should've been a lot bigger. The desert's size is pathetic, and feels more like a big beach.

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ViceOfLiberty
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#10

Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:18 AM Edited by ViceOfLiberty, 25 August 2017 - 10:49 AM.

 

 

 

Exactly, and tbh, GTA V pretty balanced the map size, if you go to Los Angeles and drive from the airport to Hollywood, you will realize and will be thankful that GTA V compressed the map size.

 

Also I think 3 island is not going to work, the S.S.A island appear natural and adding bridges to another island is not just work and feels forced

 

Besides if R* really makes the map very large, then I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of bitching and complaining about the "Map too big...To far......R* sucks" and many other. So R* has make a perfect, incredible, beautiful, well-craften masterpiece type of map so there's no need to improve it at all :p

 

 

I have been to the West coast MANY times, and love it there. Anyone who says that GTA V should have been 3 Islands, representing LA and its outlying suburbs, is just desperately trying to hammer a round peg into a square hole.

 

First off, LA is not an Island. It is part of the Mainland. Like the map of GTA V, it is a sprawling metropolis, surrounded by desert and some wooded areas.

 

The only reason that the game's map has water to the East and North, even though LA only has water to the West, is because water is necessary in a game where you have no invisible walls halting your travel. GTA always has islands, so it makes sense that the entire map of V is an island, even though LA isn't.

 

 

But to try and turn LA and its suburbs into three islands, instead of one, makes no sense. The ONLY reason that San Andreas was three Islands is because in that game, San Andreas was a STATE, which consisted of LA + suburbs, San Francisco + forest, and Las Vegas + desert. The island separation was necessary to give the illusion of three separate cities.

 

When I said "islands" what I really meant was "subdivided parts of the map". the areas around LA usually lie in different valleys. You can't just drive a flat straight road from the SFV to downtown LA, etc. They don't have to be divided by water, they can be divided by the LS river or by hills. Whatever it takes to be able to have the routes between them "shutdown for repairs" as usual. This is where creative liberty comes into play. It doesn't have to BE LA, it just has to feel like it. LA is very dense at times, and with a similar scale and build style as was used in IV's LC, I think a better representation could have been achieved.  V's LS feels alot like middle America to me.

You can even use the representation of LA's freeways to implement this. Freeway routes could be the primary route from "island" to "island", and are easy to block off. 1 or 2 alternate routes can also be added and those could be blocked as well. They don't have to be perfectly blocked since you can just get a max wanted level for breaching them, anyway. This concept always worked, I don't see why it had to change, even if they left it all open from the beginning. Subdividing the map is the best way for developers to create different atmospheres in a small area, and map out missions etc.

From a development standpoint, I think the crew was just spoiled from the beginning. When you don't have alot of space or resources to work with, you have to be creative to make a small space seem sizeable. When you have a large amount of space to work with, it's easy to lose your innovative qualities and fail to make the same effort to reserve resources or real-estate because it isn't necessary. This usually ends up with a very large space seeming very small, since the same design tactics aren't used. However, if you maintain a grip on your resource and area conservation techniques, you can make a large map seem endless.

The focus should have always been on Los Santos' and the Urban sprawl. There is no reason to have so much wilderness in a game that is so tightly focused on high profile robberies in a metropolitan area. The outerlying areas should have been no more than 40-50% of the map size. 

 

I think it's also ridiculous that there is so much wilderness on this map yet I can't find a place to have a decent run through the canyons in my sports car late at night without a bunch of traffic. The roads in the wilderness are ridiculously wide, and the traffic is distributed at the same rate it is downtown. 

 

The map is a great generic sandbox game map, but it is not something I'd expect from Rockstar for a GTA game. 

 

PS: I used to stay about 15 minutes north of DTLA. 

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#11

Posted 25 August 2017 - 12:36 PM

The GTA V map and story line are both piss poor IMO... worst of the series

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#12

Posted 25 August 2017 - 02:33 PM

The map IMO has some issues. For instance theres a lot of poorly used space, secondly, LS has either residential or port areas, the ghettos are way too small, and the middle class neighborhoods are almost non existant (mirror park). If they expanded those areas considerably, it would have been much better.
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#13

Posted 25 August 2017 - 02:39 PM

I agree with you OP, like I've been saying forever, LA is known for its sprawl that V simply doesn't capture and I think getting rid of the countryside in exchange for more space for the city would be a good compromise.
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#14

Posted 25 August 2017 - 05:59 PM Edited by ChiroVette, 25 August 2017 - 06:05 PM.

When I said "islands" what I really meant was "subdivided parts of the map". the areas around LA usually lie in different valleys. You can't just drive a flat straight road from the SFV to downtown LA, etc. They don't have to be divided by water, they can be divided by the LS river or by hills. Whatever it takes to be able to have the routes between them "shutdown for repairs" as usual. This is where creative liberty comes into play. It doesn't have to BE LA, it just has to feel like it. LA is very dense at times, and with a similar scale and build style as was used in IV's LC, I think a better representation could have been achieved.  V's LS feels alot like middle America to me.

You can even use the representation of LA's freeways to implement this. Freeway routes could be the primary route from "island" to "island", and are easy to block off. 1 or 2 alternate routes can also be added and those could be blocked as well. They don't have to be perfectly blocked since you can just get a max wanted level for breaching them, anyway. This concept always worked, I don't see why it had to change, even if they left it all open from the beginning. Subdividing the map is the best way for developers to create different atmospheres in a small area, and map out missions etc.

From a development standpoint, I think the crew was just spoiled from the beginning. When you don't have alot of space or resources to work with, you have to be creative to make a small space seem sizeable. When you have a large amount of space to work with, it's easy to lose your innovative qualities and fail to make the same effort to reserve resources or real-estate because it isn't necessary. This usually ends up with a very large space seeming very small, since the same design tactics aren't used. However, if you maintain a grip on your resource and area conservation techniques, you can make a large map seem endless.

The focus should have always been on Los Santos' and the Urban sprawl. There is no reason to have so much wilderness in a game that is so tightly focused on high profile robberies in a metropolitan area. The outerlying areas should have been no more than 40-50% of the map size. 

 

I think it's also ridiculous that there is so much wilderness on this map yet I can't find a place to have a decent run through the canyons in my sports car late at night without a bunch of traffic. The roads in the wilderness are ridiculously wide, and the traffic is distributed at the same rate it is downtown. 

 

The map is a great generic sandbox game map, but it is not something I'd expect from Rockstar for a GTA game. 

 

PS: I used to stay about 15 minutes north of DTLA. 

 

 

 

I definitely don't agree that there is anything inherently lazy or lacking of innovation in this map.

 

Every square inch is gorgeous, and it has such an amazing West Coast/LA vibe. I often run through the canyons in a sports car and have no problem flying around the open roads with much less traffic than in the city, as I would expect. There are smaller arteries that branch off the looping beltway and the Interstate that runs East to West. Which I also really love. I also truly enjoy how the scenery gradually changes from an urban jungle to a suburban outskirts then to out and out desert and forest. This is hard to do when we all know that a game map like this is a much smaller representation of a huge area in real life.

 

Also the level of gorgeous scenery alone is worth the price admission. You are complaining that there doesn't seem to be much thought or creativity. Your exact words were that they had too much to work with in terms of space and resources, and I flat out disagree!

 

This map is stunning in its smallest detail, filled with a plethora of places that I look forward to continuously exploring and getting lost in. I am a HUGE Saint's Row fan and enjoy all the games. In some ways I like the over-the-top wackiness of that franchise more than the more grounded, realism of GTA. But one weakness of that series, at least in SRTT and SRIV is that Steelport is truly a generic map. It lacks any and all substantive creativity.

 

That would be an example of what you said about "A generic sandbox map." Sure Steelport is a blast to play in and the games themselves are fun as hell. But the map in GTA V truly shines in its overall spread and right down to its smallest detail. The mountains, some of the waterfalls in the wilderness area I found while looking for collectibles, the map literally has it all. And it is incredible how diverse it is when you consider that it is not huge by the standards of some sandbox maps.

 

I honestly can't grasp what people like yourself are looking for in a sandbox map, and your explanations don't really ring true to me when I am actually immersed in the game.

 

V's map is, in fact, one of the most unbelievable topographical and structural marvels I have ever seen to date in a game, and the single best in a sandbox.

 

Now, don't get me wrong. San Andreas is my personal favorite map of all the GTA games, but that has more to do with the fact that the map has THREE nice sized cities, all with their own areas, and it is "less realistic" than either IV or V when navigating and using the game engines physics. There is simply something magical about San Andreas, even with all of its low res textures, drop ins, and a lot less system resources that Rockstar had to develop the game in. But I would NEVER confuse my love of that map as my all time favorite with some objective superiority, particularly to the mind-blowingly beautiful map of V.

 

I think the difference between you and I is that I am cognizant of the fact that my taste in the fun and scope of San Andreas speaks only to my tastes, and that technically, aesthetically, artistically, regardless of how joyous I find San Andreas, V is the way better map in every objective, empirical way.


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#15

Posted 01 September 2017 - 01:59 PM Edited by Pedinhuh, 04 September 2017 - 09:20 PM.

It needs San Fierro, desperately, or at least an interesting destination for the Highways, Paleto Bay doesn't cut it.

Also, a Big Sur highway look-a-like, that would connect Southern San Andreas to Northern San Andreas.

Also, Silicon Valley knock-off(we had that in SA, no?).

It also needs a bigger forest, I assume there was meant to be a big and sprawl forest at north of Madrazo's ranch but now there are only stumps of many trees in that area, Paleto Forest is ridiculously small.

I hope they tune down with the mountains on the next game, unless the next game is meant to be set somewhere with many mountains.

Also, the "desert" is too cramped together and barely feels like a desert, and I think it should be much father away from the city.
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#16

Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:27 PM Edited by Yinepi, 04 September 2017 - 08:55 PM.

Size is not the only problem, but the general arrangement of the map feels disorganized and badly planned. There is a major highway entrance into the city merging into a 6 lane road right where a f*cking hospitals ER parking zone is.

 

sh*t! We're not gonna make it across the street to save this mans life! There's a bunch of Ballers in front of us! I guess it's time to put these bulbars to use!

 

Not to mention how the neighborhoods and sections of the map don't feel like what they're suppose to be. Paleto Bay and much of northern part of Mt. Chilliad should be surrounded by redwood trees as you would typically find redwoods everywhere in the mountain regions of Calif.

 

The desert should have literally no interstate billboards at all and a severe reduction in foliage and roadside props like guard rails. Sandy Shores should have more roads and the buildings much farther apart from each other.

 

-----------------------------------

While it may be based on a real map, Watch_Dogs 2 has a good map design. The different areas are varied only just enough to blend in nicely, the overall map keeps a sense of consistency and in turn feels more realistic. The layout makes sense and is the type of quality map design I expected from GTAV.

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#17

Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:00 PM Edited by Cutter De Blanc, 04 September 2017 - 09:02 PM.

It's true, it feels like different sections of the map were designed by different people, rather than it all feeling natural. Although the lack of significant variety in terrains of IV's Liberty City had me a bit bummed, it was a more well designed and natural feeling place overall.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, V's map feels like it was designed to be a video game world and not a real life place where people live; all the various neighborhoods and stuff are just set pieces, like a Hollywood movie. Things don't come together gradually. Neighborhoods are vastly different from one another in the space of only a few blocks. Stuff like that.
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