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RedDagger

Mapping Red Dead Redemption 2! Landmark Analysis Thread

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Hunter S. Compton

Dude every time i see you've posted in this thread i get excited.

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Dee.

U find some great things dude.

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zachsterosu

Edit: I have updated information that requires changes to this theory. Ignore everything about the N&W railroad. With additional feedback from users in this thread(regarding my post about district grouping in the next page), I've decided that Roanoke Ridge is NOT West Virginia, but rather a mix of states that border the Mississippi River. Additionally, after brightening some of the photos, it appears as though every locomotive seen so far is actually the same(colors). There still might be two railroads, as that was a very common paint scheme back in those days(the lack of lettering on the tender supports this), so they might just use the same model for both. Another possibility is that it could just be two trains/routes that are both run by the Pacific Union(U.P.). One final note that somewhat backs the former up, is that I believe I have found the reference locomotive used for RDR2. It's 4-6-0 No. 147(The Thatcher Perkins), which is from the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.

 

I'm going to apologize in advance for the long post, because I have a feeling that not too many people will find this meaningful, unless they are into trains like me.

 

Ok, so one thing that struck me as kind of odd was how much color seemed to be added to trains from the first trailer/screenshots to the second one. The other thing that intrigued me was that despite the presence of a "Pacific Union" Railroad Camp on the map, the train cars in one of the screenshots displayed the name of a railroad which I could tell wasn't "Pacific Union". This would be odd, because most railroads at that time would use their own rail cars, displaying the railroad's name.

 

Now historically speaking, that name is clearly a fictionalized version of the Union Pacific Railroad, that stared at the Mississippi river and went west, aka the eastern half of the transcontinental railroad. The railroad also ties in with Red Dead Universe, because it was the railroad who's trains were often robbed by Butch Cassidy's Gang(an inspiration for Dutch's Gang).

 

While looking again at the both maps(RDR, and leaked), I noticed that the new one also has rail wyes(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wye_(rail)). From a design perspective, these were used to allow two trains to travel on certain sections of track but have different routes, and also for trains to make a loop to head the opposite direction(I.e. the red train at the beginning of the game, which goes around Gaptooth Breach and back to Armadillo, instead of Mexico). Now from the map/railroad layout, it really doesn't look like sections will be blocked off, so trains won't need to do the latter. But, this pretty much means that there will be two or more trains.

 

It might just be the same railroad(Pacific Union) with multiple trains running, but I'm not sure that's the case. One word I think I was able to make on those train cars I mentioned was "Roanoke". If true, this actually ties in really well with another real life railroad - Norfolk and Western(It became what is known today as Norfolk Southern). As N&W, it was formed in 1870, and was a continuation of the largest railroad in the south during the Civil War. It's headquarters were in Roanoke, Virginia. The railway had many operations in hauling coal around mountainous regions(the Appalachians, and one section of the range is called the Cumberland mountains).

 

Now for the pictures. I believe I have found a few minor visual differences that might set the two railroads apart.

 

Picture A - "Roanoke" Railroad(Norfolk and Western Railway)

mhzGqTp.jpg

 

Picture A2 - "Roanoke" Railroad(Norfolk and Western Railway)

vfEbfos.jpg

 

Picture A3 - "Roanoke" Railroad(Norfolk and Western Railway) Theorized Route(Clockwise)

9BUrcF9.jpg

 

Picture B - "Pacific Union" Railroad(Union Pacific Railroad)

53V1Gtx.jpg

 

Picture B2 - "Pacific Union" Railroad(Union Pacific Railroad) Theorized Route(Counterclockwise)

1WotYRs.jpg

 

Ok, so the white circles around New Bordeaux and Cornwall are the two sidings, which are indications that both trains must travel through those two sections. And also I think picture A2 also helps show the color difference between the locos, especially with the wheels. Once again, I'm sorry for filling up this thread with my stupidly long theory, but I was thinking some of you might find this interesting...

Edited by zachsterosu

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Hunter S. Compton

I've made much less substantive posts that were probably just as long. Keep up the literally impeccable work my guy

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Svip

Indeed, the railways may be the best indicator that the entire map is going to be unlocked from the beginning. Contemplating the alternatives makes it seem far less likely for it to be the reverse.

 

Trains are featured heavily in the trailers and screenshots released so far, it would be strange if the players did not get to see trains until a third of the way through the game. And considering the length of the storyline for RDR, I would only imagine the one for RDR2 to be longer, that's going to be quite a while before trains show up.

 

The alternative would be for the player to start in the area around New Bourdeaux, since the 'Pacific Union' trains could run within that small looper, and the Dakota River would be the main map separator. But that doesn't really square with the trailers, in that we've not really seen New Bourdeaux yet. And in a game like RDR2, they want us to visit the big city as one of the last things.

 

Of course, this is going on the assumption that the trailers mostly - if not only - show the early parts of the game (which seems to square with trailer history for Rockstar Games).

 

Also given GTA5, perhaps Rockstar Games have dropped the game mechanic of unlocking map parts later, but still introduce new areas through the main storyline.

 

I believe the locking of areas originated as a technical limitation and perhaps a continuation of the old map designs from GTA1 and 2. In GTA3, there would be a loading sequence between each of the three parts of the map, and so it would be in Vice City.

 

Of course, by San Andreas, they no longer needed the loading sequence, but still kept the mechanic of unlocking, for old time sake. And I am sure that was the reasoning behind the decision in GTA4 and RDR as well. But by the time they were doing GTA5's map design, they perhaps felt designing the physical barriers as a limitation to their map design and decided to scrap them altogether.

 

So while the RDR2 leaked map does have some obvious avenues of separating the map, like the two big rivers (Dakota and Redemption Mountain) and the water around New Bourdeaux, I just don't think they are going to, as it doesn't square with the railways nor the trailers.

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Hunter S. Compton

I wouldn't actually use that as a prime example of such a thing. There were railroads going into Mexico and West Elizabeth in the first game, but they were still gated off. Even though unlike 1, the railroad has nowhere to loop within the "starting area" maybe the railroad will remain uncompleted until we leave the first area. I think the map is too conveniently broken up, even though that's also not a solid ground. It makes sense being on the lam to be stuck in the mountains for the beginning, and I think that even if there is some kind of barrier, that will be the only one. There will be more of an intro area, and then the rest of the game, in my opinion. Regardless of the train loops and the trailer content, if we all believe the leaked map then we all know that it says "(intro)" in the Grizzlies, the mountain range.

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Svip

Well, unless of course, they do what trains quite often did back then: Simply reverse.

 

My point being, the fact that they made an effort of doing loops in the previous game, and they aren't now, suggests that either the map isn't broken up or they may not be doing trains the entire time.

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Jason

Another theory as to why they scrapped splitting up the map is because of multiplayer. By locking out parts of the map it meant that 10, 20 hours into the game you'd unlock a whole new area to explore, a change of scenery can a great way to keep things fresh and older GTA's and RDR used it well.

 

But multiplayer came around and on day 1 in GTA IV and RDR people had explored the entire map. I specifically remember on GTA IV launch night when I first went into MP with mates going straight to the other islands to explore them, to the point that I knew them all reasonably well (RDR's Mexico included) by the time I reached them in single player. GTA:O did launch 2 weeks after V so while the map wasn't split up, they sorta solved the problem anyway - but, the decision to launch GTA:O later will no doubt have happened later than the decision to not split the map up so it could still have been a factor.

 

Regardless of the real reason, there's still loads of ways they could limit where you could go in the story without physical barriers. For one, you're a wanted outlaw, going into wanted territories could get you insta-wanted like going to other islands before you were meant to in old GTA's.

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SeniorDerp

Well, unless of course, they do what trains quite often did back then: Simply reverse.

 

My point being, the fact that they made an effort of doing loops in the previous game, and they aren't now, suggests that either the map isn't broken up or they may not be doing trains the entire time.

 

Where do the tracks not loop on the leaked map?

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Hunter S. Compton

They don't loop in the area that would theoretically constitute the "first region" of the game aka The Grizzlies, Big Valley, and everything else to the west of the Dakota River

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SeniorDerp

They don't loop in the area that would theoretically constitute the "first region" of the game aka The Grizzlies, Big Valley, and everything else to the west of the Dakota River

Got it, I was reading it as through the tracks didn’t loop whatsoever. Not in the sense they don’t loop in separate regions, like in RDR1

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B_E_N_1992

Do you think it will be set in Winter or Summer or another season ?. I personally want Winter as it will go with the snow in the mountains

 

I miss the coldness in GTA IV when Niko breathed cold air (even though its set in Autumn, not Winter)

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Jason

Kinda feel like it could be set in early-mid Spring, early enough that there's still cold in the air, especially in the mountains, but late enough for the sun to be shining and leaves on the trees.

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zachsterosu

Do you think it will be set in Winter or Summer or another season ?. I personally want Winter as it will go with the snow in the mountains

 

I miss the coldness in GTA IV when Niko breathed cold air (even though its set in Autumn, not Winter)

It's probably not going to be winter, just like the last game, and they already have the snow in the mountains. They could however implement a dynamic seasons element, which would be interesting... Edited by zachsterosu

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Jason

Dynamic seasons would be the dream for any open world game, yet to see a dev do it though. I imagine it's a ton of work for the art department.

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J.Dillinger Blackheart

Dynamic seasons would be the dream for any open world game, yet to see a dev do it though. I imagine it's a ton of work for the art department.

maybe.. but Rdr2 has been in development for God knows how long lol. Rockstargames titles come with a slew of features, it def would be a task on the devs but pushing the bill is what rockstar does.

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Svip

I think GTA5 highlight quite well the undertaking required to make seasons dynamic. In one part, you have a snow map and for most of the game, it's all summer all the time.

 

Snow, in particular, is the dangerous aspect. The trees' leaves changing would be less of a hazard to do, but I'd imagine players would feel that would be but a fraction of it. Indeed - and I may be wrong here - I believe, that when people want dynamic seasons, what they really want (deep down) is for it to snow from time to time.

 

And yet, even in very simple games (visual wise, that is) like Minecraft, snow is but an area not a dynamic event happening anywhere the climate fits. Just imagine in a detailed game like RDR2 or GTA6, what an undertaking snow being on and off aspect. Even Cities: Skylines didn't make dynamic maps, but rather snow maps and non-snow maps.

 

The real reason is not that it is impossible, but an enormous undertaking and that the cost - in terms of artist/programming hours spend on it - is simply not worth it. Because, let's be frank, we want the snow to look good. And honestly, the progression from non-snow to snow in Tall Trees in RDR wasn't exactly fully believable.

 

Considering that snow comes in many variants, it's difficult to convincing suggest that as soon as it starts snowing a little bit, the entire map is suddenly covered in snow. And what about snow piles? Do they appear straight away or later? And if nothing else, all of those need to be built and fit into the game's map.

 

Not saying I wouldn't love snow and dynamic seasons in RDR2, but I certainly wouldn't put any money on it happening. Besides, the trailers have shown little snow so far (beyond some in the mountains).

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Gray-Hand

It just won't happen. Even if they could justify reprinting every piece of scenery at least once, they still have to make other changes to stuff like the clothing and behaviour of NPCs to take account of the weather.

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Svip

Basically, they would have to create the world twice. At least considering how engines work today.

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Hunter S. Compton

Well that's the thing, though. Given the setting, a progression of seasons would not mean a snow map and a not snow map; it typically does not snow all winter in the south; I live in the south and have not seen snow in 3 years; I'm sure it has been even longer for the people down by the coast, by New Orleans. It is precisely because of this that i think seasons would be extremely possible. It would involve NPCs dressing a little differently maybe you pass by some people talking about "this damn heat" or needing to get ready for harvest or whatever, it would involve the color of trees changing, shorter/longer daylight, maybe just an ebb and flo of different vegetation.

But ya know this isn't set in Canada. It's not like it's winter time and suddenly there's snow everywhere, you know? Maybe they could do it down the line for like special events or a christmas update of some kind.

I'm not saying I demand this from them, but I think you're overcomplicating it by oversimplifying it.

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Svip

My point was that when people say they want 'dynamic seasons' in games, what they really mean is that they want it to snow from time to time. What you speak of is definitely doable, but a lot of players will be left disappointed in what they would feel would be an underwhelming approach to 'dynamic seasons'.

 

Personally, I'd love what you suggest, plus it would fit more with the area the game takes place in. There might even be areas where it actually did snow during winter, but that's as may be.

 

But considering it won't do much, and most players may not even notice it, I doubt Rockstar Games will invest that much time in it. Unless there are specific storyline points to be gained.

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SeniorDerp

They give you all the seasons on one map. Head to the bayou if you want hot and humid. Head to the open plains if you want dry, hot afternoons and cold nights. Head to the mountains if you want snow. There's no reason to make the season change across the map

 

 

I do hope that they introduce changing weather in the higher, snowy areas. Dense snowfall, thick fog limiting sight distance, high winds, ect. Its already a standard for thunder and lightening, even water accumulation during rain storms. I hope they go the next step and spend that kind of time in the higher elevations and from the one shot of the trailer it looks like that might be the case

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B_E_N_1992

I'd prefer just Winter, but only snow in the mountains. But it will be cold everywhere else, some people wear some pretty warm coats in the trailer

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J.Dillinger Blackheart

This is my thing, rockstar are innovator's of the open world genre right. How many games are going to continue to use the same night and day, with chance of rain and snow feature?.

I think r* like to push the envelope in terms of features and mechanics in their games. I also think things have to be even more in depth in terms of the setting and world like RDR2. Look at things Things like (wind). Tumble weeds are a thing right? Duster jackets blow in the wind right?. Look at games like tomb raider where you have to kill a wolf to craft a jacket to keep you warm and some of the best Dynamic weather in a game I've seen so far.

 

Seasons could maybe be a feature that ties into let's say farming or hunting if that's a thing. Bears hibernate in winter, certain birds and other animals aren't around in every season or weather, crops grow rate could change or whatever.

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DexMacLeod

I think I prefer the diverse map with it's specific regions dedicated to Winter weather as opposed to the whole map turning that way for extended periods of time. Any form of realistic snow accumulation would make travel a nightmare on horse and even worse on foot. I imagine it being like walking through the swampy wetlands of GTA V but all the time.

 

I like Compton's idea of a more "Southern Winter" where the effects are mostly visual and audio changes. But if it still meant cutting off certain gameplay elements during certain seasons that'd be a different story. Having to wait until certain times of the day to do missions in Redemption was annoying enough but having to wait seasons would just be too much.

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Hunter S. Compton

I extremely doubt they would have rules like that- "come back in 3 in game months to do this mission"

Maybe, they could do something like the Last of Us, where after you do x story mission it transitions to a new season. And then maybe there is just no dynamic seasons outside of cheat codes in endgame free roam.

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Hunter S. Compton

I'm going to apologize in advance for the long post, because I have a feeling that not too many people will find this meaningful, unless they are into trains like me.

 

Ok, so one thing that struck me as kind of odd was how much color seemed to be added to trains from the first trailer/screenshots to the second one. The other thing that intrigued me was that despite the presence of a "Pacific Union" Railroad Camp on the map, the train cars in one of the screenshots displayed the name of a railroad which I could tell wasn't "Pacific Union". This would be odd, because most railroads at that time would use their own rail cars, displaying the railroad's name.

 

Now historically speaking, that name is clearly a fictionalized version of the Union Pacific Railroad, that stared at the Mississippi river and went west, aka the eastern half of the transcontinental railroad. The railroad also ties in with Red Dead Universe, because it was the railroad who's trains were often robbed by Butch Cassidy's Gang(an inspiration for Dutch's Gang).

 

While looking again at the both maps(RDR, and leaked), I noticed that the new one also has rail wyes(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wye_(rail)). From a design perspective, these were used to allow two trains to travel on certain sections of track but have different routes, and also for trains to make a loop to head the opposite direction(I.e. the red train at the beginning of the game, which goes around Gaptooth Breach and back to Armadillo, instead of Mexico). Now from the map/railroad layout, it really doesn't look like sections will be blocked off, so trains won't need to do the latter. But, this pretty much means that there will be two or more trains.

 

It might just be the same railroad(Pacific Union) with multiple trains running, but I'm not sure that's the case. One word I think I was able to make on those train cars I mentioned was "Roanoke". If true, this actually ties in really well with another real life railroad - Norfolk and Western(It became what is known today as Norfolk Southern). As N&W, it was formed in 1870, and was a continuation of the largest railroad in the south during the Civil War. It's headquarters were in Roanoke, Virginia. The railway had many operations in hauling coal around mountainous regions(the Appalachians, and one section of the range is called the Cumberland mountains).

 

Now for the pictures. I believe I have found a few minor visual differences that might set the two railroads apart.

 

Picture A - "Roanoke" Railroad(Norfolk and Western Railway)

-snip-

 

Picture A2 - "Roanoke" Railroad(Norfolk and Western Railway)

-snip-

 

Picture A3 - "Roanoke" Railroad(Norfolk and Western Railway) Theorized Route(Clockwise)

-snip-

 

Picture B - "Pacific Union" Railroad(Union Pacific Railroad)

-snip-

 

Picture B2 - "Pacific Union" Railroad(Union Pacific Railroad) Theorized Route(Counterclockwise)

-snip-

 

Ok, so the white circles around New Bordeaux and Cornwall are the two sidings, which are indications that both trains must travel through those two sections. And also I think picture A2 also helps show the color difference between the locos, especially with the wheels. Once again, I'm sorry for filling up this thread with my stupidly long theory, but I was thinking some of you might find this interesting...

yO SAINTSROW said something in the general chat that flipped my lid like a monkey in a soup kitchen of the mind so the grizzles are the frozen foreplay to these cowboy capers as seen on any version of the map [Grizzlies (intro)] but what if rather than that being the first area of the game, the first area is the rest of the game??? After all the law men "chased us over the mountains" meaning that we would be coming down, through the grizzlies into the area to the east of West Elizabeth, across the Dakota River. Everywhere else on the map is the first area, and the grizzlies plus West Elizabeth is the area revealed after enough progress. This explains why the trains loop there and have almost an entirely seperate track for the Dakota River. If you cross the Dakota River anyway, by boat for example, you will be mercilessly hunted down like a Nico Bellic on horseback.

 

This would make Valentine the very first town in the game. When you unlock the rest of the map is possibly when the gang begins to "operate out of West Elizabeth (Great Plains +Tall Trees)" as mentioned in the first game.

 

 

Edited by Spider-Vice
edited huge pics off of quote

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zachsterosu

I this is actually really plausible dude! However, I have a feeling that the "chased us from the west" part might be referring to the gang being run out of West Elizabeth, then over the mountians(grizzlies) like you said. From what we know(leaks and official stuff), it sounds to me like we'll be playing in the final year(s) of the gang, when they're now on the run, and the law is closing down on them. The West Elizabeth days were probably during the gang's hayday. I could be wrong though...

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Hunter S. Compton

Either way I would say that I'm solidly of the mind that the intro mission is in the grizzlies, but the rest of the beginning part of the game is the non-mountain areas, to the East of the Dakota River.

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zachsterosu

Either way I would say that I'm solidly of the mind that the intro mission is in the grizzlies, but the rest of the beginning part of the game is the non-mountain areas, to the East of the Dakota River.

Yeah I agree. The layout of the two railroads would make much more sense.

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