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Why this game map feels so big even after those years


Ondr4H
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Seriously, this is just magic! If you take trip by offical highways you still get some serious car trips aven after those years.


I salute to them who made this map!

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Yeah it's my favorite map in the series.

 

I think the multiple cities factor gave the map the feeling of being gigantic. Then there's the countryside and desert which felt like this vast expanse in between the cities, and the towns scattered in between added to the quantity and perhaps bigger feel of the map. 

 

Maybe the most important factor as I've seen people say is the draw distance, not an expert but remember seeing that the map looked considerably smaller once that was increased, I guess even with the regular draw distance there is a point in the map where you can see both Los Santos and Las Venturas, though they feel far away. 

 

I guess even the fact that they had the map locked initially contributed to the map feeling huge, when you first reached Angel Pine it does feel half a state away from Los Santos imo.

 

San Andreas also series wise is still the second largest map in the series I think. They have my salute too! 

Edited by Wayne Kerr
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bananaking13

It was the largest & by far most detailed map in the series. There also was a countryside and plus almost every single place in the game has a role in the storyline. 

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Rico Suave
On 7/30/2021 at 3:03 PM, bananaking13 said:

It was the largest & by far most detailed map in the series. There also was a countryside and plus almost every single place in the game has a role in the storyline. 

 

It wasn't the largest, but it felt like the largest. The design was really great and nobody cared that it was just a big square.

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Now this might be a rhetorical question but there are two things that make the map feel big. One is the draw distance as mentioned before me. If you manage to go high up in the sky with increased draw distance you will see that the map doesn't seem that big. Alternatively you can just look at images where the draw distance fog has been removed.

 

0f1550fd453ef824b61d9dc9c4497e9f.jpg

 

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Look how close LS and LV are. Mount Chiliad and SF seem pretty close to LS as well. The map feels quite small now doesn't it?

 

The second factor that contributes to this feeling is the map design. If you look at the road design there are no direct routes. Roads are winding all over the place lengthening your travel. Funny thing is, even if you know these things the map still feels big when you're playing the game. After all these years the map design can't fail to amaze me.

Edited by GhettoJesus
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bananaking13
On 7/31/2021 at 10:44 AM, GhettoJesus said:

Now this might be a rhetorical question but there are two things that make the map feel big. One is the draw distance as mentioned before me. If you manage to go high up in the sky with increased draw distance you will see that the map doesn't seem that big. Alternatively you can just look at images where the draw distance fog has been removed.

 

0f1550fd453ef824b61d9dc9c4497e9f.jpg

 

0vIhbN3df1DH2bv6lbZ47r7sSYR2PMx9Lie3zJgC

 

Look how close LS and LV are. Mount Chiliad and SF seem pretty close to LS as well. The map feels quite small now doesn't it?

 

The second factor that contributes to this feeling is the map design. If you look at the road design there are no direct routes. Roads are winding all over the place lengthening your travel. Funny thing is, even if you know these things the map still feels big when you're playing the game. After all these years the map design can't fail to amaze me.

I agree, I always knew as a child that LS and LV are very close though. I remember the first time I played Fender Ketchup (the mission where you had to drive Johnny around), I accidentally found a route to quickly go to Los Santos. Also in my recent replays of the game I noticed that the bar you meet Catalina in is located right outside of Los Santos, and the game expects you to go through Los Santos as you play that mission.

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I actually created a topic on this before this was a mainstream opinion, circa 2009 :p

 

GTA SA feel enormous. It has isolated, uninhabited countryside which gives you that feeling of remoteness when travelling from one place to another. And whoever designed landscape is a genius: Vinewood hills separate LS and the Red Country, canyons separate Tierra Robada and the desert, there's a mountain range between the Red Country and Whetland; the rivers are massive, and the Chiliad feels so much bigger and more interesting yet isolated than its V equivalent.

 

The road system is also very nicely designed, making the game feel bigger by running around major obstacles but without feeling artificial.

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Official General

I salute whoever made SA's map too, it's definitely the best map in the series in my opinion. It has immense detail and variety with its three major cities, many roads and highways, a good number of small towns, farms, countryside, wilderness, valleys, mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, and coastlines. Regardless of exaggerated draw distance,  SA's map also felt like it was the largest in the series too. 

Edited by Official General
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It's kind of miraculous how they were able to make this map back in 2004!!!

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CynicalMexican

Yeah, I pretty much agree with this entire thread.

 

GTA 5's map, despite being much larger, is a lot more homogeneous. 

 

There's an irony: much of the map feels empty, yet around the desert area it feels like there's so much unnecessary crap added such as billboards. Additionally the lack of other modest cities was really disappointing.

 

Perhaps GTA 5 had the wrong approach to its scope. 

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What I love about the map is that it has so many nooks and crannies you can drive through and explore. I mean the map was huge for its time, but the diverse landscape and feature packed areas make it even bigger. There are no barren places, everything has a perfect balance of content, the different atmospheres around the place were fantastic and the transitions between different places seemed so seamless. Its so easy to know where you are in areas of the game, since every city and area have their own character. I have a feeling they purposely made all means of transportation relatively slow so you cannot traverse the whole map in too quick fashion and instead enjoy all the little details scattered around.

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Flymystical-DJ

That is called level design my friend. Not only do the different zones have a different aesthetic but they have a different feel too. SF requires a lot of tight turns and camera management. LS is diverse with complex streets and LV is centered around a main road with quick access in and out to the desert. The countryside has a lot of verticality while the desert has long stretches of road. Put all of that together with designers who were forced to make the best of what they had and you get the perfect map size, not too big, not too small. I appreciate the map of GTA 5 I feel like the long stretch of nothing between shady sands and LS leads to some really cool chases and does create a cool sense of travel time but ultimately it can't compete with the sheer density of San andreas. 

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On 7/30/2021 at 5:26 PM, Ondr4H said:

I salute to them who made this map!

 

Yeah.. i salute to them who made this map but i am NOT going to salute to them who made this "Not aircraft friendly TREES" and "FREEWAY with full of obstacles" 😠 

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CynicalMexican

I think an underrated thing is the in game clock. The "1 minute = 1 second" makes the game clock pass faster, and give the illusion that the map is much bigger than it really is. The illusion of traveling for a long time.

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