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Question from a noob

Hi there, I am new to this forum so please excuse my simplicity with regards to programming. I was thinking to myself one day: hey, if Lord of the Rings online has a map of 30,000 square miles, would it be possible for a game such as Grand Theft Auto to incoroprate a map of that size, even if it was years and years down the road? My question to you is: what aspect (memory, CPU etc) of a pc/console inhibits a map to be as large as 30,000 square miles today, and how would it haveto be improved in order to be capable of such a task in the future?
2. One thing to consider to make a fun game, would be to use a Grid Hex system for the game world and have a table of random encounters for each hex on the game board. That would give a feel that the game was more alive, than just programmed. I would tailor the table encounters to say 20 per hex, maybe even have a second table that has site specific special random encounters. Now that is from a gaming perspective.

• Jacques1 disagrees : What does this have to do with the question?
3. Originally Posted by nawrp11
Hi there, I am new to this forum so please excuse my simplicity with regards to programming. I was thinking to myself one day: hey, if Lord of the Rings online has a map of 30,000 square miles, would it be possible for a game such as Grand Theft Auto to incoroprate a map of that size, even if it was years and years down the road? My question to you is: what aspect (memory, CPU etc) of a pc/console inhibits a map to be as large as 30,000 square miles today, and how would it haveto be improved in order to be capable of such a task in the future?
I'd imagine hard drive space is what prevents a map from being that detailed. Just as an exercise in math lets assume a world is 30000 square miles. that's 836352000000 square feet.

Assuming storage of a map is one byte/square foot* you're looking at ~780GB alone for the map. This isn't a lot of hard drive space for a server farm. But it would be quite a lot for a PC game.

-MBirchmeier

* This is an estimate with little basis in reality. I'd imagine a lot of the more interesting terrain requires much more data/sqft, while vast expanses of sea/field/etc. requires much less. Either way I'd by the time you include textures, maps, wireframes etc. I'd bet it comes out to more than 1B>sq ft.
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The biggest technical hurdle for very large maps is the amount of video memory available to store textures. However, algorithms and techniques for getting around that problem already exist.

The biggest real hurdle for having very large maps is economic; a map that big costs millions of dollars of labor to build.
5. Unless you have the glasses of all seeingness, you can only see as far as you can see, and events outside that range will have little to no effect, and thusly don't matter, until you can see them, and that stage something else has fallen out of range.

Bottom line, you only need to worry about what you can see, apart from a low detail overview map (mission targets, bookmarks, etc, etc)
6. Originally Posted by ByGoneYrs
One thing to consider to make a fun game, would be to use a Grid Hex system for the game world and have a table of random encounters for each hex on the game board. That would give a feel that the game was more alive, than just programmed. I would tailor the table encounters to say 20 per hex, maybe even have a second table that has site specific special random encounters. Now that is from a gaming perspective.
Please note my comment from the perspective of a 36+ years involved RPGer/War Gamer/ Gamer with some knowledge in setting up Games with maps that gamers move through and encounter "events ". I was not commenting on sizing as it all depends of what types of data makes up each map hex and if they were to place data in each. It all absorbs storage and it adds up quite quickly. So my thoughts were directed from a Game Designers point of view for helping to define the use and purpose before digging into the physical scope of the actual sizes of space usage. Really until one knows what language and what hex details are going to be used, everything at best is only a Hex guess size. I have loads of knowledge on the PBM/PBEM game of Midgard , and what I have talked about is a major part of the overall game in moving around the game world map. BTW I am responding to someones Negative comment to my post and stating that they don't see how what I had to say has any purpose in the topic. I am just explaining to the asker of the thread what he might consider first if he is going down this line and why for the purpose of having a successful game. BTW Midgard has been around since 1984, and originally was done in Clipper DB code, on DOS. It still exists today!!!