Broadly speaking, in terms of scale, I want an open-ended RPG set in a realistically sized city area. VtM: Bloodlines is the closest thing that comes to mind. Nothing outside the city. Just this big, highly intricate, highly detailed city. I really do think that if the entire world of Oblivion consisted of a giant, full-size Imperial Capitol instead of the whole province, it could've been a much more focused and interesting game, for instance.
I blame Final Fantasy X really.
The entire purpose of replacing overworlds proper with wilderness areas is that in the wilderness areas, you can go off and explore and find hidden secret things. This is what DQVIII did. FFX, on the other hand, sort of replaced them with a bunch of linear pseudo-dungeons. This isn't really a good idea and it's not really fixing the problem that overworlds had. Star Ocean 3 was probably the absolute nadir of that sort of design, though.
SO3 was the absolute nadir of a lot of things to me, though.
SO3 also had no world map, but did a fairly decent job in providing scope and distance between locations etc.
No it didn't. All the towns were ten feet apart and this looked REALLY bizarre when carriage rides between towns supposedly took non-negligible amounts of time.
it's used to build a subconscious spatial relationship between isolated points in a world that are, otherwise, completely disconnected from one another.
Huh? That doesn't even make much sense. And even if it does, as I'm reading it... worldmaps don't do that at all because the scale is generally so f'ed up.
Also in 90% of RPGs and probably 99% of JRPGs the physical environment's pretty much detached from the plot anyway.
SE tried to solve this with FFXII (what better way of wrapping your mind around it than being able to walk through the whole thing in real scale)
FFXII's problem is that the area maps were completely devoid of anything. Oh boy, another huge, empty desert that goes on for two hours!
Only when a break In AI comes will these games truly come to life.
Technology and programming practices already exist to do it pretty well. Most people just don't because it's difficult. On a conceptual level. No amount of technology or AI cards will make this topic easier to understand. That and the payoff is limited. Better to leave it in more... dedicated AI games, like Creatures.
The other problem is, to do that, most RPGs would need to be okay with, say, random townie NPCs, or even important plot characters, wandering off and get themselves killed. STALKER actually lets this happen. It's pretty neat.
They just don't get caricature, Stewie ( could be an anagram) would have a field day with these people.
This sentence doesn't mean anything.