I fell victim to the office plague this past week and ended up spending a beautiful weekend indoors; So, this post as well as half of my Netflix queue was the result. I kind of wanted to do a series of posts on both world building as well a case study of several of the games cited in this entry as well as several others: Return to Krondor, Baldur's Gate II and a couple of others are also single city games widely regarded as pretty decent. But I don't think I have the time or interest to play through some of those games again, since it has been so long. Anyway, I think that city settings have been a fairly popular tabletop RPG setting; Either as a part of a larger campaign or some sort of one off story. But how well do they translate into video game narratives and what is needed in order to craft a good city?
Video games RPGs, unlike their pen and paper brethren obviously do not have the luxury of an imaginative game master to make up new and interesting things throughout the course of the campaign. The game engine must fulfill that roll; Often with many limitations. One of which is the challenge of creating diversity within a smaller environment. Typically, most large game cities only have about 4 or 5 "zones", perhaps up to 10 if you include surrounding areas and stuff like that. Fewer areas should in theory mean that more effort needs to be placed into making each area feel unique.