I have been working on my first game for a few months now. It's about half way finished but I was wondering what would be considered a reasonable number of rooms/locations for a game to be? I realise this might be a bit like asking how long is a piece of string but i'm looking at 42 and to be honest I wish I'd started smaller as for my first time.
There's no right answer although too few is probably better than too many both from a design and player enjoyment POV.
Unless you're using the map generator or similar too many rooms can get bewildering in text adventures with people getting lost. A way to overcome that is to have locations that are a small number of rooms each such as beach, market, house, etc.
A forest with 42 'rooms' could be a nightmare. xD
I think it's a common mistake for new designers having big ideas then biting off more than they can chew. All part of the learning curve.
I think you're right Silver. Certainly from a creation point of view, I have found my initial excitement of building the game has been lost somewhat by the sheer task ahead of me. We all of course want to build the best games we can but that doesn't automatically mean a huge playing area, especially because as you say it can become confusing for the player.
For the time being I have deicded to put my orginal game "on hold" and have ago at something smaller. This should give me time to have a play around with various things and shouldn't zap my enthusiasm for the process.
X2 was 65 rooms + 2 maze sections of 46 and 15 "rooms". And of the 65 rooms, I'd say 50 of them were key rooms with multiple objects or puzzles in them. So... I guess you could say it was 126 rooms. YIKES!! Talking about biting off more than I could chew.
Bottom line: I've seen great games like Furby McQuack (har, har, har) that take place all in one room and I've seen great games like Xanadu 2 (hopefully not a har, har, har) with 126 rooms. Well written stories and unique, tricky puzzles is my thing so a room count isn't all that important.
Let me know when you need testers!
It's just like writing anything else, there comes a point when you have to look at your stuff with a critical eye and ask 'does the story REALLY need all this? Does everything here have a clear, specific reason to be included or is it just adding unnecessary clutter?'
In writing it's your actual words and sentences you're looking at, and in designing a game like this you can apply the same thinking to rooms and objects. You can, with the way you write it, give the impression of an epic journey when the player's simply moved from one room to another. If there's nothing to DO between point A and point B, why implement it?
In a city or an interior location you don't have to simulate the entire thing like you're drawing a map on a grid. Only worry about the places where the plot happens. Think of each room like the set of a scene in a play.