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October 19th, 2010, 16:07
With the way the question is set up, I'm guessing you're more looking for validation of a decision you've already made. That's perfectly fine with me, BTW.

I'd agree with your choice with one caveat--as a dedicated map-mower, you can't give me a reward for being an explorer if there's no "middle of nowhere" to explore. With a tight, focused map, you're limited because the player knows, "if there's a path, there's a good reason to take it" because it *is*, as we defined it, a focused map.

Hitting the balance between "empty big world" and "big enough to include some truly pointless exploration so that rewarded exploration stands out" is going to be a bit tricky, me thinks, but that's the point I think you should aim for.
Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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