History Main / ThrivingGhostTown

17th Sep '16 6:35:19 AM BreadBull
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In the earliest computer and console {{RPG}}s, this was a matter of economy; every kilobyte was precious and couldn't be wasted on extraneous houses or people. The tradition has continued into the modern day for several reasons, with TheLawOfConservationOfDetail being paramount among them. It does make it more feasible to TalkToEveryone. It's often an AcceptableBreakFromReality because, really, as large as towns would be in real life, think of ''how long'' it'd take to render it, and how much space it'd take on your drive. Or how much time and money it would take to design and program it. Ouch.

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In the earliest computer and console {{RPG}}s, this was a matter of economy; every kilobyte was precious and couldn't be wasted on extraneous houses or people. The tradition has continued into the modern day for several reasons, with TheLawOfConservationOfDetail being paramount among them. It does make it more feasible to TalkToEveryone. It's often an AcceptableBreakFromReality because, really, as large as towns would be in real life, think of ''how long'' it'd take to render it, and how much space it'd take on your drive. Or how much time and money it would take to design and program it. Ouch.
And even if technological limitations were not an issue, think of how uninteresting it'd be when most of the town is just peoples' houses that the player would have few reasons to enter, and walking from one location to another would take real-world hours.
4th Aug '16 10:03:06 PM DastardlyDemolition
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* ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' plays this straight and averts it in some installments. During siege battles, there are no civilians to be seen, even in massive cities like Rome or London. It is later {{averted|Trope}} when Rome allowed the player to view cities in the battle map. They were filled with thousands of peasants milling around.* Played straight, however, in that while city sizes are at least above the threshold of sustainability (unlike most games), they're still ridiculously small for the cities in question, to provide better game balance and the possibility of a player actually upgrading a city within a reasonable amount of time. This is most notable in ''[[VideoGame/RomeTotalWar Rome]]'', where the practical upper limit on population is ~36000; whereas in RealLife one of Rome's many advantages was its effectively infinite manpower compared to its rivals (the city itself having a population of roughly ''a million''. In the ''ancient world''.).

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* ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' plays this straight and averts it in some installments. During siege battles, there are no civilians to be seen, even in massive cities like Rome or London. It is later {{averted|Trope}} when Rome allowed the player to view cities in the battle map. They were filled with thousands of peasants milling around.* around.
**
Played straight, however, in that while city sizes are at least above the threshold of sustainability (unlike most games), they're still ridiculously small for the cities in question, to provide better game balance and the possibility of a player actually upgrading a city within a reasonable amount of time. This is most notable in ''[[VideoGame/RomeTotalWar Rome]]'', where the practical upper limit on population is ~36000; whereas in RealLife one of Rome's many advantages was its effectively infinite manpower compared to its rivals (the city itself having a population of roughly ''a million''. In the ''ancient world''.).
19th Jun '16 11:35:50 PM Gingerkitteh
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** Likewise, in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'', large cities usually had a (sparse) civilian population spread throughout the city, which for the most part the player couldn't interact with beyond using them as target practice. In multiplayer, Soviets could mind control them Yuri, and wrap them in explosives with Ivan---this even worked on cattle. The expansion pack ''Yuri's Revenge'' expanded the set of mind control units and provided a "grinder" building you could feed them to for resources. Soylent Tank is people.

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** Likewise, in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'', large cities usually had a (sparse) civilian population spread throughout the city, which for the most part the player couldn't interact with beyond using them as target practice. In multiplayer, Soviets could mind control them Yuri, with Yuri (and they had unique civilian soundbites when controlled), and wrap them in explosives with Ivan---this even worked on cattle. The expansion pack ''Yuri's Revenge'' expanded the set of mind control units and provided a "grinder" building you could feed them to for resources. Soylent Tank is people.
14th Jun '16 12:15:26 PM MaulMachine
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** Turks and Caicos islands. During resort season, it bustles with tourists. The rest of the time? Barely anybody.
9th May '16 11:42:40 AM PDL
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* The population of your town in the ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' games is not nearly high enough to justify all of the buildings in it. To whit: In ''New Leaf'', your fully-upgraded town contains a town hall, a general store, a used-items store, a home-renovation store, a home showcase, a post office, a clothing store, a hair salon, a shoe store, a café, a nightclub, a photo booth, a Dream Suite, a campground, and a museum which can potentially be filled with numerous priceless artifacts. The [[ArbitraryHeadcountLimit maximum population]] of this town? ''14.''[[note]]10 animal villagers and four {{Player Character}}s.[[/note]]

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* The population of your town in the ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' games is not nearly high enough to justify all of the buildings in it. To whit: In ''New Leaf'', your fully-upgraded town contains a town hall, a general store, store (which eventually becomes a department store), a used-items store, a home-renovation store, a home showcase, a post office, a clothing store, a hair salon, a shoe store, a café, a nightclub, a photo booth, a Dream Suite, a fortune teller, a police station, a campground, and a museum which can potentially be filled with numerous priceless artifacts. The [[ArbitraryHeadcountLimit maximum population]] of this town? ''14.''[[note]]10 animal villagers and four {{Player Character}}s.[[/note]]
5th Apr '16 11:12:41 PM Galacton
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->''"There may be only five of us, but this is STILL a thriving kingdom!"''

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->''"There ->''"[[LampshadeHanging There may be only five of us, but this is STILL a thriving kingdom!"''kingdom!]]"''



Due to TheLawOfConservationOfDetail, towns and cities in [=RPGs=] rarely have an observable population measuring more than a single digit (or, at most, the 'teens); this is far smaller than any [[http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm realistic level of basic economic sustainability]].

The average small country town may have a population of a dozen or so people -- a big city, like the capital of a continent-spanning empire, may have as many as thirty. Generally, these towns consist of fewer than ten distinct buildings, all of particular interest to the players; no sign of an agricultural economy or professional tradesmen is outwardly visible. Similarly, approximately 90% of a city's observable population will interact with the player in some way relevant to the plot of the game.

A typical town the heroes find themselves in usually consists of the following; a TraumaInn, a weapons/armor shop (the true metropolis may have a separate shop for each), an "item" shop, a specialty shop relating to the game's [[FunctionalMagic magic system]], and no more than three houses. In extreme examples, [[OnlyShopInTown only one shop of any kind is seen]], and it [[AnEconomyIsYou only stocks items relevant to gameplay]]. With the exception of those {{NPC}}s living in those houses, the entire remainder of the population is apparently homeless; some {{NPC}}s seem to exist for the sole purpose of standing in a specific location and [[WelcomeToCorneria talking to passers-by.]]

In the earliest computer and console {{RPG}}s, this was a matter of economy; every kilobyte was precious and couldn't be wasted on extraneous houses or people. The tradition has continued into the modern day for several reasons, with TheLawOfConservationOfDetail being paramount among them. It does make it more feasible to TalkToEveryone. Especially with {{Random Encounter}}s, one aversion to this is that there's often MoreCriminalsThanTargets... Who love to GangUpOnTheHuman. It's often an AcceptableBreakFromReality because, really, as large as towns would be in real life, think of ''how long'' it'd take to render it, and how much space it'd take on your drive. Or how much time and money it would take to design and program it. Ouch.

Some games {{handwave}} this by implying the town is much larger via expansive background images; our heroes, for whatever reason, are [[GatelessGhetto only visiting a small portion of it.]] Modern games tend to slightly avert this by adding numbers of non-interactable pedestrians into city scenes, or buildings that the player cannot enter giving the ''illusion'' of a larger populace and settlement.

Related to SpaceCompression. See GhostTown for towns that are actually abandoned. See also OverworldNotToScale.

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Due to TheLawOfConservationOfDetail, towns and cities in [=RPGs=] appear [[SpaceCompression much smaller]] than they would really be, rarely have having an observable population measuring of more than a single digit (or, at most, the 'teens); this which is of course far smaller than any [[http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm realistic level of basic economic sustainability]].

The average small country town may have a population of a dozen or so people -- a big city, like the capital of a continent-spanning empire, may have as many as thirty. Generally, these towns consist of fewer than ten distinct buildings, all of particular interest to the players; player; no sign of an agricultural economy or professional tradesmen is outwardly visible. Similarly, approximately 90% of a city's observable population will interact with the player in some way relevant to the plot of the game.

A typical town the heroes find themselves in usually consists of the following; a TraumaInn, [[TraumaInn Inn]], a weapons/armor shop (the true metropolis may have a separate shop for each), an "item" shop, a specialty shop relating to the game's [[FunctionalMagic magic system]], and no more than three houses. In extreme examples, [[OnlyShopInTown only one shop of any kind is seen]], and it [[AnEconomyIsYou only stocks items relevant to gameplay]]. With the exception of those {{NPC}}s living in those houses, the entire remainder of the population is apparently homeless; some {{NPC}}s seem to exist for the sole purpose of standing in a specific location and [[WelcomeToCorneria talking to passers-by.]]

In the earliest computer and console {{RPG}}s, this was a matter of economy; every kilobyte was precious and couldn't be wasted on extraneous houses or people. The tradition has continued into the modern day for several reasons, with TheLawOfConservationOfDetail being paramount among them. It does make it more feasible to TalkToEveryone. Especially with {{Random Encounter}}s, one aversion to this is that there's often MoreCriminalsThanTargets... Who love to GangUpOnTheHuman. It's often an AcceptableBreakFromReality because, really, as large as towns would be in real life, think of ''how long'' it'd take to render it, and how much space it'd take on your drive. Or how much time and money it would take to design and program it. Ouch.

Some games {{handwave}} this by implying the town is much larger via expansive background images; our heroes, for whatever reason, are [[GatelessGhetto only visiting a small portion of it.]] Modern Some modern games tend try to slightly avert this by adding numbers of non-interactable [[FacelessMasses non-interactable]] pedestrians into city scenes, or buildings that the player cannot enter giving to give the ''illusion'' of a larger populace and settlement.

Related to An example of SpaceCompression. See GhostTown for towns that are actually abandoned. See also OverworldNotToScale.
27th Mar '16 9:16:04 AM Brainbin
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* ''VideoGame/StardewValley'', much like the aforementioned ''Harvest Moon'', is set in one of these. About 20 {{NPC}}s reside in the section of the overworld map designated as "Pelican Town", the primary settlement in the valley, and there are perhaps three dozen (human) inhabitants in the entire valley.
26th Mar '16 5:16:27 PM Kalaong
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* Adamstown, which serves as the capital of the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific. It has a population of ''around 50''.

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* Adamstown, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adamstown,_Pitcairn_Islands Adamstown]], which serves as the capital of the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific. It has a population of ''around 50''. ''fifty-six people.''
26th Mar '16 5:11:36 PM Kalaong
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In the earliest computer and console {{RPG}}s, this was a matter of economy; every kilobyte was precious and couldn't be wasted on extraneous houses or people. The tradition has continued into the modern day for several reasons, with TheLawOfConservationOfDetail being paramount among them. It does make it more feasible to TalkToEveryone. Especially with RandomEncounter[=s=], one aversion to this is that there's often MoreCriminalsThanTargets... Who love to GangUpOnTheHuman. It's often an AcceptableBreakFromReality because, really, as large as towns would be in real life, think of ''how long'' it'd take to render it, and how much space it'd take on your drive. Or how much time and money it would take to design and program it. Ouch.

to:

In the earliest computer and console {{RPG}}s, this was a matter of economy; every kilobyte was precious and couldn't be wasted on extraneous houses or people. The tradition has continued into the modern day for several reasons, with TheLawOfConservationOfDetail being paramount among them. It does make it more feasible to TalkToEveryone. Especially with RandomEncounter[=s=], {{Random Encounter}}s, one aversion to this is that there's often MoreCriminalsThanTargets... Who love to GangUpOnTheHuman. It's often an AcceptableBreakFromReality because, really, as large as towns would be in real life, think of ''how long'' it'd take to render it, and how much space it'd take on your drive. Or how much time and money it would take to design and program it. Ouch.
8th Mar '16 1:02:23 PM Lopiny
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* It almost goes without saying that ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' averts this one pretty thoroughly.

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* It almost goes without saying that ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' averts this one pretty thoroughly.thoroughly, at least within its own internal logic. A city of two hundred individuals isn't exactly ''gigantic'', as the game considers them to be (kings will usually start arriving around that time), but definitely much better than most in this page. Nations also have thousands upon thousands of citizens, further averting (or at least downplaying) this trope.
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