History Main / ThrivingGhostTown

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.
3rd Jan '16 6:31:40 PM ZerroDefex
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** Goodsprings however has some active agriculture going on inside the town to help sustain it. Primm and Novac would be better examples as they appear to rely entirely on traders passing through just to feed the dozen or so inhabitants.
3rd Jan '16 6:28:40 PM ZerroDefex
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** VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas has Goodsprings, a very literal version of this trope, being an actual ex-ghost town in real life.

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** * VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas has Goodsprings, a very literal version of this trope, being an actual ex-ghost town in real life.
26th Dec '15 1:07:39 AM Yalsaris63
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* The VideoGame/{{STALKER}} series takes place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where, in an alternate timeline, abandoned settlements that were made evident after the 1986 and 2006 disasters have devastated the area around them are now repopulated by adventurous explorers known eponymously as 'stalkers'. These settlements are used as camps and trading posts for these explorers in order to take a break from the dangerous undertakings they often have to put up with in the Zone. Usually the average population of a settlement rounds up to about less than two dozen, but depending on the frequency of traveling stalkers that pass through from time to time, that number can add up to about fifty or more as far as the total population count goes in the Zone.

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* The VideoGame/{{STALKER}} ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}'' series takes place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where, in an alternate timeline, abandoned settlements that were made evident after the 1986 and 2006 disasters have devastated the area around them are now repopulated by adventurous explorers known eponymously as 'stalkers'. These settlements are used as camps and trading posts for these explorers in order to take a break from the dangerous undertakings they often have to put up with in the Zone. Usually the average population of a settlement rounds up to about less than two dozen, but depending on the frequency of traveling stalkers that pass through from time to time, that number can add up to about fifty or more as far as the total population count goes in the Zone.
26th Dec '15 1:07:21 AM Yalsaris63
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[[/folder]]
26th Dec '15 1:06:50 AM Yalsaris63
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[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* The VideoGame/{{STALKER}} series takes place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where, in an alternate timeline, abandoned settlements that were made evident after the 1986 and 2006 disasters have devastated the area around them are now repopulated by adventurous explorers known eponymously as 'stalkers'. These settlements are used as camps and trading posts for these explorers in order to take a break from the dangerous undertakings they often have to put up with in the Zone. Usually the average population of a settlement rounds up to about less than two dozen, but depending on the frequency of traveling stalkers that pass through from time to time, that number can add up to about fifty or more as far as the total population count goes in the Zone.
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