Dealing with large maps

Hello, I wonder what the optimal way to deal with large maps is. For example a game like Zelda: Link’s Awakening has a map that is 16x16x8x10 = 20480 tiles large (excluding dungeons). If I split the map into smaller sections I won’t have to load the whole map at any given point. But as far as I am aware it is not possible to view multiple tile maps in Tiled at the same time. What is the best option?

As a first step did you verify that the map is too large for your use case?

We are having maps with 200x200 tiles per map (with multiple layers). So we have > 40000 tiles and we edit them from a single map without issues.

In the game we load the whole map at once, but only render the visible section. This works well at 60fps even on phones.

Do you target some very very weak platforms?

On modern phones and computers those maps should not be an issue.


Depends on what kind of renderer you use. Some engines (cocos2d) blindly render all tiles without culling to the visible portion of the screen.

Also map size times number of layers needs to be considered. 200x200 with 10 layers would increase tile count and thus memory usage tenfold.

Thanks for the reply. You guys are right, a map that is 20480 tiles would be about 80 kb if I’m right, which is not that large. I’m using SFML 2.3.2 so I will only render the part of the map that is being viewed. I think a possible way to split maps into smaller sections would be to represent each section as a unique layer. But it probably gets tedious when you have dussin of rooms.