This article describes how game maps work. It does not explain how to create maps, though, as that is a basic skill required to use RPG Maker XP.
Not to be confused with the Region map, which is a picture of the entire region normally accessible via the Town Map, and which is used for choosing a Fly destination.
Each map has a number of properties, which include the name, dimensions, tileset used and background music (BGM). These are all self-explanatory.
You should leave the "Encounters" part of a map's properties blank. Pokémon and wild Pokémon encounters are defined in a different way.
You can insert the player's name into a map's name, by using the phrase
If the player's name is "Red", then this map's name will be "Red's house".
- Pad the edges of maps with inaccessible areas (e.g. trees, clifftops) so that the player cannot see the black beyond the edges of the map.
- There should be 8 padding tiles on the left and right sides, and 6 padding tiles on the top and bottom sides.
- You do not need to bother doing this with indoor maps, as the blackness is a desired feature.
- Make sure there are no areas the player can reach and not get out of. When considering this, assume that the player will not have any items or HM-compatible Pokémon that could get them out of that area, unless they will definitely have them at that point.
- One particular scenario to thoroughly check is when the player is able to push boulders/break rocks/slide on ice. It is very easy to accidentally design a map where the player can become trapped because of these obstacles.
- The current map's name is shown when the player saves the game. As the player can save on (nearly) every map, make sure all the game's maps have names that are presentable to the player (e.g. "Professor Oak's Lab", not "Map054").
- If you have a really large map which is causing lag, consider splitting it up into multiple smaller maps. There are ways to treat the smaller maps as a single map, so the player won't notice any difference.