I've looked at some screens from early versions of the city map (2001 or so) and found that some of the places looked better in early versions than later on and that what's been missing from the big laid-out city (besides the acceptable frame rate) is the feeling of the little corners like in this one:
I guess you don't see what I see in it, this is a half-finished scenery, but the point is if I'd redo it now, it'd retain this same cozy little-town feeling but would look way more enhanced.
OK the point I'm trying to make here is that I want to restart mapping city locations but this time as small units in themselves (i.e. a couple of buildings together with a street or two, and from nowhere in that unit can see into any other city unit, this should immensely help frame rate problems). Whether there should be several "walled off" units within the same map or whether every such unit should be a map for itself (or a combination of both) is more of a technical question depending on several factors, but what I'd like to ask your opinion on is the player/world perspective on this setup, i.e. how to make the units feel like parts of the same city and give you a feeling of continuity, and not to make it feel unnatural. The outside wall is no prob, it should just be something like in the original city version, maybe a bit more enhanced so that from down from the streets it looks more like there's something on the other side too and it isn't a dummy, but what about the in-city walls? I thought about things like making districts or whatever they are called (like one for miners, one for the nobles, one for the merchants and so on) and those would be walled off from each other with only a couple of gates between them, but that might look too strange with high walls and would defeat the purpose with low walls. Or maybe making the streets so runaround that sooner or later every street would end into a building (buildings are good, they can be essentially an outside wall and still not look unnatural), or I don't know. If any of you have ideas, please post them, sketches and small Hexen maps to show what you mean are very welcome too.