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I am developing an 2d open world mmorpg game for learning purposes, and have a issue with big maps.
A year ago i developed 2d open world single player / co-op game. It saved map in chunks, and AI for NPCs starts 'ticking' when specified map chunk is loaded.
In my mmorpg game, NPCs AI is handled by server, and its always 'ticking' in some specified interval. That is where my troubles begin. I want NPC to walk in random directions. For this to work, I have to check map collision for every step, so my NPC wouldn't end up in wall. Problem is when I have big map, for example 10000x10000, and every tile is represented with 6 bytes, that is about 572MB of map data my server must hold in memory all the time, and i cant load just few map chunks, like in my single player RPG because of lot NPCs AI needs to be updated all the time, even if player is not located near by.
My goal is to archive map size of 50000x50000 tiles. I know its possible because i seen 2d mmorpgs with huge open worlds, a lot bigger then 50000x50000, and I doubt that their server have 20GB of ram to waste just on maps.
If anyone have any ideas how I can lower memory usage, I woud like to hear you.
Thanks in advance, and sorry for my bad english