I felt it being important to share this.
Taking a look at how the map is developing right now brings up a few things that should be put to thought. The way the layout is forming is a little bit concerning, right now the map starts off and branches off violently to the west. and branching off further north, west and south.
Now its up to the next mappers to form the real layout of the map. Which means its important to bring up interconnectivity. With the base of the map looking like it does, comes with some risks of having the layout spread out even more to the west and also sidepaths going north and west. This is dangerous as the way the map progresses is damaged and it might run the development into a dead end. So, I put together quick sketches of what to do and what not to do
Heres what not to do:http://i.imgur.com/Ifiat.png
The map branches off to different sidepaths and leaves the starting area all by itself.
Heres where interconnectivity comes in, and use of mapping tricks like Loops. You make a sidepath that branches off a bit and gives you like an adventure and on the way you might pick up a key or something, and you're led back to an old area by a new route, but new parts are accessible thanks to the key or quest item or whatever. Heres a quick example of how a interconnected layout would look:http://i.imgur.com/72EAO.png
Theres an added area to the start that works as a sort of hub for a later part of the map. You go to the west to go on a sort of adventure to get the yellow key, which brings you back to the hub part that leads you further to a path that again leads you to a not visited, but atleast familiar area that you've seen through windows. you grab the blue key and you can now jump back to the starting area through the windows and go to the hub to open the bluedoor and continue the journey. This makes the map feel more like a map as a whole, not as a linear train where you can obviously see, "heres where phase 2 started, heres where phase 3 started" etc.
ZDcmp1 did this very well, there was so many places that were revisited again and again but still kept having something new to offer. Play through that one to get some ideas of what i'm talking about, it did this on quite huge scales aswell. For example you revisit the starting area after about a half an hour of gameplay.
So basically when you're doing your part of the map, think about the future, either design it so it can take you back to an old area, or design it so that its an area that can be revisited, it doesn't even have to serve a gameplay purpose, even just having areas overlook old areas or areas overlook areas to come is really cool. Focusing more on important aspects of the layout like this instead of the "detail" that seems to be so important in phase1 would be a good idea.
If you think its helpful that I write posts like this, I have another topic to bring up too.