Within the BrowserQuests™ platform, areas (also known as "encounter areas") are specific places associated with a particular location--such as a city tavern or underground chamber--that the player and her adventuring party can visit, interact with and potentially resolve. For example, the village of Tabin has 13 separate encounter areas (Temple to Sisla, Merchant, Town Hall, etc.), each of which can be visited by the player and interacted with. Locations within the RPG can feature up to 100 separate areas, but 10-25 is more typical.
Five general forms are used to manage encounter areas within the BrowserQuests™ platform, typically used in the following order below. Only those already assigned to the Authors role can see and interact with these forms.
The primary form for determining the specific of an encounter area, it consists of elements such as name, order (in which the area appears on a location map), function (which assigns functionality to the area such as acting as a merchant shop), lighting (determining whether the area is lit or not), trap (what kind of trap lies hidden within the area), what types of possessions can be purchased and sold within the area, what map grid units are assigned to the area, what description is provided when reviewing the area, etc. Areas can also be marked as auto-mapped, auto-reset, whether the party can rest eight hours within the area and so forth.
Area Exits Form
A collection of exits can be assigned to each encounter area, modes of travel between areas that track an appropriate direction, exit type (such as a door, stairway or road), the amount of time it takes to travel, whether the exit is concealed to the player's party upon arrival, etc. For example, a central square within a large city could have a significant number of exits assigned to it so the party can visit a multitude of area shops from a single location, whereas a dusty tomb within a forgotten dungeon would likely have just one area exit leading into and out of it.
Area Objects Form
Within the BrowserQuests™ platform, an "object" is anything found within an encounter area that CAN'T be taken or possessed by the party. For example, most elements of a city merchant (counter, cabinets, chests, floor, etc.) can be examined by the party but not directly taken or possessed. Hence, the Area Objects Form is used to assign all the objects a particular area needs so the area can be propertly interacted with by the player.
Area Function Objects Form
As stocking in area with objects one at a time can become quite tiresome, the Area Function Objects Form allows authors to stock a particular area with an entire collection of appropriate objects based upon the intended function of the area. For example, rather than placing objects within an area intended to be a bedroom one at a time, the form allows an entire collection of objects appropriate for a bedroom to be stocked with one button click. Once an area is filled with appropriate objects, the author can then add or remove objects one by one if desired.
Area Object Possessions Form
Finally, container-based objects (such as a treasure chest) can be assigned individual possessions (items that CAN be taken by adventuring parties and placed into their respective inventories) via this form. As an area floor is considered an object itself as well, items can also be assigned to the ground so that they become freely available to the party without having to unlock something first or search for them.