DAGDAR - A Framework for Fire Emblem Map Design

Made a video to outline my thoughts on map design and provide a framework if you’re new to making maps or looking for tips to improve your map-making skills. I personally started running through this when I make maps and it helps make sure they don’t suck.

Sharing this as I’m curious if there’s anything else people find helpful/important to them when they’re making maps.


I guess it would fall under Design, and depending on the map, under Replayability as well, but something I think got glossed over was that you shouldn’t design “samey” maps. If you have like 5 Seize maps in a row, it can get a bit iffy at some point for the player.

This “sameness” applies to map layouts and general tactics as well: for example, if several maps (again especially in a row) feature one-tile chokepoints, the player can notice this and keep clearing maps by placing their tanky units in these chokepoints. As for the tactics standpoint - this I think ties to Design -, if you can keep doing the same thing(s) and it works every single time, you need to diversify your enemies and possibly change your map layout(s). These two can tie together in the sense that certain map layouts encourage certain strategies and discourage some others.
While this certainly ties to Replayability as well, a map can feature more than one way of clearing it and still be “samey” or repetitive in nature.

Last but not least, people shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. True, it doesn’t always pan out, but people should be encouraged to take risks and get creative with their maps. One example - notorious even, depending on who you ask - is the stealth chapter in Midnight Sun. MS generally is in my experience a rather experimental hack, which I can appreciate even when some of the maps were sort of hit and miss for me.


Well said! Good to consider varied objectives and map types over the course of a game.


Haha I wonder what made you want to post a map design video right now :wink:

I’ll have to check it out later since it’s the length of a short college class.

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Actually had the notes typed up from about 3-4 months ago, didn’t make visuals until last week! Been waiting to have some time to revisit.

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This video is fantastic and I will defintley will be using this as a reference for my future maps.
Keep up the amazing content Dan!

A shame people like you don’t have millions of subs.


Thanks Ganz, really appreciate it man.

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A true Thracia fan and a man after Kaga’s own heart. Excellent work, Dan. This is a great resource for those getting into chapter design, one I wished I would’ve had before I started.
And made a chapter 3 that met the enemy cap on my first go


Glad it’s useful man! We all learn as we go - I’ve redone every map in VQ at least once since starting.

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