I wasn't sure whether to post this in the game programming forum or this one, but because it's more of a technical thing, I'm posting it here.
Here's my problem. I'm making a text-based RPG, and I'm using a three-dimensional array to store information about the player's surroundings. I made it so that each slot in the array is given one of three numbers, corresponding to what's in that spot in my RPG:
-1 = impassable
0 = passable, no one is there
1+ = passable, number tells how many people are there
This method worked until I tried making the array larger after finishing the general mechanics so I could start work on the actual game. This is where the problem comes in: I want to make this quite a sizable game, and to do that will require me to make a huge landscape. An arbitrary magnitude I picked for the size was 1000 x 1000 x 30, and I've narrowed it down to that creating an array that size crashes my program, even when I'm using the smallest variable type. I doubt my RPG's landscape could have smaller dimensions than that.
So, is there any way around that that would still enable me to use that method of storing the terrain info, or am I screwed and will have to opt for other methods of figuring out whether a person can move somewhere and whether talking is an option? I know there would be other ways, but they're much more lengthy than this.