I'm currently planning on making a simple nation simulation visual novel. For that, I need a map that has its national and state borders clearly drawn and clicking on any state highlights that state. Those who have played grand strategy games by companies like Paradox probably have an idea what I'm talking about.
Unfortunately, I do not know how to make parts of the map behave as its own separate states. Take United States for example, can a single map be separated into its own states so that clicking where Minnesota should be will only highlight Minnesota instead of the entire United States?
Currently I only know how to take a sprite shaped like Minnesota and assemble it where it should be on the screen, like a jigsaw puzzle. But I'm wondering if there is a simpler way, so that I can perhaps draw the border on a single picture and it separates the states in that way. Assembling sprites like a jigsaw puzzle is going to take a lot of time and possibly require twice the memory requirement since I'll have to place the background image and the sprite as well.
An alternative is to make Minnesota appear as just a single dot on a piece of US map and clicking the dot represents selecting the whole state. However, I don't want the game to look like this if I can help it although it will certainly be much easier.
tl;dr Does anyone know how to create a world map with distinctive states and provinces without the programmer having to assemble the states and provinces like a jigsaw puzzle?
Thanks in advance.