Massive open world games

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Midnattblod, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    So there seems to be a trend starting up with huge maps in games. With the likes of Elite: Dangerous (which is a 1:1 scale of the galaxy), No Man's Sky (which is an entire universe to explore), and Wild (which is a primal world to explore) (theses last two being PS4 exclusives), is this trend going to continue growing, or is it just a niche idea for the near future? would you like to see it continue growing? pray discuss
     
  2. Richard Falken

    Richard Falken The Best Epic Literature Ever Written.

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    Open world games are nice, at least when they are truly non-linear. But I like the more traidtional styles too.

    Some people kept playing Shadow of the Colossus after having beaten the game and its secrets many times just for discovering new places inside of the game world, which is a very good setting in my opinion. A bit empty, but well produced.

    I recently beat Strife, which is the last licensed game that used the Doom engine to my knowledge. One thing I liked of it is that it somehow tried to offer a less linear experience. You were in town and could go to many buildings out of the story sequence, and visit places again after having beaten their missions. What they actually accomplished fell short to today standards, but at least it was a try of an open world system. Not bad for the year the game came from.
     
  3. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    ah and that is the wonderful thing about the two upcoming titles, and the one that got released a few months ago. Elite: Dangerous and No Man's Sky give you all of space to fly around in, with NMS also giving you hundreds of planets orbiting hundreds of sun like stars which can all be traveled to and explored, or you can be a space pirate. While Wild gives you a massive world which you can just do whatever you fancy at any given time. I am thoroughly looking forward to the other two, and Elite: Dangerous, while an awesome game, can be a bit frustrating. I also intend to try out EVE Online when I get myself a good gaming pc.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Open world is more and more a thing because computers CAN do it. In the past it simply wasn't feasible for the machines and coding technology of the day - the closest we got was random area generation in something like Diablo 2.

    Nowadays we've software which can not only run but even build vast open world areas - look at minecraft which is a pretty simplistic example. It's engine is capable of building vast worlds many times the size (in comparative distances) to the world that we live upon in reality.


    It stands to reason that designers will continue to produce games of this calibre so long as they've the budget to do so and that as time passes more tools will be made to service this area of production to speed up production.


    My view is that open world is a fantastic concept but has a few potential pitfalls.
    1) Level scaling - they can suffer from this in an attempt to make it open world and open freedom to explore. The result is a game which has a constant difficulty and challenge level rather than a variable one.

    2) Blandness - Skyrim is a good example if you look at how similar and simplistic most dungeons are within the game. This is an element of production - if you're producing a huge amount of content sometimes you end up making a lot of it very similar. It's a game theme ,but at the same time it also a reflection of the finite production time and resources.

    3) Lack of story gravity - Skyrim a gain displays this greatly in that the game has quests and stories, but the open world nature of them mean that each operates on its own. They don't really impact the world in a noticeable way and many times major events are pretty simple in how they change things and often only change banners - the blacksmith is still in the same place in town - as is eveyrthing else its just wearing a different badge.



    Of course for each example you can find counters. Mount and Blade is an open world; smaller in scale, but one where battles and shifts in territories and powers have vast impacts on the game world - true much of the trade system remains the same but you CAN wipe out a people and rise to dominance.




    For me open world introduces several key features that are of benefit;
    1) Exploration. Many gamers are used to games; there is little to discover mechanically and much of it is just finding how this game "does that thing". So open world introduces the potential to explore the world created before the player.

    2) Expression of freedom for greater story diversity and choice.

    3) Lack of rail-roads style gameplay. Sometimes games do feel like you're on the rail-roads and that so long as you make hte right choices or battle a certain way you will win without fail. You will make it start to finish and there isn't really anything you can do to even avoid it.


    I view the latter as important because it takes a VERY long time to make a game with truely branching story lines and in truth I'd argue we don't actually have any such games. We have some have branching story aspects, but in general the playthrough still has you go going to the same areas and doing similar things - characters you talk to might change or viewpoints might; but overall you're still going to do the same locations.

    A truely open world game would change a LOT and not just at 2 or 3 key points but through its length. It's a monumental possibility but the more we work on open world games the closer we get to that possible result.



    Also note that Witcher series games show how you can have open world with a tight story.
     
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  5. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    I concur on everything you said OR. it is exciting to see how much more you can get out of a game world with each passing year.
     
  6. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    I must admit, I love the elite dangerous open world. Can visit any system in the known galaxy and outside it! People have crossed the milkyway on youtube. However the game is still the same. That game does get boring because it is a huge grind like no other just to get a something like an Anaconda. Plus only 10% or so of the stars is real to our knowledge, the rest is made up because of our knowledge of the galaxy.. still that 10% is where all the factions are.
    Open world is fantastic in games because it seems limitless, however.. people still hang around certain places where other players are. Not just in Elite, but in most games I play.

    Also Overread, skyrim is/is not open world.. it has impassible terrain and set paths in order to get somewhere.
    Open world in my perspective is.. go anywhere anytime. a cliff in front of you? no worries climb the mountain! Just because you can. That is true open world. Skyrim was open like the series was however there is still linear paths to take.. so it's not true open world.

    Now someone could argue 'well. ahem, it is meant to realistic. Could you climb a cliff to get to a path?' 'Could you climb mt.Everest because it is a shorter rout to your location rather and going around? Games are mean to be realistic to a degree.'
    I would turn around and say.. "It's a game" I should be able to traverse terrain I normally cant. Oblivion was good for that. You could just jump everywhere and build your skill up to be able to jump over the most steep mountains hahahaa.. yes it was a joke but at the end of the day.. 'it is a game'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  7. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    AA I think that whilst a game has freedom it should have limits based on the world its created. You should certainly encounter cliffs too steep to climb whilst wearing armour - similarly t hough the game could include climbing gear to let you climb such more difficult areas (just imagin spending time climbing up a mighty cliff face, getting all the way to the top and then finding a dragons cave).

    Heck I'd also like to see characters trip or stumble. It was something they had in ICO as you were tugging your friend along to save them; the dragging tripping motions made the characters feel so much more alive and real and its something we don't often see (characters glide along in perfect motion in most games)
     
  8. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    I agree in a way however, games will be games.
    Yes OR I see where you are coming from and in my previous statement you come into the category of "well. ahem, it is meant to realistic. Could you climb a cliff to get to a path?' 'Could you climb mt.Everest because it is a shorter rout to your location rather and going around?"
    I agree.. but disagree because of the simple fact it is a game and having to run around objects is a complete pain in the arse!
    I mean you are lost and look at a map... you see 'ok the object is within walking distance'.. However.. you have to traverse half the effing map to get there.. sorry but no! Poor programming.
    On the map it is next to you, but to get there, you have to run around half the so called world to get to the path to get you there.. sorry that is not open world.. that is linear world. Of no option to climb mountains then not open world in my point of view. give me a rope and a grappling hook lmao!

    At the end of the day.. any impassible terrain = linear not open world in my eyes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  9. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    What you're basically saying is that we need an open world dragon game since dragons are not blocked by anything as they just fly over it ;)

    I think that what you're really displaying is a sense of frustration at delay tactics used in gaming which I think is a common feeling for older gamers who have played a lot of games. Because the wonderment of the new game world quickly evaporates and soon you're playing the game like a list of objectives on a tick-box line. Anything that gets in the way of that moment is an annoyance - its not a theme, not a style, not part of the world - its an annoyance.

    I think this is why games like Shadow of the Colossus were popular - the game removes all the grunt battles and slogging and levelling and just gives you the juicy fun boss fights one after the other. Whereas take a game like Final Fantasy (or indeed any JRPG) and often between the boss fights there is a LOT of grunt battles where winning is basically guaranteed but where you have to grind and grind and grind before you do the boss fight.



    It is a LOT harder to build in non-grindy non-distracting delays to the gameplay and to streamline the game so that its not just a series of tickboxes. Single story games have an easier time of this because they can put in more character chats, events and cutscenes along the way. Openworld games have a much harder time because its a LOT more complicated to try and do that when the player can choose the route and where the player chooses the order of events
     
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  10. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    Hmm, this thread is turning into a very interesting one :D.

    this is all good info since I would like to make games for a living, and I have an idea for one. I like the whole idea of being able to climb up a sheer cliff with climbing gear. I feel like it would add to the sense of actually being in that particular world, and maybe if the npc's get tired of waiting around for you to decide to do what you told them you would do lol.

    I would say that games like Skyrim are in that grey area of what is and isn't an open world. yes there was inaccessible spots on the map, but at the same time, those were usually the very tops of mountains, or the edge of said map. idk I think I'm just rambling a bit, kinda putting in my 2 cents on what you guys said.
     
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  11. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    To be honest. I grew up with linear old console games on the sega and nintendo. Even the RPG's were some what linear. I think perhaps when open-world became a 'thing', I was expecting or rather hoping to be able to do things that human beings can. i.e climb a mountain or.. jump over a fence that goes all the way around a town rather than having to walk around the fence. lol!
    I'm not sure the frustration stems from being an older gamer, more the fact that game companies are rushed in most cases by developers to release the game and grab the cash instead of implicating simple things like this. Until I manage to find a game that I can do almost anything in (in open-world), I'm gonna be left frustrated. Still. I suppose I just be happy that games come out in the first place. Actually scrap that. If games didn't come out. I would probably be rich with a wife and 12 kids by now.. wait Scrap that! yes thankyou games.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  12. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    one game that does let you do whatever you want is Minecraft. it can be enjoyable sometimes too. don't feel like walking around a mountain, just go through it
     
  13. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    oh please dont talk about minecraft around me. Game for babies.
     
  14. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    AA hates minecraft? But its totally open world!!

    Maybe you'd prefer the lego game? ;)

    That said I do wish there'd be a few more Minecraft style games; that sector of the market is full of dreamers with "early access" games but no actual finished games (or very few to a good standard). That said you've got things like Space Engineers and From the Depths which are getting close and introducing loads of freedoms that we never ever had before in games.


    In fact I would say the biggest barriers today are developing good AI rather than the worlds or content within a world
     
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  15. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    yeah I'm a hypocrite in a way lol XD
     
  16. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    AI definitely has to be worked on now most. it can be quite jarring to the senses when everything about a game looks state of the art and then you have a random npc walking or running into a wall for a few seconds before it catches up lol. though I do understand some of that is down to glitches, but there has to be a better way
     
  17. rochari

    rochari Member

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    I like the look of Witcher 3 but...can it be played in first person?
     
  18. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    not that I'm aware of unless there's a mod for it. the vanilla Witcher 3 game is third person
     
  19. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Honestly I hate first person for mages/swordplay. Mostly because I find that mages are showy things and that first person tends to make it rather dull. Meanwhile swordplay is not just showy but I think relies upon periphery vision more than we realise; thus when tried in first person you end up feeling really constricted on knowing the battlefield.

    That and all those fancy moves don't really look that fancy in first person - 3rd person all the way.


    Now for shooters and archers that's where first person comes into its own as the action is happening at the target not the character so much; that and its more focused upon looking at the target; of lining up the shot; rather than being as aware about your surroundings (that is, of course, still important)
     
  20. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    archer all the way lol