Videogame and Open-World Videogame Expectations

  • I think the general expectations videogamers have of games is for them to provide fun and are able to satisfy the money spent on them. But when it comes to ambitious triple A open-world games do you think we expect enough?

    Pardon the reductionism and generality of the following remark, but I feel we don't really want true change in because if we did we wouldn't be engaging in thankless quests and open-worlds would be limitless.

    To be honest I think celebrating and lauding Breath of the Wild for doing what open-world games should be doing all along, isn't setting the bar very high at all. This isn't a knock on Breath of the Wild, it's more a knock on what we crave from open-world experiences.

    Certain cliches in open-world games are dreary. One I've been following recently concerns the choice many open-world games have where you decide what faction to join with. Sometimes this is represented in a vanilla good vs. evil template, but in the past several years this base A or B has evolved politically into a decision between opting to side with the totalitarians or the liberalists, where you're forced to ally either with the guys who want to rebel, and who generally haven't got the skills necessary to refurbish an enemy's stronghold once taken over, or the strongly-armed robotic authoritarian nimrods who want to regulate everything as a corporate entity.

    My burning question then besides the one I've already stated above is what are your expectations from open-world games? Do they do enough to satisfy your cravings, or do you feel they're repeating industry standard formulas all the while averting risks? Personally I think risk aversion is the triple A way because doing what everyone else is doing is a way to play safe and make the most money.

  • I expect them to be shorter and not full of meaningless side stuff. Give me a good story 15-20 hours, give me extra stuff for maybe extra 10 hours and be gone. I want to play as many games as I can and I don't want to feel like I'm missing something because I didn't see 13124 question marks on the map. I physically feel disgust when I see an open worlds like that.

    If had the power I wouldn't let anyone to do anything more than half-open.

  • Personally I feel like some of the big triple A publishers/ developers need to rethink the term "open world " a bit. Like I enjoy a big giant world to explore such as Breath of the Wild but I also enjoy smaller more densely packed environments like the Yakuza franchise has done. Granted both games go for a different sort of feeling, I remember someone on the old GT forums calling Yakuza 3 a "Tourist simulator" or something to that effect.

    That said I'd love to see Assassin's Creed ditch the massive open worlds for a more level based structure, but each level is a few blocks (think the current Hitman trilogy meets Yakuza) you'd still have a few side objectives, shops, collectibles, ect. But now you have an environment where there's multiple ways to approach a target.

  • I want open words that don't overburden me with direction and tasks. I want game designers to not treat me as if I have cognitive issues. I want the world and its content to be a finely crafted work of art where nothing exists in isolation and everything is intentional. I want emergent gameplay to be the main creative approach.

  • @dmcmaster said in Videogame and Open-World Videogame Expectations:

    That said I'd love to see Assassin's Creed ditch the massive open worlds for a more level based structure, but each level is a few blocks (think the current Hitman trilogy meets Yakuza) you'd still have a few side objectives, shops, collectibles, ect. But now you have an environment where there's multiple ways to approach a target.

    That would be the best.

  • My immediate expectation for open world games is that they will be bad. Even high quality ones like Horizon FW still have that checklist formula and annoyances that slow the pace down (i.e. collecting items, crafting, dumb dialogue trees). So I go into them not expecting to like it 9/10 times (with that 10% being the Elder Scrolls of the world).

    I feel like Dunky comes in with BIG FAX here:
    Youtube Video

    In terms of setting the bar higher—easier said than done. Elden Ring comes in with a Souls formula applied to an open world setting. You can find merchants anywhere, you can get sweet items just by naturally exploring. The critical path is optional for an extended period of time. It does a lot correctly and builds upon the future of open world games.

    And here is the pushback when you do break the mold:




    For context in the Schreier thread, he gave an innocent tip about jotting down your own notes in Elden Ring and a flurry of people (not Russian bots), called the game design awful for not having a text log and jumped down his throat for his opinion that the game is an all-time great.

    So moral of the story is that when you do make changes, people are still mad. Nobody ever wins! Look at The Last of Us Part II. It's a GOTY and a fantastic game according to millions of people. It sold exceptionally well and mostly everyone is happy that it deviated from the type of story the first game told. But we know the other side of that coin...

  • @dipset
    Are we sure they weren't Russian bots?

    That said I've been taking notes of games I play for year, although usally as a Google doc or something because I'll be honest my handwriting is atrocious.

  • I would hate it if I had to keep notes for things in a game. It is not a good choice. I am not studying, I am playing a video game. It is also one of those things I really dislike about Dark Souls trilogy, from what I understand you should look for guides to explore it correctly or find your way. If a game needs a guide to play it then it's design is flawed.

  • @scotty

    You are missing the point like everybody else did. It was an innocent tip. Maybe keep a note about something an NPC said for later.

    You don’t need to do it. And I’ve never needed to do it in any Souls game.

  • @dipset

    I undestood why the guy has said that. If you don't need it it's cool but if it causes forgetting things and missing the quests there is a problem.

  • I feel like if people are allowed to complain about game difficulty being an accessibility issue, I'm allowed to complain about no in-game journal of events for extremely long games with tons of NPCs and events being an accessibility issue as someone with a really horrible memory.

    I don't want a Quest Log that spoils that something is a meaningful quest the moment you talk to a person, and I definitely don't want Objective Markers you just blindly hone in on while ignoring the landmarks of the world to navigate, but I would like a little Notes section in the game itself that writes down a log of the NPCs I'm meeting with the gist of their deal as it happens, so I have something to look back on and refresh my memory 60 hours later. So when I finally get some weirdo item, I can at least flip through my Notes and have a chance at mentally matching a weird thing to someone I've already met, just like what people with keen memories can do now.

  • Most open world games do nothing for me. It's why I rarely bother with them anymore. I enjoyed Ghost of Tsushima and Miles Morales. Before that, the last sandbox game was GTAV with my big bro in 2013.