View Full Version : On Scale: The Perils of Massive Open Worlds and Content Oversaturation

02-10-2018, 11:18 AM
To the developers or anyone who has thoughts to share.

First off, I am really excited about this game. The first was incredible and I can't wait for this to come out. There is one thing that I'm rather worried about though. It's become commonplace in the gaming industry to try and sell gamers on the biggest worlds, the most content, and the ability to keep the player playing for hundreds of hours. But all of that is done without any concern for how it affects the feel and presentation of a game. A game world can be as wide as an actual galaxy, but only as deep as a single drop of water. No Man's Sky demonstrated this for u perfectly already; don't make the same mistake. Ubisoft seems to pride themselves on the number of icons they can fit on a map, but most of those quickly become nothing more than a chore to complete as the player realizes that they are all essential the same few monotonous activities. Games like CoD and Star Wars Battlefront II EA may have an incredible amount of things to unlock. But the time it would take to get them all is more than unreasonable, even for those don't do anything else. Saturation of content alone does not make a good game, and while I sincerely hope that the devs realize this fact, many don't.

As I was looking through information about the game, I noticed two conflicting pieces of information. That the game would take place in System 3, and that there would be a whole galaxy to explore. Now I don't know a lot about System 3, as the first game doesn't go into much detail about it, but an entire galaxy already sounds like the devs are setting this game up to fail. A galaxy sounds great on paper, or for PR, but it comes with a cost. And I mean that literally, the production cost for creating a massive galaxy as well as the amount of time required to do so, means that the devs will have fewer resources to devote to other areas of the project. Or in other words, to create this play space, the rest of the game will suffer.

So I propose a solution. From what the devs have said, it sounds like the game is still quite early in development. So hopefully they are still able to make a change if need be. Scrap the galaxy idea. Focus in the game to a single solar system with preferably less than ten major planets, note that I do not include other celestial bodies in that number. Then use those extra resources from the lack of a whole galaxy, to add more detail to the play space. But even more important than that, use those extra resources to create a wonderful, intriguing, and memorable story for us to enjoy. Because Beyond Good and Evil wasn't successful because of it's gameplay. No, we remember it and cherish it because of the beautiful story it told, and the fascinating characters that called Hillys home. Make us remember the prequel for it's story and characters, not for the amount of time we spent in it.

Finally, I have one last piece of advice. If nothing else, remember this. Take pride in your game. Treat it like a beautiful piece of art that you want to share with the world, not with the goal of profit, but with the goal of making everyone else see how much you love what you've just created. Create a game that you know your audience will love, because you love it. Create an experience, not a service.

02-10-2018, 06:06 PM
I'm quite sure they said we could explorer system 3, just the planetary system, maybe some of system 4 but not the whole galaxy. Maybe we'll able to travel to precise places in this galaxy but not the whole thing.

02-10-2018, 07:14 PM
Have you played Assassin's Creed: Origins? It's freakin' HUGE. Like all, or most of Egypt's country, huge. Far Cry 5 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Also, there's an old PC Icelandic (?) game (unaware if it's still active) called EVE: Online. It's a space MMO exploration shooter, and it's massive. You can travel all over a galaxy. Granted, these games are from different dev teams, but it can be possible. Also, Michel said we'll be focused on 1 solar system, not a galaxy or trillions of planets, like No Man's Sky. We'll likely have a total of 4 or 5 planets. Also, was System 3 ever mentioned in BGE? I know in that game, it's called System 4.

02-10-2018, 11:21 PM
Another thing about ACO that I've seen done well is the apparent lack of a minimap, instead favouring the little, "interest bar" at the top of the screen. Having a ton of collectibles isn't inherently bad; using them to pad the play experience is.

In order to avoid that, maybe the devs can try and make the HUD as minimal as possible. Hide things everywhere for sure, maybe tell me that there are 57 hidden things to collect but don't actually give me markers.

02-11-2018, 11:35 AM
I love Origins. It's huge. The scenery is gorgeous. And the combat is supersmooth. It still doesn't hold any substance to the story and characters except Bayek. The quests are random and repetitive. Did you miss the point where OP himself said "Make us remember the prequel for it's story and characters, not for the amount of time we spent in it." BGE2 already has a potential to be successfull like Origins because of it's size. To go bigger, it just needs to really hold its story and characters to make a complete sense out of a game.

02-11-2018, 08:26 PM
Well there are different departments in Ubisoft. From the E3 Trailer we know Ubisoft Montpellier does BGE2.
They did not make Origins.

Also it is known that for AC having such a rapid releases it needs 2 different departments.
So I do not know if these work together tho. They are shown as 2 different ones on a Google search regarding AC.
I would assume that they have the things the other departments made as reference.

02-11-2018, 10:02 PM
Well there are different departments in Ubisoft. From the E3 Trailer we know Ubisoft Montpellier does BGE2.
They did not make Origins.

Also it is known that for AC having such a rapid releases it needs 2 different departments.
So I do not know if these work together tho. They are shown as 2 different ones on a Google search regarding AC.
I would assume that they have the things the other departments made as reference.

No, no, no I was just giving examples of what Ubisoft as a whole can do. And because Montpelier is apart of Ubisoft, they can easily ask help from the other branches.

02-12-2018, 04:38 AM
I used Ubisoft as an example if how not make open worlds, based off many of their open world games, not the Montpellier studio specifically. Though as a publisher, Ubisoft may still want to push for many of these practices. Many games do create massive open worlds well, but it is all too easy for size to undermine detail.

02-12-2018, 05:28 PM
Thank you for your feedback, BloodRune8864. And thank you everybody else for this discussion. Some very valid points here! I know for a fact that the dev team is very passionate about this project, and I hope their passion shines through in the final product so you guys can enjoy it. That being said, I will be passing your concerns along to them.

Keep up the discussion, Space Monkeys!

02-12-2018, 10:48 PM
Yeah, uhm, no thanks. I haven't played a single game in 40 years where getting lost was ever fun.

Umm Bioshock series is pretty damn good!

02-14-2018, 04:40 PM
I also think developers should concentrate on a few areas to make it an unforgettable experience to be there. But to be honest they have to make big continents where you are able to walk around by your own. Even if these areas are empty and without live they have to be there. Look at our planet. Sahara, Siberia, the rain forests, Himalaya. You can’t interact there with many people like in big cities, but these regions take a huge part of Earth’s surface.

It’s not necessary that there is a being on every square meter of the planet. If they fill up a few cities with detailed life and hybrids it will be enough. They don’t have to make the huge continents very detailed. If they trigger some events like wild animals that appear when you walk around these areas it would be complete enough for me to feel the live in the planet. If they put some special and hidden places into these huge continents for example a mine or something, we have to be sent there by a quest. I mean you can’t search a whole planet for one little mine.

Over all I like big open World games. The only thing I hate in a lot of these games is the huge amount of useless sidequests. In nearly every open world game I have played there were tons of sidequests which were not developing the main story or even reacting to the events that happened in the main story. In my opinion the time and work developers put into sidequests is a huge waste of time. In open world games I have always finished the main story, but never finished 100% of the sidequests. Not even close. The reason for this is simply mentioned. Playing a game for the first time sidequests can be fun, but they soon become boring because of their similarity. Take object A and bring it to object B. Kill Person C. Steal freight D and bring it back to E. And than doing this stuff over and over again. I think everybody knows what I mean. Somehow I have the feeling developers think if you let gamers do the same quest he has done before but in a other region with a other backstory, it will be a new quest. But NO, it is NOT!!!!!

I hope in BGE2 they will put more quests into the mainstory and make us experience the world through mainstory and not through tons of sidequests many players never complete by 100%.

03-03-2018, 03:40 AM
I think the problem is not side-quests being repetitive but them taking a lot of game space. What I mean is it should be easier for players to ignore those side quests instead of them clogging up the screen. Side quests are really good for grinding, which also kind of allows players to tweak game difficulty dynamically which I think is always a good addition. I dont think creating unique content for these many optional quests is beneficial, heck thats why they are called 'side quests'.

03-18-2018, 07:48 AM
Nope. Make it huge. For the money i pay, i want content. If the developer's don't have time to fill the cities and planets with content, then release map tools in due time, so the community can get to work.

08-07-2018, 05:25 PM
They actually mean solar system not a whole galaxy and you want to know a solar system is smaller than a galaxy. But they should look at game like persona 5, Yakuza series or Red dead redemption 2, Cyberpunk 2077 to look at game that show how world can be small and look very live likes it is ecosystem of its own where Npc's have a schedule for each day so that feel and look real animals/People.

The should watch the city around and the world should keep on going not matter where you are on the map also people and animals should be doing many things like doing stuff that character like:
▪swim in swimming pools,lakes and oceans.
▪fight in the open world or in shops but it should random but feel and look natural.
▪gamble at casinos
▪race vehicles or on animals.
▪Go to the bathroom
▪Save people lives
▪Eat at restaurants
▪commit crimes

And so on doing stuff like to make them feel real and not just NPCS.