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It’s bad but not because the lands this company makes are barren in content but the content in it is badly designed.

Let’s look at the outpost system found in AC games, these outposts are randomly scattered across each map, generally really small when put taken into account which makes upfront combat in them tedious due to how cramped close encounters become all while these same outposts have nothing functionally unique to separate them from each other due to being too physically small for anything noteworthy to be found in them DESPITE the size and land available for the devs to use to fix this issue. The reason why this exists is due to the development team that designs these worlds not adapting to games outside of far cry with open world design in other genres


>Section 2 level design

Open worlds are unique being that they offer a bundle of levels that can be accessed from many different regions of the ingame map. With Ubisofts major titles, levels come in the form of outposts, watchtowers, the wilderness themselves, cities, hubs, caves etc. the problem especially with the wilderness is that these areas of the map straight up aren’t design,

It’s just empty space with nothing in it and that’s why these games feel so barren, without things like wilderness having sections and specific paths to different locations, dungeons sprawling with levels, monuments hidden beneath layers upon layers of puzzles and option but very explorable regions ultimately makes taking the time to journey throughout these games feel really really fucking sterile and highlights why quest markers and fast travel is a required feature of these games because realistically nothing interesting will be found by taking the time to explore the worlds of these games


>section 2.1 level design II

And that sucks. The team that makes these games(and subsequently the hordes of developers making games based off this design) should design these open areas the same way they would for linear levels before deciding to pull these aspects of the map together but alas this will continue and it’s due to the second next big issue with ubisofts open world design, the open world itself is completely flat


>section 3 the worlds are designed with height maps but have nothing else as fundamental components to their design

You know how bloodborne despite being a linear game feels open world due to how large the city is with how many interiors you can enter through. With any open world made by ubi these aspects of verticality within how these maps are created simply aren’t considered. Play any of these games or watch any footage of someone free roaming them and you’ll know what I mean, the maps have almost no caves, no interiors to most dungeons and rarely have anything interesting going on below the surface into the depths of the sea. It’s horrible it creates a sense of static ness within the world design. Even TES managed to fix this problem by adding cave systems throughout the maps of their games and with a game like Minecraft exploration through the vertical parts of the map are the highlight of its design. With Ubisoft they just quite literally build their maps off a mesh built with a terrain generator and call it a day, and the results are horrible and feed into why people think each installment in both far cry and AC ends up sub par despite how much other teams in the studio spend on trying to make the worlds of these games more than that, even the team behind borderlands fixed this

That’s all thanks for reading


This shit design is infecting every corner of gaming. One thing that stuck out to me about Sonic Frontiers is that it looks like one of those Unity games where someone just puts down a generic forest/grassy area and just dump bullshit all over it. I can't believe they had the gall to release it.


Yeah it has a lot of the same design flaws as your standard Ubisoft open world title that’s why the game despite how good other parts of it feels wrong to move through


I unironically think open world is bad in most of the games its in. Like Elden Ring did not benefit from being open world when the only things in it are boring ubisoft dungeons.


The problem with the games that have come out being shit because they’re open world but the mentality behind the design team is that of the game is open world it must be huge and not just designed ordinarily but with multiple ways of interacting within each section of the game world. That’s why these games feel so empty


I am baffled how so many gamers and reviewers consider Witcher 3 to be 10/10 game, when it has exactly this bloated and yet empty map, along with other failures of fundamental design.


I think smaller non-linear games have the best open worlds. I don't mean smaller as in less ambitious, I mean just without the 50 miles open world. Like lots of metroidvania / 2D action platformer games, Zelda Games and maybe parts of Dark Souls and DS2 are basically small open worlds in their design. Since its open world you can go where you want, do sidequests at your own pace and go back to places you like, but the map, side-quests and especially combat encounters feel way more meaningful since they're usually not copy pasted like in big open world games and the devs don't have to worry about you going at it from every possible angle. There's also less of the grind, like in Far Cry you have to grind through the enemy camps to take control of the area and it was so dull by Far Cry 4, which I couldn't be bothered to complete. Zelda Ocarina of Time is a good example of small open worlds and I've always wondered why people don't consider it open world despite how you can do the temples and side quests mostly in whatever order, and come on there's a map and you ride across Hyrule Field any time you want. But OOT's open world doesn't have random inconcequential orc camps and 100 challenge shrines like in Breath of the Wild (haven't played it so maybe I'm talking out of my arse), instead all the stuff you can do is clearly unique even if its a fetch quest slog or finding a heart piece (which to be fair aren't unique but like in metroidvania games I don't seek them out). The open world might have been small because of technical limitations but the game was better off for it, it was an adventure rather than a grind.


How is this an issue, exactly? Can you go into more detail


Which games generally better remembered
Ocarina of time or assassins creed odyssey?


Neither, I guess
That's not a detail or an explanation of why outposts in Assassin's Creed being small is a horrible unconscionable thing


Elden Ring is a game that would've heavily benefited from getting condensed into a more compact experience. It's fun for the first several hours but the longer I played and the more rehashed enemies and dungeons I saw the less inclined I became to play the game fighting the godskin apostle or crucible knight for the nth time. Don't really feel like finishing it after nearly 100 hours, but I'll get back to it someday.


I was pretty butthurt about this game myself. Crafting is another thing that needs to fuck off. Luckily many games allow you to ignore it but it does suck having to constantly empty my inventory of crafting garbage.


Dark souls 2 suffers from the opposite case where the game is somehow to cramped for the amount of content stuffed in it


The most dissapointed I ever was in a video game. Literally what did that game had going for is except decent writing and soundtrack. Gameplay whose best aspects reach the heights of mediocrity?
The same thing is happening with Hogwarts right now. People creaming themselves over 5/10 slop.


>Zelda Games and maybe parts of Dark Souls and DS2 are basically small open worlds in their design. Since its open world you can go where you want,
tbh open world game design also means that places of interest share the same scale across the same physical space. especially in DS2 the places you visit have implied distances to the point where it starts to become a hindrance. reaching heide's tower after a brisk 5 minute walk from majula, even though you literally see it burning far away on the horizon deters from the experience.

what makes open world games compelling is not just that you can do whatever you want, is that dungeons exist in an actual tangible form which lends games with a greater sense of verisimilitude. elden ring indeed lost consistency when moving on from dungeon crawling to an open world (it's hard to make the case that dungeon quality went down considering the map layout stopped being an intricate metroidvania since DS2. If anything leyndell recoverd part of the DS1 dungeon design ethos) but it did became, however briefly, an infinitely more engrossing experience.


I am fairly sure geography of DS2 not making sense is purposeful design choice, and pretty cool one in my opinion.

The problem with open world design is that for some time that is synonym with big, flat, empty. Gothic 2 is over 20 years old and still has the best designed open world I have experienced. Very small, you can walk across entire map in 10 minutes, but so dense and 3 dimensional. Full of ravines, valleys, hills, caves, ridges, and every place had something in it, some little thing for player to discover. Beautiful.


>I am fairly sure geography of DS2 not making sense is purposeful design choice, and pretty cool one in my opinion.
No, that was an hbomberguy invention, DS2 devs have stated that it was a compromise due to time constraints


>The problem with open world design is that for some time that is synonym with big, flat, empty.
This is true, open worlds don't need to be big. Morrowind is also small but its paths are windy to go around mountains and stuff, very efficient use of space makes the game feel a lot more bigger than it is. ER repeating bosses make it feel smaller despite the map being substantially big.


Devs are learning tho. We already know that the GTA VI map won't be gigaenormous and that they are focusing in density of content, not size.


Well in Skyrim's case didn't the large amount of space between stuff mean that local areas could be loaded individually, saving resources, and yet at the same time load limited textures of far away assets(LODs if that's the right word?) to make the world seem expansive while keeping resource use at a minimum? I think it actually turned out pretty well in some ways.

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