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Are open world games without world simulation really just useless overall?

RoboFu

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So I've really noticed over the past few years as open world games became popular that they have trended away from the core aspects and promises of when their forefathers.
None of these games have a real simulated world. They are all just big maps with instances triggered when approached.

I guess first I should clarify what I am calling world simulation. It is when the game has characters that are simulated with everyday lives and the world is shaped by these simulated actions.


The last open world game i can think of that I played with any sort of world simulation was Skyrim and it had less than its prequels as well.
I remember a few times in skyrim where like a giant is already dead because a group of bandits happened while I was walking by and it got stuck on some rocks.
I also remember just seeing a quest alert appear because a guy I was supposed to meet got killed by wolves while he was walking on a road to another town.


I know that you cannot make a story driven game world totally simulated as you have to create a narrative, tension, and guide the player through a story but all the open world games I played in the last few years did not need to be open world at all. They are constrained to instances and triggers.
They are basically just time fillers as the path to the next instance is set for you. They all could just be icons on the map that you selected and the games would not be any different.

I guess I am saying I would like to see are turn back to real role playing again and less instanced (scene) driven narratives.
 
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Kuranghi

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I think this is why I like the last two Hitman games so much, its not an open world, but the size + amount of detail in the level and that 300 of the NPCs are fully and constantly simulated (Some maps contain over 1000 people but most of them are "dumb" NPCs that only react in one or two ways compared to the 300 full NPCs) really makes for some fun situations where you set up elaborate schemes to get people and objects where you want them to be, in specific states.

I mean, sometimes its triggers by the players, but the NPCs have tons of global timers as well, which I would say is like a simulation since they will do it whether you are there or not. I would love to play an Immersive Sim with their engine, perhaps thats what the 007 game will be.

Have you played it?
 

Valonquar

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kiphalfton

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I think most stuff needs to be scripted. Walking around is one thing, but beyond that it probably gets too dang complicated to develop something like that.

I was playing Marvel's Spider-Man, and there are several sections (namely during when Peter is at FEAST), that break the immersion, namely when there's a line of people, that never moved, and the receptionist is just sitting there looking like they're braindead. Then when you approach, the conversation starts, and it loops this weird animation of them pretending like they're looking at the computer, moving the mouse around, etc.

No doubt what you and I want, is autonomous NPC's... but that's not gonna happen.
 

Termite

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It has been clear for years that most modern open world games are just linear narrative games set in an open world to give the player the requisite sense of "immersion" into a real world.

Personally, I think this is a good idea. Being able to "choose" not to do the next linear story quest adds immersion to the game, even when most players won't choose anything else.

Horizon Zero Dawn is a great example of this. Terrific linear action game, but set in an expansive, beautiful world purely for setting, context and immersion purposes. There's nothing really to find or discover out there that the story won't lead you directly to, given time. But had the game been actually linear, it would have been nowhere near as popular.

Another side of the coin is something like Pathologic 2. Tiny town, but it's feels close to a blended scripted/simulated "world" - and it's phenomenal. The major story beats are all scripted, but random stuff can happen on the streets depending on the time or day or your reputation. We get tons of the first kind of game (the Ubi-world games), but I hope we get more like Pathologic 2 in the future.

In terms of purely simulated open worlds, I think it's just too much work to make sure the narrative doesn't break if some random wolf kills the duke who's going to give you a story critical quest etc. Toggling "must live" flags on critical characters in 100s of different story situations feels like a nightmare. Not sure of any studios outside of Bethesda who've even really attempted this.
 
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Husky

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I think it's a matter of what the game's core appeal is. We should see a variety of approaches to open worlds, each prioritizing different mechanics. An open world prioritizing loot collection doesn't benefit its gameplay loop much by simulating friendly AI schedules. But seeing some dynamic factions might be fun, allowing them to shape the world in the background even if the player doesn't interfere. Rather like the faction warfare in STALKER.
Skyrim is definitely still king when it comes to its strongest aspect, immersion, with that world-simulating Radiant AI being why. It sure would be great to see some devs try and ape that style.
 

niilokin

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simulation is not enough on it's own, a world full of people doing their thing is still going to feel lifeless. there has to be storytelling everywhere, not just in the main and side quests. huge populated worlds are worthless without proper deep interaction ,too.
 

harmny

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I think most stuff needs to be scripted. Walking around is one thing, but beyond that it probably gets too dang complicated to develop something like that.

I was playing Marvel's Spider-Man, and there are several sections (namely during when Peter is at FEAST), that break the immersion, namely when there's a line of people, that never moved, and the receptionist is just sitting there looking like they're braindead. Then when you approach, the conversation starts, and it loops this weird animation of them pretending like they're looking at the computer, moving the mouse around, etc.

No doubt what you and I want, is autonomous NPC's... but that's not gonna happen.

sorry you are not allowed to criticize sony games. hzd ghost of tsushima and spiderman have the best random npcs in gaming history. full of life and interactivity. otherwise people would've had a meltdown like they are having now with the pathetic cyberpunk npcs.
 
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Did not notice it with Valhalla but AC Odyssey has quite a nice AI simulation, as in they actually move to their house at night and you see them at day working and even enemy npcs/targets they do their own thing all over the map, being in different spots at night. A fucking shame CDPR did not bother with this. For all the shit Ubisoft gets, they have some impressive details in some of their games.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Yes, in my opinion. The world itself should be interesting enough to explore (hence all the extra space). Otherwise please give me level design.

I think there needs to be a split in the genre:

Open World merely refers to a single-player or co-op game with a large map where a story or co-op modes take place.

Sandbox refers to an open world game with a sufficient (arbitrary, subjective) amount of simulation to keep the players engaged outside of quests / missions.
 

x@3f*oo_e!

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Instanced mobs can be fine if the open world does other things. But agree with the sentiment.
 

vpance

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Did not notice it with Valhalla but AC Odyssey has quite a nice AI simulation, as in they actually move to their house at night and you see them at day working and even enemy npcs/targets they do their own thing all over the map, being in different spots at night. A fucking shame CDPR did not bother with this. For all the shit Ubisoft gets, they have some impressive details in some of their games.

Ubi has some very strong technical minded people working for them. They're often at those graphics and developer conferences with presentations on some new innovations.
 
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Captain Toad

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Realistic simulations are cool, but ultimately less fun. Red Dead Redemption 2.

I was slightly more impressed at the detail in RDR2 over Ghost of Tsushima. But, while playing, I had a lot more FUN with GoT.
 

MetalRain

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I think there are great open world games that don't need that complex simulation. Something like Just Cause 3, you don't care if pedestrians don't have personality or simulated daily schedule, you just want varied places to explode.
 

Kuranghi

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I think most stuff needs to be scripted. Walking around is one thing, but beyond that it probably gets too dang complicated to develop something like that.

I was playing Marvel's Spider-Man, and there are several sections (namely during when Peter is at FEAST), that break the immersion, namely when there's a line of people, that never moved, and the receptionist is just sitting there looking like they're braindead. Then when you approach, the conversation starts, and it loops this weird animation of them pretending like they're looking at the computer, moving the mouse around, etc.

No doubt what you and I want, is autonomous NPC's... but that's not gonna happen.

I really like how Hitman 2016/2018 does this a bit better:

In the Miami level of Hitman 2018 you see people queue of people lined up for autographs from a race car driver, there are quite a lot of people in the queue but most of them just have small lines and the drivers usually responds but in a non-specific way so it can mix and match them throughout a, say, 60 minute period in the level.

There is a stalker fan who comes to the front of the queue every now and then and he/she has more than a few unique lines, which the drivers responds to specifically each time. The game does just blast all the lines out at once though, they only say some of them each time, so even if you walk by this (very small in the grand scheme of the level) instance more than once over that 60 period you won't just see the same thing happened over and over. It will actually be different, a few times at least.

The targets generally have a set routine that they will follow until you change it in some way, either just by your presence or by triggers like them seeing specific NPCs, something changing in the set dressing of the level, finding an specific item and many more things besides. The best thing is that even if you don't disturb the routine they will still have different dialogues at the set locations they stop at, which means the only thing you have to suspend your disbelief for is if you spend more than 2 hours in the level, at which point for most events you'd expect they would stop waiting for things and either leave/change their routine/or go find the thing they are waiting for. But thats just computer game stuff in general and I don't mind it at all.

Oh man I can't not rant about how much I love these games, here's another great example of how in the Miami level you can stop the race in many ways:

* You go around the level and don't trigger anything that stops the race and it will end naturally after 1 hour in the level
* You trigger the end of the race by helping someone who is due to have a meeting with the target who is driving find items they need for the meeting. At this point the race finishes so she can have a meeting with the guy.
* You dress as a race official and can literally red flag the target (or her rival) and the race ends immediately because they were both so far ahead of the others that the winner is declared right then.
* You physically destroy the car of the target, her rival or one of the other racers and the race is stopped due to danger. Her rival is in the lead so he will win if you destroy any of the other cars, she will win if you destroy his car, and he will win if you destroy the targets car. He even has a whole podium ceremony thats just set dressing if you've already killed the target as well.

Basically, anyone reading this please buy Hitman 2018 GotY edition (It comes with a "legacy pack" containing the whole of the 2016 game) and if you get stuck PM me and I'll give you non spoilery hints/nudges in the right direction.
 

diffusionx

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I think the number of games where the characters are motivated by certain desires and take actions that lead to other interactions and so forth (like say the NPC has a hunger meter, so he goes to a restaurant) is incredibly small. It's one reason why I liked the Tropico games, because you can zoom into each citizen and see what they were thinking.

What you saw in Skyrim was probably scripting. The devs throw shit like that in the game to fool you into thinking that the world is more dynamic than it is, and hey, why not. One step beyond that is NPC schedules, which can be incredibly convincing and are awesome when they are implemented, which is almost never. Sad that one of the best examples of it is Ultima VII which came out in 1992.

I think honestly the best example of what you talk about is Shadow of Mordor/War, which also do the cool thing of making it an integral part of the gameplay. It's a real shame more devs didn't copy this game, because it can add a lot to it. And no you can't blame shitty Jaguar because both those games ran on shitty Jaguar.
 
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vpance

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I know that you cannot make a story driven game world totally simulated as you have to create a narrative, tension, and guide the player through a story but all the open world games I played in the last few years did not need to be open world at all. They are constrained to instances and triggers.
They are basically just time fillers as the path to the next instance is set for you. They all could just be icons on the map that you selected and the games would not be any different.

I guess I am saying I would like to see are turn back to real role playing again and less instanced (scene) driven narratives.

I think many devs have figured out open world to the point where the effort and cost it takes to make the game open world isn't much more than a linear one, if at all.

And since most people are more drawn to playing open worlds, it's much easier to market the game.

Just look at CP2077. Even as bug ridden with questionable gameplay design as it is, lots of people are still finding positives out of it mostly because it's an attractive open world and so immersive! (on the right hardware)
 
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StormCell

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I think most stuff needs to be scripted. Walking around is one thing, but beyond that it probably gets too dang complicated to develop something like that.

I was playing Marvel's Spider-Man, and there are several sections (namely during when Peter is at FEAST), that break the immersion, namely when there's a line of people, that never moved, and the receptionist is just sitting there looking like they're braindead. Then when you approach, the conversation starts, and it loops this weird animation of them pretending like they're looking at the computer, moving the mouse around, etc.

No doubt what you and I want, is autonomous NPC's... but that's not gonna happen.

I wouldn't say it isn't going to happen, because part of the appeal to video games is the limitless possibility. We probably don't have the hardware to do it, yet. The world engine probably hasn't been written, yet. It could require some dedicated hardware to fully pull it off. The world engine/model would be a separate thing that runs in conjunction with the player interfacing with the world.

More to the point, you wouldn't want fully autonomous NPC's, but you would want the NPC's to exercise a finite amount of autonomy while living a somewhat predestined life. It's not unlike the debate about humans having free will. lol

All NPC's need a certain amount of predestination in order to preserve the story experience. NPC's who are important to the story need that little bit of divine intervention that keeps them from going fully off the tracks. The whole world needs a little bit of "God" to keep it from fully descending into chaos. At the same time, you need a living breathing world that is aging along side you and writing a set of somewhat unique stories as you play.

And you need it to happen on hardware not responsible for providing you a modern gaming experience!
 

mikefrails

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I like a changing environment and random events that make me feel like I’m in a living world. Pokémon was very good at this, even as far back as the original Gameboy releases.
 
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PooBone

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All the regular "it's Janky" complainers about Skyrim take note. If they ever change the engine, you'll end up with the same dead world as Cyberpunk.
That's quite the reach in logic. Changes can equal improvements, though I wouldn't argue with you that Bethesda's a shining example lol.
 
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PooBone

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I really like how Hitman 2016/2018 does this a bit better:

In the Miami level of Hitman 2018 you see people queue of people lined up for autographs from a race car driver, there are quite a lot of people in the queue but most of them just have small lines and the drivers usually responds but in a non-specific way so it can mix and match them throughout a, say, 60 minute period in the level.

There is a stalker fan who comes to the front of the queue every now and then and he/she has more than a few unique lines, which the drivers responds to specifically each time. The game does just blast all the lines out at once though, they only say some of them each time, so even if you walk by this (very small in the grand scheme of the level) instance more than once over that 60 period you won't just see the same thing happened over and over. It will actually be different, a few times at least.

The targets generally have a set routine that they will follow until you change it in some way, either just by your presence or by triggers like them seeing specific NPCs, something changing in the set dressing of the level, finding an specific item and many more things besides. The best thing is that even if you don't disturb the routine they will still have different dialogues at the set locations they stop at, which means the only thing you have to suspend your disbelief for is if you spend more than 2 hours in the level, at which point for most events you'd expect they would stop waiting for things and either leave/change their routine/or go find the thing they are waiting for. But thats just computer game stuff in general and I don't mind it at all.

Oh man I can't not rant about how much I love these games, here's another great example of how in the Miami level you can stop the race in many ways:

* You go around the level and don't trigger anything that stops the race and it will end naturally after 1 hour in the level
* You trigger the end of the race by helping someone who is due to have a meeting with the target who is driving find items they need for the meeting. At this point the race finishes so she can have a meeting with the guy.
* You dress as a race official and can literally red flag the target (or her rival) and the race ends immediately because they were both so far ahead of the others that the winner is declared right then.
* You physically destroy the car of the target, her rival or one of the other racers and the race is stopped due to danger. Her rival is in the lead so he will win if you destroy any of the other cars, she will win if you destroy his car, and he will win if you destroy the targets car. He even has a whole podium ceremony thats just set dressing if you've already killed the target as well.

Basically, anyone reading this please buy Hitman 2018 GotY edition (It comes with a "legacy pack" containing the whole of the 2016 game) and if you get stuck PM me and I'll give you non spoilery hints/nudges in the right direction.
Seconded.
 
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NeilH1982

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I really like how Hitman 2016/2018 does this a bit better:

In the Miami level of Hitman 2018 you see people queue of people lined up for autographs from a race car driver, there are quite a lot of people in the queue but most of them just have small lines and the drivers usually responds but in a non-specific way so it can mix and match them throughout a, say, 60 minute period in the level.

There is a stalker fan who comes to the front of the queue every now and then and he/she has more than a few unique lines, which the drivers responds to specifically each time. The game does just blast all the lines out at once though, they only say some of them each time, so even if you walk by this (very small in the grand scheme of the level) instance more than once over that 60 period you won't just see the same thing happened over and over. It will actually be different, a few times at least.

The targets generally have a set routine that they will follow until you change it in some way, either just by your presence or by triggers like them seeing specific NPCs, something changing in the set dressing of the level, finding an specific item and many more things besides. The best thing is that even if you don't disturb the routine they will still have different dialogues at the set locations they stop at, which means the only thing you have to suspend your disbelief for is if you spend more than 2 hours in the level, at which point for most events you'd expect they would stop waiting for things and either leave/change their routine/or go find the thing they are waiting for. But thats just computer game stuff in general and I don't mind it at all.

Oh man I can't not rant about how much I love these games, here's another great example of how in the Miami level you can stop the race in many ways:

* You go around the level and don't trigger anything that stops the race and it will end naturally after 1 hour in the level
* You trigger the end of the race by helping someone who is due to have a meeting with the target who is driving find items they need for the meeting. At this point the race finishes so she can have a meeting with the guy.
* You dress as a race official and can literally red flag the target (or her rival) and the race ends immediately because they were both so far ahead of the others that the winner is declared right then.
* You physically destroy the car of the target, her rival or one of the other racers and the race is stopped due to danger. Her rival is in the lead so he will win if you destroy any of the other cars, she will win if you destroy his car, and he will win if you destroy the targets car. He even has a whole podium ceremony thats just set dressing if you've already killed the target as well.

Basically, anyone reading this please buy Hitman 2018 GotY edition (It comes with a "legacy pack" containing the whole of the 2016 game) and if you get stuck PM me and I'll give you non spoilery hints/nudges in the right direction.

i totally agree. Even though they are level-based, every single level is it's own little sandbox with uncountable different modifiers for you to use to attain the goal. I've literally spent more time on single Hitman levels than I have on some beaten games.
 
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Danjin44

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Personally I’m kind sick of western developers default choice design has become open world, it’s like they no longer cable of making proper level design.

My biggest issue with current western developers is they want completely get away from games feeling “gamey” and want their games be more of immersion simulation.

I love video games and I want my games feel gamey, I don’t need any of realism crap to feel immerse in my games.
 

Kuranghi

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i totally agree. Even though they are level-based, every single level is it's own little sandbox with uncountable different modifiers for you to use to attain the goal. I've literally spent more time on single Hitman levels than I have on some beaten games.







I still learn new things and hear new dialogue all the time, even with all that time spent. Its my GotG I've decided.
 

Kuranghi

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Personally I’m kind sick of western developers default choice design has become open world, it’s like they no longer cable of making proper level design.

My biggest issue with current western developers is they want completely get away from games feeling “gamey” and want their games be more of immersion simulation.

I love video games and I want my games feel gamey, I don’t need any of realism crap to feel immerse in my games.

Yeah your favourite game (Or one of anyway, thats Gravity Rush 2 for confused readers) is a good example of a gamey open world and to me it still feels a lot more alive than most other open worlds. Probably partly because the writing is so good.
 
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GymWolf

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Not if they have at least 2 good things out of 3 in these departments:

combat\traversal\general gameplay
story\lore\characters
graphics\art style

that's why a lot of people love stuff like horizon or cyberpunk even if their world are not exactly alive...

Rockstar games nails the world simulation\micro details but they have other big flaws like shitty combat and mission design.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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My personal opinion is that most open world games are not really open world games but rather an illusion.

By far the best open world games I have played are GTA and probably Red Dead, everything else just seems half-baked or kinda cheap.
 
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Enzo88

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I would like the world around me to mean something from a mechanics and game design standpoint, i think this is why i love Botw so much(despite some of its limitations).

In most open world out there, even if with dense cities, npc with their daily routins or whatever, these are 'merely' visual elements that can grant an initial sense of wonder/immersion but, ar least for me, It's destined to fade away after few hours. Buildings and npcs don't mean much to me if in most cases i can't really do anything significant with them, same with a tree or almost any element at screen that seems to be there just to offer a visual reward while a go from point a to b by mostly mindlessly pointing the stick towards the desired direction.

Random example, i look at a tree in botw and i don't just see a visual element, i see a source of heat, and fire, a mean of water transportation, propulsion in the air,cooking etc. Etc.

I know this probably comes down to individual preferences, but i am noticing it again with Ghost of Tsushima. I enjoy the game and initially i was entrolled into the world, but after 15 hours i can already see the complete loop of the game and i am just rushing from point a to b, barely paying any attention to the world around me other than from a visual standpoint (and thank God the game is beautiful to look at).

I almost feel like the open world is unwarranted, It's mostly a source of mindless looting and the same fight events.

Don't get me wrong, i don't think every open world should focus on traversal and emergent gameplay like Botw does, but whatever your selling point for the open world is: npc interactions, random activities, looting, combat, it must feel relevant and rewarding, otherwise it becomes another checkbox game where you shut down your brain to see a number that means nothing go up.

Basically the world around me needs to justify itself more than from a visual standpoint and i am not sure most open world games do that.

If the openess doesn't really justify itself, i would much rather take something more linear with more focuses mechanics, better pacing etc. A la souls games or metroidvanias.
 
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bender

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Last generation made me burn out on open world games similar to how the 360 era had me exhausted by the FPS. Most open worlds aren't utilized well and fell more procedurally generated than they do hand crafted. More often than not, it just feels like developers are trying to pad their game lengths by recycling content.

I've been playing through SOTC again (I do this once a year at least) and the world is barren save for the Colossi, Shrines, Lizards and Fruit. I just love being in that world as it has a sense of place.
 
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Fredrik

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I really just want a big world to explore, Zelda BOTW was almost perfect, I loved Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as well, one of the prettiest game worlds ever. And No Man’s Sky of course.

And I’m tired of linear games with all their invisible walls and specific climbing spots. Kratos can slay a dragon but he can’t walk past a little bit of rubble?

But when it comes to a living world RDR2 is the king, nothing comes close imo, put down the controller and watch, things will actually happen compared to most other games that are pretty much paused when the player doesn’t push the world forward.
 
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They are less satisfying, but I wouldn't say useless.

Different strokes for different folks, but I still enjoy games that don't do much in the way of world simulation.

But world simulation and things like object persistence add a ton for me; Skyrim being my favorite game of all time for example. There's just something really satisfying about how it all works together.. I love Fallout New Vegas too... but thought Obsidian's The Outer Worlds was boring as hell.. because it was lacking the things the Bethesda engine does so well.
 
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eyesabitdull

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What are you talking about OP, nothing is more immersive that NPC's fading into existence every time I turn around or look far enough.

Why else am I so immersed in Cyberpunk 2077?

All jokes aside, I feel like world simulation should be applicable when and where needed. I'd like more open world games to have it, but I also think that it's a tall order if we're to expect in every one of them.

World simulation, or lack thereof (or just plain basic), in Fallout 4, Skyrim, Cyberpunk or Spiderman to me, is not something I necessarily need - because I still treat immersion in videos games like I read books, I just fill in the gaps with my imagination and if the story is worth progressing, and getting further into; then that's the key.

But games like RDR2, in which you can literally follow an NPC from the second they wake up until they go to sleep and see them live out a full real life schedule, is something to truly appreciate when it does happen.

For that to happen though, gamers need to just swallow the fact that we're no longer going to be able to get AAA games at the output we used to as these types of wants and needs in an open world game will require much more time, resources, and a publisher - or investor - who is willing to wait it out until it's as good as it can be.
 

Fbh

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I don't fully agree.
I think open worlds can be really fun even without proper world simulation. I had a blast going through Breath of the Wild even though the world is very "gamey" and doesn't really go out of its way to feel real. Same with Outer Wilds which is a sort of open world with only a handful of NPC's and yet it has quickly become one of my favorite games I've played this year.

I think what those 2 games had in common though was fun exploration that invites the player to take a look at the actual world and start exploring, instead of having you open a map and being told exactly where to go for the next activity.

Open worlds are at their worst when they are essentially just a big un-interactive space in between scripted sequences
 
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magaman

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You should play Dwarf Fortress

No. This isn't an acceptable answer for 95% of people, including hardcore gamers.

There's a gap between "simple" and "complex" that has yet to be filled adequately by a 3D open world game. Dwarf Fortress is complex. It's extremely hardcore. It's also not for everyone.

What I think many people look for is what DF accomplishes in theory, but with a more user-friendly look and feel. I think many people would enjoy DF if it wasn't the lumbering, imposing beast that it is. Whoever finds a way to make it accessible, 3D, and potentially multiplayer will have a hit on their hands.
 

Guilty_AI

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No. This isn't an acceptable answer for 95% of people, including hardcore gamers.

There's a gap between "simple" and "complex" that has yet to be filled adequately by a 3D open world game. Dwarf Fortress is complex. It's extremely hardcore. It's also not for everyone.

What I think many people look for is what DF accomplishes in theory, but with a more user-friendly look and feel. I think many people would enjoy DF if it wasn't the lumbering, imposing beast that it is. Whoever finds a way to make it accessible, 3D, and potentially multiplayer will have a hit on their hands.
A smelly, tree-fondling elf wrote this
 

Jada

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Dec 10, 2020
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So I've really noticed over the past few years as open world games became popular that they have trended away from the core aspects and promises of when their forefathers.
None of these games have a real simulated world. They are all just big maps with instances triggered when approached.

I guess first I should clarify what I am calling world simulation. It is when the game has characters that are simulated with everyday lives and the world is shaped by these simulated actions.


The last open world game i can think of that I played with any sort of world simulation was Skyrim and it had less than its prequels as well.
I remember a few times in skyrim where like a giant is already dead because a group of bandits happened while I was walking by and it got stuck on some rocks.
I also remember just seeing a quest alert appear because a guy I was supposed to meet got killed by wolves while he was walking on a road to another town.


I know that you cannot make a story driven game world totally simulated as you have to create a narrative, tension, and guide the player through a story but all the open world games I played in the last few years did not need to be open world at all. They are constrained to instances and triggers.
They are basically just time fillers as the path to the next instance is set for you. They all could just be icons on the map that you selected and the games would not be any different.

I guess I am saying I would like to see are turn back to real role playing again and less instanced (scene) driven narratives.
I’m assuming you’re ignoring Rockstar’s games? They are definitely world simulations, with multiple systems intertwined to affectbthe impression of a living space. Perhaps you’re referring to crap like CP2077 or Assassins Creed, whose worlds are lifeless and bereft of reactivity?
 

THEAP99

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Mar 16, 2020
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Yes. Literally 95% of modern aaa open world games could be linear and nothing would change other than less wasted time playing
 
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Guilty_AI

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I’m assuming you’re ignoring Rockstar’s games? They are definitely world simulations, with multiple systems intertwined to affectbthe impression of a living space.
No they aren't, all smoke and mirrors too.
Really good smoke and mirrors though.
 
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Umbral

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I’m playing Ghost of Tsushima currently and last night I saw an instance spawn and despawn right in front of me.

Another annoyance is I’ll see some mongols to fight and I’ll rush in and fight them and if I get killed I get respawned right where I died but they despawn all the enemies. I enjoy the combat so far but I can’t get a damn fight in the wilderness because of it. I’m playing on Lethal, so it’s easy to die from a mistake. I’m just running around looking for fights but then they all disappear if I die. It’s aggravating as hell.

The beauty of the game is interrupted by the pachinko gamey—ness. I can see the machine and it kind of ruins it.
 
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Woo-Fu

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I've enjoyed every open world game I played this year. I think that is because I focus on what they are, not what they aren't.
 

Jada

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Dec 10, 2020
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No they aren't, all smoke and mirrors too.
Really good smoke and mirrors though.
The best smoke and mirrors in the industry. And, aren’t all advances in the technology of game design a matter of smoke and mirrors? Raytracing, anti-aliasing, artificial intelligence and other elements of fidelity and interaction are all magical tricks to push us closer to a photorealistic and reactive world.