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Why are Open Worlds not being flashed out after a games release?

docbot

Banned
Development times are becoming longer and longer and games need to be profitable much longer than they used too. Why is it then that developers of Open World games are not substantially fleshing out the World of their games after release? I would assume it's a technical problem adding so much details to a world, but with something like GTA V that has made so much money, has so much man power behind it and has been around for so long, if they just kept adding detail shouldn't it have been possible by now to give almost every character in that game a unique personality and routine , have all the houses be flashed out and add a gazillion of microstories etc, bascially creating a really interesting huge maze?

Do you think that is something that will happen in the future, where developer will release an open world and then draw in the details for the following 5 years to create a extremely lively space? What's the biggest hurdle in doing something like this?
 

docbot

Banned
Don't you think that it will just increase interest and keep people hooked? Sure flashy graphics are nice, but having a virtual world that has been crafted over years is nothing you can replicate so easy and is quite a unique selling point.
 

docbot

Banned
Why aren’t they doing it before release is what you should be asking
well because at some point you need to start to get a return on your investment and you just can't push the release date 10 year of just to go insane over the world details.
 

zeorhymer

Member
Cost of updating the game vs the amount of money you might pull in from new players. In a single player open world, you're not going to recoup that amount. The amount you spend updating the world is better spent on making the next game. If it's multiplayer, then you have monetize incentives to update the game. Such as No Man's Sky or Fallout 76.

If the game releases with a boring open world, that's all people will talk about. No amount of filling out the open world will cause a rebound in sales.
 

Men_in_Boxes

Gold Member
Multiplayer open worlds ARE being fleshed out after release because developers still have to work for our love.

Single player open worlds are not being fleshed out because once they have our $70 dollars they sneak out the window at night and look for their next one night stand.
 

TexMex

Member
well because at some point you need to start to get a return on your investment and you just can't push the release date 10 year of just to go insane over the world details.

As the consumer, not my problem to work out for them.

Also, all open world games don’t launch as barren wastelands. Some have clearly figured it out.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.

Flabagast

Member
Cost of updating the game vs the amount of money you might pull in from new players. In a single player open world, you're not going to recoup that amount. The amount you spend updating the world is better spent on making the next game. If it's multiplayer, then you have monetize incentives to update the game. Such as No Man's Sky or Fallout 76.

If the game releases with a boring open world, that's all people will talk about. No amount of filling out the open world will cause a rebound in sales.
Yep. Basically CDPR is now currently trying to do this by putting 75% of its staff on the game for a full year after the release.

If during the next gen version release the word of mouth does not change and sales do not see a rebound, it will be an entire year of OPEX lost.
 

EDMIX

Member
Development times are becoming longer and longer and games need to be profitable much longer than they used too. Why is it then that developers of Open World games are not substantially fleshing out the World of their games after release? I would assume it's a technical problem adding so much details to a world, but with something like GTA V that has made so much money, has so much man power behind it and has been around for so long, if they just kept adding detail shouldn't it have been possible by now to give almost every character in that game a unique personality and routine , have all the houses be flashed out and add a gazillion of microstories etc, bascially creating a really interesting huge maze?

Do you think that is something that will happen in the future, where developer will release an open world and then draw in the details for the following 5 years to create a extremely lively space? What's the biggest hurdle in doing something like this?

Its not that easy.

The structure of those games wasn't really made for that. Its why you don't see that done in the first place, its something that needs to go into the design first
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
thats like asking why game is not polished enough after release.
 
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Hawking Radiation

Gold Member
Why aren’t they doing it before release is what you should be asking
Because then you end up with another Star Citizen.

At some point you have to draw the line, get the game out and recoup some of the development costs instead of requesting for more funding.

Sure open world games can be expanded with DLC's. Adding more towns or dungeons to a map shouldn't be too hard.
 

Roni

Member
Development times are becoming longer and longer and games need to be profitable much longer than they used too. Why is it then that developers of Open World games are not substantially fleshing out the World of their games after release? I would assume it's a technical problem adding so much details to a world, but with something like GTA V that has made so much money, has so much man power behind it and has been around for so long, if they just kept adding detail shouldn't it have been possible by now to give almost every character in that game a unique personality and routine , have all the houses be flashed out and add a gazillion of microstories etc, bascially creating a really interesting huge maze?

Do you think that is something that will happen in the future, where developer will release an open world and then draw in the details for the following 5 years to create a extremely lively space? What's the biggest hurdle in doing something like this?
First of all, great thread. I ponder about this too. I'd buy yearly DLC for a few games....
 

jakinov

Member
 

Buki1

Member
Say what you want about Ubisoft, but thats what they are doing in Valhalla. Recently, year after release they are still adding free dungeons (with new trophies) and a festival event about wild hunt with new quests and gear.

 
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docbot

Banned
Just to make it clear, I wasn't really trying to suggest that current open world game suck at release. Just wondering what a open world game would look like where a team just keeps working to add stories, flesh out characters and model all the inner spaces etc.

no man's sky is a good example that a game is not just about it's launch window.

maybe you could also see this concept as a proxy role playing game. instead of having players role playing themselves in the game, how about having a horde of people role playing by creating content, stories and characters for a world that are the inserted inside the world.

Just think it would be an interesting experiment and to try create a world that's just of such increadible detail that the attraction is the world itself instead of just shooting stuff up.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
Development times are becoming longer and longer and games need to be profitable much longer than they used too. Why is it then that developers of Open World games are not substantially fleshing out the World of their games after release? I would assume it's a technical problem adding so much details to a world, but with something like GTA V that has made so much money, has so much man power behind it and has been around for so long, if they just kept adding detail shouldn't it have been possible by now to give almost every character in that game a unique personality and routine , have all the houses be flashed out and add a gazillion of microstories etc, bascially creating a really interesting huge maze?

Do you think that is something that will happen in the future, where developer will release an open world and then draw in the details for the following 5 years to create a extremely lively space? What's the biggest hurdle in doing something like this?
Using your example of GTA V, what do you think they should add?

GTA V is also probably a bad example. GTA Online has come a LOOOOOOONG WAY.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
Because outside of a few exceptions (mainly Nintendo games and some others that have long legs, and GaaS crap of course) the bulk of the money is made in the first few weeks of a game's launch. Why spend money and effort after that if it's not gonna significantly increase sales?
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
if they just kept adding detail shouldn't it have been possible by now to give almost every character in that game a unique personality and routine , have all the houses be flashed out and add a gazillion of microstories etc, bascially creating a really interesting huge maze?

That sort of density is a different kind of technical challenge. Say you've optimized a game to be running X number of AI routines, and have Y graphical detail. You can't necessarily increase X without sacrificing Y, unless you've left a lot of perf on the table.

Beyond that doing things like that increases the chance for bugs.

You know what games have actual AIs performing actual routines all over the open world? Those AIs can even get in dynamic fights with animals or enemies.. or even you can engage them and maybe kill them, totally changing the future of the game? Bethesda RPGs. Bethesda is a meme because of the bogginess of their games, but if you actually look at how most polished games are, they are quite simple in their implementation. There's a skill to finding a simple implementation that is still fun and wows people, but you start adding complexity, and things start to get more difficult. That's why in most open world games everything is temporary, spawned around you and then disappears when you go a block away (or even turn around in some old games lol).

Sony is a bit of a master at that; people love their open world games. Their buggiest one? Days Gone.. it also took ages to develop.. and it has by far the most complexity of what can happen around you dynamically. It's still nothing close to a Bethesda RPG, but it's complex compared to say.. Spider-Man. Where the city has little going on, and the same 2-3 random "events" span near you, and then go away when you swing a few blocks.. or Ghosts of Tsushima.. a largely empty but beautiful open world where there are an even simpler array of "spawned enemies" that clearly don't exist until you get near.. and go away when you walk a few yards.

What you are asking for is just more complex open world games; and I'm right there with you.. but bringing me back to my first point, adding that to an existing game means likely sacrificing graphics or something else about the game. You can't just add something more complex and expect there not to be compromises.
 
What you talk about OP is not really feasible or necessary to experience GTAV. Games like AC: Valhalla are were I see single player games going when it comes to updates after release. New armor, weapons, quests, and seasonal events after launch makes way more sense than adding more details to NPCs or buildings/objects that don't directly impact gameplay. I would be very surprised if Bethesda's Starfield doesn't have some sort of live service model. Besides the usual paid DLC, I can see them generating sizable updates throughout the year that adds content to fill out their open world (universe?).

I sort of think of it like fighting characters. In the past, the whole roster was available from day one. Now, with patching, devs can add characters post launch and keep people engaged with the game for longer periods of time than before. Single player open world games die after a year or two, but devs are trying to fix that problem because it takes way too much time and money to make them. I would rather have Starfield come out with half of the content now and be updated over a year or two than wait another year or two for the full package. I know that take will make some people upset, but it makes sense to me. Unfortunately, most devs don't have the management skills to execute that idea. Hell, they don't even have the management skills to make a decent working game within their own given deadlines most of the time.
 

Reizo Ryuu

Member
Cost.
Open world games are made in a highly efficient manner, lots of repeatable assets so even putting down debris/snow/dirt can just be "painted" on with in-house tools.
By "giving almost every character in that game a unique personality and routine , have all the houses be flashed out and add a gazillion of microstories etc, bascially creating a really interesting huge maze", the workload and thus cost would just spiral out of control.
Also it would eat away storage space and yes, you could run into memory address allocation issues if you just keep adding new things.
 

IDKFA

Member
I get what you're saying OP.

Let's take the new Halo for example. A fine game as it is, but by all accounts it was originally supposed to be openworld.

Now imagine this. Microsoft give it the Minecraft treatment and add more free updates on a regular basis that increase the size of the map. It starts off as being a small openworld, but after ten years the world is millions of square miles in size (takes a full, real year to walk around the map and months if your driving), plus chock full of so much content it would take tens of thousands of hours to complete the game fully.

That's the future of openworld gaming that I want to see. Constant updates and expansions to open worlds.
 
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