• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Why did most open world games follow the Assassins Creed formula instead of Skyrims formula?

Ghost of Johto

Gold Member
People often talk about open world fatigue within the gaming industry and it seems more so people are fatigued by the run of the mill Ubisoft style open world. When BOTW came out it seemed like a breath of fresh air and same has happened with ER. With that being said the games seemingly inspired by Skyrim’s more exploratory style open world instead of AC task based open world fair better, why didn’t more developers take influence from it instead of Assassins creed in your opinion?

I’d probably chalk it up to easier to create a guided style game instead of one where ground up is designed to be explored.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
Think you answered your own question there bud.

I'll add that though there is fatigue of AC style open world games, you can't get fatigued of something unless it was once popular and successful...so people copying the style of AC is the same reason why people make soulslike games. The formula is proven to work.
 
Last edited:

Moneal

Member
People often talk about open world fatigue within the gaming industry and it seems more so people are fatigued by the run of the mill Ubisoft style open world. When BOTW came out it seemed like a breath of fresh air and same has happened with ER. With that being said the games seemingly inspired by Skyrim’s more exploratory style open world instead of AC task based open world fair better, why didn’t more developers take influence from it instead of Assassins creed in your opinion?

I’d probably chalk it up to easier to create a guided style game instead of one where ground up is designed to be explored.
A ton do. Most are in the survival genre though. Skyrim and ER are less about the game story and more about world experience. It's why they work as well as they do, with little direction. AC and others are story experiences and focus the player through the story they want to tell.
 

Damigos

Member
People often talk about open world fatigue within the gaming industry and it seems more so people are fatigued by the run of the mill Ubisoft style open world. When BOTW came out it seemed like a breath of fresh air and same has happened with ER. With that being said the games seemingly inspired by Skyrim’s more exploratory style open world instead of AC task based open world fair better, why didn’t more developers take influence from it instead of Assassins creed in your opinion?

I’d probably chalk it up to easier to create a guided style game instead of one where ground up is designed to be explored.
Because AC style open world is easier to make
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Skyrim follows an approach more akin to a simulation with persistent agents + some placeholder temporary agents (bandits, animals, dragons, etc).
It's more complex because they have daily routines, dialogue lines, inventory, behavior, stats and may be related to quests.

Assassins Creed follows the GTA approach.
You have a big world, but most of the agents are placeholder and positioned and generated on the fly. They are not persistent.

So if they disappear, whatever. They're just there to give an illusion of a populated world while you're looking at it.
After you look the other way, its doesn't matter anymore.

TLDR; it's a more predictable simulation model, and if shit happen, whatever. Nothing is persistent.
 
My fatigue with Assassin's Creed happened a couple of hours into the first game. Took it out and was never even tempted to play another.

Skyrim (and TES) may have its problems, but it's leagues better than any of the Ubi formula games for me.
 

ZehDon

Member
It's all about "horses for courses". Ubisoft's design isn't meant to be the high point of open world design - it's supposed to be easy to developer so they can churn out 150 hour games every two years. Ubisoft's task-based approach doesn't require proper quest design, requires only superficial location and encounter design, and uses icons on a map to tell a player "you're interested in going here". That's, relatively speaking, child's play. Skyrim's open approach requires proper quest design with engaging writing, entertaining location and encounter design, and some semblance of understanding of what interests a player, or, what entices a player, to keep moving forward. That takes a lot more time.
 

Ghost of Johto

Gold Member
A ton do. Most are in the survival genre though. Skyrim and ER are less about the game story and more about world experience. It's why they work as well as they do, with little direction. AC and others are story experiences and focus the player through the story they want to tell.
Could you recommend any?
 

kingfey

Banned
Because open world games take 4-5 years to make. Open world games that Take 3 years to make, aren't fleshed out properly. It's why they look like AC games, instead of skyrim.
 
Last edited:

Husky

THE Prey 2 fanatic
Because open world games take 4-5 years to make. Open world games that Take 3 years to make, aren't fleshed out properly. It's why they look like AC games, instead of skyrim.
This is a really good point. Consider how long it takes for Bethesda Game Studios to complete a game, and then how long it takes Ubisoft Montreal to pump out another Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and whatever else shares the formula. Even though Ubisoft Montreal is several times as large as BGS (split across several games), and is usually aided by an assortment of other Ubisoft studios, this makes them seem more like an assembly line than a vast company of productive creatives.
The seventh gen consoles received seven Assassin's Creed games. Bethesda Game Studios developed three games in total for seventh gen consoles (Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim). I'd say it's apparent from their design that Bethesda games took a lot of passion to create, and while there are surely many passionate people working on Assassin's Creed, the rapid assembly line keeps them from expressing themselves the way BGS can.
 

yansolo

Member
i would imagine its because the ubisoft formula is cookie cutter and developers dont need to try hard to copy it, maybe theyll add their own gimmick mechanic and thats it, it sells because the genre is popular. It's easier than taking a risk, look at cdpr. Although i have to say i didnt mind the job ubisoft did in ac odyssey. My favorite open world in general is probably witcher 3.
 

Chronicle

Member
People often talk about open world fatigue within the gaming industry and it seems more so people are fatigued by the run of the mill Ubisoft style open world. When BOTW came out it seemed like a breath of fresh air and same has happened with ER. With that being said the games seemingly inspired by Skyrim’s more exploratory style open world instead of AC task based open world fair better, why didn’t more developers take influence from it instead of Assassins creed in your opinion?

I’d probably chalk it up to easier to create a guided style game instead of one where ground up is designed to be explored.
You make statements like a breath of fresh air about elden ring and Breath of the wild but i have no idea what you're talking about. Those aren't universally accepted ideas. I've played neither.

How did games fair better? Monetarily? Enjoyment? Critiques?

I also played several AC games and have 'explored' in those games. Plus i was very 'fatigued' by the end of skyrim just like all open world games.

You have to be clearer. Give examples. You just make blanket statements that aren't necessarily true.

Then you toss out some thoughtless answer 'I'd chalk it up to....' some puked out idea.

What are we to discuss?
 

Ghost of Johto

Gold Member
You make statements like a breath of fresh air about elden ring and Breath of the wild but i have no idea what you're talking about. Those aren't universally accepted ideas. I've played neither.

How did games fair better? Monetarily? Enjoyment? Critiques?

I also played several AC games and have 'explored' in those games. Plus i was very 'fatigued' by the end of skyrim just like all open world games.

You have to be clearer. Give examples. You just make blanket statements that aren't necessarily true.

Then you toss out some thoughtless answer 'I'd chalk it up to....' some puked out idea.

What are we to discuss?
Huh? I think you starting with “I haven’t played either” means you kind of disqualify yourself from responding to that particular part. BOTW and ER are the highest rated OW games in ages in part because what they do differently. Most people know the difference between a Skyrim style ow, and Ubi style open world so I didn’t really need to expand to much on that. I think you would need to play both to fully engage in what makes them different. In large part they’re great because it’s something you got to experience.
 
Maybe you mean the pre Oblivion ES games, or something like Gothic 1/2 ? Because since Oblivious, they've been 'follow the directions/marker' type games for imbeciles also.

They have quest markers.

Not a plethora of markers on map detailing every activity you can indulge in.

Even with quest marker, you have to do a lot of exploration/ searching cause of verticality of levels.

Side quests, factions are completely unmarked on map before you find them.

Also different landmarks feel unique and exciting that you found something.

Totally missing in AC games.
 
Real answer because telling a story in a non linear open world game never works one of the complaint people have about RDR2, Cyberpunk 2077, AC,GTA ect is that they dont give you enough player agency. If you give a player tons of agency like Skyrim, elden ring, fallout ect then your story or anytype of story wont work in skyrim there are multiple quest lines that you can easily mess up by killing npcs same with the other games i mentioned most people play skyrim and fallout as a gta style game an ignore most of the lore, back drop or anything else or mod the game to oblivion. If any other game decided to have that type of style people will complain even though the amount of people you see begging for the games industry to make games like this most people in the casual and hardcore gamer sphere wouldnt play them.
 
Because focus testing showed that the target audience with a collective IQ below room temperature struggled to work shit out on their own and instead needed hand holding 99.9% of the time.
Or maybe it's because skyrim went to 0 fps and crashed and it made me chrono cross the dimensions to go back to 1996 and yell at Bethesda for Daggerfall.
 

Bernkastel

Ask me about my fanboy energy!
Is this where we pretend skyrim isn't anything more then the same thing....cut and paste dullness everywhere? After 10 hours of exploring things in skyrim you e found every cave every item and every enemy because it's all the same
Tell me one more open world game where NPCs actually live a life independent of the player like eating, sleeping, working etc. Heck even Witcher 3(which is often praised as one of the best ones in the genre) with way more NPCs then Skyrim, all NPCs are there just like GTA games where they exist to react to you in a scripted manner. No NPCs in Witcher 3 have their own schedule, they are like a scenery. I think this RPGwatch thread illustrates my point really well.

This is another fantastic video on NPC behavior in Bethesda games. Even after they tonned down the dialogue in Skyrim, its still very rare to find many open world games where every random NPC you observe actually lives like a person in that world and has his own daily life.
 
Last edited:
Tell me one more open world game where NPCs actually live a life independent of the player like eating, sleeping, working etc. Heck even Witcher 3(which is often praised as one of the best ones in the genre) with way more NPCs then Skyrim, all NPCs are there just like GTA games where they exist to react to you in a scripted manner. No NPCs in Witcher 3 have their own schedule, they are like a scenery. I think this RPGwatch illustrates my point really well.

This is another fantastic video on NPC behavior in Bethesda games. Even after they tonned down the dialogue in Skyrim, its still very rare to find an open world games where every random NPC you observe actually lives like a person in that world and his daily life.
 

Haggard

Member
imho budget,

Creating actual diverse content costs several times more than the copy and paste crap you usually find in open worlds.
 

BigBooper

Gold Member
I imagine it is easier like you said.

Can you imagine how awful it would be if all the AC clones had the level design of Skyrim? Where every dungeon or level has a secret exit popping you back at the entrance. I hated that level design.
 

nkarafo

Member
Yup. Having a short/finite time in your game world makes it possible for devs to "hand craft" realistic schedules for the NPCs. Following a NPC through their 3 day cycle in real time was so good, it felt like everyone in this small world had a life/purpose. Not to mention how this helped make their quests some of the best in gaming.

Which is why the finite time/groundhog day mechanic in this game was so good. It's not just a time limit. It's more like a container.
 

Clintizzle

Lord of Edge.
I think reviews is another reason. From what I'm seeing only the souls games and Zelda seem to be praised for the way they don't hold your hand.

I think if any new IP was try do the same, reviewers would really struggle and potentially give it bad scores.
 

nemiroff

Gold Member
Elden Ring is one of my favorite games of all time, and I find it so interesting and immersive to not knowing much of anything when roaming its world. Not even the icons on the screen is explained in any way, and I have to figure it out on my own, I love it! But the funny thing is, I also very much enjoyed AC Valhalla (f.ex.).. Despite the designed by committee feel, it's just a well crafted game in my opinion.
 
Last edited:

Tams

Gold Member
It's all about "horses for courses". Ubisoft's design isn't meant to be the high point of open world design - it's supposed to be easy to developer so they can churn out 150 hour games every two years. Ubisoft's task-based approach doesn't require proper quest design, requires only superficial location and encounter design, and uses icons on a map to tell a player "you're interested in going here". That's, relatively speaking, child's play. Skyrim's open approach requires proper quest design with engaging writing, entertaining location and encounter design, and some semblance of understanding of what interests a player, or, what entices a player, to keep moving forward. That takes a lot more time.
Oh come on.

Skyrim is a great game, but the writing is mixed. I'd say a lot of it isn't even that good.

Games like Assassin's Creed actually need a better story, as there's far less room to make your own. The modern stuff aside, they generally do that really well.

And for me, here's the thing: every two or three years I enjoy an Assassin's Creed, that I'll likely finish. I never 'finished' Skyrim; it was just too much. And who knows when the next Elder Scrolls game will come out?
 

ZehDon

Member
... Skyrim is a great game, but the writing is mixed. I'd say a lot of it isn't even that good...
Your opinion of its quality is subjective. What isn't subjective is the objectively deeper level that Skryim, and all of the Elder Scrolls games, take, with regards to their worlds. There is more purposefully built depth and complexity in a town in Skyrim than there is in any city in Assassin's Creed Origins, for example. As I said, it's two different approaches: Skyrim wants you to explore, and the developers took the time to design the game to make that rewarding in and of itself. Assassin's Creed wants to keep you occupied, and it's design reflects that. "Horses for courses".
 

Tams

Gold Member
Your opinion of its quality is subjective. What isn't subjective is the objectively deeper level that Skryim, and all of the Elder Scrolls games, take, with regards to their worlds. There is more purposefully built depth and complexity in a town in Skyrim than there is in any city in Assassin's Creed Origins, for example. As I said, it's two different approaches: Skyrim wants you to explore, and the developers took the time to design the game to make that rewarding in and of itself. Assassin's Creed wants to keep you occupied, and it's design reflects that. "Horses for courses".
Don't go painting me a brush of subjectivity when you clearly have an agenda here.
 
Imo not many games can match up to elder scrolls when it comes to exploration. Not even botw. What is there, like 4 small towns? Like 120 boring ass shrines? The foundation is there but it's pretty obvious botw was rushed out.
 

ZehDon

Member
Don't go painting me a brush of subjectivity when you clearly have an agenda here.
Yes, my agenda of calling Ubisoft's tired and outdated open world game design tired and outdated. Blast you - how did you see through my dastardly subterfuge?
 

ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
I guess games now need a giant banner when they start that says explicitly "You can turn all assistive elements completely."

. . . but then we wouldn't get masterclass posts like this:

Because focus testing showed that the target audience with a collective IQ below room temperature struggled to work shit out on their own and instead needed hand holding 99.9% of the time.

"Gosh why isn't everyone as smart as me."
 
Top Bottom