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GDC2011 - Motivating Players in Open Worlds
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GDC2011 - Motivating Players in Open Worlds

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Slides for my 2011 GDC talk for the Level Design in a Day Tutorial. Largely useless without companion audio or transcript. See www.joelburgess.com for info.

Slides for my 2011 GDC talk for the Level Design in a Day Tutorial. Largely useless without companion audio or transcript. See www.joelburgess.com for info.

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    No notes for slide
  • This slide is the premise from the talk – I was stumped by this question.
  • Because it is too broad and complex, I had to narrow my focus.
  • We have lots of open games“Open” quality has a long history – all platforms/backgroundsSandbox gets lumped in – SEGUE: Common Ground is Player Agency Emphasis
  • What makes Open games so interesting?Best positioned to fulfill the core promise of videogamesSEGUE: What does this mean to us as creators?
  • Player Control is inversely proportional to designer controlTrust & Understanding SEGUE: Designer – Player Relationship
  • Talk about the core problem of maximizing fun without the player feeling forced into it
  • Paths, Signage, Signs of Life
  • Talk about a classic set-up and how it’s used traditionally
  • Talk about what is needed to bring this sort of scenario up to expectations for Open Games

Transcript

  • 1. I WANT TO GO TO THERE
    Motivating Players in Open Games
    Joel Burgess, Senior Designer
    Bethesda Game Studios
  • 2. Simple Question
    How do you go about making levels for open-world games?
  • 3.
  • 4. First – What’s Unique?
    Open-World vs Sandbox
    One describes world, the other mechanics
    Both emphasize player choice or player agency
  • 5. Define “Open”
  • 6. Player Agency
  • 7. Why Are We Fascinated?
    What makes Open games so interesting?
    Best positioned to fulfill the core promise of videogames
    Old Hat, but interactivity is what makes our medium special, and interactivity is the focal point of Open Games
    Why Are Open GamesImportant?
  • 8. Tandem Authorship
  • 9. The Unpredictable Player
    Trained to Defy Direction
    Will always confound you
    Not, actually, a jerk.
  • 10. Player-Designer Contract
    The Player is in Control
  • 11. Player-Designer Contract
    The Player is in Control
    Stay Backstage
  • 12. Player-Designer Contract
    The Player is in Control
    Stay Backstage
    Fulfill Expectations
  • 13. Player-Designer Contract
    The Player is in Control
    Stay Backstage
    Fulfill Expectations
    Player Story > Designer Story
  • 14. Setting Up For Fun
  • 15. Environmental Techniques
  • 16. Distant Landmarks
  • 17. Nearby Landmarks
  • 18. Point Lookout Video Introduction
  • 19.
  • 20. Motion in Environment
  • 21. Prior Knowledge
  • 22. Don’t Forget Audio
  • 23.
  • 24. Goals & Player Motivation
    Aim for the player to always have a goal
  • 25. Goal Types
    Explicit Goals
    Player Determined Goals
    Emergent Goals
    Goals of Opportunity
    Out-of-Game Goals
  • 26. Components of a Goal
    Perceived Risk/Reward
    Commitment
    Inherent Interest
  • 27. Are We Powerless?
    No!
    Provide Interesting Goals For the Widest
    Possible Range of Player Interests
  • 28. Deliberate Distraction
    A
    B
    Entertainment
    Yawn…
    Time
  • 29. Deliberate Distraction
    X
    Z
    A
    B
    Y
  • 30. Deliberate Distraction
    A
    B
    Y
    X
    Entertainment
    Time
  • 31. Dealing With Empty Area
    “Just for Looks”
  • 32. The Iconic Rope Bridge
  • 33. Handling for Open Games
  • 34. The Iconic Rope Bridge
    Handle Falling
    Hint: Killboxes Suck
    Build a Way Out of the Ravine
    Don’t abandon as Dead Area
  • 35. Consolation Loot
  • 36. Same Problem, New Scope
    POI Density
  • 37. POI Density
    POI Options
    Time per POI
    Your Desired POI Density
    Vertical “Chunk” Estimate
    Extrapolate Against Time in Schedule
  • 38. Fallout 3 Example: DC Neighborhoods
  • 39. Fallout 3 Example: The Wasteland
  • 40.
  • 41. Thank You