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I WANT TO GO TO THERE<br />Motivating Players in Open Games<br />Joel Burgess, Senior Designer<br />Bethesda Game Studios<...
Simple Question<br />How do you go about making levels for open-world games?<br />
First – What’s Unique?<br />Open-World vs Sandbox<br />One describes world, the other mechanics<br />Both emphasize player...
Define “Open”<br />
Player Agency<br />
Why Are We Fascinated?<br />What makes Open games so interesting?<br />Best positioned to fulfill the core promise of vide...
Tandem Authorship<br />
The Unpredictable Player<br />Trained to Defy Direction<br />Will always confound you<br />Not, actually, a jerk.<br />
Player-Designer Contract<br />The Player is in Control<br />
Player-Designer Contract<br />The Player is in Control<br />Stay Backstage<br />
Player-Designer Contract<br />The Player is in Control<br />Stay Backstage<br />Fulfill Expectations<br />
Player-Designer Contract<br />The Player is in Control<br />Stay Backstage<br />Fulfill Expectations<br />Player Story > D...
Setting Up For Fun<br />
Environmental Techniques<br />
Distant Landmarks<br />
Nearby Landmarks<br />
Point Lookout Video Introduction<br />
Motion in Environment<br />
Prior Knowledge<br />
Don’t Forget Audio<br />
Goals & Player Motivation<br />Aim for the player to always have a goal<br />
Goal Types<br />Explicit Goals<br />Player Determined Goals<br />Emergent Goals<br />Goals of Opportunity<br />Out-of-Game...
Components of a Goal<br />Perceived Risk/Reward<br />Commitment<br />Inherent Interest<br />
Are We Powerless?<br />No! <br />Provide Interesting Goals For the Widest <br />Possible Range of Player Interests<br />
Deliberate Distraction<br />A<br />B<br />Entertainment <br />Yawn…<br />Time<br />
Deliberate Distraction<br />X<br />Z<br />A<br />B<br />Y<br />
Deliberate Distraction<br />A<br />B<br />Y<br />X<br />Entertainment <br />Time<br />
Dealing With Empty Area<br />“Just for Looks”<br />
The Iconic Rope Bridge<br />
Handling for Open Games<br />
The  Iconic Rope Bridge<br />Handle Falling<br />Hint: Killboxes Suck<br />Build a Way Out of the Ravine<br />Don’t abando...
Consolation Loot<br />
Same Problem, New Scope<br />POI Density<br />
POI Density<br />POI Options<br />Time per POI<br />Your Desired POI Density<br />Vertical “Chunk” Estimate<br />Extrapola...
Fallout 3 Example: DC Neighborhoods<br />
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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.

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GDC2011 - Motivating Players in Open Worlds

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

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