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Motivating Player in Open Worlds

  1. 1. I WANT TO GO TO THERE Motivating Players in Open Games Joel Burgess, Senior Designer Bethesda Game Studios
  2. 2. Simple Question How do you go about making levels for open-world games?
  3. 3. Single Player Multiplayer Level Design
  4. 4. Welcome to My Sandbox WHAT ARE OPEN GAMES?
  5. 5. Define “Open”
  6. 6. Player Agency
  7. 7. Why Are We Fascinated? Why Are Open Games Important?
  8. 8. Tandem Authorship
  9. 9. The Unpredictable Player • Trained to Defy Direction • Will always confound you • Not, actually, a jerk.
  10. 10. Player-Designer Contract • The Player is in Control
  11. 11. Player-Designer Contract • The Player is in Control • Stay Backstage
  12. 12. Player-Designer Contract • The Player is in Control • Stay Backstage • Fulfill Expectations
  13. 13. Player-Designer Contract • The Player is in Control • Stay Backstage • Fulfill Expectations • Player Story > Designer Story
  14. 14. Enabling Player Participation CREATING THE FRAMEWORK
  15. 15. Setting Up For Fun
  16. 16. Environmental Techniques
  17. 17. Distant Landmarks
  18. 18. Nearby Landmarks
  19. 19. Point Lookout Video Introduction
  20. 20. Motion in Environment
  21. 21. Prior Knowledge •Roads •Bridges •Signposts •Distant Smoke •Flowing Water •Lit Windows/Fires •Tracks of Vehicles/Creatures
  22. 22. Don’t Forget Audio
  23. 23. Yo dawg, I heard you like goals. WHAT’S OUR GOAL? IT’S GOALS.
  24. 24. Goals & Player Motivation • Aim for the player to always have a goal • Know what goal types your game permits
  25. 25. Goal Types • Explicit Goals • Player Determined Goals • Emergent Goals • Goals of Opportunity • Out-of-Game Goals
  26. 26. Components of a Goal • Perceived Risk/Reward • Commitment • Inherent Interest
  27. 27. Are We Powerless? • No! Provide Interesting Goals For the Widest Possible Range of Player Interests
  28. 28. Knowing is Half the Battle DESIGNING FOR FREEDOM
  29. 29. Deliberate Distraction Entertainment Time
  30. 30. Deliberate Distraction
  31. 31. Deliberate Distraction Entertainment Time
  32. 32. Dealing With Empty Area “Just for Looks”
  33. 33. The Iconic Rope Bridge
  34. 34. Handling for Open Games
  35. 35. Consolation Loot
  36. 36. Considerations for Big Worlds LARGE-SCALE MOTIVATION
  37. 37. Same Problem, New Scope POI Density
  38. 38. POI Density • POI Options • Time per POI • Your Desired POI Density • Vertical “Chunk” Estimate • Extrapolate Against Time in Schedule
  39. 39. Fallout 3 Examples Adding and Cutting (even when it hurt)
  40. 40. Fallout 3 Example: DC Neighborhoods
  41. 41. Thanks For Listening email joel@joelburgess.com twitter @joelburgess facebook “level design in a day” group

Editor's Notes

  • 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
  • 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
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