Motivating Player in Open Worlds

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  • 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
  • Motivating Player in Open Worlds

    1. 1. I WANT TO GO TO THEREMotivating Players in Open GamesJoel Burgess, Senior DesignerBethesda Game Studios
    2. 2. Simple QuestionHow do you go about makinglevels for open-world games?
    3. 3. Single Player Multiplayer Level Design
    4. 4. Welcome to My SandboxWHAT ARE OPEN GAMES?
    5. 5. Define“Open”
    6. 6. Player Agency
    7. 7. Why Are We Fascinated? Why Are OpenGames 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 ParticipationCREATING 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 BattleDESIGNING FOR FREEDOM
    29. 29. Deliberate DistractionEntertainment Time
    30. 30. Deliberate Distraction
    31. 31. Deliberate DistractionEntertainment 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 WorldsLARGE-SCALE MOTIVATION
    37. 37. Same Problem, New ScopePOI 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 ExamplesAdding and Cutting (even when it hurt)
    40. 40. Fallout 3 Example: DC Neighborhoods
    41. 41. Thanks For Listeningemail joel@joelburgess.comtwitter @joelburgessfacebook “level design in a day” group

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