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Nickle
Cool Facts: Game of War has been a hit since July 2013
(03-19-2017, 06:04 AM)
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Originally Posted by Shamrock7r

It seems like you either refuse or cannot mention specific items.

You are still speaking to the linear progression of the previous 3d Zelda's main story as your definition of "exploring". Myself and I imagine most other here are referring to the non linear aspect of traversing the land, looking for new locations and interesting areas not related to the main quest when we are referring to the merits of "exploring" and the rewards for that type of non linear game play.

BotW, substantially more than previous modern Zelda games, encourages you to make your own path from beginning to end in the game, so yes, a vast majority of the game is optional, which reaffirms what I was telling you before. You seem to be more interested in structured, linear Zelda games that have constrictions until you progress. Nothing wrong with that, but don't misrepresent that as other weird arguments such as exploration "rewards".

Fine then, the rewards for exploring the average Zelda world aren't too much better then the rewards in BotW if we follow your arbitrary definition of what exploration means.
Mik2121
Platinum Member
(03-19-2017, 06:06 AM)
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Nice write up. I just started playing two days ago and have put so many hours on this already. I can relate to some of your complains, but there was some little comment you made weird, as a fellow game developer (Environment Artist here).

When you brought up the reasons for why Nintendo would have decided to make a large map and then couldn't scale down because of tool constrains...

So, throughout my entire time playing the game, I couldn't shake the thought that Nintendo must have decided on the size of the world at the start of the project and couldn't back-paddle afterwards simply because the world is made out of one huge terrain. Most Terrain engines don't allow you to easily modify and change sizes once various parts have already been built, since scaling the terrain would affect everything you've already built (again, I'm not saying Nintendo didn't have more sophisticated terrain tools, but that's my simple guess since the world feels way too large for its own good).

I've worked with terrain tools for multiple engines (both commercial engines and in-house engines) and while you obviously can't scale down a terrain just like that, most engines I've used let you copy chunks of terrains (or select with a lasso-like tool) and paste them wherever you want. Nintendo could have copied areas too far away and then pasted them near the player (obviously moving all the assets, game logic-related stuff like event flags, etc.. by the same amount). It wouldn't be a 30 minute job, but not something that would take months. They could also pull terrain down to create larger oceans so that the player knows the areas are not to be explored either.

They probably found themselves with a map larger than they could fill with content, but if they didn't pull back it was probably for a different reason (ie. streaming issues, open views limiting how much content they can have displayed, etc..).
OrbitalBeard
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:06 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jobbs

I never predicted UC4 backlash. I think the game is boring, but I don't anticipate any backlash for it -- A lot of why I find it boring is I don't care about the story and characters, and clearly other people do. That's fine.

Man, you were insufferable in some of those threads. And I have tons of issues with that game as well. But dude, you hammer down your opinion about games as if everyone who disagrees with you is simple-minded or something. It's off-putting as hell. And it sucks too, because you know what you're talking about a lot of the time.

I will agree with you that BotW will receive a backlash from parts of the Zelda community. There's no doubt about that and honestly, there never was. You can't change a series this fundamentally and not expect one. Look at Resident Evil 4. One of the best games ever made and there are still tons of RE fans who believe it killed the series.
Last edited by OrbitalBeard; 03-19-2017 at 06:10 AM.
Lilo_D
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:09 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mik2121

Nice write up. I just started playing two days ago and have put so many hours on this already. I can relate to some of your complains, but there was some little comment you made weird, as a fellow game developer (Environment Artist here).

When you brought up the reasons for why Nintendo would have decided to make a large map and then couldn't scale down because of tool constrains...



I've worked with terrain tools for multiple engines (both commercial engines and in-house engines) and while you obviously can't scale down a terrain just like that, most engines I've used let you copy chunks of terrains (or select with a lasso-like tool) and paste them wherever you want. Nintendo could have copied areas too far away and then pasted them near the player (obviously moving all the assets, game logic-related stuff like event flags, etc.. by the same amount). It wouldn't be a 30 minute job, but not something that would take months. They could also pull terrain down to create larger oceans so that the player knows the areas are not to be explored either.

They probably found themselves with a map larger than they could fill with content, but if they didn't pull back it was probably for a different reason (ie. streaming issues, open views limiting how much content they can have displayed, etc..).

What's your thought on the game?
Shamrock7r
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:10 AM)
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Originally Posted by Nickle

Fine then, the rewards for exploring the average Zelda world aren't too much better then the rewards in BotW if we follow your arbitrary definition of what exploration means.

I mean, it's the correct definition based on what we were talking about, or you would have mentioned boomerangs, hookshots, dradles, mirror shields, and so forth instead of quivers and bomb bags.
Jobbs
Ghostly member
(03-19-2017, 06:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by OrbitalBeard

Man, you were insufferable in some of those threads. And I have tons of issues with that game as well. But dude, you hammer down your opinion about games as if everyone who disagrees with you is simple-minded or something. It's off-putting as hell. And it sucks too, because you know what you're talking about a lot of the time.

I guess since I never take it personally when someone bashes a game I like that I don't consider how anyone would be bothered by me bashing a game.

Though I state my opinions about games bluntly, I try to frequently qualify it with "this is my opinion" and "this seems like this to me" and "if you disagree that's fine". Because, once again, if you think BOTW is a 10/10 game, you're not wrong. That's how you feel. I don't think participating in a rowdy discussion about what I perceive to be the game's flaws precludes that. Likewise, when people give me some pushback because they disagree I don't take it too personally. That's what we're here for.
OrbitalBeard
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jobbs

I guess since I never take it personally when someone bashes a game I like that I don't consider how anyone would be bothered by me bashing a game.

Oh my gosh, it's not that. You could crucify my favorite games and I wouldn't care. You tend to go beyond that and criticize the tastes of people who like things you don't. You definitely aren't nearly as bad about it as some Gaffers, but it gives me pause when you do it, as you're a game developer.

Anyway, this is waaaay off-topic and I apologize for that.
Nickle
Cool Facts: Game of War has been a hit since July 2013
(03-19-2017, 06:15 AM)
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Originally Posted by Shamrock7r

I mean, it's the correct definition based on what we were talking about, or you would have mentioned boomerangs, hookshots, dradles, mirror shields, and so forth instead of quivers and bomb bags.

I did mention items, bomb bags and quivers are a separate thing from traditional Zelda items.
gamerMan
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:16 AM)
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This is a great OP. Just because Zelda is heralded as a great game doesn't mean it is immune to criticism. Healthy criticism that is just not trolling is necessary to make games better. I wish more reviewers who didn't like the game offered constructive criticism instead of saying things like "dick-faced moves" and other inflammatory comments that do nothing for the community. These type of statements are designed to insult and mock developers, who have given their life for this profession. You can be constructive without trolling.

I have to disagree with the OP on the world's design. I think it is beautifully setup with a layout very much like an amusement part. One of the things I love about it is the "weenie" effect with things that are always dangled in front of you. When you are walking through the world, you are not bored through the downtime because you can see your objective clearly in front of you. For some reason, it looks further than it is.

Although there is a lot of empty space, these areas make the sense of discovery even more poignant. It feels a lot like going camping. If the game was crammed with stuff, it would diminish on the sense of discovery. I do think it is hard to get the right balance.

I don't think that Zelda lets you warp because it is admission that the world is too big. Zelda is all about giving players a choice in every design decision. Just about everything is optional and it's up to the player to create their own narrative through the world. You can skip between warp points, skip fighting enemies, or even remove the HUD. The important part is that Zelda gives you those options. Everybody is going to play it differently which leads to the water cooler and playground effect. "What you can do that?" Yes You Can.


Originally Posted by Forkball

This. So many people are going into the game expecting it to be absolutely perfect i.e. a 10 out of 10. So when people do stumble upon something they don't like, it's magnified and an "Aha!" moment for critics. A perfect score doesn't mean the game is flawless, it means it provides an experience that few games have rivaled. It's not a dog show where they're taking off points for every nitpick. If it were, no game would ever get a 10.

I totally agree. The game is not perfect. Were Super Mario 64, Ocarina Of Time, GTA 3 perfect? To me it reminds me of them because it marks a new paradigm for open world games that can be further explored and refined. The reason most people have fallen in love with it is because it doing a lot of things that we haven't seen in open world games such as a multilayered systems approach.

Unlike other games that a susceptible to the honeymoon effect, I think the gaming community will always look back at this game as the first of its kind that shifted how open world games get made. It's not like the other Zelda games that were working within an existing formula. Is it perfect? No game is otherwise we would stop playing.
Last edited by gamerMan; 03-19-2017 at 06:29 AM.
Jobbs
Ghostly member
(03-19-2017, 06:19 AM)
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Originally Posted by OrbitalBeard

Oh my gosh, it's not that. You could crucify my favorite games and I wouldn't care. You tend to go beyond that and criticize the tastes of people who like things you don't. You definitely aren't nearly as bad about it as some Gaffers, but it gives me pause when you do it, as you're a game developer.

Anyway, this is waaaay off-topic and I apologize for that.

I think you read some of my posts wrong (or maybe I was a bit out of line a few times). Generally I'm doing this as a happy warrior, having fun getting into the dirt talking about games and getting a bit rowdy at it. I try to avoid attacking or insulting other posters, but I apologize if I ended up doing that somehow.
watershed
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:24 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jobbs

I think you read some of my posts wrong (or maybe I was a bit out of line a few times). Generally I'm doing this as a happy warrior, having fun getting into the dirt talking about games and getting a bit rowdy at it. I try to avoid attacking or insulting other posters, but I apologize if I ended up doing that somehow.

It's not that you're attacking people, it's that you're doing this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97tfphFX-Lc&t=5m22s
Mik2121
Platinum Member
(03-19-2017, 06:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by Lilo_D

What's your thought on the game?

Personally, I'm liking it quite a lot. I'm a big fan of Zelda so that alone makes me very biased, but otherwise I think they've got something quite unique with how they're tackling the open world in this game. It's true that it sometimes can feel very sparse, and the fighting could be a bit more entertaining (I'm playing this at the same time as Horizon Zero Dawn which beat Zelda in some of these aspects).

I will need to play more and get more advanced in the story to really tell. But for now, I've been enjoying just running around, killing things and seeing what's behind each mountain or past each lake or river.

As an environment artist there are some things that feel so rushed, and some things that look quite nice (specially for the hardware). But that stuff is kinda boring for anyone that's not an environment artist so I'm skipping it :P
neohwa
Junior Member
(03-19-2017, 06:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mik2121

As an environment artist there are some things that feel so rushed, and some things that look quite nice (specially for the hardware). But that stuff is kinda boring for anyone that's not an environment artist so I'm skipping it :P

the textures on mountains, characters, and clothing are very inexcusable. so bad it's unplayable to me.
Nickle
Cool Facts: Game of War has been a hit since July 2013
(03-19-2017, 06:33 AM)
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Originally Posted by watershed

It's not that you're attacking people, it's that you're doing this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97tfphFX-Lc&t=5m22s

That awkward silence at the end, lmao
DecoReturns
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:34 AM)
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Originally Posted by watershed

It's not that you're attacking people, it's that you're doing this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97tfphFX-Lc&t=5m22s

Hmm. You know now that I think about it, the only time I see Nintendo get accuse of getting a free pass in reviews is Zelda games.

I actually don't see that happen with Mario, Just Zelda. I also mean like a widespread amount of people, of course they were a few that really disliked 3D world.

when was the last non Zelda game to be accused of bias reviews?
Twilight Gap
Member
(03-19-2017, 06:35 AM)
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I haven't played Zelda, but I think a lot of your criticisms thomas apply to Horizon Zero Dawn and they're generally good design philosophies to have across genres, so I agree nonetheless. One thing I've learned about level design is that if you have to hold forward for more than a few seconds without anything interesting happening, whether it's a change in scenery, elevation, or interactivity, then it's probably going to bore the player.
neohwa
Junior Member
(03-19-2017, 06:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by DecoReturns

Hmm. You know now that I think about it, the only time I see Nintendo get accuse of getting a free pass in reviews is Zelda games.

Because Zelda games are always 10/10. Seriously now..........

when was the last non Zelda game to be accused of bias reviews?

GTA. If you are talking about Nintendo games, then Metriod Prime.
Jobbs
Ghostly member
(03-19-2017, 06:41 AM)
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Originally Posted by watershed

It's not that you're attacking people, it's that you're doing this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97tfphFX-Lc&t=5m22s

I think a lot of reviewers are at the right age to have really warm feelings about Zelda -- And that influences how they feel about the new game. And that's valid. It's not dishonest. It's just how they feel, and it's part of why I predicted the game would get over a 95 mc in spite of other posters telling me it wasn't possible
Last edited by Jobbs; 03-19-2017 at 06:43 AM.
Timeaisis
(03-19-2017, 06:44 AM)
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I think from a game design perspective BotW is very clever and well thought out.

I find most of the criticisms can be traced back to lack of focus on particular subsets of the game, i.e. lack of enemy design variety in favor of level design and puzzle design.

Anyway, just wanted to point that out. They seem to have intentionally made concessions to focus more on other aspects. Now, we can argue if what they picked was for the best, but most of what they did focus on is fantastic.

I'm more interested in the decisions made that negatively impact the core game mechanic loop, like rain for example. Rain is a great mechanic, that is pushed a little too far. Another aspect would be weapon switching. They could have designed that better, but they were content with what they had.

Another thing I dislike is the dungeon design. They obviously knew they would not have as much time to work on dungeons, and tried to make large puzzle rooms, which work sometimes, but fall flat otherwise. I would have much preferred them to cut some shrines and integrate those puzzles into the dungeons. Or, instead, cut dungeons altogether to focus on singular divine beast boss fights a la Shadow of the Colossus.

Anyway, I think my point is the open world is not perfect, but it's more of a matter of dividing priorities than poor game design. They nailed the open world in the vein of the mechanics they were going for, imo.
EatinOlives
Harass A Bull?
Report to HR.
(03-19-2017, 06:49 AM)
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The shrines ARE a bit of a disappointment, after a dozen or so hours repetition sets in. Externally and internally they all look the same. There's no theme as you said depending on where these are located in the world map, and the combat challenges are a major bore since it's always one enemy with basically the same AI routine and it's not a particularly hard one at that.

As good as the game is (and it's really freaking good), there's a ton to improve. I've heavily downgraded my internal praises of the game since I no longer think it has perfected the open world genre like I did before.
Branduil
(03-19-2017, 06:51 AM)
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Originally Posted by neohwa

the textures on mountains, characters, and clothing are very inexcusable. so bad it's unplayable to me.

So I guess you never played any video games until the PS4/XBone came out.
mStudios
Member
(03-19-2017, 07:04 AM)
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A "10/10" doesn't mean its perfect, doesn't mean its the greatest game ever made and cant be beaten.

Its simple,

The game:

-Has a new brand formula(m) and it works out pretty well.
-It's better from the past title, specially if those games were good.
-The game, even with its new formula, has the same "feel" from the previous games.

The same applies to Mario Galaxy.

In my opinion*
Last edited by mStudios; 03-19-2017 at 07:20 AM.
AcademicSaucer
Member
(03-19-2017, 07:17 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mik2121


As an environment artist there are some things that feel so rushed, and some things that look quite nice (specially for the hardware). But that stuff is kinda boring for anyone that's not an environment artist so I'm skipping it :P

Dude , by all means please elaborate
Malus
Member
(03-19-2017, 07:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by neohwa

the textures on mountains, characters, and clothing are very inexcusable. so bad it's unplayable to me.

The textures impressed me at times if anything. There are flat blurry textures in areas but that's par for the course when considering the hardware. Same with the pop-in, aliasing etc.

Originally Posted by mStudios

A "10/10" doesn't mean its perfect, doesn't mean its the greatest game ever made and cant be beaten.

Its simple,

The game:

-Has a new brand formula(m) and it works out pretty well.
-It's better from the past title, specially if those games were good.
-The game, even with its new formula, has the same "feel" from the previous games.

The same applies to Mario Galaxy.

Speaking of graphics I couldn't possibly give a game with this frame rate a 10/10 but that's just me.
En-ou
Member
(03-19-2017, 07:26 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jintor

It's odd... I agree with the substance of your open world criticisms of repetitive design (same trials, same palette set, same korok challenges)... yet somehow I don't find myself feeling bored with exploration itself.

The reason why it's not boring:

For the koroks, the fun lies with the exploration part not putting the rock to make the circle.

For the shrines the fun lies in the mental problem not the textures of the walls.

Anyone who says the koroks or shrines are repetitive are missing the entire preamble.
Ultimadrago
Member
(03-19-2017, 07:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by Timeaisis

I think from a game design perspective BotW is very clever and well thought out.

I find most of the criticisms can be traced back to lack of focus on particular subsets of the game, i.e. lack of enemy design variety in favor of level design and puzzle design.

Anyway, just wanted to point that out. They seem to have intentionally made concessions to focus more on other aspects. Now, we can argue if what they picked was for the best, but most of what they did focus on is fantastic.

I'm more interested in the decisions made that negatively impact the core game mechanic loop, like rain for example. Rain is a great mechanic, that is pushed a little too far. Another aspect would be weapon switching. They could have designed that better, but they were content with what they had.

Another thing I dislike is the dungeon design. They obviously knew they would not have as much time to work on dungeons, and tried to make large puzzle rooms, which work sometimes, but fall flat otherwise. I would have much preferred them to cut some shrines and integrate those puzzles into the dungeons. Or, instead, cut dungeons altogether to focus on singular divine beast boss fights a la Shadow of the Colossus.

Anyway, I think my point is the open world is not perfect, but it's more of a matter of dividing priorities than poor game design. They nailed the open world in the vein of the mechanics they were going for, imo.

I really like Breath of the Wild, but I certainly agree with most of this. On top of what you brought up, I found the boss design for the main dungeons not varied enough. I also wished there were hotkeys to change outfits entirely because with all of the varied situations, I found myself switching in the Pause Screen rather often.

The majority of praise I have to give the game are world design and certain conveniences I'd expect from any developer besides Nintendo (Bombs and simple Korok markers come to mind). Yet, there's still just enough in the way of main dungeon design and for me, narrative presence that lacks too much for me to roll the game up a mountain of praise.

For the faults, I do find that the pros moderately outweigh the cons. But I find that a number of the surprising accomplishments for Breath of the Wild are things I'd simply expect from many other open-world games. The mechanical rules that fit into the world itself left an impression on me as a Zelda veteran, but less as someone familiar with large space games to begin with. It was a very solid execution for working with the Zelda series, but did much less for open-world games on a whole. I find no issue with that by the way, simply stating that its influence is more restricted than first met the eye. I disappointed with the story approach, the relationship of Champions, main dungeon design (including lack of good, unique theme music) and main dungeon boss designs as well, but I'll save that for another time and thread maybe.
Last edited by Ultimadrago; 03-19-2017 at 04:02 PM.
Schopenhauerian
Member
(03-19-2017, 08:17 AM)
I noticed a sizable gulf between two comments, from earlier in the thread:

Originally Posted by Nickle

A lot of you are complaining that he's just biased because he doesn't like open world games, but does that mean that the open world formula shouldn't be subject to criticism? He doesn't like open world games for a reason, and he doesn't feel that BotW fixes all the problems with the open world genre.

Originally Posted by sanstesy

It also comes to a point where your criticism of open-world games becomes kind of pointless because you actually do not like open-world games or things that other people genuinely like about them...

Likewise, between these two comments:

Originally Posted by neohwa

...There is no way to make open-world games better because they are fundamentally flawed. They have no respect to a player's time and they are ridiculously bloated and repetitive...

Originally Posted by TheRed

...I think a game like this wants you to get immersed like you fell into a real world sometimes those worlds have empty spaces. Makes finding cool stuff more rewarding if you don't think it's just getting handed to you everywhere you go because the game designer is desperate for you to not have any down time... Heck I enjoy driving around barren planets in Elite Dangerous just to experience the scale of the world and be immersed but it doesn't offer much in a gamey sense...

To me, the gulf between these (representative) comments illustrates the importance of considering the diversity of personality types within the gaming population, as others have suggested within the thread:

Originally Posted by sanstesy

...There are actually multiple people that have voiced similar complaints. It's just that not everyone is weighing these the same way as you do...

Originally Posted by spock

...For example my younger daughter… My other daughter has her own style of play as do I. Yet our differences work great in botw and are still tons of fun. I do think some play styles and personality types fit botw better, but it seems it was built to appeal on a deeper level to a much more varied spectrum of gamers. Which given the type of game it is (adventure,rpg,sandbox,etc.) Is a crazy amazing accomplishment...

I do think that a formalized approach to studying ‘personality types’ in the context of gaming preferences can be useful, and I was glad to see one such approach posted in a thread last month, with a good five pages of feedback that followed the OP. There’s also a more detailed description of the underlying theoretical framework and research methodology (here and here), for those who are interested in this type of formal apporach.
Last edited by Schopenhauerian; 03-19-2017 at 08:19 AM.
Collingwood
Member
(03-19-2017, 08:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by John Kowalski

Even developers can be wrong sometimes

Did you read the post? I didn't read anything inherently inaccurate in it. I love the game and basically agree with all of it.

It makes the idea of an improved sequel more exciting.
jariw
Member
(03-19-2017, 08:58 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jobbs

Right now people are blinded by how amazing it is that a dog spins when you spin (but it can't fetch a stick) or saying "this game..." because a horse ate an apple but the excitement of simple, shallow, pointless interactions with a game do wear off eventually.

The dog spinning in addition to giving the dog food will result in a less "pointless" interaction, if that's really what you're looking for. And giving horses apples have a purpose, while giving even better food to the horses has even better purposes.
Last edited by jariw; 03-19-2017 at 09:32 AM.
TLZ
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(03-19-2017, 09:04 AM)
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Originally Posted by Collingwood

Did you read the post? I didn't read anything inherently inaccurate in it. I love the game and basically agree with all of it.

It makes the idea of an improved sequel more exciting.

But that's not possible. How dare you love a game and point out its flaws. Let's have a rinse repeat sequel because it's perfect!

/s
Mister Saturn
Member
(03-19-2017, 09:43 AM)
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I strongly disagree with some of your criticisms, but I was glad to read your perspective on this stuff all the same, and really appreciate you and everyone else going deep into the discussion on this game.
Jobbs
Ghostly member
(03-19-2017, 09:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by jariw

The dog spinning in addition to giving the dog food will result in a less "pointless" interaction, if that's really what you're looking for. And giving horses apples have a purpose, while giving even better food to the horses has even better purposes.

yeah it's just video game stuff where you spam food into a horse to raise its bond rating to max. It's nothing new or with any depth. It's video game logic as we've seen a million times.

A deeper horse system would be one that is a more complex simulation and invariably requires time to max out.
weekev
Member
(03-19-2017, 09:55 AM)
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Originally Posted by thomasmahler

Have you finished it? I completely agree that the white space is very, very important and ALTTP as well as Zelda 1 or Links Awakening have a lot of that too, but even in that white space, they usually managed to put little secrets like lifting a bush to find a hidden cave or other cool things in there. With this open world design, it often goes way too far and you just end up with vast landscapes of you just running and climbing with little to no interactivity.

There's a very fine line between 'white space' and 'white space that feels like wasted space'.

I get what you are saying but I think the periods of running or climbing with no interactivity adds a sense of isolation being the one hope of Hyrule. The game ebbs and flows because of this sense of isolation and I feel it adds to the importance of each interaction. I think it helps build the atmosphere of the game rather than detracting from it. I get what you are saying as other open world games such as GTAV or Skyrim often felt tedious to me going from point a to b but I never feel that way in BOTW.
robertsan21
Banned
(03-19-2017, 10:02 AM)
I agree on most points but still Breath of the wild does all the points better than any other open world game.

Now to adress what I didnt agree with you on.

The size of the open world.

The size is perfect imo, as it is now they dont need to add anything to it I think the size was amazing and I truly felt lost in the wild here. the areas that had less stuff in it felt natural and I just enjoyed riding my horse across these grass fields and just breath in the beauty of it.

that being said, they can always improve it by adding more content to this open world, NOT scale it back. I want the next open world zelda to be as big or BIGGER than the one we just played in BotW. to make it smaller would be a negative thing imo.

Fill it with Dungeons, more enemies of different types, improve the shrines and make every shrine unique from the other.
Last edited by robertsan21; 03-19-2017 at 10:06 AM.
Pif
Banned
(03-19-2017, 10:37 AM)
Any area that you cross and explore immediately becomes less desirable to go through once more, no matter how much secondary bait you put in there. Once you beat the main purpose of being there, fast travel comes handy.

That is not a Open World problem, that is a problem inherent for many other types of videogames as well.

Blaming that on design is really your wish to have more of a closed and linear experience full of meaningful gameplay from start to end. Mainly linear games pull that off, and BotW is the closest I've seen to that. Don't really agree on the point you make about barren areas.


Amen to the shrine criticism though. I'm also always wondering why are those not bigger inside sometimes, many puzzles are way too simple and the architecture of those are always the same. Themed shrines should definitely have been on Nintendo's to do list.
Ansatz
Member
(03-19-2017, 10:44 AM)

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

With ALTTP being my favorite game of all time

Same basically

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

I'm generally not a HUGE fan of open world games (and yet I have to admit that BotW is definitely the best open world game I've ever played)

Agreed

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

I think it's wrong to start with a huge landscape and then try to shoehorn a ton of content into it

While I agree with you, that's not the approach one should take here. Think about it this way, your are told to make an open world game that is massive in scope -- what do you do in this situation?

Clearly, the additive approach of increasing your resources by expanding the team and taking longer to complete development in order to fill the world with meaningful content is not a viable strategy. This is why other open world games fail in this aspect, they come up with lazy solutions in order to meet the deadlines. So, how do we solve this problem we are tasked with? By introducing the concept of multiplicative gameplay made possible by the game's sophisticated physics engine. This is the revolutionary aspect of Breath of the Wild and why many feel it's the first truly realized open world game.

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

So why do I think the world is too large? Because of a lack of varied content. That's always the problem with Open World Games - What good is a huge world if large parts of it are fairly empty with nothing for you to do?

This is where I disagree. The gameplay variety comes from finding the optimal way to beat an enemy or traversing the environment. The game always places you in situations where there are multiple solutions to a given scenario -- how it manages to do this is a different story, the point is the game incentivises the player to be creative.

Eventide island perfectly captures the essence of Breath of the Wild and it's this idea of survival against all odds through player ingenuity. Yes, the experience is not perfectly tuned, sometimes I have way too many arrows than I should thus rendering many of the encounters a cakewalk. However that's the nature of Breath of the Wild's design -- fine-tuning and polishing a game this large and complex to perfection is practically impossible, especially when you have to take all skill levels and play styles into consideration.

The fact that they pulled it off despite all this is an amazing achievement in itself, but at the same time I can see where you're coming from. I'm also wondering, how does BotW compare to other Zelda games? After ALttP, but before OoT? Like, what determines its position in my ranking? I mean, I can replay ALttP now and know the solution to literally all puzzles and secrets but I will never forget the initial impact of the game, meanwhile BotW holds up much better in subsequent playthroughs and thus will always remain fun to play. That's why I prefer not to directly compare the two games, instead look at BotW in isolation and judge how well it managed to make a great game that fulfills the above criteria.
Mista Koo
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(03-19-2017, 11:11 AM)
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I'm not sure if you only wanted feedback from developers, but if so then I made a couple of games that were played by a couple of people each :p
•The Open World: Personally I'd take a compact linear handcrafted world over an open one almost always. But I think a lot of these issues are part of the open world "experience." Open world enthusiasts want a large world that isn't an obstacle course nor a bunch of environments stitched together. They want a huge list of quests even if they were menial tasks. They want the collectibles they can hunt for or stumble upon, and so on. The one thing I would've added is allowing you to uncover the map as you explore it without requiring the towers. They could even merge both ideas and allow you to uncover the map based on your altitude, which would encourage climbing mountains I guess? I'm just spitballing here.

•The Shrines: I really like how Portal-like they are, minimalistic in both visual and mechanical design. I also like that you have no idea what to expect. I am not a big fan of the combat ones either, but I doubt they would be better with more enemies (especially since the overworld is filled with packs of enemies).

•The Koroks: I really like the Koroks for the trinkets they are. They aren't as smart as say The Witness' environmental puzzles, but they are accessible and satisfying enough to find and "solve" (I loved the idea behind The Witness ones but I had no desire to do any of them). If it weren't for the possibility of finding them I wouldn't be encouraged to explore as much as I'm, and I understand how that makes them sound.

•The Weapon switching: Since I'm stuck in this pattern I might as well continue; I really like the weapon switching. I have always loved this mechanic since the original Metal Gear Solid, even if the OCD in me wishes it was limited to the four d-pad directions (maybe with 2D scrolling for picking up arrows?). The way it stops time makes it less hectic and doesn't require planning ahead when your weapon is about to break, and if it didn't stop time many people would just change weapons from the start menu. I can totally see the "hard mode" making it so that it doesn't stop time. As for dropping and replacing equipment I agree that it's very bad, and I'm almost inclined to think that it was better when the game was a Wii U exclusive with a second screen.
I agree with most of your points otherwise. I will probably jump back to this thread once I finish the game since there are things that I can't speak about yet.
d00d3n
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(03-19-2017, 11:35 AM)
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You make some good points, but it does seem a bit unfair to criticize BOTW for a "density per inch" that is lower compared with tightly designed metroidvanias (like your own game Ori, one of my favorites of that year) and the best linear action adventure games of all time (like Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time). Does the density of content in BOTW seem low to you compared with GTA V, Far Cry 3-4, Far Cry Primal, Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Watch Dogs 2, Skyrim, Fallout 3-4, Fallout NV, Metal Gear Solid V, or The Witcher 3?

One of the most striking aspects of BOTW for me is that the quest-less loop of climbing on top of a mountain/pillar/building, scouting your surroundings for interesting things you want to check out and usually finding fun designed content in those locations is the driving force behind the game. Main and side quests are both secondary concerns. In this sense, BOTW is most similar to Far Cry 3-4, Far Cry Primal, Watch Dogs 2 (the worst example of these, but has a puzzle filled open world that is kind of similar) and I guess Fallout 4 among other open world games, but the density and quality of designed content seems much higher than in any of those games. It is obviously not as tightly designed as Skyward Sword, but that game famously made each area below the clouds an outdoor pre-dungeon for the slightly more dense actual dungeon that followed.

You are probably right that Nintendo could have removed some of the dead space in the map, but the map size works to the game's advantage in some ways as well. The mechanic where you are climbing on top of a hill, scouting the area for locations and actively deciding where to go next wouldn't have worked as well with a denser layout, because everything would have been right in front of you without any need of climbing. The paraglider, the most fun and useful item in the game, wouldn't have been as fun to use if you didn't have epic valleys to glide over, or if you had to land everywhere to manage densely placed points of interest. Enemies are mostly placed in camps that you can freely choose to attack or avoid, but it would have been annoying with camps everywhere, so a denser BOTW would presumably have to use roaming/random enemies or reduce the number of enemy camps instead.

Nintendo were obviously aware of the density vs utility of a big map thing, which is why the game world is filled with hundreds of Korok seeds. Again, a Korok seed challenge is pretty lame compared with a heart piece puzzle in previous Zelda games, but surprisingly fun and interesting compared with collectibles in other open world games. I thought it worked pretty well as an additional reward for exploration/climbing in addition to understanding your surroundings better.

Leaving the open world aside, where it may or may not have been problematic to mess with the map size, I completely agree that the graphics in the shrines felt repetitive and should have been themed to the different regions. The combat dungeons were also too repetitive in a gameplay sense, with an identical arena and only minor changes to the Guardian enemy type in each one.
Last edited by d00d3n; 03-19-2017 at 11:56 AM.
jariw
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(03-19-2017, 11:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by Jobbs

yeah it's just video game stuff where you spam food into a horse to raise its bond rating to max. It's nothing new or with any depth. It's video game logic as we've seen a million times.

A deeper horse system would be one that is a more complex simulation and invariably requires time to max out.

Bonding is just the basic stuff. It goes deeper than you describe.

Why wouldn't video game logic apply? This isn't a real-world simulation, it's a game.
tsundoku
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(03-19-2017, 12:01 PM)
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Originally Posted by OrbitalBeard

Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest)

It makes sense why you would think the terrain traversal is bad in this game, because that game has a really terrible jump.

There is no reason to be running forward holding sprint in a game where you can always get to where you're going faster by grabbing onto a nearby wall and vaulting up it to get up a mountain/high place and gliding, or going to the numerous stables and taking out a horse, or if that fails you, riding one of the like ten types of animals that can be coerced into being a free mount.

I do understand your perception of other factors of the game though.

Definitely feels like they had the open world/terrain/art assets locked from a game that was going to launch like 2-3 years ago on the Wii U and completely redesigned the content density for it with a bunch of younger devs over the last year or so. It has so much western influence and feels so much like a "Bad Zelda Game" ie how you point out good factors from the original 3d dungeon design philosophy being lost. And how every shrine uses the exact same tileset when those mysterious holes in the ground you'd find in other Zeldas would number in the teens and not 120. But the shrine puzzles and giving you every tool at the beginning, specifically a set of tools that can creatively work around some physics puzzles without the designed solution, is absolutely tested hard and really appreciated at the sense of immediate mastery you can begin to build over your tools.

You're so wrong about gyro control shrines being bad but so right about the combat ones. I think you might just be using the wrong sensitivity for gyro controls. Its something every player has to train on their first game for and find the right sensitivity in every subsequent game.
elyetis
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(03-19-2017, 12:21 PM)
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I didn't play Breath of the Wild ( yet ), but I don't agree with OP when it comes to Open World needs to have content close to you at any point. That's a topic which already lead to quite some discution with Kingdom Come: Deliverance, one of the reason I couldn't get into Skyrim ( other than the bad combat ) is that the scope always felt wrong.

Same with fast travel, I do think no fast travel was one of the strong point ( again not for everyone ) of say, Dragon's Dogma.
HIUHAU
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(03-19-2017, 12:29 PM)
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That's why the next Zelda has got to be à la Majora's Mask, smaller, densely packed strange world. It would be the perfect Zelda.
2+2=5
The Amiga Brotherhood
(03-19-2017, 12:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by thomasmahler

Hey GAF,

I always think it's interesting to hear from other game developers what they thought about certain games... So I wanna start a discussion by looking at Breath of the Wild from a designers perspective and after all the well deserved praise the game got, I think it's good to point out the things that I thought it didn't do so well after all is said and done. Let me also state that I'm a huge Zelda fan (With ALTTP being my favorite game of all time and I also have a huge soft spot for the original Legend of Zelda on the NES) and it's clear as day that BotW is easily one of the best Zelda games ever made - So in many ways I'm nitpicking, but I think in order for Nintendo and other developers to improve upon what's been done here in the future, we should just be straight in calling out the obvious issues and things that could've been improved that would've made the game better.

I finally finished BotW last night (all memories, all 120 shrines, most quests completed, etc.) and tried to analyze the game while I was playing it - I'm playing games differently nowadays than I did back in the day, I'm trying to be very analytical in order to really understand how the game was built, how all the systems work, etc., simply because as a game designer it helps me make our stuff better if I know how other devs handled certain problems before us.

So without further ado, let's start with my criticism:

The Open World:
Generally speaking, I thought the world was too big. I'm generally not a HUGE fan of open world games (and yet I have to admit that BotW is definitely the best open world game I've ever played), simply because I'd never want to design a game that way. I think it's wrong to start with a huge landscape and then try to shoehorn a ton of content into it versus building really strong content in smaller chunks and then putting it together to ensure that every inch of the world truly feels well designed.

If you're not a game developer, here's a bit of info on how these open world games are built: You usually start with a large terrain and sculpt the landscape, then you fill in the landscape with content. This video gives you a basic idea of how these worlds are crafted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozXYKpUugd8

So, throughout my entire time playing the game, I couldn't shake the thought that Nintendo must have decided on the size of the world at the start of the project and couldn't back-paddle afterwards simply because the world is made out of one huge terrain. Most Terrain engines don't allow you to easily modify and change sizes once various parts have already been built, since scaling the terrain would affect everything you've already built (again, I'm not saying Nintendo didn't have more sophisticated terrain tools, but that's my simple guess since the world feels way too large for its own good).

So why do I think the world is too large? Because of a lack of varied content. That's always the problem with Open World Games - What good is a huge world if large parts of it are fairly empty with nothing for you to do? I'm honestly sick and tired of developers proclaiming that the world of the game they're building is x times larger than the world in their previous game - That's only a great thing if you also scaled up your team by a lot in order to be able to fill that world with super fun content, which is most often not the case. Me just having to traverse longer distances that a designer didn't even touch doesn't mean the game is more fun, in fact, the opposite is usually true, which games like No Man's Sky have proven very well I think. Just running around in boring areas with little to no interactivity is just not fun.

I do think Nintendo did a good job giving you movement tools like Shield Surfing, Paragliding, Climbing, etc., but a hell of a lot of time in the game is spent just traversing through the terrain by holding the analog stick forward, running, climbing while always keeping an eye on your Stamina bar - and that in itself isn't the most fun you could have. Often times you have to run 5-10 minutes from one place to another doing fairly menial tasks like running and climbing just to arrive at your goal.

And that's also when Fast Travel comes into play, since having to do that once is bad enough and developers know that you want to quickly get to the fun parts, so they allow you to skip large parts of the Open World. But the irony here is... if that's your design process, then maybe your world shouldn't be that large in the first place?

At Moon, we have this 'fun per inch' principle - If we have the player just running for too long without any varied interactivity and fun content, then the level design is probably not great and should be reworked. We always try to put as much interactivity and diverse challenges into every inch of the worlds we're building as possible. We usually build hundreds of levels and then only use the levels that we feel are really fun, the rest gets cut and out of the good stuff we build the actual world. That way we know that there are no 'empty-feeling levels' - Everything needs to be well designed, all the stuff that feels empty should be improved or cut. Obviously there are always 'transition zones' between certain levels, but even those should be fun to traverse through or interact with. And again, that is often times not the case with open world games, the 'transition zones' usually end up being huge and empty... Simply compare that to how Zelda 1 or ALTTP were designed: Almost every single screen in those games is packed with secrets, enemies, objects you can interact with, etc. - There's barely a screen in those games where all you do is holding the analog stick into a direction without any other possibility of interactivity. And interactivity is where the fun comes from, interactivity is what games are all about.

So what did Nintendo do in order to make traversing the open world more fun? Obviously, they added content, so let's take a look at that:

The Open World Content:
If you really analyze Breath of the Wild, the overall design used here is fairly simple. There's a big open world terrain that you traverse and within that world you find various things: Shrines, Korok Challenges, Enemy Camps, etc.

The problem here is that since the world is that big and a developer only has 24 hours in a day, repetition is the key to get the project to a finish line. And repetition is all over Breath of the Wild:

Let's start with the Shrines: All 120 shrines look exactly the same. The actual puzzles and challenges in there are usually really well designed (apart from the horrible Motion Controlled ones, these shrines are just horribly bungled in my opinion), but I do think the game would've been better if there would've been more variation within the shrines to make them more memorable. Wouldn't it have been cool if the shrines in the Death Mountain Area would've been themed around fire and exploited all the various ways you can interact with fire in the game? Wouldn't it have been cool if the Death Mountain Shrines actually looked more like they belong in that area? Instead, all the 120 shrines in the game are completely interchangeable, shrines that are in the Death Mountain area could just as well be placed within Gerudo's Desert, etc.

Also, the combat shrines... They're literally all the exact same. Seriously, nobody was able to come up with something more interesting here? You have 3 different enemy types in those shrine, but they're literally all the same: You walk in, a single enemy spawns and you need to defeat that enemy in order to complete the shrine. Not once did I fight multiple enemies in there, let alone more varied types - It's always the same walking guardian types. Couldn't Nintendo have mixed it up a bit more by putting a walking guardian AND a flying guardian in one of the combat shrines just to make things a LITTLE more interesting? That design decision was baffling to me.

The same is true for the Korok Challenges: Most of these are completely mindless and similar: Find a certain rock in the world that stands out, pick it up, a Korok appears. Put a rock in the right spot in the middle of a ring of rocks, boom, a Korok appears. Jump into a ring of flowers in the water, a Korok appears. Shoot some balloons, a Korok appears... Rinse and Repeat. You'll do these exact same challenges DOZENS of times. Again, I'm guessing Nintendo just saw that their world is too big and they had to put in a lot of these repetitive, not very fun little challenges in order to at least have SOMETHING in the world instead of just traversal followed by more traversal. Why have such a huge world if you then have to fill it with repetitive content?

Enemy Camps: Again, most of these are just the exact same setup. Yes, sometimes the enemies are a little tougher, but I'd really like to know how many of these 'Skull Structures with Bokoblins next to them' are in the game - My guess is dozens. Beat a few of the enemies, the chest unlocks, done. The same setups are then again scattered many, many, many times throughout the open world without any variation in challenge. In general, enemy variation was also a bit of a disappointment to me: For a world this large, it very much felt like there's barely a dozen different enemy designs in there. We have Guardians, Bokoblins, Keese, Octoroks, Lizalfos, Lynels... And I have a hard time naming more off the top of my head after just having finished the game. Again, that would've been fine in a smaller game, but for a game of this size, it becomes a bit of a drag that you always have to fight the same types of enemies that are only varied in color, but not behavior.

Combat / Controls: This is the most baffling to me, since I think the controls are quite a bit too convoluted. The Quick-Weapon switching with the 'Dpad' is all kinds of weird to me (the game pauses while doing that... really?) and breaks the games flow, the combat in general is just a notch over the traditional 3d Zelda combat, things like Shield Surfing require the player to press 3 buttons... all of that makes the game feel a bit less polished than what you usually expect from a Nintendo game. Regarding the UI in general, Brad Colbow made a great video about improving BOTW's UI that I 100% agree with:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0td--XguPXA

Quests: Here again, the game suffers from the same exact issue all Open World games have, meaning, most quests are just variations of fetch quests. You have literal fetch quests in there that are as simple as "NPC tells you to bring item X to it, quest completes once you do that", others are a little more clever, but overall, a hell of a lot of the side quests feel pretty menial and boring. A really good Quest was Eventide Island (The Robinson Crusoe inspired one), but those are few and far between... I have a few quests left open and have little to no motivation to actually finish all of them.

Dungeons: One of the reasons why I LOVE Zelda is because Nintendo has some of the best level designers in the industry working for them. Even though games like Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess get a lot of shit today for following the same old Zelda formula, the dungeon designs usually are just genuinely well figured out. They're less sprawling and open than they were in the 2d Zeldas, sure, but they're still brilliantly designed. The 4 Breath of the Wild Dungeons felt pretty short to me and I breezed through them in almost no time. Variation within the dungeons is also not as well figured out as it used to be. You see, Zelda usually did a good job sectioning the dungeons into Puzzle Zones, Combat Zones, etc., so if you're stuck on a certain puzzle, you can go to some other area and fight some enemies... not so here, since the dungeons here feel like one big puzzle and if you don't know how to solve it, you're just shit out of luck.
And in the older Zelda games, everything got varied up once you got the dungeon item and had to re-traverse the dungeon using the item you just acquired to put another twist on the dungeon designs. That is obviously not the case here - Nintendo did try to put a little variation into the Divine Beasts design by allowing you to 'control' the Divine Beasts, but if you break down the dungeon design of Breath of the Wild, I'd argue that Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess had way better designed dungeons.

Before all the Nintendo and Zelda fans are going to kill me now for actually pointing out some flaws I THOUGHT the game had, please keep in mind that I think Breath of the Wild is a tremendous game, a huge achievement and easily one of the best games Nintendo ever made. But I'm always on the search for perfection and I don't think Nintendo quite reached that goal with Breath of the Wild.

So let's try to have an objective, level-headed discussion on what else could be improved to make new Zelda AND open-world games better! What are your thoughts?

Edit: Fuck me for not looking over the title before I posted. Can a mod delete the 'Completed' from the title? Thanks! :)

I didn't play Zelda so i can't say if you are right or wrong, but if you want a open world filled with content then you should ABSOLUTELY play Might & Magic VI, if you don't have problems playing an old game you will find the map with the highest density ever, then i would like to hear your opinion about it.
thomasmahler
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(03-19-2017, 12:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by Mista Koo

•The Shrines: I really like how Portal-like they are, minimalistic in both visual and mechanical design. I also like that you have no idea what to expect. I am not a big fan of the combat ones either, but I doubt they would be better with more enemies (especially since the overworld is filled with packs of enemies).

I think they would have. I saw a lot of people here bringing up that Nintendo designed the shrines with the idea in mind that you could beat any of them even if it's your first shrine, but I don't agree at all that this should've been a requirement.

First off, I can just exit any shrine I want. If I see that a shrine is too difficult for me at this point, I can exit, explore, get better stuff and come back at any time, since I can fast-travel to every shrine anyway and I'm being shown which ones I finished and which ones I didn't.

Secondly, you already have to exit a few shrines anyway. Some of the combat ones you just cannot complete unless you carry a few strong weapons with you - Good luck trying to tackle the "A Major Test in Strength' shrines right after you left the plateau, sporting the weapons that you got until this point. You will have to leave and return later already with the current design.

Thirdly, I can already assume that the first shrines the players will logically complete aren't the ones near Death Mountain or the ones deep within the Gerudo Desert, so there absolutely could've been some difficulty scaling there.

And I absolutely think the combat shrines would've been more memorable if some of them would have actually posed a crazier challenge. One of the most memorable moments in Dark Souls 1 is the fight against Ornstein and Smough. Once you reach Anor Londo, you pretty much know what Dark Souls is about, you understand the combat system, you're most likely pretty damn good at the game already. That's why Miyazaki and Team decided to really throw you a curve ball with a difficult challenge. They were clever enough to know that players who found the challenge too difficult could rely on the multiplayer aspect of bringing other players in to help, but it's absolutely possible and thrilling trying to defeat these two bosses just by yourself.

To give a clear idea, here's a design proposal. Let's take the 'Major Test in Strength' combat shrine in Hyrule Castle: As it's implemented into the game, it's just another one of the same exact copy/pasted combat shrines you see in the game. But since I can assume that 99.9% of the playerbase would not try to beat this shrine as the first shrine they see, let's make it an actual challenge instead:

Use the same rectangular room all the Major Combat Shrines rely upon. But this time, put a pillar in the center of the room that has one of the static guardians resting on top of it. Once you come in, it'll start locking on to you and try to shoot you down. At the same time, there's another walking guardian that also tries to defeat you. So now the race is on, you need to defeat the static guardian by either shooting it with Arrows or by parrying his lasers to deflect them back at the enemy (again, a mechanic that I as a designer can assume the player learned at this point) while I also have to evade the Walking Guardian. The player would get a first kick out of defeating the static guardian and once that's done, he'd shift his focus to the walking one - If you then complete that challenge, you can bet your excitement would be a hell of a lot higher than beating the same exact challenge you already beat numerous times before.

Again, this is just a super simple approach and they could've and should've mixed those things up much more and there would've been very simple ways of doing that (Put some spikes on the ground so that I have to watch where I'm going while trying to defeat and evade the enemy), but they just copy / pasted and that's never ever a good thing.

Copy / Pasting certain challenges CAN be interesting if you then put a different twist on it. There isn't a single copy/pasted level in Ori, but there are challenges that you've done in a similar fashion before, but now we put a twist into it, we made the enemies tougher, the walls now have obstacles, the lasers rotate faster or something like that... so that you already KNOW what you're supposed to do, since you've done that stuff before, but now we're upping the difficulty by a notch to test if you've been advancing in skill since the first time we challenged you.
MTC100
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(03-19-2017, 12:34 PM)
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I don't really get the hype about open world, I never was a real fan of it as it's basically always lying to the player. "see that mountain? you can go there" is what they tell you, in the end you often can't go there or if, then because you used some kind of glitch. I like the openworld of the Witcher, it's not too big, not too small but it still limits the player in where he or she can go.

Breath of the Wild is the other way around, the size seems too big but it doesn't tell you where you are allowed to go and where not, there are no invisible walls or unclimbable terrain that are holding you back. However, they are planning a rather big addon for Winter this year, perhaps they will fill some of this vast open world with more interesting stuff with it?
Joeshabadoo
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(03-19-2017, 12:35 PM)
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right from the jump I fundamentally disagree with the assertion that the world is too large and theres no fun in simply getting from one place to another over 5-10 minutes of 'holding forward and watching your stamina meter'. It's simply an extremely compelling aspect of this game because of all the options at your disposal and the well crafted landscapes and the almost invisible but brilliant guiding hand.

there's probably some other compelling points that you make about enemy types that begin to get stale, however I would counter that the game constantly varies the arenas and localized environments in which you fight these things which encourages you to switch up tactics and try new approaches to so many different encounters

or about korok seed challenges that get stale, which is mostly valid, however the more difficult ones involve that same known visual goals but require several steps to achieve, with careful planning and delicate/precise/deliberate movement. There are some really awesome and switched up korok challenges that involve things like removing a luminous stone from a statues eye so that both eyes are identical, or shooting an arrow at a particular emblem in the environment after seeing a subtle visual hint of a couple arrows being wedged in to the surface of it already that can be removed

i mean that last bit there speaks to the majority of the game's appeal: constant surprise and discovery through a very subtle but consistent visual language that respects the player's intelligence
Firemind
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(03-19-2017, 12:41 PM)
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I thought the dungeons were a cool twist on the trope of forest, fire, water dungeons. The minigames to board them could have improved more I feel. I was expecting Shadow of the Colossus style but most of them were just rail shooters you could finish in two minutes.
Chaos17
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(03-19-2017, 12:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by Jobbs

Right now people are blinded by how amazing it is that a dog spins when you spin (but it can't fetch a stick) or saying "this game..." because a horse ate an apple but the excitement of simple, shallow, pointless interactions with a game do wear off eventually.

Dude, that's what make the difference between games!
Those different details that each games have is what make them charming or not.
Why do you think people are laughing at Bioware now ? Because the animations are wrong, but yet animations is what make a facial expression interesting or not.
And that's the same damn thing about the dog in BoTW!!

Same for Owl boy or Ori blind Forest or a Vanillaware game, they've put details in them that make them charming.
Zocano
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(03-19-2017, 12:51 PM)
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That's the pretty much just a giant list of my exact issues with Breath of the Wild.

All I'll add is that I do think negative space can be very important but the lack of actual diverse content and lack of actual meaningfully different rewards makes the enormity of the world feel emptier and less interesting than it could be. There are some fairly involved or interesting moments in the game that just culminate in another heart piece or another weapon you've had before and will have again. It might not detract from the enjoyment you just had getting to that point but it becomes clear pretty quickly that there really isn't a lot of things that incentivize you to explore the world. It becomes monotonous at a point and for me the exploration for exploration's sake doesn't last very long.

And the moments where you actually get a truly unique item? It is almost certainly an armor piece that won't meaningfully change how you interact with the world (it's all just passive buffs). You have access to pretty much all the tools you'll ever have in the game in the first 5 hours and for a 70+ hour experience it doesn't quite cut it.
thomasmahler
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(03-19-2017, 12:55 PM)
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Originally Posted by d00d3n

Y Does the density of content in BOTW seem low to you compared with GTA V, Far Cry 3-4, Far Cry Primal, Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Watch Dogs 2, Skyrim, Fallout 3-4, Fallout NV, Metal Gear Solid V, or The Witcher 3?

See, I don't wanna get into that discussion since just saying: "Well, it did that bad thing better than all the other games that relied on that bad thing!" isn't gonna get us to the 'perfect game', since it's still based on it doing a bad thing after all.

All these open-world terrain-based games suffer from the same lack of content full of areas that you just walk past that no designer ever touched. This is why I have 0 excitement when developers like CD Projekt Red (which I hold in high regard!) already proclaim that their new game will be '8 times bigger than the last huge game we shipped!' - The only thing that does is that I'm now worried that there'll be even more emptiness within that world where I'm doing nothing but traversal. I think No Man's Sky has shown everyone nicely that bigger doesn't mean better unless you can produce the content necessary to make 'bigger' actually be worth it.

It's the job of designers to take empty, boring content and to make it fun. The more empty, boring content is left in the game when the game ships, the less fun the game is. That's not a question of art, that's just a question of mechanics and design.

Sure, you can try to make it more fun by giving the player cool movement mechanics, which Breath of the Wild certainly does and sure you absolutely need the ebb and flow and you don't want every single inch of the world to be cluttered with stuff, but there's a big gap between "every inch is cluttered with stuff" and "huge patches of emptiness" and what you need to do there is to find the perfect balance between the two, which I would suggest Breath of the Wild hasn't found. So yeah, there absolutely are large patches of land in Breath of the Wild that I'm sure were just never touched by a designer, where literally all you do is holding the analog stick forward, where you don't look at cool vistas or wonder what's behind this or that hill, where you KNOW that all you're supposed to do here is to just deal with the fact that you're playing an open world game and you're supposed to just hold the analog stick forward.

That in itself is NOT fun.

I'm not judging this game based on it being an open world game, allowing myself to only strike comparisons to other open world games. I'm judging this game by the merits of good game design and ANY game that has content where you're doing nothing but making the character move, not even jump or climb or interact or look at something interesting for more than a minute is flawed.
Last edited by thomasmahler; 03-19-2017 at 12:58 PM.

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