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We should get more out of open world game settings

Dacon

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What I mean is, with the amount of money, time and art that goes into these games, wouldn't it be better to build upon these existing worlds instead of just using them for one game and then moving on?

Rockstar has a real gem with RDR2's game world. It would be awesome for them to take the game world from that game, add incremental upgrades to the world, and introduce new activities, npcs and systems into that world. We could have a whole other 40 hour game with the same setting, next gen graphical updates, AI improvements and a whole new interesting cast of characters and scenarios for fun and surprising mission design. They could even add new counties and towns expanding the borders of the existing world.

They could even use that same world to create games in different genres using the world as a template.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it feels a bit wasteful to just move on, and build from the ground up a whole new world yet again. Especially when you can use what you've already built to lead to an even greater, larger world in the future.

Now I'm not saying that every game should just reuse assets and never create anything new, because they certainly should. I just think we should be getting more mileage out of these worlds, beyond a multiplayer mode that gets updated here and there.
 

Jethalal

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They reuse assets all the time. I am sure even AC does that. Even in Spider-Man and SM: Miles Morales
 

Dacon

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They reuse assets all the time. I am sure even AC does that. Even in Spider-Man and SM: Miles Morales

I am not talking about shuffling a tree from one game to another and reshuffling the assets to make new scenes. I mean using the whole game world as is, just updating it incrementally, and adding new features and gameplay systems as you go along. Maybe touching up some of the existing assets for future titles.
 

Dacon

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loads of games already do that don't they? Liberty city and vice city stories, GTA4 expansions, Miles morales, The Crew 2

Liberty City Stories is what made me think of this, but on a bigger scale. Those were small story expansions, I mean more like building whole new full games using the same setting.

I'm not really aware of any others though, when you mention "loads".
 
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stickkidsam

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I'd be interested in a DLC model that expands the game world each time, maybe adding new features to gameplay. Maybe $40 per expansion?

Microtransaction free?
 
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Jethalal

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I am not talking about shuffling a tree from one game to another and reshuffling the assets to make new scenes. I mean using the whole game world as is, just updating it incrementally, and adding new features and gameplay systems as you go along. Maybe touching up some of the existing assets for future titles.
Miles Morales was basically this and Sony had to charge 40 dollars not 60 dollars. You are kinda explaining Fortnite to me, except it being open-world. This could increase due to Gamepass and GaAS model.
 

Guilty_AI

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Liberty City Stories is what made me think of this, but on a bigger scale. Those were small story expansions, I mean more like building whole new full games using the same setting.

I'm not really aware of any others though, when you mention "loads".
I mean, i did mention 6 games. Then you could also include stuff like GTA and Red Dead Online, those are definitely re-utilizing the maps.
 
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Dacon

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Miles Morales was basically this and Sony had to charge 40 dollars not 60 dollars. You are kinda explaining Fortnite to me, except it being open-world. This could increase due to Gamepass and GaAS model.

Miles Morales was only like 6 hours though right? I remember it being pretty short.

I don't remember it really adding much in the way of gameplay either outside of having a few new abilities for Miles. It felt like largely the same game.
 
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Danjin44

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I personally want to see less open world and more proper level design....seriously!! it seems most western developers default choice has become open world. You don't have to have open world to make exploration fun, just look at games like Bloodborne and original BioShock.
 
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Dacon

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I personally want to see less open world and more proper level design....seriously!! it seems most western developers default choice has become open world. You don't have to have open world to make exploration fun, just look at games like Bloodborne and original BioShock.
I mean you could cleave parts out of these huge ass open worlds, tweak them for a linear game, gloss them up a bit and pop out a Max Payne type game easy.

From Software games do have amazing level design though.
 

Jethalal

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Another possible reason could be development times. GTA V was a 2013 game, I don't think it would be viable to reuse the map for the future title. Games like AC which release frequently reuse assets a lot though.

Miles Morales was only like 6 hours though right? I remember it being pretty short.

I don't remember it really adding much in the way of gameplay either outside of having a few new abilities for Miles. It felt like largely the same game.
I'd rather not have such 'reused' games tbh, the time spent on them could be spent on the next title. If Miles Morales had been bigger, it'd eat more into dev time for SM2. Sane with probably a hypothetical GTAV:Stories. Another factor is probably how every AAA title has to be the best looking game of the year, I could see this being more and more prevalent as graphics start giving diminishing returns though.
 

Danjin44

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I mean you could cleave parts out of these huge ass open worlds, tweak them for a linear game, gloss them up a bit and pop out a Max Payne type game easy.

From Software games do have amazing level design though.
I'm just sick of open world, Ghost of Tsushima was fun but god damn that game had so many copy & paste busy work, I'm just done buying another western open world game for a very long time.
 
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killatopak

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If we could have the Seattle TLOU2 map then I would love that.

It’s big enough that exploring it is exciting without feeling fatigued.

gameflow would be semi-open map>>story segment(likely linear)>>semi-open map.

A super large world would feel empty unless they fill it with meaningful content which I doubt would be possible. Instead we have endless fetch quest and collectables.

Though I do recognize some games are inherently better off having open world like Spiderman due to the context of how he operates.
 
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Dacon

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Another possible reason could be development times. GTA V was a 2013 game, I don't think it would be viable to reuse the map for the future title. Games like AC which release frequently reuse assets a lot though.


I'd rather not have such 'reused' games tbh, the time spent on them could be spent on the next title. If Miles Morales had been bigger, it'd eat more into dev time for SM2. Sane with probably a hypothetical GTAV:Stories. Another factor is probably how every AAA title has to be the best looking game of the year, I could see this being more and more prevalent as graphics start giving diminishing returns though.

I am talking about next titles though? Spider-Man 2 could very easily use the exact same open world with a brand new 15 hour story campaign, new additional areas/building interiors, brand new npcs, crime activities, new A.I types, and new systems like weather or environmental hazards. They could spice up the gameplay quite a bit, and make some new over the top boss encounters to boot.

All they would have to do is polish the city up/improve the graphics, make better textures/geometry here and there, and build new, better looking character models. What would there be to even complain about if they did?
 
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intbal

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Dying Light does/did a lot of what you're wanting, OP.
They've been adding stuff to that since it launched in 2015. Although it's not all freebies.

The Forza Horizon games are also a "living world" with constant new additions and events.
 

Jethalal

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I am talking about next titles though? Spider-Man 2 could very easily use the exact same open world with a brand new 15 hour story campaign, new additional areas/building interiors, brand new npcs, crime activities, new A.I types, and new systems like weather or environmental hazards. They could spice up the gameplay quite a bit, and make some new over the top boss encounters to boot.

All they would have to do is polish the city up/improve the graphics, make better textures/geometry here and there, and build new, better looking character models. What would there be to even complain about if they did?
But they do reuse assets. I am sure they will. I don't know much about development but I am sure devs know what they're doing. I don't expect SM2 to be a much bigger leap in graphics than say GTA4-->5 so I am sure they will reuse quite a few assets. But they can't just copy-paste the whole thing, then why won't they simply make it a DLC.

And other factor is that a company doesn't makes the same game everytime. Insomniac made Infamous Second Son and then reused the assets for First Light. Then they made, GoT which ofcourse can't have the same map owing to it's setting (but they might have copied a tree or something). They can't keep making a game from the same IP within the same generation, the creatives probably wanna venture out more and by the time the next gen comes, they might wanna just redo the whole thing cause I assume the old ones would be too obsolete. Imagine Rockstar reusing GTA 4 Map for 5, they'd be better off making a new one considering the larger scale and advancements since then.
 
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Dacon

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Imagine Rockstar reusing GTA 4 Map for 5, they'd be better off making a new one considering the larger scale and advancements since then.

Imagine RDR3 with the same map, but better. Why start over when you can already take an amazing thing and make it better.

You don't need to completely start over from the ground up, and making an entirely new 40 hour campaign with dozens of new actors, brand new character models, new weapons, animals, npcs, thousands of lines of new dialogue, new gen graphical features and 30+ brand new scripted story missions is far more work than any simple DLC.
 
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Jethalal

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Imagine RDR3 with the same map, but better. Why start over when you can already take an amazing thing and make it better.

You don't need to completely start over from the ground up, and making an entirely new 40 hour campaign with dozens of new actors, brand new character models, new weapons, animals, npcs, thousands of lines of new dialogue, new gen graphical features and 30+ brand new scripted story missions is far more work than any simple DLC.
I mean sure they can but when you consider how long they take inbetween sequels (gtav 2013 --> gta vi ???) then RDR3 would come after 2025 at the minimum and considering R* 's strive for quality, they might wanna blow our minds with high quality everything. I could see your proposition being viable if dev times reduced and with increasing advancements, I don't see it happening. Other thing might be that most franchises really don't keep the same setting everytime, AC changes locations and time period everytime so atmost they could reuse some buildings, not the whole map. Even in COD, they change locations, GTA too, and most franchises. So keeping the same map simply won't be possible in such cases.
 

Dacon

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I mean sure they can but when you consider how long they take inbetween sequels (gtav 2013 --> gta vi ???) then RDR3 would come after 2025 at the minimum and considering R* 's strive for quality, they might wanna blow our minds with high quality everything. I could see your proposition being viable if dev times reduced and with increasing advancements, I don't see it happening. Other thing might be that most franchises really don't keep the same setting everytime, AC changes locations and time period everytime so atmost they could reuse some buildings, not the whole map. Even in COD, they change locations, GTA too, and most franchises. So keeping the same map simply won't be possible in such cases.
I could see reusing and improving existing game worlds cutting a lot of that dev time.

Call of Duty is a different case since those games are mostly linear hallways connected by a few bigger areas. It's not really comparable to building a living breathing world from the ground up.
 
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Jethalal

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I could see reusing and improving existing game worlds cutting a lot of that dev time.

Call of Duty is a different case since those games are mostly linear hallways connected by a few bigger areas. It's not really comparable to building a living breathing world from the ground up.
Yeah, as I said that with Gamepass and GaAS model, such games might become prevalent to keep you subbed but Single-Player Games like GTA, which have solidified themselves as a premium experience(it still is 20-30 $ IIRC), I don't see it happening personally. Let's wait and watch.
 
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Mista

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Less open-world. It’s getting hectic and I have three open-world games that I am too tired to play

I don’t mind reusing assets if they fit in the game
 
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smorgasbird

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I don't get why almost nobody tries doing NPC schedules anymore. Majora's Mask and Morrowind can do it, why can't modern games? At least just have a per-NPC state machine and interpolate between the states when they're in range. :/

That's one of the big things that's missing from open world games and one of the biggest reasons they feel static and fake.
 
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nkarafo

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So you are asking something like WoW? It reuses most of it's original maps and in every update it expands or/and alters the existing maps a bit.

Though it's still the same game but with plenty of gameplay additions and things to do.
 
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Jezkin

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I've been saying this for years. Reusing environments (not just assets, but literally entire maps) should be a thing. I'd like to revisit old places in sequels and see how they've changed. Obviously not the exact same map, but it's quite easy to change a few things and make it feel fresh again. It would add nostalgia to the game while lowering the development cost and time by a bit.

Most people don't even finish games, we do not need an entire new map for every new game.
 

bbeach123

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True , while playing AC Origin I keep wishing its a different game . The world is so beautiful I want to do more stuff in it .

Like house building, city building ,do farming growing stuff , resource management , create a caravan go trading stuff , build your army like Mount and blade , lead them out or became a bandit etc .

God this game so beautiful and boring .
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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I wish they kept the same map and added more features. A DLC or sequel that takes place on the same map will work for most plotlines.

One of the biggest open-world RPGs ever created was in the Ultima franchise. Each game built upon the previous map until it started to take shape in Ultima 4 (followed by 5, 7, and Online in the pics below):









Elder Scrolls seems to be the only major RPG series that uses this same idea except they just give you a different piece of the big map in each game.
 

Captain Toad

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Miles Morales was only like 6 hours though right? I remember it being pretty short.

I don't remember it really adding much in the way of gameplay either outside of having a few new abilities for Miles. It felt like largely the same game.
More like 12. The reason why Miles Morales was shorter was because Insomniac cut out all the BS bloat stuff from the first game.

It resulted in a better game, imo. I wish more games did that. Cut out all the boring crap. Games will be shorter, but that's okay. I'd rather be left wanting more than spending a week finishing a game after I've already grown tired of it.
 

brian0057

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Open worlds should get smaller and deeper at the same time.
I don't give a shit if your map has the size of Texas, I'd rather have just a few square blocks of a city, simulated to an inch of its life.
Every NPC has something interesting to say, maybe even side quests. Every door can be opened. Everything is interactive.
Give me more Mankind Divided and less Cyberpunk 2077.
 
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I think a lot of reason this doesn't happen more is because of the potential knee jerk reaction that's (probably likely) a risk from game journalists and consumers to say "we're supposed to pay full price for the same map?" Regardless of new features, new storylines, etc, the attention span of the casual gamer doesn't well lend itself to thought processes like this. How many people complain about Assassin's Creed (for an example) feeling like the same experience over and over? Imagine if the next sequel had the same map. People would go apeshit. It also runs the risk of the more money hungry companies half assing it as a quick to make a quick buck with the benefit of having to do less asset work.
 

VulcanRaven

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I hope Insomniac doesn't use exactly the game map again in Spider-Man 2. I don't think any open-world SM game reused the old map before Miles Morales. Its wasn't a full sequel so I can understand why they did it. They should make the Manhattan island bigger and add other boroughs.
 
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Aesius

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Open worlds should get smaller and deeper at the same time.
I don't give a shit if your map has the size of Texas, I'd rather have just a few square blocks of a city, simulated to an inch of its life.
Every NPC has something interesting to say, maybe even side quests. Every door can be opened. Everything is interactive.
Give me more Mankind Divided and less Cyberpunk 2077.
Agreed. I would like to see an "Under the Dome" style open-world, where the game is constrained to a very small town, but every interior can be explored and every NPC can be interacted with in a somewhat meaningful way.
 
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Svengoolie007

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I'm sure others have said this, but the Yakuza games have been using the same city over and over since the beginning! It's really working out well for them. They seem to be the only ones smart enough to do that.
 
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