“I had the best time when I climbed a mountain because I wanted to climb the mountain as an activity rather than an objective with a reward at the end.” - SuperBiasedMan
Not owning a Switch, I was only able to play a friend’s while I dog sat, but this is exactly how I played the game. I would just choose a point in the distance and say I’m going to get there and jump off. Finding camps of goblins on the way kept the trip somewhat interesting. I’m not sure if I could poor 40 hours into this type of gameplay though, but if I had that time I might have pursued the story more. I consider LoZ:OoT and LoZ:MM my first open world games, because these were the first games I had attempted to do something off on my own in a game: mostly trying to find where the boundary was, and i was so disappointed when in the middle of the ocean I hit an invisible wall.
“I’d hope that there can be more done with this kind of intrinsic reward, where the world itself is enough motivation. Because I tire much quicker of games that give me extrinsic rewards like equipment, special powers or even explicit narrative stuff (because too often the good writing in a game runs out so fast)” - SuperBiasedMan
I’d like to see this kind of development in games too (although I’m guilty in getting sucked into equipment upgrade as progression). Would a point-and-click simulator or interactive-novel-walking-simulator be a good template for this type of open world? One where the story is the driving force? I can’t help but think Cowboy Bebop offers a good blueprint for this type of world. One that provides episodic stories that build each other up, without needing to be experienced completely linearly. I’m really interested in this line, where a walking-simulator ceases to exist and the game becomes something else.
“The empty, subdued spaces of Shadow of the Colossus (an influence I can feel in Breath of the Wild) are largely meant to act as a cool down period between the climatic boss fights but I absolutely loved exploring them and taking in the sights.” - Emily
This was really good pacing for the game, but I did not explore as much as the world wanted, because I hadn’t found enough reason too (which might be a bit hypocritical of my previous comments). Maybe because the game laid out so clearly that there was this binary between world and boss that I felt there was nothing to do but see in the open world (This might be why BotW fared a bit better in exploring because I had been shown that in between here and there would be something).
“The lack of meaningful treasure or npcs made my experience occasionally feel lonely and unrewarding. I’m excited to see developers emulate and improve on that model.” - marxistjohncena on BotW
“eliminate the ridiculously huge open world in favor of more compact, authored experiences” - mundanesoul
While I sympathize with this from a player perspective, as an indiegamedev I’m constantly feeling the struggle between making something authored (often meaning idiosyncratic, special, unique, basically a one-off) and systemtizing everything into a coherent project (both programmatically and narratively). There is a highly correlated labor/time trade-off between the two.